Saturday, December 29, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 35 {Musical Year In Review}

Inspired by The Indie Byline, I've also decided to do a play list of the 12 songs in 2012 that were in heavy rotation all year.

1. "Those Who Wait" x Daley
I listen to this song daily and I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it more than a couple times on this blog.  The dream chase gets tough and the message in this song about unyielding hard work and patience really speaks to me.  In 2012, this song became my anthem indefinitely.

2. "Poetic Justic" x Kendrick Lamar ft. Drake
It never occured to me that hip hop could match with the sultry voice of Janet Jackson's Anytime, Anyplace and still be seductive.  Usually, when classics are tampered with, it doesn't sit too well with me. And it's no new news that I will always absolutely love that cool underground Cali kid, Kendrick Lamar. Sexy wordplay, dope beat, and genius in my opinion.

4. "Love & War" x Tamar Braxton
For a tune that recently made its debut, this song can easily be R&B song of the year.  I absolutely love it. Passion without off key yelling and lyrics that are honest.  I didn't start watching The Braxton Family Values until last season and I've always thought that Tamar was just being silly about her diva aspirations; only to find out she is actually quite talented.

4. "Thinking About You" x Frank Ocean
This song put Frank Ocean on the map. Much like many others, I can appreciate when an underground artist goes mainstream, but continues to  stay true to his/her artistry.  Other than that, I think it's the ultimate I-have-a-crush-on-you song.

5. "Every Single Night" x Fiona Apple
At first, I thought this song was a little odd. It was even more so after watching the video. However, it's one of those songs that had to grow on me, and when it did I loved it.  Drawn in perplexing metaphors, the poetry of the song, to me, is regarding the conflicts of mind and heart, when all she as a woman wants to do is be able to feel everything. At its core, I can relate.

6. "Cherry Wine" x Nas (Amy Winehouse)

When I tell you I am completely in love with this man...I was estatic when I discovered Nas would be putting out new music this year. Of course I wasn't disappointed, as I expected nothing less than greatness from him.

7. "Nobody's Business" x Rihanna &Chris Brown
Originally written by the legendary Michael Jackson, fresh off Rihanna's most recent album, Unapologetic, is a song I've come to love unapologeticly. I didn't want to admitt it, but I do. Now I have my own views about the CRK triangle, but I've never been the type to fault someone's music for their personal decisions; that has nothing to do with me. I love the house music feel to it, the lyrics, the tempo...it's just a feel song and who can't appreciate a feel good song?

8. "Is Your Love Big Enough?" x Lianne La Havas
This is most definitely a big band, big voice, big meaning type of song.  Everytime I hear it, it makes me happy instantly.  It reminds me of those summer days of raging freedom perusing the city, lost in music, exploration and youth.  It makes me want to live my dreams! It's just a great tune, from an incredible artist, and I feel so ashamed that this is my first time presenting it to all of you (who haven't heard it yet.)

9.  "Gods & Monsters" x Lana Del Rey

This song is really dark and cynical, but it was one of those creations I could relate to in my darkest moments. When it comes to art, I've realized, the art often is a structure of some dark mental breakdown, yet still is beautiful in that way. And the moment I understood the depth, I found an appreciation in the song itself.

10.  "Adorn" x Miguel

Instantly fell in love with this song the first time I heard it as background song on show, The Game. I went through heaven and back trying to figure out who sang this song, lol. It's just so sweet and romantic!

11. "Mercy" x G.O.O.D. Music ft. Two Chainz
One of the most epic radio hits of this decade, this is amazing collaboration with some of hip-hops greatest artist.  For some reason though, it was the center of religious controversy, which lead me to believe that certain things are just read too deeply into. I digress. In my opinion, this was a great musical landmark for modern day hip hop.

12. "Money on the Floor" x Big K.R.I.T. ft. 8-ball, MJG, &Two Chainz
This was the ultimate instant "turn up" song this summer, and not necessarily in a drinking sense.  I didn't think about the lyrics much; just good ole country rap with a hot beat that I can ride to.

What were some of your fave tunes of 2012?

