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PASSPORT TO CINCINNATI: REDISCOVERING THE CITY WE CALL HOME

By: Danielle Foulk {November 9, 2016}

There is no question that we’re in the midst of autumn. The temperatures have dropped, the leaves have warmed the skies with shades of red and gold, and festivals have begun. With Halloween behind us many are starting to plan for Thanksgiving, marking the beginning of the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is a time in which we reflect, gain a sense of renewal, and a time we gather together with friends and family from near and far. For many, coming back home to where they grew up is what the holidays are all about. If you’re a Cincinnati native who travels home for the holidays, you’re among 40+ million people who will also be traveling this holiday season. You, however, will not only be coming home to your family and friends, but you’ll be greeted by the Queen City that has flourished into a vibrant and culturally rich town featuring family friendly venues, restaurants, businesses, and shops that are unique to Cincinnati alone.

Whether you’re dropping into town for a few days during Thanksgiving or currently live here, you may wonder where to even begin exploring the newest establishments. Being a lover of everything local myself and looking for fun ways to see Cincinnati with my husband and children, I reached out to Justin Tillson who is one of many working on a new event called Passport to Cincinnati. Passport to Cincinnati is an event designed to showcase the latest attractions this great city has to offer and what better way to do it than with family Thanksgiving weekend!

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What is Passport to Cincinnati?

“Over the past several years of development in Cincinnati, local stakeholders have been eager to highlight the latest attractions in Cincinnati’s urban core, particularly along the new Cincinnati Bell Connector route.” Tillson explained.  Knowing this desire, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, C-Change Class 11 program took the initiative to work collaboratively with the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, sponsors, and local vendors to create Passport to Cincinnati.

Tillson further explains that, “Passport to Cincinnati is a collection of restaurants, bars, museums, activities and other businesses along the Cincinnati Bell Connector route, organized by categories.  Passport participants can view all of these attractions in a helpful map provided in the Passport.” Beginning November 23rd through November 27th you can pick up your passport, which includes family friendly spots, by visiting one of the 32 participating business.  When visiting select businesses found within your passport you will receive discounts along with a stamp.

Want a chance at winning a grand prize? If you collect all the stamps within a category or one stamp in each of the categories you are then eligible to win one of several grand prizes just by simply depositing your completed passport at one of the participating businesses.  You can find more information on Passport to Cincinnati on Facebook and Instagram.

HOME

Passport to Cincinnati is also part of the larger HOME weekend project which features scheduled events such as Cincinnati Symphony’s HOME concert, Thanksgiving Day Run & Walk, Macy’s Light Up the Square, Santa’s Workshop at Washington Park along with many more. Being a part of a city with such dedication towards renewal and community is really something to be thankful for as well as those who are behind the scenes making it happen- it truly “takes a village.” I hope you, your family, and friends will take time Thanksgiving weekend to step out onto the city streets, ride the Cincinnati Bell Connector, and see for yourself why we’re so lucky to call Cincinnati home. More information and a list of events can be found at www.cincyishome.com.


 

Life after the Bed Rest Blues
by Colleen O’Connell, Owner, FIT4MOM Blue Ash/Montgomery

Like Danielle, founder of B|Blissful, I was also placed on strict hospital bed rest, and it turned my world upside down. I had a healthy pregnancy until I developed pre-eclampsia at 28 weeks and was admitted to the hospital after experiencing temporary vision loss. Numerous tests later, my new perinatal doctor delivered life-changing news – I would stay in the hospital attached to a baby monitor 24/7 until I delivered my son.

Say what!? I have a type A personality and this news shook me to the core, I had not anticipated leaving my job so soon and left my employer in a lurch. I hadn’t purchased any items for my baby and I didn’t bring anything with me to the hospital other than the clothes on my back. At the time I was living in San Diego and had no family in town. So, my gracious friends and coworkers were very kind and provided short term necessities.

Have you ever been alone in a hospital room for weeks? I did a lot of soul searching and had many ups and downs during my 5 weeks spent confined to a very uncomfortable hospital bed. As a pregnant woman, the highlight of my day was meal service. I had many pregnancy cravings, and was so hungry all the time. As a vegetarian, I was limited to options the hospital provided. I laid in bed and ate for 5 weeks, with occasional monitored trips to the bathroom! I could feel my body getting weaker and bigger every day.

I tried to stay positive and calm to keep my pre-eclampsia at bay and my son healthy inside. I have lived an active lifestyle including collegiate level dance, so the inability to walk more than 4 feet to the bathroom, let alone exercise, was frustrating. I spent a lot of time on my phone researching postpartum exercise and found a group in San Diego called FIT4MOM. FIT4MOM offers Stroller Strides® and Stroller Barre® classes. The idea of incorporating two of my favorite things, dance and my son, nearly made me pee my pants (or hospital gown). I could not wait to start exercising again! At 32 weeks I underwent an emergency c-section when an ultrasound revealed that my son had stopped growing. My recovery was rough but he was thriving in the NICU and his strength helped me persevere.

