Tis the Season!

As holiday season approaches, I wanted to take a moment to preemptively discuss the inevitable annual debate: Do you wish someone ‘happy holidays’ or something else? Forewarning: I am straightforward here, and if you disagree, feel free to leave a comment and say why.


1. Say, for example, you celebrate Christmas but you know your friend celebrates Hanukkah. 

Wish them a Happy Hanukkah. If they’re cool, they’ll wish you a Merry Christmas. If they say ‘Happy Hanakkuh’ then just say thank you!! It’s really not a big deal.

I personally exchange gifts with some of my other faith-based friends and we aren’t coy about what we say or how we say it.


2. Say you are atheist and your friend is religious. 

Just wish them a ‘Merry Christmas’ or a ‘Happy Hanakkuh’ (etc.).

Don’t be like this:

or this


3. Say you are religious and your friend is atheist.

Wish them a Merry Happy whatever you are. It doesn’t matter!! Then just move on.


4. Say you and your friend are both atheist and don’t celebrate anything.

Then, so what? Don’t say anything!!


5. Say you are not sure what someone else is.

If you celebrate Christmas, say ‘Merry Christmas and happy holidays!” If they don’t like it, they’ll probably correct you. You did nothing wrong. And, for example, if they respond back with “Happy Kwanzaa” then just say ‘Thank you!’ … because, after all, they cared enough to wish you well.

xx Nicki

5 times the workplace can be an absolute nightmare for women

These are some of my examples, all of which have happened to me in my years during/since college. It is absolutely disgusting how women are treated by this systemic sexism.



1. It was (basically) unspoken, but expected that I would take out the trash.

At one of my much older jobs, the trash was the job of everyone in the office. Or at least, so I was told. I was the only female and when I would start to take out my own trash, the others would say, “Oh, can you grab mine too?” Otherwise, it would just sit there piling up endlessly.

Eventually, I started taking my trash out when no one else was there so I wouldn’t be tricked into taking everyone’s out. While this might have not had to do with gender, the males should have been aware of what was happening. They were slobs, too.



2. I was paid 50% of what my male counterparts were making. 

I was paid a sickeningly low amount at one of my old jobs. I started the job needing it to graduate from college because it was part of the program. I was a full time, day employee with the same skills as the males. I was performing the same work. I had always assumed we all made low amounts, but one day I was informed what one of the males was making. It was double what I was making, and I was told we didn’t have enough money to pay anyone that much.



3. I was forced into being the receptionist.

Two different jobs. I was forced into being a receptionist in two different jobs. NO males were ever asked nor forced into it. I had even asked this question in both jobs, several times, and the answers were either evasive or that ‘the owner likes a woman to sit up front’ and that he is a ‘traditional man’. I was hired to do other work in both jobs, and both times it was also my duty to sit at the receptionist desk. I was performing very well at what I was hired to do, and don’t get me wrong – I still had those duties too, but I was also assigned the job as a receptionist (against my will). I fought it, requested formally by letters and e-mail, and was still made to do this job.



4. Males hush other males who swear and say ‘there’s a lady in the room’

This is something that doesn’t offend me. I have no problem when men swear because I swear too. I feel immediately uncomfortable when people feel the need to call attention to my gender and then stop talking. YET – moving onto #5, this type of conversation is never okay:



5. Males start having open conversations saying things like “Women should have to take a test to have a baby” and use the excuse that I was a ‘cool’ female who was able to hang with the guys as to why they would say such things in front of me.

I overhead many conversations like this at an old job. Most of the comments were by people in positions higher/much higher than mine. I ended up leaving this company, combined with reason #2, and demanding to be paid what I was actually worth. We settled in mediation and I was financially reimbursed.

xx Nicki

Apple and Google are offering to pay for their female employees to freeze and store their eggs

As with any effort to help females in the ever present struggle for gender equality, both praise and criticism will arise. No solution can ever be completely satisfactory.

Apple and Google are offering to pay for EVERY SINGLE FEMALE EMPLOYEE
to freeze their eggs and store them if they so choose – a procedure that can cost up to $10,000 with a $500 fee for storage, according to tech crunches article.

As expected, the gesture is receiving quite a bit of flack. Some females claim this is just another excuse for employers to implicitly pressure employees into choosing work over personal life. Apple and Google have worked hard to preemptively refute that claim by offering extended maternity leave, infertility treatments, and adoption assistance. But of course criticism of the employer being too privy about their employee’s personal life has come to light.

The option is out there. It’s not forced upon employees. I am, however, slightly torn because while this is empowering to women, it also makes them think twice about child birth. They know that the option is there to wait and the microscopic level of employee to boss interaction could be slightly more biased than the corporate headquarters plans for them to be.

