Oh Chicago

I am not typically a city girl, but it is safe to say I fell in LOVE with Chicago. I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Chicago Collective event the last couple of days with Cuff To Collar. What is the Chicago Collective you ask? Well, it is a men’s apparel and accessory trade show where tons of vendors come to show their summer/fall product lines in hopes that buyers come ready to shop their product. For those of you who know me, you know how perfect this event was for me and for those of you who don’t, well I have a passion for merchandising (especially men’s apparel). Not only did I get to experience a new side of fashion merchandising/buying, but I also got to see some amazing product and meet some great people along the way.

So what made me fall in love with Chicago? Well, I’m not sure about you but I wouldn’t mind my typical Monday night to consist of eating deep dish pizza with my friends at Lou Malnati’s, then heading to Three Dots and A Dash for an under ground tiki bar experience, and finally heading up stairs to close the bar at Bub City which is a local country bar with a live cover band (they also make a really delicious drink call back porch tea). Usually crowded over populated areas stress me out and aren’t fun to me, but Chicago felt so much more spread out compared to San Francisco. I know these two cities are totally different, but San Francisco is my reference point giving where I grew up. So obviously I got to experience good food and fun nightlife, but I was also lucky enough to get to explore Chicago and do a little site seeing before I spent my day meeting vendors. Chicago is a beautiful city considering most cities can look dirty and crowded; it was very spacious and clean. I was able to walk from Navy Pier to Millennium Park and see The Bean and everything in between. I was happy to be such the little tourist.

I know Chicago has so much more to see than what I was able to jam into two and a half days, so I can’t wait to plan another trip to visit. If you haven’t considered Chicago for a vacation, I honestly recommend you visit at least once. I’ll go ahead and wrap this post up with some pictures of my trip. As always thank you for following along, and I hope you enjoy!

Xoxo

Nicole

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Life Update

Hey Ya’ll! I know it has been a while since my last blog post, and I am so sorry if you have missed me. Who am I kidding? I am not that popular, lmao! As you can see, my sarcasm hasn’t disappeared. I have been a little busy living my life, but I also haven’t posted anything new because I had a little writer’s block. Then tonight it hit me! I started this blog to put myself out there and share my thoughts. So far I have shared a lot about myself, my past, and where I am in life, but I haven’t talked much about my daily life and what I am up to right now in the present. I haven’t shared much about my daily life because up until a month or two ago there wasn’t much to share, but I have made some progress in my life here in Kentucky and I’m here to share it with you.

So what’s new in life? Well for starters I have adventured out and visited new places. In the last few months I have traveled around parts of the country I hadn’t been to before, with my favorite place so far being Charleston SC. It is a gorgeous city to visit with beautiful architecture, a ton of history, and of course great food. I visited new parts of North Carolina that I hadn’t been to before, and saw first hand the impact of a natural disaster post Hurricane Matthew. I got to venture out locally and find local places to go to for good shopping, food and drinks. I have been able to see the seasons change, and seeing the change from summer to fall was gorgeous in this part of the country and much more dramatic than what I am use to back in California. However I am not looking forward to winter. I keep hearing that the worst is yet to come, but I am excited to see the first snowfall.

Aside from a little traveling and visiting new places, I have finally found not just one job but two jobs! After hundreds of applications and a couple of interviews, I finally found two opportunities. What are these opportunities you wonder? Well, I didn’t completely get out of retail, but I found a great LOCAL small business that specializes in fine men’s apparel. Cuff to Collar has been so much fun, not just because I get to stay close to my retail roots, but because I get to see how a small business operates. I work with some amazing people, and I am so grateful. While Cuff to Collar is a fun part- time job I also have a full time job working as an office assistant for Bluegrass.org. Bluegrass is mental health and substance abuse clinic and the organization provides services in 17 different counties through out Kentucky. Bluegrass has been a completely new experience for me, and so far it has been great to meet a wonderful team of people who have been so welcoming.

So not only have I traveled a little, finally found a job or two, but most exciting of all, I have met new people and made new friends. It has been great to feel like I have made some connections that allow Kentucky to feel more like home than it did when I first got here. Everyone I have become friends with has been so welcoming and truly so much fun to get to know. If any of you are reading this, thank you for being so accepting and supportive!

