Doin’ Fine on Cloud Swine

If you’re not shopping at The Costco for your meats…then I don’t know what to tell you. Baby-sis and I are still profiting from the pork loin we got at the beginning of the year. I had been wanting to stuff SOMETHING, anything with produce and what better option than a portion of tenderloin. Thanks to my nana’s obsession with ALL THINGS QVC & HSN she had an abundance of Deni Freshlock Sealers and gifted me one sometime back. Well the time was right to actually use the thing, so I cut the loin into portions and proceeded to seal and freeze. Now I will say this is NOT the best sealer by any means, in fact I don’t recommend it at all, but the idea is solid and I’m sure someone has made a better product. But I digress…

Start with  a pre-heated oven at 400, then butterfly your pork loin. This means cutting it 1/4 – 1/2 inch from the bottom, it should open like a book. Coat both sides with EVOO and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl I mixed in chopped kale, broccoli and feta cheese. From there mix in 2 tbsp of EVOO and your seasonings. I used – ground basil, oregano, and sweet ginger garlic seasoning by Simply Asia. After you’ve mixed together all the ingredients layer them on top of the loin. Afterward take your time rolling the loin up. I suggest pre-cutting your twine and laying it under the loin to make the tying easier. Cook for 35-40mins and let sit for 10mins for everything to settle. I put this over peas and beans and my belly had a ball!

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Books, Bags, Boots & Baubles

Who wants to dress better, make more money, and excel in their respective field…MEEEEEE!!!

Thanks to my parents gifting me with a ZARA gift card over the holidays I was able to grab a pair of boots, and a new bag. Both of which I was in dire need of. I also want to increase my knowledge of acting and asked for some books I had saved in my AMAZON wish-list since grandmother was a girl. So my parents got me Sandford Meisner on Acting & Stella Adler – The Art of Acting . As an avid reader I decided that THIS year I’d choose 12 books to read over the course of the year, instead of just randomly reading books and barely finishing them. This month I’ve been reading Sandford Meisner on Acting, Acting As a Business,  and I ‘m also re-reading The Pimp Game by Mickey Royal . I’ve learned that scared money, don’t make no money so as I transition into a full – fledge, profit earning entrepreneur I have to take the reins and learn as much as possible about acting and business in general. Hell, Stella has to get her groove back by her own-self!

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In another entrepreneurial move I opened up an online accessories boutique. Introducing Savage Gazelle at Kitsy Lane where I specialize in well-known brands and emerging designers. Accessories have always been my thing, so much so that a few years ago I invested in this jewelry armoire. Very similar to one my mother has had since I was a child. So naturally when the opportunity to open this shop came about, I jumped at the chance. I understand how important it is to have income coming in from multiple sources, and doing work that you love. I have spent years doing work that is unfulfilling while being underpaid and underutilized and those days are over! However, I can honestly say that those particular positions allowed me to grow, and strengthen my commitment and focus on what God has always had in store for me.

Below are some recent acquisitions to my shop…I encourage you to join my email list to be notified of sales, coupons and virtual trunk shows!

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I’m just having a ball, learning and growing. Here’s to 2014 and my world domination.

You’ve been warned!

Trouble Valley aka One Bad Apple

Recently I was re-reading some notes regarding the book of Joshua which The Bishop describes as a book for people ready to take ownership. Since 2014 for me is about results and ultimately world domination via acting I decided I really needed to READ this book of the bible. Per usual God did NOT disappoint, and I’m not even halfway through!

In chapter 7 by God’s strength Joshua has defeated Jericho and didn’t have to use one sword. They’ve burned the city to the ground and have taken all the gold, silver, bronze, and iron seized from Jericho and put it into the Lords treasury, or so they thought. It turns out Joshua had a fungus in his camp. The toxic member had taken items that were to be destroyed and hid them in his tent. As you move further into the story you’ll find that Joshua and his army were defeated by a city they should have easily taken. This defeat moved Joshua to grief, even asking the Lord why let us come all this way if only to leave us hangin’, and that’s when God said:

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10 …“Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. 

Later in the text God orders Joshua to purify (cleanse, clean) the people {Joshua 7:13} and he clearly lets Joshua know that they’ll never be able to stand against their enemies if they don’t get rid of the things they were ordered to.

