Inspired

While the West Chester and Liberty Township communities are full of role models, these community standouts have emerged as some of our inspirations. Each leader points back to the community as a source of inspiration and gratitude, proving that “it takes a village” to create a positive impact.

Aftershocks of Love

When a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, it was a devastating shift in the earth’s plates. There was another shift later that year when three friends put their heads together for recovery efforts. Instead of destruction, this shift brought a monumental impact on a village of Haitian children. 

Humble Star

Lance Alexander is the quintessential boy next door. There’s a reason he plays a convincing good neighbor on television—it’s a role he’s been playing all of his life. Growing up in his West Chester neighborhood, he was known as a friendly, helpful and kind kid with a smile that lights up a room. Now, that same smile is lighting up…

Fall Family Getaway

With summer vacation two months over and winter break close to three months away, families may be getting antsy for a getaway. With the school year in full swing, leaving town for vacation isn’t always practical. We found the perfect solution—a family-friendly weekend escape to Dearborn, Michigan—less than four hours away. Dearborn is overflowing with American history, and I brought my…

Blazing the Butler County Donut Trail

The Butler County Donut Trail has delighted visitors and locals alike with a scavenger hunt of sugary goodness for four years. Nearly 75% of the 21,000 people who have completed the trail are from outside Butler County, making it just as good for the area’s tourism economy as it is for the locals who snack on the tasty donuts.

Come Home to Skally’s

 Timeline  1961 Ephraim and Odette Skally moved to Cincinnati from New York City.  1977 The Skallys founded Old World Bakery in Cincinnati, introducing pita bread to the area.

Gather Round

Autumn brings us together, with crisp weather drawing us inside to share meals and great conversation. Fall is the perfect time to refresh a dining room with perfect furniture pieces.

Art Meets Fashion

 Page 2  When the world of art progresses, fashion progresses with it, taking beautiful elements from the past and showcasing original ideas and combinations. Bright colors, striking poses and a few perfect high heels completed our looks at this year’s fall fashion photo shoot at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, where we let art and fashion meet to showcase…

24 Hours With Miss Ohio

A few years ago, Kelsey Retz left West Chester to attend college in LA and work in fashion PR. Her co-worker took one look at her and said, “You should do pageants. Your presence is strong, you take care of yourself and you look incredible!” Kelsey recalls.

Design Your Dream Closet

Planning a luxury master closet is no easy feat. From custom shelving and lighting to a unique island, it’s a huge project for any homeowner to tackle, but one that will produce the closet of their dreams.

2 Looks for The Key Event

Our town’s most glamorous fundraiser of the year is just days away. Each year, The Key Event raises an average of $100,000 for the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty. Since 1999, the Community Foundation has been the primary resource for philanthropy in our townships. 100% of proceeds from The Key Event are reinvested into the community through grant awards. 

Creature Comforts

In a lower-level business plaza off Snider Road, practically hidden from view, Kitty Brew Cafe allows customers the opportunity to eat and drink alongside cats available for adoption. Owner Jenni Barrett started the business in 2017 after years of volunteering with Animal Friends Humane Society, a rescue partner for the cafe’s cats.

Portraying Pets

Michelle Staub doesn’t just embroider pet pictures; she makes memories for pet parents around the world. A self-taught artist who originally embroidered video game characters, Michelle found she loved showcasing animal subjects when she created a piece featuring her own cat, Purrl.

More Than a Break

For some local students, summer was all about adventure and making an impact. Here’s proof that summer can be more than a break.

Planting Hope

One’s teenage years can be thrilling, but the pressure to achieve can make those years stressful. In response to rising mental health needs, Lakota Local Schools has adopted a proactive strategy, one that works to plant seeds of hope for students experiencing loneliness, depression or desperation.

Ninjas in the Nati

Cincinnati will be in the national spotlight as the city’s qualifier episode of American Ninja Warrior (ANW) airs on NBC on July 1. ANW descended on downtown Cincinnati over Memorial Day weekend to film its eleventh season.

Float Your Boat

It’s sink or win at the 10th Annual Crazy Cardboard Regatta at the lake in Voice of America MetroPark in West Chester.

Art Adventure

Everywhere you look at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, there’s something beautiful to see. It offers sweeping vistas of nature and clusters of modern art installations in its outdoor gallery with more than 75 sculptures of all shapes, sizes and colors. This summer, take an art adventure like no other in our neighboring Hamilton.

