I LOVE LUCY AT THE ARONOFF

I've got some 'splainin to do about this awesome Broadway rendition of I Love Lucy!

Enter the Aronoff. The audience was a mix of both young people and age-old fans -- proof that Lucy continues to be a timeless classic. Plenty of people were dressed in Lucy-similar fashion: bright dresses, pinned up hair, and ruby red lips. It was a fun touch to see people showing their excitment for the show in their fashion choice.


Now, I'm a casual Lucy watcher. I wouldn't be savvy at trivia, but enjoy the plotlines and humor. My friend Allie accompanied me; she's a hard core fan. Both of us were heartily entertained by the non-traditional musical. Going in blind, I thought I Love Lucy would be one of those recreations of a star's career, similar to Million Dollar Quartet or Ring of Fire. Lucy is not one of those musicals.


Curtains up! The audience became a live studio audience as 1950s television cameras panned around the stage, makeup and wardrobe artists fluffed and primped the talent, painting a glimpse into what a real, live I Love Lucy production would look like. With more acting than singing, the cast "broadcasts" two episodes with all your favorite antics: trips to the doctor, Club Babalu, ukeleles, and your favorite supporting cast members: Ricky, Ethel, and Fred.


Leads Thea Brooks, Euriamis Losada, Kevin Remington and Lori Hammel do a smashing job of embracing their characters, including look, voice, and quirky mannerisms. With plenty of hilarity, an occasional tune, and (my favorite part of the show) the old-timey advertisement jingles for products such as Brylcreem, Alka-Seltzer, Mr. Clean, and "See the USA in your Chevolet!" everyone can find enjoyment in falling in love with Lucy all over again.



I Love Lucy
runs at The Aronoff through June 14, 2015.

FAMOUS FOOTWEAR OPENS IN SOUTH LEBANON

A lady's closet has endless room for shoes. Imagine my excitement when Famous Footwear reached out to me to check out their new store in Cincinnati. I've been a long-time fan of the retailer, as they always have a good variety of stylish, practical shoes in addition to sneakers and stilettos. Plus, the selection rotates frequently and they make it easy to stock up with sales and fantastic clearance deals.


Converse are my go-to sneakers, comfortable and versatile enough to pair with a sundress or a Casual Friday office outfit. Famous Footwear offers exclusive colors for their store, such as these two eye-catchers:




The rest of the workweek, you'll find me in flats. As an urban dweller, my commute involves a lot of walking, making comfort just as important as style. Enter Dr. Scholl's. Traditionally known as a brand for older folks and orthopedic inserts, Dr. Scholl's has quickly become one of my go-to brands for fashionable shoes that allow me to pound the pavement. Check out these adorable colors in their Frankie Ballet Flat.


If you're on the hunt for athletic shoes, Famous Footwear has plenty of those too. Other stores tend to carry only pastel or neon colors for ladies' running shoes, so I was pleased to find several options in black with a hint of color, making it easier to pair with an assortment of fitness clothes.




Famous Footwear has several locations around Cincinnati, most located in the northern suburbs. If you live near the river, check out their Northern Kentucky shop near Newport Kroger.

MARCH BUYING GUIDE


In with a lion full of savings, March mixes it up with a new selection of sales from the usual department store apparel discounts. Spring is one of the best times to stock up, especially if you're looking for a good price on a long-term item, such as jewelry, luggage, electronics, or even a place to live.


Things to wait on:
  • Spring clothing (best deals are in April and May)
  • Lingerie (best deals are during the semi-annual sale in June)
  • Vacuums (best deals are in April and Black Friday)
  • Thrift shopping (wait until spring cleaning begins, then hit stores in April for the largest selection of the year)
  • Cookware and kitchen accessories (these go on sale during graduation season in May)

Things to buy in March:

Winter clothing (sweaters, leggings, fleece, scarves, gloves, coats, boots) - See more at: http://www.cincywhimsy.com/#sthash.NEoYiLPp.dpuf
Winter clothing (sweaters, leggings, fleece, scarves, gloves, coats, boots) - See more at: http://www.cincywhimsy.com/#sthash.NEoYiLPp.dpuf
Winter clothing (sweaters, leggings, fleece, scarves, gloves, coats, boots) - See more at: http://www.cincywhimsy.com/#sthash.NEoYiLPp.dpuf

Electronics (MP3 players, DVD players, tablets, laptops, smartphones, digital cameras): With the new products unveiled at January's annual Consumer Electronics Show now reaching store shelves, look for steep discounts on last year's models and some introductory deals on new products. The Japanese fiscal year also ends in March, and since that's where most of our gadgets are made, you'll see markdowns similar to our end-of-year sales in January.

Luggage: It's in between vacation seasons, so expect to find luggage markdowns before spring break (early April) and summer travel begins.

Frozen Foods: 
March is unofficially known as National Frozen Foods Month in the industry, which champions some sleek deals for consumers. Look for specials pricing items 20-50% off.  The best part, since they're frozen, you can stock up all month!

Houses: According to Bankrate, spring is a great time to buy a house (or search for a new apartment, if you're a renter.)

Jewelry: Get a head start on Mothers' Day shopping and snag some great post-Valentine's Day deals on marked down jewelry.

