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Author: JustAskNikki

Nikki Taught You: Beauty Secrets for Women of Color 

Nikki Taught You: Beauty Secrets for Women of Color 

When you find a beauty secret that works, you be like….

Image result for black girl magic gif

As you all know, I am all for black girl magic, but sometimes we have to go the extra mile because our skin can present challenges like: scarring, hyper-pigmentation, ingrown hairs, dandruff, thinning edges (LORDT – LE STRUGGLE) and others! Alas.. our black girl magic continues to shine thru and I have some beauty hacks to aid in the process. These are some beauty secrets that I have found to work and use on a regular basis:

Spray Tanning & Tanning Lotion

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Honeeeyyyyyyyyyyy let. me. tell. you..
Spray tanning and tanning lotions are one of my faaaaaavorite ways to get that blackgirlmagic glow to come all the way thru!! Not that we need it, but it does a great job at evening out skin tone & making you look like a bronzed goddess! Especially if you are wearing white, or green or any bright color, it really makes your skin look amazing. If I have a hot date which is never or a big event where I want to stunt on everyone else which is always, I will schedule a spray tan 2-3 days before. Or you can go the budget friendly route and get a great self-tanning lotion.

Image result for banana boat summer color

I use the Banana Boat Summer Color in deep/dark. I apply it after I shower/exfoliate at night in place of lotion. Give it some time to dry and in the morning you will wake up looking like you just got back from Jamaica. It lasts for about 7 days and sometimes I just mix it with lotion to keep my bronze in tact. Sidenote: Make sure your skin is freshly clean, exfoliated and dry before getting a spray tan or applying tanning lotion. Go get that summer glow year-round ladies!!

Neutogena Acne Facewash – prevents ingrown hairs!

Image result for neutrogena acne wash
Have you ever gotten a bikini or brazilian wax and shortly thereafter had ingrown hairs? Its the worse right?!
Besides being a great face wash to keep acne at bay, this also is an excellent product to prevent those horrible and annoying ingrown hairs. Due to its 2% salicylic acid, its a good exfoliating cleanser and prevents ingrown hairs from rearing their ugly head.

Image result for I hate ingrown hairs gif

What I do: After getting a wax, while in the shower I apply a tiny bit on the corner of a wash cloth, lather it up and apply to the waxed area in small circular motions and rinse. The next morning its allllllllllll clear!!! lol. I’m fortunate that I dont really have troubled skin, but the few times I’ve had issues, this stuff worked a miracle!

Pure Glycolic Acid

So about two years ago, I started getting these dark spots on my legs out of nowhere. I was literally freaking out!! I couldn’t figure out 1. Why they were appearing and 2. How to get rid of them! So I went to my dermatologist and she informed me that it was genetic hyper-pigmentation. Basically, some people are more prone to dark marks genetically than others. She then prescribed me a bleaching cream that was expensive AF  and came in this tiny tiny tube. She also told me I may need more than one tube. I was pissed. I knew I wasnt gonna spend $60 on a tiny tube of bleaching cream so I started looking for alternatives. I literally tried evvvvverything! Finally after browsing deep on google, I came across this particular brand of Bona Fide 7% pure glycolic acid.

Daily Glycolic Acid Peel 7.5% Pure AHA for Anti Aging Acne Blackheads Oily Skin

This stuff has literally changed my skin. It is strong enough to deeply exfoliate your skin, but gentle and safe enough to use at home. It has a clear/water consistency and should be used very carefully. I use it on both my face and dark spots on my body to help lighten and keep my skin clear. Make sure you check with your dermatologist first before using if you have sensitive skin. I use once every week (sometimes every two weeks) after a gentle cleanser, rinse with cold water, followed by a good moisturizer. Only use at night. You can purchase on amazon here.

Exfoliation Gloves
Click for enlarged view
Cheap. Simple. Self-explanatory. You will have the softest skin in life. Use these before a beach day, self-tanning, big event or date night… I proooooomise your skin will glow and be baby soft. Make sure to follow with a good moisturizing lotion. Purchase at your local Target.

Exfoliating Lotion

If you can’t tell, I am obsessed with soft smooth skin!! Another easy way to achieve that is by using an exfoliating body lotion. Lotions with AHA or Lactic Acid are a great way to make sure your legs and body are getting those dead skin cells sloughed off!! I rotate an exfoliating lotion with my regular lotion during the week and have great results. This stuff just makes your legs and skin glow while being soft and hydrated beyond words! You can purchase one of my favorites by Perfect Image here , its a little pricey, so I found a budget-friendly version here.

