Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Such a NYE Fashion How-To!

Originally written for Cincy Chic
Written by RedKat, on 22-12-2008 11:18

Be the Belle of the Ball Dropping
Read on for fashionista tips on what to wear to the poshes
t of NYE events, as well as comfy couture for the simpler celebrations.

If you are a glamour girl and plan to hit a swankier affair (maybe the party at Bang or the Cincinnati Sports League party at the 20th Century Theatre) the key is to think metallic. Nothing says luxe party attire like a shimmery sheath. Follow the current trend and seek a strapless, curvy dress in silver, gold or even copper. For those less daring, jewel tones are very hot for winter, and you can find beautiful dresses in dark purple, forest green and deep blue that compliment just about every skin tone and figure. If you shop right now you can score great finds on formals at the big department stores, as they are clearing out fall's fashions to make way for spring and prom season. Think lower cost and get a long gown shortened by your seamstress.

Merlot, Pinot Grigio and Riesling, oh my! If you're planning to wine and dine your way into 2009 East-end gem Bella Luna or at the city's newest hotspot Bootsy's (wine-girl.net has several great suggestions), first make reservations! Done? Bravo! Dress it up in one of winter's great cocktail dress looks by going modern flapper in anything with fringe or beads, or go for a modern take on the little black dress and find something off the shoulder or with a high-collar-like neckline. A hot look for winter '09 is the off-white sleeveless turtleneck dress with black tights and black boots. If you're feeling adventurous, add a matching off-white slouchy knit cap.

3,2,1 Happy New Year! All bars ring in the New Year with their energetic and enthusiastic mix of beers, mixed drinks and midnight toasts. Stop by Southgate House for their annual musical bash, hit any of the bars in Mt. Adams or do one-stop-hopping downtown. Take your pick of the local establishments and dress for the merriment in casual chic. Dark denim is a must, and if you can stand the cold, add your best strappy heels. Bustiers, as well anything in a lamé, with sequins or beads or with unexpected sexy straps pairs perfectly with jeans and classes up a casual look without veering into over-dressed territory.

Finally, for those who prefer to watch the ball drop at midnight from the comfort of their own homes, there are endless options. If it's a strictly family affair, spring for cozy PJs like Nick and Nora for Target, with their colorful, dreamy designs made of the softest fleece. If your party is friends, food and fun, go rocker-style with jeans and a graphic tee, layered with a color-matched argyle print cardigan. Snow boots optional.

From dressed to the nines to partying like it's 1999, go for a look that matches your party spirit and you're sure to be the hit of the New Year.

For the man in your life, check out "Spoil Your Man With Tasty Attire"

And for great ideas on where to score luxe makeup for NYE, read "The Price of Beauty"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Such a need for help

The holiday season is a fashionista's dream with great parties, family gatherings and seasonal events to attend, which are great venues to debut all your fabulous new outfits. But what if you didn't even have the right clothes to wear for a job interview, or to wear to school? In the season of so much, @countrygirl22 who is better known as Toni Bloom from Gateway Technical and Community College, is reaching out for help. I'm reposting an email that I received from her, and encourage you to help if you can.

To my most stylish friends (forward this if I’ve forgotten anyone),

I know I asked for a coat for my work-study student yesterday, but a new situation has arisen.

Angie just turned 21 last week, she has 2 kids – Katrina, 4 and Camron, 7 mo. She dropped out of HS at 16 and had Katrina, since that time she has completed her GED and the Nurse Assisting program. She is presently enrolled in the Nursing program at Gateway. Today she was offered a part-time administrative assistant job in the Institutional Effectiveness office at Gateway paying $14/hr which is rich to her.

The problem is the girl literally has 2 pairs of jeans and 2 sweatshirts that she wears in to work for me every other day. She came to my office to see if I can help her. When she starts the job she needs some descent clothes to wear.

I’m not asking for money or new, but if any of you have clothes/shoes/coats/purses (anything) you were going to get rid of I’m sure I can find it a very good home.

Angie’s sizes:

Pants/jeans – 5 or 7

Shirts – S or M

Coat – 5, 7, s, m

Shoes – 7

Other sizes would be great too, because we have several girls in the work-study program that could use just about anything. We get a lot of donations for their kids, but nothing for them. They are referred to Dress for Success (which is a great organization) but that is 1 interview outfit. They need both everyday going to school clothes and everyday work clothes. Lotions, perfumes, bath & body, anything like that is good, too.

Please just let me know if you’re able to help. When these girls feel better about themselves they really work so much harder and they can look in the mirror and have hope.

Consider donating to any of the wonderful charities that support families in need this holiday season. Here are just a few:

Cincinnati Chapter of the Red Cross
United Way
Freestore Foodbank
Better Business Bureau's Giving Guide

If you'd like to donate any items to the work study program at Gateway, please leave your messages in the comments.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Such a fabulous Falcon Theater production!

