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Learn about a Kenwood bakery spreading happiness across the Tri-State with DIY cupcake and cookie kits, gluten friendly options and lots of seasonal new flavors that kids and kids-at-heart will love.

A local bakery is spreading joy during these trying times one tasty treat at a time. Gigi’s Cupcakes is a full-service dessert bakery in Kenwood. The bakery is named after Gigi Butler, who was the founder of the bakery. “Gigi’s began in Nashville in 2008,” Amy Jones, Owner of Gigi’s Cupcakes in Kenwood, says. “My husband and I had visited a bakery nearby and knew we needed to bring this bakery to Cincinnati.” Now, the bakery has been open in Kenwood for 7 ½ years.

Gigi’s Cupcakes offers many options for customers to choose from, including cupcakes, cheesecakes, stuffed cookies, brownies and cakes.There are seasonal creations that include: Hummingbird, Pineapple Right-Side Up Cake, Orange Dreamsicle and Margarita. 

“We use the finest ingredients and all are made in our kitchen with much love and care. We also offer delivery,” Jones says. The business is unique because “our cupcakes are topped with a special swirl of delectable frosting and we have made over 200 flavors in our years of baking.”

They also sell DIY kits for families to make signature Gigi’s Cupcake creations at home. The kit comes with cookies or cupcakes, frosting and sprinkles. These kits allow kids to create their own sweet creations. “We’ve been doing this for a few years now at a parent’s request,” she says. “However, with the pandemic, many are looking for activities at home or during a virtual meeting so we wanted to assist.”

Along with the kits for kids, there are also gluten friendly options. “We make three flavors daily. Currently, we are making wedding cake, triple chocolate torte and orange dreamsicle,” Jones says. “Many people have gluten allergies and/or choosing to remove gluten from their diet. They deserve a treat like everyone else and we enjoy making it taste as good as it looks.”

Jones’ favorite part of running the bakery is celebrating with customers. “Whether it’s a graduation, wedding or birthday, it’s always fun helping someone plan for their special day,” she says. 

Jones defines success by “seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they walk in our door, hearing people say how good it smells and how they love coming to visit,” she says. “We bring joy to those who visit or receive our special green box filled with goodies.”

Gigi’s Cupcakes is located at 7940 Hosbrook Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45243. Follow them on FacebookInstagram and their website.

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Give your kids a well-rounded education all year long with STEAM programs from this local learning center.

In today’s technology-driven world, the importance of STEAM programs has never been more pertinent. Snapology is here to help your children with a well-rounded education year-round.

“Snapology is the premier partner for STEAM programs, offering year-round programs in schools, community facilities, homes, and in our community,” explains Co-Founder Lisa Coe. “At Snapology, we understand that children are meant to learn through play. When children are actively engaged in hands-on, interactive learning activities, their creativity flourishes and they show a greater interest in school.”

As parents, and formerly school-aged children, we know that it can be hard to keep your children educationally engaged throughout the summer months. That’s why Snapology wants to help create a thirst for knowledge in children. 

Snapology is made for children ages 2-14 and uses LEGO bricks, K’Nex, and technology. “While the kids are having fun, we sneak in the educational concepts,” explains Snapology’s second Co-Founder Laura Coe. “In most cases, kids don’t realize how much they are learning.”

Because children are more interested in learning when it’s fun, Snapology wants to provide STEAM enrichment programs that are just as fun as they are educational.

The Coe sisters say they were inspired to launch Snapology after observing the love that their children had for creative play using building blocks and other materials that snap together. “The idea of offering enrichment classes and camps to teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art and literacy concepts excited us, given both our backgrounds in mathematics and science,” says Laura. 

There are thousands of hours of curriculum available through Snapology that allows for a wide variety of STEAM and Theme programs. “We offer classes, workshops, camps, birthday parties, field trips, and special events like helping Girl or Boy Scouts earn STEAM and/or Engineering badges,” says Lisa. “Our programs are designed to enhance childrens’ learning of STEAM concepts in a way that makes learning fun. Additionally, creativity, teamwork, and presentation skills through sharing, are incorporated in all of our classes, workshops, and camps.”