It led me to question what things God has asked me to destroy in my life, be it relationships, financial debts, etc that could be hindering my progress and ultimately my blessings. What things may I have “hidden” and thought no one would know. Somehow forgetting, or ignoring the fact that God knows all. Talk about trying it!

So my question to you is – What hidden fungus, or bad apple is in your life that could be stopping the flow of Gods grace?  At the end of day when God ask you to move on something its best you move. Furthermore, are you sensitive to God’s call, because I’ve found often God comes with a whisper, not a holler and sometimes we’re just not silent enough on the inside to heed the directions God is giving us.

Food Can Be Such Fun!

Winter storm ‘Hercules’ followed by the “Polar Vortex” (what the hell is that anyway?) had my sister and I hungrier than orphans. No shade. By Sunday we had to bite the bullet and remove all the snow that blanketed the car. Thankfully the bit of rain we had 2 days prior didn’t leave much work for us to do. We had to go over to The Costco and get our bi-monthly food staples. You know: oatmeal, cereal, snacks…etc. My favorite part though was getting to the meat section. I had been wanting to make a pork loin for a while and when I saw those babies in the meat department I had visions of meals for days!

On Thursday I planned on making the loin in my trusty crock-pot. However in my haste of taking it down, the lid slid off and shattered into a 1000 pieces. I am still finding glass in my living room. Le sigh. But thanks to ole’ google, I find that ole’ Sears sells the lids separately.

Which makes me wonder how many people have shattered their crock-pot lids to the point where Sears even has this option available. lol But I digress…

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I prepared the rub with 2tbsp of: black pepper, ground rosemary, basil, parsley and oregano, followed by 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, and 1 tbsp of honey. Mix well and rub onto meat.

I placed the loin over a bed of spanish onions and placed it in a shallow dish in a pre-heated oven at 425 and roasted for 1hr and 15 min. You don’t want to over cook the loin, it should be slightly pink in the middle. Let it sit for 10 mins after removing from the oven for everything to settle, then slice and serve.

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Nothing short of amazing!!! I paired the loin with steamed broccoli and leftover baked brown rice, the best way to make brown rice IMO and we ate as usual like small hogs!

Earlier in the week I decided to make some chicken breast and use the last of our sun-dried tomatoes. A simple baked chicken with garlic and sun-dried tomatoes over baked brown rice. Geesh, what will I come up with next?

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Get Yourself Situated

I don’t know about you, but I am preparing myself for a Luke 6:38 blessing. For those that DONT know, lemme show you…

…”A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

In the words of Diddy, “Lets Work”!

My friend Janelle, founder and owner of Suite PR NYC recently invited me to attend a 2 hour workshop put on by the Daymond John Academy. Daymond is one of the original founders of FUBU, and aside from being a serial entrepreneur he is also one of the sharks on Shark Tank. The seminar was great, I left with a lot of business tips and insights and am going to make it my business to join his academy by the end of this year. So without further ado I present MY NOTES! I hope that it will give you insights and ideas, and possibly confirm some things about your own product/services.

Branding – separates your business/product from everyone else’s

  • your product has got to sell a lifestyle
  • you’ve got to get to a point where your business not your product is investible

5 Types of Business Stages 

  1. Dream/Seed stage
  2. Start Up/Chaos – this stage separates the entrepreneur from the wannabees
  3. Stability/Survival – this stage is the most dangerous because its the widest
  4. Growth/Wealth
  5. Exit Strategy

TIP 1 – Build Your Business FAST

  • get your idea/product/service out there be it 6, 9, or 12 months – by out there we mean getting it exchanged for money

TIP 2  – Make Sure a Patent is Worth It

  •  in the case of clothing its usually not. design changes can be so small that you waste money by paying for a patent

TIP 3 – KNOCK YOURSELF OFF 1ST! 

Every Business Needs 4 Things 

  1. Market Demand
  2. Marketing – in some cases marketing can create Market Demand
  3. Operations – can your infrastructure handle a regional order?
  4. Finance = sustainable profitable revenue growth

Taking Your Business to the Next Level 

  1. Follow a solid business plan with a Executive Summary, Marketing Plan, Operations/Management Plan and Financial Plan – *you dont need a business plan if crowd-funding or friends and family are your financial resources
  2. Marketing Plan should answer 2 questions : What Need Will I Fill? & What Is My Target Market?

