Love at first sip with T’HO COFFEE: A New Type Of Brew.

My friend/blogger invited me to an event where Entrepreneur Patricia Acheson the CEO of T’HO Commodities Coffee (Pronounced TEA-HO) held an event to help kick-off the coffee brand here in Chicago.

My first experience sipping the coffee was “whoa” this coffee is amazing. A rich taste was left in my mouth and I was drawn in. The aroma in the atmosphere had a cocoa like hint to it from the coffee being brewed. I also love how T’HO gives back. The coffee comes in a brown biodegradable bag and reusable cans. T’HO is also looking into a program where the cans are able to be reused/refilled. The coffee brand also accommodates to their customers, as stated on their website under Coffee Inquiries, T’HO Coffee will cater to all your coffee needs and and even customize a blend that fits your restaurant’s unique brand.  T’HO will help take your Brunch Menu to a whole new level…” Once you fill out the form a specialist contacts you in 24 hours! How neat is that?! 0

The idea of T’HO Coffee was proposed by the Founder, Diego Rodriguez when het met Patricia Acheson in 2017. Ms. Acheson was working a full-time job all while picking up extra shifts at “Crown and Acre, a high-end bar in the Financial District, where Diego supplied his specialty coffee.” A friendship was then developed as the two discussed over coffee, life lessons and business. Mr. Rodriguez has hosted his own cuppings, opened coffee shops in the Bay Area and is now a master roaster.

The name T’HO comes from the city in which Diego Rodriguez was born in T’HO, Mexico; The Crossroads of Maya history and today it is now known as the city of Merida, Mexico. From his childhood memories of working on cocoa farms while his mom and grandmother roasted beans all day to growing up and meeting “legendary coffee connoisseur’s” he was already on the path for great things.

“When he was 22 he moved to San Francisco in hopes of opening chocolate shop, but his plan took a pleasant turn when he met the specialty-coffee living legend, Erna Knutsen who introduced him to the magnificent wonders of the coffee industry.  Soon after his experience with Erna he was introduced to Alfred Peet, owner of Peet’s Coffee.  Peet adored Diego and took him under his wing.  Diego mentions many times how they were very close friends until the day he passed. Peet even left Diego a gift with a note and at the end it said: “Diego, you really are a great coffee man”. “ 

There mission is simple yet positive as stated below T’HO is all about giving, encouraging and motivating.

WHAT’S OUR MISSION AND VISION?

Yes, we have a passion for high quality coffee, but that’s not all that defines T’HO.  Every day that you wake up and put your feet on the floor, we believe an opportunity for positive change awaits us all. T’HO wants to be a part of helping people make that change, and we decided to start our movement with coffee.   We chose coffee as our first product, not only becauseDiego is a professional coffee connoisseur, but also because 83% of the adults in this world start their day with a cup of coffee.  And when you open a bag of T’HO Coffee every morning, you will find “T’HO ENCOURAGEMENTS”; a motivational card that promotes a positive change in all aspects of life.  We plan to encourage this change within offices, cafes, homes, stadiums, restaurants, and all other venues.  Any place you can get a cup of coffee- T’HO will be there.  

 Mission: With coffee, we will strive to create the reality of aesthetic living. 

Vision:  To start a movement that promotes positive change by creating products that make life more enjoyable while keeping the environment clean. 

HOW DO WE GIVE BACK?

T’HO is keen on paying it forward.  We promote a clean environment by using 100% biodegradable bags and reusable coffee tins.  We promote a clean mind by donating time and funds to Mental Health Awareness throughout the world.   Learn more on our “Giving Back” page.

To know more about THO Commodities, the origin of the coffee and where to buy it…you can visit https://www.thocommodities.com and visit their Instagram @THOCOMMODITIESCOFFEE

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Hispanicize Miami 2018- Recap

Hispanicize Miami is one of the largest event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers from journalism, marketing, entertainment and tech entrepreneurship. In it’s 9thyear the 4-day event took place April 17thto April 19 at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. The event entailed keynote speakers, workshops, showcases, celebrity meet and greets, exhibitions, award ceremonies and concerts.

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Being that it was my first year attending I did my research ahead of time because I didn’t really know what to expect. I came prepared with casual yet business like attire, my camera and of course business cards. While at the event I was able to connect with a few people and absorb everything I was surrounded by. My favorite part I would have to say would be the keynote speakers and meeting social media phenomenon LeJuan James.

unnamed-6Some pointers I took with me was to not say the word, “just” or “try” all the time and own what it is that I’m doing and being confident in my work. Body language says a lot without having to say a word and when you’re confident it shows.

