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Jason Momoa brings credibility and fun to D.C. Comics longstanding fish-out-of-water hero. But is it worth seeing in the theaters? Our movie critic shares his thoughts.


“My Crossfit instructor is going to be so proud!” Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) makes his way through a sea (pun intended) of would-be submarine pirates in a scene from director James Wan’s take on the D.C. Comics iconic character best known to fans as AQUAMAN. Credit: Jasin Boland/ ™ & © DC Comics.  © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment. All rights reserved.



KEY CAST MEMBERS: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Temuera Morrison, Willem Dafoe, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dolph Lundgren with Nicole Kidman, Graham McTavish, Michael Beach and Randall Park

DIRECTOR(S): James Wan

THE BACK STORY: Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) was born of parents never meant to meet. For his mother Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) escaped the underwater kingdom of Atlantis to forgo an arranged marriage, which is why she fell in love with Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison) and gave birth to a young son. But since she knew the only way to keep him safe was to eventually return, she left young Arthur in Tom’s care, her young child never getting to know the mother he so desperately wished to be able to do. That’s why she made sure to charge Vulko (Willem Dafoe) with raising him in her place, teaching young Arthur the ways of Atlantis to make sure he knows part of where he came from.

Problem is, while Arthur may never meet his mother, he will meet Prince turned King Orm (Patrick Wilson), his vengeful half-brother who is tired of all the pollution and attacks from the “surface world.” That’s why, with the aid of King Nereus (Dolph Lundgren) and his daughter/soon to be Orm’s wife Mera (Amber Heard), he plans to take the war to the surface world and let mankind know their time is up. But since only a true king can stop Orm and his evil ways, Mera seeks out Arthur to stop him before it is too late for both of their worlds. 

Then again, since the pirate who will become known as Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is after Arthur for what he did – or should that be didn’t do for – his father (Michael Beach), it seems like our hero is going to have his hands full.

THE REVIEW: Of all the members of the D.C. Comics world (Marvel kind of has that Universe thing on lockdown), none have been more ridiculed, scrutinized and generally made fun of more than Aquaman. I mean, he was the long-running source of material on the show Entourage (link language NSFW), Robot Chicken has skewered him for years and even the god-awful abomination that was the Justice League movie even poked fun at one of his most well-known abilities. Like Wonder Woman before him (language NSFW), there was no shortage of jokes about his costume, his skills and, in general, the very idea that someone would want to watch a full-length movie about him.

Then came 2017’s Wonder Woman film – and all the jokes stopped. Now, just in time to round out 2018, Aquaman finds itself in a similar boat (pun intended) … And just like his female predecessor,  Arthur Curry is going to get the last laugh since D.C. Comics’ latest solo superhero cinematic adventure is non-stop fun from start to finish.

Momoa, possibly the ultimate bro among leading men right now, brings all the swag Aquaman has never had as a character to life and then some as the film’s lead. Confident and cool, he proves to be more than brooding brawn and massive muscle as he flexes his thespian talents throughout the film. Of course, being a hulking human being certainly doesn’t hurt as every time he thrashes, bashes and/or generally mashes an enemy, it’s never not believable. 

Of course, having a pretty solid cast doesn’t hurt matters, which is why Heard does her best to not just to be a pretty (and extremely) redheaded face throughout the film as Mera. In line with Natalie Portman as Thor’s former love interest Jane Watson in the Marvel Universe, Heard displays a nice Harrison Ford/Kate Capshaw Raiders of the Lost Ark-like chemistry with Momoa, a niche that definitely helps the movie move forward with a balance of antagonistic humor and heart. Wilson is likewise solid as the villainous King Orm; Abdul-Mateen II does seem to be channeling his best Michael B. Jordan/Erik Killmonger rage as secondary villain Black Manta, although one would hope (should the inevitable sequel come to light) he will get to do much more than just huff and buff and try to blown Aquaman’s sea house in. 

Throw in Dafoe and Lundgren as the solid veteran male support with Kidman getting throw in a nice bit of physicality to go with the standard long-lost mother role and you get what most comic book movies should be: fun and energetic with just enough heart to make them last for more than one bucket of popcorn. That’s not even including director James Wan’s work with the rest of his team to create this most fascinating and visually-appealing world in a superhero movie this side of Wakanda and the film brings it in nearly every scene.

Now, as long as Warner Bros./D.C. can get that whole two-Joker movies thing together by the time 2019 starts, maybe D.C. can keep things going in swimming fashion – Aquaman has already done its part to get them there.



