Saturday, September 29, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 24 {Best Press Play Albums Pt. II}

Second segment of a 4-part compilation of personal favorites, timeless classics, and best, press play albums of all time. To see Pt. I, click here.

26. Ellington at Newport-Duke Ellington, 1956
27. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Axis: 'Bold as Love'-Jimi Hendrix, 1968
28. Reasonable Doubt-Jay-Z, 1996
29. Nightbirds-Labelle, 1974
30. Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea-PJ Harvey, 2000
31. Ready to Die-Biggie Smalls, 1994
32. One in a Million-Aaliyah, 1996
33. Urban Hang Suite-Maxwell, 1996
34. Ray of Light-Madonna, 1998
35. Breathless-Kenny G., 1992
36. Authenticity-Foreign Exchange, 2010
37. Abraxas-Santana, 1970
38. Stone Rollin'-Raphael Saadiq, 2011
39. Blueprint-Jay-Z, 2001
40. Compact Jazz-Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto
41. Private Dancer-Tina Turner
42.  Call Me-Al Green, 1973
43. My Favorite Things-John Coltrane, 1961
44. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back-Public Enemy
45. Alive 2007-Daft Punk, 2007
46. Tribute-Ozzy Osbourne, 1987
47. Back to Black-Amy Winehouse, 2007
48. Continuum-John Mayer, 2007
49. What's Going On-Marvin Gaye, 1971
50. Free for All-Art Blakey, 1964
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 23 {Best Press Play Albums Pt. I}

Today's SS is the first segment of a 4-part compilation of personal favorites, timeless classics, and best, press play albums of all time, according to survey. Albums are listed in no particular order:
  1. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill-Lauryn Hill, 1998
  2. Songs in the Keys of Life-Stevie Wonder, 1976
  3. The Low End Theory-A Tribe Called Quest, 1991
  4. A Love Supreme-John Coltrane, 1964
  5. Thiller-Michael Jackson, 1982
  6. Kind of Blue-Miles Davis, 1959
  7. The Diary of Alicia Keys-Alicia Keys, 2003
  8. Imagine-John Lennon, 1971
  9. 1999-Prince, 1982
  10. Purple Rain-Prince, 1984
  11. Illmatic-Nas, 1994
  12. Control-Janet Jackson, 1986
  13. Time Out of Mind-Bob Dylan, 1997
  14. Hotel California-The Eagles, 1976
  15. Are You Experienced- Jimi Hendrix, 1967
  16. Baduizm-Erykah Badu, 1997
  17. Appetite for Destruction-Guns N' Roses, 1987
  18. Makaveli the Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory-Tupac Shakur, 1996
  19. Songs About Jane-Maroon 5, 2002
  20. College Dropout-Kanye West, 2004
  21. Stankonia-Outkast, 2000
  22. Dear Science-TV on the Radio, 2008
  23. Even in Darkness-Dungeon Family Collaborative project, 2001
  24. 8701-Usher, 2001
  25. Ok Computer-Radio Head, 1997
{What are some of the albums in your music collection that you consider a classic?}
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Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 22 {Triumphant}

I am so in love with this song! It puts me in a ready to conquer the world mood everytime I hear it, so it's been added to it to my morning routine. The lyrics are just so empowering and perfectly fit theme for the 3  M O N T H   L I F E   R E S E T, presented by KL starting tomorrow.  Be sure to click the link to find out how you can join in on this 3 month journey to achieving your goals by December, rediscover yourself, and prepare yourself for amazing things to come. 

"Instead of starting the New Year off with resolutions, I try to go into the New Year already as my better self, that way my first step is with my strongest glide. With the holidays quickly approaching, I find that it’s important that I prepare myself mentally and spiritually for everything that is about to happen. Sometimes when you don’t prepare yourself for what is to come, you miss out on cherishing the moments you think you never have."
-Kimberly Luxe
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Currently

{Kimberly did a post like this and I thought it was so cute and since she tagged all of her readers, I guess now it's my turn to explain what's currently happening in my life.}

