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    Inspired by the exciting city she lives in, this local lady launched a blog that covers all the fun she has making her way through the Queen City. Keep reading for all the details.

    Michelle Jones at Via Vite downtown (Photo: Amy Elisabeth Spasoff)

    With so much to do, see, and enjoy in Cincinnati, Michelle Jones wanted to give people a space they could go and find those things to do.

    “Hey, Michelle is a blog that serves as a way to keep up with all things fun and great in Cincinnati and on my travels,” she says.

    Jones originally launched Hey, Michelle because she had friends texting her to ask where to eat, where to throw a party, what there was to do over the weekends, and more. “So I thought I might as well start writing about what I love,” she adds.

    Jones launched Hey, Michelle in September 2016 and is the writer behind it all, which gives her the opportunity to cover what she wants as she sees fit.

    That means she gets to write about anything she likes and thinks that people should do while they’re in Cincinnati.

    “We have great things going on all the time and the restaurant and bar scene gets better everyday,” she says. “So I try to stay on top of what is new and the great old spots, too.”

    Michelle Jones, Founder of the blog Hey, Michelle

    When asked what she enjoys most about running Hey, Michelle, she says it’s meeting people.

    “Everyone has a great story, from the restaurant and bar owners to the people behind our fantastic arts,” she says. “People are very passionate about what they do and love to tell you about their journey to where they are today. I always leave with a smile on my face after talking with people.”

    In nearly two years, Jones says that her favorite posts thus far are the ones where she’s chatting with the owners behind local establishments and businesses and while they’re telling their story they reveal why they are following their passion. “I relate to that very well,” adds Jones.

    According to Jones, she is always trying to take things up a lever on her blog. She wants to explore new categories and expand her geography as she travels more and the city continues to grow.

    “I could literally write about something everyday, so using different platforms daily is my new thing so I can share things more often,” she says.

    To learn more about Hey, Michelle, visit https://www.heymichelle-help.com/. There you can sign up for her weekly email and find more information. You can also follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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    Check out this super FAB $5.4M listing in Indian Hill that’ll leave you feeling like a queen -- even if it’s just from looking at its pictures!

    Live like royalty in this 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath home in Indian Hill! Sitting on 27 acres, and priced at $5,450,000, this once-in-a-generation home was built in 1937. The property includes the home, pool, and outbuildings in the heart of Indian Hill.

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

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    To tuck, or not to tuck? That is the question we’re answering in this week’s episode of Styling with Amy and Amy! Keep watching for lots of tucking tips and tricks.

    Amy Scalia with Cincy Chic chats with Amy Elberfeld, founder of Styling with Amy and a personal stylist with NYGARD Direct. To learn more about Styling with Amy, contact Elberfeld at 513-260-2696, amy@stylingwithamy.com or you can visit her website at www.stylingwithamy.com.

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    We chat with the woman behind this Ohio-based company that helps students determine their true calling and plan for the future.

    At the Core is an educational consulting company serving students as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives.

    “What does the future hold?” It’s a question many teens and young adults ask themselves as they forge a path into the real world. Facing these important decisions can be difficult, and that’s where At The Core can help.

    At The Core is an educational consulting company that was founded to serve students as they prepare to make these important decisions. They provide one on one support for teens and their families undergoing the college application process, or clarity for those deciding whether or not they even want to pursue college. 

    “Getting into college is not the same as it used to be,” says Beth Probst, founder of At The Core, “When I went to college, it was such a different atmosphere, and the pressure wasn’t as high. But I still needed help, which tells me that kids today need it even more than I did.”

    At The Core offers a variety of services for the teen and their family, such as powerful self-assessments and career guidance, as well as private one-on-one support along the way of this lengthy process. There are informational programs and workshops for parents and students that include a multitude of support tools for families with college-bound kids. 

    “We are here to ease that feeling of pressure that kids experience when they think they need to have it all figured out,” says Probst. “The goal is to provide families with almost a view of the path ahead before they even have to think about crossing it.”