It’s a step in the right direction. It’s not the final solution, but any female acknowledgment is better than none.

xx Nicki

Transcending Gender

My husband kind of clued me in a couple years ago that I am what some might consider a feminist in ideals.

We talked about it, and yes, in some ways, I am. I would consider myself more an advocate for equality and for cultivating powerful women. It might be because I hate pity, and I never want to see someone pitied. Pity is worse than hate or any other feeling towards another person.

I watch too many women perpetuate what is so pitiful about being weak and submissive. I hate when a woman is scared to talk to a man, or anyone for that matter. I hate when someone is scared to do for his or her self.

There is a difference between a woman who is trying to act tough and a woman who is tough. You notice a woman who tries to act tough, and you see that she is over compensating. You can’t help but to feel that she is out of place and is trying to ‘fake it until she makes it’ in the world – but does she ever really?

You don’t notice a woman who is rightly powerful – you don’t think about her gender so much, and when you do, you think about it in an accepting, almost loving way. You don’t think she is out of her playing field and you will respect and listen to her. She just belongs because she transcends gender.

She transcends gender. 

I consider myself feminine, but I also love to do things that are not. I just like to do… things… that interest me. I enjoy putting on makeup and doing my nails. I enjoy all of that. But I like masculine things, too.

I have done my share of studying and working hard. I earn my paycheck. I have pursued additional education. I am capable.

My husband cooks and cleans and does laundry better than I do. I’m motherly to our pets. We both drive standard cars. He loves hunting and fishing. I love doing sports. There’s a lot of gender role reversals in our marriage, as well as normalities. BECAUSE NO ONE FITS A MOLD. Society has molds designed for us that are largely unattainable. And to perpetuate them is sad, especially in this day and age.

As a little girl, I was called bossy all the time by boys. I was probably bossy to a certain level, as any kid can be, as any boy can be. Sometimes bossy is just that – bossy. But there were times I was treated like I was being bitchy and bossy because I was taking charge and standing up for my views. An argumentative woman is a bitch.

I’ve never been one who handles being controlled well. I do not stand for being walked all over. If I am being used, I rebel. I’ve tried in the past, admittedly, to change. But my inner conscience gets the better of me, and I have no desire to change anymore.

I once had a group of friends who were not treating me well. I ended up standing my ground, which labeled me a bitch. I did not cave. I attempted to work a solution several times, without folding on my stance, but because I didn’t agree to their view, I was in the wrong. (Believe me, sometimes I am wrong… but on this, I do not think I was.)

I was labeled many hurtful things.

I will never be sorry for standing up for myself. I will never be sorry for not being submissive. I will always fight back when I am being wronged.

If you don’t like me as I am, it’s okay. There’s over 6 billion people in this world, and one view is irrelevant. Plenty of other people will take me as I am.

xx Nicki

5 Intellectually stimulating websites you should absolutely know

You may know some, all, or none of these websites. You may be mildly familiar with them – but I highly suggest you really delve into these websites and soak up all they have to offer!


1. TED – Ideas Worth Spreading

A collection of the world’s most fascinating, inspiring, beautiful talks from people that come from all walks of life. They’re an easy listen and you can customize your playlists based on how much time you have and what you’d like to see. It’s literally the most amazing site I’ve ever visited and believe me, if you don’t already watch them, you will want to get on that now.


2. Stumbleupon – Browse the Internet based on your Interests

You make a few clicks and say what you are interested in (any topic at all) and then you click ‘stumble’. Websites from all over the internet have been indexed and categorized and you will come across some of the greatest content you have ever seen. If you like a page, you can browse it, and if you don’t, just click stumble to go to the next.


3. Reddit – The front page of the Internet

This is at once one of the scariest sites and the most fascinating sites on the internet. It’s all user driven, and it has ‘subreddits’ which cater to every interest you can think of. (And if not, you can create one!) They’re basically forums with images, text, links, etc. I subscribe to a variety of subreddits that range from skincare, to specific health issues, to makeup, to funny images. You can do a search and find the subreddit you want and either browse or share content yourself.


4. High Existence – A site dedicated to intellectual thinking, conversing, and articles.

It’s basically a website that is both user driven and creator driven. You can publish your own thoughts and articles and images or you can find others. You will inevitably find something fascinating and mind-blowing to feast your thoughts upon for a little while.


5. Information is Beautiful – Gorgeous, informative Infographics

Browse infographics on a variety of social topics – the one requirement: they have to be visually pleasing. It’s a fascinating way to absorb information and appreciate the art of graphic design.

xx Nicki

23 things you’ll wish you did when you’re older

1. Take time to see the event first hand, not just only through the lens of a camera. Don’t live retrospectively. You do not need to photograph every mundane thing.

