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    Feel like you’re drowning when it comes to finances? Learn about a local financial coach and author who developed resources to help you dive in to a positive relationship with your money.

    Debt, money shame, and embarrassment doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone, and Christine Luken knows that all too well. 

    Luken is on a mission to empower others to rescue their financial dignity as the Financial Lifeguard. Luken knows just what it feels like to be drowning in debt. 

    “In my late 20s I hit financial rock bottom despite having an accounting degree,” she explains. “I know what I was supposed to do with money, but I allowed my heart to hijack my wallet. I dated and became engaged to a guy with terrible money habits. He was in and out of jobs (and in and out of jail), but I thought if I loved him enough he would change.”

    And change he did, she says. Change came in the way of getting even worse, and by the time she broke off her engagement she owed multiple payday lenders money, was behind on her car payment, and had ruined her credit score. 

    “It was a long road back to financial health, but I decided to take what I learned the hard way to help others, especially women going through a divorce or break up,” she adds. 

    Now Luken is known as the Financial Lifeguard, is a certified money coach, speaker, and the author of two books: “Money is Emotional: Prevent Your Heart from Hijacking Your Wallet” and “Manage Money Like a Boss: A Financial Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs.”

    Luken also coaches high-earning professionals to rescue their financial dignity by co-creating a personalized Prosperity Plan to reduce debt, increase savings, and direct spending to what’s really important to them. 

    “I specialize in bringing together the emotional and relational aspects of money with sound financial strategy,” she says. “I love working with couples who argue about money as well as divorced women.”

    Through the Financial Lifeguard, you can find a 6-month coaching program for couples and individuals going through emotional money situations who want to find growth in both financial management skills and positive money mindset.

    Luken also offers a more DIY-centered approach to personal finance that includes group training and support through her monthly membership group called Financial Dignity on Demand

    Women who are divorced can also check out Luken’s 30-day online program called Financial Dignity After Divorce. “It helps women regain a positive and peaceful relationship with their money so they thrive financially as they move forward into a new stage of life,” she explains. 

    While financial coaches aren’t a new trend, Luken uses an approach that makes her business unique. “My approach to money is different because I understand that every person has a unique relationship with their money,” she says. “And if it’s not a positive one, they will always struggle financially, even if they increase their income. My approach shows people how to harness the power of their emotions around money to achieve their goals, rather than fighting against them.”

    Luken says that in the next few months, she will be teaching financial planners and other money coaches her formula to understanding and improving clients’ emotional money behaviors for long-term success. “My goal is to multiply the number of professions who will further the Financial Dignity Movement,” she says.

    To learn more about the Financial Lifeguard and how she can help you, visit www.christineluken.com

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      Read about a new local lifestyle publication that’s all about your furry friends! Click here to read all the tail-wagging details!

      Pet parents, beg no more! All the information, entertainment, and education you could want for your furry friends is in the new lifestyle pet magazine, CincyPet Magazine. 

      “CincyPet Magazine is a new lifestyle pet magazine for the modern pet parent in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky,” explains Publisher Susannah Maynard. “Our goal is to entertain, inform, and educate about all things pet in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky by providing up-to-date articles and information in both print and online through our website and social media channels.”

      The magazine, Maynard says, was inspired by the love of all things pet. She adds that she there was also a niche in the market that needed to be filled with a pet lifestyle magazine. And while people are all about pets these days, especially the younger generation, CincyPet Magazine is an idea that took several years to come to life.

      Maynard is joined by a team of pet lovers who are behind the magazine. “Our staff, from our editor to creative director to director of sales, all have many years of experience in publishing,” says Maynard.

      Maynard’s experience in the pet world comes from years as the owner of Pet Love Photography. She’s also the author behind three books about rescue pets and is a pet mom to three rescue dogs and one rescue cat.

      The thing that makes CincyPet Magazine so unique is that it’s the only publication of its kind dedicated to serving pet parents in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky market. 

      “Additionally, part of our mission is to give back to the community by supporting and promoting rescues and pet adoptions by featuring rescue pets in need of homes both on our website and in our magazine,” she says. 

      The print edition of CincyPet Magazine is published bi-monthly and is also available in digital format on the website, where there is also more frequently published content. 

