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    See how one local woman’s sense of wanderlust turned into a unique travel agency that helps everyone - on any budget - travel the world like a local.

    Something ventured is something gained. That’s the motto, and inspiration, that Sarah Baker applies to her full-service travel agency Something Adventured Travel. 

    “Something Adventured Travel is a full-service travel agency that makes the client a priority,” she says. “It takes a client’s dream vacation and turns it into a reality. I offer personalized planning an on-call support should any issues arise during your travels.”

    Baker says that the inspiration behind her business, something ventured is something gained, is applicable especially to travel. 

    “When you get out and see the world, venture outside your bubble, you learn so much,” she says. “You learn about the world you live in, gaining a new understanding of the cultures, people, and yourself. Therefore, Something Adventured is gaining something priceless.”

    Baker’s love for travel has always been a part of her, but it really took off when she and her husband decided to sell everything and live somewhere else in the world.

    “Starting with an exploratory trip to Costa Rica for our 10 year anniversary, we decided that was a great place to start,” she explains. “We wanted to experience a new culture and have an adventure with our young children.”

    The Bakers sold their home, stored everything they wanted to keep in a storage unit, and moved to Costa Rica. 

    “We were fortunate to rent a house located in a coffee field on the side of the Poas Volcano,” she says. “The view was breathtaking. We ended up staying there for about seven months, leaving a little earlier than expected due to a family need.”

    Sarah Baker, founder of Something Adventured Travel

    While their journey in Costa Rica ended early, her desire to continue traveling never slowed down. The family then went to Europe for just over 5 months to stay in southern Spain, France, and England, where they explored and immersed themselves in the culture the best they could.

    “We were able to go anywhere with an internet connection, still working remotely, being digital nomads,” says Baker.

    Eventually they returned home, but the itch was still there. Baker realized that she loved planning trips and enjoyed being able to help others who said they felt overwhelmed in planning their own trips.

    Baker opened Something Adventured Travel in January 2018 and has since been able to help people take trips they were not able to or did not want to plan alone. “I have met some amazing people and formed priceless relationships,” she says. “And my personal bucket list has at least doubled.”

    Baker can help her clients plan trips to anywhere in the world. 

    “From the Caribbean sea to the rivers of Europe, hiking to Machu Picchu, on safari in Kenya, seeing the glaciers of Alaska, or even the glaciers of Antarctica, I can help you explore wherever your heart desires,” she says. “Whether you are looking for a first-class honeymoon to an exotic locations, a family adventure to Universal Studios, or a fun group vacation with your own private, local guide, I can customize your vacation to make it all your own.”

    Sarah Baker specializes in offering tips and opportunities to travel like a local

    With travel comes a price tag, an area in which Baker is well-versed. With her former career in finance, she realizes how important it is to stick to a budget and make small payments leading up to the trip instead of big lump sums. That’s why she works with vendors who allow clients to do a down payment and then pay the remainder of their planned trip closer to the travel date. “Even better, this is at no extra cost to my clients for the flexibility in payments,” says Baker. “The down payment and final payment date vary based on the travel arrangements.”

    Baker prides herself on being able to offer clients perspective on what may be good places to visit, with or without children. “I offer clients VIP service in their travel planning as well,” she says. “As a small business owner, I truly value your experience. Not only do I help you plan your dream vacation, but I can also offer ideas for packing, places of interest in your destination, and amazing value for your desired travel style and destination, many times matching or beating the cost of booking on your own – all the while offering your personalized service that cannot be had with an online booking site.”

    You can find travel inspiration and see what’s going on in the world on Facebook. You can also sign up for the Something Adventured newsletter or start planning your next vacation at www.satravelagency.com

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    It's a beautiful estate in Indian Hill with every amenity (and then some). Keep reading for a peek inside this week's Listing of the Week!

    This amazing home features exceptional design, opulent, and luxurious living. It sits on 5.6 private acres with meticulous grounds, a beautiful pool, and tennis court. The home has a grant entry with a double curved staircase, a fabulous Chef’s kitchen, gorgeous first-floor master suite, walls of windows, a workout room overlooking the pool and grounds, a lower level with full bar, theater, and balcony overlooking indoor basketball court and gym. The 6 bedroom, 9 bathroom home is listed at $3.475 million.