With a fresh take on a Frank Capra's Christmas classic, Falcon Theater has a holiday hit with their production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Drama". A talented cast and amazing production team bring this story to life in 1947 at 1330 WFAL, Newport, KY.

Walk into the lobby and you feel as if you've stepped 60 years back in time. Everyone from the cast and crew are dressed in period costume. From the theater you can hear the Jingle Belles, the on-air all-women trio, singing Christmas carols to greet the studio audience as they file in to take their seats. A quick set of "on air" instructions from the program director and 3,2,1 we're live on the set of "It's a Wonderful Life" being performed in the WFAL studio.

With a mere six actors playing all the roles in the production, it goes without saying that being on stage is a busy affair. Michael C. Potter admirably tackles the role of George Baily, giving the character equal parts angst, remorse and joy. Caitlyn Rose Allison is superb as Mary Hatch Baily. Those of you who caught her performance earlier this season in Tartuffe will recognize her playful sassiness. Peter Weiglin plays Clarence, the guardian angel sent to save George Baily, but also takes turns as Harry Bailey and Mr. Potter among others. The primary onstage cast rounds out with Jim Waldfogle, Lisa D. Dirkes, Adrianne Underhill and the very believable radio announcer, Bill Keaton.

As we journey through George Bailey's life, it's easy to close your eyes and truly believe you're part of a live radio audience. The sound effects are all generated the old-fashioned way...with a small wooden door, with glass bottles and with a realistic phonograph to name a few. Amber Samblanet and David Levy do a great job accenting the radio drama with well-timed sounds and voices.

With two intermissions (complete with singing commercials courtesy of the Jingle Belles) nothing in the radio drama feels over-long or over-done. All critical timing points are cued by the program director which adds to the authentic feel of the production. The authenticity extends to the studio audience as well, who are cued to laugh and clap via a large APPLAUSE sign suspended in front of the stage.

All in all the Falcon Theater production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Drama" is a true treat. If you've never gone to Monmouth theater to see this clever troupe, now is the perfect time to revisit a classic holiday story, done with a new twist.

Special thanks to Julie Niesen, aka Wine Me Dine Me in Cincinnati, for the invitation to the play!

Check out another blogger's review: Radio Carla - Media...and Life Observer

Apologies for the low-res photos...amazing as it may seem, I forgot to take a camera, and was forced to rely on my trusty Blackberry for pix of the performance.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Such a great bit of news!

Mea culpa...I've been very bad about posting in the last month. I've been doing a lot of freelance writing for Cincy Chic (mostly due to writing Such A Redkatblonde...) so please check my stories out:

All I want for Christmas...
O'Bryonville for the Fashionistas
Furry Fashion Fury
Lady of the Grapes - Interview with Michelle Lentz, Wine-Girl.net

Insider Shopping Tips - Interview with Heather Hannan of Macy's

And now for the big news...drum roll please...Cincinnati is getting its very own H&M. After first spotting this retail gem in Stockholm in 1997, I've had a love affair with their super-trendy Euro styling and completely comfy prices. Even though the article in the Business Courier gave no specific date for the store opening, one can hope that the powers that be at Kenwood Towne Center power this through as quickly as possible. While we wait for H&M to open, visit the stores at Tuttle Crossing in Dublin, OH or roadtrip to Chicago and check out the megastore on Michigan Ave. Also visit the H&M US website for more information, fashion tips and photos from the latest campaigns.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Such a pair of boots

With the chilly temps and dreary skies comes the time of year that fashionistas anxiously await...tis the season for boots! Booties, peep-toes, riding boots, leather, pleather, suede or vinyl...fall and winter provide the perfect canvas for footwear that can be stylish, functional and completely on trend. No matter your budget or taste, there is a boot waiting for you, snug inside a shoebox and ready to be shown off around town. Some of my faves:

1. Frye boots - admittedly a spendier choice, Frye has been the hottest boot this season. Frye is the oldest shoe maker in the U.S., and is known for their Harness boot as well as their iconic 60's-era Campus boot, an example of which is in the Smithsonian. Pick up the Harness for versatility with jeans or with dresses for the office.

2. Steve Madden Midory Peep-Toe Bootie - I agree, it's difficult to get used to looking at a bootie and seeing a little hole cut out in the toe. The first time I saw these babies in a magazine, I cringed in horror. Now? I think they are a perfect example of "looks better on". Go for purple, since purple jewel tones are on the season's palette. For the unsure, yes, you can wear them with tights or au natural, but at this point, I'd nix any thought of wear them with socks.
3. Fabulous Fashionista by Crocs - Shocked? Me too. Tacky footwear proprietor Crocs launched a line called You by Crocs and these sexy black vinyl boots are one of the highlights of the collection. As with all other Crocs, these boots won't torture your feet, which lends them perfectly to late night dancing and clubbing.