@ChymereA
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Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 34 {Worth It x Tori Kelly}

This song sings my life at the moment perfectly and beautifully. Tori Kelly is so incredibly talented and a lyrical mastermind. It feels like she spent a day inside my heart/mind and took notes to gather material for this song.


"Your time will come
That's what they say to me
But it's really hard to listen when you'd rather be living your dreams
Instead of always chasing
 I've seen so many sunsets
When will I see the sun rise
But I know I'm still learning
I know I'll keep growing
I know I was born for this
I'm not gonna sit around and do nothing
But while I'm waiting
I might as well just spill my heart out on these pages
And just be patient
It'll all be worth it, it'll all be worth it in the end..."
 
"Worth It" x Tori Kelly

 
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Friday, December 28, 2012

2013, Be Good to Me: Pt. II

I found these questions from the archives on Apricot-Tea from blogger Ev'yan.  She no longer blogs there, but every now and then I go back to read old post. I liked the questions and instead of adding it to the last 2013, Be Good to Me, I thought it would be more sensible to create 2 parts and answer them in a separate post, for the sake of length. 

Let's get into it shall we? Oh, and by the way: You're tagged!!!

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
-Lived by myself.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
-Some of them yes. Others are ongoing processes that I am constantly working on.  Yes, I've made a list for next year as well.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
-A few people indeed! Life is beautiful.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
-Fortunately, no...not this year.

5. What countries did you visit?
-None.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
-Clarity. Peace. Direction. Prosperity. True [Romantic] Love.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
-12.21.12. The day the Apocalypse was postponed. [sarcasm.]

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
-Being accepted into a grad program at University of Southern California.

9. What was your biggest failure?
-I used to be really hard on myself, making deadlines I couldn't commit to, and being really upset when I didn't achieve something in a particular time frame.  But I've realized that as long as I keep trying, I'll never fail. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
-No, thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
-A Car.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
-Everyone in my life is so good to me and so amazing in their own special way so it's really hard to pick out one particular person who deserves an applause. I am blessed to have an outstanding support system of family and friends alike.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
-I try not to let people affect me that much.  However, I was shocked at how a certain friendship played out, but it's messy to get into the details here.

14. Where did most of your money go?
-Gas and Food

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
-Coming up with a new name and concept for my magazine project.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
-"Those Who Wait" Daley

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- a. happier or sadder? Probably sadder. Although, I'm not really sure why the decline in mood.
- b. thinner or fatter? Fatter, but I love my body and have been taking steps to being healthier from here on out.
- c. richer or poorer?  about the same, I guess.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
-Travel

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
-Frivolous spending

20. Did you fall in love in 2012?
-With a dog (literally), yes.

21. How many one-night stands?
-I don't open up about my sex life publicly.  Take it how you want to.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
-Scandal, Nashville, and The Neighbors!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
-I don't hate anyone.

24. What was the best book you read?
-Normal Gets You Nowhere by Kelly Cutrone

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
-Tori Kelly and Jessie Ware. Absolutely incredible artist.

26. What did you want and get?
-I pretty much got everything I asked for, which in turn made me realize that wishes have consequences too.

27. What did you want and not get?
-The camera and necklace I wanted for Christmas.

28. What were your favorite films of this year?
-This might amuse some of you, but I watched 'The Bodyguard' for the first time ever a few months ago. And it was absolutely incredible. (I know I'm late).  Also, I really enjoyed Disney movie, 'Meet the Robinsons'.  I haven't seen any new movies this year that I can immediately recall.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
-I enjoyed a week of youthfulness and reckless fun with my closest comrades. I turned 23.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
-I'm not sure. There are many things to be said that I think would have made it better, but there is no way of really knowing that.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
-Evolving.

32. What kept you sane?
-Music, writing, friends, and my mom's calm voice of reason.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
-Khloe & Lamar Odom. I adore them. I'm completely convinced that their love for one another is genuine.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
-The questionable injustice surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
-This year's presidential election.

35. Whom did you miss?
-The "him" that I referred to a great deal throughout this blog...and that's something that, no matter how much time has elapsed, never changes.