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

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    A new report on the growth and development of minority-owned businesses in the city is out. Keep reading for all the details.

    The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has a group dedicated to accelerating and developing minority businesses in the city through its Minority Business Accelerator.

    The Minority Business Accelerator has a goal to help expand the minority entrepreneurial community in the region by helping to accelerate the growth and development of sizable African-American and Hispanic owned businesses. 

    The Minority Business Accelerator does this by providing individually-tailored advisory support and docaching to help Minority Business Enterprises to obtain what they need to be successful while also acting as an extension of another program to connect them with MBE Portfolio Firms.

    Since its inception in 2003, the Minority Business Accelerator has worked to address disparity in the region’s business community to drive economic activity and increase employment in underemployed segments.

    Because the Chamber has a goal of growing the aggregate annual revenues of minority businesses in the region by $1 billion and creating 3,500 jobs by the end of 2022, they want to offer a yearly update on its Minority Business Accelerator with an annual report.

    “This bold vision and plan have galvanized regional and national stakeholders desiring to partner with us to not only accomplish something transformational for Greater Cincinnati, but something that might truly inform and transform this work across the nation,” says Cynthia Booth, Minority Business Accelerator Board Chair. “Our four key pillars to achieve these bold goals, which are to grow our existing portfolio firms, build a robust pipeline, attract larger-scale minority firms to the region, and create new minority firms via acquisition of mainstream businesses, have each enjoyed major developments over the past year, and have collectively served to further elevate and position the Minority Business Accelerator as a national best practice.”

    To learn more about the Minority Business Accelerator at the Chamber, click here

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    Years in the real estate industry led one expert to launch her own coaching business for other real estate agents. Read on for more.

    Monica Weakley spent years in the world of real estate. After a lot of hard work, she was offered the chance to take a leadership position with one of the largest real estate offices in the Queen City. 

    During her tenure, she was the one in charge of coaching and training realtors on a daily basis – and a light bulb went off. “I realized then that this is what I wanted to do,” she says. “Shortly after that, I started my coaching company and began doing one-on-one coaching and group coaching with agents from all over the United States and Canada.”

    Today, Weakley is the founder of My Coach, Monica, a coaching company that helps real estate agents grow their business, and income, by showing them how to turn their relationships into referral-generating machines. 

    Weakley offers three different types of coaching services through her business: One-on-One Coaching, Referral Revolution, and Referral Blueprint.

    The one-on-one coaching is $899 per month, and the Referral Revolution is a membership program that costs $99 per month. Then, there’s the Referral Blueprint, an online digital course that gives participants the system an agent needs to build a lucrative referral business.

    Weakley says that what makes her business unique is that she knows what her strengths are when it comes to helping other real estate agents – and she sticks to it. “My strength is helping agents who want to build a business by referral,” says Weakley. “If you were a real estate agent, how would you like the secret referral formula? That’s what I offer so that agents can create a predictable and steady flow of income to their business.”

    She’s also known for her ability to ask questions. “When I can ask an agent the right series of questions, I can help them self-discover their challenges, their fears, their excuses, and their path to success,” Weakley adds.

    All of the coaching offered by My Coach, Monica, is a system that utilizes the teachings of Hank Avink’s 36 To Life product and expands on it to include even more activities and daily blueprints to follow.

    Weakley says that what she doesn’t do is help agents who only want to cold call, knock on doors, or any other form of what she calls transactional business. 

    To learn more about My Coach, Monica, visit www.mycoachmonica.com. You can also follow along on her personal Facebook page or her business page.

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    One of the first full-service climbing gyms in the Midwest has opened its doors in a new location in Oakley. Keep reading for more.

     
    It’s been 26 years since Climb Time opened its first location in Blue Ash. Now, in 2019, they’re opening their doors at a second location in Oakley.
     
    “Climb Time Oakley is a 45-ft tall facility with lead climbing, top roping, speed climbing, and, of course, bouldering,” says Climb Time President Patty Law. “We are open to beginner intermediate, and advanced climbers, and our pro shop offers climbing gear, clothing, books, and accessories.”
     