      Copies of CincyPet Magazine can be found for free at several businesses throughout the Cincinnati region including PetSuites in Erlanger and Sharonville, EarthWise at Harper’s Point, Kayla’s Posh Pets Grooming, Whole Foods at Rookwood, and the Rookwood Joseph-Beth location. 

      Maynard adds that through the end of September, CincyPet Magazine can be found at 25 area Kroger locations. “Starting with our next issue we will be available at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County,” she says. “We continue to add locations each week and our goal is to be available everywhere.”

      You can find a list of locations where the magazine can be found here

      As far as the future of CincyPet Magazine, things are looking bright. “We definitely have big plans to make CincyPet the go-to rescue for anyone and everyone with a pet,” says Maynard. “First up will be an official launch party, which we’re in the planning stages for, so stay tuned.”

      To learn more about CincyPet Magazine, visit www.cincypet.com. You can also follow along on Twitter and Facebook. To receive your own copy of the magazine, you can sign up for a subscription at https://www.cincypet.com/subscribe/

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        Coffee drinkers unite! The largest coffee festival in the Midwest is coming to town soon and it'll be full of music, shopping, tastings, demonstrations, and of course coffee. Learn more about the event and its important fundraiser that makes local water cleaner one drip at a time.

        Mark your calendars for October 11-13 when the Ohio River Foundation hosts the Cincinnati Coffee Festival, a premier coffee event and the largest coffee festival in the Midwest. 

        According to Rich Cogen, Executive Director of the Ohio River Foundation, the Cincinnati Coffee Festival is a major fundraiser for the Ohio River Foundation, which aims to protect and improve water quality in the Ohio River Watershed. 

        “Water quality is important to all of us,” he says. “From the water that goes into growing our food, to the water we use to make our coffee, you can’t have great coffee without great water.”

        To help raise funds for the Foundation, the Cincinnati Coffee Festival will be held October 11-13 at the Grand Ballroom of the Duke Energy Convention Center. October 11 is trade day for coffee shop owners, baristas, and people interested in getting into the coffee business. Then, on October 12-13, the event is open to the public. 

        “The Cincinnati Coffee Festival is a celebration of artisan coffee, fine teas, chocolates, pastries, and baked goods,” says Cogen.

        Attendees to the event will have the opportunity to taste from 60 vendors from around the region and beyond, while also enjoying live music, demonstrations, and the chance to discover and purchase new products. 

        “”A highlight during the last two events has been the Latte Art Throwdown, where baristas vie for the title of top latte artist,” says Cogen. “That will return at 2pm on Saturday. Also back this year is Latte Art in Action for the general public. 

        New to this year’s event is the Coffee Olympics. This activity allows attendees to cheer on their favorite coffee shops in fun competitions. Also new is Campfire coffee, a casual presentation and conversation space. “We’re also introducing a coffee-themed silent auction,” adds Cogen. “Lastly, we will add a limited-seating film booth area for guests to watch short, engaging environmental films. Finally, we’re expanding The Art of Coffee, which features works in a variety of media, and we’ll even be offering some of those works for purchase.”

        The event, Cogen says, is a unique blend of specialty coffee, tea, food, live music, engaging activities, and environmental responsibility. “Not only do vendors offer compostable cups, but we are also asking attendees to bring their own coffee cups and mugs as we endeavor to make this festival the greenest one in the nation,” says Cogen. “Funds raised will help support Ohio River Foundation’s education and restoration programs, so you’re making a difference while you have fun.” 

        Tickets for the event range from $12.50 to $40 for VIP. Advance tickets are available for purchase at www.cincinnnaticoffeefestival.com

        To learn more about the Cincinnati Coffee Festival, visit their website. You can also “like” the Ohio River Foundation’s Facebook page for the latest updates on the festival. 

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          An emerging fundraising-through-fashion event is now in three Ohio cities and looking at opportunities to expand. See how they’re encouraging independent designers to work together to support non-profit organizations and their missions.

          LUXE Gives Back wants to make a difference in its small part of the world through its new event LUXE, a marquee fashion fundraising event. 

