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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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    Two local women are giving castaway items new purpose with eco-chic line of apparel and accessories made from recycled materials. Read on for all the fashionable details.

    HaloMiner refurbishes old clothes for new uses.
    HaloMiner repurposes old clothes for new uses

    Nicole Reblando and Pamela Fellerholf, co-owners of HaloMiner, will make you think twice before tossing something into the dumpster. All of their apparel and accessories are created from repurposed and recycled materials under the name HaloMiner – which symbolizes the process of digging up raw materials and transforming into something else. As they like to say, “Elevate the Everyday.”

    “By repurposing, the creation of these original handcrafted items has no impact on the environment,” says Reblando. “All products are designed and handmade locally – we work on prototypes until we love it and it fits with our line. It’s important that each item can be reproduced and sole for a competitive price.”

    The idea behind HaloMiner began in 2009 after several meetings between Reblando and Fellerhoff. “We wanted to create a business that combined our talents in fine art, design, marketing and retail – but was also sustainable to the environment,” says Reblando. “We explored ideas then decided to start with a series of accessories made from recycled materials.”

    From the beginning, the two knew that they wanted to create under one brand – HaloMiner. “We chose a name that was descriptive of our process but also encompassed something memorable that would grow in the minds of the customer,” says Reblando. “Once this was decided, we looked for the right space to start.”

    This space just so happened to be a small upstairs studio in the new Brazee Street Studios in Oakley.

    Since their launch in February of 2010, HaloMiner has grown by one-third each year through reinvesting in more production, expanding the product and moving to their large, first-floor space at Brazee. “We are in over 35 stores and just launched an e-commerce site where we handle direct sales,” says Reblando.
    What started out only as small accessories has quickly expanded to include original clothing designs, jewelry, a line of purses and decorative pillows. “The jewelry, purses and pillows are our bestsellers and can be found in local stores such as Joseph Beth, Whole Foods, Park + Vine and Dandy Haberdashery and Roads,” says Reblando.

    (left to right) Pamela Fellerholf and Nicole Reblando, co-owners of HaloMiner
    (left to right) Pamela Fellerholf and Nicole Reblando, co-owners of HaloMiner

    They have also had great success with their clothing line as well. Although it is currently in much smaller distribution at Morrison & Me, the two plan on bringing the line to Kismet and establishing a larger presence in the gift industry.

    What truly sets HaloMiner apart is that all items are produced by independent craftspeople in the United States from premium materials and are made from repurposed materials – so there is no impact on the environment.

    As for the upcoming year, Reblando and Fellerhoff are preparing to attend wholesale trade shows to sell some of their products on a much larger scale. “We’re excited to be a vendor at the Crafty Supermarket on April 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. and plan to attend our first tradeshow market this summer specializing in American-made gifts,” says Reblando. “Our goals are to grow first in the gift industry with large production of our small purses, jewelry and pillows.”

    They will also be a vendor at Cincy Chic’s upcoming Eco-Chic Fashion Show on March 26 at ADC downtown, where all proceeds benefit the Cincinnati Zoo.

    “We love working together to build this company from scratch using all of our talents in tandem,” says Reblando. “We play to each other’s strengths and balance our tasks accordingly so that we may produce and sell the most carefully crafted and creative items. We love supporting the independent craftspeople that help us with production so that we may grow and share the success with them.”

    They also enjoy working with a variety of businesses and communities. “We live in a vibrant, creative city and work alongside passionate and dedicated individuals,” Reblando says. “We are thrilled to be apart of the growth of a green consciousness and mindful consumption.

    To learn more about HaloMiner’s sustainable line or the custom project workshops that they offer, visit www.halominer.com. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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    One local salon owner launched her own line of natural, organic and vegan hair care. Read on for all the Good Hair Day details.

    Cara D’Ambrosio founded her own 100 percent natural hair care line, which is available at Me Salon Studios.
    Cara D’Ambrosio, owner of Me Salon Studios

    If you work so hard to put natural and organic foods in your body every day, shouldn’t you do the same for your hair?

    That’s why Cara D’Ambrosio created her all natural, 100% vegan, organic hair care product line — free of parabens, preservatives, chemicals, sulfates, and gluten — only available at Me Salon Studios.

    According to D’Ambrosio, the line has been tested to substantially improve shine, humidity resistance hold, moisture retention for smoothness, manageability and touch-ability. These highly concentrated formulas also put less strain on the environment from their natural product base, as well as amounts needed to generate lather and conditioning. All finishing products also contain sunscreen to further minimize hair damage from sun and heat.