    Those who want to get in the rock climbing game or who want to advance their skills can check out the facility that was built from the ground up and features nearly 11,000-square-feet of climbable wall space.
     
    In addition to the climbing offerings at Climb Time, you’ll also find other amenities including a Tension board, a campus board, a rowing machine, kettlebells, and free weights. 
     
    “Yoga classes and fitness clinics are something that we will have in our offerings in the near future,” says Law. “Our location, which is within walking distance of MadTree Brewing, had its grand opening on August 31 and saw a massive turnout with a line of patrons that wrapped outside around the corner.”
     
    Law says that those who want to turn their passion for climbing into a competition can try out the competitions that are held at Climb Time, including the famed circuit America Bouldering Series that was born in Climb Time in the late 90s.
     
    Climb Time Oakley is located at 4460 Orkney Avenue in Cincinnati. 
     
    To learn more about Climb Time, visit www.ctoba.com. You can also follow along on Facebook.

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    A boutique in Old West Chester gives women size small to 3X a golden opportunity to feel like a million bucks in cute clothes without spending it.

    A boutique in Old West Chester helps women brighten up their wardrobe, regardless of their size or budget.

    Golden Day Boutique sells “Women’s comfy, affordable, fun clothes sizes small-3X,” says Caron Armstrong, owner of Golden Day Boutique. The boutique originally opened five year ago in the Grand Antique Mall in the Reading/Evendale area. They recently opened their current location at: 9035 Cincinnati Dayton Road, Old West Chester, Ohio, two weeks ago. 

    The inspiration behind starting Golden Day Boutique came from Armstrong’s passion for retail. “I managed Victoria’s Secret for 13 years in Nashville, managed Pottery Barn Kids for five years… then opened the Pandora Store in Franklin, Tennessee,” she says. “Moving back to Ohio, I decided to take a leap of faith and see where God would take me.” The name of the business came from a voicemail that she had for years that said “Have a golden day.”

    The boutique has a wide variety of products that they sell, including: clothing, jewelry, ornaments and other items. “My boutique doesn’t feel like anything else we have locally,” Armstrong says. “It’s definitely got a southern flair.”

    The boutique’s mission is “To help all women feel confident and beautiful in their own eyes the way God sees them in His,” she says.  Golden Day Boutique doesn’t just care about the way you look in your clothes. Armstrong defines success by “Women coming back over and over because they wore something that made them feel special,” she says. “My boutique isn’t just about buying a shirt or sweater, it’s about a feel. I want you to feel special.”

    As for the future of the business, she doesn’t know thing are going to go, but she trusts that God will provide. “I will say, He wants us all to Dream Bigger, so I know He will take me there,” Armstrong says. 

    Her favorite moment of the business so far is taking out money from her retirement. “Taking money out of my retirement to start a 10 x 10 spot in my husband’s Antique Mall. Trusting and walking in faith, even when people said ‘everyone sells boutique clothes, people can just buy online, etc.,’ didn’t get to me because I knew not everyone has my passion and it drives me,” Armstrong says. “Now having my own building! I purchased my friend’s Montessori school last October and it was perfect timing for both of us to grow!”

    If you want to keep up with what Golden Day Boutique is doing, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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    Making cocktails easy and smoothies even healthier, one local woman’s creation is creating quite a stir. Read on for all the delicious details.

    It’s an all natural, frozen botanical mixer, locally-made to easily shake up any cocktail or make smoothies even tastier.

    Mixicles — a concept created by co-founder Jen Morales — are an all-natural, frozen, non-alcoholic botanical mixer that can be popped into any cocktail or sparkling wine, and even used as a natural foundation for distinctive zero-proof drinks and smoothies. 

    The idea came to Morales the summer of 2018 when she wanted to make some cocktails for some friends, but quickly realized how cumbersome the concoctions were to make.

    “I wanted to come up with a way to make cocktails as easy as pouring a glass of wine, without compromising flavor or freshness. Traditional cocktail mixers last longer, but they are full of syrup, preservatives and artificial flavors,” says Morales. “The ingredients in Mixicles are 100% natural and frozen immediately, so you get the pure taste of flavor of the botanicals perfectly preserved in your drink and can sit in your freezer for up to a year.” 