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A local lady launched a new project to help you cultivate more gratitude and goodness in your life. Read on for more.

The Gratitude Journal is a new passion project from Rachel DesRochers.

Cincy Chic: What is the Gratitude Journal?
Rachel DesRochers, Founder of the Gratitude Journal: The Gratitude Journal is MY gift to YOU.  It’s a two week guide to support you in adding more gratitude to your life.  Get it on my new website,

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
DesRochers: It is ME. It is the most heartfelt project I have created. It is a platform of vulnerability to talk about real life, real women, real hardships, real joys and so much more!

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
DesRochers: I am. For years, I have been creating outlets for for my core mission of building gratitude and community.  I started Grateful Grahams, run the the Incubator Kitchen Collective, host Kitchen Convos, throw a community party called The Good People Festival and convene Grateful Gatherings- all of which I call The Gratitude Collective.

After creating so many amazing projects through the years I felt it was time to create a single space that represented what I wanted and how I wanted to change the world by spreading gratitude and building community.

Cincy Chic: What kind of topics do you discuss for the Gratitude Journal?
DesRochers: What I love about gratitude is that it is a tool every single one of us can use.  For years, people have been telling me that they love reading my social media posts about gratitude so I wanted to give them a tool that would support them in growing their own daily gratitude.  

I broke it down to a daily topic to help people focus on a specific area – a home, community, the day, their people. I want folks to have a tool that fires their heart and imagination. These simple prompts can bring everyone to the present moment and realize how good their day was because they are spending a few moments focusing on just that.

Cincy Chic: What makes the Gratitude Journal unique?
DesRochers: I think one part of its uniqueness is that it’s a gift. It’s my THANK YOU for all the support and cheers through the years. It’s unique because there are prompts that invite readers to consider many different aspects of their life, instead of staring at a blank page. I think it is very versatile – so whether folks use it at the dinner table or start a text chain with some girlfriends using the prompts or just starting the morning with a cup of coffee and a side of gratitude before going out in the world.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for the Gratitude Journal?
DesRochers: I’m super excited because for years I’ve spoken to mom’s groups, businesses and schools sharing my story and how gratitude has helped me grow my companies. Now I have even more to offer when I come to these speaking engagements- the journal. Can you imagine the shift if we can get this  journal into more companies, organizations, schools and families where the conversation at the water coolers, lunch rooms and dining room tables is what they are grateful for?

In addition to the journal, I’m spreading gratitude and building community with a fun line of merchandise called Grateful Gear.  You’ve got to check out the t-shirts!

If you are interested in building community with others focused on gratitude and goodness, stay tuned for next year’s Grateful Gatherings.  The first event is already on the calendar!  Check out this fun Vision Board Workshop – here is the link for more information.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
DesRochers: Please find me on Instagram or Facebook. The new website is where you can subscribe to our mailing list and receive our gratitude journal!

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Mortal Engines is a big-budget live-action steampunk movie, but does it lose steam before it reaches its dystopian future finish line? See what our critic has to say.


“Hold on tight, everybody … There’s a movie plot ahead of us to finish!” Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan, left) and Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) look on as Anna Fang (Jihae) drives in a scene from MORTAL ENGINES, directed by Christian Rivers, and written by Fran Walsh, Phillpa Boyens and Peter Jackson (based on the novel by Philip Reeve). Credit: Mark Pokorny / Universal Pictures and MRC. © 2018 Universal Pictures. All rights reserved.




KEY CAST MEMBERS: Hera Hilmer, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Robert Sheehan, Lelia George, Patrick Malahide, Ronan Raftery and Stephen Lang as Shrike

DIRECTOR(S): Christian Rivers

WEBSITE: http://mortalengines.comTHE BACK STORY: Based on the series of books by Philip Reeve, Mortal Engines is set in a dystopian future where humans have, once again, scorched the earth (which apparently has suffered from massive land shifting, possibly due to earthquakes), leaving little in the way of resources. And town and cities have become rolling landmasses on wheels fighting for them.

That’s right. Cities. Are. Now. On. Wheels. Rollin’ – and the big ones like London led by Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving) devour every city in their path.