4. Mirabelle by Abaete Studded Boot - As mentioned in an earlier "Such A Redkatblonde" post, Payless is carrying designer footwear lines by some of the most well-known designers on the market. Laura Poretzky for Abaete brings us this gem. A flat sole mean 100% comfort, so these would be great for downtowners making the long trek from a distant parking lot to the office, and doing it in style. As a note, with any Payless shoes you order online, you can have them shipped to the store for free. If they don't fit, they handle sending them back. Many local stores don't stock the designer kicks, so order online to avoid any retail frustration.

5. Sugar Shoes - Pin Party Tartan Plaid Boot - For my vegan friends out there, I bring you the most unique boot I've seen. Sugar Shoes offers up these quirky plaid boots that fasten at the top with a large gold safety pin. Pick them up at Alternative Outfitters, a fabulous online vegan boutique.

Just remember to take care of your boots, and for leather and suede, treat them with the proper polishes and protectants. For zippers, remember that a little candlewax rubbed on sticky teeth will help zippers pull smoothly. Lastly if your feet hurt, for goodness sake invest in Insolia inserts to go from limping in pain to striding in style.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Such a last-minute costume!

It's Halloween Eve, and horrors upon horrors...you have no costume! Never fear, here are some easy (hopefully) ideas for splashy, stylish costumes that you can create from what you have in your closet. The added ingredients? Whatever is left at the costume store, which is generally the hats, accessories and oddities. Work them and be the hit of the party!

1. Red Devil - If you have a red bridesmaid dress, a red sheath or any sexy siren red cocktail dress, go as a demon diva. Pick up a pair of devil horns, or make your own. Skip the sewing steps and use fabric glue for all the time-consuming work. Hot!

2. Fairy Princess - Again with a bridesmaid dress, but this time pick one in green, brown or something earthy. Grab a pair of fairy wings, or buy 9-gauge wire and make a pair of mod, twisty wire wings and leave off the fabric. Flirty!

3. Cruella DeVille - Everyone's got an LBD right...a little black dress? Take that little black dress, and add a faux fur stole. A few yards of white faux fur from the fabric store will do the trick too. Paint on black spots for effect, then add long opera gloves which can be found at any Claire's Boutique, black stockings and voila. For bonus points, find a black and white wig, or go old school and spray your hair half black, half white.

4. Naughty School Girl - Overdone sometimes, but so easy to pull off. Plaid skirt, white oxford cloth shirt, knee highs and black mary janes. For effect, carry a backpack and chomp on gum. Vamp it up and tie the front of the shirt in a sassy knot. Be sure to put your hair in pigtails too!

5. Miss America - Another bridesmaid dress? Another costume. Any color will work. Simply take a piece of white silky fabric for a sash, iron on the letters MISS AMERICA and add opera gloves. Add sparkly fake jewels and if you're channeling the winner fully, add a tiara. All accessories can typically be found at Claire's Boutique.

6. Sexy Librarian - Super easy. Take a pencil skirt in grey or black, add a white button down shirt, add a pair of glasses and pull your hair into a messy bun, secured with a pencil. Unbutton a few buttons of the shirt to give the look a bit of sass. To finish it off, add fishnets or thigh-highs and carry a couple books.

7. Pirate Girl - Find a dark-toned flowery sundress, add a belt around the waist, and take a couple of small pouch bags and hang them from the belt. Tie a bandana on your head, and do super black rimmed eyes, a la Captain Jack Sparrow. Huge hoop earrings, 2-3 beaded necklaces and tall black boots. If it's chilly, wrap a shawl around your shoulders in a drapy fashion. Done.

8. Vampiress - This can be pulled off with any vampy dress you may have. Pull on the dress, add fishnets, and pick up vampire fangs at any costume store or Walgreens. If you have a black dress you can sacrifice, slit it up your leg for more punch. Powder your face white, and add blood red lipstick. Drama queens can add a few red drops of "blood" at one corner of your mouth.

9. Sexy Cat - Either take your LBD or any leopard-print dress you may have and don it along with a pair of kitty ears. Make your own or pick some up at the costume store. Pick up a catnip toy to carry with you. Meow! Thanks to @amyscalia for the great idea.

10. French Maid - So incredibly easy. Take a black dress with a flair skirt, add a white apron, pin a lace handkerchief on your hair and carry a feather duster. Add sass with black fishnets and black stillettos. Oh la la!

If all else fails, there are literally thousands of ideas available online. Just do a quick Google search for "last minute costume ideas". Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Such a writer!

In case you missed it, I did a fab article on O'Bryonville that ran in Cincy Chic this week. Check it out, and if you have any Cincinnati (or within an hour or two) shopping districts you'd like to see reviewed, contact me!

