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Authors Posts by Abby Brindza

Abby Brindza

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Learn about the upcoming holiday market and community festival featuring non-stop entertainment, 60+ vendors, and several festive activities.


With more than 60 vendors, Halle-Bration is a free celebration of Christmas on Friday, Dec. 7, 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Vision United Methodist Church.

This sixth annual Halle-Bration is a city-wide holiday celebration and unique gift market selling jewelry, shoes, ethnic fashions, hats, books, baked goods, food, skincare products, entertainment and more. The event will also feature activities for kids including a visit from Santa Claus, holiday craft classes, celebrated visual artists poets, and workshops on the meaning of Christmas and Kwanzaa.

 

Kathye Lewis, co-founder and co-coordinator of Halle-Bration says the influence of the event came from the need for a free event for families during the holiday, “We started Halle-Bration in 2013, because we wanted to give the community a free event where families could come out, celebrate the holiday season and have some fun.” “We also wanted to provide a place where the community could buy unique holiday gifts and other goods and services from local African American artisans, merchants, and entrepreneurs,” Lewis added.

New Vision UMC, the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce and the Collective Empowerment Group of Cincinnati are all presenters of the event while First Financial Bank, Fifth Third Bank, and BonSecours Mercy Health are all Gold Level Sponsors. 

As a part of the two-day event, a Jazz Social Hour featuring Jazz Saxophonist Ed SAX Thomas and his trio, mocktails, and finger foods. 

The Halle-Bration will provide continuous food concessions, live entertainment, and is a community business marketplace featuring service-oriented community-based business with a business directory given out for free so attendees can patronize businesses year round. 

To learn more, call 513-961-4817 or log onto the Halle-Bration website here.

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Studio Lush welcomes a curated selection of local businesses for a twice-annual ultimate shopping experience. Keep reading for all the details.

Studio Lush is hosting a holiday pop-up to celebrate and showcase local vendors.

Featured only two times a year — right before winter holidays and before Mother’s Day — this Pop-Up at Studio Lush aims to showcase and celebrate local vendors. The holiday pop-up shop offers attendees a variety of local businesses to support as they shop for everyone on their list (including themselves) while also enjoying snacks and drinks.

The idea of a pop-up shop came from a conversation with Nicole Stengerand, owner of Studio Lush, and Megan Fenno, owner of FennoFashion, as they discussed their love of shopping and supporting small businesses.  “We especially like the fact that this event really kind of kicks off the holiday season, and also we spend the time together as a salon – we are usually behind the chair together… it’s nice to unwind together,” Stenger says. 

The holiday pop-up shop at Studio Lush was created one night over drinks between Stenger and Fenno as they were preparing for a busy season ahead. “Nicole is always trying to promote her salon and the fab ladies she works beside, and Megan thought this would highlight Lush as well as hers and other businesses,” Stenger adds.

The pop-up shop will feature FennoFashion jewelry, Belle Sorelle boutique’s products, handbags, and homemade home décor. The shop is open Friday, November 16, 6-8 p.m. 

Throughout the year, Studio Lush hosts Lush Ladies night in May and makeup classes for the public throughout the year. 

Each year, there are several new vendors for the pop-up shop, as well as keeping well-known returners. All food and drink are complimentary, and there will be a drawing for a basket of professional products toward the end of the night. 

In the future, event organizers look forward to conducting more education and makeup classes. They are also looking forward to offering more services in addition to expanding the program to pay it forward.

To learn more and follow along, follow Studio Lush on Facebook and Instagram. You can also check them out at www.studio-lush.com

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Learn about the upcoming event that’s working with roasters across the region so you can raise a yummy cup of joe while raising money to protect the Ohio River.

The Cincinnati Coffee Festival is coming up in November to support the Ohio River Foundation.

Being the largest coffee festival in the Midwest, the Cincinnati Coffee Festival is a celebration of the coffee community in Cincinnati and it fundraises for the Ohio River Foundation. 

The Ohio River Foundation is dedicated to protecting and improving the water quality and ecology of the Ohio River. This 501(c)3 non-profit organization was founded by a group of citizens concerned about the Ohio River, and the need for increased citizen response to the degradation of this valuable natural resource.

The Cincinnati Coffee Festival will be held at Cincinnati Music Hall, November 10 through the 11th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a Trade Day on November 9 starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m.

Each year, Cincinnati coffee lovers join world-class roasters, coffee shops, purveyors of fine foods, and professional baristas and enjoy free tastings of some of the finest coffee, elegant pastries, and savory foods in the country, according to organizers.

Tickets for the festival are on sale on the event’s website here and can also be purchased at the door. General admission tickets are $12.50 in advance and $15 at the door. VIP tickets and VIP gold tickets are also offered, VIP tickets include a gift bag, early admission, and a “fast track” entry are $20 in advance and 25 at the door. VIP gold tickets, including all the perks of VIP tickets plus admission for the entire weekend and a specialty coffee mug, cost $35 in advance and $40 at the door. 