But while Thaddeus’ daughter Katherine (Leila George) and local museum worker Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) look up to Thaddeus Valentine, Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmer) knows the truth – and the scar she has across her face is one of the reminders she has of Valentine’s truly devious nature. Which is why she is determined to stop him at any cost before he tries to take down the Shield Wall, housing Anti-Traction League, a.k.a. the groups of people like Anna Fang (Jihae) that wish to stop London (and anything like it) from taking over the rest of the new world.The only question is whether or not their efforts will be too late since Valentine’s search for “old tech” is nearly complete …

THE REVIEW: Ever seen a movie that, like a song on the radio, hits all the familiar beats to make it a hit but lacks anything distinct about it to make you remember it? If you’d like the cinematic equivalent of that all-too-familiar feeling, Mortal Engines is like that unnamed band mentioned in the previous sentence.While you can tell its talented lead singer – in this case, the angsty Hilmer – is doing all she can to let the music play while the label tries its hardest to prop up her pretty but not up to the same level of skill co-star (Sheehan) while the co-stars (Jihae) look the part. But when you play listen closely, their lyrics – in this case, Mortal Engines’ inane dialogue/bad one liners – just fail to move you. And while your best friend might make a compelling case (Stephen Lang’s performance as the robotic Shrike is a scene stealer, the rolling cities are cool to watch on screen), you’ll keep pointing out other elements (Weaving’s villain is a poor man’s Star Wars’ baddie, almost every scene feels predictable and a rip-off of a better movie) that just leave you thinking this band is all style over substance. 

If you’re a fan of regular top 40 music, you’ll likely find Mortal Engines to be an enjoyable-enough diversion from constant debates about whether a song from the 1940s no longer fits on modern radio or the type of person who posts on Facebook about you wish you could get away from all the negativity you see everyday. But guess what? That’s not gonna stop people from talking about either of those things – and Mortal Engines, bless its cast’s and crew’s collective hearts, isn’t gonna stop making most people wish it just didn’t seem so familiar.

For it’s the little cinematic engine that could have been better.



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A new event and venue space recently opened its doors in the Central Business District. Learn more about how they’re changing the event game with no hidden surprises.

The Spot on West Fifth is a new event space in Cincinnati’s Central Business District.

Eight longtime friends got together and decided they would share their vision and launch an event and venue space. Collectively, they opened The Spot on West Fifth.

“Our space is gallery-like with exposed brick, hardwood floors, natural light, and space, lots of space,” says Co-Owner Christy Johnson.

Johnson says that she lives nearby the building and happened to walk by the space and see that it was for sale.

“We had just moved back in town and were looking for some new opportunities,” she says. “We saw this space and fell in love with it.”

It was at that place, their little spot on West Fifth, that they knew they wanted to create something that people loved to be in at a price that was affordable.

“Our idea was simple, it’s like renting the church basement only it’s way cooler than a church basement,” she says. “We wanted a place that felt good, and offered an easy-going approach where you could get exactly what you need and nothing you don’t.”

They didn’t set out to build the Taj Mahal, Johnson says, but rather something that is warm, beautiful, clean, and affordable.

Events at The Spot on West Fifth include corporate events, weddings, rehearsal dinners, and social events. In fact, The Spot on West Fifth recently hosted an off-the-chart private birthday party with Janet Hill Events that featured a celebrity DJ from Los Angeles. She adds that they’ve also been asked about possible being the location for a music video shoot.

“I’m excited about all the possibilities,” adds Johnson.

When you host an event at The Spot on West Fifth, there are multiple benefits that go along with it, but most importantly, it’s your event your way.

“This means yes, you can bring your own alcohol and bring the caterer you want,” says Johnson. “Oh, and no surcharges, no kidding. We don’t take on any additional percentages to vendors’ fees. We’ll have great people to recommend who may even offer you a discount but in the end it’s up to you. So what you see is what you get, no surprises.”

Johnson says that when most people think of a space downtown, the envision a dark, narrow shotgun sort of a spot.

“Not us,” she says. “Honestly, I wish I would have taken a video of people’s reactions as they enter the space. Their eyes sort of open wide and they say oh my god I had no idea how big this is.”

The front of the building is all windows and Johnson says it’s fun being inside and seeing the busy street outside.

The Spot on West Fifth is located downtown in the Central Business District at 337 West Fifth Street between Central and Plum, directly across the street from the Duke Energy Convention Center. That’s right off the Fifth Street Exit and less than two blocks from the Hyatt, Netherland Hilton, and the Millennium hotels, and just 3 blocks from Fountain Square.

