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Want to get healthy, travel, train for a race, and help out a good cause in the process? Learn about the CCFA’s Team Challenge and its upcoming events!

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Team Challenge is an endurance training and fundraising program unlike any other. It’s a unique opportunity to change your life and the lives of others. Through the customized training program, you will have forged new friendships and accomplished things you never thought possible. No matter what your fitness level, you will train for a rewarding and exciting endurance event at one of our great destination races while raising vital funds to help find cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Team Challenge organizes several destination events each year to fun spots such as California Wine Country, Portland, Maine, Dublin, Ireland and the Las Vegas Strip. When you join the Team, not only will you receive a comprehensive program to help you achieve your fitness goals, but you will become part of the Team Challenge family. As a Team, they challenge team members, change lives and fundraise for cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – two painful, debilitating, and seldom-discussed digestive diseases. With Team Challenge, you become part of the solution!

Why join Team Challenge? Here’s what Team Challenge offers you:

  • Guaranteed race entry
  • 16 week training plan
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • Professional fundraising support, including your own personal fundraising website
  • Full-time staff support
  • Team Challenge inspirational pasta party
  • Team Challenge race singlet and branded apparel
  • Race day transportation

Through Team Challenge, you can run or walk 13.1 miles or train for a triathlon or cycling event while helping to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases that impact 1.4 million Americans. The CCFA sponsors basic and clinical research of the highest quality. They also offer a wide range of educational programs for patients and health care professionals, while providing support services to help people cope with these chronic intestinal diseases. CCFA has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for three consecutive years and also has the highest rating from the Better Business Bureau. In fact, they are closer than ever to finding cures. Click here to learn more about CCFA’s genetics initiative.

Take the challenge, and commit to help cure Crohn’s and colitis! Visit www.ccteamchallenge.org/southwestohio call (513) 772-3550, email Tosborne@ccfa.org or watch the exclusive webcast below to learn more!

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See how two native Cincinnatians give back to the state that they so proudly call home through fashion and philanthropy.

Thread Cincinnati bloggers stylin' their Clothe Ohio shirts. (photo courtesy of Ida Street)
Thread Cincinnati bloggers stylin’ their Clothe Ohio shirts. (photo courtesy of Ida Street)

Clothe Ohio was fashioned around the co-founders’ three greatest loves: Giving back, fashion, and their love for Ohio.

Dustin and Elliott Fisher created Clothe Ohio to “give when you get.” Every order placed is custom made for the person that orders it. Then, with every order, an item is given to an Ohioan in need or an Ohio-based charity.

After 10 years of being in the apparel industry and running their first company, DT Fashion, the Fishers decided to take on a new challenge. The idea of Clothe Ohio came to them several years ago, and they officially launched January 2015.

According to the Fishers, it wasn’t until then that they felt like they were in the right place and had the right team to make it happen and grow it successfully. They decided that 2015 would be the year they launched to give Ohioans a way to express their state pride through cool, unique, comfortable clothing all while helping out neighbors in need.

“The ability to give is an amazing gift,” Dustin says. “Working with and meeting the organizations, adults, and children that we are directly helping is a reward that cannot be explained. Helping those in need is a huge passion for our organization and we hope to one day, with everyone’s help, literally Clothe Ohio.”

The Fishers just dropped of the first 500 Clothe Ohio t-shirts and sweatshirts at the Homeless Families Foundation in Columbus. Dustin says they’ve been humbled to meet so many amazing people fighting Ohio homelessness, and are more passionate than ever about Clothe Ohio’s mission and its future.

As spring approaches, Clothe Ohio has many new designs that will be launching. Ohioans can keep an eye on the Clothe Ohio Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as clotheohio.com. Know of an Ohio-based organization in need of apparel assistance? Contact info@clotheohio.com.

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As if yoga wasn’t tough enough already, try doing those moves on a paddleboard. That’s the concept behind one local business that’s doing more than just floating a new idea.

Clare Karp, owner of Float Your Mat
Clare Karp, owner of Float Your Mat

Bored with Downward Dog and want to dip your toe into something new? Hop on a paddleboard. That’s the idea behind Float Your Mat, a locally-based family-owned company offering year-round stand up paddleboard yoga classes.

