Saturday, February 28, 2015

Black History Tribute to Small Business Spotlight-Jeanee Patton’s Kennedy’s Sweet Tooth

Welcome to our new showcase and tribute to black owned business monthly spotlight.  Kennedy’s Sweet Tooth is the first Black Owned business to be showcased. We had the opportunity to sit down with the owner and creator Jeanee Patton for Kennedy’s Sweet Tooth.

Photo credits: Courtesy of and owned by Jeanee Patton
 
Tell us about Kennedy's Sweet Tooth?

Jeanee: Kennedy’s Sweet Tooth is a place where your imagination can come alive and your sweet tooth is truly satisfied. We use fresh ingredients to offer a large selection in Plain Jane, Chic & Classy, and Grown & Sexy flavored cakes. Now you’re probably wondering what does all that mean? Well, Plain Jane cakes are your more traditional flavors such as your chocolate, butter, and vanilla.

Chic & Classy are the more decadent and more gourmet flavored cakes such as the Orange Dreamsicle, Hummingbird, or Boston Cream Pie. Now, my favorite is the Grown & Sexy. These cakes are infused with alcoholic beverages such as Fuzzy Navel, Mimosas, and Mudslide. You can think of it as Happy Hour without the glass. Kennedy’s Sweet Tooth also offers cookies, cake pops, brownies, cheesecakes, pies, and candy. We love doing dessert buffets because we are able to showcase a variety along with creativity.

What inspired you into launching Kennedy's Sweet Tooth?

Jeanee: What inspired me? Well, I have to let you know that I always had this love affair with baking. It actually started when I had my first Easy Bake Oven. It was just the beginning of something beautiful, and the day I realized my passion for baking. I would watch my grandmothers in the kitchen, and I often helped them prepare different meals and delights for the family. The reason why I named it after my daughter Kennedy is because she inspires me to continue to strive for excellence.

What makes your masterpieces cakes and delights different than your competitors?

Jeanee: Well, I believe that we are in a new age now, and I think customers are looking for the "wow factor". You know The Plain Jane cakes are fine, but I think they want to impress their guests. I think they are looking for a more of a gourmet cake. Something that’s pretty, but tastes just as good as it looks. This is where my large variety of gourmet flavored cakes keeps my customers drooling over the combinations. I just believe at Kennedy’s Sweet Tooth, we offer all of these gourmet flavors and that is what I think makes me stand apart from my competitors.

What is on the horizon for Kennedy's Sweet Tooth in 2015?

Jeanee: Well, 2015 has really proven to be a great year for my company. I am already lining up some catering jobs for this year, and I was offered a catering job for a photo shoot here in Atlanta. I just can’t disclose any information about it because it’s not finalized. But that’s in the works. I am really working hard on trying to make my brand larger and trying reach a larger audience.

Do you foresee any long distance to be able to ship treats to customers?

Jeanee: I am always asked do I ship, and I always answer no. However, I realized it’s not fair just for my Atlanta fans to be able to taste such great delights. So with that being said, I am looking at different ways to market my desserts to a larger audience. I’m working to find out what ships best, because I want my desserts to look like they did when they left. I have to say that is something in the works.

Do you foresee Kennedy’s Sweet Tooth in Grocery Stores or smaller retailers?

Jeanee: I think that would be a long term goal. I would probably be more interested and focused on the local mom and pop store fronts and mom and pop restaurants. A lot of times they are looking for people to bake because a lot of times they don’t know how to bake. That is something I foresee in the future.

Photo Credits: Photo courtesy of Jeanee Patton

Jeanee’s Motivational Quote:
"God can dream a bigger vision than you can ever imagine. All I know is God can dream a bigger vision and everything that I do is for his glory. I know he gave me this gift. I know he did, because it’s something that I can do without a thought. That why I know he is going to open up doors for me and he is going put the right people in my life. Again, my vision is nowhere near the vision that he has for me. So I am looking forward to everything that God has in store for me. "

You can learn more about Kennedy’s Sweet Tooth by visiting her website and following her on social media.  You can make inquiries to the email address listed below.

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kennedys-Sweet-Tooth/172894920711

Instagram: @kennedyssweettooth

Website:www.kennedyssweettooth.com

Email:jeaneepatton@kennedyssweettooth.com

 
 


 
 

 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spoken Word- Teach me how to Love You!

Teach me how to love you with even a wounded, abandoned, and broken heart. Teach me how to love you by unlocking the love buried deep within my heart. Teach me how to love you  through patience, time, and understanding. 

Teach me how to love you with simple smiles and gentle kisses.  Teach me how to love you by showing your queen how to rise like a lioness with her King. Teach me how to love you unconditionally.
 
Teach me how to love your character and your personality.  Teach me how to love your short-comings and short falls.  Teach me how to love you when your presence is absent.  Teach me how to love you with that look of declared love gleaming from your eyes.  Teach me to how to love you by training my body and my mind to sync with yours mentally, spiritually, and physically.  Teach me how to love you with each touch, each caress, each embrace, and each stroke. 