Other than the Cincinnati Coffee Festival, the Ohio River Foundation hosts The Wild and Scenic Film Festival and volunteer days at public parks. 

Event Director Judi Cogen says the event includes workshops, live music, demonstrations, and the Latte Art Throwdown. “We connect roasters, coffee shops, tea shops, chocolatiers, pastry artisans, and other coffee vendors with fabulous coffee lovers in Cincinnati,” she adds.

New this year, the festival is featuring The Art of Coffee exhibit, which is a display of regional artists’ photos paintings and poems about coffee and Latte Art in Action where baristas teach participants how to create latte art. 

To learn more, visit the Cincinnati Coffee Festival’s website or find them on Facebook here

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With experience as occupational therapists at a mental health facility, these two experts are now bringing what they practice into the community.

WonderWell Workshops focuses on all aspects of life.

Providing practical tools and strategies to support wellbeing, WonderWell Workshops focus on all parts of life from exploring life balance to redefining leisure interests. 

WonderWell Workshops was recently founded by Karena Skibinski and Brooke Frontiera, who met while working as licensed occupational therapists at a local psychiatric hospital. 

Skibinski says their inspiration came from how much people struggle to find the time to take care of themselves. “This lack of prioritization results in people feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and just not satisfied with where they’re at in life,” she adds. “Our workshops give people the time and tools needed to implement small, simple changes into their daily lives.”

Occupational therapy helps individuals focus on getting back to doing what they need to do, Skibinski says, for example, cooking, budgeting and stress management. Helping individuals who are struggling through these issues inspired Skibinski and Frontiera to offer therapeutic workshops to fulfill the needs of the community.

Each workshop is open to the public, both for businesses and personal use. Alongside workshops, Skibinski and Frontiera offer one-on-one sessions for those interested in a more individualized direction and guidance.

Karena Skibinski and Brooke Frontiera, Founders of WonderWell Workshops

Skibinski says what makes WonderWall Workshops unique is because both Skibinski and Frontiera both have Master’s degrees in occupational therapy. “We are experts in ‘doing’ and approach well-being holistically and with evidence. This means we take into account the whole person — the mind, body, and spirit — in addition to what type of environment each individual is operating in,” Frontiera adds. 

They also credit their individualized action plans and face-to-face services for making them unique. Skibinski says WonderWell values accountability, so they schedule follow-up sessions with each workshop to ensure each client is making themselves a priority. 

In the future, Skibinski and Fronteria look forward to launching their new website, which will be published by the end of the year.

To learn more, follow WonderWell Workshops on Instagram and Facebook or visit their website here.

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Read on to see how a restored vintage horse trailer can now bring the perfect wine-lover’s experience to your next event.

Tappo Mobile Tap Trailer is a mobile wine tap that can be used for any type of event.

Running out of a restored vintage horse trailer, TappoMobile Tap Trailer is a mobile wine tap servicing the Ohio area. 

Tappo Mobile Tap Trailer is equipped with two brass towers and with three 304-grade stainless steel European taps. Each keg barrel is kept cold with a state-of-the-art cooling system. 

Tappo Mobile Tap Trailer is available for rent for any type of event and can be used for self-serve or provides certified bartender for larger events, according to Tappo Mobile Tap Trailer owner and founder Traci Hogue.

The trailer can serve any combination of six different varieties of wine and craft beer. Customers must purchase alcohol ahead of time due to liquor laws, Hogue says.

The mobile tap trailer does travel outside the state of Ohio, however, only 60 miles of travel is included in the base rental rates. Extended travel can be accommodated, Hogue explains.

Hogue says the trailer was inspired by her love of Prosecco and a recent family trip to Italy. Today, the mobile wine tap is typically used for weddings, engagement parties, charitable events, tailgates, birthdays, anniversaries, golf outings, and more. “Tappo is a small little thing and we can fit her into just about any space, even inside a barn or convention hall,” Hogue mentions.

Hogue points out the mobile tap trailer’s ability to dispense sparkling wine, sangria, nitro coffee, and beer is what makes it unique. “The trailer is outfitted with a state-of-the-art cooling system from Europe which doesn’t require kegs to be kept on ice or in a cooling unit,” she adds. 

In the future, Hogue looks forward to offering a ProseccoCart. The cart was converted from a vintage 3-wheel Cushman Truckster and pairs well with engagement parties, launch parties or accompanying the toast at weddings. 

To learn more, visit the Tappo Mobile Trailer website here or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

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There’s a new palette-pleaser in OTR that aims to offer an elevated wine and food experience. Keep reading for more. 

LouVino is adding Southern flavors to their menu as a part of their new wine and small plates concept.