36. Who was the best new person(s) you met?
-A really sweet and admirable girl named, Mya who I became drawn to instantly.  She has such a beautiful spirit.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
-To Embrace everything around me; treating the storm and the sunny days equally. Beauty can be found in both light and darkness. 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
- "I'm not gonna sit around and do nothing, but while I'm waiting, I might as well just spill my heart out on these pages and just be patient. It'll all be worth it, it'll all be worth it in the end." (Worth it x Tori Kelly  SS: Vol. 32)
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013, Be Good to Me: Pt. I

This year taught me quite a bit.  There were plenty of situations I was put in that were true test of faith, patience, and humility. A lot of memories were made, but at the same time, this year lacked significance.  Everything that was major to me was really just a step forward in my career plans, so I really do feel like 2013 will be the year of execution. The biggest thing I conquered was the 3 month Life Reset challenge presented by Ms. Kimberly Luxe where I was able to date myself and focus on my goals.  After that, I began to feel like I was fully prepared to fly into my full potential in this coming year.

Tonight, I'll be starting on my cleaning.  Recently, I moved back home and didn't realize until I was packing how much stuff I accumulated over the past few months, in addition to how much I left home and didn't get rid of. Everything is all over the place. Therefore, I'll be going through boxes, deep cleaning, re-organizing, and pretty much making sure that I don't bring old dirt into the new year. When I need a mind shift, cleaning and recreating my living space seems to really help.

It might even be a good idea to do some cleaning to the blog to give it a new direction. My blogging goal for this next season is to be more honest with myself, find my voice, and not be so afraid to show my own truth. It would also be really cool to commit to doing a 365 Photo-a-day Project for personal fulfillment, to resurrect my deep love for photography.


Like many others, I do make a list of resolutions per year, however this year I was able to start on that list fairly early (Fall 2012), thanks to the life reset.  To add to what I already have on paper, here is a list of a few things that I feel like I need to work on:
  1. Attitude.  At times, I can be extremely defensive/reactive.  It's something that people close to me have pointed out and I'd really like to stop taking everything personally. I want to be one of those people who are hard to stay mad at, just because they have such an amazing presence about themselves.
  2. Softer/feminine side. This ties directly into attitude.  Growing up, I was always taught that it was lady like to be soft spoken; humble yet powerful.  The older I am, the more I'm starting to see how much more beautiful a woman with quiet strength is. It's up to me to carry myself more gracefully in my adult life than I did as a teenager.
  3. Wardrobe. The look books I've created are all figments of my imagination, yet not hard to incorporate into my own closet. I want my clothes to speak for who I am and for me, it has very little to do with labels and what is trendy.  As Ralph Lauren once said, "Style is very personal.  It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly, style is forever."
  4. Finances.  This is probably one of the most important improvements I need to make.  Bad money decisions can cause a lifetime of stress.  Considering the kind of lifestyle I desire, one that goes beyond just being able to buy nice things for myself, it's imperative that I get my finances in order now.
As far as NYE plans, I'm not completely sure.  Although, the club scene is not really me at all, the best friend is a genius at persuading me to go places I don't necessarily want to go and I end up having fun. Since it has been on my mind to slow down on the drinking, maybe I'll decline, go to church with my parents, and bring in the New Year's day at home in peace.  I remember doing this one year, but I don't exactly recall if it made a difference in how my year went, so who knows.  As the saying goes "Start how you want to finish" so that is something to keep in mind when deciding what tone I want to set for the New Year.

What are your goals for 2013 & special NYE plans?

Whatever those goals and plans may be, I hope they bring you complete bliss and add value to your journey.  Kiss 2012 good-bye with a smile and be hopeful about what 2013 has in store.