The business, run by Clare and Justin Karp, was inspired after Clare enjoyed her own experience paddleboarding. “I was interested in bringing my love of water and yoga together,” she explains. “After just a few stand up paddleboard yoga experiences on the coast, I was hooked. As a yoga teacher, I wanted more than anything to be able to share this amazing experience with Cincinnati.”

Clare and Justin Karp with their kids, enjoying some "Float Your Mat" family time.
Clare and Justin Karp with their kids, enjoying some “Float Your Mat” family time.

Clare took several trips to Florida to complete Silvia Binga and Tim Ganley’s stand up paddleboard yoga and yoga therapy teacher training. Today, she is a certified stand up paddleboard yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance. Clare credits her husband with the support and business guidance she needed to make Float Your Mat become a reality in the Queen City.

Clare says the signature Float Your Mat class is 60 minutes. She takes students through a gentle flow before gradually diving deeper in the practice as well as more advanced postures to help students find their balance.

Anyone is welcome to join in on the fun at Float Your Mat – no experience is required. However, Clare says that they advise potential students that they should be comfortable in and around water in case they go for a dip.

The cost to attend Float Your Mat is $35 per class, 4 classes for $120 or 8 classes for $224. Paddleboards, specifically designed just for practicing yoga, are provided for students.

Karp says Float Your Mat is a practice that’s meant to be joyful and fun. “At Float Your Mat, you’ll take your yoga or fitness routine to a floating mat and challenge your balance in a unique way,” she says. “You’ll feel the subtle body awaken and your mind-body relationship quickly shift.”

Each class has a maximum of five students, which allows Clare to be more involved with her students and help them focus on finding their balance.

Float Your Mat is also available for private parties, retreats or workshops to provide classes that cater to a group’s certain needs or interests.

Outdoor classes will begin in May at Newtown Lake. Clare says they’ll also be offering weekly classes at Mt. Lookout Swim Club beginning in June in addition to the year-round classes at the Hubbard Family Swim School. “We are always looking for new locations to share the experience,” she adds.

To learn more about Float Your Mat and to stay updated on all new locations, times and class options, check out www.floatyourmat.com. Clare says they also post videos and pictures on Instagram and Facebook.

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In a neighborhood focused on revitalizing buildings, MORTAR is focused on building up what they say is OTR’s greatest asset – its people.

left to right: William Thomas, Derrick Braziel, and Allen Woods
left to right: William Thomas, Derrick Braziel, and Allen Woods

Sometimes in the name of progress, the focus is put on improved buildings and places instead of people and communities. MORTAR believes that to build a true community, you need more than just great buildings. If we try to look at the buildings as a neighborhood’s bricks, then the people are the “mortar” that hold it all together, says William Thomas, co-founder of MORTAR.

Over the last decade, OTR has begun to grow with unprecedented determination, overcoming the long-standing reputation of poverty and violence. MORTAR seeks to further this growth, focusing on empowering underserved individuals through entrepreneurship.

“Although there is a great progress being made in this community, the benefits have not reached all of the residents equally,” says Thomas. “This program will seek to bring opportunity to those who previously may have thought that business and entrepreneurship was not an option for them.”

Thomas, Derrick Braziel, and Allen Woods started MORTAR in June 2014 with the belief that they could do more to support entrepreneurs who were traditionally overlooked. “We had concerns about the OTR development being equitable and we say MORTAR as a way to help create more opportunities through entrepreneurship,” says Thomas.

MORTAR offers a nine-week business course designed to help urban entrepreneurs start or grow their dream businesses. This course is targeted towards underserved and underrepresented Cincinnati entrepreneurs. Additional business services provided by MORTAR include: one-on-one mentorship, legal support and connections to potential funding streams.

They have also started a unique co-working/pop-up shop concept in OTR designed to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to test their ideas in real-time. Whether it is for a day, weekend or month, MORTAR’s co-working facility and pop-up shop will provide real-time experiences designed to help students earn revenue, customers and lessons associated with operating a business.

