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    Local high school students are producing their 14th annual fashion show and fundraiser. Learn about this Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed event featuring local boutiques that benefits the Dragonfly Foundation.

    Students at Sycamore High School are doing their part to contribute in the fight against cancer with their annual Fashion for the Cure charity fashion show. 

    “All proceeds from the tickets, basket raffle, silent auction, and all prior fundraising go directly to the Dragonfly Foundation – a local nonprofit that provides comfort and joy to kids and their families going through cancer and bone marrow transplants,” explains Student Chairman Eva Armbruster. 

    Fashion for the Cure 2020 will be held on March 6 at Sycamore High School, and while the date may seem like a ways away, the students behind it all are already busy preparing.

    The show will feature student designers and models wearing clothing from TJ Maxx, Folchis, Bridal and Formal, as well as Dragonflies wearing shirts they have designed themselves. 

    The next show, in 2020, will be the 14th annual event and the 6th show to benefit The Dragonfly Foundation, and alongside Armbruster are co-chairs Grace Mirande and Zaynab Syed, who work in a committee of 15 Sycamore High School girls with teachers Deborah Klemt and Sarah Chapman. 

    “We also receive a lot of support from our student models, designers, and the rest of the Sycamore student body, administration, and community,” adds Armbruster. 

    Fashion for the Cure 2020 will feature a Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme and will include upcycled student designs in the fashion show. 

    Tickets for the event will be available in December at www.dragonfly.org. Armbruster says that last year the group was able to raise over $48,000 for The Dragonfly Foundation. 

    To learn more about the event, click here. You can also follow along on Instagram and Twitter.

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    We're heading to Hyde Park for a breathtaking home in this week's Listing of the Week!

    Stately Hyde Park home. Well maintained, kitchen and bathrooms updated. Beautiful hardwood floors, stained glass windows, moldings & Rookwood tiles. Spacious rooms, good flow. 3 Car garage w/guest suite above. Freshly painted inside and out. Spacious yard with privacy. This 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom home is listed at $969,000.

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

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    This fine dining mecca is celebrating 20 years and is opening its doors for lunch this holiday season. Click for the delicious details.

    A Cincinnati tradition, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse has been filling bellies and offering a delicious date night location for 20 years. 

    The history behind the restaurant goes back 49 years when restaurateur Jeff Ruby left New Jersey for Cincinnati to begin his career in the hospitality industry. Now, that brand has expanded to other cities including Louisville, Nashville, Columbus, and Lexington.

    Jeff Ruby’s children have worked their way up the ranks of the restaurant and in the last few years have joined the company’s leadership team. Currently, Britney Ruby Miller serves as the President of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment while Dillon Ruby and Brandon Ruby serve as managers on the corporate team. 

    With the holidays quickly approaching, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is now opening its doors for lunch, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy a fine dining experience during the day.

    “Traditional favorites from Jeff Ruby’s such as the restaurant’s great steaks will be on the menu as well as seafood items and holiday-inspired desserts,” says Ben Stallard from Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment. 

    In addition to being open for lunch, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is also taking bookings for business lunches and holiday parties, for which reservations can be made by clicking here.

    Drinks at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse include an extensive wine list, plus cocktails, craft beer selections from many Cincinnati-based breweries, whiskey, scotch, tequila, and much more. A complete drink menu can be found here

    When asked why a visit to Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is a must during the holiday season, or any time, Stallard says that there is no better place to celebrate than Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse for lunch or dinner. 

    “Enjoy one of their award-winning steaks, a glass of wine to toast and enjoy the ambience and terrific service to share time with colleagues or family during the holidays,” he adds.

    Learn more at www.jeffruby.com.

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    Look fab and support a great cause with this buy-one-give-one apparel company that supports homeless shelters and their needs across the country.

    It’s the time of year to reflect and be grateful for what you have, and lift up those less fortunate. Here to help with the latter is Sky Outfitters. 

    “Sky Outfitters is a mission-based apparel company that is headquartered out of Indianapolis,” says Brand Manager Keeton Yescott Hendricks. “We operate with a buy-one-give-one model, partnering with different homeless shelters every single month. Every item purchased throughout each month is matched with that same item donated to our partnered homeless shelter. Everything we do is driven by trying to make a difference in the homeless community in the United States.”

    The company, founded by Keaton Hendricks, was inspired by the issues of homelessness facing the country today. 

    “Keaton Hendricks grew up volunteering at homeless shelters in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana,” says Yescott Hendricks. “That was where his eyes were opened to the issues of homelessness, and his heart started to beat for them.”