-Chymere A. 
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    Tuesday, December 25, 2012

    On the True Meaning of Christmas

    In contrast to yesterday's post, my attitude has made a major improvement. Today is a new day, which means God has granted me the opportunity to have the best life ever, starting today.  Last night, I prayed and about my troubles. The weeks leading up to the holidays were rough. Almost instantly, my life flashed before my eyes, but in a way that was a glimpse of my future. It was an experience I will never forget, an amazing one that gave me new found optimism and so much hope.  That has never happened to me, but I'm glad it then.  Now I have the confidence I need to move forward.
    This morning, I was blindly depressed about little things, like not having a tree this year and Christmas not turning out to be exactly how it was when I was a little girl. Those special, warm and fuzzy feelings didn't happen this year. Then, I thought about all the parents who lost children this year, who probably made their home extra festive weeks ago for ghost children.  Instead of families watching their little ones happily tearing open gifts, they will be attending vigils in honor of them. From the stabbings in China, to the families of Newtown, Conneticut, tragedy has struck different parts of the world and all of these people share a common affliction.  Nothing compares to the heart break of losing a loved one, especially around the holidays.  For a moment, selfish ole me forgot about all of those broken hearted people.  Ashamed of my own pettiness, I said a prayer for them in my heart, because I do know how it feels to lose someone close to me.  However, I can't imagine how it feels for a parent to lose a child. I wouldn't wish something like that on my worst enemy.
    Although presents weren't perfectly wrapped under a beautiful pine tree for me, I did receive really nice and thoughtful gifts from friends and family. I decided to make a calculation of all the new things I've purchased this year, as well as a list of all the things money can't buy. Winter boots, countless CDs, new technology, things to make my space a home, perfect health, great people in my life, etc. In retrospect, I had a great Christmas and I've been exceptionally blessed all year long.
    Let's remember the real reason for the season. It's not about the decorations and the gifts. While all those things are nice, it's still a time to celebrate family, love, spreading joy, and all the wonderful intangible things that can't be replaced.  That's where true fortune lies.  
    {Source.}
    Merry Christmas
    from my family to yours!!!
    Besos,


    Chymere Anais


    
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    Saturday, December 22, 2012

    Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 33 {Luke, Jessie, & Elle}

    A few songs have been on my radar lately. Originally, I planned to do a Christmas playlist, but felt like it was too cliche. On top of that, I designed this series to create the soundtrack of my life, as it changes by week, and show whatever I'm currently listening to. On top of that, it wouldn't have been true for this week's Soundtrack to do something that catered to Christmas, considering I haven't been listening to Christmas songs much. However, I have had these songs in constant rotation all week long, starting with the amazing vocals of Luke James. This song is so beautiful. Honestly, it reveals a part of my heart that I thought vanished, or faded, a long time ago.

    1. "I Want You" -Luke James

    2. "Sweet Talk" -Jessie Ware
    Now this is an artist out of the UK that I was recently "introduced" to this year. Her voice is incredible. Little did I know that she did many vocal collaborations with SBTRKT, another musician (and well known DJ) based in London. Looks like I may need to make a trip to London soon, because the music scene is hot. Back to the subject, I just really love how perfectly this song fits with my mood.

     
     
    3. "I Don't Care" -Elle Varner
    This lady has been it for me since her first mixtape, Conversational Lush.  She just made people instantly fall head-over-heels in love with her big curls and raspy voice, and to add to an already seductive combination, just an all around good musical pressence.  This song captivated my attention the same way, and again exceptionally suitable for today's play list.  

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    Saturday, December 15, 2012

    Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 32 {Be Patient}

    Usually, I don't do a double featured artist for SS, but this song sings my life at the moment perfectly and beautifully. Tori Kelly is so incredibly talented and a lyrical mastermind. It feels like she spent a day inside my heart/mind and took notes to gather material for this song.

     
    "Your time will come
    That's what they say to me
    But it's really hard to listen when you'd rather be living your dreams
    Instead of always chasing
     I've seen so many sunsets
    When will I see the sun rise
    But I know I'm still learning
    I know I'll keep growing
    I know I was born for this
    I'm not gonna sit around and do nothing
    But while I'm waiting
    I might as well just spill my heart out on these pages
    And just be patient
    It'll all be worth it, it'll all be worth it in the end..."
     
    Tori Kelly-"Worth It"

     
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    Friday, December 14, 2012

    Fitness Fridays: Things to Remember When Running

    If you are anything like me, running to stay fit is a chore.  For me, it's not as fun and liberating as swimming is and I have to think about what I'm doing.  Call me uncoordinated, but at least I'm honest. However, not to be confused, I have learned to love running. This is a simple guide for those who would like to run the right way. And yes, there is a right and wrong way to every physical activity. 


