Fashion Confetti: Target Clearance

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Just a few items from Target clearance. I wanted a few black and white tops for church and other dressy to casual outfits. I think you can do miracles with black and white pieces. It was a challenge to get a great shot of the black sheer blouse! (but it’s so so cute) And I really like the cropped sheer black and white blouse/top.

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~Nikki

 

Pretty Little Daggers

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I’ve seen the power of a pretty face and body work magic on men. I’ve been skipped over, looked over, pushed out of the way to get to the prettier girl. I’ve been not spoken to standing next to the prettier friend. I’ve been in mid sentence and a man sees a hotter option, a bigger butt (in my community), a smaller waist, longer or straighter hair, and rushed to end our good convo to get to what his eyes are attracted to. I’ve had men get my number and constantly ask me about my friend. Let me be real and raw, weak and emotional in the eyes of others and un-christian like for many…but that shit used to hurt and every now and then those pretty little daggers grazes my self esteem. Either being out right told you’re not cute, you’re cute, you’re “alright”, if only you had a bigger ass, did it’s wear and tear on how I viewed myself and how I allowed the misuse of my heart, body and emotions. Side Note: If you have this super self esteem and can’t relate then this article is not for you and you’re “I never felt that way” is not welcomed here.

Well, Nikki, what did you do? It’s a long story, but basically after a series of bad relationships, mistreatment, emotional and mental abuse, via the Holy Spirit and God, books, positive women, self will, I slowly built my self esteem. Last year, I excavated my authentic self and boy did that take my self confidence to another level. Look, I just stopped by to tell you that you really do have other things to do than to be weighed down by if you are pretty enough or pretty at all. Like, who gives a damn. Are you dressing your best, are you doing the best you can with your hair (permed, weaved, or natural), are you a good woman, are you a positive being, are you going after your dreams, visions, goals? Are you building others up, clapping for their success? Are you not letting a man mistreat you and take you “down through there” (southern for drag you down a very bad road filled with heartbreaks aches and turmoil)? Are you choosing life over death? Are you a great mom, friend, sister, auntie, co worker, etc? You got “stuff” to do.

God made me perfect. God made me beautiful in every way. God made me beautiful inspite of.  God also made me strong. God also gave me an assignment. I had a friend who was extremely beautiful. She said to me one day when I asked her why did you sit by me in class? She said “Why not?” This was college. I replied, “I thought maybe you would want to huddle up with the prettier girls.” She laughed. “I thought you were smart and I am smart so I wanted to be around the smarter girl. The one that was asking questions and writing down notes because that is what I do. Pretty girls that are stuck on their beauty can be ruthless. It’s not all that it’s cracked up to be being amazingly beautiful.” Later I learned about her being in a relationship with this guy. She talked about how bad he treated her. She said, it doesn’t matter how fine I am, men still cheat. When you are in that group of fine girls who only care about looks, it’s all about competition. Then you have to deal with women thinking you want their man. I’m only in my 20’s and I am just like every real woman. I want to be seen for my heart, my mind, and not my body. You’re prettier than any of those women in that group in class. I saw how they flocked to me and I was like…nah…I’m just gonna come to school and go home.”

When a man is looking at my boobs and not at my face, I understand. When he talks about my body parts more than he talks about my brain, my geniusness, my dreams and goals, the current state of America, or about getting out and enjoying life, etc…it’s an automatic turn off for me. So, as the pretty little daggers sometimes hit, mostly miss these days…I am reminded…I’ve got so much more to do than to be weighed down by pretty or beautiful. My heart is fiery. My brain is wicked.

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Patience

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Patience, beloved. Every piece of the puzzle will be put into its place. This is the message that came to me as I dreamed about 1000 and 3000 piece puzzles I saw laying on the table. Before this, I’d visited with our second family in Iowa. We went there to pick up my nephew from college. In the home was a big puzzle laying on a table. I sat down and tried to match pieces and quickly was reminded how tedious this could be.

Well, all week long I’d been anxious, irritable, not feeling my best, and just ready for things to smooth out in my life. It was a Thursday night and I dreamed about puzzles on a table. I heard a voice in the dream saying, “Patience, patience.” As I saw a second puzzles in progress, the words were repeated again. This was a simple message. I want to rush a particular process I am going through. I am ready for it to be over so I can move on with my life. I am ready for it to be over so I can build and have more independence. This part of my life is the biggest stressor!

So, there it was. God, the Divine, sending out a message to my psyche. “Patience, beloved. Every piece of the puzzle will be put in its place.”

~Nikki

Ms. Goody Two Shoes Garnished with a Bit of Rebel

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First and foremost, I had to find a cute pair of shoes for this blog post. Now, onto the message. In elementary, it was the teacher’s pet. Hey, I couldn’t help that I was quiet and could be trusted with a hall pass. In middle school, high school, on the job and sometimes in personal friendships and relationships, I’ve often been tagged as the “Ms. Goody Two Shoes.” I was never comfortable with the label, or insult. I was conflicted. I mean, were we not all suppose to do the right thing? “Hey, stop calling me that! I’m no saint!” Especially, with this temper. Albeit, well controlled…most times.

I wasn’t ready to prove I was no saint. I just knew I didn’t always do the right the thing. But, I also didn’t go out of my way to do the wrong thing and when I took walks on the wild side I was careful not to get caught most times. I don’t know if it was the way I raised or the way I am or both. What makes some “goody two shoes” may be the way they are raised, they may be born with a moral compass, or the rebel in them is the goody two shoes! Could be all three. It takes courage to go against the crowd and the grain, peer pressure, societal pressure, religious rules. Do what I say…why? We are going right…I’m going left. We are wearing this…I am wearing that. Everyone is doing it…great…I don’t want to do it. Believe this…Let me investigate. Think like us…no, I want to use my own brain. Worship like us…I want to worship like me. Follow the rules…I will unless I deem the rules are unfair and constricting my freedom. Everything should match…I don’t like matchy matchy. Honestly, I enjoy breaking fashion rules and decorating rules. I have to admit, being outcasted was not a good feeling, I never really was willing to give up the label to prove I wasn’t. And by this time I was already being called other names for having red hair…so…you know…it was just one more thing to deal with.

Plus, when I did do things, people could hardly believe it and punishment was less. Teachers were like, “Not my Nicole. It’s okay. Probably, those bad kids influencing her.” And when I was late for class in high school, I was let it in and never had to go to the office. One time I got a lick from the assistant principal and the principal called my parents to apologize! Honestly, my locker really was jammed and that is why I was standing in the hallway late for class. Oh and that time we were told we had to clean the cafeteria for being late for school, my reputation with the assistant principal and our good grades saved us from humiliation. Who did it? Just ask me, I was telling it…most of the time, but I could give a good explanation to save us all. Oh…the life…lol.

I happen to think “goody two shoes” are just rebels with causes. They have their own personal reasons for doing what is right or following the rules. I happen to like quiet storms. I am all for a peaceful protest, but I understand if the peaceful are antagonized by the unpeaceful and need to defend themselves. After you turn all four cheeks..that’s about a goody two shoes with a rebel spirit’s limit.

~Nikki

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Knowing Right, Doing Wrong

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Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and not do it. -James 4:17

Even if you are not a Christian, and I say this because some can’t respond to truth unless it’s under their faith, you could read this scripture and understand it. Recently, when correcting someone about doing something wrong, I was told by them that they were grown and could do what they wanted to do. I immediately noted the immaturity in this statement because grown as in size and age, is no indication to grown as in maturity. We use all kinds of excuses to continue to do the things we want to do whether it is breaking our own spiritual laws or the laws of the land in which we live. I guess for some it is the only way they can feel powerful, but in reality the need to violate spiritual laws or laws of the land to feel powerful is a sure sign you are not. At the end of the day, per my religion, when we have full knowledge of right and wrong, and do not do what is right…it is a sin.

~Nikki