10 Things I Love About Spring

tulips

Spring and Summer are my favorite seasons. I like Fall and particularly hate Winter. It’s so nice when the trees and grass are returning to that lovely green color. Trees in our neighborhood bloom white or purple and they make the block look simply stunning. But I love that cold Winter air has left (for the most part) and warmer days are ahead. So I decided to make a list of 10 Things I Love About Spring…here we go:

  1. Walking through your neighborhood or the park without a bulky coat-I like outside just not with the extra stuff you have to put on all weather. It gets me down after awhile!
  2. It’s Ice Cream/ Popsicle Season-I’m a little kid at heart and love to sit outside when it’s hot and devour a cool treat. Don’t you?
  3. The beautiful trees budding and beautiful flowers- I have a pretty tree in my front yard that blooms purple each year.
  4. Rain- I don’t like to be in it or drive in it but oh how I love to watch it from inside! There’s something soothing and poetic about it for me.
  5. Snow is gone- well around here in the greater Kansas City area you never know what you’re gonna get from day to day but we think it’s pretty much gone for now 🙂
  6. It’s the precursor for Summer- I don’t like extreme temps, but I look forward to Summer every year now since I’ve been a mom. My son loves water and it’s a joy to see him in the pool.
  7. May is Mother’s Day and my wedding Anniversary month-Mother’s Day is so very special for me seeing as that I had such difficulty getting and staying pregnant. Oh yeah and my wedding anniversary, that’s pretty special as well!
  8. Being able to put on a little dress again- I love wearing dresses. However, I don’t like wearing dresses in cold weather. I like to be comfortable and warm weather makes me feel way more confident in a cute little dress.
  9. Opening up the windows in my home – Not only to I love being able to hear the birds singing outside, but I like to air out the place from time to time and not worry about catching a chill.
  10. It’s Spring-enough said!

Burning Sands Review: A Introspective Look From A Frat Boy’s Girlfriend

burning sands movie

 

Earlier in the month my husband , tells me that he saw this movie on Netflix I might like called “Burning Sands”. Produced by Gerard McMurray, I knew this was going to be a good one. He was associate producer of the movie “Fruitvale Station”.  But when he told me what the title was, immediately I knew what the movie was probably about. No not hot sand in a desert, but rather “crossing” or becoming “Greek”.

No, I was not in a sorority in College but I wanted to pledge very badly (long story short the chapter at our school was banished because of hazing my sophomore year). My boyfriend decided to pledge a fraternity my Junior year. During the time he was “online” he shared with me his experience.

I was a typical girlfriend. I didn’t care for him pledging. A, it took away from OUR time together and B I felt like it would change him.

I told him if he was going to do it, just let me know what’s going on and I’ll try to support best as possible. He did. He shared with me the drinking, adventure, cruel, harshness, bruises, soreness, history of the fraternity he had to memorize and the I just got in at 3 am I’ll call you later today texts. He tried to come see me as often as possible being that he went to different schools in a different cities. Just like on the movie, we struggled to keep a relationship going but he did little sweet things for me when he could.

I didn’t attend an HBCU though I was very close to going to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO. Actually, the College I attended Missouri Western State University is a relatively small University in St. Joseph, Missouri and a small town. It is predominately white institution but there were a good deal of black students when I attended. When I arrived in 2002, all of the black fraternity’s and sorority’s were active on campus. Unfortunately, two ended up being banned from campus because of hazing and I know one fraternity chapter was put on probation for hazing for a semester or two while I attended that school. So that kind of tells you how often it is that chapters of fraternity’s do get caught.

Unfortunately, the sorority I so wanted to join that my aunt had joined so many years ago (those ladies who wear 20 pearls) the chapter was banished. They even had a meeting to tell girls who were interested that if you wanted to pledge there wouldn’t be a chapter ever, ever again so forget it. I was crushed! But when I found out that they had made this girl drink until she got alcohol poisoning and had to go to the hospital. I was cool on that, plus my academics was way more important.