A Break from the Same-O for Local Fashionistas

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Such a dating game

Just what is the formula for success in the dating game? After a thought-provoking conversation with a friend one night, this calculation was offered up as a common rule of thumb to determine age/dating potential:

DATING EQUATION: (Your age / 2) + 7 = youngest age to date

Am I the only one who has never heard this one? I’m guessing so, considering I found an entire website dedicated to the actual math of this formula. In fact, this equation is more commonly known as The Standard Creepiness Rule or The Rule of Seven. I'll go ahead and say this rule seems to apply more to men than women, especially since it's in the Wiki Man Code (which I guess is the same idea as the Miller beer Man Laws, Men of the Square Table). In a pinch,there is a handy Creepiness Calculator so that figuring out what's non-creepy is done automatically - simply enter the two datees birthdays. This might come in handy during those late nights out on the town where figuring out what anything numerical, even your own phone number, is a challenge. For a Hollywood spin on the Creepiness Rule, consider that both TomKat (Katie 30 in December, and Tom Cruise 46) and Demi and Ashton (44 and 29 respectively) fit the equation...just barely.

The Creepiness Rule isn't the only theory on age/dating math that I found. I posed this question to friends via Twitter and Facebook to see what other equations and rules were out there. Keep in mind that this is an extremely unscientific poll, done specifically for the purpose of posting the results to Such A Redkatblonde. Only some of the answers are posted, as there were quite a few duplicates.

What is your dating math? How much older/younger will you go?


Older women.

Older: 10 yrs
Younger: 6yrs

(Your age * 1.3) + 2 = oldest age you can date

I won't date anyone under 20, so the count of younger will increment by 1 every year until I am 30. At which point older and younger will be equal at 10 years.

I TRY to stick with the 10 year rule.

I would only date someone like a year or so younger. The older I get, the wider a gap I would be comfortable with. As for older, I'd say about ten years.

I am 32, so I would maybe consider a 30 year old guy (if he was mature, b/c I have had bad luck w/ guys who were slightly younger) and would go all the way up to 48 (as long as they were a young 48).

If you have a different formula for determining dateability, post it as a comment...I promise that someone out there will use it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Such a way to think pink - Part 2

Thinking pink this October isn't limited to wearing a pink ribbon on your lapel. You don't have a pink ribbon pin? You're in luck since you can get one free from the Breast Cancer Site Store.

Beyond the pin, more and more retailers are helping their customers show support for the cause through purchase of special pink ribbon products. With each purchase a portion of the proceeds going to breast cancer research and prevention. I am a firm believer in shopping for the cause (and volunteering for the cause, so consider donating your time as well as your money) so here are options for great finds that give back.

Locally, here are just a few of the places to shop and show support:

• Alternative Motive - Local t-shirt makers Alternative Motive have an entire line of t-shirts called Choose Your Belief, where 5% of the profit goes to a designated charity. Check out the Cure 3.0 hoodies and t-shirts. Proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen.

• Baskets of Nature - Mt. Orab-based Baskets of Nature create special gift goodies for your pets. They will donate 25% of the proceeds from the purchase of a Basket with A Cause. This basket includes treats for your pooch and a bandana for you.

• Fit For The Cure - Who hasn't had the fleeting thought that maybe, just maybe your bra doesn't fit like it should? There's never been a better time to remedy your lingerie dilemma - Wacoal and Dillards have partnered for Fit For The Cure. Receive a complimentary fitting in a Wacoal or DKNY bra and for every woman that particpates, Wacoal will donate $2 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Another $2 goes to charity if you buy the bra. How much easier could it be? Be sure to decorate and donate any of your misfit bras to Bras with Flair on the Square!

October 6 - 1-6pm Dillards Tri-County
October 7 11am-5pm Dillards Northgate
October 8 12-6pm Dillards Westside
October 9 12-6pm Dillards Eastgate
October 10 10am-4pm Dillards Kenwood

From a few of our national retail friends:

• White House/Black Market Hope Key Ring - WHBM has created a glittery limited-edition key ring, complete with glass pearls and bead, charms and ribbons. It's perfect for a purse decoration and is a steal at $22. This key ring is only available the month of October and 100% of the proceeds go to Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

• Glitz Watch by Relic - Relic, a division of Fossil, has crafted this statement watch speaks to both your support for breast cancer awareness, and also of fashionable wristwear. With a stainless steel wristband, Swarovski crystals encircling the dial, and featuring a Susan G. Komen pink ribbon on the face, this watch is true style. 61% of the purchase price supports the mission to save lives and end breast cancer.

• Pier 1 Komen Floral Blossom Candle & Reed Diffuser - Pier 1 has been a longtime supporter of Susan G. Komen for th Cure, and this year debuts the Komen Candle & Reed Diffuser. With a sweet blossom scent, the candle looks great anywhere, and also makes a great gift. $15, and 25% of the sales price of all items sold goes to benefit Komen and supports breast cancer research with a minimum guaranteed donation of $250,000.

