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Cincy Chic: How did you find yourself here in Cincinnati?
Marianne Breneman: Brian, my husband, and I came here from East Lansing Michigan in 1999 so I could attend graduate school at The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). After graduation, we both had opportunities here and we decided to stay. My chamber music ensemble called Conundrum, is a quartet of transplants to Cincinnati who found that the arts scene here was enough to stick around!

Cincy Chic: You have quite a diverse career… how did you come about owning a coffee shop when you were a full time professional clarinetist?

Breneman: We live in a developing neighborhood (the East End) where there aren’t many services available to residents. We met some neighbors who had moved here from New York City and we hung out a lot and one night after some cocktails, we decided that we couldn’t complain about things in Cincinnati and not help change them. The whole “what would you do if you could” discussion…so we did!

Cincy Chic: Other than your coffee and clarinet, what else are you passionate about?
Breneman: I’m really involved in fundraising and education about ovarian cancer. My dear friend from Michigan State was diagnosed in her early 30s and it was then that I realized how serious this disease is, how little attention it gets in comparison to other cancers, and how little information was available to women. Along with a wonderful group of women, we started various forms of fundraising and awareness events including a black tie event benefiting UC’s Barrett Cancer Center (where incredible ovarian cancer research is being done), we participated in triathlons and running events, we started an honorary fund for research in our friend Amy’s name with The Lynne Cohen Foundation, and more. The local chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition is hosting The Walk for the Whisper 5K on Saturday September 29th at Lunken Playfield and I hope it’s a huge turnout.

Cincy Chic: How can people get involved in the upcoming 5k?

Breneman: You can walk or run, get pledges or not, bring your family, whatever! Forms are available at both Koka Coffeehouse and Koka Coffee Lounge, or you can register online at www.premierraces.com. More information about ovarian cancer and the NOCC is available online at www.ovarian.org. And since September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, this is a great way to raise your level of knowledge about the disease and to support the women who are dealing with it personally!

Cincy Chic: Back to your career – since you're a professional clarinetist and own coffee shops – how do you like your joe prepared and who do you idolize as a musician?

Breneman: I’m a decaf girl and I like a sugar-free vanilla skim latte!

I don’t know that I really “idolize” any musicians but I really appreciate diverse music and people who have handled their career on their own terms. I’m really into Pink Martini right now, I love Jane Monheit, and I think the Cincinnati Symphony is one of the best orchestras in the country – I just wish more young professionals would give classical music a try.

Cincy Chic: What's your favorite thing about Cincinnati

Breneman: I love the diversity of the arts scene here, I really appreciate the philanthropic nature of Cincinnatians and I adore Graeter’s!

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This Tuesday is the sixth year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, a day that forever not only changed America, but also forcibly awakened the dormant giant of national and global insecurity and uneasiness.

There are pros and cons to every situation, and because of 9/11, Americans are now, more than ever, aware of the world outside their own backyards. Locally, organizations have turned their focus global and local women are taking the initiative to make a difference in the lives of others across the ocean.

Women like this recent Cincy Chic  spotlight, Michelle Harbin. After a 2006 trip to a Romanian orphanage, Harbin's life was completely changed by the children she met. Harbin wanted to do something for the children and people of Romania who so dramatically impacted her life, "…I met the most amazing kids…I now believe in love at first sight. I fell in love with each of these children and was so grateful for having been able to catch a mere glimpse of their personalities." And so in honor and remembrance of her best friend Amy, who was limited in the number of children she could have due to cancer, Harbin founded Amy's Hope International, which creates channels for private orphanages in Eastern Europe to receive grant funding which in turn, provides a solid upbringing for the children with a focus on education, self-sufficiency and Christian faith allowing them to become contributing members of society. "…I wanted to give her all of the orphans in Eastern Europe!"

For Harbin, having a global focus ended up being more rewarding than she ever expected. "I gained so much more than I gave… [the Romanians]live in such meager conditions, below poverty level of any standard in the United States. Yet, I found myself wanting to be like these people and wanting to have what they have. I felt like they were so blessed…I was taught that material items are not the key to happiness."

"When people ask me how can you do something like this? My reply is simply this, 'How can I not?'"


Another woman who has taken the global initiative is
Cincy Chic's very first Chic Spotlight, Marissa Woodly, who we got to learn more about back in January 2007. When we first met Woodly, she was involved with Cincinnati-based Village Life Outreach Project , (VLOP), a non-profit, non-government organization that sends American volunteers to areas in east Africa to promote ideas of health, humanitarianism, service, and social responsibility to local villages.