But it’s crazy that someone actually made a movie about this aspect of life most know nothing of. I mean the movie was so accurate though right down to the ugly doo-doo faces they made while responding to “big brother” whoever.

When my ex said he was going to pledge this certain Fraternity I knew I was in for it. I had witnessed a friend be online years prior and he just disappeared for an entire semester. I mean you didn’t see him hardly during the daytime and if you did, he was moving fast and by himself. Then when you did see him at night he was in a hoodie. And my ex did the same. Every time I seen him. If I did see him, he was in a hoodie!

By the way the hoodie thing guys is a TOTAL give away! LOL

I liked the backstory though of the movie. The ending was very real! You have heard of this happening so many times before. Someone drinking them self during a hazing ritual or suffering serious injury while being flogged.

I understand the explanation that it creates “brotherhood”. But you never know when someone could go too far like on the movie and like so many situations that have happened in real life and actually kill someones poor child for some letters.

I know hazing is not going to end magically overnight, but I hope because of this movie black fraternity’s and sorority’s seriously self-examine before it’s too late. Like Lawrence Fishburn said at the end of one of my favorite movies, “Waaaaakeee Upppp”!

wake up

 

 

 

 

An Odd Struggle- A Short Story

By Nicole Alicia

Opening one eye, she could see the orange glow from the street light outside her window. The dull glow pierced through the blinds that had no curtains covering them to block out the light.

She rolled over, breathed in deep and closed her eyes again. Wishing and thinking, maybe today wasn’t what it was. Sitting up in bed, she reached down to grab her phone out of her shoe that was right next to her nightstand. 6:45am.

Still worn-out from the night before, she had fallen asleep only a couple of hours ago. Her glasses now half tilted,about to slide off but still on her face. Getting off late at 2am, she still had chosen to come home an attempt to write the speech for class the next morning.

Anxiety was slowly creeping in and slapping her upside the head. Not only was she unprepared, she hated speaking in front of people. She was starting to wonder if her hate for public speaking was turning into more of a fear.

Hesitantly walking over to her old wooden desk chair, she tried to breathe through her thoughts. Stopping at the chair she said a brief prayer. “Lord, please let me make it through this. Amen.”

Getting dressed, she carefully placed one leg in her pants legs at a time. She looked at the clock on the wall again to check the time. The long hand was on now on seven and the short hand on three. Class was at 8 o’clock.

“Great,”she said.

I can have enough time to run over what I have, eat breakfast and finish. She rushed out of her room racing over went to the cafeteria to try and finish before class. While eating breakfast she pulled out the purple colored notebook and turned to the page she had begun writing on last night. There was only one paragraph existing so far.

“Things that we need to get through life, such a perplexing subject.”

The professor said to give a speech about anything. She wanted to tap into people’s emotions. She wanted her speech to touch the students and spread positivity like a Maya Angelou speech or Oprah speaking to a graduating class of students. But she had once again let life get in the way.

She knew she was in trouble too. This time procrastination might have been the splintery steak that killed her academic career.

Priorities, a word that had been swept under the rug. Priorities had been all screwed up since she was on her own paying for school now. Work had become more important than anyone and anything. It never started out to be a permanent thing either but spirals down goes the staircase.

Amongst the chatter she spaced out. A friend from class had came along and asked “Are you ready,” to which she laughed and shooed them away pointing to the nearly blank page that stared her down. There was only 10 minutes left to get across campus to class. Gathering her things she almost started to cry. Swallowing the lump that had formed in her throat she decided it was best to press on.

Running across campus she got to class out of breath and even more frayed. Walking in slow pretending to be calm, she sat down hoping the professor would overlook her tardiness. Settling down she rummaged for her notebook in her bag. She pulled it out and looked at the 3 paragraphs that she had formed, thinking about how she would make this into a 3 minute speech. 3 mins being the bare minimum.

She knew her grade was about to suffer for this one. She was thinking about changing her major for the 2nd time or 3rd time anyway.

“Okay, we will begin with Autumn Jones,” said Professor Noslack.

Looking up to the front of the snapping her neck up abruptly. Hoping that maybe there was another Autumn Jones in the class. She knew there wasn’t.

There it went. Boomp, boomp, save me, save me! Her heart starting beating rapidly as the 100 some students in her class all turned to fix their eyes on her. Trembling and heart racing she began to stand, forgetting the notebook on her lap. She bent down to grab the notebook, smacking her head on the side of the desk.

“Shoot,” she exclaimed.

They knew her as that odd chick on campus. The one that wore combat boots when it was 80 degrees out and flip flops in the fall. But more than that she just couldn’t ever seem to tame her super curly, bird’s nest, a beautiful pile of light brown curls.  She did the opposite of everyone else not to be annoying or different on purse, because it suit her. Following trends was never her thing. And people looked at her as being awkwardly odd for that.

Funny how people assume because of your looks.

Rising up slowly from kneeling next to her seat she made her way down to the podium that set up next to the regular lecture desk. As she got to the podium she nearly tripped on her long flowing paisley skirt.

She stared down at the silver bracelet her grandmother had given her shortly before her passing she remembered the strength and courage she had. But she didn’t have that poise. Nor did she have that confidence. After looking up and clearing her throat about 10 times. She tried to breath.

“Breathing relaxes you Autumn, breathe right. It’s no different than work.”

“Today, is she gonna speak today? You know I got a class I gotta get to after this !,” a boy spoke from the top corner of the classroom. She thought to herself. She nodded her head forward letting the curliness of her hair fall into her face. She hid her face most of the time with her big curly hair. On occasion which she pulled back out of her face with a headband or scarf.

“Hi my name is…uhhh Aut-umn. I’ll be speaking on the subject of …”

As she began her voice began to quiver and she stopped.

“Hey, instead of making a fool of myself, I guess I’ll actually speak on something that I do know about.”

Just as she began to speak, the professor who was sitting in the front row, motioned to her to stop.

“If you’re not going to give your speech on the topic you signed up for, kindly have a seat Miss Jones.”

She strolled back to her seat as everyone looked at her. She gathered up her things and prepared to leave.

She knew what she had done and was prepared to have to do some silly make up assignment or flunk the class. Even thought that was her M.O. these days.

She knew she had to pull it together and soon.She wanted to make this College thing work so desperately, but right now it was all about the money. School could wait couldn’t it? She would never say what she was thinking in her head to her parents.

Excerpt from Drama University

I sat there for a moment after opening my room door to the outside commons area, I heard voices yelling, the distant chitter-chatter of people talking below, laughing, yelling and music. Students getting reacquainted, slamming doors from the floor above us and the clanking of people walking down the loud metal staircases at the end of each corridor. I sighed to myself and knew this would be much different than living at home with my parents in our quiet four-bedroom house where our relatively quiet neighborhood was.

At that point, I decidedly I liked the noise for the moment.

This was a whole new exciting world and I was going to try and take in every bit of it. I was hoping also If hung around outside, I was bound to run into someone I knew. I was hoping possibly X, who I still hadn’t heard from yet.

Stepping outside it was like another little city, in its own city. In the middle of the three dorms under large florescent floodlights on the concrete court there were guys outside playing basketball. There were people with their suite doors open standing in the doorway on the phone and people downstairs sitting at an old wooden picnic table in the courtyard by the residential life office where I had picked up the keys to my room this morning.

Although I couldn’t reach Xavier, maybe I could probably scope him out or if I saw Mark, his best friend, I’d ask him. I wasn’t sure what Hall or room he was in yet.

I leaned over the iron railing in front of my suite door and inhaled the fresh air.

I felt a new-ness.

This was going to be different. But wow, me Melody Ann Thomas, in College, at last.

This was crazy!

I wondered what classes would be like? Would I make friends? Would it be like one of favorite sitcoms growing up, like an old re-run of “A Different World?”

My eyes wondered over toward the stair case and just then I saw a slim, tall light skinned guy walking by, with a crew of about three other guys and the tall, light skinned one and I locked eyes for a moment.

My problem always was, I knew how to spot ‘em out, but I was too shy to actually start a conversation. Even if they would come to me first. Xavier was an exception though. But he was different. I don’t know what my deal was with him. Maybe it was the way he spoke to me as if I were the only girl in the world.  Xavier was quiet, but cocky and a charmer at the same time. He tried to act like he didn’t know it, but he did. I think it’s those huge dimples that showed up when he smiled that got girls all googly eyed. Xavier was 6ft. tall, almond shaped dark brown eyes, slim, chocolate brown complexion, and always kept a clean fade.

“Mmmmhmm”, I hummed softly under my breath. He had to have been a basketball player or something, he was well over 6ft. He walked by and I glanced his direction, trying to not be so obvious. He looked back and gave a half smile. Just then, I thought about Xavier. I reach down in my pocket to check my phone, I pulled it out halfway. The screen was empty, no missed calls.

When I looked down over the balcony again I spotted a familiar face that was walking toward the housing office. “Keey-anna”, I yelled. She looked up and spotted my face and I started smiling. She waved a little wave and she held up one finger with her free hand. The other was holding her phone up to her ear.

I had known Natasha Langston since high school she was one of the popular girls. A cheerleader and on the dance team. She stayed fresh all the time. Kept her hair done and nails done and had the hottest wardrobe at our school. Natasha was always cool with me though because she wasn’t like the other popular girls who acted like they were snobs or better than you. Natasha was the real cool laid back type. If she knew you no matter what she would speak to you in front of anyone. She wasn’t stuck up or viciously mean like a lot of the other popular  chicks at our school.

I was relieved to see a familiar face. Even though we weren’t the best of friends at least I’d have someone else on campus I knew.

Natasha came back out of the residential life office a couple of minutes later and came up stairs. She still had the phone glued to her ear, I figured she was talking to her boo the way she was still holding the phone. As she approached she hung up. “Hey girl”, she said with the same enthusiastic smile she wore most times. I smiled back as she reach for a hug like we were old friends who hadn’t seen each other in years. “Oh, my god I didn’t know you were going here too”, she exclaimed. “Yeah, I got accepted like last fall”, I said. “Me too”, she said. “How did I not know that you was going here too”? I thought that you had said you were going to stay home and go to UMKC, didn’t you get that track scholarship? “Yeah, but I had to get out of the city”, she said. “I was tired of seeing the same people all the time. Half our graduating class is staying at home.” “I know the feeling. I didn’t want to stay at home either,” I said.

“Do you know anyone else going here this semester?”, she said. “Yeah you know Xavier is up here with me, but other than him and his little Arrington crew, I don’t know anyone else”, I said. “For real?”, Natasha sound super surprised.

“Ah, so you up here with your boo huh?

I remember y’all been together for a minute right,” she said reminiscently shaking her finger at me. “That’s so cute!” She paused for a minute.

I stood there and smiled.

Leave thoughts, opinions and comments below!

So Far In 2017

so-far

I think just about everyone agreed that 2016 was a pretty crappy year.

Everyone was looking forward to a fresh start on December 31st, 2016. So, here we are at the last day of January 2017.

You know what?

Aside from a couple of things, 2017 has been OK thus far for me.

Not only have I started writing and blogging again. I have two different Etsy stores now open for business (Miss Nikki’s Hair Accessories and Dear Alice Company) and also a little Ebay store selling miscellaneous goods. I just have my hands super full right now but am having such a fun time doing it!

For New Edition fans, the highlight of our year was The New Edition Story that came on BET last week, which was a three-part series. I know personally, I had been waiting to see this since I had seen the previews during the BET awards last Summer and I was not to say the least disappointed.

That’s enough about me for now though.

Locally here in Kansas City we lost our star pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, Yordano Ventura. Sadly January 22nd in an accident in his home country in the Dominican Republic. I had started watching our home team the Royals on TV because we started doing really good in 2014 and went to World Series. Even though we didn’t win that year we went again in 2015 and actually won. I thought he was just so cute and so talented. I was pregnant last Summer and wasn’t able to go see any games and was looking forward to going this Spring. It was sad that he lost his life at such a young age. He was only 25. It messed with me for a few days because people say life is short. But wow!

But what’s going on politically right now is just crazy. I mean this new president (he’s not mine but you know what I’m saying) has only been in office for all of 12 days and look at all that is going down hill.

So all in all 2017 has been OK for me. How about you?

 

Letting The Blogging Beast Take Over

perfect

I used to be fairly good at this.

Coming up with topics to write about was nothing. I stopped blogging almost a year ago due to intimidation. I felt like I had somehow lost my way. Back in 2007, blogging seemed so new to a lot of people. It was a little bitty baby just growing and learning to walk. Now, it seems it’s become a big overgrown hairy beast. I had been blogging for almost 7 years with very little following on my blog. I had so many people tell me they read my blog, but it was seeming like no one really followed it. I began to get frustrated. I admit I started to try to fit in. I started trying to do what everyone else was doing because that was what you were “supposed” to do apparently. Wrong!

I’m quirky, I’m odd and pretty much just all around different. I never really was too good of a dresser. Let’s be honest, I really like fashion but I’m not a fashion blogger. I’m not going to take pictures of myself in different outfits everyday. That may have worked when I had to go to the office everyday, but now that I’m a stay at home mom…well you’d be getting pictures of me in t-shits, leggings or sweatpants.

I also discovered I’m not a makeup guru. Sure, I wear make up when I go out of the house but I need all you make guru’s out there with these YouTube channels to help me do that. How can I help someone else when I need the help?
LOL.

Am I a branding guru, social media specialist, mom blogger, consultant or expert? The answer is probably slightly all of the above and none of the above.

I tell you what I am though. Someone who just loves writing, sharing and connecting with others. When you try to be something your not, it’s always going to come off as un-genuine and fraudulent and no one wants that. Plus, I don’t do fake very well.

So on from that confusion, I am just going to be me.

-Nicole Alicia

 

 

3 Good Reasons Why You Should Hire A Freelance Writer

COPENHAGEN

So you have set out to find the perfect writer, but your budget is stretched to it’s furthest limit already. Hiring one more person, maybe doesn’t seem like what you need right now. You need someone to write a blog post from time to time or give your website content a fresh crisp sound.

Instead of trusting your businesses reputation to your sister’s boyfriend, who wrote that article back in high school, why not hire a professional. Not everyone is great at grammar, spelling or writing creative content. You might not even know where to begin with the creation process. For a business, the content you have on your web page is very important and freelance writer can help.

There are so many reasons but the most common and real reasons, Here are the  3 Good Reasons Why You Should Hire A Freelance Writer:

  1. Money-The beauty of freelancers is that you don’t have to pay them a salary. They can be someone you use once or a freelance writer can be someone you can build a relationship with. Someone who can become familiar with your business and knows how to portray it in the best light possible through words.
  2. Time-Let’s be honest you don’t have the time to create quality content. As an entrepreneur, you have your plate full. Delegate! Let someone else do the heavy lifting for you.
  3. Writing Just Isn’t My Thing-You’ve had this great idea for a blog post or article that’s been floating around in your head for sometime now. But, you hate writing and frankly don’t do it very well.

If any of these sound half way familiar to you, you may definitely benefit from hiring a freelance writer and hiring one soon.

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