Gly 10% + Sal 2% Exfoliating Body Lotion - Enhanced with Green Tea | Papaya | Bearberry | Licorice | Amino ComplexAmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Therapy Moisturizing Body Lotion for Dry Skin, Fragrance-Free, 15.8oz Twin Pack (7.9oz per bottle)

Apple Cider Vinegar 

This stuff is basically God’s magic potion. There are literally 13409234792347 uses for ACV, but I want to point out one in particular… a conditioner for your hair. Yes. You read that correctly… If you have psoriasis, dandruff, dry brittle hair, or really any hair issue at all, ACV can take care of it!!! I’ve been rinsing my hair with ACV for about 2 yrs and I can vouch for the amazing benefits:
– Balances hair PH
– Cleansing and Clarifying
– Antibacterial/Anti-fungal
– Detangles & Add Shine
– Stimulates hair growth

How to use: mix one part ACV with 3 parts water and pour over hair after shampooing. Let sit for 5-10mins while massaging scalp. Rinse. You can follow with a conditioner if you’d like, although its not needed. Dont worry about the smell.. it evaporates when you blow dry. (If you dont blow dry your hair.. you’re on your own with this lol… the smell is brutal!). My hair and scalp have been so much healthier since using ACV! If you can get past the smell I promise you will be satisfied with the results.

Dry Brushing
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Got Cellulite?
Cellulite be-gone! That’s what dry brushing does.
Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like… brushing the skin in a particular pattern with a dry brush, usually before showering. It stimulates the lymphatic system which is responsible for collecting, transporting to the blood, and eliminating the waste our cells produce. Along with normalizing lymph flow, it leaves your skin softer, pores clearer, and your whole body with more energy. One of the byproducts of dry brushing is reducing the appearance of cellulite that we absolutely hate. I try to dry brush 2-3 times a week before showering at night, followed by a good body lotion.



Do you have any beauty secrets that you swear by? Please share! Sharing is caring sis!!  I want to see your #blackgirlmagic shine thru everyday!!


As always, share, comment and subscribe!


Nikki Taught You: Rental Car Hacks (Get the lowest price!)

Nikki Taught You: Rental Car Hacks (Get the lowest price!)

Hacking In Progress Biiiihhh!

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Alright, so a few years ago during the height of when gas prices were like $4/Gallon,  I decided to get rid of my truck and take the train everywhere. Fortunately for me I lived on Peachtree St in Atlanta, right across from the midtown train station, so I was able to get around fairly easily during the week. However,  I quickly realized that I needed a car to get out and about on the weekends. So I ended up renting a car 1-2 weekends a month. I literally became the rental car expert. I rented so much I was in the hertz “Platinum Club” lol.

Sooooo since I have crowned myself the rental car expert *wink* here are a few tips I wanna pass along to make sure you save the most money when renting:

Tip #1: Location, Location, LOCATION

This is probably the biggest money saving tip I can give, which is why I put it on the top of this list!
Where you pick up your car will determine how much your rental car will be. If you pick up your car at the airport, your car rental will automatically be about 20-30% higher (due to surcharges) than if you were to pick it up somewhere locally or central to the city. Rental car companies always put the airport either by default or at the top of the list of locations because they know the rates are higher! The second highest are hotels. Hotels charge a surcharge similar to airports automatically. So make sure you use google maps, and compare locations and prices. Always opt for a local “neighborhood” rental car location if possible. And remember, 9 times out of 10 they are willing to come pick you up, so you don’t have to go out of your way to get there.


Tip #2: You Do Not Need Insurance On Your Car!

Yes, you read that correctly. Repeat after me: I DO NOT NEED ADDITIONAL INSURANCE ON A RENTAL CAR!
You probably think I am crazy and out of my mind for giving you this tip… but hold on so I can explain. You know when you’re checking in to pick up your rental and you get to the very end of the process and they are like “So do you want to put insurance on the car in case something happens? Otherwise you would be responsible for 100% of the costs should their be damage”. You then get scared and want to avoid judgement so you be like “ummm yeah, that’s probably something I need”. WRONG GIRL! WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Rental car companies make a pretty penny off “rental car insurance” AND the associate offering it gets commission if he sells it. Which is why he or she goes soooo hard with making you feel like you NEED to have it. The truth is, 90% of credit card companies have rental car insurance included at no cost to you, as long as you use the card to pay for the rental.

Here is what’s required by most credit card companies in order to activate coverage at NO additional cost to you:

  • Decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver (CDW/LDW) – in other words SAY NO!
  • Be the primary renter of the car – Common sense lol
  • Pay for the car in full with the card that provides the protection – Also common sense

So the next time they try to pressure you into buying their insurance, look them dead in the eye, tilt your head to the side, close your eyes and say slowly “Noooooo Thaaaank Youuuuuu”.

no no thank you

Tip #3: Coupon Codes

They are everything!! If you haven’t read my post about coupon codes and how to use them, make sure you swing by there and check out all that useful goodness (You’re Welcome).
There are always a ton of coupon codes for rental cars. I would recommend checking their website, coupon cabin, retailmenot and plenty of others. The key to getting the really good coupon codes is to join the email list! (Who taught you that?). I know from experience that Hertz allows your to stack coupon codes! Also, if you work for a medium to large sized company, 9 times out of 10 they have a corporate discount code that never expires. I am still using mine that gets 20% off from a company I worked for 8yrs ago lol. I would share it, but my hertz profile has it stored and it doesn’t show what it is. It was a one-time thing. Sowwry! But listen, ask around, ask your company’s travel agent, use google….i’m telling you its worth it! You never know when its going to kick in for your benefit!