Working on: graduating and self-branding. 1st note: Finishing school is a definitely a top priority, but school is school and I don't have much to say about it other than that. 2nd note: For years, my mom has encouraged me to create a brand out of my name. As of lately, the more I play with the idea of it, the more I am intrigued by the possibilities of Chymere Anais as a brand. Therefore, I'm starting to build a business plan out of it that should be finalized by the end of the year and hopefully will be the seed of an empire, a fabulous career full of all the things I'm ever so passionate about.
Thinking about: him. The future. And as usual, California
Anticipating: Christmas. I absolutely love Christmas! It is by far my favorite time of year. The lights. Family togetherness (and I am fortunate enough to have a family who puts a great emphasis on the value family time, especially during the holidays). The spirit of giving. Food. The intoxicating smells. Egg nog. Childrens' excitement. Everything about it brings me so much joy. The countdown has officially begun.
Listening to: The Diary of Alicia Keys. She sings my heart quite beautifully on this album, one of the best 'press play' albums of all time [preview of tomorrow's SS]
Drinking: nothing but water and soy milk, although I did indulge in an ice cold Coca-cola yesterday.
Wishing: on a star...

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

So I Write

[I'll be sharing some of the poetry from time to time, most of which are ancient with timeless meanings. Hope you all enjoy!]
I write
Because all the words inside me give me life
Wildly my thoughts run in chaos and I can’t keep up I need self expression
I need a way to recite
Despite my stage fright
So I write
My life support is my pen plugged into my being
God himself spilling through my veins onto blank pages
Words bleeding
Misunderstood expressions seething to be created
Patiently waiting for a spot in my notebook
So I write for the sake of my life
Exposing myself to the world
To gain new knowledge
During my transition to a woman
From a girl
Wishing to watch the dreams unfurl
And manifest to non-fictional
Lay out the wildest dreams of them all
Flat like a blueprint for my visual
I am trapped in worldly illusions placing limits on my heights
I need to be free
So I write
My pen just scribbles what I think
And my thoughts take flight
In a world where the sun appears at night
Where nothing is impossible in God’s sight
I was given this gift
As my sword
As my light
So I write

Chymere Anais
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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 21 {Tori Kelly}

Tori Kelly, that voice is...amaaaazing. I'm in love...




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College Guide to Making Financially Savvy Decisions

Lately, I've taken a closer look at my finances and the woes of adulthood. It drives me crazy, because although I am so blessed in many ways, I am still a struggling college student/borderline adult and bills always stress me out. On Twitter, I went into a mini-rant about how bills complicate life, but a lot of it is really the consequences foolish choices I made early on. Because I was in such a rush to grow up, there are a lot of things I had to learn the hard way. Based on those lessons from hard knock academy, I decided to do a column, especially dedicated to the young adults who are new to the college experience and haven't quite reached independent status yet, of small, yet practical ways to avoid some of the major mistakes I made when it comes to my finances.

1. If you aren't offered a full scholarship to an out of state school, stay in state.
 If staying at mom's house is an option for at least the first 2 years, do that too. Stay as far away from loans as possible. As a high school senior, this might seem like an awful suggestion initially, but it will lessen the burden in the long run, especially if your family household income cannot support out-of-state tuition. Even if they could, attending an in state school would save them a lot of money. The most important thing is an education. If you really hate the idea of staying home, do lots-and I mean 3-5 hours a week-of research to find scholarships.  Money that you don't have to pay back is available to you! Also, another suggestion I would make is to attend a community college for 2 years, obtain an associates degree, and transfer to a bigger school. A lot of students do this to test run the collegiate experience, raise their gpa and increase chances of getting into a school of their choice, and various other reasons. There is no need to rush; independence will come and you'd wish you didn't.

2. Once you've settle in college life, take this time to seriously evaluate yourself, discover your passions, and find your niche.
It's okay to have fun, but there is a bigger picture to consider when entering college. Believe it or not, college is not only designed to increase  and tone skills, but also for students to have multiple options and learning opportunities.  Freshman and sophomore year are implemented to set a foundation.  During these two years, many different prerequisite classes are available that challenge the way you think and test your strengths and weaknesses.  It's set up that way so that by the third year, the student had ample time to declare a major that will lead to career that is profitable and one they enjoy.  Build on what you find so that by the time junior year rolls around, you already understand what you want post-graduation.