    Once Hendricks arrived at college in 2014, he noticed that a growing trend among his peers were socks. It just so happens that socks are also a highly requested item from homeless shelters, so he decided to launch a company that would keep consumers on-trend while providing for those who need it most. 

    Hendricks runs Sky Outfitters alongside his wife and brand manager, Yescott Hendricks. They also have a part-time employee named Steve Mozingo who has a variety of responsibilities for the business.

    What started as a small sock company has grown to offer different types of socks as well as other apparel items. “We offer a wide range of socks – dress socks, casual socks, athletic socks, comfort socks, etc.,” says Yescott Hendricks. “We now also sell winter beanies and scarves with the same one-for-one model. So every sock purchased is matched with a sock donated to our homeless shelter of the month, every hat is matched with a hat, and every scarf is matched with a scarf.”

    This unique business model, being a buy-one-give-one company, that supports homeless shelters was birthed in a college dorm room. Hendricks started Sky Outfitters and ran it out of his dorm room for two years until he graduated from college in 2018 and moved to Indianapolis.

    With a giving heart, Hendricks, his wife, and his business are hoping to one day be able to offer all of the apparel items that homeless shelters need while continuing to offer the one-for-one model. 

    “To be able to provide each homeless shelter with the apparel needs that they have for a full year after partnering with us would be a dream,” she says. “Homeless shelters have a length list, so we’re currently figuring out what we will go into next.”

    To learn more about Sky Outfitters, visit skyoutfitters.com. You can also follow along on Instagram and Facebook

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    Read on to learn about a non-profit organization that wants to help support and empower women through their breast and gynecological cancer journeys.

    If you need support after being diagnosed with breast and gynecological cancer, there is an organization that‘s here to help. 

    “DayOne Matters of Greater Cincinnati is a non-profit organization that provides one-on-one support, trusted resources and generous assistance to breast and gynecological cancer fights, survivors and caregivers,” says Amy Darrah, Co-founder and President. “Through our IMPACT Giving Foundation, we provide Chemo and radiation bags, healthy meals and medical bill assistance to fighters and survivors when they are in need.”

    Launched alongside Co-founder Brenda Walton, DayOne Matters began three years ago, but it officially launched last month. “DayOne Matters is volunteer-run and we currently have 13 volunteers and are growing,” says Darrah. 

    The inspiration behind starting the organization came from the feeling of Darrah and Walton had during their cancer journeys. “Our inspiration was born out of the isolation and frustration we felt, coupled with the lack of available resources, at the time of our diagnoses and throughout our cancer journeys. Professional programs and products that are specifically needed by women dealing with cancer were not conveniently available to us,” Darrah says. “As we began talking with other women who had dealt with cancer, their stories were quite similar to ours. We decided that we could do better. By empowering women to take charge of their journey, providing trusted resources, caring friendships, consistency and reasons to be positive, we’ve created an organization that is changing how to deal with a cancer diagnosis.”

    The name of the organization is so important for the mission of DayOne Matters. “We determined that Cincinnati area women dealing with breast and gynecological cancer, whether a fighter, survivor or caregiver, should be uplifted in a positive, holistic manner and that no matter where they were in their journey, support would start now. This would be their DayOne,” Darrah says.

    DayOne Matters provides different services to women going through their cancer journey, so they don’t have to stress. These services include:

    • Sol Sisters: “One-on-one support where a fighter is matched with a Sol Sister mentor who shares her same diagnosis, but has attained survivor status. A Sol Sister is a ‘girlfriend who gets it,’” they say. “She is a partner who walks alongside a fighter to support, listen and cheer on her new friend. Sol Sisters are also available for survivors and caregivers who need support and encouragement.”
     
    • Local Resources: “Trusted resources who have been vetted by DayOne Matters. It is a one-stop-shop of professionals, places, classes and products that we feel are sensitive to and can be beneficial to someone dealing with cancer,” they say.
     
    • IMPACT Giving Foundation does the following:
     
    o Chemo and Radiation Bags: “Bags filled with healthy and organic items that are helpful to women during chemo or radiation treatment. Smaller bags are given to local oncology offices for their patients and deluxe bags are given to women in Sol Sister partnerships,” Darrah and Walton say. “People get excited about our bags because they are filled with thoughtful items that make you happy.”
    o Healthy Meals: “For women undergoing chemotherapy and who are unable to prepare meals for themselves and/or their families, DayOne Matters provides healthy and delicious meals. Daily optionsare available to choose from and are delivered to homes by our volunteers,” they say. 
    o Medical Bill Assistance: DayOne Matters provides financial help for bills related to cancer for fightersand survivors. 

