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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Confetti Weekend: Jazz Fest

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It was a hot and sunny evening! I am talking southern heat and humidity, but I was so stoked to be there to see one of my favorite jazz guitarist of all time, Mr. Norman Brown. Plus, having all the other jazz artists before him come on was like the cake! I am a huge fan of jazz and just a huge fan of music period. This was a few weeks ago!

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Keyboardist, Keiko Matsui has gained a new fan. Me! I have heard one of her songs played frequently on the jazz stations here. But, I did not know it was her! And everything that she played I enjoyed so much I have purchased more of her music.

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Mike Phillips is a dazzling jazz artist. He is energetic and what we would describe with slang “off the chain.” He jumped off stage and headed for the audience. He brought so much energy to the stage and to the crowd. Mad love and Mad energy was amazing!

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A headliner in his own right, Will Downing was there! I wanted to hear him as much as I wanted to see and hear Norman Brown. All of these artist are superb and hold their own in the business. The smooth voice of Will Downing is intoxicating along with the love songs he sings. The ladies in the crowd were swooning! And rightfully so! He song all of the songs we knew and we sang along.

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And here is where I lost my cool. As soon as Norman Brown came onto the stage I was star struck! Totally unexpected from me! I was just so overwhelmed by his presence, his brilliance as an artists,  and thought to myself, “Is this really happening? It is! I am really sitting here, seeing an artist I have ALWAYS wanted to see perform live AND I HAVE AMAZING SEATS!” It took me a moment to come out of my daze, but once I did I enjoyed every single minute of this man’s performance. He gave it ALL he had!

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This will go down in history of my memories as one of the greatest experiences of my life. Hearing and seeing Norman Brown perform live is a highlight of music memories.

~Nikki

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

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: My Free Spirit vs Church, Religions, & The Conscious Crowd

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Contrary to popular belief, the free spirit does abide by rules and understands the need for rules in society and other entities. However, I can’t tell you how difficult it is when those rules confines your spirit, puts out your fire, and makes you reel with anguish. Almost, on the verge of quitting or ending a commitment. I think about quitting church quite often. When I make this statement, religious people go nuts and the conscious crowd cheers. I think to myself, hey,  I’m not too fond of some of your rules either.

I don’t think I am without some biases. I don’t think I am perfect. I think I am just myself. I’d rather worship God in spirit and in truth whether that be in a building or nature or at home. However, a free spirit needs community and community needs the free spirit. If only to set others free. I am labeled not a free spirit but, a rebel of some sort most of the time. I can see that! I own that. Especially, when I challenge a rule or break a rule. I am “making trouble” they say. I say I am just trying to “make sense” because you are really cramping my style, productivity, freedom, well being, happiness, and creativity.

Some rules should never change and some rules are meant to be changed as society or an organization changes or supposingly grows. I often think the reason a church or business may not see growth is because they are stuck on outdated rules (principles) and this is the way we have always did it. But heck, if it’s putting us to sleep or the competition is doing better…what in your mind doesn’t prompt you to CHANGE THE RULES OR CHANGE METHODS? Pride for the church and holding on to positions. Mindset of those in charge for businesses and holding on to positions. Change is good they say but, change can be slow and painful and some changes will not take place in my lifetime on Earth. And some changes make no sense s we have seen on a job coming from the higher ups that seem to be high when they make these “changes” the workers no will not work. Obviously, they are too high up to consult with us lowly workers (rolls eyes here). No way we could be smarter than they are due to our position.

So, here I am on a Sunday morning debating on whether to go to church or not. And it’s not just the church I attend (I have to state that because some people read my blog are members and ex members and they like controversy).  I get a phone call in the middle of this post asking if I can bring the highlights of Sunday School. Well, let me go get dressed.

~Nikki

 

Fashion Confetti: RA and Unbreakable Fashion

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2015. This was Janet’s last stop on her tour (Memphis) if I am not mistaken before she discovered she was pregnant! It was a great show I will never forget

I’ve wanted to do a blog piece on fashion and RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis and also other illnesses such as Fibromyalgia (which alters what you can and cannot wear at times). I thought this would be the perfect example. In this photo I was forced to compromise a fresh pair of sneakers for my heels because I had surgery late August last year on my right foot due to Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was still healing which took about 7 months and I am still pushing my limits. There are some heels I will never see again and there are some I am still holding out hope for.

I can understand many women who willing gave up heels, but being who I am and my love for all things fashion I wasn’t willing. To each her own! So I did the physical therapy and I took it a step further by doing foot exercises by ballerinas, athletes recovering from foot surgery, and whatever I could YouTube lol!!! Yes, please admire my dedication to heels. (laughing hysterically). However, my gait has changed and I cannot where certain heels (yet? ever? who knows) and also my balance has been off due to damage of RA and Osteoarthritis. But like a captain who goes down with his or her ship is how I plan to go down with my heels! Yet, I have found many fashionable ways to rock my sneakers as I love shoes period!

~Nikki

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Photo is property of Nicole Jackson and not to be reproduced, copied, or shared without written consent

P.S. When I arrived at the show Janet did her entire performance in sneakers! I was like see, great minds think alike!

The Pop Up Thoughts of Art

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A few of my musings about Artists, Art, and the control of Freedom of Expression:

ALL gifts come with responsibility and NOT just the gift of being an ARTIST (of any kind). Here is the catch or the thing:  You really don’t get to decide HOW or IF that person uses responsibility. You do get to decide how you RESPOND or COUNTERACT what you deem as irresponsible or offensive. -Nicole Jackson –#ART depends on who you ask

The conflict between religion, politics, and artists continues. Nothing new under the sun. We don’t want to be controlled. We don’t want to “submit.” Some of us don’t want to even submit to the rules of the category of art we fall under. Heavens forbid if you are a rebel by nature…-Nicole Jackson  #ART depends on who you ask.

~Nikki

Unsteady by X Ambassadors

Tonight was my first time watching this video, but when I first heard the song I turned it all the way up and I knew it was going to hit me in my soul. I have always felt a little unsteady. I just didn’t have the word to describe it. It’s not just the lyrics, it’s the chorus and the wanting someone to hold on to you because you are a little unsteady. This song does something to my very core that I cannot explain yet I certainly can feel. Tonight…I am just a little unsteady. Too much disturbing news, too many things rushing in at one time, stress and physical pain…yes…unsteady.

~Nikki

Confetti Weekend: SURPRISE! HAIR FEST

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Imagine my surprise when I showed up to Court Square to get a feel for a group performing to potentially write a blog for them and the first thing I see are the ladies below. This is when I discovered this was a hair show with a theme to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital one of my favorite charities. My mom is retired from St. Jude and I spent many summers there as a child running around in the out patient department. I snapped as many pictures as I could and I got as much information as I could. So hold on to your roots…here we go!

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First up to bat, pun intended, was Suicide Squad. A young group of hair students competing in a competition.

The next group of students and young hair stylists were just as unique and creative. They were from Empire School of Beauty School.

 

The crowd was in total awe of the students’ creations from both teams. Empire walked away winners but, really both teams were winners. Anytime you lend your talent to support a charity how can you lose?

Some of the amazing vendors on display with their products and creations:

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Representing part of the team, Clutch Clothing Collection

The link to their website: www.clutchclothingcollection.com You can follow them on Instagram @clutchseason and like them on Facebook Clutch Clothing Collection. Catch up with them this weekend, Friday at LOVE 7144 Winchester. No Cover Charge until 10 PM.

Her personality is just as vibrant and fierce as her display of accessories. Meet Jenni of J Chic Life Style. She’s a real “Style Therapist”. Keep up with Jenni on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @jchiclifestyle or www.jchiclife.style

 

What you want on a warm summer afternoon in Memphis, TN is Parker’s Water Ice. Thank goodness they were in Court Square! Strawberry lemonade please and thank you!

 

I walked over to her table and said “Ooo! Make Up Candy!” You can find Pink Powder Parlor online at PinkPowderParlor.com What a vast spectrum of pink from dainty roses to electric fuchsias! And many more colors!!!

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Goddess Guleoir by Natassia Customized Earrings and Things  Like her page on Facebook!
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Models for Goddess-Guleoir mood: If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready!

So, I’m under the tent finishing up my Chicken on a Stick from Runway Grill, and I look up to see more hair models getting some  Parker’s Water Ice.

I say to myself: “Is that? Yes it is honey.” Keith Turks from The Real Hairstylists of Memphis. Immediately I knew I was in for a slay. As I mentioned earlier, I had no idea what I was walking into.

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Keith Turks, The Real Hairstylists of Memphis Reality Show…the Hair King of Memphis, Hair Kingdom. You can find him everywhere on social media!

Watch them work! I tried to pick a favorite model and hairstyle but it was impossible!

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After getting my dance on in Court Square, because Keith Turks and models brought the beats, I decided now would be a good time for Cupcake Cutie. It’s only a few steps away from Court Square. Choose a a cupcake and pick an icing. I chose the lemon cupcake and strawberry icing.

One more vendor all the way from St.Louis, Brittany Raji. I am so glad I met her! @BeautyImpactAccesories on Instagram

My evening here concluded with the group I came to see,

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Hothouse Gruv took us back, and way back  with 90’s music. They came to show out with energy and a live wire performance! The dancers gave their all and talent was displayed in each member. It was great to end my evening as I headed to another even with a party on still on my mind.

Last but, definitely not least in any shape form or fashion is Stephanie Brown. She put this amazing show together and announced she will be joining Season 2 of The Real Hair Stylists of Memphis! Please stay in touch with Stephanie Brown by following her on Instagram @beautyonbeale, contacting her at Style Coach Forever  and Stephanie Brown @stylecoachforever on Facebook. She is not just a Celebrity Hair Stylist. She’s a motivational speaker and so much more!

 

~Nikki

 

Confetti Weekend Extended 9/10-9/12

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Well, I started last weekend off with a trip to Memphis’s Farmers Market and since I was undecided on whether or not to attend the Memphis Book Festival I dressed cute and comfortable to be on the safe side. I got my fresh fruits and veggies (see Memphis Farmers Market Post) and headed down Union. A quick left into the Playhouse on the Square and a parking space magically appeared! I believe I was in sync with the Universe! (Parking spaces in midtown are hard to come by) I waltz in like I know where I am going and what class I am going to sit in but, I don’t know either. With a warm welcome and a quick read of the confused look on my face, I was handed a festival class and activity guide by a lovely volunteer.

I see the class Having It All and the description of balancing being an author and your other endeavors (blogger, running a publishing company, publicist, working professional, etc). I thought to myself “Can I have it all? Will I have to let some things go? I need balance. I don’t know what I am doing. This is the class for me!” I walk in and opt for a seat by the window so I can view the tent of authors I would visit after this class.

ALL of the authors on the panel gave us the unbridled truth about having it all, how they got where they are, where they are trying to go from there. They were very down to earth, practical, spoon feeding us truth serum in the world of Having It All all with pats on the back. You know the kind of hearty pats on the back your mom gives you after you cough from the horrible liquid night time syrup that is sure to make you better by morning.

I met Kima Jones, publicist for Natalie Baszile, the author of Queen Sugar. If you didn’t know, Queen Sugar debuted a few weeks ago as a new night time TV drama on OWN. She was the only woman on the panel and offered sound and sharp advice to women in the audience.

After I floated out of the class, I ran smack dab into a woman here in Memphis I adore. Cheryl Pesce is an angel that handcrafts jewelry with intricate details from precious stones and metals.  I follow her on Facebook and Instagram (and you should too!) because she is so inspiring, unique and gifted. She has a story to tell that will light fire under your stilettos or sneakers.

I headed on over to Belly Acres for lunch and walked right into a Junker’s Fair in Overton Square. Belly Acres is in walking distance from Playhouse on the Square along with many other restaurants and bars. It was my first time there and the food was delicious.

I went home, rested and got back out to end my night with the crooning of Eric Roberson and D. Maurice as they made a pit stop in Memphis for a fundraiser of a very special and important non-profit organization here in Memphis; SisterReach. Click here to find out more about this organization and to see how you can help:  https://sisterreach.org/about-sr/

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My Monday was a push through to a Cocktails and Connections:Building Powerful Relationships hosted by The Brown Experience and Kay Brooks at the Hattiloo Theatre. It was well worth the push through as the panel, once again, delivered sound advice on how to handle the many types of relationships you will encounter as a professional and an entrepreneur. They shared their experiences, honest mistakes, and wisdom. I needed that advice like a fashionista needs a matching clutch to complete her attire. https://www.facebook.com/thebrownexperiencemem/ Like The Brown Experience on Facebook for up and coming events!

I was beat after that but, headed over to a behind the scenes photo shoot with flip flops in tow to relieve my aching feet from those gold heels. The experience of seeing multiple models in front of the camera and how a photographer conducts shoots was priceless. I made some great connections with the owner of iHustle, a Memphis born clothing line. Photos from their fashion show coming soon.

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My I am beat but I just saw a cute guy as I walked into my condo face. That gave me brief life to strut in those heels and give a “Heeeeeeeey”. I strutted like Loretta Devine on Waiting to Exhale in the scene with her and Gregory Hines.

 

Purple “REIGN”

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I find it to be the coordination of the Universe as to why I didn’t blog early this morning with my letter R. I had no idea what to write but, as I heard the news hours ago my beloved “Prince” Roger Nelson has elevated to a higher dimension. My favorite Gemini ♊ on the planet.

You had to have some level of consciousness and uniqueness about yourself to be able to identify with him. Fans usually identify with something about the one they are FANATIC about. Otherwise, you simply like the artist. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

There are musicians, singers, entertainers and artists. Rarely do you get those things all in one person. I think Prince was that. He had a wonderful habit of DOING HIS OWN THING and MINDING HIS BUSINESS. He’s a musical and lyrical genius. I’m still trying to decipher Starfish & Coffee (one of my favorite songs). He could vividly tell a story while singing. He didn’t care what they said about him or hope he dressed and the crazier the better…a little give them something to talk about. It’s called being true to yourself. It’s called wild and rebellious and then you grow up but you keep your uniqueness. You never part with your creativity. There was no formula he needed to make a hit. He did his own thing while many were doing the same thing. How do you keep up with the times, never change but change and be ahead of your time? It’s what ICONS do. It’s what makes them icons.

 

the pieces don t fit but prince attempts to sell each and every one of ___

 

It’s the confidence that comes effortlessly when you forget about who you’re programmed to be and just be. He was of small statute but mind-bogglingly gifted as an artist. He did rock and roll, rhythm and blues, pop, funk, hip hop, soul, and filtered in some gospel. He was like a gumbo. He even gave us sounds we didn’t know what to do with except accept it as a token of his love for what he came here to do.

I like that he never felt the NEED or the pressure to explain himself. He only talked when he wanted to, to who he wanted to talk to and when he felt some sort of injustice needed to be verbally addressed. He didn’t go back and forth with other artists that I know of. He was very private. So many artist should have taken and should take a page out his book when it comes to media relations.

His music is so much apart of my LIFE SOUNDTRACK and memories I was certainly not ready for this impromptu performance of departure. It was a quiet song. His departure to the next flight ✈ was undetected. Like he was. He always seem to come out of nowhere with great music and disappear.

He left us in his home, in the studio. In his studio. There’s peace ✌ when you can say goodbye in there mist of doing what you love 💜

 

-Nikki