3. Start working on a master plan to profit from what you love...NOW!
Compose three list; the first list is answering basic questions like: 'what do you like to do in your free time? What are you passionate about?  What could you do for the rest of your life and never get tired of doing?  The second list is the things you are good at.  The last should be a list of courses that appeal to your interest.  Maybe you like to dance and would consider being a choreographer.  Maybe you enjoy medicine and science.  Maybe you like to help others in positive ways, so something like teaching and politics appeals to you. Perhaps there is a sports program you are interested it.  Narrow this list down to what is offered at your school and go over it with an advisor. After meeting with a staff member in advisement, ask them to help you develop a career map. Over time, allow that plan to be reviewed and revised by counselors, mentors, and higher classified peers. Don't wait until senior year to decide what to do with your life.

4. Save money and spend wisely.
The best part about living at home while in school is the opportunity to work and save the money you would be spending if you were to live off campus. The best part about living on campus is the amenities offered, such as meal plan and transportation, so you don't have to come out of pocket for necessity. Take advantage of on campus activities from time to time, instead of going out and spending money every weekend. If you are away or have a heavy load of credit hours and/or are holding a part time job, find a [legal] side hustle. Get creative! I knew a girl who would type papers for a reasonable fee.  Another girl did hair on the weekends. There are even job opportunities offered on campus. Calculate your earnings, create a spending plan, and put aside a fixed amount per paycheck to put into a savings account. This money is not to be touched until you are done with school. If you earn extra, use that money to start paying off any student loans you may have. Making financially smart decisions will benefit you so much more in the long run than a brand new pair of shoes.

5. Make smart investments.
Investing is by far the most genius way to circulate and maximize your earnings. Rather than saving for four years and blow it all on something tangible, find a business network to invest in, even if it's your own. You've worked too hard for it to not, at that point, work for you. Make smart investments with the help of a legal financial adviser and accountant. This is what separates the rich from the wealthy.

6. Gain real world experience.
College, in all it's glory, is a huge safety net. Being book smart is wonderful, but it's just as important to learn outside of the classroom as it is to learn inside the classroom. The main thing employers look at nowadays is how much experience a potential employee has under their belt.  This helps them determine what contributions you can make to that particular company Find time during the summer months to participate in internships that suit individual interest; use that time to become knowledgeable about the company, how it pertains to your interest, and collect contacts.  When the summer is over, send a thank you letter for the opportunity and continue to network with them until it's time to graduate.  This can open so many doors that would've stayed closed because of lack of initiative.

Hopefully, this guide was helpful.  I look forward to doing more college guides in the future and even some advice articles on other topics.  If you have a topic you'd like for me to cover, feel free to email/tweet me and to find how, simply click the 'CONTACT' tab above; I'm always open to suggestions.

Chymere Anais
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College Guide to Making Financially Savvy Decisions

Lately, I've taken a closer look at my finances and the woes of adulthood. It drives me crazy, because although I am so blessed in many ways, I am still a struggling college student/borderline adult and bills always stress me out. On Twitter, I went into a mini-rant about how bills complicate life, but a lot of it is really the consequences foolish choices I made early on. Because I was in such a rush to grow up, there are a lot of things I had to learn the hard way. Based on those lessons from hard knock academy, I decided to do a column, especially dedicated to the young adults who are new to the college experience and haven't quite reached independent status yet, of small, yet practical ways to avoid some of the major mistakes I made when it comes to my finances.

1. If you aren't offered a full scholarship to an out of state school, stay in state.
 If staying at mom's house is an option for at least the first 2 years, do that too. Stay as far away from loans as possible. As a high school senior, this might seem like an awful suggestion initially, but it will lessen the burden in the long run, especially if your family household income cannot support out-of-state tuition. Even if they could, attending an in state school would save them a lot of money. The most important thing is an education. If you really hate the idea of staying home, do lots-and I mean 3-5 hours a week-of research to find scholarships.  Money that you don't have to pay back is available to you! Also, another suggestion I would make is to attend a community college for 2 years, obtain an associates degree, and transfer to a bigger school. A lot of students do this to test run the collegiate experience, raise their gpa and increase chances of getting into a school of their choice, and various other reasons. There is no need to rush; independence will come and you'd wish you didn't.