    1. Stretch. Stretching increases range of motion and flexibility. Hold a stretch long enough to feel a slight pull.  An example of stretching techniques, is to position yourself with feet aligned with shoulder length, bend down slowly, and touch your toes without bending your knees. Other positions can be applied by shifting weight from one side to the other and sitting with legs spread in front and reaching as far as possible by propelling upper body forward.
    2. Affirm yourself. Tell yourself before your run I AM LIMITLESS, I AM POWERFUL, and MY BODY IS AMAZING JUST THE WAY IT IS.  Say it 3 times (along with whatever your goal is for the day), smile, crank up the tunes, and run like you meant everything you said.  Keep the messages tucked away in your thoughts to remind you when you feel like giving up.
    3. H2O.  Make sure you drink plenty of water before, after, and during your run to constantly replenish the fluid lost.  It's very important to stay hydrated to prevent fatigue. When you are not giving your body enough water, its ability to recover decreases. The American Council on Exercise recommends 18 ounces 30 minutes prior to and 8 ounces every 10-20 minutes during the run.
    4. Shoes. Purchase quality running shoes with arch support and flexibility.  For comfort, they should fit properly and for this I would suggest having it accurately sized by a shoe specialist. The soles of your shoes should be according to the terrain and how frequently you run. Your bones and joints should be taken care of just as much as your exterior and you must remember that a huge part of the body's framework is dependant on the legs and feet.
    5. Apps.  Nike Running and Training Club iPhone apps help with tracking progress so you don't have to.  Both also are customizable to fit your goal needs.  The weekly analysis on Nike Training Club keeps track of what you've done.  Nike Run allows you to record a map of your trails and records the pace, distance, and time it takes to complete your run, as well as an audio reminder every mile conquered.
    6. Don't stop.  If your goal is to run 3 miles, don't stop until 3.1.  You'll feel so much more accomplished if you just continue without letting your mind trick you into believing you are tired.  The moment you feel that you are, run harder!

    7. Cool Down. Finally, you've made it to your destination. Take a few more steps, deep controlled breaths, then repeat some of the stretch movements you practiced in the beginning.  The run is over and now you know everything you said about yourself was true. Congratulations!
    Happy Fitness!!!
    Besos,
    Chymere Anais
    
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    Saturday, December 8, 2012

    Graduation Season

    This morning I woke up in an emotional frenzy. Today, like any other day, a major shift was developing in the universe.  The difference in today was in my own reality, yet another graduation would be missed due to surrounding circumstances.  Realizing I would not be able to witness an added set of comrades across the stage and in the midst of flustered sadness, I claimed a moment I did not rightfully own.  Selfishly, the only thought that crossed my mind was ‘everyone is leaving me’ and I would be left to navigate joys and hardships of college alone. Then it hit me: the speed of progress varies with the person and all our paths are different. 

    The phases of life, even the often excruciating transition between each one, are sometimes hard to accept, especially when it means waving goodbye to certain experiences and individuals.  However, those changes happen, designed to bring new opportunities to surface and promote the inevitable, progressive movement of life. Each day, I learn more and more how to embrace those changes peacefully and without question.

    The limited view of today’s events eventually transformed into happiness, as I realized being happy for other people requires one to ignore personal feelings and circumstances to express happiness in spite of. Every time graduation season rolls around, I tend to fall into this state of mind where I am feeding into the bad habit of comparison, a side by side evaluation of my life and their life (against whoever they may be). It has taken me a while to understand that just because someone has reached a certain level of success before I do, doesn't mean the path I’m taking is the wrong or less successful one. 

    Hard work fails to recognize time, but only continues with great humility until completion. I can’t think of the accomplishments of friends and family as people I love leaving me, when they have worked hard to earn their hat of honor.  It’s selfish, unfair, and disrespectful, especially to those individuals who have always lifted me higher in moments of triumph and will always be in my corner to cheer me on. 