    They serve students in three different areas: self- assessment, career exploration, and educational path planning. In the self-assessment portion, students can identify potential careers and majors that they might be interested in. This portion is solely interview based, including 5 one-on-one casual yet productive sessions with a facilitator. After this step, students can move on to the career exploration which helps students with a few specific careers in mind dig deeper into their specific field. And finally, concluding with the third portion of the process: deciding where to go to college and what to study. 

    “Students join us at any point in this process. We receive students as young as 7th grade to seniors in high school about to start applying to colleges. We are here to help at any point along the way,” says Probst. 

    Different from your everyday guidance counselors, this company acts as a hub of information for families geared toward the specifics of the child. 

    Beth Probst, Founder of At the Core

    “We always want the kids to talk to their high school counselorbecause they are amazing people, but they have so many kids to account for and some students just want more help than they can get at school,” adds Probst, speaking about the specialized services that At The Core offers.

    The facilitator team working with students is comprised of a group of uniquely-qualified professionals that have a deep expertise in that area of need, such as ACT/SAT, essay writing, etc. They all possess a strong background in supporting students and families, and each has completed detailed training to learn the Guided Self-Assessment process. The goal of each encounter is to ensure that a family’s experience is positive and impactful. 

    They collaborate on every student, using the bright minds of different facilitators in order to fully aid the student.

    Probst adds, “We are headquartered in Powell, Ohio but are building our team in Cincinnati, and have a group of individuals up and running now.” 

    They serve families nationwide. While meetings in Central Ohio and Cincinnati are typically face-to-face, other sessions can be completed online. 

    The company also provides programs such as the Looking Ahead program which is a session for 8th grade parents in each school district needing some guidance on what is to come. Their most popular program is Tips for the College- Bound, which is a 90-minute question and answer session for anyone to attend. They are geared toward families who are more so starting out in the process, and just need something to help them wrap their heads around what is to come. They are offered at different libraries around Cincinnati and the best part is that they are free!

    “We just want to help ease the process and to provide insight into how beautiful a child’s future can look. Rather than hoping they can figure it out along the way, let’s help them gain the confidence to know what’s ahead of them,” concludes Probst. 

    To learn more about At The Coreor to contact a facilitator, visit their website at https://www.gettingatthecore.com/

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    Learn a local lady’s handcrafted soap company that makes vegan and sustainably-sourced bath and body products for all lifestyles and skin types.

    The Oakley Soap Co sells products that are full of sustainable ingredients and are handcrafted.

    Laura Pipitone is the owner and founder of The Oakley Soap Co, a soap company that creates vegan and sustainably-sourced bath and body products, with an emphasis on palm-free, artisan bar soaps handcrafted in Cincinnati.

    Long before she launched her own business, and for as long as she can remember, she’s been interested in handmade soap.

    “At stores and markets, I gravitated to handmade bath and body products,” she explains. “After a few years of being a stay-at-home mom, I was feeling the itch to start creating. At first I decided to try my hand at making soap so I could have a hobby that would supplement my soap buying habit.”

    But Pipitone was hooked from the beginning. She says that what she really enjoyed was learning how different oils and butters produce different properties and soap, and how she can apply that knowledge to write recipes that create soaps.

    And more than just the science behind soap making, Pipitone says that she finds an artistry within it as well. “Every bar of handcrafted soap is different and I find it so satisfying to create both the perfect look and perfect scent for each bar,” she says. “Being able to make something both beautiful and useful fulfills a desire in me that wasn’t being tended to during those first hectic years of motherhood, when I didn’t have the time or energy to pursue that creative itch.”

    However, after making several hundred bars of soap, Pipitone began to ask herself if there were other bath and body products she could start making in addition to soap. So, using her knowledge of how ingredients work on skin, she started to create those products such as body whips and sugar scrubs.