Woodly believes that 9/11 was a stark wake up call that shattered the U.S.'s sense of invincibility and brought to light the global suffering that is so prevalent.

Since we last met with Woodly, she has left SmartMoney back in April 2007, and is now the development director of the Cincinnati chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which is focused on promoting economic stability in area neighborhoods by providing home-ownership opportunities for Cincinnati's low-income families. "We are building all over the city, but our parent organization, Habitat for Humanity International, is building all over the world!" Woodly says. "Our mission to build simple, decent affordable housing for those in need…is something I have truly have embraced."

Woodly is also still with VLOP, which has made tremendous strides in the life of one little Tanzanian boy. In June 2007, VLOP brought 4-year old Asubuhi back to Cincinnati for some serious medical help. Asubuhi suffered a severe scalp burn, for which VLOP had previously supported two skin graft surgeries but neither were successful due to his family's poor living conditions.

Because of VLOP and Shriner's Hospital for Children, Asubuhi received the life-saving surgery he so badly needed for his burn. Woodly reports that Asubuhi is in high spirits since the surgery and is almost fully recovered and even was well enough to celebrate his fifth birthday!

Thanks to VLOP's initiative and the attentive care he received at Shriner's, Asubuhi will return back to Tanzania and his family later in September, in complete health.

So what's in the future for Woodly?

"I have also been busy planning Village Life's first ever annual fundraiser at the Freedom Center on September 20th. (Find out more about the event here). "…the organization [VLOP] is growing and this is our first opportunity to share with the community at large our accomplishments, our goals and to thank the many folks who have helped and continue to make Village Life's work possible. I have been busy and loving every minute of it…but it's rewarding to feel as if I'm able to make a difference locally AND globally!"

VLOP will be returning to Africa in October for the second time this year.

Want to get involved with organizations that are making a difference in the lives of others abroad? Visit the following Web sites, to see how you too can open up your horizons…and your heart.

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Watch for the reports at 5:15 p.m. on Channel 5, or come here to read the reports!

 

Five Things September 5: Saving on Vacation







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Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Money

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Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Relationships

Look here for past Five Things stories involving relationships, ranging from friendships to marriage.More

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Family

Look here for past Five Things stories involving family and children.More

 

 

 

 

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Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Health

Women's health

Look here for past Five Things stories involving women's health and fitness.More

 

 

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: House And Home

Look here for past Five Things stories involving your home and its upkeep.More

 

 

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Beauty

Look here for past Five Things stories involving beauty and hygene. More

 

 

 


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Not too long ago, I was shopping for something online. It was a jacket, a women’s jacket. I don’t buy women’s clothes, so I don’t know what size I would need. Ah, they have something in the information about how the jacket fits. It says, “the women in the department tried on the jackets and say it runs about a size smaller than your dress size.” Great, if I knew what dress size I wear. So I called a friend and asked how I can figure out what size dress I wear. She asked me “what size (women’s) pants do you wear?” I don’t know because I don’t wear women’s pants. So, it got me thinking…I would like to dress a little more like a woman sometime.

 

So, I see my good friend Amy (Cincy Chic editor) on iChat. How convenient! "Amy, I need a favor. I want to get a little makeover. You know, take me shopping and 'kinda' help me look a little softer." She jumped on that! “I would love to! When would be a good time for you?” Before I could really grasp what I had done, she had set me up with a hair appointment and make-up consultant, no joke! In less than five minutes, this woman had everything set up and all I had to do was show up. It was like she was waiting for me to ask her this. (Editor’s Note: I was)

I’m going to have to go shopping in a women’s department for clothes. Okay, I can’t remember ever doing this. If I did, it must not of been a great experience or I would remember.
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I go and pick Amy up for this little excursion. She is so excited! I’m not able to show my excitement yet. Let’s just say I’m a little intimidated with what was going to happen today. We then head to a big mall; you know, the kind where women disappear for hours…maybe days. Anyway, did you know that there is a women’s department? It’s just for women. The clothes fit to the female figure! Imagine that.

As we are walking through this department, I check to see if I have my inhaler just in case I start to hyperventilate. The deeper into the women’s clothes, the more I thought I would need that inhaler. I’d point something out and she would shake her head and point to something with more ruffles. She would hold something up and I would make a face.