Johnson says that although everything is new for The Spot on West Fifth, watch out because they’re on a roll.

To learn more about The Spot on West Fifth, visit You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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A local lady went for a hike that eventually inspired a business idea. Read on for her inspiring story!

Little Hiker Bird sells button pins, magnets, and stickers.

Cincy Chic: What is Little Hiker Bird?
Carol Patton, Owner of Little Hiker Bird: Little Hiker Bird is my brand of products, which includes stickers, button pins and magnets. The name comes from the combination of my two favorite things, hiking and birds! After moving to Ohio a few years ago, I loved exploring all of the state parks with my dog, Molly. We went out hiking several times and Little Hiker Bird just popped into my head one day! It has since turned into our biggest adventure yet!

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Patton: The main inspiration behind my work will always be rooted in outdoor adventures. Many of my ideas come to me while I’m out in nature or just enjoying a walk with my dog, so you’ll find most designs reflect that in some way. I find inspiration from my love of birds, nature, and the beauty in everyday objects. For example, my collection of camera designs was inspired by my friend’s vintage camera! I’m also a vegetarian, which inspired my “Yay Veggies!” and “I Eat Plants” designs. Most of my illustrations are done on a computer. This works out great, because it allows me the flexibility to quickly try new things and compare ideas. My best work comes from this process of taking one idea and making something by trial and error, even if it’s nothing like what I originally planned.

Carol Patton, Founder of Little Hiker Bird.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Patton: Carol Patton, That’s me! I graduated from Ringling College of Art + Design in Sarasota, Florida and moved to Ohio shortly after. I’m the owner, illustrator, button presser, shipper, and everything Little Hiker Bird! My border collie, Molly, runs office security and also oversees daily operations to make sure everything runs smoothly. Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to have my own business. I posted a few pin designs online last year and to my surprise, people started buying them and things just grew from there. Eventually, my line expanded and I started working with gift shops around the country!

Cincy Chic: What types of products do you sell?
Patton: I currently offer button pins, magnets, and stickers in a wide variety of themes, such as: camping, food, puns, dogs, cats, and birds. Button pins are often worn on hats or pinned on backpacks and handbags. On the other hand, stickers being weather resistant and dishwasher safe, can be put pretty much anywhere. Students really love them on their laptops, and some people have told me they even put them on their car!

Cincy Chic: Can you give us price points for items?
Patton: My items run from $2 to $6.50, which makes them great stocking stuffers or small gifts for the holidays. Since there are so many designs to choose from, you can usually find something for everyone on your list!

Cincy Chic: What makes Little Hiker Bird unique?
Patton: All of my products feature my original illustrations. They also have a variety of themes, which makes each one very different. Everyone from small children to adults, enjoys going through all of the designs and picking out their favorites for themselves or as gifts. I love selling at shows, because of the smiles and laughs my work brings to people. Quite often, my customers will walk away wearing their new pin and it just makes my day! It’s great that they can be used immediately as they get them. Selling my work on small items allows everyone to take a piece of art home with them, which is just wonderful!

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Little Hiker Bird?
Patton: There’s always something new at Little Hiker Bird! My die-cut stickers have been popular, so I’m working on creating sticker sheets for planners and journals. Greeting cards are also on the way. One of my long-term projects includes a coloring book, which I’m hoping to release in 2019. I will be posting more about everything in the coming weeks.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Patton: Everything is available for purchase on my website at where you can also subscribe to my email newsletter. I’m constantly creating new designs and posting updates, so the best place to follow me is on Instagram or Facebook. I’ve been posting more process work, so you can see my designs come to life from start to finish. I also just launched a Patreon page<> where you can get a goodie bag of unique items delivered to you each month, mini coloring page printables, and other exclusive content. The pledges I receive on Patreon will directly help fund the development of new products and projects!

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Sony’s latest Spider–Man adventure brings diversity, depth and action to the family-friendly film world, but is it a worthwhile flick? Read on to see what our critic says.


“Man … If there are multiple Iron Men, this is gonna get REALLY confusing!” Peni (Kimiko Glen), Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) in Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. Credit: Sony Pictures Animation. © 2018 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 







KEY CAST MEMBERS: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Hailee Steinfeld, Luna Lauren Velez, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber, Lily Tomlin, Lily Tomlin, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage and John Mulaney 

DIRECTOR(S): Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman


THE BACK STORY: Ever hear the theory that there are multiple dimensions all existing at the same time? Ever read a Marvel Comic book? If not, the fact that Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore of Dope and The Get Down) – a Brooklyn African-American/Puerto Rican teenager – grows up admiring Spider–Man may not be all that surprising … Until you realize that he, too, like Spider–Man, is bitten by a radioactive Spider right before The Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) is able to do the one thing most super villains haven’t be able to do in any other Spider–Man tale: Kill Peter Parker. 