I would definitely love to come back next year to Hispanicize Miami and this time connect with more people in the media industry.

 

Till next April!

IG: @hispanicizeevent

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"I Am Not My Hair Series" "Afro-Latina" by, Artbysimplyjess
“I Am Not My Hair Series” “Afro-Latina” by: www.SimplyJessArt.com

Singer/artist Amara La Negra has been making a statement since the first season of Love & Hip Hop Miami aired on January 1, 2018. The viewers are able to know more about her and how she is empowering women like her to not give up, never change who you are and most importantly your appearance. She is shining a light on how difficult it is for women who are dark skinned to make it in the entertainment/music industry without being told that they need to change their appearance.

Born Dana Danelys De Los Santos in Miami, Florida, the 27-year-old was raised by a single mother who moved from the Dominican Republic to the United States in hopes to give her daughter a better future. Amara has shared some of her deepest moments on the show on how her mother worked five jobs to make ends meet. She also shared that as a young girl she attended dance classes, took acting classes, modeling and in 1991 she won her first award in a beauty pageant.

Amara is a Latin musician who has made music in the Latin industry and has worked with well-known artists along the way. However, from what we’ve learned from her debut on Love & Hip Hop, Amara is looking into breaking in the American music industry but not without facing hardships from being told that she needs to change her appearance. In a recent interview on the radio station the Breakfast Club, Amara discusses these particular issues.

“We come in so many different shades that it’s like, why is it so hard for people to understand that or accept me? I feel like there’s this standard of beauty that you have to look a certain type of way in order to be pretty, your hair needs to be straight and silky or if you’re Latina you have to look like J. LO…” She also noted, “there isn’t a Latin country that doesn’t look like me.”

On the show Amara seeks guidance from a well-known producer named Young Hollywood. She wanted some insight on how she can make a crossover from the Latin music industry to the American music industry. However, things took a turn when he asked her why her hair is the way it is. He then proceeded to tell her to be less Macy Gray and be more Beyoncé and called her a Nutella Queen.

As you can imagine the internet has been all over this issue and the majority are taking a stand with Amara. Although, she discussed how she was angry, instead she explains how important it is to educate people like Young Hollywood.

Since the show Amara has been on several interviews and continues to bring awareness to the public. She also landed a multi-album record deal with BMG and is the CEO and founder of ALN Clothing line. This goes to show that even after being criticized Amara does not let it stop her and get in the way of her dreams. She explains how she embraces her appearance, sets her self apart and is her own person. The Afro-Latina is empowering women and young ladies to love the skin they’re in and their hair. She notes everyone is different and that’s what makes them unique.

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Photo by: www.clearlyfocusedmediaworks.com

Although, this topic is about breaking in the American music industry this is something that many Latinos and African-American’s encounter. The stereotype continues because people are not properly educated or are single-minded.

amara-la-negra-singer-640x560To learn more about Amara La Negra you can watch the show Love and Hip Hop Miami every Monday 9/8C on VH1 and or follow her on social media.

Instagram @amaralanegraaln

Twitter @AmaraLaNegraALN

www.ALNclothingline.com  amara-la-negra

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Photo cred: www.simplyjessart.com

Logan Square Graffiti Photo Shoot

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Photographer: Richie
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Model: Kaitlyn
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Model: Kaitlyn
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Me

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Hey Guys! So last Friday a few friends and I took the opportunity to have a photo shoot in one of the most hipster sides of town…LOGAN SQUARE! This neighborhood in Chicago has some great art and the nightlife is a plus! filled with restaurants, bars, lounges and more! The art in the area just makes the neighborhood stand out and gives it a funky vibe. From now on we would like to take a few Fridays to do photo shoots in different parts of the city and share all the wonderful places to visit. So if you’re a tourist, new to the city or even someone who has lived here for a long time we hope we can share some new places with you.

  • Photographers: Lucia A. Crespo (Me) – Instagram @LittleLulu2U
  • Richie Almeyda – @richiechicago – http://www.richallmedia.com
  • Bryanth Perez – (Drone Photographer) Instagram – @oceanskyhighchi
  • Kaitlyn Marie – Instagram – @kayariee

Check below the end of these pics to learn more about Logan Square and check out

 

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Model: Kaitlyn

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Logan Square
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Richie/photographer

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It’s a CHICAGO thing

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Bryanth/Drone Photographer

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Logan Square is an official community area, historical neighborhood, and public squarelocated on the northwest side of the City of Chicago. The Logan Square community area is one of the 77 city-designated community areas established for planning purposes. The Logan Square neighborhood, located within the Logan Square community area, is centered on the public square that serves as its namesake, located at the three-way intersection of Milwaukee Avenue, Logan Boulevard and Kedzie Boulevard.