2. Once you've settle in college life, take this time to seriously evaluate yourself, discover your passions, and find your niche.
It's okay to have fun, but there is a bigger picture to consider when entering college. Believe it or not, college is not only designed to increase  and tone skills, but also for students to have multiple options and learning opportunities.  Freshman and sophomore year are implemented to set a foundation.  During these two years, many different prerequisite classes are available that challenge the way you think and test your strengths and weaknesses.  It's set up that way so that by the third year, the student had ample time to declare a major that will lead to career that is profitable and one they enjoy.  Build on what you find so that by the time junior year rolls around, you already understand what you want post-graduation.

3. Start working on a master plan to profit from what you love...NOW!
Compose three list; the first list is answering basic questions like: 'what do you like to do in your free time? What are you passionate about?  What could you do for the rest of your life and never get tired of doing?  The second list is the things you are good at.  The last should be a list of courses that appeal to your interest.  Maybe you like to dance and would consider being a choreographer.  Maybe you enjoy medicine and science.  Maybe you like to help others in positive ways, so something like teaching and politics appeals to you. Perhaps there is a sports program you are interested it.  Narrow this list down to what is offered at your school and go over it with an advisor. After meeting with a staff member in advisement, ask them to help you develop a career map. Over time, allow that plan to be reviewed and revised by counselors, mentors, and higher classified peers. Don't wait until senior year to decide what to do with your life.

4. Save money and spend wisely.
The best part about living at home while in school is the opportunity to work and save the money you would be spending if you were to live off campus. The best part about living on campus is the amenities offered, such as meal plan and transportation, so you don't have to come out of pocket for necessity. Take advantage of on campus activities from time to time, instead of going out and spending money every weekend. If you are away or have a heavy load of credit hours and/or are holding a part time job, find a [legal] side hustle. Get creative! I knew a girl who would type papers for a reasonable fee.  Another girl did hair on the weekends. There are even job opportunities offered on campus. Calculate your earnings, create a spending plan, and put aside a fixed amount per paycheck to put into a savings account. This money is not to be touched until you are done with school. If you earn extra, use that money to start paying off any student loans you may have. Making financially smart decisions will benefit you so much more in the long run than a brand new pair of shoes.

5. Make smart investments.
Investing is by far the most genius way to circulate and maximize your earnings. Rather than saving for four years and blow it all on something tangible, find a business network to invest in, even if it's your own. You've worked too hard for it to not, at that point, work for you. Make smart investments with the help of a legal financial adviser and accountant. This is what separates the rich from the wealthy.

6. Gain real world experience.
College, in all it's glory, is a huge safety net. Being book smart is wonderful, but it's just as important to learn outside of the classroom as it is to learn inside the classroom. The main thing employers look at nowadays is how much experience a potential employee has under their belt.  This helps them determine what contributions you can make to that particular company Find time during the summer months to participate in internships that suit individual interest; use that time to become knowledgeable about the company, how it pertains to your interest, and collect contacts.  When the summer is over, send a thank you letter for the opportunity and continue to network with them until it's time to graduate.  This can open so many doors that would've stayed closed because of lack of initiative.

Hopefully, this guide was helpful.  I look forward to doing more college guides in the future  If you have a topic you'd like for me to cover, feel free to email/tweet me and to find how, simply click the 'CONTACT' tab above; I'm always open to suggestions.

@ChymereA
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

3 Month Life Reset | Presented by: KL

September has always been a monumental month for me. Not on some emo type of stuff, but like literally. I was born eons ago, on this very month and as cheesy as it sounds, every September has been the same. I spend the beginning of it writing down my goals for the rest of the year and then I live out each day with very specific motives– to accomplish those goals. Instead of starting the New Year off with resolutions, I try to go into the New Year already as my better self, that way my first step is with my strongest glide. With the holidays quickly approaching, I find that it’s important that I prepare myself mentally and spiritually for everything that is about to happen. Sometimes when you don’t prepare yourself for what is to come, you miss out on cherishing the moments you think you never have. I call this time of reflection and renewal my 3 Month Reset, and I give myself twelve weeks to reintroduce myself to who I am. I’ve gotten quite a few questions about this process throughout the years — by those who see my journal and are fascinated by it’s diligent display of thoughts, so I decided to break it all down for those of you wanting to dedicate three months to resetting your life and to finding inner peace. The first step is to purchase a journal of your choice (I prefer this notebook) & to grab a pen and some highlighters that you love so that you can have all of the tools necessary to creating your roadmap. With four days left in the week, you have plenty of time to purchase your tools for a fresh start on Sunday. After these 12 weeks, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn about yourself! And when things get tough you’ll find that you’ll have something to reflect on, on the inside. I hope that this is helpful to some, and that it is considered by many. Each number listed below represents a week. Spend one week working on each assignment and be thorough and have fun with it! But if you agree to take on this project, it is very important that you be open and honest with the most important person, and that is, yourself!
 
