OCT
03

places-to-shop-for-vintage-cincinnati

Vintage. It comes and goes in and out of style but many pieces remain timeless; aside from the few funky fashion trends you may remember throughout the decades. Shopping at vintage stores can not only allow to reminiscence about the good old days, but may inspire you to make something fabulous and pin-worthy!

Here are eight stores here in the tri-state you have to shop if vintage is on your mind:

Nvision, located in Northside off Hamilton Ave. is a funky little store with everything from retro furniture the some of the best vintage shoes in all sizes. They also have dresses, jewelry and home decor. [Click here to check out their website]

Also on the Northside is Chicken Lays an Egg. This eclectic store is budget friendly with a wide selection of great fashion finds. [Click here to check out their Facebook page]

Located in Newport, KY, Oh! Darling Vintage is another vintage store I’ve heard great things about. [Click here to check out their Facebook page]

The Mustard Seed Boutique here is Cincinnati is a store that’s just as nice as their website. [Click here to browse their site, find directions and more]

Atomic Number 10 is a great place to browse vintage and is located in Over-the rhine. If you don’t have time to stop in, that’s okay because you can shop online! [Click here to go to their website]

One vintage store you won’t want to miss is Casablanca Vintage. It’s known as one of the most organized vintage stores around, with tags that inform buyers what decade the item is from. Plus, all the clothing is organized by size so you won’t spend hours sifting through clothing to get the perfect fit. [Click here to head to their website]

Another gem of a place is Wooden Nickel Antiques. I can remember going there as a child and was just fascinated. I still am. The store, located in a really old building on Central Parkway, always has the most interesting items for sale! You can find more about the one-of-a-kind shop, here.

I hear another great place to shop for vintage items is Edie’s Vintage Rose Room located off Harrison Ave on the west side of Cincinnati.  [Click here to view the store on Google Plus]

What’s your favorite vintage store in the tri-state? Are there any I don’t have listed that should be added?

SEP
30

making-time-for-the-two-of-you

[Photo by Jenn of JennPrine.com of myself and my husband]

Whether you have one kid or five, it is important for you and your spouse to spend time together alone. Even if it is just once in a while. To be able to communicate sans a screaming child and parenting roles intervening your conversation; it can do wonders for your relationship!

Taking time away from your busy schedules can be quite difficult. I know. Among owning an older house that requires a lot of attention, yard work, a kitten, a dog, a toddler and creative jobs that require both of us to think of ideas 24/7, life never slows down. This is why you have to make time. Jot down a tentative date or two in the beginning of the month and stick to it. No cancelling unless there is an absolute emergency.

So now that we discussed carving out the time for date nights, let’s get to the fun part! Remember, date nights don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes just the simplest of things can be better than going to a fancy restaurant then catching the newest flick. That’s just not my style anyway.

  • Bring out the old CD’s and listen to your favorite songs and artists from high school. Have a few drinks and throw your own dance party in the living room.
  • Sketch out a blueprint of your ultimate dream house. This might not work for every couple, but think it could be a lot of fun. If you’re not into drawing, make a list of your dream house must-haves. Want a big backyard? Jacuzzi? Laundry chute?
  • Along the same lines; travel around your city (assuming it is still light out and nice weather), and take unique photos with the two of you together or of each other.
  • Discover a new park or hiking trail. My husband and I did this last Friday night. So we cheated (our son was with us) , but we tried out a new jogging path at Fernbank Park. It was fun; we exercised and felt good about ourselves, and enjoyed the outdoors.
  • Plan a vacation for an anniversary or other special occasion, including how long it will take you to save for it, budget, etc.
  • Create a map of places you have been together or of places you wish to visit. This could be a local map or even a map of the world. You and your spouse can make that decision.
  • Teach each other something new. I could teach my husband how to make jewelry and he could teach me how to whip up home decor designs in Illustrator. Just kidding, this idea really wouldn’t work for us but it may work for you.
  • Bake using a recipe you found together. If you make too much, deliver some sweets to your neighbors.
  • Make a big bowl of popcorn and enjoy some good laughs by hooking up the VCR and watching some home videos.
  • Go to a festival. They are almost every weekend this time of year.
  • Attend a local concert or find live music at a restaurant close to home. If you each order just an after-dinner drink, it will keep your date night relatively inexpensive.
  • Create bucket lists over a glass of wine at home. You can do this individually or as a couple.
  • Make a time capsule together, then put it away in a keepsake box to open years later. Get creative. Write out your hopes, dreams, and where you want to be in ten years. My husband and I (sort of)  did this ten years ago and it’s so funny to read. Ironically, I am not far off of what I predicted!
  • After the kids go to bed, bring out some classic board games and have a few drinks.
  • Catch a movie at the dollar theater and go out for ice cream afterwards.
  • Make a very specific list of things you love about each other. It’s good to not take these things for granted and it will make your spouse feel good about their selves and vice-versa.
  • Have a late dinner and cook something exotic or try a recipe you wouldn’t normally try.
  • Make a mix CD of songs that remind you of your time and life together. My favorite songs are from our time in high school and while in college in Savannah together. I miss those days.
  • Go for a long drive, with no specific place in mind.
  • Watch each other’s favorite movies from childhood.
  • Bring a blanket and attend an outdoor concert. During the summer months, there are a lot of places here in Cincinnati that offer free music. (Visiting theCincinnati Chamber website is a great place to start)
  • Take fun pictures together. My husband and I just recently had pictures taken for our five year anniversary….in my wedding dress and in his suit pants with a white shirt. The pictures turned out AWESOME thank you to Jenn Prine of JennPrine.com. I had a very specific idea in mind and she far exceeded my expectations. So just a thought if you want couple pictures…she does a phenomenal job.