The community area of Logan Square is, in general, bounded by the Metra/Milwaukee District North Line railroad on the west, the North Branch of the Chicago River on the east, Diversey Parkway, on the north, and Bloomingdale Avenue on the south. The area is characterized by the prominent historical boulevards, stately greystones and large bungalow-style homes. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Square,_Chicago)

Fashion Designer – Hola Chola Pop-up Shop

FullSizeRender (1)“It goes to show that if you really believe in something go for it,” said Susanna Gonzalez.

Fashion Designer and owner of Hola Chola Brand, Susanna Gonzalez has proven to be a fearless self-starter entrepreneur. This past weekend I attended the Hola Chola pop-up shop inside the National Museum of Mexican Art located in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. Susanna shared her story and how she became an independent artist.

Growing up in New York she felt sheltered at home because she was unable to explore. She felt drained at the everyday routine and rituals. Her family was accustomed and set in their ways but Susanna felt an urgency of wanting more.

“At 23 years old I made a bold decision to relocate to Los Angeles but, as time went by I felt like I was losing touch with my roots and religion back home. I forgot who I was because I was away from home so I decided to take a journey to Jalisco, Mexico,” she said.FullSizeRender_3

During her time there she celebrated one of Mexico’s colorful and patriotic festivals in September known as their Independence Day,  El Mes De La Patria (month of the homeland). She explained how her adventure in Mexico was a life changing experience because she felt the unity of the people and how it brought the Latino community together.

“They barely had anything but people were happy and I was drawn to the churches and religion,” she said.

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Her time spent in Mexico inspired her from religion to the arts. One thing that stuck with Susanna was “La Reina.”  She explained how ever since her journey she kept seeing La Reina appear and would pray.

“Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico, where she is known as La Reina de Mexico and is very much a cultural icon,” Mamiverse.com.

After her stay in Mexico Susanna decided to go back home to live in New York but while there she felt a sense of sadness.   FullSizeRender_12

“I felt uncomfortable knowing people in my hometown/background in Mexico were poor and had nothing,” she said.

She wanted to artistically bring to the life the culture and what she saw in Mexico but knew she would be held back from her full potential in New York because of her parents. She continued to pray to La Reina for guidance until one day she received a phone call for a job opportunity in Los Angeles and relocated once again. Although, she was working in L.A. she had an idea to work on her own brand and that’s when Hola Chola came to mind. Soon she found herself on her spare time working on her brand and was determined. As time went by she became passionate and diligent on the attire she made. Through the process of being away from home, working and starting her brand she was alone but never gave up.

“My family didn’t believe I could do it but here I am today and I just recently quit my job in November,” she said.

Her personality and smile gave an uplifting vibrant vibe. The ambiance in the room was electric and there was a variety of merchandise from hats, clothes to even suitcases.  Inside the main gallery room there were nail technicians from Hush Nail Salon in Chicago, Hennessy V•S complimentary mixed drinks and a DJ on stage. The event had people from all backgrounds and each person’s style conveyed uniqueness from edgy, spunk, eccentric and overall creative. Being that it was her first time in Chicago she proved that no matter where she goes she can conquer any obstacle’s and draws an audience with her brand and style.

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A special thanks to Cold Chillen Ent. for joining forces with Susanna Gonzalez to put the event together to Hush Nail Salon for coming out and doing some fabulous manicures  to Hennessy VS for the complimentary mixed drinks and to the DJ for playing some great music and engaging the crowd.

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Cold Chillen Event Mngmt. Team

Instagram: @Holacholainc , @Ssuperior , @Pherolive , @djkingmarie , @hushsalonchicago

Twitter: @HolaCholaInc

WWW.HolaChola.Com

Cold Chillen Event Management Coldchillen.com

Hush Nail Salon www.salonhush.com

#HolaChola #HennessyV•S #ColdChillen #HushNailSalon

 

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Canadian Rapper/R&B Artist on the Move

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Outside of music Dwayne “Salez” Lespoir is a local promoter in his city which started off as a way to showcase his talent. However, it became bigger than that and he soon found himself bringing in well-known artists. “No one wanted to give me that chance so I had to do it myself,” said Salez

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada the 28 year-old rapper/singer of Guyanese descent has written and produced his music. He also takes the time to write music for up and coming artists. In 2010 his mixtape “Hard Work Pays Off,” and his single, “Headlock,”  was highly acclaimed and received a great deal of attention. But his hard work doesn’t stop there, Salez recently shot a music video in Jamaica named, “Live Like This,” and is anticipated to make its debut very soon.

Salez continues to write music and feels it is about expressing yourself. “If I hear a hip-hop, jazz or pop beat and it takes me to someplace I write to it. To me music is not about having a lane but it’s more about being able to connect with different people all around the world,” he said.

He describes his music as a way to give a vivid picture of himself, his life and struggles he’s encountered. Although Salez has set some ways for himself it was not always easy and hit a few bumps down the road. He has encountered closed doors, other artists not wanting to collaborate with him, DJ’s who refused to play his songs and “friends” who were not a support system. Through it all he continues to overcome obstacles and works for what he loves. “I’ll prove everyone wrong because being the underdog was something I always loved. So I never let it phase me or discourage me cause I know my time is moments away,” he said. img_9373

Some of Salez inspirations growing up were Biggie Smalls and Fabolous. Other influences include Chris Brown, Eric Bellinger and Jeremih and noted he is a big R&B lover. If he had the chance to collaborate with a known artist or producer he admits it would be Fabolous because of the status he has maintained for years and managed to stay relevant year after year.

When I asked Salez where does he see himself in 5 years and hopes to accomplish he said, “I definitely see myself writing hits for more famous celebrities. Headlining my own show and to have a song on the top 10 Billboard Charts.

You can listen to Salez music and follow him at:

http://www.salez.ca , www.instagram.com/salez514 , www.snapchat.com/salez514 , www.YOUTUBE.COM/SALEZ514 , www.FACEBOOK.COM.Salez514 , WWW.Twitter.com/salez514 , www.soundcloud.com/SALEZMTL

Chicago Salsa Congress – Press Party

 

What better way to bring in the 16th annual Chicago International Salsa Congress then by hosting a press party just 9 days before with a few sneak peek performances.

On Tuesday January 30 I had the pleasure to attend the press party held at Chicago’s Block 37 inside of the restaurant Latinicity. The evening consisted of music, performances, socializing, appetizers and drinks.

So what exactly is the Chicago International Salsa Congress (CICS)?

The founders Rosita and Saladeen Alamin of Cultural Expressions Productions and the Chicago Intercultural Alliance created a multicultural community through Afro-Latin music and dance. In 2002, both Rosita and Saladeen formed the first CISC.

The goal was not just about having music or dancing but to empower personal awareness, creativity, passion, leadership and inspire. The CISC gives an opportunity for up and coming artists to perform alongside some of the most elite and well-known artists. The event also showcases dance companies from Chicago, other states/city’s and even different countries.

As stated in the Chicago Salsa Congress website their mission is to:

“unite cultures and generation, engender leadership through empowerment opportunities in its showcase and to keep alive the history of the many cultures collaboration in the creation and evolution of Latin and Afro-Caribbean music and dance.”

On February 9 – 12, 2017 the CISC will take place at the O’Hare Hyatt Regency. The non-stop entertainment event will have dance workshops throughout the day and it will include different levels of dancing from Salsa, Bachata, Jazz, Hip-Hop and more. The night performances begin at 7:00p.m. inside of the main ballroom where the different dance companies and solo performers will showcase their finest choreographies followed by a live band for social dancing until 3:00a.m.  Outside of the main ballroom there will be a DJ playing music and vendors.

This is definitely an event you don’t want to miss!

For more information you can visit their website at Chicagosalsacongress.com and purchase your tickets today!

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Last night I had the pleasure to support Ms. Erin Leary the owner of BeBuddhaJewelry on her blog launch. The launch party was at Maybe Sunday Collective a small boutique located in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. Inside the boutique there were tables which displayed the many different handmade BeBuddha accessories from earrings, necklaces, bracelets to rings and shirts. A photo booth was also in the mix and necklaces were the props. Ms. Leary also made key-chains for those who attended. When I asked Ms. Leary how she felt about her event she said, “excited and nervous.” Outer piece for Inner Peace is her motto. Ms. Leary has made her passion her business. The pieces of jewelry are bright and bold or soft and subtle and you can’t go wrong with either one.

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You can check out and purchase BeBuddha Jewelry  at: BeBuddhaJewelry.com  and make sure to follow her on Instagram @BeBuddhaJewelry

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Ms. Erin Leary rocking her handmade tassel earrings 

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