Image result for can I get a discount gif

Tip #4: Pre-pay for gas

Most of us hardly pay attention to this, but pre-paying for your gas is a quick and easy way to save time when returning the car while getting a pretty nice discount at the same time. Pre-paying for your gas at the counter will save you on average about 5-10 cent per gallon! Now, the only exception to this rule is if you are in an area with unusually low gas prices (southeast). There are plenty of apps to help you find cheap gas, but if you dont want to do all that, just pre-pay. Trust meeeeeeeeeee.

Image result for trust me gif

Tip #5: Download the app!

I keep telling yall the importance of joining the email list. Well downloading the app is JUST as important. These companies know they are competing for your business and want to reward you for your loyalty! They do this by offering discounts, sales, and discount codes on their app only! My friend Ashley told me about how she booked an enterprise rental car online and then downloaded the app to easily keep up with her reservation. She then noticed that the app was running a special for 9.99/DAY if she booked THRU THE APP! That’s like $40 for the entire weekend!!! Yes there are restrictions, but the point is, she saved a crap load of money by just downloading the app. That same rental would’ve ran her about $100 more. You can always delete the app after you use it, so get those discounts while you can!

Image result for i won gif

Do you have any other rental car hacks? Let me know!!!!

Please share and subscribe! As always, thank you for your support!

Nikki Taught You: 9 Podcasts You Need To Be Listening To

Nikki Taught You: 9 Podcasts You Need To Be Listening To

(Really quickly: If you have been getting more than one email from me I apologize! Whenever I make an update to a post, it sends an email and I am working to resolve! Bare with me! a sista is still learning this wordpress thing!)

ok.. On to the post beeellooooow….


Alright. Yes, I know 9 is an odd number, but these are the best podcasts that eeeyee listen to, so I wanted to pass along the good news (haaaannnnn) lol.

As a lot of you know, I live in NY and a big part of living here is getting used to spending at least 30% of my day commuting from one place to another on a train that runs underground with no cell service. One of the things that has helped make the most of my commute are podcasts. I’m one of those people that 1. like to make the most of my down time and 2. really enjoys learning outside of a school setting (I hate school). Podcasts are a great way to do both. You can be entertained, educate yourself of different topics and make your commute some what enjoyable. You basically become a multi-tasking god.

With that said, I know there are people who hate podcasts, or they hate the idea of them. I think people sometimes associate podcasts with talk radio lol. It IS talk radio in a way, but much MUCH better. If you are one of those people, I have the perfect list for you. So whether you are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic or stuffed on a train like me, these are podcasts that I PROMISE you will enjoy. FYI – These are in no particular order. Walk and talk with me as I show you the way…..

1. This American Life

This American Life is probably my favorite podcast ever.  This American Life is a weekly public radio show broadcast on more than 500 stations to about 2.2 million listeners. Each episode has a theme and stories that accompany the theme. I have learned so much listening to this podcast because of the subject matter they cover. A lot of these stories are told via journalists that give background info, interviews and findings for you to draw your own conclusion. Its basically like a cooler, audible version of 60 mins.

2. TED Radio Hour

Calling all nerds! lol

TED (Technology. Entertainment. Design) Radio Hour is for the person who LOVES to learn. If you are familiar with TED talks, they you know they often focus on human nature, our brain and why we do the things we do (if you’ve never heard of TED talks, do yourself a favor and go watch some on YouTube!). Their website describes it as ‘a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create.’ The show is based on talks given by speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections – and injects soundscapes and conversations that bring these ideas to life. After listening to a few episodes, you will definitely be the smartest out of all your friends lol.

3. The Read

Kid Fury and Crissle of The Read are literally my best friends in my head…
Quick side-note: This show is NOT kid friendly.. cuss words galore lol
The Read is quite possibly the funniest, most entertaining podcast on iTunes. Kid Fury and Crissle discuss the latest headlines in pop culture and the shenanigans that come along with it. The best part about The Read, is well.. The Read –  At the end of every episode, Kid Fury and Crissle “read” and or vent about a particular person, situation they’ve encountered that week or something that took place in the news. The Read also addresses racial issues in a straight-forward “in your face” way that makes anyone who’s uncomfortable discussing race have to face it head on. Download The Read raaaat naaaah!

4. Snap Judgement

Snap Judgement’s motto is: Storytelling with a beat. If you love a good story, told first hand then this podcast is for you. These stories are told from people all over the world, from different walks of life and always grasp and hold your attention. There have been plenty of times where this show has gotten me so caught up in the storyline, I almost missed my stop on the train!