If you don't want to shop for a cure, donate directly to Susan G. Komen Cincinnati and show your support for early prevention and detection of breast cancer. And be sure to screen yourself, their site will show you how.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Such a way to think pink - Part 1

October brings the start to National Breast Cancer Awareness month...a month devoted to increasing the awareness of breast cancer, and highlighting the importance of early detection. Do yourself a favor and download a handy self-exam card post-haste. Then, consider stopping by these great events to help raise awareness and raise money for the cause.

Be quick and ask your boss if your company can take part in the Lee National Denim Day on October 3rd. Donate $5 to the Women’s Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundations (EIF) and wear your cutest jeans to work as a reward. Donations will fund groundbreaking early detection and treatment research for breast cancer and support community education services nationwide.

Also on October 3rd, stop by Fountain Square at lunch to help kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness month with American Cancer Society’s Paint the Square Pink. Fountain Square will play host to local celebs, food, drinks (non-alcoholic since it IS lunchtime) and oh yes, will be decorated in nothing but pink.

Not busy on Saturday night, October 11th ? Happen to have a TV star, movie start or cartoon character costume lying around? Then you definitely need to get yourself to Costumes for a Cure. Hosted by Custom Distributors, prizes are awarded to the best costumes, so channel your inner Wonder Woman and be there. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Greater Cincinnati Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Tickets are $35/person or $6o/couple. Ticket includes food and drinks.

One of the highlights of Breast Cancer Awareness month is the Making Strides for Breast Cancer walk on Sunday, October 12th. Walkers and runners meet at Yeatman’s Cove for the five mile jaunt through downtown and Northern Kentucky. Registration begins at 8am, so break with weekend rules and set your alarm… especially if you had a late night at Costumes for a Cure!

Finally, whether you are artistic (or not) grab your Bedazzler and a bra for Bras with Flair on the Square 2008. Bras with Flair on the Square, hosted by Cincy Chic, raises awareness of breast health through decorating, you guessed it, bras. Decorated brassieres can be dropped off at any local Panera or at the Havana Martini Club. From Oct. 23-24, from 11a.m.-1p.m. and 4p.m.-6p.m., the decorated bras will not only be on display on Fountain Square, but they will also be up for grabs with a silent auction to benefit Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure.

Part 2 of "Such a way to think pink" will include tips on where to shop pink. Check back on Friday for details.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Such an Emmy fashion trend

Jewel tones, statement earrings and necklaces, beading and lace and soft messy up-dos...these are just a few of the hot fall looks spotted on the red carpet at Sunday's Emmy® awards. You don't have to go to a swanky affair to be able to incorporate these trendy touches into your fall wardrobe.

Redkat's Emmy Trends:
1. Purple - purple is huge this fall. Try a deep plum sweater dress like this one from Mod Cloth.
2. Lace - lace accents on everything from dresses to shirts. If actual lace isn't your thing, a shirt with a lace-like pattern can work, so visit Hippy Chix shop and give this shirt by Vanilla Sugar a look-see.
3. Beading - beaded trim is showing up on jeans, t-shirts, and even vests. Vest are very big for fall, so why not combine beading and vests into one great piece. Topshop (a UK fashion treasure) has just the vest.
4. Statement earrings and necklaces - both necklaces and earrings that pack a punch are cued up for fall but fashionista beware! Don't wear them at the same time -- too much is too much. Forever 21 always has great statement earrings for $3.99 and up. For necklaces, try Flutterby for the Australian take on jewelry (note: be sure to switch the currency from Australian to US when pricing products)
5. Metallics - Gold, silver, copper...they're all big for fall. There's no limit to how you can work metallics into your fall wardrobe, but if you're shy about too much bling, how about a belt? Create your own at Steeltoe Studios.

No matter how you incorporate the Emmy fashion trends into your fall look, keep in mind that whatever you do, make sure you make it your own and it works for you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Such a workspace

Your workspace (desk, office, cubicle) says a lot about you. The way you choose to accessorize your workspace is sometimes at the discretion of the company. In those cases, crafty desk denizens compensate for lack of individuality by putting weird things in their desk. But when the choice is your as to how you decorate your space, consider some of these options to make your co-workers sit up and take notice.

See Jane Work is a website entirely dedicated to arming the saavy working woman with any type of office organization, from satchels and notebooks to calendars and desk sets. A few of my faves:

To ensure no more crumpled business cards, try these colorful business card holders:

For a staple-free, accident free workspace floor try these staple-free staplers.

If exchange rates don't scare you, French boutique Pylones (be sure to click WELCOME or the entire site will be in French) carries a large array of whimsical lamps, bags, desk art and more. Look for the piranha pencil sharpener and the retro jukebox desk radio.