          The events put on by LUXE Gives Back benefit non-profit organizations and each event features a theme with three key elements, according to Founders Lisa Robin Adkinson and Valerie Jones.

          Each event features a runway show with merchandise from a group of independent fashion and accessories designers. “We use volunteer models, often involved with our non-profit partner, that are diverse women representing the local community,” says Adkinson. 

          LUXE also features a pop-up marketplace that designers from the runway show set up to allow attendees to shop. “LUXE curates regional, indie designers to deliver truly unique merchandize,” she explains. What makes this pop-up experience unique, she adds, is that participation is by invitation only. 

          In addition to the pop-ups and runway shows, LUXE Magazine is a publication that goes out in conjunction with each event. “The magazine is designed with beautiful fashion spreads and feature articles about some of the amazing people supporting LUXE events alongside regular columns on style, beauty, business, arts, and inspiration,” says Adkinson.

          The inspiration for LUXE comes from the desire to help independent designers, especially in the Midwest, grow their customer base and expose them to unique designs and merchandise. 

          “There are plenty of marketplaces and vendor opportunities, but there isn’t one specifically focused on indie designers,” explains Adkinson. “Pop-up shops are extremely popular with shoppers and designers alike. Our inspiration was to bring designers together to work collaboratively to minimize marketing costs and build a viable fashion community. Plus, all of the designers involved also support our mission to give back.”

          There are still some remaining events for LUXE through the end of the year: 

          Saturday, September 14, 2019, LUXE Dayton + YWCA Dayton at the White House Event Center, downtown Dayton.

          Saturday, October 12, 2019, LUXE Cincy + COCA- Council on Child Abuse, an affiliate of Talbert House at Fueled Collective, Rookwood.

          Saturday, October 26, 2019, LUXE Columbus + National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) at Versa Grandview.

          Adkinson says that what makes these LUXE events unique is that they want to engage sponsors and attendees alike, while helping beneficiaries feel supported.

          Adkinson says that 16 months after launching LUXE is now in three cities. “LUXE has filled a niche in the market, and we have received several requests to bring the concept to additional cities,” she says. 

          Currently, LUXE is working on 2020 events now, with LUXE Cincy + YWCA Cincinnati scheduled for March 14, 2020 at Fueled Collective.

          To learn more about LUXE, visit www.luxegivesback.com. There you can sign up for a complimentary subscription to the LUXE Magazine. Adkinson says those interested in modeling, stylists or hair and makeup, can submit interest here. Volunteers can click here and information on in-kind and paid sponsors is available here.

          To follow along with upcoming events and news, follow LUXE on Facebook and Instagram

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            A local woman is launching a program and community to help women find pleasure in life again through a seven step program called the BARE method. Read on for all the inspiring details.

            Natasha Hazelton doesn’t want to encourage diets, detoxes, or cleanses. She wants to help women acknowledge their beauty both inside and out as a BARE Life Coach.

            Currently, Hazelton is training with Susan Hyatt, founder and author of the book “BARE” and the BARE method.

            “The BARE method is not a cleanse, detox, or diet,” explains Hazelton. “I will be helping women, especially moms, stop dieting and help them with their body image issues.”

            Hazelton says she’s the most passionate about helping women gain more confidence both in their bodies and in their lives.

            “In BARE, you will learn how to manage your emotions (stress, anxiety, boredom, etc.) without turning to food for comfort,” she says. “You’ll learn how to find sources of please and joy that aren’t food-related. You’ll learn how to respect your body and you’ll also learn how to tune into your body and follow your hunger signals, from feeling hungry to feeling full or satisfied.”

            The BARE method, according to Hazelton, is made up of seven steps that range from detoxing your environment to being seen and heard.

            Natasha Hazelton

            “One might think I am a weight loss coach, but I am not,” she adds. “I teach women to love the skin they are in and empower them to be who they are unapologetically.” 

            Confidence issues are one thing that drove Hazelton to pursue the BARE method and to become a coach-in-training. She says she’d always struggled with low confidence and her weight. 

            “While in the BARE program, I realized that I lacked pleasure in my life,” she says. “One of the main components behind BARE is pleasure. Susan says that it’s not more willpower that women need but more pleasure in our lives. And that was me as a new mom.”