Or at least, one version of Peter Parker.

As it turns out, the Kingpin’s “Super Collider” – which he has designed for a very specific purpose with the help of one female Dr. Octavious (Lily Tomlin) – has opened up a porthole to other dimensions … Which is why Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) ends up arriving on the scene … As does Gwen Stacy a.k.a. Spider–Woman (Hailee Steinfeld) … And 1930s black-and-white crime fighter Spider–Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) … And Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and her Spider-Robot from the future … As well as Peter Porker, a.k.a. Spider-Ham (John Mulaney). Yes, Spider–Ham … Don’t believe me? Look here

Now, with the Kingpin and his cronies on the loose and a bunch of other radioactively enhanced people in his world, Miles not only has to deal with newfound powers and responsibilities, but a new school and the biggest issue he can’t seem to conquer: the balancing act he has to keep between his police officer father (Brian Tyree Henry) and his less-than-on-the-up-and-up uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali). 

Needless to say, Miles life – as did the entire world around him – just got a whole lot more complicated than the average teenager these days is likely ready to deal with.

THE REVIEW: When you’ve got an iconic character that has had no less than six solo live action films (not including his Avengers cameos) with three different lead actors playing him, you’ve already got the deck stacked against you. Throw in the fact that you already had an offshoot film release earlier this year from the Spider–Man catalogue (the critically destroyed but fan accepted Venom) and the odds get even worse. To top it all off, let’s make this film throw in a bunch of characters casual fans are unfamiliar with, one of whom its an anthropomorphic talking pig who just so happens to also have been bitten by a spider and you’ve got all the elements in place to produce one of the biggest disasters in the history of animated/superhero film.

That’s why the team behind Spider–Man: Into the Spider-Verse deserves any and all awards they may be nominated for – because despite those odds, they have produced not only one of the best Spider–Man movies ever, but one of 2018’s finest releases, period.

Miles Morales – both in concept and execution as brought to life by the animators and Moore – is a perfect take on a modern teenager. Long before you think of him in any superhero capacity, he is crafted to be relatable on a human level (quite an accomplishment for a cartoon, if you think about it) who’s journey into superhero-hood not only does the legacy of Spider–Men justice, but possibly enhances it as well. Likewise, the family dynamic that has always been essential to the character is fully on display here, as Miles’ desire to be his own person versus taking advantage of all the gifts his parents (and later, that infamous spider) bestow upon him makes for a complex duality in him. It’s not that Miles wants to be a criminal nor is he struggling with being a “goody-goody;” it’s just that he is trying to come into his own as the world around him becomes more and more complicated and complex, which is something people of all ages (and Spider–Man enthusiasts) to which can relate.  Spider–Man’s greatest strength has always been his common man given a great, unexpected gift that he must now use for good mentality; Into the Spider–Verse never loses sight of that ideal and makes that ideal its centerpiece to fantastic effect.

The supporting players serve up elements that compliment the film well as well, be it the self-assured “women can do anything without having to tell you they can” presence of Gwen Stacy and Peni as portrayed by Steinfeld and Glenn, the “what if Spider–Man wasn’t exactly super away from his super hero duties” Parker Johnson makes his own or the comedic elements both Cage and Mulaney bring to their more outlandish characters … But the family dynamic is the film’s heart and soul, whether it is the relationship between Miles and his family or the new one he finds with his fellow spider-people.

Throw in a beautifully alive, animated world and a perfect for the movie but now ironically beautiful (and sad since it will be one of his final if not the final cameo) by Stan Lee with a soundtrack that perfectly fits the film’s (and today’s musical) environment and Into the Spider–Verse is just about everything you could want it to be: Familiar yet original, funny yet serious, hip and street smart while remaining smart as well and entertaining yet poignant.

You can now rest in peace, Mr. Lee along with his former partner Steve Diko … To quote A Tribe Called Quest, “We got it from here. Thanks for your service” – Spider–Man: Into the Spider–Verse makes sure of that.






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Learn about the former local news reporter who decided to stop and smell the roses instead.