    So in honor of people graduating today, many who I consider to be true lifetime friends, I congratulate you all.  I am so proud, for you have finally reached the end of a hard road to celebrate a huge milestone and this is only the beginning.  
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    Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 31 {Young Girls}

    I love this song so much! The lyrics are an unexpected parrallel universe of what was discussed in the post I wrote this week, Salute to the Good Girls (Stay Beautiful.) Sorry for missing last weekend as I try my absolute best to stay as consistent as possible with the SS series. Hope you guys enjoy it!

    Besos,

    Chymere Anais

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    College Diaries: Graduation Season.

    "...Congratulations/ On all the big moves you're making/ Despite adversity you're facing/ I'm so proud of you..." -PJ Morton


    ♥ ♥ ♥
     This morning I woke up in an emotional frenzy. Today, like any other day, a major shift was developing in the universe. The difference in today was in my own reality, yet another graduation would be missed due to the surrounding circumstances at hand. Realizing I would not be able to witness an added set of comrades walk across the stage and in the midst of flustered sadness, I claimed a moment I did not rightfully own.  Selfishly, the only thought that crossed my mind was ‘everyone is leaving me’ and I would be left to navigate joys and hardships of the rest of college alone. Then it hit me: the speed of progress varies with the person and all our paths are different.  

    The phases of life, even the often excruciating transition between each one, are sometimes hard to accept, especially when it means waving goodbye to certain experiences and individuals.  However, those changes happen, designed to bring new opportunities to surface andpromote the inevitable, progressive movement of life. Each day, I learn more and more how to embrace those changes peacefully and without question.

    The limited view of today’s events eventually transformed into happiness, as I realized being happy for other people requires one to ignore personal feelings and circumstances to express happiness in spite of. Every time graduation season rolls around, I tend to fall into this state of mind where I am feeding into the bad habit of comparison, a side by side evaluation of my life and their life (against whoever they may be). It has taken me a while to understand that just because someone has reached a certain level of success before I do,doesn’t mean the path I’m taking is the wrong or less successful one. 

    Good things come to those who work.  Hard work fails to recognize time, but continues with great humility until completion. I can’t think of the accomplishments of friends and family as people I love leaving me, when they have worked extremely hard to earn their hat of honor.  It’s selfish, unfair, and disrespectful of me, especially to those cherished people who have always lifted me higher in moments of triumph and will always be in my corner to cheer me on.  

    So in honor of people graduating today, my college friends, many who I consider to be true lifetime friends, I congratulate you all.  I am so proud, for you have finally reached the end of a hard road to celebrate a huge milestone and this is only the beginning. I am honored to be in your vicinity and I hope each of you continue walking with great confidence towards your greatness.

    Besos,
    Chymere Anais


    

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    Friday, December 7, 2012

    Mind Over Matter

    Progress journal for this week:

    • Ran 20 miles [4 miles everyday for 5 days]
    • Swam approximately 15,000 yards
    • Every morning I completed 60 crunches [3 sets of 20]
    • Food intake was nothing worth mentioning (lol)

    Workout Playlist:

    1. “Turn Up the Music”-Chris Brown ft. Rihanna
    2. “Lights” -Ellie Goulding
    3. “Disparate Youth” -Santigold
    4. “Work Hard, Play Hard”-Wiz Khalifah
    5. “Got to Be Real” -Cheryl Lynn
    6. “Escapade”-Janet Jackson
    7. “Run the World” -Beyonce
    8. “Coming Up”-Lupe Fiasco ft. MDMA
    9. “Domino” -Jessie J.
    10. “Heartbeat” -Childish Gambino
    11. “Bad Girls”-M.I.A.
    12. “Victory” -DJ Khaled ft. John Legend & Nas
    13. “Watch Me Work” -Melanie Fiona
    14. “Get Read It’s a New Day”-Asher Roth
    15. “Let’s Go” -Calvin Harris ft. Ne-Yo
    16. “Around the World”-Boaz ft. Mac Miller
    17. “Tightrope”-Janelle Monae
    18. “The Motivation B Right”-Wale
    19. “Remember the Name”-Fort Minor
    20. “Drop the World”-Wayne ft. Eminem

