Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Music Collective: vol. 20 {Musical Year in Review 2014}

This year has been a beautiful journey for me personally, but it was definitely a roller coaster ride with epic highs and major lows. However, I will say that this has been a phenomenal year in music, both underground and mainstream. Anyone who honestly believes that quality music fails to exist is obviously not very musically inclined, because good music is infinite and its presence is everywhere (not to be confused with the omnipresence that is God). 

For a while now, it's been a tradition to post a summary of the previous year in music, but this is the first time it's ever been quite this massive. Choosing a top 14 anything music wise was the hardest part about curating this particular play list, compiled in no particular order. The easiest category had to be top 4 videos, because I don't watch videos much and I'm more about the concept than the actual song; the hardest part was narrowing my favorite LP releases  of the year down to a list of 14 and choosing just 2 of my favorite tracks from each album.

The 4 categories (Heavy Rotation Songs, Top 4 Videos, Top 4 Mix Tapes, and Best Albums) are full of musical selections that carried me through the times I found myself trapped in darkness and the ones that kept me level-headed during all the good that happened to and around me all year. Although it took me almost a full month to recall the past year of my favorite tunes and spent many mornings in full blown jam sessions making sure I didn't miss a beat, it was definitely worth it. 

Without further ado, I present the finale Music Collective post of 2014, Musical Year in Review, according to moi.

[Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and all selections are based solely on the growth of my personal music archive throughout the year. Just the same, this collection does not revolve around industry numbers/charts or what is constantly reviewed on mainstream media. However, in no way am I discrediting musicians, artists, and performers who fall into that category. Also, please excuse the lack of reviews for albums I have listed. More album/EP/mix tape/vinyl reviews coming next year...promise.] 


♥ Top 4 Videos:

  1. Simplethings x Miguel
  2. Chandelier x SIA
  3. Maps x Maroon 5
  4. I Got U x Duke Dumont ft. Jax Jones

♥ Heavy Rotation Songs:

1. Fantasy x Alina Baraz & Galimatias
2. What Love Is x Lolawolf
3. It's On Again x Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar
4. Religious x Ne-yo
5. Sunday Candy x Chance the Rapper, SoX
6. Elele x Emma Nyra ft. DaVido
7. Set Me Free x Mara Hruby
8. Magic x Coldplay
9.  9 x Willow Smith ft. Sza
10. 3005 x Childish Gambino
11. Lullaby x Chargaux
12. Two Weeks x FKA twigs
13. Touch x Shura
14. Wash it Away x Nahko and Medicine for the People

♥ Top 4 Mix Tapes:

♥ Best Albums of 2014:

  1. Music for the Uninvited - Leon Vynehall
    • St. Sinclaire
    • Be Brave, Clench Fist
  2. Nabuma Rubberband - Little Dragon
    • Pretty Girls
    • Klapp, Klapp
  3. Xscape - Michael Jackson
    • Chicago
    • Slave to the Rhythm
  4. Z - Sza
    • Warm Winds ft. Isaiah Rashad
    • Julia
  5. You're Dead! - Flying Lotus
    • Never Catch Me ft. Kendrick Lamar
    • Moment of Hesitation
  6. Cadillatica - Big K.R.I.T.
    • Pay Attention ft. Rico Love
    • Third Eye
  7. G I R L - Pharrell
    • Lost Queen
    • Gust of Wind
  8. Souled Out - Jhene Aiko
    • To Love & Die ft. Cocaine 80's
    • W.A.Y.S.
  9. Tough Love - Jessie Ware
    • Say You Love Me
    • Champagne Kisses
  10. Under Pressure - Logic
    • Alright ft. Big Sean
    • Metropolis 
  11. Jungle - Jungle
    • Lemonade Lake
    • Time (LXURY remix)
  12. Electrogram - Vinyl Theatre
    • Breaking Up My Bones
    • Gold
  13. Differentology - Bunji Garlin
    • Red Light District
    • Carnival Tabanca
  14. In the Lonely Hour - Sam Smith
    • Money On My Mind
    • Latch (acoustic)
What music was in your (y)ear in 2014? 


♥ @ChymereA
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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Self-Love ♡ Sundays | A Season to Thrive

Journal Entry: 12.22.14

We're a couple of days away from Christmas. I'm not exactly festive, but I'm not sad either. Maybe, I'm somewhere in between, and perhaps, not even mid-way. Whatever it is I'm feeling is calm, which is not always the case for me emotionally, so that's a good thing. Just sitting in bed daydreaming about 2015, a brand new cycle of 365 days that I'm pretty anxious to walk into. Optimistic about better days to come.

Today, I opened the happiness jar I started at the beginning of this year. A lot of memories were created in 2014 and reading these little notes to myself reminded me of how incredibly blessed I am. God has been so good and I can't even begin to thank Him/Her enough.

I want this next year to be my season to thrive and I mean that from the bottom of my soul. I cannot expect to transform into the woman I'm designed to be if I'm not making the necessary changes/adjustments first.  It's time to accelerate and get all these dreams off the ground and out of my head into reality. And considering I've only been surrounding myself with positive energy and people who genuinely want to see me win, the only thing stopping me from reaching higher levels is me. 

I am aware that I need to really push pass the self-sabotaging limitations of myself in order to really go after the things I want in life. No more talking, daydreaming, and/or sulking about what I don't have or what I could have done. All I'll ever have is the moments I'm given. God willing, I'll be blessed with opportunities to see many more new years and will find it in myself to truly live each one, always choosing happiness, health, love, creativity, and purpose over everything else. 

I feel like there is something-some kind of magical, magnetic power-that I'm not quite tapping into, but I'm on the brink of somehow reaching that place. I feel myself in the process of attracting beautiful things into my existence. I'm ready for the new year, but is the new year ready for me? Quite frankly, it has no other choice. 

Love always,
♡ // @ChymereA

Pearls of Wisdom: Life is honestly what you make it. We all go through things that make us question if happiness could ever truly be yours, but you must rise above those insecurities and moments of doubt and claim the happiness you deserve. Put in work, because no one is going to do it for you. You are the gateway to a better tomorrow; it's your choice to remain closed or open yourself up to all the wonderful things the universe has made available to you. 

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Committing to the self-love journey over the past 6 months on my blog has played a key role in my personal development and my plan is to continue to write through it. I've not only discovered so much about who I am, it's also taught me a lesson of vulnerability and allowing my scars to show. Although these have essentially been love notes to myself, I can only hope that I've inspired someone else along the way. Thank you so much for all the kind and encouraging words and for sending nothing but peace and positive energy my way as I share intimate pieces of my heart and take you on this journey with me. You will never know how much it means to have strangers who uplift you and whose spirits fill/feel you via a computer screen. To the loyal readers and the people who are simply passing through, I thank you for your on going presence and support. ♥ C.A.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Currently.

It's been a while since I've done a life updates kind of post and that's been my intention all year-at least the latter portion of it: to just keep quiet about things that are happening in my life and mindful of who I allow into my personal space. Privacy can get to be a foreign concept for this generation, especially bloggers, however there is definitely an art to being social without crossing any lines. Since the end of the year is here, I'd figure I'd come here and share what I'm currently up to, in a format inspired by Indie Byline.

♥ In Love with: love, life, and the infinite possibilities of both. 

♥ Obsessing over: finding a way out of my parents house. My living situation has been a pretty good experience; honestly, there aren't many things to complain about. It has allowed me the time and ability to save money, recollect my thoughts, and calculate my next steps, and I really appreciate all they've done for me since moving back home, but it's time...time for me to spread my wings and embrace adulthood. 

♥ Working On: getting my life together!!! But seriously, between apartment hunting, making sure tuition is covered for next semester, and planning a pretty epic voyage to the motherland [#Ghana2015], there's very little room to work on anything else right now, but I do try to squeeze as much in as possible. I have a few major projects I'll be picking back up in the coming months and hopefully launching before the end of 2015. Stay tuned!

Favorite Visual:  Growing up in a major U.S. city is always fun, because there are always hidden gems to be found over time. Although the area has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years, Little 5 Points has been one of my favorite spots to hang out in my hometown since high school days. It's filled with art, good vibes, and great memories for me personally, new and old. So as I was doing my normal shopping/perusing there recently, I noticed this graffiti art that read 'Trust your struggle.' As many times as I've been to this particular area, I've never recalled ever seeing it. Such a powerful message that resonated with me deeply and incredible timing as well.

♥ Music [favorite sounds]: Flowers x Nujabes

Anticipating :  celebrating NYE with a relatively new group of friends. I'm all about bringing in the New Year on a positive note and surrounding one's self with good energy, so I'm pretty excited about what we have planned.

Watching:  Honestly, I haven't had time to watch much TV. I'm literally behind on everything. I've heard a lot about a show running on Netflix called Don't Trust the B**** in Apt. B, which I just so happen to think is a pretty ironic title, so maybe I'll get into that some over the holidays.

♥ Reading : Sad to say, I haven't been reading much lately either. However, I do have a few books on my radar, including:
  1. 'Deathless' by: Cathervnne M. Valente
  2. 'Coconut' by: Kopano Matlwa
  3. 'Americanah' by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

♥ Favorite Words:  Trust Your Struggle. I absolutely believe I saw that in plain view, as bold as day, for a reason.

♥ Thinking about: What am I NOT thinking about is the better question, but I guess what stands out the most is live a happy, healthy, beautiful, worry/stress/drama-free lifestyle full of love, purpose, and creativity. Also thinking about the small, consistent steps I'll need to take in the upcoming year that will, essentially, lead me to where I want to be.

Dreaming Of: how much can happen in a year. I look forward to this new cycle of 365 days, yet remembering to remain as present as possible. Hopefully, there will be more gains than losses, more happy times than sad, more love than hate, etc. in the coming year.  In retrospect, this year has been fairly descent to me. I learned so much about myself and the world around me. Good and bad days have passed and I sense that better days are coming, even better than the best days I've had thus far. Optimistic. 

What is life like for you currently??

♥ //  @ChymereA
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Self-Love ♡ Sundays | Sometimes Ambitious

We are all aiming to live an exceptional life, even though our paths to achieving such a life vary. It's in my human nature to wonder if I'm going about life the right way; I believe we all do, which is why the self-help industry in any shape or form continues to capitalize its way through pop culture. Despite all the guides and insight available on how to live life, at some point, we have to figure out for ourselves what success means. For one group, it is a rat race, all competing with one another to attain a certain status and/or level of success. For another group, it's creating opportunities for themselves and following their own bliss. For both, it's a matter of searching for life's peak and attempting to reach ones highest potential. Although I have nothing against people in the first cluster, I absolutely consider myself to be intertwined with the latter.  

The dream chasers. The ones who will stop at nothing to get there, but often times have no clue where to start or how to make the best of what they have in this moment to make things happen...and I'm a huge advocate for making things happen. However, I found myself at a crossroads again, drained from running towards my goals at full speed, and suddenly, not knowing which way to turn or if I should turn at all. I came to a place where I knew the dreams embedded in my heart weren't exactly a stretch of the imagination anymore, but they felt so far away at the same time, therefore the chase became exhausting and I almost lost sight of them. 

One thing I've learned from being in this mind space is how important it is to be in alignment with the things I want. I can't pray for something if my actions are working against whatever it is I'm praying for, but then expect it to manifest.  In that regard, I have to meet God half-way and not expect the universe to do all the work for me. Now I know, in retrospect, to keep my vision clear and plain view, because any time you want something bad enough, it's hard to not keep going. 

I've noticed-in my experiences and that of others-it doesn't pay off to be sometimes ambitions-to sometimes want to be successful or to sometimes want to live a beautiful life-because those sometimes moments always turn into prolonged periods of laziness for most people. In other words, go hard or go home. This is what separates the doers from the dreamers; if you stay in dreamland too long, you'll eventually lose hope in dreams ever coming true. I never want to get to that place.

In a previous [self] love letter, I've written about perception and the realization of ones potential, but this is about knowing what to do once the mental part is resolved. This is about staying disciplined and continuing to go after a dream fearlessly, even in moments of doubt and perspiration. The crossroads are presented to teach us a lesson, not to create an obstacle, at least not one that's impossible to conquer. 

Pearls for the Day:  The law of attraction has a lot to do with movement, not just affirming words and pretty pictures. Imagine the thought of you being granted everything you work for! With that in mind, understand that manifestation involves action. Don't stop at the crossroads to question if you're doing the right thing or not. Just keep moving forward and trust that wherever you roam will lead you somewhere wonderful. 

♡ // @ChymereA


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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Music Collective: vol. 19 {The December Mix Tape}

Lately, I've been wanting to create positive energy in the atmosphere and just vibe. Deep down in side, I've also been missing the on again/off again love affair I have with the keys, so with that lingering desire to reconcile, I've been gravitating towards piano-centric melodies as well. Surprisingly enough, I'm pretty much over typical Christmas tunes; they're everywhere. The mellow mood I've literally been in for months musically inspired me to curate today's play list, The December Mix Tape.



+ For more hand picked selections from my personal music collection, browse the archives H E R E. +

    ♥ // @ChymereA
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    Saturday, December 6, 2014

    Lofty Dreams

    'Grungy Skyline' | Original Photography by: Chymere Anais
    Have you ever just fallen in love with a place-whether that place is mental or physical-solely based on the vibes and good energy you receive from simply being there? 

    I believe all dreams come with a certain level of compromise as far as what someone is willing to sacrifice in order to make it happen. For instance, I've always envisioned myself living in an antique kind of urban loft, with it's own kind of charm, character, and stunning architectural details. In my mind, it was one that stood out as residential construction, but is nestled quietly in the heart of a breath-taking skyline of a city I will love forever. Finding one that fits all my mental details and budget makes the reality of that dream coming true feel closer than ever. The only stipulation is sharing that space with another person. 

    When I first began the apartment hunting process, not having a roommate was something I was pretty headstrong about. Now, I'm forced to question what it is I'm giving up in order to bring this one dream to life and the conclusion in my mind is privacy, as well as shared responsibility. However, after discussing the pros and cons what could possibly happen in friendship and money matters with my prospective roommate, we came to a mutual conclusion; that the outcome may very well be a positive experience for both of us, so the potential of beauty outweighed fear of the opposite. 

    Needless to say, we both have found an oasis that we both absolutely love. All in due season, I'm certain we'll have the joy of knowing it's officially ours to call home. We'll just have to learn to really be patient during the process and not let anxiety ruin a potentially great opportunity. 

    What have you been daydreaming about lately?



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    Tuesday, November 25, 2014

    Louder Than Words (Justice for...All, Pt. II)

    When I first heard the news, my heart fell to the bottom of my chest. Once again, justice did not prevail. Images of hurt, fearful nation flashed on the television. A lawless country at war erupted right before my eyes and all I could see was a dismantled reenactment of The Purge. I felt hopeless. What now? 

    Trying to ignore the pain, the horror, the utter distaste in my mouth, I continued business as usual the next day, but I knew it wouldn't be long before the opportunity to speak up resurfaced.  Even though a fire was lit on my insides, I didn't want to say anything out of anger. I didn't want to get into the endless, recycled debates about the problem(s) at hand; I only wanted to be apart of the solution. I wanted to DO something.

    As expected, the chance to educate presented itself in my workplace. I went with that gut tug and started a conversation among a diverse group of young athletes, all looking at me for some sort of guidance. Their eyes were so full of wonder and hope. They waited patiently for me to speak and probably not expecting what was coming.  

    It was overwhelming to discover how many of them were unaware. Breaking down the events surrounding Mike Brown was important enough for me to risk losing my job, because they needed to know. They are the leaders of tomorrow and how can they reshape the world we live in without knowing what is taking place? Slowly, but surely, I watched the hopefulness fade from their stares, semi-crushed, feeling like I stole pieces of their innocence. As much as it hurt me, I knew I did the right thing.  

    I do apologize for stealing your rose colored goggles. 

    I said all that to say: you are not as helpless as you think you are. Social media is a powerful tool, but it's not enough to just sit on our soapbox all day and pretend to be activist. Public protest is an awesome way to allow you voice to be heard, but there are more effective ways to seek the necessary attention. It begins with educating yourself and passing that knowledge on to others, especially the youth. I've researched ways we can all be the change we seek and put in the effort to implement justice in a system that constantly fails us. 

    1. Write letters regarding your concerns to the Ferguson Police Department: 
    222 S. Florissant Road
    Ferguson, MO 63135

     Ph: 314-522-3100
    Fx: 314-524-5290

    2. Donate to the Bail and Legal Fund for Those Arrested During Ferguson Anti-Police Demonstrations

    3. Tell Congress: no more weapons of war for local police.

    4. Contact Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal 
    201 W Capitol Ave., Rm. 330 
    Jefferson City, Missouri 65101 
    O: (573) 751-4106 
    F: (573) 751-0467

    5. Contact the Missouri House of Representatives 
    201 West Capitol Avenue Room 116-5
    Jefferson City MO 65101 
    Phone: 573-751-0855

    6. Send your support and love to the family of Mike Brown: 
    via: NAACP

    7. