My first H54F (High Five for Friday)

I love the world of blogging. I love surfing around and discovering new blogs. I’m such a fan of empowering other women, so supporting other bloggers in my niche (which is mostly women) is such a great way to empower each other. About a week ago, I stumbled upon Bright on a Budget, a blog about Lexington-based mom, attorney and bargain-hunter Tif. She and three other bloggers (Caitlin from Coffee with Caitlin, Della from Della Devoted and Katie from Cup of Tea) host High Five for Friday, a weekly re-cap of their weeks where they write about five particular things that were awesome. I can get behind some weekly praise! So here are five things that rocked about this week.

1. One of my best friends from college drove up to Cincinnati from Lexington to see me perform improv comedy. Some of you may not know this, but I’m in an improv comedy group called Highly Improvable. Last Friday, we had a show with Gloria San Miguel, a local folk musician, to benefit Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Sara has always had interest in seeing one of my shows, but since they’re always up in the Cincinnati area, it’s hard to find the time for a roadtrip. On my lunch break she messaged me to tell me she was coming! It was oh so good to have her in the audience! In April, I will stand beside Sara as one of her bridesmaids (I wrote about that here). I’m so excited! After the show, we went out for a beer or two and caught up on life. It was so good!

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2. Sister Circle (pictured above)! I met these ladies about a month ago when I wrote about the Contemporary Dance Theater’s Performance and Time Arts Show. Their piece in the show was part spoken word and part song. Clad in purple shirts with yellow flowers in their hair, they exuded self-love and empowerment. I simply had to write about them. I love all things women’s empowerment. So I did exactly what I do to find most of the women I interview: walk up to them and say “Hi, I’m Nina and I blog about women! Could I write about you?” 99.99% of people I ask say yes. I mean, who doesn’t love having the spotlight on them?

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with LaMonica (pictured top second from the right in the checkered dress + red sweater), the woman who started Sister Circle. The women all live in Winton Terrace, a low-income housing community in Cincinnati. LaMonica is the Supervisor of the St. Vincent DePaul office located in Winton Terrace. Winton Terrace has a high percentage of single mothers, so LaMonica felt like a women’s support group was needed. So once a month these women of all ages get together around food to talk about life, laugh, sing and most importantly, support each other.

Wednesday evening, I got together with the ladies, each in their favorite dress. We had such a blast! Everyone loved having me take their photos. Right after I snapped this one above, they sporadically broke out into song. It was just so neat to see them in their element like that. This Sunday I’m featuring LaMonica on my weekly Q&A. Her story is so very powerful, so I’m excited to post it. I’m also going to write a post about Sister Circle early next week. My hope is that through both of these stories, people will look at single mothers and the issue of poverty just a little bit differently.

3. Amigas del trabajo. On Monday night, I got to know some of my co-workers outside of the office. I work at Su Casa Hispanic Center and one of my co-workers started a Groupme. For those of you who may not know, Groupme is an app that allows you to have group chats. We entitled our group chat “Amigas del trabajo” (ladies from work). Throughout the day if we think of something witty or important, we can message everyone from the comfort of our cubicle.

Monday night, though, we decided to have some face-to-face interaction a Low Spark, a new bar in Over-the-Rhine. We bonded and shared stories. Then my co-worker Lindsey invited us to her adorable apartment, which is right around the corner. I had intended to just have a drink or two and leave in time for weekly improv practice at 7:30 p.m. Instead, I skipped improv and hung out with them until 10:30 p.m. You know you’re having a good time when you start playing hookey from your weekly commitments.

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4. Dress rental. Much like the library, there are places where you can check out clothing. Gwynniebee is one of them! I stumbled upon Gwynniebee through an online advertisement. Your first month of the subscription is free, so there’s really nothing to loose. It was only after I had made a commitment did I realize that their focus is on plus-sized women. Dresses start at size 10. I’m normally a 6-8 in clothing, so there’s not a ton of options for me. Depending on the brand, though, they do have some mediums, which I wear. However I’m not upset. I’m sure plus-sized women feel this way all the time when they stumble upon brands that don’t carry their size. Their stuff is so cute, though. I’ve heard plus-sized women complain before that when brands make plus-sized stuff, it’s often not as cute as things made in smaller sizes. That can be frustrating when you walk in a store and a dress only carried in smaller sizes catches your eye. Basically, I think it’s neat that their focus is on sizes 10-32.

The process is easy. You browse their clothing and put items you like in your online “closet.” Once you have at least six, they look at what you’ve selected and send you a package. You have three options: one, two or three items at a time. I picked two. So based on I selected and what they had available, they sent me two dresses. This black one with flowers pictured above was one of the two. While I got many compliments on it, I decided to send it back. It was just about a size or two too big.

So now I’ve sent both dresses back and I await my next package! I’ll be sure to blog these next two dresses when they arrive.

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5. My photoshoot with Meghan! Meghan (Q&A with Meghan) is a new co-worker and old acquaintance. I’ve actually known her for the past four years. She used to work at a non-profit I volunteered with from time to time. However we were never really friends; just casual acquaintances who would run into each other at things because of our like-mindedness.

This past fall, we both found ourselves working at the same non-profit. Su Casa is a part of Catholic Charities. Meghan also works for Catholic Charities, just with our Refugee Resettlement program. I interviewed her on the blog last Sunday, which you can read here. I needed photos for said post, so I ventured over to her apartment Saturday. Her dog Sunny (pictured above) was there too. She’s such a cutiepie! Here are several favorites of Meghan from the shoot.

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So yeah! Those were five things that rocked this week! What rocked about your week?

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