    “I find immense joy in creating beautiful products that impart a little extra happiness into someone’s day,” she adds. “Hearing that someone went into their shower cranky and came out of the shower feeling better because of the sugar scrub I made feels so good and inspires me to keep creating. I gain energy when someone tells me my product provides relief from a lifelong skin condition.”

    Pipitone is the one-woman show behind The Oakley Soap Co, although she says that she gets a helping hand from her husband and two children. “My kids love to earn a small allowance assisting in packaging products and making deliveries,” she says. “And, of course, my family is always the first to test new products and give brutally honest feedback.”

    Before she became a stay-at-home mom and opened The Oakley Soap Co, Pipitone says that she worked in non-profit healthcare, so giving back to the community is important to her. That’s why she has a rotating “Bars that Benefit” program, in which part of the proceeds from each of that specific bar of soap sold goes to different organizations. And she also donates some of the soap to the program serving seniors at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries.

    When asked what makes The Oakley Soap Co unique, Pipitone says that its the variety of products available that suit all types of lifestyles and skin types.

    “I like keeping our blend of oils and butters in our soap simple and all our products are free from the detergents that you would usually find in commercial soaps,” she adds.

    That’s why there are a variety of soaps made with natural colorants and are scented only with essential oils. But there are also soaps available for those who enjoy bright colors and unique scents that can’t be found in nature.

    All of the ingredients used in the products offered by The Oakley Soap Co are free from parabens and phthalates, and the company is committed to working with suppliers with fair trade and sustainable practices. “The Oakley Soap Co products are 100 percent vegan and we work with suppliers to make sure we aren’t inadvertently using any ‘hidden’ animal byproducts in our ingredients,” says Pipitone.

    Education is also an important part of the mission at The Oakley Soap Co, and Pipitone uses her social media platforms to share interesting information on the soap making process and what happens when soap making goes wrong.

    “Our company mission is to teach people about the science of soaps and how handcrafted soap is different from products that are commercially made,” she says. “For such a ubiquitous product, most people don’t realize where soap comes from so I love passing along my soaping knowledge.”

    You can purchase products from The Oakley Soap Co on the website. They offer free local delivery inside the 275 Loop. Pipitone says they can also be found at various markets and shows around town, and you can find a schedule on the website and Facebook page. There is also a selection of products available at the Fathom House Art Gallery in Northgate Mall, and Pipitone hopes to expand to other stores soon.

    Pipitone says to keep your eyes out on the future of The Oakley Soap Co as they introduce new, more environmentally-friendly packaging for products. She says that they’ll also be releasing new autumn soaps, holiday themed soaps, and whipped body butters as the cooler weather approaches. She’s also tinkering with new product ideas and aims to introduce new skin and body care items soon.

    To learn more about The Oakley Soap Co, visit www.theoakleysoapco.com. You can also check out products, the soap-making process, and Pipitone’s life as a small business owning mom on Instagram and Facebook.

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    We chat with the fashion designers behind a new line of accessories that celebrates a growing love for bourbon. Cheers!

    Bourbon Cousins designs bourbon-themed products for bourbon lovers.

    Bourbon Cousins designs original bourbon-themed patterns and products for bourbon enthusiasts everywhere. In March of 2018, Bourbon Cousins debuted with a line of bourbon bow ties & neckties. Bourbon Cousins’ line of ties has really captured the attention of bourbon lovers everywhere. They will have ladies’ scarves and a few more products that will be ready in the fall.

    Pam Houston and Claudia Sandman, the co-founders of Bourbon Cousins, set out to match the consumers’ growing enthusiasm for bourbon by designing original, bourbon-themed patterns, which are ultimately made into products for the marketplace. 

    “Our region’s love of bourbon has grown into an impressive global love affair,” says Sandman, “As cousins raised in Kentucky, we take much pride in the state’s rich bourbon heritage.”

