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From fashion finds to savvy skincare, home decor to personal style, faith to everyday life, read about a local blogger who loves inspiring others as she navigates through it all.

Chineze Mbamali has always loved to share her life with others, for as long as she can remember.

“There’s just something about doing so that brings me so much joy,” she says. “My blog, Chinezeslife, is a place where I’m able to connect and build community with others, and in sharing my world I hope to help others embrace and elevate their own lives.”

Mbamali credits her life’s journey to her passion for storytelling and sharing. “Passion is the driving factor that keeps me going,” she says. “In having a passion for storytelling and sharing I’ve been able to remain consistent for years, and hope to never stop creating.” 

On her blog, you’ll find a little bit of everything. She says she enjoys sharing things from fashion finds to her home decor, her faith, and everyday life and inspiration. 

While on the outside Chinezeslife is a blog, she says that it’s so much deeper than just photos or videos. “I love being open and transparent with my readers, letting them know that we’re all in this journey called life together,” she adds. 

Mbamali says that one of her favorite posts for the blog happened over the summer. She says she self-directed, produced, and shot a commercial regarding her skincare routine. “It was during a time where I was experiencing creator burnout, and being able to create something so different than what I was used to reminded me why I started sharing in the first place,” she says. “And it’s helped me to reignite that fire within me to keep going.” 

The future is looking bright for Mbamali and Chinezeslife. “During my morning meditations or evening walks, my mind is constantly filled with new ideas,” she says. “I’m always giving sneak peeks over on my Instagram stories of what I’m working on, so be sure to stay tuned over there for the exclusives.” 

You can find Mbamali on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. 

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Learn about this husband-and-wife team taking homes from worn out to WOW and sharing the wild stories behind every baseboard.

Cincy Chic: What is I Flipping Love You?
Leah Slicer, Co-Founder of I Flipping Love You: We are a husband and wife team dedicated to designing and renovating tired homes!

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Slicer: We are suckers for the homes that we deem “need to be saved.” Our first home, which accidentally turned into a flip after I began tearing up the carpet was not only the start of something great for us but we did ALL of the work ourselves. Armed with YouTube and advice from Home Depot employees, we added an ensuite master bathroom on the upstairs of our Cape Cod. Then we continued through the house with more confidence as we went and sold for a price that neither of us could have imagined when we bought it. That was a good day!

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Slicer: My husband Ryan is an Associate Director for a local design firm and I’m a realtor with Comey & Shepherd. 

Cincy Chic: What made you decide to start showcasing your flips on Instagram and sharing your story with followers?
Slicer: We decided to create an Instagram account showcasing our flips to have some fun! The process, though, has connected with other local investors, now friends, who have been instrumental in our growth.

Cincy Chic: What do you enjoy the most about sharing your flipping journey with followers?
Slicer: It’s really fun to share all the pretty at the end!:) I think the process is important for our followers to see. Turns out you can’t flip a house in 30 minutes like they do on HGTV. It’s absolutely a labor of love to flip homes and we show all the different sides. Sometimes it’s a lot of fun and other times you want to throw in the towel.

Cincy Chic: What makes your business unique?
Slicer: We have a few potential projects in the works. We are getting ready to rent our first rental in Cheviot and have been looking at a few potential flips.  

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
Slicer: We love sharing as much of the real-life with flipping homes as we can. We’ve had properties broken into, contractors not show up for a job, re-designing due to unforeseen architectural road blocks. It’s constantly a balance of our vision met with reality. We hope our followers can laugh with us and see how much love is poured into every decision we make.

Our current project is a bit different for us. Typically, our focus is on “up and coming” or “recently arrived” neighborhoods where demand is very high and inventory is very low. However, it only feels right that we shift focus now and then to ensure that we build into the community which preceded any neighborhood development by flipping a more financially attainable home. This house is a 2 bed 1 bath brick ranch on a great street near lots of retail and restaurants. Our plan is to salvage some of the quirky parts of the home while modernizing the kitchen, painting, replacing fixtures and some boring repair work. Bringing affordable housing options to our neighborhood is really important to our overall mission.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Slicer: Readers can follow along on our Instagram or contact us for inquiries at ryleaproperty@gmail.com.