Here are just a few of the beautiful photos Jenn captured:

Megan-Fenno

5-year-anniversary-pictures-megan-fenno

megan-fenno-anniversary

(You can find the rest on MeganFenno.com)

We’d love for you to join the conversation! What do you like to do for fun and/or inexpensive date nights?

SEP
18

how-to-remove-grease-stains-wkrqThere’s nothing worse than watching a Bengals game, enjoying a few beers and wings when BAM, a wing slips out of your hand and lands on your lap, making several grease marks down the front of you on its descent.

Luckily, there’s a great solution to this problem and it’s super easy!

Make sure the article of clothing, tablecloth or whatever has grease on it is completely dry. Use grease fighting dish soap (I just used the original blue Dawn and that worked fine) and apply it to the stains.

Let the dish soap sit on the stain for several minutes and depending on the type of fabric, work the soap into the stain as best as you can. If you’re trying to get grease out of jeans, then you can use an old toothbrush or small sponge. If you’re working with a more delicate fabric, I’d just take extra precaution to not stretch, rip or damage the fabric.

Continue to allow the dish soap to work its magic for at least 30 minutes; therefore time allows the soap to keep working its way into the fibers of the fabric. Then go ahead and launder the item as you normally would!

Here’s another great stain fighter recipe that takes stains out of almost everything! It’s simply amazing and can be made right at home: DIY Stain Remover & How to Keep your Whites SUPER White!

SEP
04
White-after-labor-dayWhite after Labor Day. It’s a topic no one really puts too much thought into, right?

Okay, maybe extreme fashionistas.

But I’ll admit, I often find myself mid-September layering on  white without putting much thought into it and even seems like it’s just a figment of fashions past!

But let’s first back up.Where did this urban legend or fashion rule even start and why aren’t we supposed to wear white after Labor Day?

I found a few reasons as to how this “no white after Labor Day” rule even came to be.

In the early 20th century, many well-to-do Americans who lived in the city would often travel to “summer” homes leaving the metropolitan lifestyle in the city. Their “summer” home fashion consisted of dressing in light, white fabrics to help stay cool. Once returning back to the city, they would pack away all traces of the white clothing that was worn throughout the summer. Labor Day just happened to mark the end of that time frame. Years went by and the trend then translated into the middle class population in the 1950′s & 1960′s then eventually to most everyone.

The other reason — practicality. For centuries, wearing white in the summer was just another way to stay cool. In a time without air conditioning, there weren’t halter tops and t-shirts for people to run around in. The majority of the population used to wear what we would now consider formal clothing and since most lighter-weight fabrics were white, that’s just what was worn.

It seems like the “don’t wear white after Labor Day rule” has subsided and it lives long past its shelf date; the first Monday in September. Really, white is seen all over the place after Labor Day; from the runway to casual wear in department stores.

Either way you look at it, many fashion rules are made to be broken. So below are five tips to help you stay on the right track in your post-labor day white attire:

1. Pair your whites with darker colors

White can be paired with any darker-colored clothing in the winter and still look stunning. Think about a white scarf to freshen up what would be a rather dark outfit. You could also trying choosing one white piece in your closet and pair it with a darker piece, since layering is popular. I’m thinking a  white tank would look great under a dark sweater or cardigan.

2. Chose heavier-weight fabrics

Linens and super light cottons won’t really keep you warm during the upcoming chilly months–plus they just read spring/summer. But if you have to wear those lightweight weight summer tops, try to incorporate heavier darker colored pieces, such as a dark blazer.

3. Choose Winter Whites
Off-white is usually referred to as winter whites. Think cream colored, beige and light nude colors. These color choices can look stunning and compliment your fall-colored wardrobe.

4. Accessorize in white

white-accessories-for-after-labor-day-fashion-finds

If you chose to remain conservative in your fashionable habits and still don’t agree with wearing white post Labor Day, try wearing white accessories or wear white nail polish or eyeliner.

5. Wear a White Blazer or Jacket

Kate-Beckinsale-wears-White-Blazer

If you really love white and can’t stand to part with it during the winter months, think about investing in a white blazer or white trench coat. There are endless possibilities when it comes to white jackets in various materials from wool to leather. White jackets are perfect for breaking that fall or winter chill and can often look fabulous paired next to a darker colored pant, such as deep brown, burgundy or black. Or as pictured above on Kate Beckinsale- with jeans and gray accessories.