    Sandman and Houston are designing cousins who share a studio, a love of bourbon, and the sweet love of their now 101-year old grandmother. Bourbon Cousins rose out of a love of both family and creativity, two essential fibers that fold both inspiration and authenticity into daily work life.

    In addition to the bourbon-themed products they offer, Bourbon Cousins also collaborates on custom design projects with distilleries and event support for large groups looking to host bourbon-themed fundraisers. Bourbon Cousins modern and refined design style highlight recognizable bourbon bottles and the iconic copper pot still. 

    Bourbon Cousins operate out of warehouse-studio space located in the Pendleton Art Center in Cincinnati’s Over The Rhine. Products are sold to consumers on the bourboncousins.com website and sold wholesale to independent retailers.

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    Learn about a new Findlay Market program that aims to introduce shoppers to new merchants, foods, and food preparation techniques.

    Findlay Market will host Findlay Eats, a new program that introduces shoppers to new merchants, foods, and cooking techniques.

    Showcasing the best parts of Findlay Market, Findlay Eats is held every Friday afternoon on the Race Street esplanade. 

    Findlay eats is a new Findlay Market program that aims to introduce shoppers to new merchants, foods, and food preparation techniques. Findlay Market offers market-goers free food samples and visitors are encouraged to visit the merchant’s stands to purchase the product. 

    Each Friday, a different merchant is featured for a food demonstration. The schedule for this year’s merchants and food demonstrations is finalized and includes a variety of vendors. To date, some of the cooking demos have included Greek Souvlaki from Kofinas Olive Oil & Vinegar, Cheese Apreas from The Aprea Place, and Goat Cheese Ravioli with Vodka Sauce from Bouchard’s Pasta; all of which provide free samples.

    Findlay Eats is the only place in Cincinnati that offers such a diverse product array in addition to an energetic atmosphere. Findlay eats also offers market-goers the chance to interact with the business owners. 

    “[The business owners] love sharing how their ingredients can be used to create delicious dishes,” Development Manager Gina Regan says. 

    Regan says, “The goal behind Findlay Eats is to capture the busy summer lunchtime traffic and introduce customers to merchants and products at the Market they may not have realized are here.” “We wanted to find a new way to highlight our merchants and the amazing foods and products they sell, as well as do something fun and engaging to activate the Race Street side of the Market” she adds. 

    The Corporation for Findlay Market organizes Findlay Eats and planned for it to run through August. They are also hosting Flavor of Findlay on September 13 at 6:30pm.Flavor of Findlay consists of over 12 tasting stations featuring market merchants and top local chefs, purchase tickets here.

    The full Findlay Eats schedule can be found here. To learn more about Findlay Market, visit their website, visit their Facebook page or their Instagram.

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    Learn about a local lady who launched a new therapy practice to help her clients move past issues holding them back and truly thrive.

    Jennifer M. Simpson, Licensed Independent Social Worker and Owner of Thrive Therapy, Inc.

    There’s a new local practice that helps people process through traumatic events and thrive in life again.

    “Thrive Therapy, Inc. is my private therapy practice. I have been treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder since 2007, primarily serving combat veterans, first responders, sexual assault survivors and child abuse survivors,” says Jennifer M. Simpson, Licensed Independent Social Worker and Owner of Thrive Therapy, Inc.. “Earlier this year, I decided I needed more flexibility than I had in my current position, so I decided to open my own practice.”

    Simpson opened Thrive Therapy, Inc. in March 2018, and began seeing patients in June 2018. Her practice is located in Mariemont Square. 

    The inspiration behind starting Thrive Therapy, Inc. came from her kids and her husband. “I’ve worked in a specialty clinic in a hospital for 11 years, and I’ve learned, grown and evolved as a therapist. I love my work and my coworkers. However, one thing my hospital work cannot provide is flexibility,” Simpson says. “I’m a mother of four, so being home in the evenings and prioritizing my kids is very important, as they won’t quit growing (despite me asking them to)! Being able to set my own hours is a top priority at this phase of my life, so I had to get creative and create my own practice with my family being what drives my business decisions.”