Pop Into Summer

When searching for a snack, nothing beats the convenience of microwave popcorn. However, dozens of reports point to the health risks associated with ingredients used by many manufacturers of microwave popcorn. We discovered an alternative that is safer, healthier and less expensive than a traditional bag of microwave popcorn.

Lessons In Life From Local Leaders

 John Boehner  Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives  Even in his retirement, John Boehner travels in the fast lane. Three years after resigning from Congress, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is still prompting news headlines. His prominent career has taken him all around the globe, but Boehner calls West Chester “home.”

Golfing For A Cause

 3rd Annual Boehner Classic  Date: Monday, June 10  Time: Lunch at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. start

Dude Food + Craft Beer

Cincinnati has become known for its breweries, but you don’t have to go Downtown for good craft beer and tasty bites. West Chester’s Grainworks Brewing Company features 20 taps, delectable food and a comfortable indoor and outdoor space for sipping a cold one. Crafted from three local friends, Grainworks was built on the same soil from which Cincinnati’s greatest breweries…

I’ll Take Both, Please

 Year: 2019  Make: GMC  Model: Sierra Denali Crew Cab

Life Lessons From Leading Ladies

 Becky Wilber  President and owner of Cincinnati Taco Investments (CTI) Restaurants and President of the Union Centre Boulevard Merchant Association (UCBMA)  As the owner of CTI Restaurants, you own many local Taco Bells and an Uno Pizzeria. Tell us about your role.

Serene Southern Escape

If you’re like most Ohioans, you’ve probably visited Hilton Head Island at least once. But if you’re looking for a Lowcountry experience that is more secluded, luxurious and intermixed with nature, you’ll want to visit Palmetto Bluff—just a few miles from Hilton Head.

All American Girl

When someone says pageant, you may picture swimsuit competitions, ball gowns, makeup and high heels. But pageants have received a makeover. Liberty Township native Taylor Small, 13, was just crowned National American Miss Pre-Teen Queen, a role coveted by young teens across the country. The competition prides itself on authenticity, building positive role models in young girls and women, and honoring…

Spring Break For Your Skin

Put your best face forward this spring with the help of the skin experts at Dermatology & Surgery. Dermatologist and founding physician Scott Grevey, M.D., and his friendly team are committed to bringing the latest technologies to their patients, offering cutting-edge treatments that eliminate the need to cut.

Flying With The Monarchs

If you’re not seeing as many monarch butterflies in your garden as you used to, there’s a reason for that. In fact, it’s become a problem in North America that many are trying hard to mend, including a local youth group at Christ the King Lutheran Church in West Chester.

Fresh & Affordable

In a four-month, million-dollar renovation, Basil’s On Market has transformed the grand 15,000-square-foot space on a busy Mason corner. With its fresh vibe and from-scratch kitchen, it brings fare fit for foodies to the suburbs—all at affordable prices.

Wilderness Exploration At Red River Gorge

Host of one of the most impressive networks of mountains, tunnels, natural bridges and canyons in the area, Red River Gorge stands apart as an example of untamed natural beauty. What’s even better is that this unexpected oasis is practically in our backyard; a quick jaunt of two and a half hours, Red River Gorge makes for a great short…

The Art Of Recycling

Welcome to the studio of local artist Carolyn McGowan, an alternate galaxy of glossy discs of all sizes, swirling with color. Hiding underneath the twists and cells of paint lie unlikely canvases—old-school record albums, compact discs and wood tabletops, given a second chance as unique works of art. Using a technique called paint pouring, McGowan brings new life to discarded…

Design For Living

When Helen Wright walks into a room, her eyes immediately begin seeing its potential. She can envision modified furniture, new window treatments, fresh art—all while making sure the room stays functional and livable for its owners.

Color Of The Year 2019

This time of year it can look a little muddy, dark and dreary outdoors. To help bridge the gap until the vibrancy of spring has arrived, how about adding a pop of color to your life? In an annual tradition, the color authorities at Pantone have selected the 2019 color of the year: Living Coral 16-1546.

Better Bedtime in Butler County

Two to three percent of children in the United States don’t have beds. In Butler County, that’s at least 8,000 kids, sleeping in makeshift spots each night. Local activists are uniting around a motto that is changing those statistics: “No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.”