Putting a southern twist on small plates, LouVino is adding flavors of Georgia, South Carolina, and Kentucky to their menu as a part of their new wine and small plates concept.

Owner Chad Coulter describes a party of two could expect to order around five dishes with a variety of flavors, followed by their choice of wine. 

“We want to make wine approachable and affordable and can do this with our robust glass pour program,” Coulter says. “Our customers also love our wine flights so they can try several different varieties and styles in the same sitting without having to commit to a bottle. In addition, we have a plethora of bourbons, craft beer, and cocktails,” he adds.

LouVino’s atmosphere parallels their dishes, as the interior is chic and industrial to represent an upbeat vibe. The main dining room can host up to 100 people and two private dining rooms are available and are able to host 14-40 people. 

The inspiration behind the new wine and small plates concept came from owners Chad and Lauren Coulter seeing a need in Lousiville for a good wine bar. “The ‘southern flare’ on our food menu is derived from our home state of Georgia and our Culinary Director’s passion for comfort food,” Coulter mentions.

LouVino has a seasonal menu, which alternates dishes twice a year, in an effort to keep food as fresh as possible. The most popular items on the menu include a brussel sprouts salad with pickled cherry peppers and a cilantro-lime vinaigrette, their fried chicken tacos, and their loaded tater tots. 

The wine list at LouVino features over 60 wines by the glass in addition to 17 wine flights, which are pre-selected. LouVino prides themselves in having one of the most wines poured by the glass in the city. 

In the future, LouVino is looking forward to their fifth location opening. This restaurant will be located in downtown Indianapolis in February 2019. 

To learn more, visit the LouVino website here and follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

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Learn about an upcoming exhibition of contemporary art, which emphasizes the importance of questioning knowledge and belief. 

Truth or Dare: A Reality Show is a new exhibit at the 21c Museum Hotel on Walnut Street in downtown Cincinnati.

Put on by 21c Museum, Truth or Dare: A Reality Show is an exhibition of contemporary art, which emphasizes the importance of questioning knowledge and belief. 

21c Museum is a multi-venue museum located in eight cities across America and is one of the largest contemporary art museums in the U.S. Each museum’s exhibitions are open to the public and free of charge. 

Chief Curator and Museum Director Alice Gray Stites explains the inspiration behind this exhibit is the discussion about alternative facts that arose over the past few years. “The exhibition title’s reference to a game is present in works that utilize the imagery associated with toys or recreation, such as Pedro Reyes’s Lady Liberty (as Trojan Horse), the camouflage-clad soldiers in Adonis Flores’s Weeds and Trong Gia Nguyen’s Win-Win offering a ping-pong game of one on one with oneself, while Federico Solmi employs the aesthetics and technology of video games to critique political power,” Stites adds. 

The artwork in Truth or Dare: A Reality Show walks the line between reality and fantasy, as each piece plays with the concept of fact versus fiction. 

The exhibition will feature multi-media sculptures, photography, videos, computer aided-animations, and interactive, projected, and immersive installations. 

When asked about what makes this exhibit unique, Stites says, “This exhibition directly addresses one of the most currently compelling topics, the notion, and definition of truth-telling, through artworks that are both playful and provocative.”

In the future, 21c Museum is looking forward to working with ForFreedom and the Fifty State Billboard initiative. Through this, 21c will install artist-designed billboards in each city where 21c is located and will host a ForFreedoms Town Hall on October 4th. This town hall will feature Kurt Reiber, CEO and President of the FreeStore Food Bank, and Julia Elmer, Director of Operations for the Child Poverty Collaborative to discuss food insecurity and its connection to poverty.

The exhibit’s opening celebration takes place Friday, October 19th at 21c Museum located at 609 Walnut St. Cincinnati. To learn more, follow the 21c Museum on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or visit their website here.

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Hosting monthly events with local restaurants and breweries, this local group aims to bring women together, create a unique community and have lots of fun in the process. 

Cincinnati Housewives is bringing local women together for networking, friendship, and hanging out.

Used as a platform to connect local women, Housewives in the City is a lifestyle blog and social media community with the goal to bring women together to network, make friends, and build their sense of community. 

Social media and event coordinator for Cincinnati Housewives, Erin McIntosh, says she jumped at the chance to start the Cincinnati chapter of Housewives in the City.

“I had always joked that I wanted a job where I just got to meet and talk to new people,” McIntosh laughs, adding that — coming from an office setting — she was eager to start something new. “It has been so much fun hosting the networking socials and meeting so many great ladies,” she adds. 

Cincinnati Housewives events aren’t just for housewives though, McIntosh says. “Don’t let the name fool you,” she adds. “Our ladies night out socials are open to everyone,” she adds. 