    Mixicles are vegan, dairy free and naturally low in sugar and calories and less than 25 calories a cube. Currently, the mixicles are being crafted in small batches at Findlay Kitchen, the non-profit business incubator located in the heart of Findlay Market. They are sold directly to consumers, restaurants, special events, and soon, Findlay Market. 

    Picky about flavors? No problem! Mixicles come in 12 different flavors, as well as seasonal and limited-edition flavors. Collaborations with customers to create custom cubes for weddings and special occasions are also available. The cubes have been spotted at Cincinnati events such as Ombre Gallery, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and openings hosted by Miller Gallery in Hyde Park. 

    As far as the future is concerned, Morales has big dreams. “We are currently focused on bringing Mixicles to retail outlets in the Greater Cincinnati area, and then expanding from there. We are always exploring opportunities for growing our customer base, including in the service industry, but believe that our core business will be in retail for home use,” says Morales. 

    Mixicles come in a 12-cube package with an MSRP for $14.99. For special event and larger orders, Morales says wholesale pricing is an option. For more information, visit their website and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

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    A locally-loved, trendy children’s clothing store just moved from Kenwood to OTR. Keep reading to learn more.

     
     
    Cincy Chic: What is Hutch Baby?
    Alexus Hight, Owner of Hutch Baby: Hutch Baby is a children’s clothing store that features hand-picked brands that offer sustainably sourced clothing ranging in size from newborn to youth 14-16. Hutch Baby also carries infant accessories and natural skincare products for babies and children.
     
    Cincy Chic: Tell us about your new location in Over-the-Rhine!
    Hight: Hutch Baby got its start in the Kenwood Towne Centre back in 2014. We then moved into a temporary space at 1432 Elm Street before finding our permanent home at 1209 Vine Street. 
     
    Cincy Chic: When does the new location open?
    Hight: Our permanent space opened on November 29, Black Friday, where we celebrated with lots of discounts.
     
    Cincy Chic: What makes Hutch Baby unique?
    Hight: Our new space features a play area for children in the back, which keeps them entertained while parents shop. We also have a lactation room for mothers so they can pump breast milk or nurse in privacy and comfort. We want customers to have a personal, interactive experience, and we want to help our customers out as parents. We’re watching the kids grow as we grow as a business.
     
    Cincy Chic: When can readers stop by and visit the store?
    Hight: Hutch Baby’s regular hours are 11am to 7 pm Tuesday through Saturday. 
     
    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
    Hight: Visit our website at https://www.hutchbaby.com. We’re also on Facebook and Instagram.
     

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    While they’re magical for many, the holidays don’t always bring comfort and joy. Our life coach columnist offers five tips to help you over holiday hurdles.

    Are you in the super excited celebration mode, ready to party like it’s 1999? Or perhaps you’re more of a bah-humbug kind of person, consumed with anxiety and stress this time of year?

    The holidays are here, ready or not! And everywhere you look, there is the feeling of magic twinkling in the air. Decorative lights, illuminated trees and the hustle and bustle has begun! The excitement has us believing in the magic and childlike excitement for what’s next as we near the celebration of Christmas and the New Year 2020. 

    And yet, for many, you may find this time of year to be challenging.  It brings on the sorrow of lost loved ones, the fear of not accomplishing enough in life and business as another year comes to a close, and sometimes, a general unsettled feeling of not being enough, as the pressure to have a perfect holiday season sets in. 

    With all these complex emotions as an undercurrent running through you, you might discover that your best go-to survival tactic is to bottle up anything that makes you feel uncomfortable and put on a smiling face around others.  After all, you don’t want to acknowledge your feelings and emotions around those who seem to have it all together.

    I am all too familiar with this feeling and navigating the emotions can be challenging.  You feel like crawling into bed and pulling the covers over your head until the ball drops at midnight. And if that feels good for you to do, then do that!

    For myself, and others I’ve worked with, here’s what I find helpful:

    • Be okay with your feelings.
    • Go to places that bring YOU joy.  
    • Read a book or watch a movie that offers laughter and comfort.  
    • Make dates with your closest friends and talk about something other than the holidays.  
    • Schedule a time for some pampering and self-care (my favorite).  

