Beware Of Cuffing Season

Beware Of Cuffing Season

So it’s been many years since I dated. I’m permanently “cuffed”, happily “cuffed” and have been since May 2009.

Tuesday my post was on, “When Is It Time To Let It Go”.

So, I thought I’d do something a little opposite of Tuesday’s post.

I think it was about, August or so when I saw all these different messages on my timeline about “Cuffing Season”. Now mind you, I have been out the dating game for a minute, but I do remember what it was like. So, I decided to do this exploratory post on this topic.

So when I initially heard about this “cuffing season”, I wondered is this really a thing?

Who knew that loneliness was a seasonal thing?

It seems that it starts when the weather is about to change seasons, I get that much. I don’t blame you single ladies, who doesn’t want to find a “bae” warm and cozy to snuggle up with? Today in Kansas City, it’s 62 degrees, which is still relatively warm but I know cooler temperatures are coming and I love snuggling up with my bae!

So trust me, I understand.

I’m not sure this was an actual thing 10 years ago. But judging from the Tweets and Meme’s I’ve read, this sounds like a recipe for disaster.

I read a tweet the other day that stated that you should keep your intentions clear from the beginning. Well, isn’t this the truth! But, I think that should be the motto in all dating situations.

I already knew when I was dating that I was a different kind of girl. I think I was always looking for long-term relationship. I didn’t really like dating and had a few horror stories I could tell.

But it also just sounds like an excuse to stop messing around and try to find someone nice to stay with for awhile. But ladies, shouldn’t you already be doing this? Perhaps I’m confused on this one.

Boy, dating is complicated these days!

Perhaps that is what is wrong with today’s society. We’re always trying to find the next best thing. This is a little schedule I found from 2014…

schedule

Until next time…be blessed!

Happy “Cuffing Seasons” to all the single ladies out there who are participating. Good Luck!

Maybe I don’t get it, maybe I do…comment below!!!

-Nicole Alicia

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When Is It Time To Let It Go?

happy valentine's day

Disclaimer: This is not an advice column! I’m simply sharing my opinion and my experiences.

The main character of my debut novel “Drama University”, Melody is in an on again off again relationship with Xavier. She doesn’t know how to let go or even if she should let the relationship go. With all the other short lived relationships she’s  been in, there have been some clear signs to let things go. But not so much with Xavier. They have history.

Much like my character Melody, I also have had relationships where I just didn’t want to let it go.

It hurts!

Often times there is this uncomfortable grey area. Nothing is defined and you’re feeling vulnerable about the situation. Maybe even insecure.

I get it!

With one particular relationship I was in a long time ago, there were several different periods and breaks we took. However, somehow we kept finding ourselves together again and again.

Ladies, he was handsome! He seemed to have everything I was looking for in a boyfriend, at first. He was very kind, polite and a total gentleman. As time went on though, things changed. The person I had met years before started changing.

Long story, short in the end, I ended up heart broken and resentful that I had been with this person so long. In the beginning after the break up, I was very bitter and angry. He made one last attempt to keep the line of communication open with me, but I shut it down once I found out he was talking to other girls.

Once I got over the anger I felt from the break-up, I was able to learn from what I had experienced.

So here it is…Here are Nicole Alicia’s signs of when it is time to let it go…

If he doesn’t share the same morals and values as you – Differences like this may be cute at first…at first. But, In the end if you aren’t on the same page as to where in life you are spiritually and morally, it won’t work. You can compromise all you want, but often it doesn’t matter.

If you find yourself trying to change him – If you’re trying to make him into something he’s not, good luck girlfriend! Typically how you are at 20, 21 is how you’re going to be…morally. Do not go into a relationship thinking you can “upgrade” him or mold him into what you want him to be. It rarely works! If it does, it’s liable to backfire on you big time.

If you’ve asked him not to do something that really bothers you, but he’s still doing it – typically this mean he doesn’t respect you. Enough said on this one!! Take it how you want. I’ve had both ways. It’s a total difference, when someone who says they love you makes an effort not to do something that you don’t like, versus someone you express you don’t like something and they say you can take a hike ’cause they ain’t changing…believe them if they say it!

Believe me, I know you’re saying it’s not that easy Nicole!

I never said, it was easy. I know things are never this cut and dry when it comes to relationships.

I could write a whole other post on how difficult it was for me to let go in some relationships. For me, the longer I was in a relationship, the longer it was going to take to get over it.