I know this post has been long so ill wrap it up with some pictures that show my journey from the moment I made my decision to move across the country up until this last weekend. Don’t you worry though, there is plenty left to share about life in Kentucky, the best is yet to come.

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Xoxo,

Nicole

 

You Never Know

I am sure that most of you reading this have in one way or another heard the phrase “don’t assume anything because assuming makes an ass out of you and me”. However, if you stop what you are doing and look back at things you have said and done, how many times have you passed judgment on someone else with out knowing their story? I hate to admit it, but if I’m being honest I have found myself passing judgment in the past. In fact it took me recently starting over and coming to terms with my past to understand that you NEVER really know everything about a person. I am sure there are plenty of people who read my last post and had NO idea I struggled with a past of abuse. Just like you think you may know someone so well, but maybe you don’t.

Ok, so why am I writing this post? I have recently found myself feeling judged by others close to me, and have struggled with how to move on. At the end of the day I am who I am, and if the people around me can’t accept that… It’s a shame. I am also writing this post in hopes that the next time you go to pass judgment on someone you stop, and remember you NEVER know. This applies to strangers, but it also applies to people you have known your whole life, best friends, parents, brothers/sisters, etc. Just because someone chooses to live their life differently from yours doesn’t mean their way is any less valuable. Just because you don’t understand someone’s point of view doesn’t make it invalid. In fact if we stopped and listened to others, we could gain more perspective than we had before. I am sorry, but no one is perfect, not even you.

If there is anything to take away from this post, please just remember you NEVER know. Your best friend could be struggling with their past and things you don’t know about them. Your sibling could be struggling with not being able to find a job. Your parents could be struggling financially and don’t want their children to know. The person making your coffee today could have recently lost a loved one. You just NEVER know. If you are reading this and find yourself motivated to pay it forward, thank your barista, leave a larger tip than usual, send that encouraging text, or simply smile. Don’t forget that something simple could turn someone’s day around.

-Nicole

Girlfriends For Life

What do you do when your boyfriend/husband is being an ass, or the guy you met from your most recent online dating venture is nothing like you thought he would be? What do you do when your life at work is a complete nightmare, or you didn’t get your morning coffee and had to sit in traffic? How about when you see the cutest puppy on Instagram, or you see a girl’s post that use to be hot in high school but now looks like a busted can of cinnamon rolls? If you are anything like me, you pick up your phone and text your closest girlfriends and vent, laugh, cry, or all three simultaneously LOL.

There are many important relationships you will have in life, but what would life be with out girlfriends? It would be HORRIBLE! There have been multiple times in my twenties when the support of my closest girlfriends got me through some of the hardest times, even when I didn’t ask for it. There have also been plenty of girls nights in my life that have been some of the most entertaining times I could ever have asked for. Like that one time I went to the grocery store on Valentines Day (SOLO) and bought three bottles of champagne to be there for one of my best friends when she needed me, the looks I got were priceless! Ladies if I am going to be honest, most men will never understand our friendships with girlfriends but you know you have found a keeper when he accepts you and your crazy friends. For those of you who haven’t found your prince charming, make sure he appreciates your girlfriends before you settle.

I am very fortunate to have friendships that have lasted over a decade, friendships that have become family, and friendships that have grown up and matured as I have. All of my girlfriends are strong, bright, supportive, understanding, fun, beautiful, and a little bat shit crazy (yes, they should have all considered careers as private investigators). You know you will be best friends for life when you hide in bushes with your best friend to see if someone was telling you the truth (we were teenagers). Don’t lie ladies, we are all guilty of doing something crazy for our closest girlfriends. If you haven’t maybe you are normal and the rest of us are just fucking nuts! If there is anything I know for sure, life wouldn’t be as fun with out my friends.

Thank you to all of my close girlfriends who have given me a lifetime of memories to look back at and cherish. Thank you for never passing judgment and always accepting me as I am. Thank you for being you, women that I can admire for all that you have accomplished and can count on for your continued support. I know we are living in different time zones these days, but I am always grateful for you.

-Nicole