Teach me how to love you as we grow to be whole. Teach me how to love you and be your missing rib, your partner, and your friend.  Teach me how to love you by learning to trust and rely on your protection and unconditional love.  Teach me how to have your back as you have mine.  Teach me how to love you and I will teach you how to love me!

Photo credits on picture and Pinterest

Have you met that special person that has taught you how to love them? 
  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Special Feature-Exclusive Interview with Christopher Nolen, Director on his new movie 72 Hours

We had the opportunity to interview Chicago's very own talented filmmaker and director Christopher Nolen.  He has a new movie called 72 Hours that opens today in Chicago and Milwaukee in selected theaters running from February 13 through 19th. 

Tell Us about your new movie 72 HOURS.

Christopher Nolen: I'm glad you asked that question. 72 Hours is a story that revolves around Chef Cleavon “Von” Burkett (Timon Kyle Durrett), a former ladies’ man who was living the good life with a beautiful wife (Erica Hubbard)--until one day he wasn’t.

A heart attack brings Von face to face with God (Harry J. Lennix), and God offers Von a second chance at life, IF he atones to ALL of his exes.  With the help of his best friend (Brian Hooks) and the determination to live, Von embarks on a hilarious journey to seek redemption. Von soon realizes that hell hath no fury like the women he’s scorned.

72 HOURS stars Timon Kyle Durrett, Terri J. Vaughn, Brely Evans, Erica Hubbard, Harry J. Lennix, Brian Hooks, Cynda Williams, Tangi Miller, Chyna Layne, Christopher Nolen and Thea Camara.


What is the message that you want the audience to walk away with from this movie?

Christopher Nolen: The messages I want to convey in this film are as follows: we all need to learn how to truthfully forgive, we need to understand each other (men and women), we need to communicate better with each other, and last but not least we need to love each other with our minds, souls, and hearts.

 What inspired the making of 72 Hours Movie?

Christopher Nolen:  The inspiration for this film happened years and years ago when I saw so many people hurt from their previous relationships and marriages. I saw how bitter they were and it really hurt their lives. They didn't want to forgive at all but one friend of mine learned how to forgive and it changed his life forever for the positive.

What's in store for Christopher Nolen, the director for 2015?

Christopher Nolen:  I have several things in stored for 2015 as a director and producer. For a follow up film to 72 Hours I will be directing and producing a film entitled "Christopher Nolen's Zodiac Sign." I also have a few other projects on my slate that I will be directing and producing as well. My goal is to continue to make positive and inspiring films to go to the big screen.

What advice do you have for the aspiring film-makers?

Christopher Nolen:  The advice I want to give to aspiring filmmakers is to NEVER GIVE UP! It will get tough but you have to keep pushing. The odds are always against you but you can beat the odds with passion, persistence, and perseverance.
 
You can go check out Christopher Nolen's new movie 72 HOURS starting today at selected locations in Chicago and Milwaukee. 


#72HOURSMOVIE is on the big screen February 13-19th at these locations:

 Marcus Chicago Heights Cinema
1301 Hilltop Avenue, Chicago Heights, IL 60411
(708) 747-0800

Marcus Southgate Cinema
3330 South 30th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53215
Phone:(414) 291-3456

Studio Movie Grill Chatham
210 W. 87th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60620

Photo Credits: The photo's are owned and courtesy of Mr. Nolen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What Do Black Women want from Black Men in relationships?

I read an article in the February issue of Essence magazine written by Tony Gaskins, Jr. titled What Makes a Black Man Say I Do? This article raised many questions for me and inspired the current topic.  In his article, Mr. Gaskins gives his valid qualities that will make a black man say "I Do" based on his relationship experience and what made him say I do to his wife.  It is a beautiful article that gives women advice from a man's perspective.  After all, it is the man who chooses his wife and not the other way around.  We are his missing rib and we are to be his compliment and partner.  Without going into detail what each quality consist of  that Mr. Gaskins discussed in his article at http://www.essence.com/2015/01/16/what-makes-black-man-say-i-do

Mr. Gaskin's qualities in a woman that will make a black man say I Do:
  • She is Whole
  • She is Confident
  • She is not Confrontational
  • She is Authentic
  • She is Driven
  • She is not Easy
  • She is Aligned
Photo Credits: Facebook & Corbis

I thought about those qualities that he listed and I must admit that I have heard some black men mention these qualities above as what they look for in a woman that they can make their wife.  However, if you were a woman reading the article for the first time, you might have said "ouch" to one or two qualities listed above. For instance, he talked about being authentic which consisted of not wearing a weave or extensions.  He basically says allow your natural beauty to show instead of putting on a mask is my interpretation.  Another example, he talked about not being easy which consisted of respecting yourself and valuing your body.  Again, know who you are and respect your body by not laying down with every man that you date.  Finally, he talked about being confrontational of which it seems it only takes a few to label an entire ethnicity as confrontational.  Not all black women are confrontational, but I do get his point.  He gave a good example about being argumentative if your partner didn't agree with you.  We all have our opinions and we should respect each others beliefs. 