Since launching, MORTAR has continued to find additional ways to remove barriers and add to the entrepreneurship ecosystem here in Cincinnati. “I want Cincinnati to be a city where big things happen – where entrepreneurship comes from many different walks of life,” says Thomas. “I want Cincinnati to be a city in which your demography doesn’t determine your destiny. I want Cincinnati to believe in its own people.”

Thomas says Cincinnati is on the brink of a major comeback. “I hope MORTAR provides an opportunity for us to build together,” he adds. “We would love to be able to take MORTAR to additional neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati because it truly is a great city with awesome people.”

MORTAR is located in OTR at 1329 Vine Street and their pop-up shop, Brick OTR, is located next door. To learn more about MORTAR, visit www.weareMORTAR.com.

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From the Queen City to big time Berlin, this local lady has done it all when it comes to planning events. Learn more and see how you can join her at Dress for Success Cincinnati’s annual fashion show and luncheon.

Lindsey Huttenbauer and The Lindsey Baer Company
Lindsey Huttenbauer and The Lindsey Baer Company

Whether it’s a small outdoor gatherings or an international production with the world’s most luxurious brands — Lindsey Huttenbauer and The Lindsey Baer Company can help.

“We deliver the utmost in performance, professionalism and style,” explains Huttenbauer. “Years of professional experience in both fashion and luxury have provided a wealth of resources and creative capabilities.”

Huttenbauer’s credentials are quite comprehensive with more than 15 years of industry experience. “Building on my relationships from coast to coast and abroad, I am always working to unearth the next trend in entertaining,” she explains.

With a nod to her southern upbringing, Huttenbauer says her discerning eye helps her to develop polished yet refreshing vision. Huttenbauer founded The Lindsey Baer Company after working with some of the world’s most iconic and stylish luxury brands. Her rolodex includes Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Elle Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, reality television series Project Runway and even runway shows including Zac Posen and Marc Jacobs, all of which she says has taught her invaluable lessons along the way.

Huttenbauer doesn’t just stick to local events, either. She offers domestic and global planning services, with an expansive contact base in several cities including New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and even in the Caribbean. But it’s not always big budget events. Huttenbauer says whether it’s an inexpensive affair or a million dollar production, she gives every occasion the utmost detail. Using her social southern grace as well as her ability to excel under pressure, and you’ve got the ultimate planner on your side for a seamless and unforgettable affair.

Throughout her career, Huttenbauer says there are several events that have been among her favorites to produce. One of the things she most enjoys is putting on an event in an unfamiliar location because she has a limited amount of time to discover the city’s best venues, floral designers and more in a place she’s never been. “Learning and understanding different cultures and social practices is also fascinating and the contacts made along the way are invaluable,” explains Huttenbauer.

She says that one of her favorite events was the Conde Naste Traveler’s annual dinner during the international travel trade show ITB in Berlin. She joined forces with a local magazine editor and discovered Axica, a Frank Gehry designed space located between the Brandenburg Gate and the Adlon Hotel for an event guests truly enjoyed.

Another one of Huttenbauer’s favorites is planning weddings. “It is such a blissful period for my clients and their families and I am always honored to play a role in creating that perfect celebration,” she says.

But to be honest, she adds, she treats each event like they’re the ‘big day’ for her clients. “I love interpreting and fine-tuning a client’s vision and orchestrating the various components as they come to fruition,” she adds. “It’s like being the conductor of my own symphony. When everyone is prepared and well-versed in their roles, the end result is amazing. I was born to entertain and am grateful to have a career doing what I love.”

Want to see Huttenbauer’s orchestrating in action? Check out the annual Fashion Show and Luncheon for Dress for Success Cincinnati Sept. 10 at the Horseshoe Casino. Huttenbauer has served on the Board of Directors for the organization for the last five years and says that she’s honored to be the chair of the 2015 event.

Saks Fifth Avenue and Lafayette 148 New York will put on the fashion presentation and Lafayette 148 New York’s designer Edward Wilkerson will join the event for a personal appearance to showcase his newest collection for the anticipated 800+ guests.

To learn more about The Lindsey Baer Company, visit lindseybaer.com. You can also find out more information about the upcoming event for Dress for Success Cincinnati here.

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Finding the perfect dress is the ultimate confidence booster. Learn how a local designer and her online dress boutique, Kiss & Wink, is one of the best kept style secrets in the Tri-State.