1 MAP OUT YOUR GOALS FOR SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER: Map out ALL of the goals that you’d like to accomplish before the year ends. This includes health goals, mental goals, financial goals, educational goals, personal goals, spiritual goals, short term, long term, small goals, big goals — as long as it is a goal for the remainder of the year, jot it down. This will help guide you to where you need to go for the next twelve weeks and the more things you write down the more likely you will revisit your book. But keep it as simple as you can because goals that are too wordy, ironically get neglected and overlooked.

2 UNPLUG FROM SOCIAL NETWORKS & SUBTRACT ALL THINGS THAT AREN’T ADDING VALUE TO YOUR LIFE: That’s right, spend at least one month, unplugged from social media. You don’t have to neglect it all, but it is important that you be able to consume yourself with you. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the lives of others that we forget about our own. Ask yourself, “When I die — will I remember more about them or more about me?”, “Will I have spent as much time with myself as I did on their Instagram and Facebook page?”. These questions are critical for growth and inner peace. (I typically only keep my Instagram, but deactivate my Facebook & Twitter accounts). Once all most of your social networks are deactivated, dedicate 3 sheets of paper to write down a list of people and things that you want to let go of. Write down why you’re letting go and end each statement with “but, I forgive you”. This is important so that you can weigh and examine the importance of many things in your life. Perhaps you’ll limit your time on the page of others, perhaps you’ll only give yourself a one day pass a week to go to your ex’s Facebook page. If there are false idols that you subconsciously worship, jot it down and vow to let them go. Give yourself (and God) back your life.

3 CREATE YOUR PERFECT HIM: In week three, the fun begins. The next few pages of your journal will be dedicated to creating your perfect him, but as opposed to focusing on the physical attributes you desire in a man, it’s important that you start off this section by answering the following questions: “What would I want ‘him’ to love about me?”, “What would I want ‘him’ to love about life?”, “What would I want ‘him’ to love more than me?”, and then you can move on to the attributes that you’re truly looking for in a man. Yes, you may now discuss the physical but it is important that you really consider the importance of it. Once you’re done with all of this, number each thing by most important (1) to least important (100) thing to you when it comes to your perfectly imperfect man — in pencil of course. Then use another blank sheet (fourth page of week three) to set your personal standards. Make a list of personal vows and standards to yourself, and then say I do. You can’t expect to say I do to him, without saying I do, to you first. Perhaps you’ll vow not to have sex on the first date. Perhaps you’ll vow to be a friend before trying to be a girlfriend. Perhaps you’ll vow not to beg a man for love. Perhaps you’ll vow not to look for love, but to let love find you. Write your personal vow to self, and then seal it with a kiss. Yes, put on your favorite lipstick and kiss the page. Fact of the day: The kiss dates back to the earliest days of civilization in Ancient Rome and in the Middle East. A kiss was used as the formal seal to agreements, contracts, etc. Hence, the obvious use of the custom at the end of the wedding ceremony- to “seal” the marriage vows.