5. Entre Leadership

Currently an entrepreneur? Want to be an entrepreneur? Interested in business? Want to learn the best from the best?
Entreleadership pretty much has it all. Their motto: Build Stronger Teams, Find Better People & Get Bigger Profits.
EntreLeadership is a podcast where they interview the worlds top business leaders, authors and entrepreneurs and hear their ideas and advice on success and how to attain it. I’m eye’ing the idea of entrepreneurship and this podcast has definitely given me the tools for a strong foundation. Whether you are already self employed or eyeing the idea, Entreleadership podcast will give you the best business advice from the best in the industry.

6. My Taught You

I loooove My Taught You! (Obviously because great minds think alike!! lol)
My Taught You is hosted by Myleik Teele – The CEO of the successful business CurlBox, a monthly subscription service that sends out up to 7 hair products for women with kinky/curly hair. Myleik’s website describes the podcast as ‘an inspiring space for young, multicultural women.’ Myleik spends time giving amazing business advice for young women on how to start a business, business tactics and navigating office politics.

7. Death Sex and Money

Death Sex & Money is a podcast centered around good old fashion journalism. The website describes it as ‘A podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation’. And that’s exactly what it is. The host Anna Sale, does a great job asking hard, sometimes inappropriate questions to people with interesting backgrounds from all walks of life.

9. Daily Hope with Rick Warren

Everyone needs an little inspiration in their life, and Rick Warren’s Daily Hope does just that and more.
This daily podcast is the pick me up you need! Rick Warren, the author of the New York Times best seller ‘Purpose Driven Life” gives you 30 mins of inspiration on how to tackle life’s up’s and downs. This is usually the first podcast I listen to in the morning. It helps give you clear perspective on life’s problems and to keep your head up no matter how hard it gets.

10. Serial

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard about this podcast one way or another. Serial is quite possibly theeee beeeest podcast for story telling. It basically tells a story week by week and we follow the story as it develops and comes to a conclusion. Serial’s website describes the podcast as ‘one story—a true story—told over the course of a season. Each season, we follow a plot and characters wherever they take us. We won’t know what happens at the end until we get there, not long before you get there with us. Each week we bring you the next chapter in the story, so it’s important to listen to the episodes in order.’ In other words – its like listening to your favorite tv drama every week with a little bit of journalism. ITS SO GOODT! I promise you will love it and be addicted. Make sure you start with season 1 and listen to the episodes in order! Thank me later. You’re welcome.

Do you have any podcasts I should try? Drop me a comment and let me know.. I am allllllways looking for a good podcast!

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“You sound like a white girl” – Race From My Perspective

“You sound like a white girl” – Race From My Perspective

I started this blog because like most people who start blogs, I wanted to have a place on the internet to come and share my thoughts and ideas. These thoughts and ideas are often very direct, straight to the point and unbiased. It doesn’t matter if you are my friend or my enemy, if you ask me for advice or perspective you’re going to get it from a straight-shooter. My posts will typically be light-hearted, but due to the climate of our Nation I wanted to make a serious post about race from my perspective. Anyone who is NON black that reads this post, please know that what I am going to say is fair, it’s honest and from the heart. That was my disclaimer. Now lets begin.

I am a black woman that is 33 years old. That means I have 33 years of experience at being black. Growing up in Raleigh, NC I can honestly say I had a pretty good childhood. I had great parents that loved me, I lived in a middle-class neighborhood and I attended both public and private schools. One of my early childhood friends was filippino. Her name was Nancy (heeey Nancy!). Nancy’s dad would pick me up every morning for school. Another childhood friend was an italian girl named Kara (heeey Kara if you are reading this lol). She lived across the street from me and I was ALWAYS at her house after school. I had diverse friends but it was also during a point in my childhood when I had yet recognized the differences of our race. I knew we looked different but I was unaware that these differences would be amplified 20 years later.


It wasn’t until around 7th grade that I realized a few things:

1. I am black

2. Our family was the only black family on our street

3. I talked like a white girl.

You see my first middle school in 6th grade was pretty much 98% white. Most of my friends were white and that atmosphere seemed like the norm. I transferred to Carnage Middle School for 7th grade because my mom wanted me to attend a magnet school that would allow me to participate in creative classes and electives. I want to clarify and say I DID have black childhood friends as well. Just not as many as I did white.

Carnage Middle School was very different. Very urban. Very diverse. Very segregated.

I remember walking in the lunch room and the white students were on one side and the black students were on the other. Without saying, you basically had to choose. The white tables would have 1-2 “token” black people and the black tables would have 1-2 “token” white people. I’m pretty sure this is how it is at most schools in the south, although, we as humans tend to want to be with our own. A poll done by Reuters in 2013 showed that about 40 percent of white Americans and about 25 percent of non-white Americans are surrounded exclusively by friends of their own race. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it may just be a human nature thing. However as we get older, depending on where you live, we either continue to embrace that segregation or  search for diversity.