            Hazelton says that once she acknowledged that she’d put her own pleasure and happiness to the side that she was able to take control of her life and her weight.

            Currently, Hazelton offers 1:1 coaching and in the fall will launched a group program based on the book “BARE.”

            Her coaching business focuses on moms who have lost their identity and aren’t quite sure how to find themselves again. “I help moms bring more pleasure and joy into their lives so they can be a better and more present mom,” she says. “I want to make ‘momming’ more fun and enjoyable.”

            Many of the blogs featured on Hazelton’s website feature ties to her own child and how she sees life from a different perspective as a mother.

            Hazelton plans to host a virtual BARE Book Club in mid-September or early October, where women can purchase the book and be led through the seven steps with support and coaching. There will also be a Facebook group available where participants can engage with her and others as well as the option of coaching on a group call while reviewing concepts in the book.

            To learn more, visit www.tashahazelton.com. There you’ll find information on coaching services and programs. You can also follow along on Facebook.

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              Every time you shop small, a real person does a happy dance. Click to learn about a new project that will not only help a lot of real people do happy dances, but it’ll help to build a stronger community at the same time. 

              Curated Cincinnati offers a deck of discounts from local, independent businesses.

              Today’s world can often feel too corporate. Between mergers, buyouts and bankruptcies, there seems to be an endless supply of department stores and the same old, same old. 

              Amy Keller wants to change that. With a degree from DAAP and nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, she decided to set out on a quest of her own – Curated Cincinnati.

              Although still in the development phase, Curated Cincinnati strives to connect communities through shared values – while supporting the small business owners in the city’s neighborhoods. The project consists of 50 cards in a “deck” that represents 50 different merchants throughout the city, all of whom offer a 20% discount to encourage customers to continue to “shop small.”

              Because shopping small and independent is so important to Keller, she wanted to carefully curate the businesses she approached about Curated Cincinnati.

              “I really wanted to be selective in who I chose for this curated collection of businesses,” she says. “We chose businesses who have given life to the neighborhood where they’re located, have merged community and art, want to help support other local independents, have a point of view, and offer exemplary customer service.”

              And while big companies are better at selling, it’s the small, independent stores in the city that can do what those companies can’t – spread joy. 

              “I want Curated Cincinnati to encourage people to try new places, try new experiences, and meet new people,” says Keller. “I want to encourage new connections that may not have happened otherwise.” 

              Spread the word about the city’s movers and shakers through Curated Cincinnati will do more than attract locals – it will also bring in those who are visiting the city.

              While explaining the project, Keller says that having Curated Cincinnati in places like real estate offices can encourage those who have just moved to the area to try new places. Having them available in other places frequented by tourists will also help to spread the word about small businesses making an impact on the Queen City.

              The chosen businesses for Curated Cincinnati are making the world a better place in one way or another. 

              “Many merchants create and produce locally with exceptional skill,” she says. “Locally made products are made with love and purpose. Shopping local gives you the opportunity to meet the people who make your products. Supporting our members returns more money to our local economy, keeps our communities unique, and creates jobs. When neighbors support neighbors, communities are stronger.”

              Some of the businesses that you’ll soon be able to find in Curated Cincinnati include Grainwell, Own Lane Shoetique, Alley Boutique, Fern, Silk Road Textiles, and many more.

              Keller encourages readers to keep an eye out for more news to come on Curated Cincinnati, as she plans to start selling her product just before the kick-off of the holiday shopping season. Keep an eye out for the launch of the Curated Cincinnati website.

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                Learn about the one-day conference coming up that provides you with resources to enhance your happiness, freedom, and prosperity through the lens of personal finance.

                The American Dream looks drastically different than it did a few decades ago. That’s the idea that Diania Merriam wanted to explore when she launched EconoMe, a one-day conference that provides attendees with resources to enhance their happiness, freedom, and prosperity through the lens of personal finance.

                “Provocative speakers will explore the idea of a ‘new American Dream,’” Merriam explains.

                With roots in the FIRE movement (financial independence, retire early), the EconoMe Conference has its sights set on helping people join the lifestyle movement of FIRE with the goal of financial freedom.

