Vegas, Fashion, and RA/RD

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It’s a yearly tradition now for some family and friends of ours to visit Vegas for a little getaway. I haven’t given it up yet because of Rheumatoid and Fibromyalgia, but I have learned to adjust and prepare. We visit the sites, shop, walk the strip, party some, and dine. We relax and recoup. Some from a heavy night of partying and me, from the toll of doing more than the usual activities and from wearing heels!

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The things I did differently were:

  1. I didn’t forget my hot/cold pack
  2. I brought flats, fold-able flats that fit into my purse for the nightlife. I wore them to walk to and from the club and event. When I was at the event I took of my heels and put on my flats. Same thing to see an entertainer at the club. I was not as nearly as swollen or in pain as I was last year!
  3. I lowered a pair of my heals, but I didn’t compromise cuteness. The red heels in the first photo are from Target.
  4. I used gel inserts for heels.
  5. I didn’t try to cram 100 events into our day and I left evenings open for rest or doing whatever one wanted to do.

This really helped as far as my health and well being was concerned. I was not stressed or in so much pain I couldn’t enjoy my getaway. I didn’t feel like I was holding my family and friends back from doing what they wanted to do (Although, they constantly checked on me and I didn’t mind that at all). They never complain about me and show compassion and understanding if anything. I try to be calm so they will be calm and not worry. I can take care of myself most of the time. 🙂

Jeans, my 49er gear, and black Nikes with orthopedic approved inserts. Listen, I don’t care what age you are, taking care of your feet will benefit you in the long run and it will prevent or help improve your daily activities. I never wore heels everyday when I had the opportunity to do so. I only wore them occasionally during the week and mostly on the weekends. I don’t need heels to grocery shop or to shop at the mall. It’s foolishness at it’s best. And I am a shoe addict. However, there is no honor in ruining your feet for fashion and suffering unnecessarily thinking it’s the only way to look good everyday.

The red heels with the chunky heel are from Target and are trendy right now.

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Both dresses were ordered from Amazon. Yes, Amazon and were about $25 each. I took a HUGE gamble here. I read the reviews to order a size up, which I did and I am glad I did! Also, there were photos and stories of clothing not being well constructed, arriving ripped, and even with deodorant stains!!!! (faints) However, I went with the ones with the best reviews and photos to see what it may look like on. I am glad that plus size women  posted and gave their sizes because it gave me more accuracy than someone that is not near my size. I also looked at when the reviews were written.

The dresses arrived and I tried them on. They fit. I had to pin the black one and I had to snip some thread hanging on the olive green one. Other than that, nothing fell apart and I didn’t have any wardrobe malfunctions. I accessorized with what I had. I’m always looking ways to save money! Vegas can get expensive when it comes to food and drinks.

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Speaking of food, we made it to Diablo’s this year. We had been trying to go there each time, but ended up somewhere else. The food was delicious. The service was great. I also at at Bobby Flay’s Mesa inside of Caesar’s Palace. The chicken and black bean quesadilla was better than I expected and I expected it to be good. IT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!! The service was great, also. I have no complaints about my dining experiences in Vegas.

Vegas is loads of fun and we visited the Shark Reef aquarium in Mandalay Bay. It has more than sharks! I have video of the sharks but was unable to load them to this platform. The architecture, the other ocean and wildlife were worth the visit. It’s great for adults and children.

 

I enjoyed Vegas as always and I hope I can continue the tradition started by my brother and I.

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~Nikki

 

 

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

Thinking Bigger

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I’ve been thinking bigger. I am just as great as Oprah, Tyler, James Patterson, Stephen King, Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Jay Renee etc. I see their methods. They have laid out their blueprints. And you know what, it’s all about determination, belief in your self, shutting out the critics, focus, never giving up (faith), drive, being prepared for the opportunities, going against the grain, walking away when it wasn’t right for them, taking risks and learning from it all. I love to hear Stephen King on interviews about his writing and career. He gives inspiring advice and so does James Patterson. Yes, I know sometimes as an AA it’s harder for us. Some people can get a deal on mediocre content based on their skin color and who they know (But I know somebody, too! ). But that doesn’t stop my flow or kill my vibe. It doesn’t put my fire out. Some want to help, some want to hinder, all I need is discernment and to trust my gut. This year, I am going to give it all I got and let my Creator and Angels do the rest. I’m going to push the envelope pertaining to my beliefs. #44Presidential

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

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