    The name of the business came from writing down words that represented her therapy style. “I kept coming back to this word “thrive,” as that is my hope for each and every person that I meet,” she says. “I wanted a short name that evokes a sense of hope and optimism, which often times patients may lack prior to getting rid of their PTSD symptoms. They are welcome to borrow my hope for them until they develop their own.”

    The practice uses two different methods of therapy: Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure. She also provides  Individual Therapy and will be adding Group Therapy in the future. “Anything I offer is evidence-based and considered a top treatment for PTSD,” Simpson says. 

    Simspon defines success by seeing her clients live their lives without PTSD controlling them. “I define success in my business as becoming a trusted source in our community to provide good, solid and effective PTSD treatment,” she says.

    Thrive Therapy, Inc. is so important for the community of Cincinnati because there are trauma survivors, including firefighters, paramedics, veterans, sexual assault survivors, police, etc. “I think this business is important to Cincinnati because helping people get rid of PTSD and be able to live happier, more productive lives is good for not only the individual, but their families, friends, and community as a whole.”

    If you want to keep up with what’s going on with Thrive Therapy, Inc., check out their websiteFacebook, and Instagram. “Most importantly, if you think you may need help, please know that hope is here and recovery is possible,” Simpson says.  

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    Keep both your wallet and wanderlust happy by connecting with this site that spots flight deals for travelers in the Cincinnati area.

    Flytrippers Cincinnati finds great deals on flights around the globe.

    Cincy Chic: What is Flytrippers Cincinnati?
    Andrew D’Amours, Co-Founder of Flytrippers: Flytrippers is an online media that spots flight deals for travelers in the Cincinnati area. These are limited-time deals that expire quickly and change every single day.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
    D’Amours: We launched the website because we’ve been spotting really cheap flights for years and no one ever believed us when we told them the prices we paid. We wanted to share our findings and deals with as many people as possible, since it’s nearly impossible for the average flier to stumble upon the deeply discounted dates on their own. If you’re not searching for the exact right destinations and the exact right date combinations at the exact right time, you’ll never know about these deals. That’s why we publish them all in one convenient location on our website.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
    D’Amours: Myself and my co-founder Kevin. We are two longtime friends and travel buddies who wanted to explore the world more often but had very demanding jobs (I was in management consulting and Kevin in structural engineering) so couldn’t travel as much as we wanted, except by finding half-priced deals that made leaving for shorter trips worthwhile. We’ve now visited over 30 countries each in the past year and a half alone thanks to our deals.



    Cincy Chic: How do you find deals to offer on Flytrippers Cincinnati?
    D’Amours: Our algorithm continually searches through all destinations from Cincinnati to check which dates are priced much lower than the regular price and share these with our fans on our website in a easy and simple way.

    Cincy Chic: What are some of your most popular deals or do they change daily, weekly, etc?
    D’Amours: We spot a large quantity of flight deals every single day, curated specifically from Cincinnati. Even if there are only a few dates on sale, we publish them on our website so that our fans can be the ones to take advantage of the discounted dates.

    Cincy Chic: What makes Flytrippers Cincinnati unique?
    D’Amours: We spot deals to Cincinnati but we also plan on spotting deals for travelers in other US cities very soon. We are also developing a travel tips section (that already has some great content) to share our travel expertise with our fans and help them save even more money… and therefore travel even more.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
    D’Amours: The best way to see all our deals is to visit our website Flytrippers.com and to subscribe to our free newsletter to get flight deals in your inbox directly. We also share our best deals on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Dwayne Johnson flexes his dramatic muscle to lead familiar-yet-palatable Skyscraper. Read on for our movie critic’s full review!

     

    “You know, compared to this, taking steel chairs to the head from other men in spandex wasn’t so bad!” Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) used a makeshift rappelling apparatus for reasons he’d rather not have to deal with in a scene from writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s action thriller SKYSCRAPER. Credit: © 2018 Legendary Pictures Productions, LLC. and Universal Pictures. All rights reserved.