2. When eating with company, put down your phone and silence it. Plug it in, even.

3. Post very few pictures of an event and it will be regarded higher than if you post multiple photos of the same thing. It leaves mystery.

4. Take unplanned, different photos, not just posed ones. You will be grateful you did later on. Doing the same pose everywhere could just be replaced by Google images and photoshopping yourself into them.

5. Even if you do not exercise intensely, never stop stretching or your body will hurt by your mid 20’s.

6. Don’t forget about video and home movies. You will be amazed later on at how weird you sounded. Plus it makes for great bonding time. Just hold the god damn camera still.

7. Force yourself to listen to the radio sometimes, not just your phone music. Accept the commercials and possibility of horrible songs and playlists. Don’t touch the station. It will get better and you will appreciate when the good songs come on.

8. Moisturizer is the closest thing you will get to the fountain of youth. PUT IT EVERYWHERE.

9. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses that go well with your face. Nothing is worse than a summer filled of photographic memories in which you wore aviators on full cheeks and looked really bad.

10. Look people in the eyes when you talk to them because having the confidence to do so is attractive.

11. Sit at a right angle from someone when telling them something important. It’s psychologically proven that sitting kitty corner makes people feel more comfortable while still feeling close.

12. Never take your sleep or your orthopedic comfort for granted. Invest in supportive shoes (they can still be cute, or just get insoles) and get proper bedding.

13. Sometimes, all it takes is a brand new pair of socks to make you feel awesome for a few hours.

14. Everyday, do at least one thing that you dread doing but know is good to do. Then you will feel accomplished afterwards and your day will feel worthwhile.

15. If you feel down for no reason, you’re probably not getting enough sun.

16. Take care of at least one thing, even if small. A pet or plant. Doesn’t matter, but take ownership over it. Don’t ever let it suffer.

17. Know a little about lot of different things and you will be interesting. Know a lot about only one thing and you will be boring. It doesn’t mean you can’t know a lot about something, but don’t bet all your chips on it.

18. Clean your sheets every two weeks. Your skin/acne and allergies will thank you.

19. Don’t use the excuse that you are bad with names. Make it a priority and remember them however you have to. There is nothing more insulting that re-meeting someone and them not remembering your name, no matter the excuse.

20. Go to the wakes of friends/family of people who matter to you, even if you did not meet the person who passed away. It means a lot and it’s the personality trait of a person who gets ahead in life.

21. Never cut yourself off from candy/treats completely or you will end up binging on them.

22. At work or school, always be prepared and work hard. It will force out discrimination. If it doesn’t, you will have ground to stand on when you fight for what you deserve. And you will win.

23. Everything you believe in now will probably be different than 10 years from now. Accept that humans change and embrace the journey. Changing your mind based on time and experience is not hypocritical, so don’t hold to ideals just for the sake of doing so.

xx Nicki

Inherent Sexism

Gender roles aren’t something that can be completely eradicated because when to comes down to it, women get periods and women have babies. There are weeks women are biologically programmed to be hormonal and months that they are host to a living being growing inside of their body.

While women take maternity leave, men continue to work and get raises and promotions. And no employer will admit they expect every young woman they hire to leave (possibly for good) within a couple years to give birth to a child. If you get married and are within the child bearing age, you are basically setting yourself up to never get a raise again. (There are always exceptions to this, but many women find this to be the case.)

It doesn’t matter if you paid for the same college education as a male or have achieved just as much – you are a liability to your company by just being born with two X chromosomes.

And meanwhile, the world continues to be run by males, pretending to be more female friendly. It’s 2014, of course we don’t have sexism and gender inequality anymore. I argue that being a female is one of the worst things you can be in the corporate world.

The business world is run with an arbitrary set of rules that make it appear that there is only one option for success: 9-5 hours, in office.

From my experience, the vast majority of business could easily be run off property, off hours, and remotely from home. Yet, somehow the corporate world still finds a way to largely shun this (with exceptions) and make it so choices need to be made that put a women in the position to choose between their careers and their children.

Until the structure of the corporate world is changed, women will continue to struggle. I have read many company policies that use a 4 day work week, 32 hours, that run better than 40 hour companies. The employees use their time more wisely and get more done. Remote access and video calls are easy. Men can be required to take (any or more than they currently get) maternity leave to help their wives. (After all, they too deserve the time with their newborn child.) That way, maternity leave advancement is not a threat to only one gender. These are just ideas, but they are all worth thought. And though anything can be argued for or against, starting the discussion is the first step to change.