Do I agree with his qualities that make a black man say yes?  Yes, I agree with them all except for being authentic because a black woman can be authentic even with a weave.  It's how you love yourself, value your self worth, and how a black woman defines her natural beauty. 

Meanwhile, I decided to ask my audience which consist of 90% women the question, What do black women want from black men in a relationship that would lead to marriage?  Their list has some similarities in qualities that would make a Black man say I do. 

Below is my list compiled based on my audience feedback:
  • He is Driven
  • He is Loyal/Faithful/Honest
  • He has Stability/Employed
  • He is Confident
  • He has a Vision & He Inspires you
  • He is Whole
  • He is a Comforter/Provider/Supportive
  • He has Purpose (Alignment)
  • He shows Growth and not afraid to growth
  • He is open for Growth & Prosperity and not stagnant
  • He is not afraid to communicate his feelings
  • He cares about his health and spiritual being
  • He will take your good, your bad side, and accept you for who you are
 Bottom line is that Black Love does exist and some of the qualities are shared between black men and Black women.  After comparing the two list and reading the article again, it raised the question.  Are we as Black Women wanting our qualities to already be there in a Black Man during the dating process?  Or can some of the qualities be nurtured and developed over the course of the relationship?



Friday, February 6, 2015

Inspiration- What's holding you back from Following your Dreams?

Each day you sit and you dream about your of owning your own business, publishing your first novel, or getting your first acting position. You waited so long to follow your dreams that you thought it was impossible because you hit a few bumps along the journey. Those bumps along the journey of life caused you to defer your dreams.  You keep wishing and wanting to follow your dreams. 

What's holding you back from following your dreams?  What exactly is it that you are afraid of?  Are there too many people in your ear?  Do you think that you are to old to follow what your heart truly desire?  Is there a burning desire that is waking you up in the middle of the night at night?  Many dream chasers are burden with these questions as they struggle to fulfill their dreams. 

Over the years, you have made many sacrifices taking care of your family and friends.  Constantly talking about your dreams and no one is listening or encouraging you to take that leap of faith.  Even thought the journey has been long and hard, you are the only one who can put an end to the struggle.  You cried many nights because you are building someone else dream instead of your own. You go to work every day struggling with "I wish" and "if I could".  You have listened to the naysayers tell you that you are too old to start over.

Better yet, you are listening to some small minded people who only think small.  They think small because they cannot see the big picture.  The vision that God has given to you is bigger than that of a person who can only see small the picture instead of the bigger picture.  Do not try to make them understand you or your dreams because you are not on the same level of vision and destiny.

Besides, God knows how your dreams will unfold and he is just waiting on you to trust in him and to believe in you.  You have to believe in your dreams. You have to believe in the power that is within you.  What's holding you back from following your dreams?  What excuses are you telling yourself? 

Picture credits on photo
You cannot wait around for someone to give you permission to chase and build your dreams. You are in control.  How can you start today?  By putting your trust in yourself and in God and know that he will guide your footsteps.  Below are a 12 tips to help you get started:

  1. Start with a self-evaluation of yourself and what you want.
  2. Does an inventory check of your circle of friends and family members?
  3. Step out on faith.
  4. Align yourself with influencers doing what you dream to do.
  5. Find a mentor that has already accomplished what you desire to be doing.  
  6. Create a vision board and set goals.
  7. Build your brand.
  8. Take a class or attend a Tele-summit, a seminar or webinar about the field you are interested in learning.
  9. Surround yourself with like-minded people (dream chasers going after their dreams).
  10. Be mindful of who you are and don't lose focus on your dream.
  11. Be determined to invest in you.
  12. Most important be unstoppable following your dream

Change your mindset and you will change your life.  Following your dreams will change your life and leave a legacy!  Remember to encourage yourself, stay prayerful, stay humble, do affirmations daily, and validate yourself.  All dream chasers build and invest in their craft. When you fall get up and start over again. You only fail when you stop getting up.


Are you following your dreams or are you building someone else? Step out on faith and dare to believe in yourself. What's holding you back from following your dreams?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Spoken Word-Why do Black women compete with one another?

Why do Black women compete with one another when we were all designed and made uniquely different?  Our curves are not the same, our character is not the same, our physics is not the same, and our intellectual position is not the same. Our destiny is not the same.  Yet, we all compete with one another as if we are shackled together.

 Why must we as women attempt to fit in with other women? Is it our pride or ego that is manipulated into thinking we must compete? It's the burdens on societal rules and stereotypes that have invaded our domain.
 
We enter relationships thinking on an ordinary level, yet we are not ordinary!  We are a gift created to bare the unthinkable pain and bring forth life. We are caregivers, we are lovers, we are teachers, and yet we still compete. We are sexy, we are alluring, we are ecstasy!  We are the missing rib that unites  the second greatest love that man could receive.  

Why must we want to be ordinary when we are unique? Our lips, eyes, and hips are unique to our creator's sculpted masterpiece.  We are a one of a kind. So why must we compete to be ordinary, when we were created to be a one of a kind masterpiece?
 

Photo credits on the pictures:Pinterest
 
So the question remains, why are we as Black women competing with other women when we are all different?