The classes from Snapology range from 1-1.5 hours and are often offered in a series via an after-school program for 6-12 weeks. Through these programs students are taught about different science learning concepts each week and last for 3 hours and include additional activities.

Since the onset of COVID-19, Snapology has been in a position to offer virtual classes. “This has been very successful and allowed us to bring our programs to some kids that may not have been able to participate in our in-person programs,” says Laura.

Snapology has also provided free daily and/or weekly building challenges for littles since March, which are posted to the Facebook page and allows children to post pictures of their builds. 

“We also began offering virtual LEGO build classes, birthday parties, and playdates for a fun, interactive learning experience for kiddos that have their own LEGO bricks,“ says Lisa. “And we are currently also offering virtual 3-hour LEGO build camps.”

Come July, however, Snapology will resume in-person programming and kick off in-person summer camps at The EDGE Teen Center in Liberty Township.

“Our in-person programs have been restructured to ensure the safety of our students and teachers,” says Laura. “Students will be socially distanced and have their own work space and supplies. Teachers will wear masks and students are encouraged to wear masks. Frequent cleaning of contact surfaces, frequent hand sanitation and washing, and fresh air ventilation of the camp space, a 45-60 minute drop off/pick up window, and contactless check-in are among the safety protocols we’ll be implementing.”

The Coe sisters say that Snapology is always looking to add new programming content. “And down the road we will be looking to bring an Activity Center where kiddos can come and do hands-on STEAM activities that include building with LEGO bricks, virtual reality, play games, and many other fun and enriching activities,” says Lisa.

To learn more or to receive updates, visit westchestertwp.snapology.com and follow along on Facebook. For 2020 Summer Camp info, readers can visit www.bit.ly/snapcamps. Those interested in bringing Snapology to their school, dayare, homeschool, preschool, elementary school, or middle school can send an email to westchestertwp@snapology.com

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Big kids can have fun, too! Click here to read more about a local puzzle-fueled bar crawl that you can now do from home, too!

Cincy Chic: What is The Puzzle Crawl?
John Bromels, Supreme Galactic Overlord at Puzzle Crawl, Ltd.:The Puzzle Crawl is a one-of-a-kind bar crawl with pencil puzzles (like crosswords, wordfinds, and mazes) that occurs every month in Cincinnati. Players visit the first bar on the route and solve a themed puzzle that reveals the location of the next bar. They visit 4-5 bars over the course of the evening, solving a puzzle at each one. Players can also embark on “side quests” along the crawl route for extra points. At the final bar, we tally the scores and award a prize package, usually valued at $200 – $400, to the winning team, and a few mystery prizes to other lucky players. The theme changes each month. Past themes have included movies, pirates, and comic book superheroes. We also offer private Crawls and puzzling experiences for birthday parties, corporate retreats, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and more! Puzzle Crawl received a “Best of the City” award from Cincinnati Magazine in 2018.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Bromels: Solving puzzles and mysteries has gotten popular in recent years, with escape rooms and mystery-in-a-box delivery companies popping up across the country.

We enjoy escape rooms a lot, but one drawback is that because of the time limit, everyone has to spend all their time focused on escaping the room: there’s no time to socialize and just hang out with your friends because you’re “on the clock.” Some of our friends who aren’t hardcore puzzle solvers have confessed to us that they just stand around feeling like a fifth wheel in an escape room because they don’t know what to do. Plus, there are no drinks!

So, we wanted to create a puzzling experience that would be fun for puzzlers and non-puzzlers alike, and that allows people time to enjoy each other’s company and have a few drinks while also playing an entertaining game. We often say that the Puzzle Crawl is “for nerds who like to drink and drunks who like to think.”