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Kisten Phillips spent more than seven years as a celebrity stylist. All too often, she was unable to find quality (yet affordable), long-lasting wardrobe staples. “I wanted to offer pieces that were bright and well-constructed to contour and compliment any woman’s body type and exude her confidence,” she explains.

Eventually, she decided to create a solution for herself and others in search of an online dress boutique, carrying all shapes and sizes of fashionable yet affordable pieces.

Kisten Phillips, owner of Kiss & Wink
Kisten Phillips, owner of Kiss & Wink

There are two distinct lines at available at Kiss & Wink, says Phillips. “The Kiss line offers sleek and comfortable day-to-day professional-wear dresses, while the Wink line is for that woman looking to be a stunner at her next ladies’ night or any other upscale event,” she explains, adding that Kiss & Wink is one of the first of its kind to feature dresses made of Italian cotton and spandex.

Phillips is the owner of Kiss & Wink and also the designer for many of the pieces. “From the early beginning as a tomboy, I have always been surrounded by people who were meticulous about style and fashion,” she adds. “My grandmother was known as Duchess because every look she put together created a buzz and left a memory in the minds of those who saw her.”

From manufacturing to designing, Phillips says that she works closely to ensure that all of the pieces carrying the Kiss & Wink label meet her high standards, while keeping prices within reach for the consumer. The dresses sold at Kiss & Wink range in price from $99 to $200.

Phillips says her favorite part about running Kiss & Wink is knowing the dresses she’s selling give women a positive emotional expression about how they feel and look. “Women all need a dress that makes them feel as if they’re best dressed and the showstopper,” she says. “Every woman knows that feeling when you put on that one dress, catch a glimpse of yourself and thinks instantly of how much she will stand out in the crowd.”

What makes Kiss & Wink unique, according to Phillips, is that it always has been and always will be a passion project. “Our guarantee to our clients is superior customer service from our class on-trend line of fashion dresses for the discerning, fashion-conscious women at competitive prices,” says Phillips.

Phillips says the future is bright for Kiss & Wink, with online dress rentals coming soon. She says that she wants to offer this option to clients who want to wear one of the dresses but can’t afford it or may not want to make a permanent investment.

To learn more about Kiss & Wink, visit www.kissandwink.com or send Phillips an email at kisten@kissandwink.com.

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We chat with two local ladies who are taking vintage furniture from drab to fab! Read on for all the details to inspire your inner design diva!

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Cincy Chic: What is Drab2Fab?
Susanne Salzarulo and Rachel Massa, Owners of Drab2Fab: We like to take other peoples’ furniture that may have sentimental value but no longer fits the owners’ style and make it fabulous utilizing the customers vision and our recommendations. We also like to find pieces for clients if we don’t already have something in our shop. Sometimes we go into a client’s home to offer a fresh perspective on their existing decor and make recommendations on how they can refurbish it.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind your business?
Salzarulo and Massa: We started our business just over a year ago utilizing our 30 years of combined experience upstyling vintage furniture. We sell high quality and well-crafted vintage pieces at a fraction of the cost of new while being kind to the earth.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Drab2Fab?
Salzarulo and Massa: We are the owners behind Drab2Fab. We met more than 20 years ago while working at the Estee Lauder Counter in Kenwood. We both have always been passionate about unique furniture and home decor, and have always been able to see the beauty in old, beat up furniture that no one else wanted.

Cincy Chic: What do you do at Drab2Fab?
Salzarulo and Massa: We like to take other peoples’ furniture that may have sentimental value but no longer fits the owners’ style and make it fabulous utilizing the customers vision and our recommendations. We also like to find pieces for clients if we don’t already have something in our shop. Sometimes we go into a client’s home to offer a fresh perspective on their existing decor and make recommendations on how they can refurbish it.

Cincy Chic: Where is Drab2Fab located?
Salzarulo and Massa: We’re located at 4901 Whetsel Avenue in Cincinnati.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Salzarulo and Massa: Readers can check out our items by appointment or on our Facebook page.

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Spring is on its way and with it comes wanderlust. Sadly, an emergency trip to Tahiti can get pricey, but what about some urban exploration closer to home? Our art expert shares some of the best kept secrets in Cincinnati.

