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    A writer turned fur mom is sharing the heartfelt story of the pup she adopted — emotional baggage and all — with an important lesson about kindness and empathy. Keep reading for all the tail-wagging details.

    Danise DeStasi

    Danise DiStasi has been a professional writer and involved in leadership development and coaching for more than 20 years. However, that came to a head in 2013 when she adopted a dog named Louie. 

    “I soon discovered that Louie brought a lot of emotional baggage to the relationship,” she explains. “He demonstrated behaviors that deeply concerned me, and I was not sure I wanted to keep him. I quickly realized Louie needed acceptance, consistency, discipline, and – above all – unconditional love. Louie was a struggle but I made the choice to keep him. I also had to intentionally choose to love him despite his baggage.”

    It’s Louie who inspired her to launch Unleash Love, an organization whose mission is to eradicate bullying from the classroom to the board room. “We offer a compendium of material all based on our rescue pup, Louie,” she says. “All three books, Lead Like Louie, Love Like Louie, and Louie’s Little Legs, share the same messages.” 

    Those messages are to be a loving person by being kind, patient, etc,; to not see others as objects; and to understand there’s always something unknown in other people’s lives.

    Unleashing Love started when DiStasi started sharing with friends and clients the crazy stories about her dog. “They were not your typical dog stories, they were leadership lessons wrapped up in funny and heartwarming stories about the transformation of this little dog and his crazy owner,” she says. “That;s when I started blogging and eventually put the blogs into a leadership book, Lead Like Louie.”

    From there, the story evolved into her writing a book for kids her granddaughter’s age and then another book for younger children. 

    “Louie continues to provide material on a regular basis,” she adds. “He loves visiting schools and nursing homes and is a walking testimony of the transformative power of love.” 

    Part of the message behind Unleashing Love is the mission to eradicate bullying. “We hope this book creates a-ha moments for children and the parents who read the book with them,” explained DiStasi. “In the grander scheme of things, if we could all take a moment and realize that everyone has some struggle going on before we jump to conclusions, we might make an impact in our world. Before judging anyone, be kind, don’t make assumptions, and take time to understand others. It is an age-old lesson but one that is desperately lost in the noise of our world today. Perhaps a lost rescue pup with little legs and behavior issues could change the world.”

    DiStasi says that she and her granddaughter Evi are working on Love! Laugh! Lead? For High Schoolers. “The Louie Crew also has two more books in the works for the Louie’s Little Legs series of 12 books: The Magic of Patience and The Magic of Perseverance.

    To learn more about Unleash Love, visit The hardback of Louie’s Little Legs is available there, as well as Love Like Louie and Lead Like Louie.

    On Amazon, the paperback version of Louie’s Little Legs is available as well as Love Like Louie and Lead Like Louie.

    You can also follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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    This classic Watch Hill Estate blends impeccable updates with the beauty of old world craftsmanship! Click for a peek inside this Listing of the Week!

    This home is a classic Watch Hill Estate, built by renowned Kopf & Kopf. Sitting on over 2+ acres, this landmark home has been meticulously maintained with impeccable updates while keeping the beauty of old world craftsmanship. Privacy abounds with landscaped grounds, heated pool, expansive decking, outdoor entertainment areas. This 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom home is listed at $1.25 million.

    This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

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    Donating blood can be a life-saving experiencing for someone else. Someone like Emma. Read on for her inspiring story.

    Local mother Holly Gooch understands why blood donation is so important, because she’s seen it firsthand.

    In February of 2020, Holly’s young daughter Emma began complaining about a sore throat—a not uncommon ailment in the winter months. But something about the persistence of Emma’s symptoms signaled to Holly that something wasn’t quite right.

    “We visited the pediatrician several times over the next two weeks due to no improvement,” she recalls. “The final visit, I requested a blood test.”

    Holly could not have known that this sore throat was about to completely upend their lives.

    “On March 6, 2020, I received a call from the pediatrician that there was a possibility that Emma had leukemia and we needed to take her to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where a team of specialist were awaiting our arrival,” Holly says. “After additional tests were performed, we received Emma’s official diagnosis. Emma had Acute Myeloid Leukemia.”

    Acute myeloid leukemia (or AML) is a type of blood cancer that originates in the bone marrow, and typically progresses quickly if it isn’t detected and treated early. With acute types of leukemia such as AML, bone marrow cells don’t grow the way they’re supposed to. These immature cells, called blasts, build up in the body, and as a result, the number of healthy blood cells (red cells, white cells and platelets) is usually lower than normal.