    Don’t be so focused on making everything special for everyone else that you forget to get your own needs met. Take the time you need and if you feel you need additional support to shift the bah-humbug into cheer let’s connect. ‘Tis the season to by jolly and my wish is this message resonates with you and today is the tipping point into seeing how you can navigate this time of year with ease. Sending love and light this holiday season.

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    It’s a compelling drama from familiar subject matter, but is it compelling enough to see in theaters? Our movie critic offers insight.

     

    “C’mon – I think I see the dude that convinced me to do Draft Day is right over there!” Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman) and Frankie Burns (Siena Miller) rush in pursuit of two wanted suspects in a scene from director Brian Kirk’s 21 BRIDGES. Credit: Matt Kennedy / Motion Picture Artwork © 2017 STX Financing. All rights reserved.
     

    WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:

     

     

    KEY CAST MEMBERS: Chadwick Boseman, Stephan James, Sienna Miller, Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Siddig, Morocco Omari and J.K. Simmons

    DIRECTOR(S): Brian Kirk

    THE BACK STORY: Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman) is a detective in New York City. He had to be. It’s in his DNA, or at least that’s how he puts it. And given that his father was murdered on duty by three men – one of whom lived – his dedication to bringing criminals to justice rivals that of D.C. Comics’ biggest crimefighter Bruce Wayne. But while Batman may keep watch over a fictional Gotham, Andre is entrenched deep in New York City, which is why Internal Affairs is looking into his latest episode where he added to his growing body count of alleged criminals. 

    Ray Jackson (Taylor Kitsch) and his partner Michael (Stephan James) don’t know Davis, but they soon will. For when it turns out the heist they’re involved in features 300 kilos of cocaine and not the 30 they were expecting, something seems off. Throw in an ensuing gun battle with a group of police officers who just so happen to show to the restaurant they’re robbing as if they were supposed to be there and Ray and Michael know something is wrong.

    Arriving to the aftermath, Andre finds himself paired up with another detective, Frankie Burns (Sienna Miller) and a police captain in McKenna (J.K. Simmons) who want revenge moreso than justice for what has transpired. Quickly surmising the situation, Andre realizes the perpetrators have to still be in the city – which is why he orders all 21 bridges leading out of Manhattan closed. But the clock is ticking on Andre and Frankie … So there is no time to waste if they are going to catch the men responsible for what has happened.

    THE REVIEW: While he has had plenty of roles in his acting career, Boseman has essentially become known for playing two kinds of people: Famous dead black people (Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get On Up and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall) and a certain costumed superhero from a fictional African country that helps save the world.

    21 Bridges showcases the depth of his talent – along with that of co-star James – to deliver an entertaining film despite having a very all-too-familiar style story with which to work.

    Cops, robbers and conspiracy/cover tales are nearly as old as movies themselves; 21 Bridges doesn’t really do anything dynamic in regards to telling this type of tale (you can probably figure out most of what’s happening an hour or so into the film). What director Brian Kirk does do, however, is wisely present a stage where (1) the action sequences don’t feel forced and instead intense; (2) let Boseman take center stage and allow him to deliver a performance that is gripping enough to keep you interested as he breaks down scenarios and (3) trusts his actors, particularly Kitsch and James, to make their characters motivations, emotions and decisions relatable. Whereas last month’s Black and Blue dealt more with the issue of the thin blue line and which side of it African-Americans (both as police and possible perpetrators) fall on it, 21 Bridges is a standard tale of good vs. evil.

    Whereas Boseman does a good job of playing the by-the-book-cop, he also does it enough style where it doesn’t feel so textbook that it lacks appeal. The same can be said for James, the co-star of the overlooked stellar 2018 release If Beale Street Could Talk. Giving his character a sense of humanity often lacking in shoot-em-up movies, watching Boseman and James play off each other adds to what would otherwise be another mash up of films that you’ve seen before.

    Thus, while no one would – or should – expect 21 Bridges to do anything close to Black Panther business, it’s definitely worth seeing if you want to see Boseman flex his acting chops outside of spandex or a historical figure’s shadow.

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

     

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