Finally, NYC boutique Mxyplyzyk (pronounced Mix-ee-pliz-ik) carries an eclectic array of just about everything, for your office, for home and some items...well, they defy classification. For some light desktop reading, try this book about the history of the Sock Monkey and for eco-friendly wall organization, a bulletin board made of pulp.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Such a fest

What is fall in Cincinnati without Oktoberfest? Without thousands of people crowding Fifth Street and Fountain Square, drinking Warsteiner, Heineken, eating metts and brats and wrapping up with the occasional cream puff? For everything that Cincinnati is criticized for, we do have the North American market cornered on Oktoberfest-ing (is that a word?)

According to the Cincinnati Regional Chamber's website Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, which officially began in 1976 routinely attracts over half a million people downtown each year. The official Oktoberfest site posted these interesting stats on what people eat at the Fest:
  • 87,542 metts
  • 80,500 bratwurst
  • 64,000 sauerkraut balls
  • 56,250 sausages
  • 24,640 potato pancakes
  • 23,004 soft pretzels
  • 20,000 cream puffs
  • 16,002 strudel
  • 6,000 jumbo pickles
  • 3,600 lbs. sauerkraut
  • 1,875 lbs. German potato salad
  • 702 lbs. Limburger cheese
  • 700 pigtails
  • 400 pickled pigs feet
Seriously? Pigtails and pickled pigs feet? Ew. Thumbs down on those two delicacies from me.

Oktoberfest is more than food and drink. This year HYPE threw a YP party called HYPE Haus which from what I hear, was a great time. There were numerous Fest tents with German bands playing polka favorites and German drinking songs. The 2008 souvenier cup was a green plastic beer stein which pratically everyone had, and even though I saw tons of friends there, I'm sure I "Prosted" with at least a dozen perfect strangers. FYI -- Prost is cheers in German.

Fountain Square was front and center this year, with the P&G music stage, the John Morrell weiner mobile, Q102 and various souvenier booths. Aaron bought these green light-up glasses, which were a big hit with the ladies. Graeter's was doing a brisk business, as were the two Fifth Third ATMs on the square.

Finally, the best part of Oktoberfest...the chicken hat. True, I do not own one of these fashionable head toppers, but one day I will. I'm in awe of the sheer variety of hats - Bengals, Reds, green, blue, purple...anything you can imagine. The best part is seeing the chicken hatters doing the chicken dance. Only in Cincinnati.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Such a wine tasting

Last night I attended the Fall Gathering of the Bacchanalian Society on Fountain Square. This was by far one of the best wine tastings the Society has ever had. The weather was absolutely gorgeous...it was a perfect night to be outside with 1,000 of your friends drinking European White wines. Lexus Rivercenter (a new sponsor for the Society) brought a driver simulation game and gave away weekend leases on what I'm told is a "hot new car". Two different food stations were set up, courtesy of BlackFinn. The official after-party was also at Blackfinn.

The proceeds benefited Fountain Square Management Group. Fountain Square Management Group is a private, non-profit organization that manages events, programming, maintenance and security for Fountain Square and the Fountain Square North Garage. I was surprised to realize that Fountain Square was non-profit, as were many of the attendees. I volunteered as check-in for the Host committee, and I I had more than a dozen people in my line who assumed the city of Cincinnati funded all the activities on the Square. To help raise additional money, FSMG held a split-the-pot raffle.

This year's C-Change class also did a launch of their new initiative called Fetch Taxi. The group brought a car decorated with the Fetch logo down to the Square and had a Cincinnati-themed gameshow running from it's backseat. Each contestant who played the game was broadcasted on the JumboTron above Macy's. The gist of Fetch? No waiting on hold when you need a cab. From their website:

“Forget re-dialing or waiting on hold when you need a cab. When you need a ride, Fetch delivers one number that promises to route your call to the first available cab company in Cincinnati. Better yet, you can trust that your voice will be heard via an online community forum where you can be an active part of improving cab service in Cincinnati.”

Get involved with Bacchanlian Society if you're interested in meeting other young professionals who love wine, love giving back to the community and want to combine the two in a fun way.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Such a great fall stocking trend

If you're like me, you're wondering how to begin the transition from summer to fall...not only in the clothing department, but footwear as well. In the past, strict rules governed whether we'd wear white shoes, off-white shoes, open toes with stockings, etc. In most cases, these rules have fallen by the wayside in favor of more innovative fashion trends that push traditional boundaries. One of my favorite examples of this is the new widespread acceptance of opaque tights.

