Getting Thrifted Lifted!

Thrifted purse. It doesn’t have a label so I have no idea of the designer but, it is well made!
A very nice Lands’ End Jean Skirt! Oh I see boots and skirt for Fall and Winter!
A pair of Clarke’s. Enough said. And they were on clearance for 50% off.

Who doesn’t like quality and a clearance. Stein-mart is going out of business,sadly due to the pandemic.

~Nikki

Flashback Fast Forward A New Journey: The Many Hairstyles of Nikki (Hair Talk…May Be Offensive to Some)

I must admit. I like to change my hairstyle every chance I get. I don’t mind trying new things from wigs to weaves and to rocking my natural hair. It’s fun to do but, it has also been expensive at times and very taxing on my ability to do these styles on my own or just the maintenance. I will tell you, if it were in my budget to have my hair done professionally every two weeks or to let someone else do the crochets and weaves, I would!

Making a decision on what to do with “my” hair has never been easy. However, I am use to going against the grain and when I went natural it was such an emotional, spiritual, and cultural experience I figure this new thing won’t be much different. Let’s talk about people.

People have opinions about other people’s hair. Your family, friends, and society are the “people” I am talking about. I’ve discovered that none or not very many of these people are willing to pay for what they think is best for you. My personal hair experience has been mostly negative until I began to accept and denounce opinions and societal guidelines of beauty. I was praised and awed at for having naturally red hair and being African American (because that’s not often seen on a daily basis). I was also told early on by my mother and beauticians as a child that my hair was “nappy” (said with disdain) and thick and hard to do because it tangled easily. Sidebar: My mom seem to have a problem with the styles I chose once I was old enough to decide what I wanted. I can’t remember anything she liked. It was always pointed out that it was “ugly” or not cute. It was met with a scrunched up face and an “ew” no matter what I did. It was and is course. It needed to be straightened by a press or perm to make it easier to deal with first. Secondly, having “straight” hair would be deemed more acceptable by society (jobs, white people that were doing the hiring, black people that were employed by white people that were doing the hiring). Having straight hair would make you cuter and boys would like you. Then I found out that having long hair was needed on top of your hair being straight. The only time you didn’t need straight hair is if you had “good” hair. You know, curly or wavy.

Believe it or not, things like this impact my race psychologically. It makes you “think” twice about choosing a style that YOU want based on what society will accept or a biased job. African Americans in this country are sick of others controlling the narrative on what we should and should not do to our hair. I hate to say it but, it goes back to slavery and what was “ok” as far as what we did, how we did it, when we did it, what we looked liked as far women covering up their curves, and their “exotic” hair and features. I don’t have to look like you to be accepted. I don’t have to dress like you to be accepted. It really runs deep in the psyche of a predominately white society. Look like US. Act like US. Speak like US. Even in Christianity, worship like US. I want to ask, who are you? WE are AMERICA. All of us that are born and live here.

Should jobs have restrictions on hair? Yes. Should they be biased and slick geared towards the discrimination of African Americans? No. We know you don’t like braids, natural hair, and locs. It’s not “professional” and it’s a way to keep African Americans from being employed at your business. Do companies have a right to decide on how they want employees to dress and represent their company? YES. But once again, you have to take into consideration culture and people that do not LOOK like what you deem acceptable based on biases. Honestly, who gives a damn about what you like about someone’s hair? Go beyond that and see what they bring to the table. VALUE our hard work and intellect. Do yourself that favor.

And why I am at, we don’t prefer the touching of our hair as our ancestors were often touched and felt over and picked like fruit by those who wanted to buy us. Our hair and bodies were touched and we could not say NO. STOP. GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF ME. RESPECT MY BOUNDARIES. I AM NOT SOME OBJECT TO BE GAWKED AT. There is a difference from being marveled at, curious (Because it’s different, it’s fascinating, and you want to see if the things/lies you’ve been told are true about black hair. You want to know how did you do that with your hair?). That, I don’t mind. I am here to inform you but, I must warn you, many of my people are on the offense about things pertaining to their blackness or culture. I think it comes from defending, explaining, fighting to be accepted, etc.

Well, as I take a deep breath, without further delay, I have decided to loc my hair for the sake of my hair. The constant breakage and damage and the inability to maintain it regularly. And who knew, it would become another personal journey. I can tell you right now, most in my family HATE IT or mildly put, DON’T LIKE IT. As expected. I just focus on those that are neutral, like it, love it, and support it. My hair doesn’t change my love, my intellect, my creativity, my compassion and passion, etc. Did you know that with natural hair, braids, or locs people can still gain knowledge and perform their job duties? They can run businesses, own businesses, and corporations. They can even, brace yourself, change the world. Mind blowing or blown?

~Nikki

Clearance Finds, Thrifts, and Consignments

A few weeks ago I went to TJMAXX after being quarantine in my city, Memphis. We moved into Phase 1. I waited before I went and I chose to go early in the morning on an off day. I had my budget in case I found something and I sure did! Everything with a red sticker came from TJMAXX. The bracelet is handmade and I purchased it at an antique mall that sells other items made by vendors.

And I finally found a yellow dress to match these yellow shoes which I have had for years. I’d pair them with other things but really wanted a yellow dress. I found this at a consignment store for 50% off!. It was $8.

Oh and while at the HUGE antique store, which he had to do one side one day, and come back to finish the other, I found a Southern Living cookbook with some amazing collections of a year’s worth of their best recipes. And I found an Lamborghini! Who knew I’d come home with a new car lol! I’ve always wanted to collect model cars. The doors open, the hood, and the trunk. Pretty cool.

~Nikki

Make up Confetti: Make Up for What?

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During the Quarantine, we remain diligent and prayerful, but we also remain optimistic and in good spirits. It’s important to my mental health, that affects my physical health, (stress and anxiety, depression affects your physical health!) that I remain finding a balance between things to do and rest.

Well, one time I tried to do a smokey eye and I ended up looking like a raccoon! I never tried it again. Well, I decided to try a brown smokey eye. I am not an MUA or professional when it comes to make up. I grew up where it really wasn’t that complicated. Foundation, which I rarely use, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. So I followed two tutorials last night. One for a basic face and the other for the smokey. Of course, I watched a few and picked two that I really liked.

I would say it came out pretty good. I posted it and I hope my FBFs weren’t lying to me lol! Most said I did a good job. It was fun and funny. I have never put mascara on my lower lashes or eye shadow underneath the waterline (eyeliner). Overall, I would do this again and I am now more open to trying other looks I like. Below are the two tutorials I used.

 

 

~Nikki

Last Friday Confetti: Gerald Chukwuma Art & Single In Memphis

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The amazingly, creative, mind blowing artwork of Gerald Chukwuma is on display in my city, Memphis, TN. at Art Village Gallery. The show was entitled Out of Africa: The Art of Fashion and was put on by the creative being, Khalifa Kofi. There was a fashion show, a live body art painting, and artwork on display. I cannot wait until she puts on more shows and to see the rest of what she has in store for us.

Ephraim Urevbum, is an artist and owner of ART VILLAGE GALLERY. We met her last Friday night and what a beautiful being! I can’t wait to bring my daughter to the gallery. As most of you know, both of us are artists.

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A Bird in The Hand

After the show, a friend and I walked across the street to Spindini’s for dinner. We didn’t know they had a live band that was playing some of the smooth jazz classics. The lady that was singing had a beautiful voice. I ordered the B.B. Queen cocktail and got the pizza I was craving. As two single ladies in Memphis, there was plenty to chat about. But, also plenty of other things to laugh about! There is plenty to do in Memphis and it’s time we all broaden our horizons and enjoy it.

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~Nikki

Confetti Weekend: Reggae Nights

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Last I attend this same show and had such a wild and crazy good night, I wanted to do it again this year. This year was the 10th Annual Forever Loving Marley (Bob Marley Tribute Show). It did not disappoint!

The show is hosted by the band Chinese Connection Dub Embassy (CCDE) and the venue was Railgarten here in Memphis, TN. The artists of the night included Yubu, Kween Jasir, Black Cream, and CCDE. This is not just a tribute, it’s an experience! It’s an experience right here in the city of Memphis. A city that births not only the blues, rap, hip hop, but births music…period. We birth artists of all genres. We’ve got roots, baby.

Here are my photos from the night. I shared this night my very good sister friend, who’s birthday was celebrated, and one of BFF’s & her hubby that surprised me by showing up. They were out on a date night and in the area. That was cool.

 

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Yubu. I love his vibe. 

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Black Cream. Give us all the energy and infusion!

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Kween Jasir brings the soul

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Chinese Connection Dub Embassy. RIP OMAR

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Hello and Goodbye. Fashionably on point for the occasion 

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And how can one forget good eats! 

~Nikki

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A Weekend Of FASHION CONFETTI

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I have three friends that have birthdays in the month of January and they are all back to back. I had to prepare myself for three events mentally, physically, and FASHIONABLY!

Plus, there was a concert I had tickets to that Sunday. Just know that everything I wore was an item I purchased at a reasonable price, thrifted, or on clearance! I already had these items in my closet.

(last weekend)

Thursday:

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Friday

Saturday

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Sunday

I needed all of this week to recover! And today is the first day I woke up with minimum pain. I had a flare up this week. Three days of restlessness due to pain-somnia (insomnia) due to pain, anxiety, and yesterday depression. Whew! Yet…joy came this morning.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Drive.

What happens to the “drive”, the internal force that propels some of us forward when something happens to us we never expected? Some have this “drive” naturally that seems unstoppable. Some have to develop the drive and others have to force the drive. I’ve seen stories of terrible things happening to highly driven people and they power through, make the changes and keep going. I have heard stories of the opposite as well.

I don’t think I was born with a drive. I think it developed over the years. I never “needed” to win, to be the top of the class. I wanted to. If I didn’t, I remember feeling bad about it. I could only imagine how bad others felt that were not even in the “smart and gifted children” section. I wasn’t gifted in the sense of “smarts” but I was gifted. We all are. I had to learn how to lose gracefully. I had to learn how to be okay with giving my best. I had to learn that some have a gift that exceeds my gift of logic and smarts and that’s okay because I have things they don’t, do things they can’t, understand things they don’t, it makes us all DIFFERENT, UNIQUE, WONDERFULLY made. Uh, individuals.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to turn my drive off once it’s on. It doesn’t matter if I am writing, studying or researching an interesting subject, painting, crocheting, cleaning, fixing something, etc. I find it sometimes difficult NOT to do, to let it be, to give up. I first realized this when I use to repair laptops. We had to meet a quota and pass quality inspections. I would get stuck trying to fix a laptop, determine the problem, and get behind on my other work. I did not want to give it up and pass it on to engineering. And even after it went there, I would follow up. So much so, they rolled out a policy where engineering had to let us know what fixed the machine. It was a wise coworker, that said to me, “Nik’, you can’t fixed them all as good as you are. We are engineers and we can’t even fix them all. You have to know when to let go and pass it on. You’ve done all you can do.” It sure was hard to learn this lesson. I am a problem solver, a quality over quantity (but also how can I have both) type of person, a highest form of service type of person. If I don’t get a hold of myself, I will crash and burn. I will become overwhelmed. Burnt out.

I use to be this way until Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease hit. I went through depression. I wasn’t immediately the “Oh, well, let’s beat this, keep going, person.” My type of drive died the day I got the diagnosis that it was back, out of remission, and kicking my ass. The struggle was real. My drive had to be revived, put on life support, and weaned off. My adjustment was rocky. It was and is a spiritual journey that took a sharp left turn. It really seems more like reached a cliff and drove off.

I notice the drive a few years ago when I started to paint again. The need to FINISH it, perfect it, for hours, or in the late night or wee hours of the morning. I noticed it when I started writing again. The “I must finish this chapter, this number of words, this goal.” I noticed it in my need to create quality crocheted items, meet my deadlines, have excellent customer service. I also, noticed the obsession to do these things when I am on the verge of crashing. I would ignore my body and common sense. I would crash, burn, and be in pain. I would cause a flare up of pain and swelling, unnecessarily.

I said yes to some events this year, way more than I did last year and I was overwhelmed because I didn’t expect to be received so well. (I am spontaneously SPONTANEOUS.) I didn’t realize I needed as much inventory as I did and that I simply couldn’t create it fast enough because it takes time and I do have physical limitations. It was one night before the first event and I had driven myself into a frenzy that I simply GAVE UP. I said, “I HAVE WHAT I HAVE AND THAT IS ENOUGH.” This has been my mantra this season in creating. It has been my saving grace. It has not prevented pain or swell ups, but it has lessened my actions being the cause of them. I have hurt more from the activities, late nights, stress, no help, etc. I am hurting now! It’s that taking it to the edge, when necessary, but not going over knowledge that kicked in like the technology that tells you you’re about to back into the garage lol. Beep, beep, beep beep beep beeeeeee…. Overall, this has been the best learning experience in a long time. I needed it. I had to quickly adjust, improvise, make peace with having what I have and letting that be enough. I had to say no to other things, people. I accepted it. I am better for it. I feel like I am being prepared for something AMAZING and something that requires me to be able to manage my illness, peace of mind, and health on a very controlled level. Also, these business skills I have learned, have been priceless.

~Nikki

God Does Care

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God loves you. No way God will give you “anything” that will constantly cause you grief. You need to KNOW THIS. You need to GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY. Do not settle and NEVER ACCEPT THE UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR. Anything you accept you approve. You’re saying I want more of this treatment and behavior! And you’re gong to get it! Don’t be afraid to LET GO of DRAMA and HEARTACHE. GOD DOES CARE ABOUT YOUR JOY.

~Nikki

TRUST GOD.

Fashion Confetti: Fashion Find

Oh yes! It was a steal! 72% off the original price. The dress is by Thalia’s. I got it from Macy’s on the clearance rack (where I mostly live). the bag is by Jessica Simpson and it’s the perfect everyday black bag for me! It’s from TJ Maxx and the shoes are also from there, by Calvin Klein. Why spend a lot of money if you don’t have to if you can still walk away with quality clothing? I love a sale and a clearance rack!

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