Daisy Jane’s Flower Truck will open in 2019.

After six years as a reporter, Megan Moore is hanging up her news hat, and putting on gardening gloves instead.

It all started when a friend visited Nashville and Moore saw a picture of the truck on her friend’s Instagram feed. “I thought it was so cute and could see that it brought people so much joy,” Moore recalls. “There are quite a few in other states around the country now. Having not seen any flower trucks in Cincinnati, I knew it was something I just had to bring to the Queen City.”

Fast forward to today and why she decided to jump into the floral business, she says, “When I started seriously thinking about taking the leap and starting a business I was focused on it being something that would be centered around positivity and would bring people joy when they visited. My hope is Daisy Jane’s Flower Truck will be just that. Whether they are flowers for you or a bouquet to give away, I hope it will be a bright spot in your day when you stop by.”

Moore just announced the career move from Local12 WKRC-TV, and says that Daisy Jane’s Flower Truck will be up and running in 2019. “The main offering will be my daily pop ups around town with the truck. Customers will have an opportunity to stop by and pick their own flowers and build their own bouquets,” she explains. “I also plan to rent the truck out for events. The other service that is in the works will be monthly bouquet subscriptions. There will be more information on that next year.” Flower offerings will vary based on the season, and will also consider customer preferences, Moore adds.

When announcing the shift from the station to entrepreneur on her social media pages, she said, “As a journalist I’ve covered a lot of tough stories in my career. I have seen a lot of people on the worst days of their lives. Through my experience as a reporter I have recognized the need for more positive forces in this world. I hope to spread joy around our city with this flower truck. I have always had a dream of owning my own business.”

Moore loves how flowers are able to be personalized and utilized in ways to help someone feel happier. She wants to remind her customers of the positivity of life through this new business. Moore also shares a unique touch she hopes to include with each order: “My goal is to have a card that goes with each bouquet that simply says ‘Because…’ I want people to fill that out before giving the bouquet to someone. My hope is they will share something thoughtful.”

Moore says her favorite thing about flowers is the innate joy they bring to both the sender and receiver. “I hope it brings a smile to your face when you see it, even if you are just stopping by to smell the flowers,” she adds. “I hope it is a symbol of joy and a reminder that it’s the little things that matter in life. I believe small gestures go a long way and I look forward to being a part of that.”

To learn more, visit

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Grab the kids and head to Coney Island for this rockin’ holiday light show of lights that you can enjoy from the comfort of your car. Keep reading to see what's new and exciting this year!

Coney Island is hosting Christmas Nights of Lights through January 6.

Cincy Chic: What is Christmas Nights of Lights?
Shawn Maus, Marketing and Communications Manager at Coney Island: It’s a drive through, dazzling holiday light show synchronized to both traditional and rocking holiday music through your car radio.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the show and when can readers check it out?
Maus: The show is produced by Titan Light Shows. It’s running now through January 6.

Cincy Chic: How long has Coney Island been doing Christmas Nights of Lights?
Maus: This is our third year.

Cincy Chic: What’s new at this year’s event?
Maus: This year we have an 80-foot drive through lighted tunnel, seven new 32-foot vertical chasing light poles, a new holiday soundtrack and a 25-foot Singing Santa.

Cincy Chic: What can guests expect at Christmas Nights of Lights?
Maus: Visitors of all ages will be awed by the larger than life trees, glowing snowflakes, dancing candy canes and fantastic tunnels of lights! Experience the magic of the season, in the warmth of their own car, as their family sings along to the sounds of the season synchronized to each holiday display. Christmas Nights of Lights, the largest light show in the tri- state area, welcomes carloads of families and friends to enjoy this holiday tradition with two and a half miles to drive through to see displays and light shows made of over a million lights controlled by more than forty thousand computer channels.

Cincy Chic: What makes this show unique?
Maus: It’s a joy to see parents and kids sharing in the wonder of the season as they gaze at the lights while holiday tunes fill the family car.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Maus: Visit to learn more and purchase tickets.

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The holidays are here and that means Santa-themed productions from The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati! Read on to learn more about their upcoming events, musicals, and a new podcast!

Enjoy the holidays with the little ones at one of the country’s oldest children’s theaters – The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

The history of The Children’s Theatre dates by to 1924, when the Junior League of Cincinnati wanted to create a way to introduce children in Cincinnati to the magic of live theatre. They took the idea and ran with it – opened the Junior League Players, now known as The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. It was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1949 and has since evolved into a professional theater company.