Recognize, some of the signs and then decide, is this really worth it? Trust, I wouldn’t be sharing if it wouldn’t benefit you in the long run!

What do you think? Have you been through this? Do you agree? Disagree?

Comment below!

Love and Peace, until next time…

Nicole Alicia

 

 

 

College 101: Making It On Nothing

College 101- Making It On Nothing

Many think that if you’re going to College that some how your family is rich or well off.

For many students this maybe true.

For the rest of us, going to college is a true privilege. Maybe your family isn’t well off and you’re parent or parent(s) had to scrape together pennies, nickels and dimes to get you there.

Well if this sounds like you, this post is for you!

My family isn’t well off, either. My father was laid off from his job, when I was a Senior in High School which was a major blow to us financially. We made due and I did go away to College that Fall. But my mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather, auntie’s and uncle all worked together and made sure I got there and got what I needed.

I tell this back story to say I thought I knew how to survive on less prior to leaving home. But I really didn’t quite know how to survive on less until I went away to college and was “on my own”.

I’d like to share with you a few tips on how to make it on less in college

‘Cause let face it, college is expensive in itself, with tuition alone. But, living away from home can be even more of a journey financial and other wise for some us.

So…

Conserve, Conserve, Conserve! – At home mom probably bought enough paper towels, napkins, food, etc for the household for the month right? Right! Mom and Dad hopefully set you up with enough stuff until the next time you come home for break (Thanksgiving probably for many of you). Try and make it last! The less you have to buy of minor little items, the more money you keep in your pocket (The less you have to call mom or dad for money. Trust me they do get tired of it.) If you have a job or unlimited access to funds again this article probably isn’t for you!

Dollar Tree,Walmart or Target is your Best friend! – I think there’s one of these almost in any city. Shop wisely! If you buy stuff, think about it before you purchase. Ask yourself if you really need the brand name of something or could you save by getting the off brand of something. Be a smart shopper! Dollar Tree is great for body wash, paper items and little things that you may run out of also.

Learn To Budget…NOW!– I was horrible at it. I had a job every year from Sophomore year on. I was responsible for my cell phone bill, car insurance and gas. Even though I was on the work study program, it still was a paycheck. I only got paid monthly! Yes every 30 days! It was rough. My parents would send me what they could as well as aunts and uncles but I mean I would blow it…fast! Sadly this transferred into my adult life. It’s better under control now since I am an entrepreneur and was forced to learn how. But I look back and wish I would have learned how to budget better. It’s important to learn it before you get into the “Real World“.

Sharing is caring!– When I was in college, often times my roommates or friends and I would go in together to get food after the party. If someone wanted to get a Pizza we all chipped in. It was fun! It often brought us together and those were great times! If you all want to carpool to a game at another school, why not all chip in on gas? Those are times I really miss!

College is hard.

Not having a lot to work with can be harder.

It’s not impossible! You can do it! Enjoy these times of roughing it…it gets better!

-Nicole Alicia

4 Ways I Use Pinterest As A Writer

4 Ways I Use Pinterest As A Writer

When I first discovered this App over 6 years ago, I thought “oh wow, what a cool way to save outfit ideas”. As I used it more and more, I began to discover that this was way more than a cool way to save fashion ideas, favorite hairstyles and keep track of all the things I wanted to buy.

As a writer, I’ve used Pinterest as a tool to keep track of inspiring quotes from other writers, as well as to learn how to automate social media posts and further my knowledge of the publishing and literary industry.

I’d like to share with you 5 Ways I Use Pinterest As A Writer:

  1. Find great writing prompts– As most great writers all do, I also get stuck sometimes. I get to a spot where I can’t figure out what to write about or just on the spur of the moment want to write and start from a cool unknown place I haven’t explored before. This is when I turn to writer Toni Adeyemi’s board on Pinterest. She has some of the best writing prompts that seem to get my creative juices flowing!
  2. Find some encouraging words for a writer like myself– I get down on myself. A lot! I often question myself as a writer. Like what if no one cares about what I write? I find myself thinking what I’ve written is garbage (before editing sometimes it can be). As writers,  we can loose confidence and steam and need a little push or a reminder that even the great Toni Morrison or Terri McMillan started somewhere. I saved many of my inspiring quotes from writers to my, “I write” board on Pinterest!
  3. Find information on how to do something– There are some great writers sharing information on Pinterest! I’ve found several like Rachel Giesel, BrigidGallagher and Kristen at shesnovel.com. They share valuable information on anything from how to be a effective writer, how to write a novel and how to edit effectively. I love, love that Pinterest isn’t just for pretty pictures and recipes but also that you can learn so much.
  4. Using portraits for characterization– Often times, I want to write a new character into a story. Often times I already have a visual of what this characters features are in my head or their characteristics. Sometimes I don’t. That’s when Pinterest comes in as a great tool to maybe find a picture of someone you’d like to use in your story. Often times a visual can help you better describe verbally in your story.