After a few missed tries, we started coming together. I think she was just trying to see what I could handle. We started picking out stuff that we both liked. I’m feeling a little better now. She hands me a couple of things and said, “Go try these on.” I’m thinking she’s crazy because they look way too small. Then she wants me to come out and show her how it looks on me? Now I’m stressing! So, I step out and she says, “Oh that pair is too big!” What? Too big…are you kidding me? I wasn’t thinking that at all. “Try on these, they’re a size smaller.” WHAT? I get them on and she is trilled! I’m freakin’ out just a little.

But the more I look in the mirror, the more I like them. Okay, I admit, they look good! They are a little (well, a lot) snugger than I’m use to. We did it! We found a cute pair of pants that we both like. Amazingly, we also see a top that we both like before we get out of the mall.
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We now have to be at Uniquely Senise Salon to get my hair cut and styled. Les Lee Biddle, my stylist, asked me questions about my hair and the results I’d like to see. I was prepared for this! The week prior, I went through magazines and cut out shots of cuts and colors that I thought would look good on me. Les Lee did a great job and I loved the pampering.

As I’m getting ready to leave, Amy is talking about getting her eyebrows waxed. I was not going to participate in this crazy self-mutilation! Why would anyone want to rip her eyebrows out with hot wax? I am a plucker, always have been. So I watch Amy get hers done as she lies there on the chair. I’m still not doing it. She says the wax isn’t hot and it doesn’t hurt. Not sure how they talked me into it, but I got my eyebrows waxed. I love my eyebrows and didn’t want the thin little ones or none at all and have to pencil them in. They assured me that this would not happen. Okay, here goes nothing. They put on the wax, Amy lied; it is hot. She then conveniently clarified, “Well, it’s not hot enough to burn you.” I didn’t hear that the first time around. Anyway, Les Lee @*&#$% rips off the wax! I swear they ripped out every single hair! I got up and looked in the mirror, expecting to see a eyebrow-less face. Wow, that looks good. She didn’t take off too much. I was pleased. Especially when I felt how soft my skin was were they waxed. Okay, ladies, it was worth the little bit of pain. I am sure that I’ll do it again. I needed step out of my box. This was stepping way out of my box!

We rush back to get the top that both of us liked. (No time to try it on before.) Then scurried off to get back to her house where Janet Coakley, a Mary Kay consultant, was waiting to do our make-up. I am not one to wear more than mascara and lip balm. Now they want me to clean my face with some cleaner that felt like it has sand in it? What the heck is this? Does this make your face raw so you have to wear make-up? Is this the ploy? Let me guess, “It doesn’t feel bad and I’ll love it.” Where have I heard this before?
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I do everything that I was asked to do. Clean my face with a couple of different solutions and wipe them off. Now she is talking about ‘foundation”? Why is she talking about what your house sits on? What does this have to do with makeup? (Just kidding) Amy and I pick out our “colors” and start adding stuff to our faces. First, we cleaned our lips with this “sand” stuff then wiped it off. It did feel really good and it made my lips so soft. My face was feeling pretty soft, too. So, foundation, eye shadow, eyeliner, blush, lip liner and lipstick. We did it all! Then, we step back to look at the results. Wow. Once again, I’m amazed at the turnout! Both of us looked great!

As I was putting on all that goop on my face, I was sure that it would be too much. But no; it looked great! Now what? You guessed it. Amy tells me, “Go put on your new outfit!” Right now? Off I went with shopping bags in hand. I was nervous about coming out… out of the other room that is. We didn’t have time to go to the shoe store to get shoes, so Amy tosses hers to me. Then she gets the “accessories” we purchased (I thought that “accessories” were extras on a car).

Well, I did feel like we accomplished what I had set out to do. I was feeling soft (and sexy). Thanks, everyone! I’m lovin’ the softer side of me!

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Balls of Fury
Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken, Maggie Q, James Hong, Terry Crews, Diedrich Bader, AishaTyler, Patton Oswald, George Lopez

Silly! Silly! Silly!

“Balls of Fury” is this summer’s silliest film around. It’s bubble gum. It’s a retreat from the heat. It’s a laugh out loud, mindless ninety minutes of time spent being amused with outlandish sight gags and over the top acting from one of the best: Christopher Walken.