    Despite the lack in discipline as far as my diet choices go, I still feel very proud of myself. No it wasn't easy, because I'm not in the shape I need to be in, but I got through it nonetheless. Next week, I'll be looking to add something new, such as biking or signing up for a dance class. I think that would be so much fun. The most important thing at this point is to keep up the momentum and constantly affirm my abilities.  Even though I am holding myself accountable and tracking progress in a personal journal, I don't plan on posting an entry every single week. I just wanted to give my readers a brief glimpse into my life by sharing my day to day fitness routine thus far. If you're also on a journey to better health, it doesn't matter where you are physically, it can be done with the right attitude.  You just have to be willing to work, sweat, and feel a little pain knowing there is a greater reward in the end.
    Happy Fitness!!!

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    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    Currently.


    {Visual: Christmas in NYC}
    ♥ In Lust With: certain material things that serve no purpose beyond physical appeal...you know, those tangible items that are desired, but not needed, there to entice you to spend money that could be saved, invested, and/or potentially used for something of greater importance...guilty as charged.
    ♥ In Love With: air. This may seem like a strange obsession, but lately I've just been in complete admiration of the beautiful flow of the wind. When I think of the term 'air' as a noun, and the term 'airy' as an adjective, I think of easy going, whimsical feelings and the strength/power of effortless movement, which is the way I view life sometimes.

    ♥ Working On:  a few things that are not necessarily tied into each other, such as: becoming a better writer; fitness and health; getting finances in order; [and] understanding the positive is just as real as the negative and learning how to combine both in order to see the bigger picture.

    Favorite Words: "You are something the whole universe is doing, in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing" -Alan Watts

    Favorite Visual: The illumination of cities and towns during the holidays. Something so incredible happens in the midst of it all.

    Favorite Sound: silence.

    ♥ Over the Moon About: welcoming/accepting the end of some things to turn a new leaf and starting a new chapter; building a life/career individually without neglecting to celebrate the successes of others when it's their moment.
    ♥ Thinking Of: solutions and different ways to end 2012 with a BANG!

    ♥ Hoping for/Dreaming of:  the miracle of a better tomorrow.

    ♥ Anticipating: Waking up early on Christmas day to do volunteer work, returning home humbled and blessed to be under a roof with my family. Even without gifts or a tree, it's still a rewarding time to enjoy the simplicity of watching sports, lounging around in cute pajamas all day, and winding down by getting cozy with big mocha mugs and blankets in time for late night Christmas movies. I cannot wait...
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    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    Salute to the Good Girl (Stay Beautiful.)

    Nothing about filling the big shoes of a grown up are as exciting as it seemed when I was just a little girl.  Of course, life post-21 has it's perks, however it's not as glamorous as I anticipated it to be.  I can vividly remember watching my older cousins get dressed for parties in fabulous outfits right before my set bedtime and hear them stumble into the house at wee hours, hair messy and clothes reeking of sweat and the poison I wasn't old enough for.  Sometimes they'd quietly make an entrance with an attractive companion, who would only be there for a few hours.  Or staring into the TV whenever I had the time to do so, envious of all the things big girls had the permission to do.  From my angle, it was a life full of constant fun and freedom. I was completely convinced that my life would unfold in a way that would reach beyond boring homework, limited recess, and degrading chores.