There is a variety of programming at The Children’s Theatre, according to Creative and Marketing Director Krista Katona Pille.

TCT MainStage at the Taft Theatre is performed in downtown Cincinnati and includes daytime performances for school audiences and weekend performances for the public. “Four production runs are held each year, with individual shows formatted into one-hour family friendly events,” says Katona Pille. “For each production, we present seven performances for public audiences and 10 performances for school students, reaching almost 103,000 families, children, and students annually.”

There’s also TCT on Tour, which brings the magic of live theatre directly to those who would otherwise be unable to attend. For this, there are five productions toured each season, serving children of all ages from kindergarten through high school, with titles taken from classic literature, fairy tales, history, and other works that are studied in school curricula.

According to Katona Pille, this program reaches an additional 83,000 students annually.

“The acting troupe travels with innovative sets, which are designed to be both portable and visually enticing,” she adds. “TCT on Tour prides itself on products that are educational and entertaining, as well as affordable for schools and other venues across the broad geographic spectrum of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and beyond.”

Children can go behind the scenes of theatre with TCT Academy. This program offers arts training to children in a variety of disciplines. “TCT Academy includes fifteen-week, one hour/week class sessions; one-week themed summer camps for introductory arts makers; our audition-based, two-week STAR Camp Red Bank program; and our one-month, audition-based STAR Intensive NKU summer program for children with demonstrated talent and interest in the performing arts,” says Katona Pille. “In addition to learning the arts, a primary objective for these classes is to provide students with the necessary tools to become successful adults. Whether the students continue in an arts field or choose a different career path, the skills they develop in these programs can be leveraged and will last a lifetime.”

The Children’s Theatre is also dedicated to providing children who wouldn’t necessarily be able to attend theater performances the chance to experience it. According to Katona Pille, during the 2017-2018 season, The Children’s Theatre provided more than $228,000 in ticket subsidies to children who would not have been able to attend one of their performances thanks to the School Underwriting Program.

“Our School Underwriting Program meets this need and aims to accomplish two key objectives: To secure funding for schools in financial need to attend a performance by The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati and to keep admission prices as low as possible for all other schools, between $6 and $8, to ensure that as many schools as possible can attend,” she says.

Currently, there are several shows around the corner for The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

Bah Humbug! A One-Man Christmas Carol will be held on December 1 at TCT’s Ralph & Patricia Corbett Showtime Stage on Red Bank Road. The show is ideal for kids and adults of any age and is a play on Charles Dickens’ famous holiday classic – with a twist. Adapted by Damian Gillen, Chris Logan Carter plays every role – from Scrooge to Tiny Tim.

“Audiences will be mesmerized by this imaginative and magical re-telling of the powerful holiday tale of hope and compassion,” The Children’s Theatre says.

Tickets for the show are $13 and are available exclusively through or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

TCT On Tour is also bringing the production around to schools and venues throughout the Tri-State from November 26 to Decemer 22. Contact Violet Rae Webster at 513-569-8080 x20 or by emailing

The Children’s Theatre is also hosting a Cookies with Santa event on December 2 from 1-5 pm. “Bring your camera and get a special holiday photo with The Man in Red, create crafts, enjoy a cookie from the BonBonerie, and make holiday memories to last a lifetime,” The Children’s Theatre said.

There will also be a special performance of Reindeer Games on the Ralph and Patricia Corbett Showtime Stage at 2 and 4 pm.

Tickets are $35 per person.

Santa Claus: The Musical will run from December 8-17 at the Taft Theatre. The musical is packed full of fun, energetic, and original Christmas music. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased by clicking here.

Showtimes include:

  • Saturday, December 8 at 2 PM* (this performance is signed for the hearing impaired)
  • Saturday, December 8 at 5 PM (this is a designated Sensory-Friendly performance)
  • Sunday, December 9 at 2 PM and 5 PM
  • Friday, December 14 at 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, December 15 at 2 PM and 5 PM
  • Sunday, December 16 at 2 PM and 5 PM

School performances of the musical will be held December 11-14 and 17 during daytime hours. There’s also a downloadable social narrative that is made available on The Children’s Theatre website one week before the performance.

Also during the show, Q102 and The Children’s Theatre are collecting items for the St. Joseph Orphanage at all performances. “Children and adults are encouraged to bring any new or unwrapped item to the show and we’ll collect them in the Taft Theatre lobby,” says Katona Pille. “In addition, TCT will collect gifts at our Red Bank Road location. Patrons can drop off items in the lobby of our building during business hours.”