    The organization defines success through the support and encouragement felt by the people. “For every woman we empower, support, encourage, uplift, connect and cheer on through any of our programs, we claim success,” Darrah says. “We are women supporting women in every stage of their cancer journey. We build friendships that can last a lifetime.”

    DayOne Matters is a unique organization that is authentic and relatable. “We ‘get it’ because each of us has a cancer journey. We know what type of support is truly needed and we have created extremely successful, tailored programs that work,” they say. “We’ve also created extensive lists to serve as a one-stop-shop for positive cancer-related information. From service providers, products and programs, these continually updated lists contain a wealth of information for the woman dealing with cancer.”

    The organization is a big part of the community of Madeira because they educate and empower people. “We are the fighters, survivors and caregivers and we are connecting women like us and helping them thrive through adversity because we know that positivity helps heal the mind, body and soul.”

    DayOneMatters is located at 6911 Miami Avenue, Madeira, Ohio 45243. To learn more, follow them on FacebookInstagram and their website.

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    Take a behind-the-scenes look at Cincinnati’s Human Trafficking multi-media art installation coming January 2020.

    A new experiential exhibit will shed light on a dark topic. On January 10, 2020, Motel X, a multi-media art installation, will be on exhibit at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The purpose of the exhibit is to bring awareness and prevention to Human Trafficking within the Greater Cincinnati area. 

    The inspiration behind the exhibit is something very close to creator, Christine Shrum Marque. “I came across the words ‘Human Trafficking’ at 14 years old while I was researching a paper for school. I didn’t understand what it meant and thought it was a type of highway violation. After searching for the definition, I found that it means modern day slavery,” says Marque, “I had no idea as a 14-year-old female in Ohio that I was most at risk for being Trafficked, I had to do some about it. I created Motel X as an interactive experience for visitors to uncover clues and information about Trafficking that happens in our backyards.”

    The name of the exhibit derives from both the anonymity and location of Trafficking. The letter “X” has an anonymous feel bringing attention that it can happen anywhere. In 2018, Ohio was reported as the state with the 5th most reported trafficking cases. In 2016 alone, 1,000 were identified in the state of Ohio. Human Trafficking is the highest-grossing industry worldwide, seeing as it has affected 24.9 million people and counting, according to Marque.

    When visitors plan to attend, they will be welcomed by a 70’s motel meets Alice in Wonderland visual inspiration. The experience will be unlike anything you could ever imagine. “Motel X will allow participants to touch anything and everything. You’ll look for clues hidden in the furniture following an aggregate story of a sex traffic victim and a labor traffic victim, intended for all ages,” says Christine. Visitors are intended to take away practical information about the Human Trafficking that happens in front of our very eyes, a conversation starter to start the process of preventing this act within our own circles.

    For the past three years, Christine has been pouring her heart and soul into this exhibition and she is very excited to see it come to life. Along the way, she has received a lot of support from many partners in the Cincinnati community. “We have been lucky enough to partner with the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center since the beginning. We have also worked with Kim Belew, The Freedom Center, US Bank Haile Foundation, Deerfield Construction, and so many more to allow the exhibition become what it is today.”

    January 10, 2020: The sponsor-inclusive Premiere Night event will be at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. 

    January 14, 2020 – April 4, 2020: Open to the public during Freedom Center’s operational hours. 

    If you would like to snag opening tickets or donate to Motel X and the mission, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/themotelx/motel-x. Follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or visit their website for more information.

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    Wish packing lunches could be easy, healthy AND something they’ll actually eat? Check out this new option now locally available.

    Local hairstylist and fashion blogger, Kandace Walters, shares a candid of her kids enjoying Freeli

    Cincy Chic: What is Freeli Foods?
    Jennifer Eagen from Freeli Foods: Freeli Foods are healthy, convenient grab-and-go meals that kids love and mom can feel good about. Freeli Foods contain no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors, no added sugar, with less sodium and saturated fat than traditional pre-packaged lunches. They are nutritionist-optimized for sustained energy throughout the day.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the brand?
    Eagen: Freeli foods are hunky goodness kids can sink their teeth into—real foods, not purées in four flavors kids love: Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Pasta & Meat Sauce, Noodles with Chicken & Veggies, and Fiesta Bowl… beef, rice, beans, and cheese.