                “I was motivated to start a conference after the pursuit of FIRE changed my life,” says Merriam. “After I discovered blogs like Mr. Money Mustache and Frugalwoods, as well as books such as Your Money or Your Life and The Simple Path to Wealth, I used my new-found knowledge to get out of $30,000 in debt in 11 months.”

                After getting herself out of debt, Merriam was able to negotiate a remote working relationship with her employer as well as a two-month unpaid sabbatical to walk the Camino de Santiago (a 500-mile trek across northern Spain).

                Now she’s planning to the EconoMe Conference on March 7, 2020 at the University of Cincinnati’s Great Hall at Tangeman University Center.

                Those who attend the event can expect a full day of programming that includes two sessions of speakers, an opportunity to screen a new documentary about the FIRE movement calling “Playing with Fire,” and an after party.

                Once the conference is over, Merriam says that she hopes attendees are inspired by the ideas shared through the speakers and leave feeling that they learned something valuable.

                “I also hope the content expands their understanding of what is possible when it comes to their finances and creating more freedom in their lives,” she adds.

                To learn more about the EconoMe Conference, visit www.economeconference.com. Merriam says she is working on getting early bird tickets available for next month, but you can sign up for the mailing list on the website to be notified when tickets go on sale.

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                  Learn about a local dietitian who launched a nutrition consulting company to offer in-home assessments, grocery store tours, and one-on-one counseling to help you live your best and healthiest life one bite at a time.

                  Working with individuals to improve their quality of life is something that Candace Winterbauer became increasingly interested in after she went from working mom to stay-at-home mom to her children.

                  “When I became pregnant with our third child I decided to invest in my career by starting my own company,” she says.

                  Since she quit her job as an outpatient dietitian, she noticed that the aspect of helping others was missing, so she launched Winterbauer Nutrition. 

                  “Starting my own company allows me to be at home with my family while also following my passion for nutrition,” she says. 

                  Winterbauer Nutrition is a nutrition consulting company that offers medical nutrition therapy to clients with one-on-one counseling, family counseling, in-home assessments, grocery store tours, and even offers a specialty in baby-led weaning. 

                  Winterbauer herself is the lead lady behind Winterbauer Nutrition, although she also credits her husband for the support he’s provided since she started dreaming of running her own company. She says her children also make appearances when she works with families who are interested in baby-led weaning.

                  The services offered by Winterbauer are not solely limited to nutrition, as she is also a personal trainer who holds a Masters of Science in Nutrition and Physical Performance. 

                  “I can offer the full package to clients who want to improve not only their nutrition but also their physical activity levels,” she adds.

                  When it comes to the quality of service she offers, Winterbauer says she’s a very laid back person and prides herself on her ability to bring that level of calm to her counseling. 

                  “One of the most common compliments I get from my clients is that they felt very comfortable working with me,” Winterbauer says. 

                  Thanks in her interest and educational background in nutrition, Winterbauer has gained an additional interested in edible landscaping and gardening after becoming involved in urban gardening and farming during while completing graduate work at Saint Louis University.

                  “I saw a lot of success in nutrition goals with individuals who started to either grow their own food or join a community supported agriculture (CSA) program,” she says. “And I would love to start tying these passions into either workshops or individual counseling.” 

                  You can learn more about Winterbauer Nutrition by following along on Facebook.

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                    A local mecca for designer fashion recently moved to an exciting new location in Montgomery that offers twice the space and retail offerings than before. Read on to learn more about the expansion, where you can find the new space, and all the fashion-lovin' fun they have planned for it.


                    Designer Items & More recently re-located from West Chester to the heart of Montgomery. Owner Felisa Insignares says she moved to a new space after listening to clients and their calls for growth and more retail offerings.

                    “We’ve got twice as much square footage so twice as many designs and fitting rooms,” she says. “We also have a salon and gift area.”

                    Insignares loves to make her clients feel empowered and confident, and putting them in designer clothing is just an added benefit for her. 

                    “It gives me so much satisfaction to empower women to feel and be their most confident whether in the boardroom or office, in front of the camera, at a special event or simply living every day moments,” she says.