     

    WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:

    KEY CAST MEMBERS: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Cottrell, Bryon Mann, McKenna Roberts, Hannah Quinlivan, Elfina Luk, Noah Taylor, Adrian Holmes and Pablo Schreiber

    WRITER(S): Rawson Marshall Thurber

    DIRECTOR(S): Rawson Marshall Thurber

    WEBSITE: https://www.skyscrapermovie.com/

    HERE’S THE STORY: Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) is a simple man. A decorated military veteran, his life was changed 10 years ago when an unfortunate situation altered his life in two drastic ways: the loss of the lower half of his left leg and meeting the love of his life, his cell phone-challenged/fellow veteran/doctor wife Sarah (Neve Campbell). Now working as the proprietor of his own small security company, Will finds himself thrust into the opportunity of his working lifetime when an old military buddy (Pablo Schreiber) gets him a gig checking out “The Pearl.” 

    What is the Pearl? It’s the new commercial/residential structure in Hong Kong designed by billionaire Zaho Long Ji (Chin Han), who now wants Will to make sure that everything in his buildingis up to snuff before the residential half opens up (from the 96th floor on up). But what Will doesn’t know is that why he, Sarah and their two kids Georgia (McKenna Roberts) and Henry (Noah Cottrell) are enjoying their stay, there are some nefarious forces plotting a much different visit to the Pearl. That would be the ruthless assassin Xia (Hannah Quinlivan) and the mercenary Botha (Roland Møller), who are after something that Will has no knowledge of nor why.

    But he and his family are about to – if they can survive the certain to be fatal scenario awaiting them in the world’s tallest skyscraper. 

    WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Dwayne Johnson fans who like it when he does physical roles that don’t focus on comedy; Neve Campbell fans; people who like 80s-style action movies without 80s style dialogue

    WHO WON’T (OR SHOULDN’T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? People who will find some of the scenarios too implausible; those who prefer action movies that either go full-on outrageous or full-on logical; anyone who hates violent films

    SO IS IT GOOD, BAD OR JUST AWFUL? An action movie that tries to balance its more (seemingly) outrageous moments with committed performances and intriguing camera work before tying together just how you’d expect (if you pay attention to all the foreshadowing), Skyscraper is an entertaining, family-involved-yet-extremely-violent at times diet Die Hard that while not original, it’s satisfying enough to keep you interested. And if that sentence seems like a mouthful, it should.

    Because that’s what happens when you are catering to at least three different types of audiences at once.

    Johnson, as he has proven in a variety of his roles, commands attention as Will Sawyer, a man who is not invincible yet at the same time extremely determined to do what he needs to do to save the people he loves. His limited stunts seem ridiculous yet, given his commitment and approach, plausible – which, for action movies, has long been an issue for many people paying attention (skip ahead to 1:54 in that link; language NSFW!). Likewise, neither Campbell nor young co-stars Roberts or Cottrell seem to act in an over-the-top fashion, their actions instead seeming reasonable, logical and again, (somewhat) sensible given the situation in which they find themselves.

    Writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, We’re the Millers) has a history of producing surprising hits, most of which are exclusively comedies. With Skyscraper, he proves he has potential to deliver an action film that, while it does not do anything to reinvent the genre, doesn’t have to be dumb, either. While it lacks a distinct quality to make it stand out from the pack – Johnson’s prosthetic leg accessory comes into play quite often, but it doesn’t always feel as handi-capable as intended – the interplay between the characters works more than it does not, the film moves along swiftly and, again, the story plays out with a good mix of brain and bravado … As best you can in this type of film. Sure, the film could have likely reached a more classic status with a full “R” rating or a

    Or at least it does it enough to keep you from wanting to burn down the theater the way the Pearl does on the screen.

    OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):

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