“Balls of Fury” is an innocuous comedy in the vein of movies like “Airport” or “Hot Shots.” None of the actors display a serious commitment to high brow thespian aspirations (Think Meryl Streep, Al Pacino). There is, however, an obvious pact for everyone involved to have a good time! This is not to say that talent does not abound.

The lead actor, Dan Fogler, plays a washed up professional ping-pong champ. He so acutely conveys the slovenly way of an overweight, child sports star has- been that one would never guess he was in fact the recipient of multiple acting awards and a Tony for his role in the Broadway musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Aiesha Tyler struts her athletic prowess as a sharp shooter hitting her every mark with deadly blow darts in scene after scene.

Patton Oswald as the asthmatic, unlikely opponent to upstage Fogler’s first big comeback tournament is hysterical. Yet one of the funniest running gags is led by Diedrich Bader. He is buffed, baffled and bewildered as a captive sex slave who is stuck working nights pleasuring Mob Boss Feng’s (Christopher Walken’s) guests. Sheer lunacy!

The outstanding computer generated ping pong sight gags are matched by a wry script directed by Ben Garant and co-written by Thomas Lennon, both of the TV comedy Reno 911.

“Balls of Fury” will never come near an Academy Award nomination. I wouldn’t recommend it if it did. But if you are looking for a film that is as moronic as it is playfully silly then go see “Balls of Fury.”

Rating: Three Chic Stars

Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.

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Cincy Chic: Sum up your career's journey in a few sentences for us…
Brynne Coletti: I went to Miami University, started in retail, went from retail to sales with a major national company and then shifted my energies to a variety of volunteer activities once I began a family.

Cincy Chic: What inspired you to start Kenzie's Closet?
Coletti: Kenzie's Closet was inspired by a young woman in my daughter's high school class who could not attend her senior prom because she could not afford to buy a prom dress. The embarrassment and disappointment I saw in this girl inspired me to do something. I contacted the school and the school informed this young woman that an anonymous donor heard about her plight and offered to pay her prom expenses. I soon began to realize that my daughter's friend was not unique. I got friends involved and we provided assistance to others and we soon realized what we were seeing was the tip of the iceberg. Someone needed to start Kenzie's Closet, so I did. Kenzie's Closet is named after Kenzie Comisar, who was killed in a single car accident in 2002 before she attended her senior prom.

Cincy Chic: How long has it been around and about how many people do you estimate that it's benefited?
Coletti: This past prom season was our second "official" year. The first year (2006) we ran our business from excess space Dress for Success was kind enough to loan us. That first year we put 135 young women in prom attire, dresses, shoes, jewelry, handbags, wraps etc. In 200,7 we dressed 282 young ladies. This year we hope to dress more than 500. Unfortunately, the need is there.

Cincy Chic: Tell us about your upcoming Bitter Bridesmaid Bash…
Coletti: The best part about it is it isn't our bash. Word is getting around about the need we are filling in our community and a group of amazing young women came to us and offered to help us raise awareness and hopefully money for Kenzie's Closet. We are very excited. This is the first fundraiser anyone has done for us. We hope to have 100 percent of our volunteer staff in attendance.

Cincy Chic: What does your favorite-dress-in-the-whole-wide-world look like?
Coletti: My favorite dress is the one that is on a young woman with the biggest smile you have ever seen because she is wearing a prom dress and anticipating an evening she never thought possible. That dress comes in all sizes and colors. We have had girls leave with prom dresses who had never had a dress of any kind on in their entire life. About half the girls have never worn heels; we give them lessons. It is a very moving moment when a girl finds the "right" dress. If I got to attend a prom, I would look through our racks for a Bagley Mischka simple black dress with a fishtail. I told my friend and our volunteer Tony Tiemeyer of 2700 Erie to make sure that is what I am buried in.

Cincy Chic: What's your favorite thing about Cincinnati?
Coletti: I love the people of Cincinnati. People genuinely care about their neighbors and especially our youth. The response we have had for volunteers has been overwhelming. We had to turn some away last year. But if you know any good seamstresses, let me know.

Learn more about Kenzie's Closet at www.kenziescloset.org.

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First held in 1976, the Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati event has grown to be North America's largest Oktoberfest with more than 500,000 people attending each year.

