Rooftop Views. City Life Confetti.

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I got a chance to get a view from the new Hu Hotel in downtown Memphis, TN. It was a private party for a great group of women I am in. You hear many things about Memphis and most think if Elvis, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and crime. However, just like other cities there are so many other wonderful things about Memphis. I won’t get into the details, but just follow my blog and you will see.

Here are some more views & the wonderful sunset that evening. All photos are property of Nicole Jackson and Confetti Photography. They may not be used, shared, or copied without consent and written permission. Thanks and enjoy!

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~Nikki

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Friday Jr and The WKND Weekend

 

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Well, I had such a busy weekend I am just now getting a chance to sit down and blog about it. It was Thursday, also known to many as Friday Jr. (smile), that I got up the nerve to show up at a Memphis Bloggers Exchange Happy Hour. It was sponsored by the Nashville Bloggers Exchange. The place we met up at is new to Memphis. It’s NOT a club, but a place where you come to hang out, have great drinks, great conversations, good food, relax and unwind with friends or you can fly solo. Service was top notch from our entrance to our exit.

First, let me tell you when I walked I was nervous. Why? Well, if you have followed my blog for a while you know I have been through a rough few years. I was worried about meeting new people. Something that use to not bother me as much before Rheumatoid Arthritis came out of remission and brought fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and diabetes with it. Long story short, it changed the game as far as friendships, my social life, and the how I deal with people all together. Well, after walking into therapy with anxiety on level 8, giving myself all the reasons I should not go, I left with anxiety on 2 and all of the reasons I should go. I am so glad I did! I made so many great connections and diversified connections at that. These are just a few of the bloggers, writers, vloggers and photographers that were at the event. These wonderful group of ladies and more are right here in my city and now we are connected via social media.

We were invited to not only meet up, but to take photos, blog about our experience at this new hot spot in our city. We were able to try their entire menu! And everything was delicious! The cocktails were worth the money and I say that because if you are going to pay $10-$15 or more for a cocktail, you want your money’s worth. Tiger’s Blood Cocktail is what you see pictured above. I liked it so much I had two!

We were able to explore the venue and take pictures. You can reserve the booths we are in and they have several packages to chose from. They are also now serving brunch on Sundays! I love a good brunch! The patio was my favorite. It was very chilly that night, but the fire kept us warm as many of took advantage of photo ops. We were snapping it up and especially with a photographer on hand we got some great shots of our selves!

This was definitely a busy evening. I left there and drove across town to meet another group of ladies and we had karaoke, food, and wine. You know that had to be filled with laughter and great meet and greet. It was all positive vibes.

As the weekend rolled around, Friday I was invited to a movie. Saturday I purchased a small bookshelf from Facebook Market. I drove downtown to get it. I stopped by the Mississippi River to finish up my coffee from Starbucks and then off to ACE Hardware for paint. This was going to be an easy, less than 30 minute project.

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I painted the faux cherry wood bookshelf a dark espresso color that matches my new furniture in my room. It was the perfect size.

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And for the finale, Saturday night was epic and crazy fun. I went to a tribute for Bob Marley performed by some amazing reggae, funk, soul bands from my city, Memphis. It was a friend’s birthday week and I invited her to get out and enjoy herself. We met up with two others and it was so much fun. Too much fun lol! We ended up at iHop and I haven’t been there in about 15 years. I made it home safely and Sunday I slept in. I was home all day recovering from a very long week as I was at the hospital every morning with my dad and then coming home to do my own personal business and parent. Add the weekend to that and you have a run down chic! I was feeling the pre-pain before the big earthquake that landed Monday evening. Serious pain and mental drain. I have a heel spur I think from walking the long walk daily last week to and from my dad’s hospital room and serious back and hip pain radiating to the thigh. I know for sure my back and shoulder is a fibromyalgia flare. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t trade that wild and crazy weekend for anything and it brings me great joy to be there in the mornings for my dad to help or keep him company until he can home.

~Nikki

Vegas Nights and Days: A Bit of Fashion

 

 

I know some love to get dressed up for the airport and the ride, but it was a late flight. And all I wanted was to be cute and comfortable because once we landed in Las Vegas the plan was to get a ride to our hotel, check in, throw the bags on the bed and hit the strip in our custom T-shirts, black jeans, sneakers, and have a great time! My shirt was created by Key’s Kraft. You can find her on Facebook.

I can tell you that we were worn out because our flight had to go around a huge thunderstorm which made our flight longer than usual. We did get something to eat, hit the bar and some hit the casino ( I am not a gambler. I just love the Vegas Vibe).

 

The next day I was ready for shopping! I wore my Champagne shirt, jogs, and sneakers. The next day I wore another custom long sleeve T-shirt that was perfect for the cool weather in Vegas. I like to buy local, support, and tag as much as I like to shop for quality clothing on a budget. I mean my Champagne shirt was $4.00 from Target! My Memphis 10 shirt was created by Rodney Ruffin whom you can also find on Facebook. In the day time on vacation it’s no fuss make up for me. I like to keep it simple.

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Que Beyoncé! I was feeling myself on this night! I was ready to head our to Hakkasan Night Club where finally, I would be in the house with Lil’ John as the guest celeb DJ. My dress was shipped from my friend’s boutique in Florida, Glam Gal T’s & Boutique. She is also on Facebook. It was a delay with the mailing system and I thought I would not get it. It arrive the day I was scheduled to get on the flight! Talk about a close call!

 

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The night was so EPIC! It was truly one of those “WHAT GOES ON IN VEGAS, STAYS IN VEGAS NIGHTS!” And I hope to do it again! LOL! The next night were going to head to Drais, but we decided we partied so hard the night before, and we there a shorter time than usual, we would go for some fine dining. I found these cute silver flats at DSW on the strip. Did you know that it’s a myth you can’t wear flats and get into the clubs? Well, you can!

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We found our fine dining last minute as Excalibur’s Steak house told us if we could make it there in 10 minute they would love to serve us. We did because the Luxor is connected to them. And once again, we were greeted with smiles, our server was excellent and our meal was fantastic!

 

The clutch was from Aldo’s in Nashville, 40% off the clearance! The necklace was from Sugar Plum Consignment in Memphis. The jeans are from Target and they were on clearance for about $11.98 with the original price at $29.99. My shirt I’ve had for a while and I am sure I blogged or Instagram-ed it being on clearance. I am a girl on a budget. A very tight one. Things are usually planned out a T.

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Once again we had a blast! Laughs at dinner, great conversation, good food, and family. I couldn’t ask for more.

~Nikki

 

 

Autumn. One of My Favorite Seasons.

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Photo does not belong to me. 

Fall is like the Yield Sign of the four seasons. It’s not a complete halt or a green light. It’s the slow down, take it easy, let it go season. It’s the season of putting things away from spring and summer and pulling things out for it and winter. It’s the season of turning and falling leaves. It’s cool mornings, warm in the day, and chilly nights. It’s just right for fire pits and bonfires. It’s time for apples, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and vanilla. It’s another reason to have an extra cup of coffee, hot cocoa with marshmallows or tea. It’s time to make soups and hearty stews. Yes, grab the flannel blankets, take off your boots and hang your scarves, wraps, hats, and sweaters.

Decorating the home with fall décor and making it feel warm and cozy. We watch more movies I think in the fall. I love Holiday movies. I like to gather together with friends and family

 

Even though fall maybe be harder on me as far as Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease and Fibromyalgia because of the fluctuating temperatures, I still love it just as much as I still like the rain and stormy nights.

It’s also a great time for watching the sky for full or new moons, planets, and stars. There is nothing like a clear fall night with just the right amount of chill for a glass of wine, apple cider, or a mule cocktail.

What’s your favorite time of the year?

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Women Doing the Most to Our Own Detriment

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I had a great, terrible, struggling, successful day yesterday. Sound familiar? I hope not! My artwork was on display and I sold two more pieces. Sold my first last week. In case you are a new reader, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease, Fibromyalgia and some other things. Well, I  am also very stubborn and I have a tendency to take on too much not considering y health. In the past, I never had to consider it. Old habits die hard and some never die.

Anyhow, at the end of the fabulous art show, I was hit with a MEGA migraine. My neck was hurting as it was very cold in the building. I had my compression gloves on the entire time (these help with my joints and fibromyalgia). Three weeks of crocheting, painting, driving to Nashville for a fall break with my daughter for two nights, and back home to get ready for the art show…you see, this is me being defiant. So, when hit with the migraine, I continued to pack and load. I heard the Spirit speak and say, “Get help.” But, I didn’t want any of the people there that I didn’t know to help me. I made two trips and I got to the car and well, nausea was for a reason. I got in the car and called one of my brothers. He came. He loaded the car, insisted on following me home, and insisted he unload the art. He also gave me some encouragement. I told him I get tired of being strong and I was sorry I had to call him out in the chilly weather and rain. “Sorry? We are family. That’s what we are here for in times like this.”

After he left, he sent a scripture, “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalms 55:22 I needed that. And you know what else I needed? I needed everything that happened yesterday, how it happened, and when it happened for multiple reasons. Plenty of lessons in yesterday as well as life nuggets.

  • Women (and men) that are too prideful to ask for help suffer unnecessarily all to prove we don’t need anyone’s help, or the helpers don’t need help, or whatever it is we are trying to prove or image we are trying to uphold
  • Some of us are like this because we have been let down so much, talked about so much for needing help
  • We will override a gut feeling, the Holy Spirit, and voices of reasons to do it all on our own and then damn near die and some have died
  • I constantly have to remind myself to ask for help, it’s okay to ask for help, it’s not righteous to always be the helper and it’s not weak to need…anything including help
  • No man or woman is an island. Even if they think they are. They are disillusioned at best.
  • Family is good to have. Friends are family, too.
  • I could have strangers. I am a stranger that will help anyone in need.
  • I shouldn’t be so hard headed but sometimes I get tired of being bound by RD, Fibro, etc. etc. and etc. And I just go mad lol

So, I recover today not only from last night but for the last three weeks. Breathe, meditate, medicate, elevate, easy going do it easy, and realign with the universe.

~Nikki

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These are the two paintings that sold. Lola of the Universe and Bloodgood’s Blessing.

RA BLOG:My First Vendor Opportunity & How I Coped, Lessons Learned

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Saturday, I had my first opportunity as a vendor for my crocheted items. It was an awesome opportunity to gain experience, meet new customers, and network with other vendors who are also African American. It has nothing to do with exclusion, but it has everything to do with building and creating opportunities for crafts, small businesses, exposure, and financial gains for businesses that are often overlooked or unheard of. We are also able to keep each other informed on bigger craft shows and opportunities to support each other. This is a plus for ALL women as we began to included each other and support each other’s ventures. Friendships and partnerships are often made.

 

My next vendor adventure will be a very big one at the Colonial Park Church in my city. It is a Fall Festival I have always known about before I began to crochet. I have never been, but it’s a family friendly event that involves the entire community. Needless to say, but saying it anyway, I am anxious about it. I was very anxious about the one I did yesterday and nervous because it was my first time. I was filled with doubt and prepared myself that if I didn’t sell one thing I had at least taken the first step. I had no idea how to set my table up so I reached out to other crafters, women from all over the world that gave me tips, shared pictures, and some that never did a craft show but wanted to wish me luck and pray that I sell boat loads as one said. I did sell some things and I was pleased with the outcome! I was pleased to network and purchase from two other vendors. I was pleased to meet new customers. I was pleased that I was offered more opportunities. I am now less anxious about next Saturday. I had to talk to myself the entire time I was on the way there. Therapy helps. I used the tools I was given and was able to calm my anxiety.

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Afterwards, I had to pack up and get things back in the car. Here is where RA/RD and fibromyalgia is major factor. Well, that morning I had no help to load my car. My daughter was with her father. When I arrived, I had some help getting things out, then I had to set up on my own, break it down on my own, and I had help loading my car. But, when I got home, guess what? I had to take some things out and the other stuff is still in there. My body was so sore and achy BEFORE I even left the event or began to pack up. This was from just loading up everything to get there. Needless to say, the rest of the evening I was incredibly sore and I had to take pain medication for my pain. Sunday, was a little bit better and today is much better physically except my hands are still achy and I have been having some shoulder and back issues before all of this. BUT, I am so proud of myself to push past anxiety, my shyness (believe it or not), and put my side hobby out there. And it helped to have the support of a crafting community, friends, and family that cheered me on. This one reason I try to cheer others on. I know how important it is.

~Nikki