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Bromels: The Puzzle Crawl’s two masterminds are Supreme Galactic Overlord John Bromels and Puzzler-in-Chief Jeremy Dubin. We met while both working at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) in 2005, but we’ve been puzzle enthusiasts for much longer. We should have seen this coming: when John got married in 2007, he created an original crossword puzzle for his wedding…and Jeremy was the only one who solved it! Our creativity doesn’t just extend to the Puzzle Crawl: Jeremy is the Director of Creative Education at CSC, while John was the winner of the 2020 Red Bull Mind Gamers Creativity Challenge. John’s were also the brains behind Professor Lorenzo’s Carnival of Mysteries at the People’s Liberty Globe Gallery at Findlay Market in Spring 2019, for which Jeremy provided numerous puzzles.

Because great minds think alike, John and Jeremy each had the idea for a progressive puzzling experience independently of one another in early 2017. When they happened to mention their ideas to one another, the Puzzle Crawl was born! We did our first public Crawl in September of 2017, and we’ve offered a monthly Crawl almost every month since, until COVID-19 put a stop to our shenanigans.

Cincy Chic: How are you doing Puzzle Crawls now due to COVID-19?
Bromels: Unfortunately, our usual format – bar crawls – doesn’t work so well without the bars. We tried asking folks to just crawl along the pavement while solving a wordfind, but surprisingly got no takers. So instead, we’re working on providing online content. We launched our first “Virtual Bar Crawl” on our website, puzzlecrawl.com, in May, and expect to have more online “Crawls” available soon.

Cincy Chic: Do you know when you’ll resume in-person events?
Bromels: We take the health and safety of our players seriously, so we’re not going to start up again until we can be confident it’s safe to do so. With conditions constantly changing, we have no idea when that will be.

Cincy Chic: What makes this a fun event for “big kids?” 
Bromels: The biggest thing that makes it fun is that the competitive aspect is only a part of the evening’s activities. Teams’ scores are only based on the time they spend solving puzzles (which have a par time of 10-15 minutes each). When you’re not solving puzzles, you’re off the clock: you can sit and enjoy time with your friends instead of feeling like you have to guzzle down your drink and race out the door. Plus, the evening always includes a storyline and additional “off the clock” material, so even if you don’t solve a single puzzle, you should still be able to have a fun time.

A lot of players have told us they like having the opportunity to sample bars they otherwise wouldn’t have visited. We vary the bars and neighborhoods we use so it’s a different experience each time. And for those “big kids” who are just here for the drinks, many of the bars create specialty themed cocktails for our players, offering another chance to try something new.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more, sign up, and follow along?
Bromels: Readers can visit our website at puzzlecrawl.com to find out about upcoming events and to play our online puzzles, including our Virtual Bar Crawl. You can also find us on Facebook. We’re also on Instagram. Trust us, we were as surprised as you are to find out that domain name wasn’t taken!

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Check out a recap of the small and local businesses we've featured this week on our new sister page Spend With Cincinnati.

Cincy Chic recently launched a new sister account called Spend With Cincinnati. The goal of Spend With Cincinnati is to share how the public can still support small and local businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Below is a recap of what we’ve featured this week:

Coffee Cup Overflowing: Happy Monday everyone! Kick off your week with a delicious caffeine pick me up from @coffeecupoverflowing today! Treat yourself to one of their delicious bakery items and grab your favorite coffee! Open: Monday-Friday 6:30-6:30 Saturday 7:30-4:30

Fleurs Events: How beautiful are these flowers😍 whether for a wedding, house arrangements, or just some simple greenery… @fleurseventsky can do it all! Check out the link in their bio to head over to their website and see all they have to offer! You can also stop in their shop! Open: Tuesday-Friday 9am-4pm Saturday 8am-1pm

OTR Bagel Bar: Calling all my bagel fans! @otrbagelbar is back delivering their delicious bagels right to your doorstep! Swipe all the way or check out their page for order instructions! Delivery open: Wednesday: 12-3 Friday: 9-12 Storefront open: Tuesday-Sunday (carryout): 7-3

Shred415 Red Bank: Looking to get active this summer? @shred415redbank is here to help! They are currently running the most amazing special for you! A 30 day guarantee! That’s how confident they are in their workouts! If you decide it isn’t for you after 5 workouts during the first 30 days of opening, you’ll receive 100% REFUND of your initial payment! With an offer like that what’s stopping you from signing up? Shoot them an email or DM to sign up today and join them at their grand opening July 11th!