    D’Ambrosio brings a bloodline of hair care, and decades of experience into developing this line. In 1992, she began working at her father Pete’s hair salon. Learning all about the hair industry and how to make the perfect cut and color, D’Ambrosio fell in love with the craft, and later took over her father’s salon in 2007.

    Just a few of the products available from the all-natural hair care line at Me Salon Studios.
    The all-natural hair care line available at Me Salon Studios.

    Me Salon has since been recognized as one of the “World’s Best Salons” by Intercoiffure among other awards. To achieve this level of service, D’Ambrosio travels around the world learning new techniques, studying styling trends, and researching the best products.

    With those demands, in addition to becoming a mom of twins 20 months ago, D’Ambrosio decided to increase efficiency by moving her business to a Salon Loft space, located at 9285 Governers Way.

    “[It] was a quality of life decision. I’m passionate about hair dressing. Running a large salon with several employees meant I spent a large portion of my time on HR, accounting, and insurance,” D’Ambrosio explains. “I wanted to get back to the ‘roots’ of my artistry and spend my work time in the salon, not in my office. Before children, a 60 hour work week was a breeze. I’m an Italian American and family is really important to me. So, I downsized my business, I’m doing what I love and I have more time with my twins. Simple as that.”

    To learn more about Me Salon and the Me Salon organic product line, click here.

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    After 25 years in the food service industry, this local chef decided to cook up her own personal venture - The Esoteric Chef - catering to clients with specific dietary needs.

    The Esoteric Chef is owned by Alison Mcelfresh, a personal chef who can meet the special dietary needs of any family.

    From vegetarian, vegan and paleo to gluten, dairy and egg free, Alison Mcelfresh has catered to (pun intended) every special request in the book. But now, after 25 years of food industry experience, Mcelfresh is cooking up her own savory start-up: The Esoteric Chef.

    Mcelfresh says she started her career in a funky Kentucky restaurant where she served up classic vegetarian and vegan dishes “before anyone knew what vegan was.” She eventually decided to hone her craft as a chef, so she attended the Greater Cincinnati Culinary Academy where she received training in classic French cooking techniques.

    “Career stops along the way included catering and the hospitality industry,” she explains. “My resume also includes a stint at the legendary Masionette in Cincinnati.”

    Before she launched The Esoteric Chef, Mcelfresh says, she was honored to have the opportunity to work with disabled adults where she taught them basic skills so that they could get jobs in food service.

    There’s also a personal background that led Mcelfresh to launch The Esoteric Chef, which includes a journey of weight gain and loss – something she says is common among those in the food industry – as well as her path back to being healthy.

    According to Mcelfresh, her determination combined with her cooking skills has helped her to lose 80 pounds so far. All the while, Mcelfresh continues to cook and eat tasty meals. “See,” she laughs, “you don’t have to sacrifice taste for health!”

    That’s especially handy for clients with allergies, specialty diets or eating plans. Mcelfresh also enjoys modifying family favorites in order to meet everyone’s dietary needs. “I can create meals to support those with special dietary needs – vegetarian or vegan, paleo, gluten- or dairy- free – as well as comfort classes to name but a few,” she explains.

    To learn more, visit The Esoteric Chef on Facebook. Mcelfresh says that she hopes to unveil her website www.theesotericchef.com soon.

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    Learn about the local advocacy group that connects you with information to help you see, learn and do all things green through seminars, tours and hands-on projects.

    Chuck Lohre, founder of the Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy, a business that helps buildings in the Queen City achieve LEED certification.
    Chuck Lohre, founder of the Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy

    Kermit said it best: It’s not easy being green.

    That’s where The Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy (GCEA) can help. It’s a Green Building Consultancy and a Green Marketing Agency, that was launched after founder Chuck Lohre, Leed AP ID+C, and his wife Janet Groeber purchased a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in 2003, and brought back his interest in architecture.

    “I have followed the U.S. Green Building Council’s education path to learn how to serve this industry,” he explains. “We founded Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy in 2009 and self-documented our office LEED Platinum in 2011.”

    Through GCEA’s experience in certifying LEED buildings, Lohre and his team were able to certify GreenSource Cincinnati’s office LEED Platinum in 2013.

    According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and it’’s helping to change the way that structures, commercial and residential, are designed, constructed, maintained and operated.

    When buildings are LEED-certified, the structures save money and resources through clean energy while also promoting a positive impact on the health of those who occupy the buildings. Buildings that are seeking LEED certification must meet a certain number of requirements and earn points depending on the type of structure and what it’s intended use is.