Opaque tights, once the staple of all little girl wardrobes, have done a lot of growing up in the past few years. (definition of opaque: can't be seen through) Each season we've seen more designers show opaque tights with their fashions, both dressy and casual. Celebrities such as Sienna Miller have been seen on the red carpet sporting opaque tights with sandals. The moral of the story? If done right, opaque tights can be worn all year round, for any occasion. Here are a few rules to live by:

1. Any shoes can be worn with opaque tights. Play with textures and colors to find a good combination. Shoes worn in the same color as your tights elongate the leg. Jewel tones are hot this season, so consider wearing ribbed opaque tights with your peep toes shoes to help transition them to fall.

2. Tall boots AND short boots look great with opaque tights. If you're brave, try a pair of black tights with this season's must-have, the grey suede boot. Or, if you're more faint of heart, try wearing a short boot in the same color as your tights.

3. Yes darling, you CAN wear opaque tights to dressy affairs. The key is to look for tights with metallic accents, or textures to dress up your legs.

4. If you're tipping your toes into the waters of bright colored tights, pick a pair of tights in a color that matches one from your outfit. Or, anchor bright tights with a solid black dress and black boots.

Try Hue for great options in tights. Short on time? Kroger carries Hanes tights in their hosiery aisle.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Such a fashion show

Today is the final day of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC. Established designers, as well as designers who are just emerging in the fashion world are showing their Spring 2009 lines. Designers include Anna Sui, BCBGMaxAzaria, Michael Kors, Betsey Johnson and the Project Runway team. The trends include a continued movement toward soft, ultra-feminine looks, with a lot of soft pinks, blue and greys. Expect sheer fabrics, floral prints and perhaps some very sheer pieces which will work well with winter pieces as you transition your wardrobe from one season to the next.

The interesting thing I noticed about Fashion Week is the number of designers who have done lines for major retailers in addition to their higher end designs. Both Abaeté and Lela Rose, who had shows in Fashion Week, are also designing for Payless. Erin Featherstone and Richard Chai did lines for Target's Go! International series. Vera Wang has been making a splash with her Simply Vera Wang collection at Kohl's. It's great to see retailers like Target, Kohl's and Payless making haute coutre accessible and wearable for everyone. I love mixing the pieces from the different designer collections to create looks that fit my mood and my personality. Have any looks you love?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Such a great pair of recycled products

Before you think that I've got an unhealthy obsession with umbrellas, let me interject that this umbrella is unique! different! fun! and eco-friendly to boot. Thanks to my friend Carla (aka @pixelchic) for the tip on this great find.

Radley, a company out of the U.K. has created an umbrella entirely out of recycled plastic bottles. How enviro-chic! Plus, if and when you decide to chuck this umbrella for a new one, you can do so entirely without guilt, as this umbrella itself is recyclable. The umbrella is roughly $50 US.

Radley also carries a matching tote bag that is also made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, which too can be recycled when you decide not to carry it anymore.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Such a roadtrip

We're off to Chicago this weekend for a bachelorette party. Eight girls, one hotel room and an an entire city as our oyster...what could possibly go wrong? I'm excited to go shopping Saturday since Chicago has a great cross-section of boutiques and retail. Everything from the Magnificent Mile, with all my faves -- Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Saks, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. But, my real faves in Chicago are the boutiques. Each section of the city has a different flavor with a different kind of boutique. If you're like me, and have a split fashion personality, you can certainly indulge your inner diva and your tortured poet, all in one. Since I have only one afternoon to shop, my hit list includes:

She One (Lakeview)

Raizy (Bucktown) - Lingerie, oh la la!

2 Sisters (West Loop)

If I come across any new finds, check back Monday and they'll be posted.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Such a cute little dress

I am wearing what apparently is "a cute little dress" today. This is the compliment I've gotten from several people, including one friend who remarked that I look hot. I'm chalking it up to the hot summer day and moving on! The dress is made by BB Dakota, and is called the Byrdie Dress. I believe was part of their Spring 08 line.

I've had this dress for about two months, purchased it in Atlanta at a great shop in the Five Points area called The Junkman's Daughter. I can't find an actual site for it, so this link takes you to the Yelp review of the store. It's a funky/retro/goth/punk shop with clothes, shoes, cool accessories, bumper stickers, jewelry and more. Other nearby shops are equally funky/cool including one...whose name escapes me...that sold these cool little breakfast food keychains.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Such a low-cal daiquiri!

Courtesy of Hungry Girl. Buy the cookbook for more fabulous recipes. Available on the Hungry Girl website.

It's summertime, and even though we're all gratefully awaiting sweater weather, next year's bikini/bathing suit season is not far off. To keep myself in the healthy groove, and to arm me for next year, I'm posting a fabulous low-cal recipe for a yummy Strawberry Daiquiri. Hungry Girl is a great resource for all things food...recipes, tips, tricks...you name it. I just recently discovered the site, and I love it. For all of the WW points fans, the recipes posted seem to all have Points Values assigned to them. How convenient. Enjoy the frosty beverage and let me know what you think of it!