Every month, Cincinnati Housewives hosts a ladies night networking social at various local bars and restaurants. “We have local businesses and vendors set up so you can shop if you’d like,” she explains.

According to McIntosh, event attendees range in career paths, including but not limited to bloggers, business owners, stay at home moms and direct sales consultants.  All events are free and open to the public. 

Although Cincinnati Housewives events are open to the public, events are announced via Eventbrite and attendees are asked to register for a free ticket. McIntosh says this allows them to know how many people to expect and prepare for each attendee in advance. 

Cincinnati Housewives prides itself in their emphasis on community, McIntosh says. “Our focus is to help ladies make connections with local people and businesses that they may have otherwise been unaware of,” she adds. 

In the future, Cincinnati Housewives is looking forward to booking new locations and vendors for upcoming ladies nights.

To learn more about Cincinnati Housewives events and announcements, like them on Facebook and follow the blog.

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From weddings to work functions, Cincy Bartiste aims to elevate your event with their smiling faces and creative sips.

Cincy Bartiste offers mobile bartending services for a variety of private events.

Specializing in elevating your event, Cincy Bartiste can provide mobile bartending to a variety of events, from graduation parties to weddings, or small networking get-togethers to big corporate functions. 

“The reason I started this company was to do something that I love and have it be mine,” owner and bartender Tom Bees says. “I enjoy meeting new people, having fun and taking care of them,” he adds. 

Other than doing something he’s passionate about, Bees saw this mobile bartending service as an opportunity to ease the financial responsibility of raising a family.  “I thought this would be a great opportunity to start something to aid me in the financial responsibility of taking care of them,” Bees adds. 

Bees says Cincy Bartiste can help budget-conscious customers pre-order everything they need for their event and give them ideas for signature drinks. “This gives you an opportunity to save your money by supplying your own product,” Bees explains. “I would say 95% of the people go with this option.”

When working an event, Cincy Bartiste shows up with a staff of bartenders, a 7-foot bar with LED lighting, coolers, ice bins, glass dispensers, straws, and napkins. 

Bees says business is booming. In fact, after just a few years, Cincy Bartiste has received “Top Pro” status on Thumbtack.com and is a featured company on TheKnot.com. “We were in such high demand this year, I had to expand,” Bees says. “Now I have extra qualified, certified and experienced bartenders.”

In the future, Bees looks forward to improving his own bartending skills and further expanding his bartending staff. “[The staff] can’t wait to show off their outstanding skills in speed, awareness, and knowledge of their profession while being personable,” Bees adds.

To learn more about Cincy Bartiste, visit their website www.cincybartiste.com, email Bartender@CincyBartiste.com and like them on Facebook.

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Learn about the local mortgage professionals who love making the home buying process easier and more affordable.

Guaranteed Rate helps aspiring homeowners find the lowest rate on a mortgage.

With the world’s first digital mortgage, Guaranteed Rate is dedicated to helping aspiring homeowners get a low rate on the best mortgage, as efficiently as possible.

“Purchasing a home is a big deal,” says Macey Bierman, Production and Development Manager at Guaranteed Rate. “That’s why we built a mortgage company that places you and your needs at the center of everything we do.”

The team at Guaranteed Rate uses cutting-edge technology to simplify the mortgage process. The new technology that is unique to Guaranteed Rate allows clients to choose what type of loan they want, receive free credit scores, securely upload and digitally sign their loan and finally, receive approval — all online. 

As a whole, Guaranteed Rate is made up of over 5,000 employees. Cincinnati Guarantee Mortgage Branch Manager, Ron Erdmann is ranked among the top 50 managers and is rated first in the state of Ohio. Erdmann was also ranked in the top 1% of mortgage professionals nationally.

Bierman says Guaranteed Rate was created by real estate and mortgage professionals who are dedicated to putting the customer first in every aspect of the process. “This meant that they had to simplify the process and bring the lowest rates, the highest level of transparency, and even higher level of service to homebuyers and those looking to refinance,” she adds

What makes Guaranteed Rate unique, Bierman says, is the fact that Erdmann is able to work with more than 20 different lenders to find his clients the most aggressive rates. “We have unique options for financing including but not limited to renovation loans, new construction loans, home addition loans, and first-time home buyer grants,” she explains

“Customers remain at the center of everything we do, from our Intuitive Loan Finder, World’s First Digital Mortgage, and easy-to-use GR Mobile App to our continued commitment of providing the personal service that has made us one of the most trusted mortgage providers in the country,” Bierman adds. 

In the future, Guaranteed Rate will be moving offices to accommodate their rapidly expanding team. The new Cincinnati Guaranteed Rate office will be located on the corner of Grandin Road and Torrence Parkway. Guaranteed Rate is also looking forward to expanding into Northern Kentucky, which will be opening in August of 2018.

To learn more, about Guaranteed Rate, visit their website here .

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