What are your thoughts on wearing white after Labor Day? I’m kind with the idea that it doesn’t really make a difference but we’d love to hear your thoughts!

AUG
21

shopping-secrets-retailers-don't-want-you-to-knowBelieve it or not, retailers are well aware of our shopping patterns and habits. Retailers not only hire outsider companies to track consumers shopping habits, but retailers also rely on the psychological research that has been provided through studies on how various types of consumers shop.

Did you know that stores actually arrange their merchandise a certain way based on what they believe is most appealing to you? After doing research for this article, I see what they mean! For example, I made a quick stop to Marshall’s to see if they had any red-colored jeans for a good price. My intention was to only go in for that very reason however, Marshall’s knows their target market well; woman who are fashionable and like a good deal. Of course, right when I walked into the store, there were all these adorable shoes displayed on a table with a big red clearance sign. I couldn’t pass this up! Yes, I ended up buying a pair of shoes… but this is my example of how stores arrange merchandise specific to their target demographic.

Here’s another interesting fact. Studies that’ve been conducted on shoppers found that when people enter a store, they are most likely to start their browsing on the right side of the store. Retailers are familiar with this pattern. They make sure to take advantage by putting all the tempting and hot new trends right there in the front right side of the store. You may even find that the music is louder and the lights are brighter in that area too, all to help attract you over even if you are not a “right-oriented” shopper.

While speaking of clearance, take note that usually that usually clothing sizes are all jumbled together, everything’s a bit unorganized and it’s scattered throughout the store. Of course there are few exceptions but, that too is usually purposeful so you will instead shop in the neatly organized full price merchandise.

And lastly, stay clear of impulse items, which are the little things around the registers that just scream, “Buy me, I am not that expensive!” But after a few impulse item purchases, you’ll realize, those little things add up! Just remember what you went into the store for and resist from indulging in these little trinkets stores like to call ad-ons.

So what is a shopper to do with all these tempting displays and perfectly arranged stores?

Here are a few tips I found helpful when shopping:

  • Always go shopping prepared. Make a list of what you intended to buy and stick with that.
  • Avoid impulse items around the registers. If you feel like you just need to have something not on your list, ask yourself if it is really necessary.
  • If you are heading into a store to check out the clearance, hit the clearance racks first. That way, when you do go to look at the full price merchandise after checking out the markdowns, you will have a frame of reference, knowing what’s a good deal and what isn’t.
  • Make sure to give yourself plenty of time. Shopping while in a rush will lead to making rash decisions. Also you want to have the time to be able to dig through all the unorganized clearance goodies, right?
  • Pay with cash and make a budget. You are less likely to make impulse purposes paying with cash and if you only have so much of it, you’ll be sure to spend it more wisely. When you have spent all your cash, that means it is time to stop shopping.
AUG
07

tips-for-saving-on-back-to-school-clothingBack to school shopping can be draining on your wallet. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey, the average cost of school shopping– including supplies, electronics and clothes was a total of $688. That is a chunk of money being spent each year! And probably a big portion of that goes to clothing and shoes.

Fortunately, it is possible to get the kids closets ready for school without spending a lot of money and time by implementing these cost-cutting measures.

Set a Budget

Before heading out on a shopping spree, calculate how much you can afford to spend on each child for their back-to-school wardrobes.

Keep in mind that, just because something is a bargain, it doesn’t mean it is a good deal if you end up paying interest on unpaid balances.

Use Cash, Not Credit

After determining what your clothing and accessory budgets are, then head on over to the ATM and use cash. It helps keep you within your budget and if your kids are old enough, they can help do comparison shopping to get the most out of that cash.

Shop with your Smart Phone

Mobile shopping apps can allow you to scan products and allow you to do price comparing right there on the spot. You can also read reviews about the products and sometimes even download coupons. Some of the most popular mobile shopping apps include ShopSavvyPriceGrabber and Price Check–although there are dozens to chose from and most of them are free to download.

Check out The Dress Code

Before hitting the stores, check with your child’s school. Knowing the dress code before going out shopping for clothes can prevent you from wasting money on items the kids won’t even be able to wear to school.

Borrow, Borrow, Borrow

You probably know someone, whether a family member or a friend, that have clothing or uniforms that their kids have outgrown. By borrowing those items before your child hits their next growth spurt, you can save a lot of money.

Consider Consignment Stores

Places such as Plato’s Closet and Once Upon a Child offer second-hand clothing at really reasonable prices and most Once Upon a Child stores even have dedicated section just for school uniforms.

Spread out Clothing Purchases

By purchasing clothing throughout the year instead of purchasing it all in the beginning of the school year, you will not only save money but you can take advantage of off-season sales. I mean, it’s warm enough now to still be able to wear summer clothing, so pick up a few of those discounted clothes. You can even consider buying a few sizes up when it comes to basics and keep them around for the following year.

And a bonus: if your child hits a growth spurt, you won’t have to invest in an entire new wardrobe mid-year!

The bottom line is, back to school shopping can be pricey. However when you plan, stick to a budget and do a little research, you can save not only money, but aggravation!