The Mary R. Schiff Library
The Mary R. Schiff Library

If you need a break, consider a trip to beautiful Eden Park where Mary R. Schiff Library is waiting just for you…and there is coffee! (Although, it doesn’t say “Drink Me” like in Alice’s Wonderland) The Mary R. Schiff Library, nestled within the walls of the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM), has something for everyone and may possibly be one of the best kept secrets in Cincinnati.

With more than 100,000 items from a 6,000 year span, this collection also includes a vast archive featuring old letters, photos and journals from artists and past directors associated with CAM.* There are literally hundreds of books, catalogues and magazines to keep your head spinning like the “Mad Hatter’s” (in a good way, of course!)

But — this certainly is not the “Red Queen’s” stuffy, formal library either. The Mary R. Schiff Library has a lovely balance of work and play. Galina Lewandowicz, Librarian for the Mary R. Schiff Library, says that this well-loved Library is a special place for everyone. “It’s a comfortable space where you can take a quiet moment with a book and a coffee or bring your kids in to look at our Children’s section,” said Lewandowicz, “I love to stay behind after work occasionally. I enjoy the space so much.”

What sounds better than grabbing a cup of coffee and heading out onto the Library’s terrace to enjoy a gorgeous view of Downtown Cincinnati? How about a free Sunday afternoon film? Or free access to a unique and diverse book and magazine collection?

We know you want to look at those vintage fashion magazines.

Even guests wandering around CAM have found themselves pleasantly surprised by the Library. “A woman stopped by one day just to see the view because she heard it was nice. Then, she saw our full collection of Photography books and ended up staying for an hour or more,” said Galina Lewandowicz, Librarian at Mary R. Schiff Library, “She didn’t expect for us to have those kinds of books but we have something for everyone. Anyone who stops by can find something that they’re interested in here…whether it’s researching childhood memories of Cincinnati history, music, art or fashion.”

Diving head first into the ‘rabbit hole’ of art? The Mary R. Schiff Library has programming designed to introduce you to art. In the past year, Lewandowicz has worked with Gary Gaffney, Art Academy of Cincinnati, to create an informal local artist discussion panel called “Dialogues with Artists” to cater to everyone, from art collectors to those who just want to learn more about art.

“We felt that there were a lot of people who would like to understand, connect and discuss more with local contemporary artists and hear more about what they do and how they do it,” said Lewandowicz, “There is no lecturing or pushing in one direction or the other. Some say ‘I don’t know much so I don’t want to go near it’ but so what? Art is for everybody. We want everyone to feel welcome.”

Do you love film? Brian Sholis, Associate Curator of Photography, has also utilized the breathtaking Library space for his recurring film series; “Moving Images” . “The Cincinnati Art Museum used to collaborate to produce a film series and I wanted to recommit us to showing films,” said Sholis, “My series, “ ‘Moving Images’, offers a mix of films by and about photographers and artists; a secondary goal is to present films about art or art institutions.

So set aside some time for YOU and you’ll soon be singing Alice’s song “In a World of My Own” as you get lost in the Library. Grab a coffee (or ‘move down’ for tea if that’s your thing), enjoy the warm weather, a beautiful view of Cincinnati and flip through a vintage copy of “Vogue” …or swing by for a Sunday afternoon film.

The Mary R. Schiff Library is open Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the second Saturday of every month, Sept. through Jun. Plan your trip here.

Save The Date:

> Sunday, March 29, 2 p.m. — “Moving Images Film Screening: “Moon Dust” (2014)
Enjoy a low budget, hilarious sci-fi comedy created by Scott Reeder. “When I saw the short trailers for “Moon Dust” on YouTube, I was completely sold,” said Sholis, “It’s a riot of color, kitschy special effects and fun costumes. All on hand-made sets. This is going to be a fun screening.”

> Friday, April 24, 7 p.m. — “Dialogues with Artists: Making Judgments”
Featured speakers; Jill Rowinski, (Art Academy of Cincinnati graduate/regional arts advisory committees/grassroots arts organizations involvement), and Emil Robinson (Cincinnati artist/educator with international and national museum involvement).