    Early detection and treatment of AML is critical, and fortunately, “Emma was admitted to the hospital and started treatment right away,” beginning with a round of chemotherapy.

    AML is often aggressive and difficult to treat, which was the case with Emma’s diagnosis. “After Emma’s first round of chemotherapy, we learned she was not in remission and that her treatment plan was going to change,” Holly recalls. “Her new treatment plan now included a bone marrow transplant.” 

    A bone marrow transplant can be an effective treatment for AML, as it replaces the unhealthy blood-forming cells (stem cells) with healthy ones. For some people, transplant can cure their disease. But the process of undergoing a bone marrow transplant is grueling.

    “Emma had a total of three rounds of aggressive chemotherapy,” says Holly. “The chemotherapy treatment Emma received was very intense, so much so that she was hospitalized for 28 to 41 days each round of treatment with a short week break in-between.”

    While chemotherapy can be useful in fighting cancer cells, it also kills healthy cells in the body, including precious blood cells.

    “During each round of chemotherapy, Emma’s blood counts would drop,” Holly says. “When her counts would drop too low and put her life at risk, she would require blood and platelet transfusions.”

    It was during this time that Holly realized her daughter’s survival was reliant on blood donations—and volunteer blood donors.

    “Blood and platelet transfusions have been a crucial part of Emma’s ongoing treatment,” Holly says. “Emma is currently hospitalized while recovering from her bone marrow transplant on July 20, 2020. During her recovery, she has required several blood and platelet transfusions, and post-transplant she has also received IVIg (intravenous immunoglobulin) to help prevent against infection and Graft vs. Host Disease.  Without these blood product transfusions, our little Emma would not be able to have this fighting chance at life!”

    “We will be forever grateful for the strangers who took the time to donate blood to save our little Emma’s life,” Holly finishes. “We strongly encourage others to take the time to donate blood. Your donation can save someone’s life.” 

    Here is a list of upcoming Hoxworth Blood Center Blood Drives:


    9/28/20 – Kroger Marketplace Lebanon

    9/28/20 – Kroger Oakley

    9/28/20 – Downtown Mobile at Fountain Square

    9/29/20 – Scripps Center


    10/5/20 – Crossroads Church – East Side

    10/9/20 – Crossroads Church Mason

    109/20 – Crossroads Church – East Side

    10/13/20 – Crossroads Church – Florence

    10/13/20 – Crossroads Church – West Side

    10/16/20 – City of Blue Ash

    10/18/20 – Main Street Lebanon

    10/26/20 – Jungle Jim’s Fairfield

    10/27/20 – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

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    Get in a socially-distanced workout and then cozy up to a mimosa and brunch with this upcoming event with a native Cincinnati fitness guru.

    If you want to work on your fitness, safely, and enjoy a good meal, Bootcamp and Brunch was made for you.

    Bootcamp and Brunch is a unique way for a fitness company to support another local business, while giving the public a safe and effective workout followed by a socially distanced event,” explains Kelly Amshoff, Founder of ImwithKelly, a virtual fitness company. 

    Amshoff got her start in Chicago when local restaurants wanted to bring her workouts to their establishments and offer a brunch afterward.

    “Being a Cincinnati native, I wanted to come ‘home’ and host this event at a local restaurant to help support during these stressful, COVID times,” she explains. “In the process, I created an exclusive partnership with MadTree Brewing.”

    Amshoff has owned ImwithKelly for over three years now and following a move to the Windy City in November 2019, she decided to launch virtual classes, allowing her to continue her offerings for those in the Queen City.

    The premier event for Bootcamp and Brunch is on Saturday, October 3. The Bootcamp begins at 8:30am and the Brunch starts at 9:30am. 

    Amshoff says that what makes this event so unique is that everyone wins. “As a venue that has gone through the closures of COVID, MadTree is benefitting by hosting a large group that has already pre-purchased their brunch and drink tickets,” she says. “As an instructor, I’m able to gain incredible exposure and see old clients while teaching in a beautiful space. As a city, we are completely supporting local businesses by having other Cincinnati-owned companies sponsor. Whirlybird Granola and Thirty Drink will be in attendance.”

    All of the safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 are posted on the website when you purchase your tickets, so that you have all the information you need to participate safely. 

    “The entire workout will be held outside with 6 feet of distance between every participant,” says Amshoff. “Each person is asked to wear a mask any time they are not on their mat – walking to or from, using the restroom, etc. After the workout is completely, masks are put back on until you are taken to your table and seated. Tables are also limited to 8 people or less.” 

