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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March Bday Madness: Shoe Haul?

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A shoe haul? An impromptu Charlotte Russe closing? Listen, I didn’t set out to by so many shoes this month, but I did have a budget of what I was going to spend for my birthday. It just so happens the shoe gods, clearance gods, and shoe fairy were in alignment with my pocket! And a few of these I got before my birthday at a reasonable price. Let us begin!

Dillards had an amazing, AH MAY ZING, CLEARANCE and I was in the right place and the right time. I had no idea what was going on when I went. As you can see the original prices on the shoes above are $98 and $110. The pair of boots below were a whopping $169.99 I paid the price marked!

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These came from Target. The silver pair were marked as is but nothing was wrong with them! And the red shoes were comfortable and I needed a new pair of red shoes because my old pair have seen better days 😦 They are beyond repair. So the flats were 19.99 and the heels were 24.99. I got these in February. If you are in Target and you see a size 9 in ANYTHING cute you may as well get it because size nines go fast. I barely found the red heels when I cam back. In fact, I had to go to another store.

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Once again, these were a sacrifice. I purchased some black and nude heels at JC Penny (clearance!) a while back and I have been unable to wear them. They are cute. I may have blogged them, but I cannot wear them. Yes, I tried them on and thought over time they would become comfortable. NOT. And that is okay because someone will benefit from them. I made the mistake of trying on a pair of Calvin Klein heels and just wow! Immediate comfort and style. Just a basic pair of black heels. I did find them $10 cheaper at TJ Maxx than at Nordstrom’s The Rack.

 

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And last, but not least I took my daughter back to the mall to exchange some items. We were walking and she said, “Whoa! What’s going on at Charlotte Russe?” Well, they are closing stores. Everything in there was 50-70% off and these shoes were 70% off. I also picked up some jewelry that was 70% off.

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Did I go over my budget? I did! I also found clothing and I will present that haul next week. Hey, no one is perfect and I now I have to scale back and save up to restore the over the limit amount. I can’t say I am sorry about it because well, a splurge or two happens and it was my birthday…month.

~Nikki

Make Up Haul. On Clearance Of Course!

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Make up can be expensive and there is nothing better than beauty blogging when you can do it on a budget. Along with a few beauty products, here is some make up I got on clearance and marked down.

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I had to “face” it. I could no longer put off the fact that it was time for some new brushes, but I wasn’t going to go in depth or sacrifice quality. Plus, I’m not a MUA, but I like to put on make up every now and then. I found these at TJ Maxx for a reasonable price and the makeup was on the clearance rack. $4.50.

 

I found this at Target and I usually grab things like this in advance for Mother’s Day to give as gifts to single mothers. I got a few and one for myself! I tried the scrub and I do like it.

20190128_163057_Film1.jpg20190128_163115_Film1.jpg And while nosing around in basket on the end caps of Target, I came across all of this! Oh yes! I felt like I’d hit a mini haul scratch off ticket. Really great polish for less. I can’t recall paying full price for expensive polish unless I REALLY needed the color.

It’s time to clean put my make up drawers and add these finds in.

~Nikki

 

Guess What I Did?

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I got my hair cut. Gone. Chopped. It was the first week in January and it was a decision made over years. I like it and that’s what matters the most! I have to care for it and no one else. My hair wasn’t damaged, but I felt like I needed to start fresh. It was a burden trying to do my hair with Rheumatoid Arthritis and not having the funds to go to a salon regularly. So doing it myself was a task that many natural hair girls understand and it was a task on top of a task with my hands, arms, wrists, and fingers.

I am learning to maintain this style. It’s easier to wash and detangle. I still have to twist it, but it’s not too bad. I guess because the hair is shorter! People are so opinionated about what we do to our hair. I could never understand why so much fuss about my hair or our hair. How superficial we can be! How obnoxious and even discriminatory we can be as human beings. Over…hair! I often find people think you should fit into their culture or subscribe to their definition of beauty. It’s very closed minded to think your culture should set the standard for all of humanity and it’s beauty. It took me some time to love my hair. My natural hair growing out of my head. You know, like your natural hair growing out of your head. It’s mines. God gave it to me. It’s up to me what I do with it and not you.

~Nikki

Fashion Finds & Thrifting!

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Over the holidays, winter break for my teenager, we decided to do something we do from time to time which is thrift. Well, what a fun day it was for us. Usually, we can spend an hour in one place exploring and searching. We even picked up my Mom for part of the adventure.

As you can see in the photo above, two of my best finds were authentic Louis Vuitton and Dooney & Bourke purses. I could not believe my eyes and I checked to make sure they were the real deal. One of the employees that sort and price the purses showed me another purse and how to determine if it was fake. Both of these were marked for 9.98. As I was looking at other purses, a woman that was shopping saw my purses and told me that I could take them to a shoe shop and they would clean them. They would look new.

I also thrifted two pair of pants for 6.98 each. One made by “The Limited”, a wool and lined pair of trousers, and the other was a pair of Casual Lee Jeans. I purchased a brown cardigan for 4.98.

 

These two items I got from a consignment store. Kenneth Cole Reaction shoes for $20 and Corduroy Jacket in plum made by Talbots for half price at $12 and a Nine West Purse not pictured (because my Mom borrowed already!) for $18.

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The week of Christmas I went to Target and found cardigans on clearance for half price.

Well, as you can see, I like to thrift and I like shopping clearance or consignment stores. I love fashion, but I also have limited funds. I try to look my best on a budget.

~Nikki