**The Library Archives are not open to the public due to their fragile state (onion paper and microfilm items require special love and care!) but the archives are available to researchers or academics by appointment. Please call (513) 639.2978 for more information.

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Is Insurgent, the second film in the Divergent series, strong enough to help propel it to the front of young adult science-fiction/action drama? Click to find out!

“Seriously – I don’ think this is part of the CrossFit class I signed up for!” Tris (Shailene Woodley) gets ensnared – literally – with Jeanine (Kate Winslet) in a scene from director Robert Schwentke’s movie version of THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT. Credit: Andrew Cooper © 2015 Summit Pictures Entertainment

 

 

WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:



KEY CAST MEMBERS: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Zöe Kravitz, Kate Winslet, Ray Winstone, Ashley Judd, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Mekhi Phifer and Jai Courtney


WRITER(S): Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman and Mark Bomback (screenplay); Veronica Roth (novel on which the film is based) 


DIRECTOR(S): Robert Schwentke
60 SECOND PLOT SUMMARY (OR AS CLOSE TO THAT TIME AS ONE CAN MAKE IT): Taking place just days after the events of the first film, Insurgent finds Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley) on the run with her boyfriend Four (Theo James), Peter (Miles Teller) and brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) after an attack has caught the eye of Jeanine (Kate Winslet), leader of the Erudites. 



Who are the Erudite, you ask? Well, if you had seen the first film in the Divergent series, you would know that the Erudites are one of five factions living in a dystopian future Chicago walled off from the rest of the world. Society has inevitably (as always is the case it seems in these type of movies) broken down, fallen apart and resulted in tribes, er “factions,” as a result. The Erudite are supposed to be the most intelligent, the Candor are the most honest, Amity are the peaceful ones, Abnegation are selfless and the Dauntless are the brave (a.k.a. soldiers and police). 



If you are like Tris, however, you are “divergent,” which means you test into belonging into too many factions – which makes you a potential troublemaker since you will upset the balance of society. Then again, you could test to be factionless, which means you’re also an outcast. Got it? Good. Let’s continue …



With Jeanine looking to keep power for the Erudites – well, mostly herself, really – Tris came to realize what being Divergent meant once her parents’ faction was raided and they were killed. Realizing how evil Jeanine is, she wants revenge and to get her out of power along with Four, a fellow former Dauntless recruit. Thing is, Jeanine isn’t going down without a fight – especially not after she discovers a mystery box Tris’ mother (Ashley Judd) was willing to die for as long as it stayed out of the wrong hands. 



But now of course, it is in the wrong hands … And Jeanine is going to need someone Divergent to help her open it …

 
WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Those who enjoyed the first Divergent film; Woodley and James fans; people who find The Hunger Games movies to be a bit too over-the-top and/or cheesy; fans of young adult (YA) sci-fi
WHO WONT (OR SHOULDN’T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? People who find the series to be too much like The Hunger Games; those who don’t like it when movies take major liberties with the original source material; those who want more gunplay and/or grit in their sci-fi films; people who are over the whole “dystopian future where teens must save us thing.” 
SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? If – IF! – you’re not too familiar or hung up on all the changes from the original Insurgent novel and don’t mind the young adult dystopian future thing, Insurgent is not that bad … Especially considering how it kind of makes another film it’s mockingjay …



Here’s what Insurgent has going for it that it does better when compared to its main rival in the whole “the future is awful, so let’s have this girl save us” genre: [1] The chemistry – both romantic and as rebels – between Woodley and James is about 10 times better than it is between Jennifer Lawrence’s and Liam Hemsworth’s respective characters in the latest Games installment; [2] Woodley’s character has fully embraced her rebel leader status, which in effect makes her, for lack of a better word, “cooler” – especially given the amount of angst and self-discovery her character takes; [3] Director Robert Schwentke’s visuals are eye-popping at times during Tris’ simulation sequences, which helps to bring the story to its arc in pretty remarkable fashion and [4] The layers to Insurgent, while not bny any means perfect, deliver a film that is more solid on both a sci-fi and YA level. 