    Cincy Chic: What makes Freeli Foods unique?
    Eagen: Freeli Foods are wholesome, yummy grab-and-go meals for lunch, after school, or anytime. They are ingeniously packaged in convenient grab-and-go pouches (the first ever!), ready to eat in 45 seconds with no cooking and no mess. No utensils needed and they are BPA Free and microwave safe.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers find Freeli Foods meals? Are they in stores near Cincinnati?
    Eagen: Freeli Foods are available in Kroger stores in Cincinnati, Dayton, Lexington, Louisville and Nashville. Click here to use our store locator.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
    Eagen: Visit https://www.freelifoods.com. Freeli Foods is also on Facebook. Click here for a look at coupons and promotions. 

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    Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? Melissa explains how to bring your goals (and energy to get started on them) out of hibernation.

    As we are officially moving into the holiday season so let the festivities begin. With Thanksgiving right around the corner and quickly followed by Christmas and New Year time begins to slow day. For many, it’s the time of year for reflection. The colder weather and darkness falling earlier you may find yourself in hibernation mode. No need to do anything and just begin thinking about your new year’s resolutions and what you have or have not completed or accomplished over the past 11 months.

    Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today was a statement that took me time to really understand. I get it do it now but why can’t I wait until tomorrow? 

    A couple of reasons! One you may not be here and two you want to start now creating your future. By waiting you are only delaying what you truly desire and want. You keep putting it off to where months have passed, and you still can’t understand why you’ve not received what you said you wanted.

    How can you begin to start today towards your goals rather than waiting until tomorrow and why?

    Here’s my best advice:

    – Setting the desire in motion today will allow you to reap the benefits and results faster.  Like the seed being planted in the ground.  The earlier it is planted and nurtured with sunshine and water the faster you will reap the harvest.
    – Excitement builds when you know that every day in every moment you are working towards a goal that is going to change you and/or your life for the better.  When those tiny wins show up daily it will keep you moving forward and looking for the results knowing they are building upon one another. Before long you’ve gotten the results and thrilled with the outcome.
    – Course correction is important when putting things in motion.  Much like a plane or a boat having to course correct constantly otherwise it will veered off into the wrong direction and miss its destination, your course correcting allows to see daily what’s working and what’s not.  If you feel things need to change you can make those decisions now rather than getting months into your goals and realize it really isn’t going as planned.  Having the opportunity to course correct can get your there faster and get the results you desire.

    And when you learn to start each day by feeling into your heart what you truly desire and want to have, you can create a business and life that you love by design.  It’s like magic and feels so good to the system. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner! So, I challenge you not to put off until tomorrow what you can do today!  

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    Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story friendship between a jaded magazine writer and America's most beloved neighbor.

     

    “Hey kids – if this was a Yeezy 350 Boost, I might tell you how to toss it on eBay to make a profit with which you could start a nice savings account!” Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) strikes a familiar pose in a scene from director Marielle Henner’s inspired by true events biopic A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Credit: Lacey Terrell © 2019 CTMG, Inc. All rights reserved.

     

    WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:


     

    KEY CAST MEMBERS: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper, Susan Kelechi Watson, Christine Lahti, Wendy Makenna, Enrico Colantoni, Tammy Blanchard, Noah Harpster and Maryann PlunkettDIRECTOR(S): Marielle Heller

     
    THE BACK STORY: Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) is a journalist for Esquire magazine who’s used to doing hard-hitting, investigative pieces that often leave the subjects of his stories, much like a James Bond martini, a bit shaken if not internally stirred. So, when his boss (Christine Lahti) assigns him to write a 400 word piece on children’s television show host Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks), he’s a bit miffed to say the least. 

    Then again, Lloyd’s negative predilection to get to dig deep to find the dirt on people might have something to do with his own issues. He’s still very mad at his dad (Chris Cooper) – whom he prefers to call by his first name of Jerry – for what he did when his wife/Lloyd’s mom got sick. And now that he’s got a newborn son of his own with his wife (Susan Kelechi Watson), he’s feeling a bit of pressure not to pass along any of his own pain to his offspring. 

    Thus, what happens when a cynical, depressed reporter is asked to spend extended time with perhaps the most upbeat, positive person in the world? Something that is definitely going to not fit into 400 words but definitely may touch plenty of hearts in theaters nationwide. 
     