    Should the event need to be moved indoors due to weather, MadTree’s lofted space has enough room to safely host participants.

    Bootcamp and Brunch will be quarterly events, done very three months. Amshoff says that she already has other local Cincinnati vendors asking to join the fun for the Spring Event.

    To sign up for the event, click here. If tickets are sold out, you can follow along on Instagram to hear more about upcoming events, workouts, celebrations and more. You can also see a list of other upcoming events at

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    Ready for a new look? A new boutique in Madeira is ready to give you a fresh look without the buying pressure.

    Have you ever walked into a store and felt like maybe you were shopping at a store you weren’t quite welcome in? Allyson Schumacher, Janice Hartman, Susan Wright, and Jennifer McNair aim to change that with their new boutique Honey on Miami. 

    Located in Madeira, the goal at Honey on Miami was to create an elevated, yet approachable buying experience.

    “We wanted to bring a warm, welcoming, and friendly experience to shopping for your next new outfit,” says Honey on Miami’s McNair.

    At the store you’ll find women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, and gifts. 

    “You can come in and buy an outfit, including shoes and accessories, and even a hostess gift as well,” she adds.

    Price points at Honey on Mimai range from $20 for some of the gift items, to a couple of at-the-top pieces listed at $400. 

    The team behind the business is excited to bring a fresh new look to friends and customers in Madeira. 

    “We are thrilled to be working together and starting a new adventure,” McNair adds. 

    McNair says the team is always planning for upcoming seasons, so to keep an eye out on new arrivals in inventory. 

    The store hosted its grand opening on September 11 and is hoping to host a Grand Opening Ladies Night in October, with the hope of larger gatherings permitted later this fall. 

    Honey on Miami is located at 6928 Miami Avenue in Madeira. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 11am-5pm and Sunday from 12-4pm. 

    You can learn more about Honey on Miami at You can also stay up-to-date on Facebook and Instagram

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    See how a local entrepreneur‘s journey to health - and the pandemic - inspired this new digital health coaching service.

    Rebecca Geiger started her business, Karma Wellness Studio, to help people on the road to getting healthier. Recent improvements in her own well-being, coupled with the pandemic, inspired her to launch a new online health counseling service.

    “Karma Wellness Studio is a local business offering holistic health services, including Medical Massages, Reiki, Reflexology and Health Coaching,” says Rebecca Geiger, LMT, CPNMT Owner and Health Coach of Karma Wellness Studio. The studio opened nine years ago and is located at: 2067 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230. “We are located in the heart of Mount Washington, two doors down from Creamy Whip,” she explains.

    The business was really affected because of the pandemic. “We were closed for almost three months, but continued to serve our clients by offering distance Reiki sessions and creating free self-message videos,” Geiger says. “We did lose two practitioners and are in need of massage therapists to be fully staffed again. We are just grateful to be open and to have most of our clients returning and to be accepting new clients again.”

    The pandemic has helped to birth Online Health Counseling. “I want to help people simplify holistic health and well-being, and I want to help them achieve it. But the truth is that I struggled to lose the ‘baby weight.’ I had just given birth to my daughter, Taylor, six weeks earlier, while starting the business and purchasing our first home all at the same time. At that time, I just didn’t feel that I represented health being 60 pounds overweight and felt I couldn’t share my knowledge to help others in that way. So, I just practiced Medical Massage for years, while working on regaining my own health. It may have taken me a while, but I did finally lose the weight and have kept it off,” Geiger says. 

    “While taking time off due to the shutdown, I decided to go after that love helping others become truly healthy in a balanced, realistic and sustainable way. So, I decided this was the perfect time to pursue a certification in Health Counseling. I am so excited that I can finally offer these services being confident in my own skin again and having quite a bit more empathy now that I have had to walk through what I am helping others with.”

    The Online Health Counseling is a 12-week plan that is customized “to help individuals achieve their health goals, including weight loss. It is a collaborative partnership between me and my client with my client being in the driver’s seat,” she says. “I provide education, accountability, support and guidance that helps to facilitate the behavior changes needed, in order to reach your health goals and live a truly balanced and healthy lifestyle.” 

    These counseling sessions take place on the phone or through video chat and last between 30 and 60 minutes. “During these calls, we evaluate your goals, celebrate your wins and collaboratively plan the next step to get you closer to your goals,” Geiger says. Along with the 12-week program, there are ‘Optional monthly extended care programs’ after you finish the initial program. “The program is individual to each person. There is no one size fits all. I cater to your specific needs and create a program-based on that,” Geiger says. “However, all coaching clients receive an initial set up call to establish goals and create a plan, two follow up calls every month to celebrate wins and make changes to plan as needed, weekly email check ins to monitor progress and unlimited messaging for other related purposes.”