That being said, are there flaws? Sure – Octavia Spencer is not utilized on any great level, some of the actions taken by Jeanine’s security make you wonder how they have not been overthrown long ago and Ansel Elgort is either doing a phenomenal job at making Caleb a complete wimp … Or the character is just boring, uninteresting and a waste as currently offered. 



Now, if you haven’t read the books like yours truly, you won’t notice the changes from the original Insurgent novel and likely not care about them … However, if you ARE one of those “this is not like the book!” people, the film’s producers and its author know you are likely going to notice. Whether or not that ultimately ruins the experience for you is solely up to you … But if you simply are concerned whether or not the movie stays true to the spirit of its characters (Tris in particular), is entertaining and delivers a copious amount of well-executed action sequences, you should be satisfied. 



As opposed to writing a dissertation about the film and what it has to say about the need for the elements of life its factions struggle with, oppression, the idea of isolation vs. integration … Sorry, I kind of started to get lost on a tangent there. Instead of doing that, all you simply need to know about Insurgent is this: It’s the rare sequel that expands upon its original premise, delivers some rather intriguing interactions and features a solid enough acting/directing job to get you through from start to finish. It sets the stage nicely for the third – and let’s be honest, no matter how good you think Insurgent is, three films will be enough – and likely final film, Allegiant



And that should be pleasing to the ears of everyone who enjoyed Divergent, regardless of the faction they would claim. 


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

 

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    A recent college graduate launched a style-savvy start up out of her guest bedroom. Today, it’s a booming brick and mortar store that specializes in trendy yet affordable apparel in all sizes, as well as accessories and home decor, some of which are made from recycled materials. Learn more about this local lady and her dream-come-true business that’s making every day chic for wardrobes and homes across the Tri-State.

    Karli Harris, founder of Everyday Chic Boutique
    Karli Harris, founder of Everyday Chic Boutique

    Karli Harris is proof that you’re never too young to chase a dream. This 24-year-old entrepreneur launched her business from a spare room in her house, and now, it’s a booming boutique in the heart of Wilmington.

    After graduating from college, Harris was working full-time for Wright-Patt Credit Union in Dayton. She wanted to wear on-trend fashions that fit well, but not break the bank in the process, so she sought after a solution.

    She wanted to break down barriers in the fashion world so women of all sizes could have access to trendy, affordable wardrobe choices. That’s when Harris launched the online version of her Everyday Chic Boutique business in May 2014.

    “It started out as a small, online boutique I was running out of my guest bedroom,” she explains. “Soon after, I realized women wanted to see the items and be able to try the sizes on.” Harris hosted a few shopping events and says she was amazed by the support she received. “I knew right away that this was going to be something great, and my dream was coming true.”

    danaleavy184x256Today, Harris is the one-woman show behind Everyday Chic Boutique, a brick and mortar boutique offering a variety of trendy and fun fashion for women of all sizes. “We have a unique line of affordable clothing, accessories and gifts primarily made in the USA,” she says. “Our mission at Everyday Chic is to provide items that allow every woman to feel as special and beautiful as she already is.”

    She also has a special place in her heart for eco-chic designers, such as Bullet Jewelry and Rewined Candles, which are made from recycled materials.

    Most of the items available at Everyday Chic Boutique are priced between $20 and $50. Harris says the boutique carries a large variety of regular and plus-sized women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, shoes, candles and gifts. She adds that inventory is constantly changing, sometimes as often as every week. “There’s always new and exciting trends popping up every time you return to do a little shopping,” she says.

    What she enjoys most is being able to see her customers love the same pieces she does. “It’s a very rewarding feeling,” she adds. “I get to do what I love every day. I love spending my time traveling and meeting new people to bring back the most stylish and unique items.”

    Everyday Chic Boutique’s Grand Opening will take place on Saturday, April 18. Immediately after the grand opening celebration, Harris says full-time hours begin and the store will be open Wednesday through Sunday. Currently, Everyday Chic Boutique is only open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There’s also online ordering through social media while the website undergoes construction and the boutique has weekend-only hours.

    Everyday Chic Boutique is located at 37 Locust Street in Wilmington. To learn more, visit Everyday Chic Boutique on Facebook and Instagram. You can also send Harris an email at everydaychicboutique@gmail.com.

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