Hopefully if you didn’t already have a good idea of what to use Pinterest for as a writer, you do now!

As you can tell I love, love Pinterest! It’s such an excellent tool and has helped me advance in my writing career.

Come back Thursday for the last post in the College 101 series…

-Nicole Alicia

College 101: Time Management Tips

College 101- Time Management Tips

When my main character Melody Thomas from my debut novel “Drama University” was in College in the early 2000’s, there weren’t any iPhones or Google Calendars to keep track of all of her assignments and social events. She just used her good ‘ol student planner like she always had. Many people still use a paper planner. I know I prefer to!

Now days there’s so many choices to uses to stay organized. But this isn’t even about staying organized. It’s about being on your own for the first time in you life.

There’s no one to tell you when to wake up, when to eat breakfast, when to go home it’s all up to you (unless you have a dorm curfew, which I suggest you abide by).

College is a great experience! Enjoy it, savor it! I loved my college experience for the most part. I am a very disciplined person, but I still had to reign myself in and know when it was time to study and such.

I loved to party and enjoy myself like everyone else but I also knew and kept in the back of my head that there was a specific reason… to get that degree!

So with that being said here are a few Time Management Tips for you that helped me tremendously in school:

College Can Be A lot Harder Than High School! Do NOT say I’ll do it later too many times. It will turn into a bad habit. You’ll likely forget about that assignment that’s due or Quiz you have Monday in Econ class. Plan ahead and accordingly when possible. Always try to have your assignments done ahead of time so that you can go have a good time guilt free!

Distractions Will Kill Your Study Time! There are a ton of distractions in college. Especially if you live in the dorms or on campus! I liked to study in the comfort of my own room, but sometimes that wasn’t possible. I had loud suite mates and some roommates who preferred to have their music on while I preferred quite to study. It’s just hard sometimes to find somewhere good to study! If it’s not your environment, sometimes it’s your phone that keeps going off with alerts (Silence that sucker and hide it in your bag or away from where you can grab it easily to check it). Whatever you do, try to find a comfortable spot that fits your study style whether it be the quiet of the library or a student lounge area. Get somewhere where you can concentrate and get ‘er done!

If You’re Late All The Time This Is For You! In college, often times I found myself constantly rushing here and rushing there. Sometimes it was my fault, sometimes it was because I had things to go to back to back and couldn’t help it. But often times it was my fault. I rushed everywhere! I rushed to work, I rushed to get to class, I rushed to get to Dinner in the Cafeteria. You get the point. I just was pretty horrible about keeping track of time. Say if class is at 9 am, I would often wake up at 8:45 am and expect to get to class on time walking from the furthest end of campus. Instead of waking up a bit earlier, so I could get breakfast and get to class on time and not have to run I chose to sit in class. What often happened is I would forget something. A book, my phone, my notebook for that class. It was horrible. I didn’t learn until about senior year when I had to be at work at 8 am in the morning and had class all day I better have everything I needed for the day because ain’t nobody got time to run all the way back to my apartment to get what I forgot I needed.

I hope some of these little tidbits help!

Until next time…

-Nicole Alicia

 

“Drama University”: The Backstory

My Debut Novel -Drama University-- The Backstory

I’ve been working on this novel for about 10 years now.

That’s a long time!

Yes, I know!

The story behind this novel is simple. I discovered I really loved to write and others liked to read my writing back in college in 2005. I had been going to school for Computer Science initially and ended up changing my degree to Business Administration a year into it.

Once I was about a junior, I discovered that, hey maybe I should go for an English degree or Journalism instead. Unfortunately, it would have taken me another year to complete a degree if I switched and I just didn’t have the patience or money to change majors.

So about a year after graduation, I got the idea to start writing a novel. I had written short stories and poetry mostly before and that. I was reminiscing about some of the crazy times I had in college with one of my friends one day. He suggested that maybe I should write a book. At first I frowned at the idea. I couldn’t picture myself writing a memoir of some sort.