Kidd Coffee Co: The 4th of July is approaching quickly! Get a delicious taste of this holiday with @thekiddcoffeeco new drink special! To help celebrate the 4th, they have created this amazing drink consisting of the perfect mix of cherry, blueberry, and vanilla! 🇺🇸 Stop in to enjoy this fun new drink or grab some of your favorite coffee today! 🇺🇸

Toko Baru on Ludlow: How amazing are these quirky little air plants🤩 @tokobaruonludlow offers crystals, essential oils, plants, candles, and so much more to fill your home! Head over to their shop located on Ludlow to discover all the amazing products they have to offer! Open: Tuesday-Thursday: 12-6 Friday-Saturday: 11-8 Sunday: 12-6

Rollin’ Bowls: An all vegan food truck? Yes please! @rollinbowlstruck is the first truck rollin in plant-based meals to cincy and northern Kentucky! They create mouth watering creations that are COMPLETELY plant-based and will change your perception of healthy! Click the link in their bio to see where you can find them next!

Bold Friend Co: In need of a new planner, wallet, tote? @boldfriendco has it all and is here to help! They create beautiful leather goods ALL hand stitched! Head over to their website to start your order on these beautiful and quality leather goods today!

Velocity Bike & Bean: Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy a delicious coffee from @velocity_bikeandbean this morning to kickstart your weekend! PLUS for everyone wearing a mask, you’ll receive 10% off your coffee this week! Discounted coffee and protecting ours and others health? Sounds good to me! Stop in to grab one of their delicious coffees and more to receive your discount!

Artichoke: Started by husband Brad and wife Karen, @artichokeotr has become the cookware store for everybody! Whether an experienced chef or just starting out in the kitchen, they offer the tools for you! They also have a demo kitchen in their shop to prove the quality and effectiveness of their products! They also offer a number of special services for their customers like cooking demos, knife sharpening, gift registries, and more! Vamp up your kitchen tools and your kitchen skills this weekend by stopping by their shop!

Mile 42 Coffee: Happy Saturday everyone! Kickstart your weekend with a refreshing drink or coffee from @mile42coffee this weekend! Make sure to try one of their summer flavors like coconut vanilla cold brew or iced pomegranate green tea 😍 Stop in to enjoy their indoor patio seating or grab a drink to go!

Mariemont Farmers Market: Anyone else always down for a little Sunday farmers market🙋‍♀️ @mariemontfarmersmarketis open every Sunday until October to bring you fresh produce, baked goods, and more! Stop by from 10am-1pm to stock up on all their goodies! Open: Every Sunday 10-1pm until October 11, 2020

Trendy Tags Boutique: NEW ARRIVALS! @trendytagsboutique has just stocked up on adorable new arrivals just in time for summer! They are dedicated to “empowering women/moms to look & feel their best self in effortless, everyday styles!” Shop by: – Tapping their on their Instagram post! – Join their Facebook group to get free shipping! – Visit their website in bio!

Ink & Co Made in Ohio: Support your local homies! @inkandco_madeinohiocreates shirts, wall art, coasters, and more! Check out their page to see all their amazing sayings and products! Click the link in their bio to get your order started and support local❤️

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It’s not easy to navigate today’s uncharted waters, especially with little ones. Our life coach columnist share four important tips for smooth sailing ahead.

I read a meme the other day saying “August – we buying school clothes or more alcohol” and although it offered a chuckle my heart was feeling the impact of what schools will look like if they do open back up this fall.

Watching parents on social media sharing their day-to-day and how they are navigating the situation of quarantine has many being challenged beyond what they ever imagined.

For the kiddos, I felt it was important to share my thoughts about ways you can support them during this time of confusion, uncertainty, and life interrupted: Focus on what they already understand and know to be true.