HG's Slammin' Slimmed Down Strawberry Daiquiri
Serving Size: 1 daiquiri (entire recipe)
1 shot (1 1/2 ounces) rum
1 packet (two 5-calorie servings) sugar-free powdered drink mix, any strawberry blend
3 frozen strawberries
1 tbsp. lime juice
5 - 8 ice cubes OR 1 cup crushed ice

Dissolve drink mix into 1/2 cup cold water. Stir thoroughly. In a blender, combine drink mixture with all other ingredients. Blend to desired consistency. Pour, add a straw, and slurp that baby up! MAKES 1 SERVING

Serving Size: 1 daiquiri (entire recipe)
Calories: 121
Fat: 0g
Sodium: 10mg
Carbs: 4g
Fiber: 0.5g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 0g

POINTS® value 2*

HG Alternative! For a virgin version, swap the rum for an extra 3 tbsp. water. Then your slushie sipper will have just 25 calories and a POINTS® value of 0*.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Such a rockstar

I went to last night's Cowboy Mouth show at the Madison Theatre. Not knowing a single song besides "Jenny Says" I wasn't sure what to expect. Seeing a smallish crowd of punks, hippies, yuppies and YPs, I couldn't even gauge where they fit in terms of genre. I was so amazingly surprised. Cowboy Mouth are quite the fun band. They hail from New Orleans and clearly have a lot of love for their home city. The band is all about getting the crowd to participate in their shows. At one point the drummer/lead singer left the stage to herd people from the back of the theatre to the front. Cowboy Mouth wants the crowd to sing along and interact with them during the show. At one point people threw red spoons at them, which must have some significance but I'm clueless as to what.

The real star of Cowboy Mouth is bassist/singer Regina Zernay. She absolutely rocked and has a fabulous punk/chic look, including her signature pigtails.

If you want to be a rockstar visit Scentiments/Rock City . They carry all the t-shirts, Docs and Manic Panic you could want. Also visit NVISION, a trendy little vintage shop that carrys art, furniture and hosts art exhibitions. Both businesses are located in the growing Hamilton Avenue area of Northside.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Such a service-esque world

Today I got up super-early to attend the Cincinnati AMA's Digital Marketing Summit. The keynote speaker was Cincinnati's own Pete Blackshaw who spoke on the conversation that consumers are having about brands, the ways that they are communicating and why a brand needs to be credible to sustain in this market.

One of the things that Pete mentioned in his presentation was that service, as in customer service, is a new sweet spot for marketing. I couldn't agree more. I will easily spend my money in stores that create an experience for me when I shop there. Cincinnati Magazine recently did an entire story on great local shops and retailers who are the epitome of trend. Featured shops include:

Plum Diore (which incidentally is/will be moving)

The Wardrobe (which is having a huge 40% off summer sale)

Outside (new outdoor living store in the Gateway Quarter, also having a summer sale)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Such a darling umbrella

Rain, rain go away...but really, if it didn't rain once in a while, I'd never get to use my darling Marimekko umbrella. Granted I have a predisposition towards all things Finnish as my mom is from Finland, but even someone who is a die-hard black umbrella carrier will agree that this umbrella has moxy. My umbrella came from the Pink Box in Hyde Park (located next door to the Green Papaya) but Marimekko accessories can also be found at MiCA 12/V. Hei hei!

Marimekko Unikko Umbrella

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Such a great pair of boots

And shoes, and flats and mary-janes...I can go on and on. As a fashionista who loves shoes but always struggles to justify the cost of Manolos, I was thrilled to find out that Payless is carrying the majority of the hot fall styles. Top designers like Abaeté, alice + olivia and Lela Rose are all contributing to the fall collection. The best part is, I can indulge and buy every pair of shoes I want and still have money left over to go out and be seen in my fabulous shoes. What a bummer that the only concern I have is where I'll fit all my new shoes in my closet!

Note: sometimes local Payless stores stock only one or two of the best styles so be sure to check online for not-to-be-missed trendsetters.

A few of my faves:

As seen in Glamour and Marie Claire
Madison Button Ankle Boot $27.99

American Eagle Latte Mary Jane $19.99

A cross between the riding boot for fall, and my enduring fascination with Ed Hardy.
American Eagle Tattoo Splash Rain Boots $37.99

Monday, August 25, 2008

Such a fine purse

Has anyone else purchased a DeGroot handbag? They are only the most fabulous handbags in the entire world...and I do not exaggerate. When I have men telling me my purse is great, you know that it's a mega-star of a purse. If you haven't purchased one, and are dying to, you're in luck! Cincy Chic is hosting a lunchtime trunk show for DeGroot Handbags. I am madly in love with my bright red Isis Tote. The event takes place at AVS Gallery in downtown Cincinnati.
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