FEBRUARY BUYING GUIDE

January may be the month for snagging the greatest post-holiday deals, but February offers up some hefty discounts as well. Deals at the beginning of the month will likely be slim-pickins' due to Valentines Day, but after February 14, expect to see sales bounce back again. Get your Washingtons and Lincolns ready for Presidents' Day Sales, the best time to shop this month.

Most Presidents' Day Sales begin on Friday and run through the three-day weekend. It's somewhat of a sweet spot to shop as some retailers are struggling to liquidate straggling merchandise from last year, while others have a handful of new items in for the spring. Expect to save up to 85% off on clearanced items and 20-30% off on new-this-year merchandise.

Things to wait on:
  • Consumer electronics (MP3 players, DVD players, tablets, laptops) - on sale in March/April
  • Jewelry (highest prices of the year due to Valentine's Day)
  • Flowers and chocolates (highest prices of the year due to Valentine's Day)
  • Lingerie (highest prices of the year due to Valentine's Day)
  • Luggage (on sale in March)

Things to buy:

Winter clothing (sweaters, leggings, fleece, scarves, gloves, coats, boots) - See more at: http://www.cincywhimsy.com/#sthash.NEoYiLPp.dpuf
Winter clothing (sweaters, leggings, fleece, scarves, gloves, coats, boots) - See more at: http://www.cincywhimsy.com/#sthash.NEoYiLPp.dpuf
Winter clothing (sweaters, leggings, fleece, scarves, gloves, coats, boots) - See more at: http://www.cincywhimsy.com/#sthash.NEoYiLPp.dpuf
Winter clothing (sweaters, leggings, fleece, scarves, gloves, coats, boots): Presidents' Day will be your last chance at discounted winter apparel until next year. Come March, it all gets marked out of stock and shipped back to the warehouse to make way for spring break attire 

TVs
: prior to Superbowl Sunday, search for television deals averaging $200 off


Indoor furniture (beds, couches, refrigerators and washer/dryers): Look for markdowns around Presidents' Day weekend

White Sale (towels, bed linens, pillows, blankets): Many white sales are continuing from January. These deals originated in department stores 1878 to entice customers to go shopping during slow retail months with discounts averaging 60-70% off.

Treadmills and ellipticals

Humidifiers

JANUARY BUYING GUIDE

The holidays may have exhausted your stamina for shopping, but don't get too comfy. A little-known secret of the retail industry is that January is the best time for consumers to find the greatest bargains. Most national retailers have a fiscal year that ends annually on January 31. That means it's time to clean house to make way for a whole new accounting period in addition to a whole new selection of wares for spring. The end of the fiscal year allows stores to deeply discount products to avoid taking a loss on any unsold merchandise.In short, that translates into "any money is better than no money." Consumers can find prices anywhere from 60-80% off during January, with substantial markdowns occurring during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.



While the majority of inventory is being ushered out the door, it's important to remember that not everything in a store may be on sale. Electronics, especially those released within a month or two of Christmas, will not be marked down. Wait until after new gadgets announced at the annual Consumer Electronics Show hit shelves in March for deep discounts on last year's models.

Things to wait on:
  • Exercise equipment and fitness clothes (on sale in the spring)
  • Luggage (on sale in September)
  • Grills and patio furniture (on sale in autumn)
  • Humidifiers (on sale in February)
  • MP3 players, DVD players, or laptops (on sale in spring)

So, what things can you find the best deals on in January?

Winter clothing (sweaters, leggings, fleece, scarves, gloves, coats, boots): pretty much any type of cold-weather fashion must go!

Designer handbags: making way for their spring color collection, end-of-year colors are now at 50-80% off

TVs: Traditionally, televisions go on sale two weeks before the Superbowl in February, but consumers can expect to find the best deals of the year as early as Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.

Storage: Look for two-for-one sales on Rubbermade bins and other storage devices as folks pack up their holiday decorations. Speaking of...

Holiday decorations (Christmas trees, twinkle lights, ornaments, greeting cards, wrapping paper): stock up for next year with items 70-90% off. A friend recently purchased a giant pre-lit tree for $17 and got next year's box of 50 Christmas cards for $0.49

White Sale (towels, bed linens, pillows, blankets): A department store tradition that dates back to 1878,  linens are at their lowest price of the year in January. These sales originated to entice customers to go shopping during the slowest retail month of the year. Discounts average 60-70% off.

Winter sports equipment

Home furnishings: sofas, bed frames, bookshelves, storage

Mattresses: averaging 70% off

Tax preparation software: buy it now for discounts of up to 40% off; this deal won't be around in February

Take advantage of 25% off gift cards at GiftcardGranny.com (or sell your own unwanted gift cards from the holidays for cash.)

Another tip is to start searching for Valentine's Day gifts for your sweetheart amongst the Christmas sale leftovers. Jewelry, fragrances, and chocolate prices skyrocket during February due to the demand for the holiday, but right now, you can still find occasion-appropriate gifts at a fraction of the price. There's nothing more romantic than scoring the perfect present at a quarter of the cost... just as long as it's not a Santa Claus charm bracelet.


What are the best deals you've found this month? Leave a comment below!