Talk about what needs to be talked about. Teach them how important it is to have a strong and healthy immune system and how eating nutritional foods, drinking water, and taking vitamin supplements will boost their immune system. Speak about germs, proper hand washing, etc., in a way that can support their personal hygiene practice but not to lead to being a germaphobe.

Encourage the excitement around the “new normal”. You are home together like a vacation.  Discover new ways to entertain.  Clean out closets together, look at photographs, build blanket forts, go outside – spend time being a kid yourself. Let the kids be creative and explore new ways of having fun.

Be a good finder! Sleeping in and getting up late. No rushing out the door for school and work. Doing homework without interruption. Having time to do the things you did not have time to do before. Being happy, healthy, and together.  And during the sit-down meals offer a moment of gratitude – what brings you joy?

Teach and demonstrate faith.  Keeping things as close to normal as possible.  Avoid news and computer time that may impose unnecessary concern for kids to be overloaded with the fear and drama. Monitor your conversations when kids are around.  Remind them this is only for a little while longer and soon things will be back on track.  

Yes, we are living in uncertain times.  As an adult what you are hearing, feeling, seeing, and believing is being projected out and absorbed by your family. You are being impressionable with your actions and body language. The more you can release the fear by replacing it with love, the more you will be able to manage your emotions especially around your kiddos.

Chose love over fear and remember — “All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe.”

Sending Love & Light,

Melissa

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Jon Stewart skewers modern politics in this satirical flick but is it worth the watch? Keep reading for our movie critic’s review.

 

“Hmmm … Do you think that the NFL is going to have a season this fall or no?” Gary Zimmer (Steve Carell) and Diana Hastings (Mackenzie Davis) ponder their next move in a scene from writer/director Jon Stewart’s political satire IRRESISTIBLE. Credit: Daniel McFadden / Focus Features.

 

WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:



KEY CAST MEMBERS: Steve Carell, Chris Cooper, Rose Byrne, Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace, Natasha Lyonne, CJ Wilson, Brent Sexton and Will Sasso DIRECTOR(S): Jon Stewart

WEBSITE: www.watchirresistible.com

THE BACK STORY: A story of politics and tricks, Irresistible stars Steve Carell as Gary Zimmer. A strategist for the Democratic party, Gary is seeking a candidate that can galvanize the party — and more importantly, the general public – as a potential future presidential candidate.

And that’s when he comes across a viral video shot in Deerlaken, Wisconsin featuring Jack Hastings (Chris Cooper).A retired Marine colonel, Jack’s speech at a local city council catches Gary’s attention as it has everything he could want in a candidate: Passion, emotional appeal and all American values with compassion for his fellow man. Intrigued, Gary heads to Deerlaken to convince Jack to run for office while getting to know his daughter Diana (Mackenzie Davis). Problem is, once Gary sees the opportunity to turn Jack into a star, his Republican strategist rival Faith Brewster (Rose Byrne) arrives on the scene to help the town’s incumbent mayor (Brent Sexton) win at any cost. 

So, what happens when small town America becomes the center of the political universe? A story that, as the events are set to prove, makes politics as unusual irresistible. 

THE REVIEW: Written and directed by Jon Stewart (yes, the former host of The Daily Show), Irresistible is a classic slow build comedy where sitting through the lead up to the payoff can at times feel a little like a chore – until the payoff hits.Carell is much like a smarter, savvier version of his former Michael Scott persona from The Office days with Byrne serving as a very Kellyanne Conway-esque foil to his character. Likewise, Cooper – ever great at playing the older everyman – turns in another solid performance to add to his extensive resume while showing a softer side than he typically gets to exhibit. And Davis is competent enough to do everything her character needs to do in a believable fashion to keep things moving along.

The thing, as alluded to above, that makes Irresistible a solid watch is the film’s last 15 minutes in which the point of the film hits home. Given Stewart’s knowledge (and well-known) critique of the American political system as it stands today, Irresistible sharply skewers everything from cable news, viral videos, the selling of a candidate’s image versus what they actually believe and of course, the two party system as a whole. While not re-inventing the wheel in any sense, Irresistible‘s biggest joke comes in showing how much the current setup is primed to show the joke is on all of us.

In doing so, the film packs enough laughs to show why, without major change, our current political system is quite possibly no laughing matter.

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

 
 

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Looking for fun things to do around the city? We chat with a local author who just released his second book in a series that serves as a bucket list of must-sees throughout Greater Cincinnati.

 

Rick Pender wants everyone to explore and experience what Cincinnati has to offer. That’s why he wrote the book “100 Things To Do In Cincinnati Before You Die” and the series that followed.

“My book is a bucket list of suggestions for things to do throughout Greater Cincinnati,” he explains. 

The first book is broken down into five sections: Food and Drink; Music and Entertainment; Sports and Recreation; History and Culture; and Shopping and Fashion.

And although the books have Cincinnati in the title, activities aren’t specifically located in the Queen City. “There are recommendations of ‘things’ in Northern Kentucky as well as areas beyond the I-275 beltway,” Pender adds. 

The history of Pender’s book series goes back to 2015, when publisher Reedy Press in St. Louis approached him about creating a work that was all about what Cincinnati has to offer. And the choice for them to go to Pender was easy; he has a history as an arts and entertainment editor and has worked for WVXU’s “Around Cincinnati.” 

The first book, released back in September 2016, quickly became a popular choice at local bookstores. 

However, times change and so do cities. A few years after the first book was published, there were new things popping up in Cincinnati and around the city.

“The Cincinnati Zoo’s Fiona hadn’t arrived on the scene in time for the first edition, Newport still had Duck Tours, and Cincinnati Music Hall was closed for renovation,” says Pender. “It was time for a second edition, released in September 2019.”

Pender says he replaced approximately 12 items with new recommendations and provided refreshed, up-to-date information. 

Although some native Cincinnatians may feel like they’ve seen it all, there’s always something new to see that you’ve never seen before. 

The book series works for many different kinds of people with different kinds of interest. “It’s a natural for people who are new residents, but it also works for people who have lived here all their lives but haven’t gotten around to visiting some of our iconic attractions or experienced some of our great restaurants,” says Pender.

Currently Pender is researching a new book that will be published later this year called “Oldest Cincinnati.” “It’s a compendium of historic sites, locales, and attractions worth visiting,” adds Pender. 

The second edition of “100 Things To Do In Cincinnati Before You Die” can be ordered from Amazon. It’s also available at most area bookstores including Joseph-Beth Booksellers at Rookwood Commons, Barnes & Noble West Chester, and Roebling Point Books & Coffee in Covington. 

You can stay up-to-date with new information from Pender on his Facebook page, where he also offers information on book signing dates. Over the holidays, Pender even offered followers ideas on holiday-oriented activities based on recommendations from the books. “I’m always glad to hear from people with further suggestions and ideas,” he adds. “And I’m available for signings and appearances.”

To learn more, or get a copy for yourself, click here.

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A small bakery has taken big steps and opened a permanent location in Sharonville. Read on for their poppin’ story.

Cincy Chic: What is Firecracker Bakery?
Lynn Wambaugh, Owner of Firecracker Bakery: Firecracker Bakery specializes in round one-tier special occasion cakes, chocolate chip cookie cakes and delicious cookies called bursts.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Wambaugh: I moved to a licensed commercial kitchen called The Hatchery in February of 2016. The Hatchery is an incubator kitchen inside of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newport, Kentucky that hosts startup food companies. It was founded by Rachel DesRochers of Grateful Grahams. While at The Hatchery I built an amazing team of helpers that I couldn’t do this job without.  My team members are Leslie, my mom – Nancy, JC, Annette, Kelly and Mariah. I also have a terrific friend named Jenny who helps me with some photography.

The Hatchery was instrumental to Firecracker Bakery’s growth and success. In this space we became a licensed baking team, we learned how to use commercial baking equipment and we developed a process of efficiency while maintaining high standards. We also built connections, networked and collaborated with other foodie entrepreneurs. This location was perfect in so many ways, but with our growing customer base we were ready to make another change.

In November of 2016, 9 short months after our first move, a new incubator kitchen became available that brought opportunities we were searching for. We were giddy! In November of 2016 we moved to The Coop, Rachel DesRocher’s third incubator kitchen, which is located at The Macaron Bar in Loveland, Ohio. Our new space is an open concept kitchen design which allows for optimal multitasking, gives us more room to work and the bonus being 10 miles closer to our homes in West Chester. We are excited for the opportunities for retail, baking classes and more!

Wow! Another move! After being in Loveland for about 10 months we realized we were ready for our own place. It was time. After spending almost 2 years in Commercial Kitchens we felt we needed to move on and take the big step! I started looking around for buildings in West Chester and Sharonville. We found the perfect building in Sharonville and decided YES let’s take the big jump and purchase a building of our own.  It was a busy and stressful Holiday Season, working like crazy and closing on a property. We closed in November, 2017! We are so happy we did it! We love our new location in Sharonville. It is the perfect little place!

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Wambaugh: I’m Lynn, just a girl addicted to baking! I opened Firecracker Bakery after deciding to take my hobby to a whole new level, and it has been awesome!  

As the founder and owner of Firecracker Bakery I am passionate about creating smiles and bringing joy and happiness through a simple sweet homemade treat. That’s how it all got started 13 years ago. After retiring from my teaching job to stay at home with my first born I became very active in my community. I loved reaching out to other families and found myself joining groups like Moms Club, MOPS and also became a neighborhood tutor. I enjoy getting involved with other people, building relationships and supporting community members.  Through this, I found myself so touched by the pain and hardships families experience that I started baking more and more as a way to show my concern and care for families in need.  The more people I got to know, the more baking I was doing! Eventually I was encouraged to turn my passion into something bigger! This is when Firecracker Bakery was born!

Cincy Chic: Where are you located?
Wambaugh: Our new address is 10965 Reading Road in Sharonville!

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Wambaugh: Check out our website at www.firecrackerbakery.com. We’re also on Facebook and Instagram

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Mantras are those little praises on repeat in our mind that shape thoughts and reality. Our life coach columnist shares how to see if yours are empowering or self-defeating.

Mantras are magic! You use them all the time in your thoughts and while speaking.  The question is are they mantras that are empowering or self-defeating? You may be surprised how often you are reinforcing what you don’t want, and getting more of that, when you could easily redirect by using conscious language to create something better. 

Reba McEntire has a song “I’m a Survivor.” It was the intro to her sitcom “Reba” that aired in the early 2000s. The lyrics have a powerful message of a women overcoming her circumstances.  The story the lyrics deliver includes great mantras that can serve you in a time of feeling life is a struggle and appears to be defeating your efforts.

Begin with the words …” heart of a fighter, I’m a survivor” from the song.  When faced with circumstances that are either a fight or flight, not only claim you are a fighter add AND I am a survivor. 

The lyrics also says “the baby girl without a chance – a victim of circumstance. The one who ought a give up, but she’s just too hardheaded!”

Your mind is where the fight begins.  That hardheadedness is where you get to control the fear that wants to run the script and begin to let go of fear by rewiring with love. Yes, the opposite of fear is love.

The energy that you exchange with your thoughts is where the secrete sauce lies.  You may be experiencing things that seem impossible to get past or even find a solution. Allow the fighter inside to draw the line in the sand and say “No More!” and be open to new possibilities, solutions, and survivor tools.

Whether you are internally fighting with unhappiness, stuck in a job you don’t like, struggling to make money and pay your bills, one-sided relationships, health, or illness, start with strengthen your desire (your why) to overcome with mantras that tell a love story of you surviving. 

Supporting my mom during her battle with breast cancer (three times in fact), I witnessed a strength like no other. Her will to live was stronger than the alternative and she kept the mantra “I don’t have time for this” – and she is “a survivor” turning 87 this August.

Mantras are magic! Use them to for your greatest goods and take with you Reba’s ending words “I must have had my mamas will and Gods amazing grace.”

Sending Love & Light,

Melissa

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Check out a recap of the small and local businesses we've featured this week on our new sister page Spend With Cincinnati.

Cincy Chic recently launched a new sister account called Spend With Cincinnati. The goal of Spend With Cincinnati is to share how the public can still support small and local businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Below is a recap of what we’ve featured this week:

Purpose Pilates: NOW OPEN! @purpose_pilates2020 is a new Pilates studio to help you achieve that healthy lifestyle of not only your body, but your mind as well! Plus for the month of June all group classes are FREE and all private sessions are HALF OFF! Head to their website to sign up today and get your Pilates on!

Carabello Coffee Company: Father’s Day is coming up fast! Haven’t grabbed the perfect gift yet? @carabellocoffee has you covered! They are now offering the amazing box with different options to choose from! (Ranges from $20-$40) Place your order today and pick them up Thursday-Saturday! Make sure to check out their page/website to see all the details and what goodies you have to choose from! Plus they have opened their doors to cafe seating today! Stop in and enjoy a delicious coffee or meal! Open 9am-5pm or open for walk-up 7am-8pm

Mesa Loca Hyde Park: My mouth is WATERING just looking at pictures of @mesaloca_cincy delicious food! Enjoy an amazing #tacotuesday meal filled with tacos, salsa, drinks, and more! Their dinning rooms and patio is open for you and your loved ones to enjoy! Carry-out is also still available to take your meal to-go and enjoy at home! Call to book or reservation or place your order today!

The BonBonerie: @bonboneriecincy has officially opened their doors back up! Whether for birthdays, Father’s Day, or just looking for a yummy treat, they have it all! Open: Monday-Saturday 10-4 Call to make your cafe reservation!

Lemons + Limes Boutique: If only Alexa could become a personal bar tender in real life 😂 Shop adorable dish towels like this one and more at @shoplemonsandlimes ! PLUS: this week they are having a HUGE clearance both in store and online! Open: Tuesday-Saturday 11-6 Sunday 12-5

The Kidd Coffee Co: Being a dad is a very hard and tiring job so they deserve a nice cup of coffee! Gift dad with a delicious and high quality coffee bag from @thekiddcoffeeco 🤩 Plus their 1lb bags are 10% off for you! Available in-stores or delivered nationwide! PLUS: on June 29th all 5 of their cafe spots will be open and in full swing to serve you! Make sure to head over to their cafe to enjoy a delicious coffee and more!

Meem’s Sweet Treats: How delicious do these treats look🤩 @meems_sweet_treats creates not only beautiful, but delicious macarons, cake pops, and more! PLUS keto options are available! Check out their page to see all the amazing treats offered! Also if you want some delicious Father’s Day treats, DM for some macaroons but hurry because there’s only a limited amount!

Aladdin’s Eatery + Lounge OTR: FREE HUMMUS? Yes please! @aladdinseaterylounge is sending free hummus with any purchase through their Facebook messenger! PLUS: you’ll be enrolled in their VIP club and be the first to get monthly promos and more! (Click the link in their bio to be directed to messenger to place your order today!) ALSO: in honor of Juneteenth today, they are having a celebration from 4-7 tonight! Come together to check out local Cincinnati black owned businesses, artist, organizations, and more! Check out their page for more details!

Sundry and Vice: Grab your friends&family and enjoy a refreshing cocktail from @sundryandvice for happy hour tonight! Plus you’ll get to enjoy your drink in their new amazing outdoor space!

Kon-Tiki on the Levee: “Slip away to our oasis on the river, and indulge in tropical and classic tiki cocktails, with panoramic views!” @kontikiontheleveeis now open to bring you the perfect tropical experience! Head on over, opening at 12pm to enjoy this beautiful Saturday with friends, family, and good drinks!

Lemonwood Soap Co: How beautiful are these soaps🤩 @lemonwoodsoapcohand makes bath and body products that are phthalate free, sulfate free, paraben free, dye free, and palm free! PLUS did I mention they use recycled packaging? PLUS they are women owned! What’s not to love? Visit their website to find where you can get your hands on these amazing products or to start your online order!