    In the office, Lohre has a team of interns that study with the Advocacy to pass their Green Associate and Accredited Professional exams. Together, these individuals are helping business owners certify their projects to meet the LEED requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council.

    Through the GCEA, Lohre says that he wants to help promote Green Building while providing the public with the information they need to advocate for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification process.

    Lohre says that in the future, because GCEA is also a marketing agency, he plans to offer insights into the sustainable lifestyle to new clients.

    He adds that this year, GCEA started a Green Home Tour series with the local chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and he became Chair of the Green Living Member Circle.

    To learn more, visit www.green-cincinnati.com.

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    Celebrate this Earth Day with the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition and its “Cincinnaturally” themed event that’s bringing thousands together for a full-filled day of earth-friendly education.

    The Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition is hosting its 45th Earth Day celebration on April 18 at Sawyer's Point.
    The Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition is hosting its 45th Earth Day celebration on April 18 at Sawyer’s Point.

    The Tri-State area is a beautiful, scenic region. But that’s easy to overlook with all the kids’ activities, your work deadlines, and everyone’s busy schedules.

    That’s why the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition (GCEC), a community of nonprofit organizations, businesses, government agencies and individuals from the Tri-State work together to promote the beauty and environmental quality of the region.

    One of the GCEC’s upcoming events http://gcec.us/ is the Cincinnaturally Earth Day Celebration. The term “Cincinnaturally” is a phrase borrowed from Charley Harper’s poster supporting the Hamilton County Park District and something that suits the mission of the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition perfectly, says Lauren Beatty, GCEC Director of Public Relations.

    She adds that the inspiration for this year’s theme came from Chuck Lohre, at the Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy. “We were debating ideas for this year’s theme, when we took a break and looked up from our table at Chuck’s poster, and it suddenly clicked,” says Beatty, adding that it perfectly highlighted “Cincinnati,” “green,” and “education” — just as they hoped their event would do this year.

    GCEC’s Earth Day event is a celebration of the natural community and exhibiting members take the lead on educating the attendees of all ages. It will take place on April 18 at Sawyer Point from noon to 5 p.m. – rain or shine, says Beatty.

    The event features live music, face painting, bounce houses, a climbing wall, recycled sculptures, food trucks, vendors, and nonprofit organizations who are dedicated to the mission of the GCEC. The 2014 event boasted more than 7,000 attendees and 86 exhibitors and vendors. “This year’s event is sure to bring just as many and plenty of fun,” Beatty says.

    To learn more about GCEC’s “Cincinnaturally” Earth Day event, click here.

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    Two local sisters teamed up to turn a part of America’s favorite pastime into fashionable bracelets for men and women. Learn more about this homerun idea.

    Alexis Rosenbaum and her sister Hannah King, founders of Baseball Lacelets.
    Alexis Rosenbaum and her sister Hannah King, founders of Baseball Lacelets.

    Cincy Chic: What is Baseball Lacelets?
    Alexis Rosenbaum, Co-owner of Baseball Lacelets: Hannah King and I founded Baseball Lacelets in February 2014, to produce customized leather wrap bracelets made from the lacing in baseball gloves for men and women. Using replacement baseball glove lace from a U.S.-based tannery, Hannah and I cut the lacing to size before securing a tri-buckle closure to the leather. Using a laser engraver, each bracelet can be customized to fit a consumer’s request.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind Baseball Lacelets?
    Rosenbaum: In 2013, I was feeling lost professionally and turned to my husband for advice. My husband, Danny, a baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, tossed a plastic bag of loose baseball glove lace at me and said “do something with this!” For two months, we took the loose lace and worked on bracelets to give to family members as holiday presents, even ordering a stamp kit off Ebay and teaching ourselves to stamp quotes onto the leather. When the bracelet closure became a stumbling block, Hannah entered the picture. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Baseball Lacelets?
    Rosenbaum: My sister Hannah King and I are behind the business as well as the recent addition of our third sister, Kelsey King, who is assisting us daily.

    Cincy Chic: How much does a lacelet cost?
    Rosenbaum: Our lacelets are $25 and are completely customizable to fit your wants and needs. The best part about buying right now is that if you shop our Kickstarter and support our next adventure, you can grab one for only $20 each or 6 for $100.

    An example of a Baseball Lacelet.
    An example of a Baseball Lacelet.

    Cincy Chic: Tell us more about your Kickstarter campaign!
    Rosenbaum: Of course! To cover the cost of our own laser engraver and rental space, we have introduced our Baseball Lacelets to Kickstarter with a goal of $18,000 in funding.

    Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects. It’s a home for everything from films, games and music to art, design and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects big and small that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you.

    In 2014, we made sure our customers were supplied with the freedom of making each Lacelet their own. To secure this part of our brand, we had to go from hand stamping each letter onto each Lacelet into developing a production process that was centered around laser engraving.

    Today, we rent our laser engraver at a membership workshop for a monthly fee, which gave us the ability to learn the equipment and software we use before making the large investment in purchasing our very own laser engraver; however, our current manufacturing setting is not conducive to further business growth.
    After a year of exploding growth, we have greatly outgrown the rented equipment and the lack of space that it comes with. In 2015, we’re chasing independence, our own equipment and even more storytelling.

    Lacelets, along with other incentives, can now be ordered by backing our project and those who order can expect to receive their reward no later than May 2015. In order for Baseball Lacelets to reach more wrists, we need to meet or exceed our Kickstarter goal by Tuesday, March 31. If the project goal is not met, no incentives will be awarded.

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Baseball Lacelets?
    Rosenbaum: We are really excited about the opportunities that are coming our way and even more excited about a few new products we have been designing. Renting the laser engraver gives us very limited time to explore new products so it has taken us some time to really fine tune the route we wanted to take with our first new product line we are launching all month. Last week we released a Lacelet Keychain that still holds true to allowing our customer to customize the baseball glove lace, but now in the form of a keychain. We are really excited about providing a product for our non-jewelry wearing followers who love our brand, but aren’t interested in bracelets. The keychain is the first of many new items to come at Baseball Lacelets!

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more or support Baseball Lacelets?
    Rosenbaum: Readers can check us out on Kickstarter. I have to admit, our video is pretty awesome! For more information, visit www.baseballlacelet.com or connect with us via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

    by -

    It’s easy to take things (and people) for granted. So, how can we change this negative habit? Our life coach columnist has three simple steps.

    031615SHARI

    I got up this morning and realized that we had “sprung ahead” and it was now one hour later than I assumed. I began the arduous task of trying to change every single clock in the house. I went downstairs to eat my breakfast and noticed that the dishwasher had run out of any extra space. It was filled haphazardly and completely jam-packed. Accepting that I needed to run it, I sighed and finally pulled out the detergent, starting it up. Of course, I thought. There’s always one more thing for me to do when I’m feeling so tired!

    I went to throw something in the trash and realized that it was full and needed to be taken out. I still had clothes in the dryer and another hamper full of whites to go. I began to feel overwhelmed with the number of responsibilities on my list.

    And then I stopped and reflected on my situation. These were all the responsibilities that my husband usually takes care of on a consistent basis and he had been gone for the last 6 days.

    These tasks usually just get completed and I don’t even have to think about it.

    Is it possible that I don’t realize how good I have it? Maybe I don’t tell him enough how much I appreciate everything he does?

    It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a situation with our family, friends or in the workplace. It’s all the same. An article by Tony Schwartz in the Harvard Business Review illustrates this feeling perfectly: A worldwide study conducted by Towers Watson revealed that engagement in the workplace is driven by whether or not workers feel that their managers are genuinely interested in their well being and also whether they feel appreciated for their work. The study revealed that 40% of workers today felt engaged.

    So why is it so difficult for us to show gratitude and appreciation for others in the workplace and at home? Whether we like it or not, we easily fall into the pattern of taking things for granted. So, how can we change this negative habit?

    The first step lies in acknowledging your own actions.
    Make a pact to see the world through new eyes. Take a step back at work and at home, really paying attention to what is going on around you. See all the little things that somehow get completed without you realizing it. The truth is that you can get so caught up in your own agendas, responsibilities, and issues that you can miss what’s right in front you. Do an inventory of where you might need to improve your appreciation skills.

    Showing appreciation gets easier the more you do it.
    You know how the more you workout the stronger you get? The stronger you get, the easier exercising becomes. Showing gratitude for others is the same— it’s a muscle that you need to exercise on a regular basis. If you continue to say “thank you” and show appreciation for others, the easier and more routine it becomes in your life. It’s a habit like everything else.

    Say thank you when they least expect it
    I don’t believe in Hallmark holidays like Sweetest Day or Administrative Assistant day. In my opinion, this just seems like a forced appreciation day. It doesn’t feel genuine. If you really want to show your appreciation, demonstrate your gratitude when they least expect it. Do it on a consistent basis when it is deserved. This is when it will mean the most.

    I encourage you to start your new appreciation efforts today. Look around and say “thank you” to someone that makes your life easier, without expecting anything in return.

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