I figured I let the idea simmer and think on it. So I started writing in a journal initially and then moved to a notebook. I started writing first about a character who I thought about who went through a series of events and difficult relationships while in college. I then wrote about my antagonist and started an outline from there.

I worked 8 hours a day then at another company. I would come home and write before bed. Sometimes if I got up earlier, I would write before I had to be at work at 8 am.

Being a part-time writer, I also had my own blog since 2007. I took about 5 years to write the entire manuscript. I have done at least 5 self-edits on this book alone to get it to sound how I wanted it.

A lot of people have asked me, “Is this the same book you started writing a long time ago?” to which I explain yes. During the last 10 years I have had a ton of life changes that occurred. I got married, suffered 5 miscarriages, had a child and changed jobs 3 different times.

The idea of becoming a full fledged writer wasn’t even a thought, when I became a college graduate in 2006.

I am glad this friend planted this little seed in my mind, and I ended up using it to write what is my debut novel, “Drama University”.

I pray you like it.

It’s been in the making a long time!

Read Novel Excerpt #1 & Novel Excerpt #2 from “Drama University”!

Friday I’ll be revealing the cover for the book.

P.S. I love comments, so write something below!

Until next time…

-Nicole Alicia

College 101: Advice From A College Grad

College 101- Advice From A College Grad

Every time back-to-school rolls around, I get a bit nostalgic about my school days. (I know most of you are a few weeks into the semester now.)

As a graduate of MWSU, I can honestly say that College was one of the best times of my life.

Going away from your home to attend school is fun, it’s scary and exciting. Most of you are away from your parents, your siblings, familiarity, living on your own in another strange city. Whether you’re just 45 minutes away from home like I was, or hundreds of miles, it’s away.

College, literally is “A Different World”!

It is a time to get out from under your parents wings and spread your own beautiful wings! At times you may be doubtful of your own abilities, but just remember, “You got this”!

Here are a few things that I thought I’d warn you about, that you may or may not know:

Cafeteria food sucks after awhile, but you’ll get creative! We had a food court and a cafeteria when I was on campus. I’m sure you guys do to. I know I got really tired of the cafeteria and the food court and started cooking in my room. I know you’ll have a microwave. At the end of 4 years, you’ll be amazed at how much you can cook in the microwave. I hope you’re mom hooks you up with some good home cooked meals from time to time like my mom did!

Try to be nice to your roommate, it pays! I had some nightmare College roommate experiences. I am surely praying for you! If it’s a situation you just can’t deal with feel free to talk to your Resident Assistant, they should be able to help! Try not to be rude or mean to each other. A semester is August through December and that’s a long time. Be prepared for bumps in the road. Try to work it out, but if necessary move.

Party, Party, Party!  Partying! I loved to do it! (Still do from time to time) Did I get drunk? Yes. Did I regret it the next morning…OH YES!!! Hangovers suck majorly, but here’s a tip (Gatorade & Aleve) works wonders! Be aware of your limits and always always be safe and have a DD. Look out for one another! (P.S.This is not an encouragement to go out and do these things, just an I know what goes on.)

School is Work! Treat school like a job! Be on time and be prepared. Some classes may be difficult, but don’t sit there and flunk! If it’s the professor you can’t understand after going to 3 periods, drop the class and see if you can take with someone else. If you don’t understand or need clarification ask for help! Most professors have office hours and I’m sure they have on-campus tutoring.

Campus Activities! Oh yeah, get involved on campus! I promise your College experience will be so much more well-rounded and shhhh don’t tell anyone, I said this but it looks really good on your Resume’ also! I didn’t get to pledge the sorority I wanted because the Chapter got suspended, I regret not being able to establish those life long bonds that some of my friends have and connections!

Relationships! Where do I start here…Don’t get in to deep! At 18, 19, 20, 21 you have a lot to learn about the L word and I’m hoping you are aware of the difference between love and lust. You’re a beautiful young lady and I’m sure a lot guys will see that also!

PRAY…A lot! Try and stay in your word! God is with you every step, I’m sure you know! College is hard! It’s a lot going on. Remember to pray often and stay in your word!!!
Lastly, remember what you’re there for…a DegreeEnjoy this time in your life! seriously you’ll never get it back!!!

I’m SUPER excited for you, girl! I know you’re going to do great things!

It’s alot to manage, I do remember.

Time management is key in College! I’ll post on that subject next week.

-Nicole Alicia

Excerpt from An Odd Struggle: A Short Story

Patternmaker

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.

Read the full story at :  On Wattpad

-Nicole Alicia