Whats in a PROVEN marketing plan?

  • Value proposition – whats makes you different
  • Simple sales process
  • Marketing strategies that work
  • Branding your product/service
  • Fundamentals in place

Types of Marketing 

automated, social media, ex. FaceBook ads, lifestyle marketing, content marketing, online selling, direct mail

Types of Capital 

operational, marketing, prototype, angel investor or VC

* You need to know what type you need and whats right for your business. Do you need cash, contacts or both?

  • remember your business can survive without profit, it cannot survive without cash flow

About Celeb Endorsements 

*The RIGHT celeb endorsement can build your company 10x faster than marketing alone

When choosing celeb endorsements

  • Find the BEST fit for your company
  • Figure out how much to pay – some celebs might be undergoing their own re-branding so the affiliation with your product and demographic might be payment enough!
  • Choose the correct product to place with the celeb

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Questions to consider:

  1. Why do you start a service oriented business? Answer – to sell it
  2. Why do you start a product oriented business? Answer – to license it
  3. What is the scalability of your product/service?

Other Ways to Build Wealth 

  1. Solid tax strategies/asset protection – why pay uncle Sam a penny more than you have to?
  2. Buy > Build > Sell other businesses
  3. Do business with the government
  4. Leverage commercial real estate within your business i.e.: Build > Own Real Estate > Sell Biz > Lease Real Estate back
  5. Flip Businesses

THE END

I hope this post assist you as you make better business decisions for yourself in 2014. If you have tips to share and/or found this post useful please comment and share!

Sign, Sealed, Delivered…

Back in NYC, the year is 2014 and today I picked up…

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Had me feeling like…

Its been a world-wind month and its only the 8th of January. It started with me ridding myself of my car that I had for over 10 years and learning all the ins & outs of the “selling” process. I have also been working on finishing my acting reel and unfortunately its STILL INCOMPLETE. The most important lesson I’ve learned since pursuing acting is that PATIENCE is indeed a virtue. I swear even when I have all the ducks lined up and am ready to rock & roll God has his own time schedule that’s filled with delays, drama, grace and mercy at the SAME DAMN TIME!

And I WILL DEAL!

I have had such a wonderful time these last few months as I’ve been navigating my acting career. My scene study class last month really got me clear on creating a technique for cold read auditions, and I got great feedback from my instructor at our final evaluations. I am working diligently to take my career to the next level. I had been casual, now I’m committed. I start a commercial acting class next month and I am really looking forward to it. If it all goes well not only will I get good feedback, but possibly an agent! That’s what 2014 is all about for me, financial re$ults! I have been attending business and goal setting seminars since the new year started, which I will blog about and I was gifted some great acting books by not only my parents but also my neighbor who is an actor as well!

Get in line with God’s will, have faith, and the provision will be provided.

I am living this quote:

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now, of course I’ve been cooking and eating like a small hog. I had a ball over the holidays making “holiday” Quiche’s and stuffing Cornish hens. I even made a brisket for my family back home in MD, though I didn’t get to eat any, because my sister and I had to head back to New York that same morning.  What I do know is that muthasucka was good because the aroma coming from that crock-pot around 2am was speaking to my soul, stirred me right outta my sleep!

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This Quiche is filled with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh thyme, mix in  5 eggs, season to taste and bake for 45min at 350. This is a really simple and fun breakfast alternative. The good thing is that it can be eaten any time of the day. Add a side salad, sweet potatoes, or pair with chicken you’ve got options and meals galore!

On to the stuffed Cornish hens that I paired with Gala apples and brussels sprouts…

Yes I do have twine in my kitchen! It gets real in Bedstuy!

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I filled these beauties with fresh thyme, spinach, feta cheese and baked at 400 for  1hr and 25min, or until juice near thigh runs clear. For the sides, I roughly chopped the apples and brussels sprouts, mixed them with about 2 tbsp of EVOO and put them in the oven for about 40mins or until tender.

This week I’ve made everything from pan seared Mahi Mahi to a penne soup filled with carrots, spanish onions, and both red & purple kale! Tomorrow I am trying my hand at a pork tenderloin!

Stay tuned!