4 BECOME YOUR OWN OBSESSION: For the final week of theFOCUS segment you are to use up 10 pages, yes 10 whole pages, to write down and jot down things that you love and things about yourself. What are your favorite colors? What do you love the most about yourself? What are your favorite foods? What’s something spontaneous that you’d love to do? What’s your dream date? What are your petpeevees? What was your most embarrassing moment? 10 pages (or 5 pages back and front) must be filled with the answers of your mind, body, heart and soul! Have fun and get to writing! Here are one,two, three, four, five websites that are full of fun and mind boggling questions for you to answer. Consider this a personal interview and the start of your journey to self understanding and love.
5 & 6 START TAKING THE INITIATIVE TO TACKLE YOUR GOAL SHEET & SPRING CLEAN ALONG THE WAY: That’s right! Start tackling things on your goal sheet, make the necessary adjustments, and spend each night figuring out how you can become better the following day. An empty mind is the devil’s playground, always have something worthwhile to do. Trash old papers, give away old clothes, and dust neglected corners. Sometimes when there is so much going on around us, we lose focus because we’re trying to get it all sorted. Sort your surrounding environment so there is room left for you to sort through your mind!

7 MANTRA & AFFIRMATION: Write down your personal mantra. What’s the one statement that is basically your motto for every day life? Write down your affirmations. What are positive statements that you believe in and that you promise to live by. Dedicate two pages to listing these things and to explaining why these are the personal statements you agree to live by. Unlike week three where you made vows to how you will handle relationships, you’ll use week seven to creating personal statements that you’ll say throughout the day. Here are a list of daily affirmations that’ll help you based on the situations that you are in and want to be in and here is a website that will help you understand and come up with your own personal mantra. Be sure to recite a few of your chosen mantras and affirmations throughout the day. Use as many pages necessary to make a list of some that work for you — but leave two pages blank in the event that you need to add more.
8 HOLIDAY PLAN: Start making a list of the people that you plan on giving gifts to. Below each, jot down a few gift ideas along with a budget for each person. Be diligent and thoughtful, listen to the small things that your loved ones say that they need to work on or that they need and tailor your gift choices based on those comments and statements that are made. A thoughtful gift doesn’t have to be an expensive gift. Also start figuring out where and how you’re going to spend your holidays and what you’d like to get out of them. Perhaps you want to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving morning, a tradition my family has shared for the past three years. Or perhaps you want to visit family members you haven’t seen since you were a child. Make this holiday season mean more than just tangible gifts and make it a priority to share the gift of love.

9 GOAL FOCUS: It’s important that throughout this process we don’t lose site of the goals that we are working hard towards. Week nine will be dedicated strictly to accomplishing at least two of the goals on our sheet.

10 RELEASE: Remember that list from week two? It’s now time to give it one more read, rip it out, and to let it go (in the ocean if you’re dramatic). This is your day to let go of all of the hostility, anger, and frustration you may have been holding in and for you to let your inner self know that you no longer want it to suffer. But don’t only forgive those who have hurt you, ask for forgiveness for yourself and forgive yourself. After letting go, use a fresh page to list a few tips that’ll help you when negative thoughts try to reconsume you. Although it is important to let go, it is more important not to relapse. The catch? You can only use one page, the front of one page. You no longer will contribute an abundance of anything to present past people or feelings.

11 SEND YOURSELF FLOWERS FOR A RANDOM DATE NEXT YEAR & ATTACH A NOTE: That’s right! Save up some money and send yourself flowers for a random date next year. Attached have a note that means something to you — whether that be one of the mantras or affirmations you found most helpful during your life reset or whether that be something encouraging to tell yourself in the event that you are sad or doubtful, make a statement that matters, to you. You now know yourself enough to know what that is. But don’t schedule that delivery for early 2013, schedule it for this time next year.

12 CELEBRATE: Remember that list of things you love? Now it’s time to indulge. Treat yourself to a few things on that list and celebrate your new life! Perhaps you’ll go bungie jumping like you’ve always wanted to or perhaps you’ll throw a cooking party at your condo like you’ve always planned! No it’s not your birthday, but it is a time celebrate YOU. No one can appreciate you like you can, so show yourself a little love. Also, take a vacation and live vicariously through the life of another. Buy a novel about a girl like you — and finish the year off spending some downtime reading. Books can take you places you may never go and characters can open your eyes to a life you never had. With all of this time spent on yourself, it’s now time to spend a little time next to the life of another. A humbling experience that will show you that people aren’t always what they seem to be on the outside and that life is full of problems but the purpose of the story is always to push through it and to live happily ever after. A lesson necessary for changing your mindset when you get back to seeing others you may be envious of from time to time. You are the author of your life story and although you had little to no control over the narration of the beginning of it, you now have full control of the way the story goes.
 