    The Online Health Counseling at Karma Wellness Studio is unique, Geiger says, because: “1) It is an individualized approach based on a client’s specific needs. 2) It is convenient since it’s online, but it is with a local health and wellness professional. 3) It is guided by a woman who has the knowledge and who has the personal experience to truly help others realize their health potential.” 

    Geiger says Karma Wellness Studio is important for the community on many levels. “We take care of the individuals that make up the community. When we help these individuals feel better, live the life they deserve and create true well-being, they carry that with them as they interact with others in the community and in the world,” she says. “It is a powerful and positive domino effect of care, compassion and connection.”

    To keep up with Karma Wellness Studio, follow them on FacebookWebsite or follow Geiger on Instagram.

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    A new local IV therapy studio helps clients feel and look better one drop at a time.

    A new business is bringing the new craze of IV therapy business to Cincinnati. Hydration Station provides IV treatments to a multitude of clients to not only make them feel better, but provide a safe and comfortable environment while doing so. 

    “My wife and I had the idea for the business several years ago,” says Hydration Station founder Chris Jaeger. “There have been similar services offered in other major cities for years and we saw a gap in Cincinnati. We hopped on the opportunity to provide the city and the Tri-State the benefits of IV therapy.”

    The Hydration Station has been in business for a little over a year now and has served hundreds in the area. Jaeger’s team is currently made up of 9 professionally-trained, local medical professionals, with hopes to expand in the future. 

    The Hydration Station offers a wide range of IV therapy treatments. Each service is designed with the consumer in mind. “Each package that we offer is created for a different purpose,” says Jaeger. “From anti-aging, migraines, pre and post-workout, etc., we have all needs covered.” 

    The Hydration Station offers a menu of pre-designed packages with a custom package option available as well. You can find all of their available packages and items here:

    All of the products that are used, such as IV tubing, saline, medicines, etc. are from the same distributor that the hospitals utilize. In order to receive the IV therapy, Hydration Station has created a simple and easy process for customers. Customers can either book their appointment online or call the office, fill out a pre-treatment form and, after approval, the IV session starts. Individuals have the option to either receive the treatment in their home by a medical professional or visit Hydration Station’s brick-and-mortar location in downtown Cincinnati. The treatment typically lasts for 30-45 minutes. 

    “As the market and technology continue to expand and develop, we see our service only growing from here. We are so excited to see what the future has in store for Hydration Station,” says Jaeger. 

    To learn more, visit call (513) 614-5420. You can also follow Hydration Station on Instagram and Facebook.

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    Learn about a new, locally-based refillery that provides all the everyday essentials with zero waste.

    Cincy Chic: What is Zero Waste Refillery? 
    Gabrielle Lauren, Founder of Zero Waste Refillery: A zero waste refillery is a business that provides everyday essentials like shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent, and more without plastic packaging! When shopping with us you can bring in your clean bottles and jars and fill them up with the essentials you need! 

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it? 
    Lauren: I was inspired by the lifestyle I was pursuing. When I started Fill More Waste Less (FMWL) I was just getting started on my road to zero waste. I kept running into issues with finding plastic free products that worked for my household when I learned about zero waste refilleries. I knew it was something I wanted to bring to my community.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it? 
    Lauren: I am Gabrielle Lauren the founder of Fill More Waste Less and myself along with my team (my partner, mother, and father) have made FMWL what it is today. We are a family business. 

    Cincy Chic: What products do you sell in your store? 
    Lauren: We sell a wide variety of home and body refills and will be expanding our inventory when our store front opens next month! You can expect to find something for everyone on the family! 

    Cincy Chic: What makes this concept unique? 
    Lauren: FMWL is unique because of its holistic focus. I am wanting to make sure we have an option for everyone. Zero waste living can be attainable regardless of where you are in life and FMWL is here to help with that. We carry a variety of affordable zero waste products that will help you cut out waste from every aspect of your life. We also value community and welcome open communication. 

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon? 
    Lauren: We will be opening our storefront next month in Madisonville! We will be adding a lot more zero waste products to make it easier for our community to live with less waste and look forward to connecting with everyone in our community from our space! 

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
    Lauren: We regularly post on our Instagram and always try to respond quickly to you DMs. You can check out our shop at our website where we have our online shop, and the blog where you can find useful tips for living with less waste. 