                    The fashionable art at Designer Items & More is more than just clothing on racks, it’s an art form that Insignares loves to showcase to clients in her new location.

                    Although they’re in a new location, their services have only expanded. “We still offer our styling appointments and are open to the public,” says Insignares, noting their regular shop hours as well as the ability to schedule private styling and shopping appointments.

                    When you shop at Designer Items & More, Insignares says you’ll find brands such as Moschino, Louboutin, Akris, Dior, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and many more. Designer items are new with tags or gently used and dry cleaned before they’re sold. All items are also checked for flaws and any imperfections are identified as part of the transparency Insignares gives her customers.

                    With the expansion of a new, bigger store, Insignares says she hopes to continue is growth and its customer reach. She also have several events in the works, collaborating with other Montgomery-based businesses. Insignares says she will announce event details soon on their Facebook page.

                    To learn more about Designer Items and More, visit https://www.designeritemsandmore.com/. Designer Items and More is now located at 7791 Cooper Road, Suite E in Cincinnati. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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                      A new lifestyle site is featuring all things real estate and design while also showcasing area homeowners, unique homes, and fun info about local neighborhoods. Read on to learn more.

                      Ron Erdmann is in the business of helping clients buy and sell homes. But to him, the real estate industry is about much more than just buying and selling – it’s about helping people find a real love and appreciation for real estate, design, and architecture. 

                      Inspiring that love for real estate is what encouraged him to launch CincyHomeChicHome.com, a destination site for anyone who finds passion in real estate, interior design ideas, decorating trends, and even what makes each neighborhood unique. “It’s for anyone who has an appreciation for life’s moments spent at their house, in their backyard, or in their neighborhood,” he says. 

                      Home Chic Home aims to tell the story behind every house, going along with the adage, “If the walls could talk,” Erdmann says.

                      “We tell the stories of the people of Cincinnati and about the lives they lead inside their Cincinnati homes,” he adds. “Cincy Home Chic Home is all about precious moments surrounding the real estate and decorating decisions that someone makes in their different life milestones. Whether it’s a story about an empty nester downsizing or finally getting that chef’s kitchen she’s been dreaming of, or a young, single person buying her first home after landing her first ‘real job’ or promotion, or an engaged couple buying their first together and picking out that extra bedroom for their future, out of town guests, and maybe even a little one.”

                      Erdmann is the Branch Manager/Vice President of Mortgage Lending for the Cincinnati office of Guaranteed Rate. He’s also the mortgage broker behind the site alongside his wife Jenny, who has a passion and love for all things real estate and design. 

                      “We are at the age where it seems like people in our lives are experiencing different phases of life: Parents finding and updating their forever home or friends moving into bigger homes to accommodate their growing family and to get into that perfect school district,” says Jenny. “We have friends with babies buying their first home. We have friends moving to take on big jobs in Cincinnati who are searching for that welcoming neighborhood.”

                      The Erdmanns are also working with Cincy Chic Publisher Amy Scalia to publish Cincy Home Chic Home. 

                      “We’re excited to work with Amy Scalia on this project because she brings her expertise of all things ‘cool,’ or dare I say Chic, and all things Cincy. We love her energy and excited about the city,” says Jenny. 

                      On Cincy Home Chic Home, readers will find content that features scenes from the home, such as a house party in the backyard, drinking a mocha on the front porch, or even a new beginning.

                      “We’re also going to feature local prominent people at home,” she adds. “Maybe it’s a new coach, a bar owner, a musician, a local business executive, an entrepreneur, a stay at home mom with great taste, or a millennial sipping craft beer in their minimalist living house.”

                      The couple has big dreams for the site and hopes to include interviews of people talking about their homes, why they bought it, and why they bought the neighborhood. “Cincinnati has too many cool neighborhoods that deserve showcasing,” Jenny adds.

                      To learn more about Cincy Home Chic Home, visit https://cincyhomechichome.com/. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

                      “Readers can interact with us by uploading their own photos and their own ideas,” adds Jenny. “They can write a caption about what the photo means to them and what is going on in their life. They can give us suggestions for featured properties or recent renovations. They can tell us who they want us to feature on the next At Home session. They can open the doors of their homes and their lives with us and share what is special.”