    THE REVIEW: Inspired by true events biopics often take liberties with the facts of their subject matter, omitting certain controversial details, adding characters or sometimes straight up just diverting from the facts for the sake of the story the filmmaker wants to tell. And given the success of 2018’s documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, putting a well-known actor like Tom Hanks in the role of playing a beloved cultural icon like Fred Rogers could be a recipe for disaster if not done well with a compelling story.Anyone debating whether or not to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, however, should have no such concern – for the film is easily one of the finest releases of 2019.

    Neighborhood‘s storytelling, under the direction of Marielle Henner (2018’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?), is almost like watching an episode of Rogers’ beloved television show itself – a simple yet genius move that brings the story to life. Instead of digging deep into its subject’s personal life (that aforementioned documentary does exist, after all), the film shows how the relationship between Vogel – based on Esquire writer Tom Junod who’s article served as a basis for Neighborhood – and Rogers. In doing so, it showcases the reasons Rogers became and remains an inspiration to millions of people throughout North America: In talking with Vogel about what drives him, Rogers works Vogel through his myriad of problems, making the writer learn about him but more importantly, himself.

    Of course, this wouldn’t happen without Heller’s excellent direction that incorporates elements of both Rogers’ show and Hanks’ full immersion into the role. From his voice affectations and mannerisms to his legendary calm tone of speaking and self-deprecation, Hanks does about a fine a job as you’d hope for in a portrayal of a beloved figure without crossing into saint territory (which the movie directly addresses). Hanks’ ability to channel Rogers own approach to tough subject matter shows how his wisdom rings true for both children and adults to this day.

    Rhys, however, may arguably deliver the strongest performance in the film, giving his reporter a layered depth to serve as the canvas on which Rogers’ true magic is fully revealed. Rogers hoped to create healthy positive adults instead of the type of adult Rhys’ character is: angry and wrongs done to him and unable to let it go, cynical, distrustful and afraid they’ll screw things up worse than their parents did. (Sound like anyone you know in your own life?) In showcasing the juxtaposition between the two, Heller crates a walking, talking exercise in a lesson typical of an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with her two male leads playing their parts perfectly. Strong supporting turns by the always strong Cooper and Watson further complete the exercise, the latter’s enthusiasm for life and peace playing well against Cooper’s apologetic manchild father trying to make amends.

    All things considered, the thing that will stay with you after the film is over is how dedicated Rogers was to making the world a better place, no small feat in a world where so many of us let so many things destroy our happiness. An atypical film in a cinematic landscape filled with remakes, the perennial sex and violence and hokey family fare that often misses the mark,  A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood proves that good people still exist in the world – and good movies about them do, too.

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

     
     

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      A local boutique just opened its second location just a year and a half after opening its first storefront. Read more about their Instagram-worthy aesthetic and affordable, trendy clothing.

      The Native One is a chic boutique located in the heart of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. The Vine Street boutique offers affordably, trendy women’s fashion and accessories.

      Owner Anna Steffen opened the store at its current located in 2018 at 1421 Vine Street after previously doing pop-up stores and online sales and, more recently, opened a new store in Covington at 326 Scott Street. 

      “The Native One is a one-stop-shop for all things fashion and minimal home decor,” explains Steffen.

      The store offers a neutral aesthetic and all of the items from the store are hand-selected from wholesale vendors in the Los Angeles Fashion District. 

      The second location for The Native One opened last month and was something that Steffen says she knew she wanted to do eventually but didn’t know it would happen so quickly.

      “I didn’t think it was going to happen this soon,” she says. “It was more of a five-year goal but when the opportunity was there I jumped on it. Last year’s sales completely blew any goals that I had out of the water and this year, it’s only gotten busier.”

      Steffen says The Native One’s Covington location will offer a similar aesthetic as the OTR location. 

      “The Covington store has a similar appeal as our OTR location, stuffed with everything from rompers and oversized outerwear to affordable statement footwear and lacy underpinnings,” says Steffen. “You’ll also find accessories, apothecary, and home decor.”

      Steffen she will soon move the OTR location to a new building to better accommodate the new inventory and demand. As growth for The Native One speeds along, Steffen says it’s creativity that fuels her team. In fact, she says she’s currently working on revamping an old auto body shop in Dayton, Kentucky. “It’s going to be a private garage studio space, where the team can process inventory, photograph products, and host events,” she says. “It can be stressful to do everything in the shop because we don’t have a huge back room. So to have a separate space to just work out of and be creative will be really beneficial.”

      To learn more about The Native One, visit https://www.thenativeone.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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