Monday, August 30, 2010

Take my BUTTON... Please! (in my best Rodney Dangerfield impression)

I always see other blogs boasting the buttons of their sister bogs. I wanted to get in on the sharing and supporting, but was completely clueless as to how to make the text box with html language for people to "grab". Designing the 125x125 pixel button was easy enough. Although, I'm not sure how happy I am with it. It's hard to get creative in that tiny of a lo-res space. Or maybe my creative juices weren't flowing. I wanted the words to "jump up" at you but didn't want a solid background either. You can see what I ended up with on the top right. Then, my trusty friend Google led me to this blog post at Oikology 101 with explicit instructions for making a Blogger button. So, please, take it and post it on your blog and leave a comment with a link to you and I will return the favor. Oh, and I added my blog to "Top Baby Blogs" so if you would be so kind to clink the bar at top to cast your vote and improve my rank, I appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

What an Honor!

I have been nominated by an unknown person for a Business in Bloom Award from the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce. I am really excited about meeting my fellow nominees and business owners. Sometimes I feel like I exist in vacuum. The problem is picking someone to accompany me. The ceremony is Sept. 7, 2010 so I will let you all know how it goes.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Sweet Potatoes aren't just for the Holidays

*This is an updated post to include a recent news piece from NoBaddNews August 2010!

My best friend is from Detroit, Michigan. I visited her last year for my birthday. As my birthday comes around again later this month, I am remembering my last trip there. Like the rest of the nation, Detroit was affected by the recession. But being the "Motor City" they took a harder blow years ago when automotive jobs went overseas. They have been rebuilding for some years now and with the influx of tourists to the new casinos downtown, you can see a revival taking place. I have visited the city a few times in the 10 years my friend and I have known each other. My visit last year was the first time I got a tour of the sights and the rebuilding efforts. I visited the stadium where the Tigers play baseball, Motown Museum and Sweet Potato Sensations.

This bakery that makes all their treats from sweet potatoes, has been in Detroit for over 20 years. They have grown and moved into a larger, new bakery with seating for the public. Sweet Potato Sensations is the “Sweet Potato Lover’s Heaven on Earth”. Owner, Cassandra Thomas, developed a sweet potato cookie recipe in 1976, to expand her husband’s favorite dish - candied sweet potatoes (commonly know as candied yams). After conducting market tests and distributing hundreds of cookie samples, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

From that cookie recipe, an entire line of delicious sweet potato products has been created. Presently the product line includes: Sweet potato cookies, sweet potato cheesecake, sweet potato pie, sweet potato cake, sweet potato ice cream, sweet potato pecan pie, candied yams and sweet potato cobbler.
I tried the sweet potato cookie with chocolate chips (I should mention here that I love chocolate), the cake (oh my, this was the best cream cheese frosting I've ever tasted), the cheescake (can we say silky smooth?)and of course the pie. Get the recipe for the sweet potato cake and icing here! A Facebook picture of the cake.  I give them all a thumbs up!

With sweets this good, there is not way I can only have sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving and Christmas. This family run business (Cassandra is supported by her husband and 2 grown daughters) is dreaming up some innovative recipes with this under-appreciated root! You can tell the love that goes into these treats. Look at the line of people before Thanksgiving 2009
Over the years, their efforts haven't gone completely unnoticed. Sweet Potato Sensations has been featured in various national and local publications including: Detroit Monthly Magazine, one of the Best of Detroit, in their 11th Annual List; The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, AAA’s Michigan Living Magazine. Cassandra and Sweet Potato Sensations were featured Spring 2004 on “The Best Of’, the highly rated Food Network program hosted by Marc Silverstein. Cassandra has also appeared on Kelly & Company of Channel 7 (ABC News Affiliate; Best Bets of Detroit, Channel 4, (NBC news affiliate) and Glenn Plumber of CTN-Channel 26. Sweet Potato Sensations has been selected to serve desserts at the Detroit Branch NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner, the largest sit down dinner in America, for the past seven years! The National Coalition of 100 Black Women and WINGS (Women in Need of Guidance and Skills) , recently honored Cassandra Thomas as an outstanding business woman of the year!

Are you drooling yet? Well, if you are not planning to visit Detroit anytime soon, the good news is that a good number of menu items can be flash frozen and shipped to you in the US. You can taste that they use only the finest ingredients. The items are baked fresh and there are no preservatives. Cookies have the longest shelf life and are easiest to ship. I was told yesterday that they have introduced a new cookie with pecans, chocolate chip, and coconut cookie which I will order for my Gumdrop Swap grand opening later this month.!/pages/Detroit-MI/Sweet-Potato-Sensations/307506540576



Monday, August 2, 2010

Fusion Fashion Jewelry Blowout Sale Ends 8/6/10!

Fusion Fashion is having a sale on earring and necklace sets for $15-$25. To place an order please send an email to Shawnda Henry  at and let her know what item #s you want to purchase (for example, A16 is the Item # for the photo above). After she confirms your order she will send you a link to a secured site to complete the payment process. She accepts all major credit cards. If you want to make other arrangements to pay in cash or by check please place that in your email. She will close the shopping extravaganza on Friday, August 6th at 5 pm and place your order then. It will take approximately a week to receive your order. **Pre-payment is required to place your order. Hurry! This offer ends Friday, August 6th at 5pm (EST). She can ship anywhere in the U.S. for a nominal fee. At these prices you do you holiday shopping early! Please feel free to forward to your family and friends. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Help Me Style my Next Photo Shoot!

As a plus sized model (or any size model) I have to constantly update my portfolio. That is the model book with my best and most recent photos that I show to potential clients when I go to a casting (a casting is also called a "go-see" if you don't watch ANTM). So,it's that time again. Time to add some new photos to my book. I have a couple of go-to photographers in the area and even a make-up artist that I work well with. I hate lugging my wardrobe and other photoshoot supplies to NY if I don't have to. So, I have a location picked out for my next shoot but I need your help choosing my look.

Recently I've been drawn to the color yellow. Because of my pale skin I assumed the color would not be flattering for me but I bought a yellow scarf last year and I love it (pictured above). So I think I will feature this color in this shoot. Here are the dresses I am considering:

And now for the shoes. Have you ever used It's run by and has a huge selection of shoes from low prices to expensive designer labels in all sizes, styles, and brands. You can search many different ways. Even by occasion. For my search I used "yellow" and my shoe size to sort. The BEST THING about is the shoes ship for FREE and even return shipping is FREE. Most are shipped overnight or get there in 2 days. That takes the fear of the shoes not fitting and feeling hassled to return them. So, if I try them on at home and don;t like them, I'll send them back and get the next pair on my list. These are my favorite 9. (*The last 2 are not a mistake, I think I can pull it off)

And final choice is how I should wear my hair. Here it is in it's natural state. Photo by Kristina Vartuli based in Stamford, CT Very big and curly! And the 1st picture in this post shows it blown straight. What do you suggest with the dress and shoes you have selected. Please comment with the # 1, 2, or 3 for dress and #1-9 for shoes and then specify what hair style best completes the look. Thank you fashionistas!

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