Coming up in a matter of days, this year's event will take place on September 22-23, 2007 (Sept. 22, 2007, 11 a.m.-midnight; Sept. 23, 2007, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.) on six blocks of Fifth Street, from Race Street to Broadway in Downtown Cincinnati.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on 10:30 a.m., Saturday, September 22. This ceremony, which has roots in the original Oktoberfest in Munich, kicks off the event with a colorful parade of German-American representatives wearing traditional vestments, walking down 5th Street to each fest tent. Keg tapping at each fest tent will mark the opening of that tent. A flag and seal will be hung at each tent.

As for food, click here to map out which gourmet vendors you'll be grazing. If you can't wait for Oktoberfest to sink your teeth into these tempting German treats, cick here for a few recipes you can try at home.

And don't forget to practice your chicken dance! Click here to listen to the chicken dance song and learn the history behind this feathered frolic.

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Watch for the reports at 5:15 p.m. on Channel 5, or come here to read the reports!

 

Five Things August 29: Snagging Low Airfares


 


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Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Money

Look here for past Five Things stories involving money and personal finance. More

 

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Relationships

Look here for past Five Things stories involving relationships, ranging from friendships to marriage.More

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Family

Look here for past Five Things stories involving family and children.More

 

 

 

 

'

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Health

Women's health

Look here for past Five Things stories involving women's health and fitness.More

 

 

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: House And Home

Look here for past Five Things stories involving your home and its upkeep.More

 

 

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Beauty

Look here for past Five Things stories involving beauty and hygene. More

 

 

 

 

 

Want to share your ideas for "Five Things"? Click here!

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Watch for the reports at 5:15 p.m. on Channel 5, or come here to read the reports!

 

Five Things August 24: Beverages 101

Five Things August 17: Pregnancy Do and Don't

Five Things August 16: Water Myths

Five Things August 15: Pets Are Good






Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Money

Look here for past Five Things stories involving money and personal finance. More

 

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Relationships

Look here for past Five Things stories involving relationships, ranging from friendships to marriage.More

 

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Family

Look here for past Five Things stories involving family and children.More

 

 

 

 

'

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Health

Women's health

Look here for past Five Things stories involving women's health and fitness.More

 

 

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: House And Home

Look here for past Five Things stories involving your home and its upkeep.More

 

 

 

 

 

Five Things Every Woman Needs To Know: Beauty

Look here for past Five Things stories involving beauty and hygene. More

 

 

 

 

 

Want to share your ideas for "Five Things"? Click here!

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Rocket Science
Reece Daniel Thompson, Anna Kendrick, Nicholas D’Agosto, Vincent Piazza, Aaron Yoo, Josh Kay

"Rocket Science" is a film about life; in particular, Hal Hefner’s complicated, coming of age life. Do not be fooled into thinking this is just another teen comedy, even though there is the awkward first love, the tormenting older brother and the angst of going from middle school to high school.

Into the mix of all the usual elements of adolescent uncertainty add the fact that our main character Hal, played by Reece Daniel Thompson, has a stutter. We meet Hal and his brother Earl as they witness their father walking out on them as their mother bemoans their father’s faults.

Jeffrey Blitz wrote and directed this film. He has an uncanny sense of the frailties and absurdities that life serves up. Although not autobiographical, Jeffrey Blitz did stutter in high school and joined the debate team in hopes of conquering his impediment. Our character Hal gets recruited into joining the debate team by a formidable, competitive, self assured second-place winner from the year before.

Anna Kendrick aka Ginny Ryerson plays the single minded, over achieving student determined to rebound from the consternation of former teammate, Ben Wekselbaum’s (Nicholas D’Agosto) downfall at last year’s debate finals. No mourning for Ginny — no time — “cut your losses and move on.” This is a girl with a mission.

Unfortunately for Hal, being the tool by which Ginny hopes to mold into a winning combination only serves to confuse him. What does she see in him? What attracts her to him? How will he get to first base? Does she really believe the stuttering Hal can recite a counterpoint for a debate on teen abstinence?

It is precisely those questions that keep us watching and rooting for this unlikely underdog. In fact, don’t we all ask those questions of ourselves? What do they see in me? What is the attraction? Will I make the cut? Combine this earnest search for the meaning of life and the eclectic soundtrack and lyrics by Eef Barzelay (of Clem Snide) and the Violent Femmes and you’ll find this movie a winner.

Although we can’t say as much for Hal’s debating skills; we certainly can enjoy the humorous, and at times, painfully human script that tells this story of one teen’s discovery and triumph.

Chic Stars: 4.5

Jan’s Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Don’t bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.