This blog was brought to you by KimberlyLuxe
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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 20 {Solange Jennah Emeli Mara Sza}

This week has been pretty busy, which connotes that I haven't had time to dig deep into the music collection like I wanted to in order to produce the continuing segment of the best press play albums of all time series.  Committing to do a list of 25 each week, as you can probably imagine, has been a task in itself, but it's been really fun and I'm enjoying all the feedback I'm getting from it. No worries; I'll get back to it soon! 

The songs featured today are from 5 incredible female, "underground" artist that I've come to love so much; Jennah Bell, Solange, Mara Hruby, Emeli Sande, and last but not least, Solona Rowe, also know as Sza.  Their talent and artistry is quite beautiful and the sweet melodies of these songs have been on my musical radar lately. The goddess in me sees the goddess that exist in all these beautiful women, who I am positive will gain mainstream exposure in due time. I'm hoping I have the opportunity to sit and chat with them one day; a girl can dream, right?

♥ Chymere A.

1. "Losing You" x Solange



2. "3hrs, 59 min" x Jennah Bell



3. "My Kind of Love" x Emeli Sande



4. "Is This Love (Cover)" x Mara Hruby


5. "Time Travel Undone" x Sza

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Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 19 {Favorite Love Songs Pt. III}

Recent album purchases:

  • Tamia-Beautiful Surprise
  • Frank Ocean-Chanel Orange
{I love them both}

Favorite Love Songs (Pt. III):

  1. Whitney Houston-"I Have Nothing"
  2. Mary J. Blige-"Love No Limit"
  3. Case-"Happily Ever After"
  4. Sam Cooke-"You Send Me"
  5. Robin Thicke-"The Sweetest Love"
  6. Jesse Powell-"You"
  7. Al Green-"I'm So In Love With You"
  8. Angie Stone-"Bring Your Heart"
  9. Musiq Soulchild-"Don't Change"
  10. Carl Thomas-"Summer Rain"
  11. Boyz II Men ft. Charlie Wilson-"More Than You'll Ever Know"
  12. Lifehouse-"You and Me"
  13. Michael Jackson-"You Rock My World"
  14. Karina Pasian-"Perfectly Different"
  15. Amerie-"Nothing Like Loving You"
  16. Maroon 5-"Sunday Morning"
  17. Eric Benet-"You're the Only One"
  18. Mariah Carey & Brian McKnight-"Whenever You Call"
  19. Trey Songz-"One Love"

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Look Book Fall '12: Falling for You


Fall is a fun season for fashion to really make a statement in personal style.  I think it's because of the change in the weather, a climate which requires more layers than the summer months.  It's also a bit mysterious for us ladies, because we have a golden opportunity to be sexy without showing too much skin.  It's something so feminine about the way we work around our body structures and pair our favorite jeans in fall.  This season, I'm looking forward to my style matching my ambition, less laid back and more ready for business, in contrast to the breezy, effortless laziness of summertime. For casual/play days, I'll be converting some of my summer items to work with winter pieces, such as blazers, scarfs, and pea coats, and pulling out the comfy sweaters for football games or quiet nights at home.

When it comes to glam, I definitely want my colors to pop.  Because of the southern heat, I didn't wear make up consistently; instead I focused more on taking care of my skin. Lip balms were my best friend all summer. My nails were various shades of pastel pinks and blues or simple french manicures. Mid-summer, I found myself addicted to blush and bronzer, just because it gave me a little something extra that was light-weight, was an easy on the go routine, and didn't feel like it would melt in the sun.  As fall is quickly approaching, I find myself putting on a full face from time to time and playing with bolder colors like magenta lips and black/navy blue nails (current color: Deal with the Devil). Although bold colors are a leap outside of my comfort zone, I really am loving it!

On polyvore, I created this set for my look book collection [seasonal installment]. The summer elements are still the foundation, as I know it will still remain hot until at least September. The shoes, to me, are absolutely fab and I'm determined to get them soon.  It is perfect for school or any event where the environment is semi-relaxed.   Maxi dresses are so cute and comfortable, and because of the length, it easily transitions from summer to fall. They also compliment me well.  

I'm still adjusting to this new side of me, but I'm really starting to grasp the concept of expressing myself through fashion.

Besos,
Chymere Anais
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Changes, Beauty, and Growth

Who are you?
 
Why is it so hard for me to answer that question?
 
I literally looked in the mirror, as if I was gazing into the eyes of a complete stranger. Staring into my reflection always reveals something new to me about me.  When I have the courage to do so, I take off all my clothes and stand there.  There are days when  that beauty shines through.  Other days I am disgusted at how I look, asking God why He shaped me this way.  On those days, ugly and ashamed, I rush away from my reflection.  Sometimes I walk in a room, confidence sky high and people flock to that energy, but every once in a while I just know am invisible and no one proves me wrong.

Did you notice the pattern?  I am using real life situations to illustrate a point: attitude is everything. It's cliche, I know, but now I understand that the perspective I have of myself shifts with my attitude.  For instance, today I reverted my hair back to its original color of dark brown, because honey blond is just not me anymore and perhaps never was.  Sure it was a fun phase, but I couldn't figure out why I dyed it in the first place. 
 
Changing physically doesn't change you; it's all mental.  Recently, it dawned on me that the work that needs to be done, on me personally, stretches beyond what I can do physically. There is nothing wrong with a new outfit or a hairstyle as long as it's motivated by what you like. As silly as it sounds, for a while, I really believed that an exterior change would automatically bring a life change.  This meant anything from hair to geography.  Many times, transformation was caused by wanting to be accepted by them, to be as beautiful as her, or to impress him, every time leaving me empty, because being me was more than enough all along. Evolution occurs naturally; no need to force it.
 
Who are you?
 
In her book, Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert was on a search for her word; one single word that could describe herself perfectly without having to go into elaborate details about her life, accolades, and hobbies.  I am still  on the journey of looking for my word, but I do feel myself getting closer to knowing it everyday.
 
I said all that to say, there is nothing wrong with being who you are.  So what if it's not popular? People will make a headline out of it regardless and tomorrow it's old news. Like what you like, do what you love, surround yourself with the things and people that make you happy.  I cover this point a lot, but it all makes sense now.  I/you don't have to change who I/you am/are to fit, because my placement on this earth and in this universe is important like the sun and stars.   When it comes to self discovery, it's all about learning to love who you are just the way you are and not waiting on the validation of others. Being you is be-YOU-tiful in itself.
 
Besos,
C.
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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Relocating for Love

On Twitter, I posted a question that has been on my mind heavy recently. When I think about my plans to relocate to California [next year], I am aware of how much can happen in a year's time.  For instance, one of the stand-out questions I ask myself is: how sure would I be about moving if I were to get involved in a committed relationship with someone between now and the time I move?  Would it still be definite or would there be some sort of compromise on my part? How would a partner feel about me living on another side of the country?  Of course, it's hypothetical at this point, but I'm still curious about the possibility.

It's a huge step to ask someone to drop everything they have/know and take a leap into the arms of the unknown.  However, apart of me feels like no one really wants to live in a place without the person they love. I do think it's an important conversation to have in a serious relationship, as long as the person making the proposal understands before hand that they might, ultimately, be forced to choose one or the other. One party might view it as an adventure, an opportunity to grow as an individual, as well as a couple, in a new place. On the contrary, the other person might not see it that way.  That's why I think it's important to pray constantly, listen for answers to those prayers, and thoroughly communicate with each other, especially during a major process such as relocating.

To be completely honest, it's hard for me to say exactly what I would do in that situation, because I'm not currently having to deal with it, but I thought it would make for an interesting discussion. 

The question was:

What are your thoughts on relocating for the sake of love?

Besos,
Chymere Anais
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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 18 {Liam Bailey & Gary Clark, Jr.}

1. Liam Bailey "Please Love Me"

2. Gary Clark Jr. "Bright Lights"

Liam Bailey and Gary Clark, Jr. are two young artist with so much talent; they are so amazing. Both musicians, both from different parts of the globe (UK and America) have equally incredible auras that speak loudly through their feel good music. These two songs have been on my musical radar and I couldn't wait to post them for this week's SS. Hope you guys enjoy!

Besos,
Chymere Anais

::For more music, bios, photos, etc., check out Liam Bailey and Gary Clark, Jr. online.
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