Fast-forward to my 20’s, I’m reminded of that moment in 7th grade when a black girl interrupted my conversation I was having to ask “why do you talk like that? You sound like a white girl”. I was so confused. It was categorized as “white girl” because it was proper, because I pronounced all my words clearly, because I was meeting a standard that in her eyes “brown girls” rarely met. It was also a much larger realization that if she believed that, her parents probably believed it too. Stay with me, I’m making a point.

In America, white is the standard. Roland Martin made a great point when dragging Wendy Williams for being an uncle tom by saying “One of the reasons you don’t have historically white universities is because we just simply call them universities. The fact of the matter is you can go around the country and you will see universities, Wendy, that are 70, 80, 90, 95 percent white.” This is 100% true. White is the standard for pretty much everything. This is why all barbies at first were white. Babydolls were white. Cartoons on TV were white and it was completely normal. Superheros were white. Most print ads I saw growing up had white models. Most runway models were white. We can go even further and discuss stereotypes in movies. Have we progressed? Yes, but I want white people to understand that the passion and pride that black people feel is because slowly but surely we began to realize that “white” no-longer has to be our standard, AND THAT’S OK!  BET was created because OUR perspective and OUR story and OUR actors and actresses were’t being shown on mainstream TV. So we created our own channel. I need you to realize that our decision to create our own does NOT equal hate and division. I want my child to have a diverse upbringing but I also want him or her to know that they are a man or woman of color, and its a beautiful thing.

In my 33 years, I have experienced racism. I have also seen racism first hand. It DOES happen. It IS real. It DOES exist. These are all facts. Nobody is looking for a handout. We just want to be treated and viewed FAIRLY. When it comes to #blacklivesmatter, to me it is a beautiful movement.  Its an uprising of people taking pride in the color of their skin and demanding that it be respected. Respect the fact that our struggle is real and takes place FOR SIMPLY EXISTING. Being born black in someways is almost like being born with a handicap. You have to be creative and extra smart and extra whatever to beat the odds. Am I saying that being born black IS a handicap, no. But in america it is.

Photo: Andre L. Perry

As I marched in support of #blacklivedmatter on July 7th in Manhattan, New York, I was so comforted to see so many white, black, asian, indian and spanish people marching alongside me. They were holding signs, chanting and yelling for OUR cause. They acknowledge that there is a privilege to being white.  They understand that there are experiences that we’ve had that they will never encounter. Most importantly they understand that the first step to healing is admitting there is a problem. America has more than just a race problem, there is a HUMANITY problem.
Photo: Andre L. Perry

As a woman of color it literally breaks my heart to see video footage of black men being unfairly profiled and judged time and time again. That heartbreak turns to frustration and anger when someone of another race decides to belittle the situation and act like pain is not an emotion we’re entitled to. Like “how dare you be angry over this when there is black on black crime everyday!” Let’s address that quickly:

According to FBI homicide statistics (sourced from

  • Between 1980 and 2008, 84% of white homicides were committed by other whites.
  • Whites kill more whites than black people kill each other.
  • Whites commit more crimes than any other race.
  • Whites kill more members of vulnerable populations than any other race.
  • Gang murders are most common among white gangs.

In other words, “White on white crime” is just as real as black on black crime, yet the term white on white crime is never used by mainstream media. So we march and chant “Black Lives Matter!” to express our frustration and desire for equality. In turn we are villainized for desiring the very thing America was supposed to be built on. Its exhausting.

Photo: Andre L. Perry


So you might ask, “what is it that African Americans want?” The answer is simple:

We want respect and acknowledgement. Sincere respect and acknowledgement. Respect the fact that we helped build this country. Acknowledge that we are just as good as you. Our children are just as talented.  Our men are just as smart. Our women are just as beautiful.  Our skin color holds the same value as anyone else’s. We are EQUAL to you. Then TREAT us as such. In the workplace, in social settings and most importantly, inside and outside the Court of Law. Treat us the same!

Until then, we will continue to take pride in saying, chanting, yelling and screaming……#blacklivesmatter.

Because they do.



A black girl that speaks like a well educated black girl.



Nikki Taught You: Coupon Codes 101

Nikki Taught You: Coupon Codes 101

Disclaimer: For some reason this post has some serious spacing issues. I have been trying to resolve them but I think It may be a WordPress glitch. I apologize for the appearance. Please look past it and enjoy the post! Thanks!!


plural noun: coupons

1. a voucher entitling the holder to a discount for a particular product.
2. free money bih!

So we alllll know what coupons are right? Discounts, vouchers, tokens, tickets… or as I call them FREE MONEY! Many years ago I was watching Suze Orman ( I love her!) and she was discussing how americans are so silly for not using coupons for often. She specifically referred to coupons as “free money”. Considering that Suze is known for her expert financial advice, we should all take a lesson from her! Ever since that day, I am always on the lookout for how I can use a coupon during checkout.