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    See how one local woman turned her passions into a profession that gives her the time and financial flexibility she and her family needs — especially now. 

    Four years ago, as a special educator, Emily McNamara thought her lack of energy and poor sleep was just part of the job. A friend recommended using Shaklee products to help her feel better, so she did.  Little did she know, that would be a life changing decision in more ways than one. 

    “When I took care of myself and got consistent, I was able to give more of myself to the things that were important to me — my family, my students, my friends, and my coworkers,” McNamara explains. “This made me even more passionate about my health and wellness journey. As a teacher, my professional passion has always been educating. I realized I could merge those two worlds by becoming a Shaklee distributor.”

    Emily McNamara

    At first, she started small, with just the goal of getting her own product paid for. “I immediately knew I wanted it to be more than that. I was enjoying it so much and it was growing quickly because it was truly helping people,” she explains. “I had aspirations of running a full-blown health and wellness coaching business ‘one day,’ but I didn’t know how to get there. Then I met Melissa Kirkpatrick and everything changed.” 

    Kirkpatrick is the life coach, author and founder of Find Your Own DRIVE. She began coaching McNamara to get clarity on her goals, discuss strategy, and set weekly meetings to stay accountable to the progress. “Before I knew it, I was in a position where I not only launched that health and wellness company of my dreams, but I was now in a position where I could replace and exceed my teaching salary with it,” she says. “I took the leap, put in my notice, and my business is thriving more than ever.”

    McNamara put these plans in place shortly before the pandemic began. “Especially now with COVID, I’m so happy I made this decision to make my health, family and passion for wellness education a top priority,” she says. “I’m literally living my dream life and I wouldn’t be here without the guidance, focus and accountability that my weekly coaching sessions with Melissa gives me.”

    To learn more about McNamara, visit To learn more about Kirkpatrick and Find Your Own DRIVE, visit

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    Check out a recap of the small and local businesses we've featured this week on our new sister page Spend With Cincinnati.

    Cincy Chic recently launched a new sister account called Spend With Cincinnati. The goal of Spend With Cincinnati is to share how the public can still support small and local businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Below is a recap of what we’ve featured this week:

    Britton Boards: I think if possible I would eat Charcuterie boards for every meal! Luckily, @brittonboards makes boards for every occasion! Even kids boards with candy😍 (don’t worry adults can get their hands on these too!) PLUS: Looking for a smaller option, grab their single serving snack boxes!

    DM or email them to get your order started! ALSO: delivery is available!

    Hope Esthetics: In need of a treat yourself day? Head over to @hopeesthetics !! They offer services like microneedling, lash extensions, cosmetic tattoo, and more! Click the link in their bio to head over to their website and see more details, prices, and book your appointment today!

    Dead Low Brewing: Calling all my singers! @deadlowbrewing has brought back their fun SINGO nights starting tonight! Every Wednesday, head over to play a fun game of socially distanced bingo with singing highly encouraged!

    It is family friendly and free to play! Tonight from 6:30-8:30!

    Oddfellows Cincinnati: Looking for some Friday night happy hour plans? @oddfellowscincinnati has you covered! Head over to their bar and enjoy all your favorite cocktails! PLUS: looking to sip from the comfort of your home? Check out their cocktails to go!

    Japp’s Bar: Just because the weather has started too cool down doesn’t mean you can’t sip the taste of summer! Get your hands on @jappsotrPapa Doble and join @mollywellmann for the next 5 O’clockTails!

    For only $13, you’ll get a kit to make this yummy cocktail right at home! PLUS: it comes with this awesome tiki mug! Stop in to grab a kit and grab a drink at the bar!

    Aladdin’s Eatery + Lounge OTR: Need some Saturday night plans? Head over to @aladdinseaterylounge tonight! Sip on their new flights like drafts and buzzed juices! PLUS: if you go between 4-6 check out their DAILY happy hour specials!

    Monday-Thursday 11-8
    Friday 11-9
    Saturday 12-9
    Sunday 12-8

    Yee Mama: Happy Sunday! @yee.mama online ordering is NOW OPEN for the week! Get your hands on their delicious handmade wantons by clicking the link in their bio! Curbside pick up will then be this Wednesday from 4-7!

    Village General Flower Farm + Florist: Stock up on these beautiful autumn flowers! @village_general is a flower farm and florist providing beautiful arrangements for weddings, wholesale, bouquet subscriptions, and more!

    Click the link in their bio to get in contact and get your orders started today!