The Children’s Theatre also has a new podcast called Audio Footlights. “This podcast is designed to look at the shows we produce, and to ignite, impact and inspire all of our young listeners to have a lifelong love of theatre,” says Katona Pille. “Flex your imagination and join us!”

The TCT Podcast is about 8 minuets in length and will soon be available on iTunes as well as Stitcher, SoundCloud, GooglePlay, TuneIn, and Spotify.

To learn more about The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, visit

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WinterFest is back and better than ever! Read on to see what’s new and exciting this year.

Cincy Chic: What is WinterFest?
Don Helbig, Area Manager of Digital Marketing at Kings Island: WinterFest is an event where memories of holidays past are present; a place where memories of holidays now are waiting to be made. WinterFest is open select nights through Dec. 31 and is an unforgettable experiences for guests of all ages with Kings Islans transformed into 10 enchanting winter wonderlands. There’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy together, like lice skating on the Royal Fountain, seeing the Eiffel Tower transformed into a magical 314-foot tall Christmas tree, live shows, holiday-themed treats, over five million lights and 30 holiday characters spreading merriment, like Jack Frost, Candy Cane and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Helbig: It was a cherished tradition for literally thousands of people in the Greater Cincinnati area and was greatly missed prior to its return last year.

Cincy Chic: How long has the park been doing WinterFest?
Helbig: This holiday season is the second year for WinterFest since it’s return last year following a 12-year absence. It’s the start of a new tradition for Cincinnati area residents and a return to what had been a tradition for many others.

Cincy Chic: What can guests expect when they visit the park for WinterFest?
Helbig: Guests will immerse themselves in a glittering world of holiday spirit, with more than five million lights, characters spreading cheer, rides, live shows, shops and festive eats and treats. It’s a night where many new holiday memories will be made.

Cincy Chic: How much are tickets?
Helbig: Tickets are just $25.99 when purchased in advance online at or the Kings Island mobile app, which is a savings of $13 off the front gate price. With the purchase of a 2019 Gold Season Pass, you can enjoy unlimited admission and free parking to WinterFest this year.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new for this year’s event?
Helbig: The Flight of Fear roller coaster and Shake, Rattle & Roll have been added this year raising the number of rides at WinterFest to 19. A tenth wonderland was added with Tinsel Town. This wonderland features a live show with The Mistletones, plus shopping and dining. It’s a festive atmosphere surrounded by holiday tunes, a vintage aluminum tree and the occasional snowfall. Also new is Carriage rides. Guests can dash through the park in a classic horse-drawn carriage and take in the sights and sounds of Tinsel Town and Coney Elf Village. An additional fee is required for this experience. New gift shops include Christmas Collections on International Street. Jack Frost’s Igloo Village is a new addition this year located under the Eiffel Tower. Furnished with comfort and warmth, this makes for a great spot for families and friends to take a break and immerse themselves in the beauty of WinterFest. Each reservation allows groups of four (additional guests can be purchased) to take advantage of concierge services including reserved seating at select shows, an event host to help plan your night, and select food and beverage delivery to your Igloo. You also receive souvenir hot chocolate mugs, a complimentary ice skating or carriage ride session, as well as a cookie decorating session at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen. More information about the WinterFest Igloo VIP package is available on the park’s website. The park will also be open this year on New Year’s Eve.

Cincy Chic: What makes WinterFest unique?
Helbig: The breadth of WinterFest separates it from other holiday events in the region. There’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. There’s 15 live entertainment experiences, up to 19 rides open, more than 5 million lights. You can ice skate on one of the most picturesque and largest outdoor venues in the country. It’s a whole new way to see and experience Kings Island.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for the park?
Helbig: New for 2019 is the Kings Mills Antique Autos. Located in the Coney Mall area of the park, guests will board 2/3 scale replicas of the 1911 Ford Model T and take a leisurely drive around a scenic track. The ride will be comparable to the original Les Taxis antique car ride, which operated from 1972 to 2004, combining nostalgia with new enhancements.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more, purchase tickets, and follow along with the park?
Helbig: Kings Island’s website at, the park’s mobile app for iPhone and Android devices, Twitter and the Kings Island Blog are the best sources for Kings Island information and to keep up to date with the latest park news.