Since we are in the digital age, its pretty rare that we are still printing out coupons (no shade if your are lol). I mean I just ran out of ink in my printer and the way my bank account is set up, paying $56 for ONE ink cartridge is not a priority. So enter in: coupon codes! Coupon codes are like cold stone ice cream for me (I told you I can easily be bribed with ice cream), they are like new shoes on sale, like a slice of watermelon on a summer day, like your mother’s home cooking, like meeting a cute guy and liking him for longer than a week lol (this is a real problem for me – but that’s another post). Anyhoo, you get the point! Coupon Codes are straight AWESOMERY. So here are some of my coupon code tips for beginners so you can join the cool kids club:

 Tip #1: Always ALWAYS sign up for the email list.

Remember when those Beyonce tickets went on sale?! If you weren’t part of the Bey-hive you were stuck waiting until those general public tickets went on sale and MADT about it lol.

Signing up for the email list is like the e-version of the VIP line. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten coupon codes sent to my inbox with discounts from 10% to 40%! This goes for anything! Concerts, retail, your favorite author, your favorite whatever! Sign up for the email list! I know I know, you are thinking “but I hate spam mail!” Girl! Me too! That’s why I have an email account set up JUST for email lists and loyalty programs. I check it maybe once a day just to see whats in there and if there are any major sales going on. Its a great way to know when there are private sales, pre-sales (beyonce), private screenings and free shipping days. Also, retail sites almost always offer 10-15% off your first purchase! Like.. aaalllllwaaaaayyyyzzz. If you are furniture shopping or shopping in general, this is a great way to guarantee a discount at checkout.

Tip #2: If there is a box that says “enter coupon code” at checkout – THERE IS A COUPON CODE TO BE FOUND!

Listen, I am Special Agent 007  when it comes to finding a coupon code. My friends and family will tell you! I will google and search high and low! Cause again – Free. Money. Just call me Free Money Nikki. LOL. I will say, it is addictive. When you are used to having a discounts of about 20% on average its really hard to just pay full price. Whats the best way to find a coupon code? 1. Google 2. Retailmenot (Coupon holy grail!!), 3. Coupon Cabin. Those are my top 3 go-tos when conducting my search 🕵🏾.



Tip #3: Join loyalty programs

This slightly piggy backs on tip #1, but takes it a step further. You are a consumer and companies want your loyalty! So do what I do… be loyal to them alllllllll *evil smile*. Giiiiiirl! I will sign up for a loyalty program with a company and ALL their competitors. Why? Because I want to know who offers the best discounts and the best sales. I will also use that “loyalty” to request price matching. Price matching is a whole nother (yes, that is a word) lesson, but its basically saying “ummm, I found this exact same shirt at and they have it on sale so…… you price matching or nah?”. I’ve done this over the phone AND in person with a 75% success rate 💅🏿 Of course the main reason to join the loyalty programs are to get those private sale offers, discount codes and all the other perks that come with membership.

AAAAAND often times you can stack the discounts they offer.

Example: Target Card offers 5% off all purchases, Target cartwheel app offers DAILY discounts, target MOBILE coupons in the regular target app offer discounts – AND THEY CAN ALL BE USED TOGETHER GIRL!!!!

The thought of that makes me feel like Beyonce on stage dancing to Panda.
dance dancing beyonce bey formation world tour
 Tip #4: Save your larger priced item purchases for holidays
I’m sure you already knew this but I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave it out for those who don’t.
When I say holidays, I mean pretty much all of them: Labor Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Easter and of course Christmas! Sidenote: I didn’t mention Thanksgiving because black friday sales aren’t real sales for the most part. I’m sure you can still find good sales around thanksgiving, but the prices are often lowest AFTER christmas.
Anyway – back to discount codes. If you sign up for those email lists like eeeyeee toooold youuuu tooooooo, then during these times they will be FILLED with discounts and/or coupon codes! But the real winners are people shopping for big priced items like furniture, tvs, kitchen sets, etc.  According to, July is the best month to buy furniture . Mainly because summer months are the slowest months in retail, therefore forcing companies to offer larger discounts to drive sales. So those looking to buy furniture, this post is right on time for you. You’re welcome.
Tip #5: Complain 
I know.
I’m a savage.
A low down dirty savage.

Let me clarify what I am suggesting: Lets say you buy a product or service and it wasn’t what you expected. It LEGIT wasn’t what you expected… not, it kinda wasn’t. Not you ordered food, ate 97% of it and now you want to complain so you don’t have to pay the bill 🙄. It really, 100% wasn’t what you paid for….THEN SAY SOMETHING! Giving feedback is almost always appreciated by businesses and in return it costs them little to nothing to offer you a “discount” or coupon in return. Just look at it as doing your consumer duty lol. This also keeps companies conscience of maintaining the integrity of their product or service.  Being a consumer automatically makes you an expert at what people want. Companies usually appreciate the complaint or feedback as long as its done in a respectful manner. Sidenote: I will say there have certainly been times where I have shown allllltheeeewaaaaaayyy out… but those are few and far between. I’ve matured since then 😊.

Alright kids! That concludes Nikki Taught You – Lesson 101 on Coupons. I hope you go out and snatch those free dollars. If you know of any other coupon sites or discount code sites, let a sista know! Spread the wealth!!! I’ll be doing more posts on travel discounts and apps I use in the coming weeks. As always, your thoughts, comments and feedback are much appreciated.

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Why I Hate Dating

Why I Hate Dating

Before we get started, a few things:

  1. This is a judgement-free zone. Don’t. Judge. Me.
  2. I use the word “dating” interchangeably with being exclusive.. so just use your brain and stay with me.

Ok, carry on.



My Dating Life.

My non-existent dating life.

My self-inflicted, non-existent dating life.

Let me give you some context:

I was hanging out with friends and we were grabbing a bite to eat and one of my guy friends said “so Nicole, whats new with you? How is your dating life?”. Now, this is a normal question that normal people ask other normal people. But for me… FOR ME I HEAR THIS: “So Nicole, you lonely miserable person, whats new with you? How come you’re not married, pregnant and barefoot?”. Ok, perhaps that’s a bit extreme, but let’s be honest, in this society if you are attractive and unmarried for too long, the perception is that something is wrong. I get that question from my friends a lot and its a perfectly reasonable question to ask. But my answer is always the same: ” I’m not interested in dating”. I then change the subject to something completely random like the latest brownie or cookie I made with no butter or sugar (yes I’m lame) smh. After realizing that my answer for the most part is ALWAYS exactly the same, I wanted to blog about it. So basically this is my bootleg form of therapy. SMH.

Why is my dating life non-existent?

Because I honestly, seriously, literally, truly hate dating. So much so, I would rather sit at home and watch paint dry. I hate dating so much, I’d rather have an arranged marriage. I hate dating so much that I cancel 97% of them last minute.

I am a horrible person.


Reason #1:

Dating to MEEEE has no real point unless you’re ready for marriage. In other words: I’m not a casual dater. I don’t spend time with people I don’t like. That goes for friends and prospective dates. I don’t care about free meals or VIP section in the club – If I’m not interested, i’m not interested. Period.

So the bigger question is: Am I ready for marriage? Ehh.. maybe..perhaps.. not 100% though. I can admit that. I mean there are still days that go by and I may have dishes in the sink (remember.. judgement-free zone. I live in NY where 96% of the apartments don’t have dishwashers and I HATE washing dishes by hand). There are still days where I want to do what EYE want to do, when I want to spend more money than I should without someone telling me I shouldn’t. There are still days that I wash clothes and I don’t put them in drawer for a week, cause umm.. I don’t feel like it.  There are days where I may return from a trip, and I won’t unpack my suitcase for 4 days. There are days where I may eat leftovers 2-3 days in a row… cause I wanna. These are probably signs that I’m not quiiiiite there yet. Right? I still like to do what EYE like to do, when EYE want to do it, on MYY time schedule. You know.. beating to my own drum.

Gotham selina kyle i do what i want youre not the boss of me i'll do what i like

At the same time, I haven’t met anyone that makes me want to make those adjustments either. Because I totally could.. and would. I’ve loved 2 men in my life and since they didn’t work out (obviously), I politely decided to take a seat over in the “I’m not dating right now until I’m ready” corner. And to be honest – this corner for the most part is pretty awesome.

Let me be clear about something: I am pro marriage. I will get married. I will have 1 child (i’m not sure I have the tolerance for more than one). With that said, I also know that choosing a spouse is the single most important decision of my life. OF. MY. LIFE! So I want to take my time making it. Even if it means my child will be 6mos old while all my friend’s kids are 6 YEARS old, and I’m ok with that. That just means I can have all their hand-me-downs, strollers, bassinets and I ain’t gotta pay for nothing (aaaayyyee!).

Now, back to dating.

Reason #2:

I hate dating because It sucks black hairy monkey balls its not fun for me. I don’t really enjoy it. I kinda wish God would’ve just assigned me someone at birth and I wouldn’t have to do it. I’m so serious. I am also one of those people that hates being fake. I don’t want to act like I like someone when I don’t. If I go on a date with you and we don’t have chemistry then we will either be just friends or complete strangers. I’m ok with either option. Chemistry can’t be faked nor do I believe I should have to “make” myself like anyone.  I know, I know.. I can hear people say “well sometimes you can grow to love someone” – not me bruh. Not. Me.

Reason #3:

I hate dating because ni**as be lying  there are so many questions I need answers to! Like what am I gonna wear? Does he have roommates? Will he get along with my friends (my friends are – different lol)? Will he get my dry sense of humor? Will he get my sarcasm and smart mouth? Can he hold his own at my family functions? Does he even believe in marriage? Does he believe in God? Does he go to church? Does he have a prayer life? Did he come from a 2-parent home? (sorry not sorry.. that’s important to me. Judgement-freeeeee), Does he have kids? Is he a mama’s boy (ugh), Does he understand the concept of work? Does he understand the concept of loyalty? Can he handle my crazy? (pshhhhhhh) Does he pay attention to due dates? Does he keep his own place clean? (I’m not your maid bruh).

Now, yall may be thinking “Its just a date Nicole.. you’re being too serious” NO GIRL I’M NOT! I don’t have time to be going on date after date that EYE HATE and not asking questions. I’m not saying I interview people, I just make sure alot of these are addressed in casual conversation *wink*. Or, instead of answering all these questions, I can just have a seat over in my “I’m not ready yet” corner and watch everyone else’s relationship drama. That’s what I’m currently doing 🙂


Reason #4:

Dating in this day and time is for the birds  kinda exhausting. With social media, people have a perception of you that may (or may not) be the truth. Take me for instance, I enjoy social media, but there are a lot of things I wouldn’t share. Like who I’m dating and what we’re doing. It’s just not my thing. People start dating and let the world know, but when they hit a rough patch (and you WILL hit a rough patch) everyone is in your business. I am a secretive person by nature and I would need to date someone who is somewhat similar. Not saying I won’t tell anyone, but social media is the last place I’ll be “promoting” my relationship. You won’t be hearing about my relationship on FB until our rehearsal dinner lol. I’m not knocking other people who do it, its just not MY thing. To each it’s own girl.. to each its own.

Reason #5:

Lastly, well not lastly, cause I have a zillion reasons why I hate dating – but for the sake of this post we are going to make this my last point. I am old school. Old school as in I take my time getting to know someone and I pay attention to everything. We live in a society where everything is “Now now now”. Nobody takes the time to be friends. Because I am so secretive and private, you would have to be my FRIEND before I’d even consider being a girlfriend. And we are only doing this girlfriend/boyfriend thing with the goal of marriage. I’m not into the whole “let’s just see” – nah.. that’s what being friends is for.  Again – my perspective.

I also keep clear definitions of my relationships. There is a difference between friends, girlfriend/boyfriend, fiance and wife/husband, and I treat you accordingly. Friends don’t get boyfriend benefits and boyfriends don’t get husband benefits. I understand that a lot of people don’t think this way about dating and relationships, especially men. I am fully aware of that and I don’t care lol.

I am also old school in the sense that I believe men should plan the date. Men usually want the most for the least  don’t plan dates anymore. What happened to that? Nothing is more attractive than a man who asks you out on a date, asks what day/time you are free, shows up AT that date/time (Please don’t be late – pet peeve!) and has the entire date planned. Whew! My friends and I have discussed this plenty of times and we all agree. It’s not about an expensive date – it could be free. It could be a walk around Dumbo park in Brooklyn. But the fact that it was planned and you didn’t keep asking “so what you wanna do? What you wanna eat? Where you wanna eat? What you wanna do now?” the entire time is so refreshing! Sidenote: I honestly don’t mind going dutch. Cause If I don’t like you, I don’t want you to waste your money.

To sum it up, if you are a man looking for a wife, not a girl a WIFE – the woman who will change her last name for you, cook, clean, and stretch her vag to the size of a bowling ball to have YOUR babies, the LEAST you can do is plan a date.  Be a gentleman, open doors, pay attention to detail, bring unique flowers, pick up the phone and stop texting so much. Treat her like a LADY!

I have soooooo much more on my mind when it comes to dating, but I will save that for another blog. In the meantime put a sistah on your prayer list and pray the arranged marriage comes back in style lol. That’s one less major life decision I have to make lol.

Do you have any crazy dating experiences? Hate dating too? Just wanna say “girl hang in there!” lol Comment below! I love hearing your thoughts and feedback.


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Hi, My Name Is Nicole. Welcome To My World…

Hi, My Name Is Nicole. Welcome To My World…

So it’s 12:09am on a Thursday night, and I literally sat here for about 45mins, with the cursor blinking on a blank page,  full of anxiety about writing this post. You see, I have anxiety because I have a fear of sharing my inner thoughts with anyone outside my “circle” because I know they will be judged. My friends get me. They understaaaand me. Strangers however do not lol. Atleast not at first. My friends didnt “get me” before they were my friends (they will tell you that too!) So yes, having a blog and sharing bits and pieces about myself scares me.  You would think I was a celebrity right? As if millions of people are going to read this blog and my words will be in a BuzzFeed article. So far fetched.. so dramatic.. (and slightly narcissistic). Lordt.

This blog will be composed of personal thoughts, my travels, my baking recipes and how I am the queen of coupon codes. But first I figured i’d introduce myself. Hi, my name is Nicole. Welcome to my world 🙂