I started Stroller Strides® classes 8 weeks postpartum and fell in love. Stroller Strides® offers classes for all fitness levels, including pregnancy. As seen on CNN – Stroller Strides® is a FIT4MOM stroller-based fitness program designed for moms with little ones. Each 60-minute, total body workout incorporates power walking or running, strength, toning, songs and activities. Taught by certified fitness instructors with specialty training in the pre and post-natal woman, it is a great workout for ANY level of exerciser. All of our instructors abide by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ recommendations for exercises. Stroller Strides® instructors weave songs and activities into the routine designed to engage and entertain baby, while moms are led through a series of exercises specific to her role as Mom.  All you need to bring to class is a stroller, water and mat/blanket/towel.

If you are having a hard time regaining your strength after baby, you are not alone. I’ve been there and I would love to help you through the process. Join us for a Stroller Strides® class at Weller Park in Montgomery. Your first class is always FREE. To find out more about Stroller Strides®visit us at blueashmontgomery.fit4mom.com and like FIT4MOM Blue Ash/Montgomery on Facebook for promotional updates.


 

 

by Danielle Foulk

Summer is here! This in Cincinnati means nights out at the Red’s games, hanging out at OTR, and enjoying as many of the summer festivals as possible! It’s always fun to see the long standing Cincinnati favorites at the festivals but my favorite part is seeing all of the up and coming businesses.

Not too long ago, my mom had mentioned a boutique on wheels and I remember thinking what a great concept it was.  With looking for things to do this summer, I looked up Trouvaille on Facebook and wanted to more about how this chic boutique came about!

In Spring of 2016, Christine and Ginger, a mother-daughter team, opened the backdoors of their boutique, Trouvaille which means something lovely discovered by chance.  This Northern Kentucky based business travels around the Greater Cincinnati and offer women’s clothing in sizes small-3XL. It is important to them for fashion to be fun for all women. So how did Trouvaille come to fruition you many wonder?

 

Christine explains, “The inspiration behind Trouvaille was from a dream to one day have my own boutique.  I had read about mobile boutiques and followed some on Instagram.  I finally decided that I needed to make this dream a reality.  Having a mobile boutique is wonderful because I come to my customers, offer unique clothing items and accessories and my customers get a very specialized tailored shopping experience.”

 

What makes Trouvaille even more unique aside from being a traveling boutique is the unique experience you have. “Every time you shop the truck you will see new merchandise as we constantly have new items arriving!  We also put a ton of focus on bringing our customers quality merchandise that is sourced for size, fabrication, fit, and style.  We want our customers to wear our merchandise again and again and feel and look great while doing so!  We also listen carefully to our customer’s feedback and tailor our inventory to what they are asking for.”

 

Through Trouvaille, Christine hopes to encourage customers to shop local/small and wants to “inspire others to follow their dreams and turn them into their own reality.” If you’re a local, you can find lists of venues where Trouvaille will be below. For those of you who don’t live locally, there is good news for you! They are working on creating a website so customers who can’t make it to shop their truck will soon be able to shop online. To keep up with the latest from Trouvaille and to know when their website is live, follow them on Facebook @trouvailletravelingboutqiue and on Instagram @trouvaille_traveling_boutique

 

Are you a local? Guess what! You can also book your own private event!  Christine says “The truck is great for Girls’ Night, Wine Night, Luncheons, Birthday Parties, Neighborhood Parties, Bridal Showers, and Bachelorette Parties or book a VIP experience just for you and get one on one personal shopping!”  Contact us at info@trouvaille-boutique.com to book!

 

Here is the event schedule for Trouvaille:

Cincinnati Fashion Night July 22nd

O.F.F Market July 30th, August 27th, and September 24th


 

 

A Family Guide to Community Service and Volunteering

I am not a parent. I have parents. I know a lot of parents. But I am not a parent. I am an educator, youth worker, aunt, and mentor, service learning coordinator, a community member and frequent volunteer.

My professional and personal experiences have led me to believe that old adage, “It takes a village”.

We all have gifts and talents to share. And in our families those gifts and talents get honed, defined and refined. Being able to make a difference in our families and in our communities is one of the greatest gifts we have. Community service and volunteering as a family is a beautiful way to acknowledge those gifts.

I remember the neighborhood cleanups, school food drives and book drives, the Temple rummage sale. Mom and dad would help with supplies, transportation, and items, phone trees, meeting space and food. Those are good memories—being part of something bigger than myself; seeing my parents as leaders in the community.

The links below highlight the benefits of volunteering as a family. There are lots of ideas and tips for how to make family volunteering a meaningful, memorable and fun experience. Get out together and make a difference.

http://www.generationon.org/parents/resources/family-volunteer-guide

http://www.thevolunteerfamily.org/

http://www.idealist.org/info/Volunteer/Family/Whole

http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/volunteer.html

http://www.pbs.org/parents/special/article-tips-for-volunteering-with-kids.html

Bryna Bass, M.Ed., BS(Ag)
ABOUT BRYNA

Bryna is the current director and program manager of the Rothenberg Rooftop School Garden, and Service Learning Coordinator with Children, Inc.

 

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