Power Up

You’ve seen them; you have them; you know them well. Phone and tablet chargers can quickly become a source of clutter in any home. Local blogger Sarah Jacob created a DIY charging station (using an old breadbox) and has shared her step-by-step process for easy replication.

Reader Favorites Revealed

 PAGE 1:  The wait is finally over. The West Chester & Liberty Lifestyle 2018 Readers’ Choice winners have been finalized. Nearly 3,000 votes were cast online this fall, and the winning businesses represented here were chosen by you, our readers. If you missed your chance to vote, be sure to visit our website next fall to make your opinions known.…

Raising The Barre

Since she began classes at three years old, West Chester's Emma Krusling has dreamed of doing what she loves most—pirouettes, pliés and arabesques onstage as a professional ballet dancer. Now, she is dancing her way to her dreams in a unique program at Cincinnati Ballet's Otto M. Budig Academy.

Arts In Butler County

The performing arts are as expansive as they are expressive, and an important part of our city. Although downtown Cincinnati possesses many historical venues, you don’t need to travel far to experience the arts. Right in your own backyard, Butler County is rich with culture. Experience dynamic classical music with the West Chester Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy live theater and more at…

Bite Into Bliss

Want to get your sweetie something extra sweet this Valentine’s Day? Look no further than Karma in the Kitchen, a boutique in Olde West Chester that specializes in artisan chocolates, buttery caramels and life-changing fudge. Founder and chocolatier Karma Decker opened her store in 2016, and recently expanded in October of last year. “I always knew I wanted to create…

Bodybuilding Moms

Natalie Barger and Dana Raiford are neighbors, close friends and mothers. They both work jobs that impact the health and wellness of people within our community—Barger as a personal trainer at the Lakota YMCA and Raiford as the kitchen manager at Lakota’s Independence Elementary. However, in October 2018, the Liberty Township pair achieved a new commonality. They both competed in…

Home Sweet Home

Finding the right place to live after retirement can be a tough decision. Whether you’re searching for yourself or a loved one, you likely want to find a community that promotes aging with comfort and dignity. A new option for assisted living and memory care is coming to West Chester in February, and they live by this mantra: “Age fearlessly.…

Creating A Fluffy Connection

Most people love the excited, panting grin of a dog as it walks up to meet them. When people at our local hospitals see Bella coming, their faces relax even when they aren’t having a good day. The calming energy of this Great Pyrenees/Golden Retriever mix breaks through the patients’ tough circumstances and keeps them present in the moment, just scratching…

Standout Student Athletes

High school athletics are at their finest in Lakota Local Schools. Whether on the course, field or court, these four Lakota athletes excel. Here are their stories, in their own words.

Countdown To Christmas

Santa Claus is coming to town! Santa is back to kick off the holiday season at Liberty Center.

Getaway At The Greenbrier

Nestled among the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia is one of America’s most historic and luxurious hotels. The Greenbrier is a living piece of history, wrapped in old world elegance. Just a five-hour drive away, The Greenbrier is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway this winter.

The Ultimate Holiday Playlist

The holiday season is officially upon us and there’s no better way to get in the spirit when you’re wrapping presents or baking cookies than to listen to the ultimate winter playlist. We asked music directors at Lakota East and Lakota West High Schools for their favorite selections, all from the schools’ upcoming holiday concerts. 

Holiday Mantel Makeover

Is your mantel begging for a holiday makeover? Design expert Helen Wright, owner of Interiors Plus in Mason, shares three ways to spruce up your mantel for the holidays. Find these items and more at Interiors Plus.

[Not] Home for the Holidays

As we turn our calendars to the holidays, our thoughts turn to hearth and home. While most of us are able to press pause to gather with our families and friends, the first responders in our community don’t get to close the office and head home for a break. No matter what the day or hour, our police and fire…

Mending Hearts

Seniors at Chesterwood Village Senior Living in West Chester are using their hands to help mend grieving hearts across the nation. And grief is not new to this group of retirees, as several are dealing with their own losses in life, but the common goal that they all share is to give back and to help others any way they…

Reach By Number

Right in our backyard is the 26-year-old Reach Out Lakota, an organization that is rapidly expanding its footprint with new partnerships and initiatives, all in an effort to help more families when they need a hand-up. Learn why the organization is thriving and how you can help.