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Our life coach columnist explains how to overcome fear to enter the best season yet. Read on for more.

The saying goes “keep your eye on the prize,” especially when you are stepping out and starting to create something new for yourself. Maybe it’s a new fitness program, a new job, remodeling your home, or perhaps stepping into a new season of life. To be successful in any area of change requires some inside work. And the best way to begin is to overcome the fear and fall in love with yourself and life.

Overcoming fear is the most challenging.  This is when you know you really desire to make a change to the paralyzing feeling that keeps you stuck. Learning to release fear and replace it with love is the best practice I have learned that helps shift that inner voice.  

Let’s break it down. Fear and Love. Sounds like trying to mix oil and water. And yet, you experience it all the time.  For example, if you’ve given birth. When you learned to drive. Leaving home.  Getting married. The list is endless when you have experienced fear and love together.

My best example is riding a roller coaster. The excitement was soon taken away by the sound of the clicking the cart made going up the hill, thinking “oh no, what if it flies off the track” – hello, fear.  And then that first fall on the other side of the hill was pure bliss. And of course, the screams were the perfect mixture of fear and love. 

What allows you to connect with fear and love? Trust! When you can trust yourself to make the inside connection with your soul, knowing you are safe, and out of any situation good will come, you align with overcoming fear and tapping into the love.

Love is where you connect with your why, visualize the outcome or something better, and bring together excitement and love that neutralizes the fear. 

Don’t you owe it to yourself to stop being in fear and flip your script to loving yourself and life? Join me as I share important tips for you to enter the best season yet with the Turning a New Leaf webinar this Thursday at 8pm. RSVP at: www.cincy.live/events/leaf

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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:

Linnea Campbell Ceramics: The perfect essentials for a fall picnic 😍 Check out @linneacampbellceramics pieces like these hanging planters, honeycomb dishes, and more! Click the link in their bio to get your hands on these amazing products today and make sure to check out her stories for some behind the scenes of making them!

Hyde Perk: Today might be one of my favorite days…National Coffee Day!! To help celebrate @hydeperk is offering their delicious drip coffee for JUST $1! Missed the 7-9am window? Get yours from 5-7pm tonight!

They are a drive thru coffee shop located in Hyde Park! PLUS: stock up on their wine and chocolate pairings!

Thorne Naturals: One of our favorite fall activities is hitting the farmers market so this market bag is a definite essential! @thornenaturals is a plant-based slow fashion company using only natural fibers a dyes!

PLUS: it is important to wear your mask! However, mask can be very irritating to the skin! Get your hands on their naturally dyed silk masks that reduce friction on your face!

Click the link in their bio to get your shopping on and check out all their beautiful pieces today!

Paolo – A Modern Jeweler: Happy October everyone! To help you celebrate the start of this month, @paoloamodernjeweler is having an AMAZING promo for you! When you purchase one of their beautiful engagement rings or wedding bands, enjoy a $100 gift certificate for a romantic dinner at Prime Cincinnati AND a $100 Paulo gift certificate!

Click the link in their bio to shop online or book your appointment to stop in the shop today!

The Hydration Station: Happy Friday everyone! Kickstart your weekend today with @hydrationstation513 FREE B12 shots!! Some benefits of these shots include boost immune systems, increase energy, improves sleeping patterns, and more!

Stop by from 9-4 today to learn about how these shots can benefit you! PLUS: book your appointment for one of their IV treatments today! Just click the link in their bio!

Market Wines: Looking for Saturday night plans? @marketwines has you covered! Stop in a sip on one of their delicious drinks like your favorite wines and beers! Plus don’t forget to grab a bottle or two to go!

Blooms & Berries Farm Market: Looking for a fun, family friendly, and festive Sunday? We have you covered! @bloomsandberries is open for everyone to enjoy pumpkin picking, pony rides, bakery goods, and so much more!

Click the link in their bio to purchase your admission tickets today!
Open: Until November 1st: 9:30-7

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Our foster care expert shares why it's important to keep siblings together in the foster care system.

From birth throughout adulthood, our siblings are some of our most important relationships. Sure, brothers and sisters can drive us crazy, and sibling rivalry can be real. But for the most part, our siblings are our first friends. Our support system. Our sense of security in times of uncertainty.

For youth experiencing foster care, the bonds with siblings become even more important. When there is abuse or neglect in a home, it is siblings who often protect, comfort and care for each other.

The sad reality is that when foster care is needed, it is often challenging for us in the child welfare space to place siblings all together. Sometimes, factors outside of anyone’s control play a factor – such as the size of a sibling group, licensure of foster homes, blended families and different kinship care options, and different care needs of siblings.

But whenever possible, keeping sibling groups together while youth experience foster care can play a huge role in helping ensure they overcome trauma and thrive, not to mention preventing them from experiencing additional trauma as a result of being separated from their siblings. If you are considering becoming a foster parent, here are three reasons why you should open your heart to fostering sibling groups:

    1. Emotional health and support. Imagine first experiencing abuse or neglect, and then being removed from the only home you have ever known. Now, imagine having to do it as a child, alone. This is the heartbreaking reality for youth experiencing foster care. The separation of siblings can lead to additional, unnecessary trauma – an unfair burden to youth who have already experienced so much through no fault of their own. Being able to stay with siblings can support emotional health by knowing they have a familiar support with them. 
    2. A feeling of family. One of the most important goals of fostering is providing a safe, loving home environment for however long youth are in our care. An important part of this is the environment of being in a family. As the adjustment to a new family can take some time for youth experiencing foster care, having siblings there helps provide a sense of stability and familiarity. Additionally, siblings can help each other speak up for their needs, routines and other ways to provide normalcy in their foster home.

 

  • Long-term togetherness. Children can experience foster care for a short period of time, or even months or years. Keeping sibling groups together helps ensure they will have that sense of stability regardless of how long they are in foster care. And if it is determined that the youth cannot be safely reunited with their birth family, having siblings together while they experience foster care can help them ultimately be adopted together.

 

For more information about ways to give, becoming a foster parent or supporting youth experiencing foster care and vulnerable families, visit www.SAFY.org. Together, we can help keep families together and ensure youth experiencing foster care overcome trauma, thrive and reach their highest potential.

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY) is a child and family nonprofit preserving families and securing futures services that help families and children heal, have hope, and thrive through a model of care that includes therapeutic foster care, adoption, family preservation, behavioral health and supports for older youth. Learn more at www.SAFY.org

By Charisse Penn, SAFY Columbus Foster Parent Recruiter and Toneia Williams, SAFY Cincinnati Foster Parent Recruiter 

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Learn about a local law student who started a social account that shares all things book-related with her followers.

Cincy Chic: What is Read Along with Nat?
Natasha Rulason, Founder of Read Along with Nat: Read Along with Nat is an bookstagram account, which is an Instagram account specifically for discussing all things book related.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Rulason: I used to post about the books I was reading on my personal Instagram page, but I found that I didn’t receive much engagement from my friends on those particular posts. I started my bookstagram to have a place to talk about books with other folks who love to read. I also use my bookstagram for accountability to reach my reading goals. Over the past few years, I had read maybe 10 books total, but I really wanted to return to reading more often, so I set my 2020 goal at 30 books. Thanks to quarantine, I have surpassed that and my second goal of 60 books. My latest goal is 150 books, but I am currently at 144, so I will be increasing my goal again to 200.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Rulason: I’m Natasha, but most folks call me Nat. I am originally from Michigan, but have called Cincinnati home for the past eight years. I work in the manufacturing industry as an accountant and am also pursuing a master’s in taxation at the University of Cincinnati. My partner and I live in College Hill with our two cats, Gilda and Osito.

Cincy Chic: What are some of your favorite books?
Rulsason: This is such a hard question for someone who reads so many books! Some of my favorites that I have read in 2020 are Running by Natalia Sylvester, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong, and The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. 

Cincy Chic: What makes Read Along with Nat unique?
Rulason: My followers know me for my graphic novel recommendations. There is a lot of talk in the book community and beyond about whether graphic novels (and audiobooks, for that matter) count as books. Both of these book formats make reading more accessible for folks who may have difficulty reading a typical physical book. I especially like to read graphic novels that are about historic events because they offer a more approachable view of what are often difficult stories. Some of my favorite graphic novels are New Kid by Jerry Craft, Good Talk by Mira Jacob, Displacement by Kiku Hughes, and the Check, Please! series by Ngozi Ukazu.

Cincy Chic: Why do you enjoy sharing what you’re reading with followers?
Rulason: This account has been especially fun to have during the COVID quarantine. It has been pretty hard to be home so much and not see folks in real life, but my bookstagram has been such a fun escape during this time. One of my favorite parts of this community is when I share a book review and my followers suggest other similar books that I may enjoy. The list of books that I want to read has grown exponentially this year!

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for you?
Rulason: My partner and I have started working on plans to build a Little Free Library in our yard. I was inspired by Sarah Kamya’s Little Free Diverse Libraries initiative and look forward to offering more diverse book options to my neighbors of all ages. We hope to have it up and running by spring 2021.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Rulason: Folks can find me on Instagram at @readalongwithnat! I don’t share reviews for every book I’ve read on bookstagram, but I do review all books on Goodreads. Just search “readalongwithnat” in the member search box and my profile will pop right up.

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See how the co-owner and doctor behind Performance Health Chiropractic + Acupuncture sought the help of a local life coach to double client traffic to her new business.

Dr. Kristen Wood, co-owner of Performance Health Chiropractic + Acupuncture, opened her own client-centric chiropractic practice last year in West Chester.  
Dr. Wood, co-owner of Performance Health Chiropractic + Acupuncture
The practice offers a unique blend of services, ranging from traditional chiropractic care and massage to acupuncture, dry needling and cupping.
 
“I knew the medical side of the business but not the behind-the-scenes side, the marketing, business strategy, goal setting,” she recalls. “Luckily, I met my life coach Melissa Kirkpatrick with Find Your Own DRIVE right before I launched the business and it’s made a huge difference.” 
 
Dr. Wood says she first worked with Kirkpatrick through a group coaching session. “I wanted to test out what it was like to be coached, learn from others in the group, and see if it made a difference,” says Dr Wood. “Turns our, it made an immediate difference and I knew after the group coaching I needed more, so I hired her for one-on-one coaching.” 
 
Dr. Wood says Kirkpatrick helps her with stepping back from the everyday grind to see the big picture, set goals and the steps to reach them. “For me, it’s the accountability,” she adds. “Normally, I wouldn’t be setting these goals — they would just be vague ‘one day I want to do’ kinds of goals, but Melissa makes me get specific on what, when and how, and then checks back with me every week on the progress. It keeps me very focused and motivated.” 
 
So motivated, in fact, Dr. Woods says her business has more than doubled – almost tripled – since working with Kirkpatrick. “It’s unbelievable, especially in the middle of a pandemic,” Dr. Woods says. “I highly recommend Melissa to anyone wanting to get clear on their vision and goals and actually accomplish them.” 

To learn more about Performance Health Chiropractic + Acupuncture, visit https://www.performancehealthcincy.com. To learn more about Kirkpatrick and Find Your Own DRIVE, visit www.findyourowndrive.com/contact.

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Two con artists have spent 26 years training their only daughter to swindle, scam and steal at every turn. Read on to see if this far-out flick conned our movie critic into a good review.

 

“Now, just remember, if anyone asks, we went grocery shopping BEFORE it was mandated you had to wear a mask in public!” (Gina Rodriguez) and Old Dolio Dyne (Evan Rachel Wood) go out for a non-grifting grocery trip in a scene from writer/director Miranda July’s KAJILLIONAIRE. Credit: Matt Kennedy / Focus Features © Focus Features. All rights reserved.
 

WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:

DIRECTOR: Miranda July
 
KEY CAST MEMBERS: Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger
 


THE BACK STORY:
 Old Dolio Dyne (Evan Rachel Wood) is a 26 year-old Los Angeles resident. Her home, however, is unconventional as it is an office space next to some sort of industrial park where a pink liquid oozes into the room. Joining her in this most unconventional of living spaces are her parents Theresa (Debra Winger) and Robert (Richard Jenkins), grifters by trade who are always on the lookout for their next scheme or heist. It’s not a good life, but it’s the only one Old Dolio knows.

Then Melanie (Gina Rodriguez) comes into the picture. 

Meeting her by chance on a flight as part of their latest scheme, Melanie seems excited at the prospect of getting into a new line of work and comes up with a plan of her own to pull off a new heist. But, as Melanie’s love of life – and other circumstances – start to open up her mind to other aspects of the human experience, Old Dolio starts to question her current existence and what could lie ahead in the future.

Who knows – becoming rich in her own spirit might be the most rewarding prize of all.

THE REVIEW: “Quirky.” “Abstract.” “Weird.” 

Sometimes you watch a film and appreciate it for what it is, even if it’s not something you really enjoyed, so to speak, yourself. In the case of Kajillionaire, you likely will find yourself wrestling with that same emotion due to the committed performance of Wood against a story that essentially can be viewed in one of two ways: (1) This is a (insert one of the three adjectives above) story about broken people and someone trying to find what many of us inherently do (or at least, believe we should enjoy) or (2) This is a (insert one of the three adjectives above) that is just (insert one of the other two remaining adjectives above). 

Earlier this month, Wood gave a rather revealing interview to The New York Times in which it was revealed she uses many of her roles to heal herself from past trauma. That in turn should help explain her (1) connection to Old Dolio and (2) portrayal of the character, a woman who has never felt any real (or, if you prefer, “normal”) emotions to or from anyone, including her parents. She is essentially – like many of the personalities on her HBO series Westworld – a near-robotic humanoid life form who knows her role and her function in the functioning disfunction that is her family’s business. You get to watch a young person (Wood may be 33, but she pulls off 26 with a way that makes her character feel even younger) coming to grips with her concept of the world around her and trying to deal with deprogramming herself in the process. Whereas as Rodriguez gets to play an upbeat, bouncy young woman who seems very eager to get involved in something she sees as exciting, Wood’s character is a solitary, introverted one growing desperate to escape her reality. 
 
If you enjoy the films of Wes Anderson, you’ll likely like Kajillionaire, which are the first type of things that come to mind in terms of the humor (which is SPARSE). If you simply enjoy a deep dive into a character (even if the others aren’t characters aren’t explored enough as you’d hope), you’ll probably enjoy Kajillionaire.
 
Then again, if watching people who are essentially without redeeming qualities do nothing to change your opinion of them over the course of 100 minutes, are weird seemingly for the sake of it and/or are the type of people you’d see in Walmart, report to an employee and then leave, this is not the movie for you. What will find intriguingly unconventional, others will find annoying. Whereas some will be drawn to Wood’s performance of a shy, sheltered introvert, others will see the weirdo in their high school class they one day figured would end up on the local news for less than stellar reasons. If you start to watch the movie, you’ll likely watch it to the end to see what will happen, only to probably be either elated or deflated by what happens. 
 
In much the same fashion that very few are destined to become millionaires and billionaires, Kajillionaire is likely only for the select few. But those select few will really enjoy it no matter what the rest of us see.
 
OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):
 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

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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:

Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa: Happy treat-yourself Tuesday! Pamper yourself with @mitchellssalonanddayspa haircuts, facials, nails, and more! Perfect just in time to switch it up for fall!

PLUS: they are hiring! Click the link in their bio to see if you qualify to apply for one of their jobs today!

Curated Shopping Cards: Shop local and save! @curated.shopping.cards offers a deck of cards giving you 20% off at local participating shops in the greater Cincinnati area! Just click the link in their bio to order your deck today!

Beneath the Lily Pad: Only a couple days into fall but we are LOVING all these fall inspired goodies! @beneaththelilypad now has some beautiful fall pieces up on their site for you! Just click the link in their bio to get your order started!

PLUS: check out their #RBG inspired line! All proceeds go towards the #AmyMcGrath campaign!

Busy Bee Cleaning: Looking for some help when it comes to cleaning? @busybee.clean is here for you! They offer services from regular cleaning to deep cleaning! PLUS: all their supplies used are eco friendly products!

Click the link in their bio to see more details on services offered! ALSO: make sure to check out their page for a giveaway and helpful tips!

PLUS: receive 10% off your first cleaning 🤩

Kentucky Botanical Co.: GRAND OPENING‼️
@kybotanicalco is having their grand opening in Covington today! From 11-8 stop by, celebrate, and get your hands on products like CBD, essential oils, and more!

PLUS: see their latest post and keep an eye out for details on how you can win this bundle in a giveaway today!

Hoppin’ Vines: Calling all my football fans! Watch the games today with @hoppinvines Sunday NFL specials! Swipe to see all their amazing deals!

Starting at noon, grab your favorite people, drinks, and get your watching on!

 

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Get in a socially-distanced workout and then cozy up to a mimosa and brunch with this upcoming event with a native Cincinnati fitness guru.

If you want to work on your fitness, safely, and enjoy a good meal, Bootcamp and Brunch was made for you.

Bootcamp and Brunch is a unique way for a fitness company to support another local business, while giving the public a safe and effective workout followed by a socially distanced event,” explains Kelly Amshoff, Founder of ImwithKelly, a virtual fitness company. 

Amshoff got her start in Chicago when local restaurants wanted to bring her workouts to their establishments and offer a brunch afterward.

“Being a Cincinnati native, I wanted to come ‘home’ and host this event at a local restaurant to help support during these stressful, COVID times,” she explains. “In the process, I created an exclusive partnership with MadTree Brewing.”

Amshoff has owned ImwithKelly for over three years now and following a move to the Windy City in November 2019, she decided to launch virtual classes, allowing her to continue her offerings for those in the Queen City.

The premier event for Bootcamp and Brunch is on Saturday, October 3. The Bootcamp begins at 8:30am and the Brunch starts at 9:30am. 

Amshoff says that what makes this event so unique is that everyone wins. “As a venue that has gone through the closures of COVID, MadTree is benefitting by hosting a large group that has already pre-purchased their brunch and drink tickets,” she says. “As an instructor, I’m able to gain incredible exposure and see old clients while teaching in a beautiful space. As a city, we are completely supporting local businesses by having other Cincinnati-owned companies sponsor. Whirlybird Granola and Thirty Drink will be in attendance.”

All of the safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 are posted on the website when you purchase your tickets, so that you have all the information you need to participate safely. 

“The entire workout will be held outside with 6 feet of distance between every participant,” says Amshoff. “Each person is asked to wear a mask any time they are not on their mat – walking to or from, using the restroom, etc. After the workout is completely, masks are put back on until you are taken to your table and seated. Tables are also limited to 8 people or less.” 

Should the event need to be moved indoors due to weather, MadTree’s lofted space has enough room to safely host participants.

Bootcamp and Brunch will be quarterly events, done very three months. Amshoff says that she already has other local Cincinnati vendors asking to join the fun for the Spring Event.

To sign up for the event, click here. If tickets are sold out, you can follow along on Instagram to hear more about upcoming events, workouts, celebrations and more. You can also see a list of other upcoming events at www.imwithkelly.com

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