    In high school, I didn't quite posses the same exact passion to grow up I had then, but I was still in a hurry for college life.  It didn't strike me that the load of responsibilities would gradually increase and life wasn't going to magically get easier.  Coming from a semi-strict background, I believed my parents were overbearing; I could not wait to experience what life was like away from them.  I thought everything that came out of their mouth was bologna and every revolt to be treated more like an adult was the right thing to do. Little did I know, which I eventually learned the hard way, was that 99.9% of the time, they actually were right and were probably the only ones who really had my best interest at heart.
    [Disclaimer: There was a point in my life that I can recall being so innocent. I didn't do anything but go to school, participate in sports, and work easy, yet well-paying summer jobs. Sober. Virgin. Pure. Went to church every Sunday. Never really was the party type. Although a lot occurred to strip that characteristic away from me, for a long time, I held tight to that good girl mentality.  Not saying that I regret anything, but deviating from that image caused a lot of unwanted problems and ill-thought decisions, which leads me to expressing myself in this way.]
    Finally, I was free.  I jumped at the opportunity to attend school out of state, as well as every other opportunity that followed to prove that I was indeed capable of independence. By 19, I had my own car, own apartment, and worked and went to school full time.  Even though I called home everyday, I still only had me, myself, and I to answer to.  It felt great, but the feeling was only temporary. Not to say there is anything wrong with that, but there was no real need to rush those things. Long story short, I had it all, lost it all, moved from home, moved back home, and in between time, wasn't that good girl anymore, not because of how established I was, but because I allowed myself to be swallowed by the independence and wasn't handling my obligations in responsible ways.  For instance, careless spending and heavy drinking became the normal. I opened myself up to engage in sexual activities with the wrong men (when I originally vowed to save myself for the man God designed to be my husband).  So much happened that made me grow up so fast and as much as I prayed for forgiveness, I continued to slip into bottomless holes, afraid that I would never find the courage to forgive myself.   

    In retrospect, I admittedly have quite a few incredible and not-so-incredible memories of drunken nights and college life, accompanied by bad/impulsive decisions, but sometimes I just wish I could go back to being the good girl who just did the right thing, especially when I meet girls my age who are.  Regrets aren't good to have, but if I'm honest enough with myself, I know that I do have a few, even though those mistakes helped to mold me into who I am today, the woman I take pride in.  The amazing part about where I've been has to be the lessons I've learned that I am able to pass on to others.  I am far from perfect, but as a young woman whose been through so much in journey thusfar and bound to see more, I do at least have a stronger voice of experience that could make me a good candidate to advocate, empower, and stand behind the "good girl" that this sex-driven society likes to look down on. 

    Every time I have the chance, I will reiterate to the little girls in my life the beauty of innocence and how hard it is to get it back once lost. It's okay to not smoke or drink. It's okay to be called a nerd (intelligence is sexy, therefore, quite cool). It's okay to be the last of your friends to have sex. It's okay to not want tattoo's just because everyone else, including me, has them.  Everything that glitters ain't gold and the right people will respect you for standing up for yourself when you feel the pressure to follow the crowd.

    Because of the school of hard knocks, I will be able to tell my future daughter(s) why I'd want her to stay innocent as long as possible. Hopefully, I will marry a man who constantly validates her and whose parenting aligns with mine to have a two-force effort to steer her in a positive direction. We will tell her things like:
    • Realize the importance of education
    • You are loved
    • Stay focused and be serious about the pursuit of higher learning
    • Choose friends/associates wisely
    • Make mistakes, but don't repeat them
    • Her body is sacred and she is worth waiting on 
    • Do not step out of the refinement of being a lady when consuming alcohol   
    These are just a few of the plethora of things my parents tried to drill into my head. I am not downing them as parents at all, because despite what I've done, I've always subconsciously knew better and I do think they did a great job. If she is anything like me, stubborn and impatient, I just hope that one day she is able to stand at the same cross roads I did, but choose to not take the potentially dangerous path, because her grace may just be different. As long as she is willing to walk through life at a naturally steady pace and is able to grasp the complete concept of staying true to who she is, I can guarantee the quality of life will be significantly better in the long run.

    Young girl, know that everything in life happens at the right time. When your life seems hard, it is not the end of the world. You are uniquely and wonderfully made, so always remember if you are committed to being strong, confident, and staying beautiful and you will have the natural, divine ability conquer worlds.

    Chymere Anais


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    Sunday, December 2, 2012

    Look Book Winter '12: Holiday Glam


    This very feminine and soft rose gold ensemble would be absolutely perfect for a formal Christmas/NYE party or gathering.  Typically, I'm not too big on glitter, but for whatever reason I'm so attracted to sparkle during the holidays. Best thing about being a girl is being able to find amazing deals in clothes. This is definitely a look I can pull off for less than $100.00! Don't you ladies sometimes wish any outfit you think of will just appear in your closet? That would be lovely if that were possible.

    Tell me: do you love it or love it not??

    Chymere Anais

    ♥ ♥ ♥



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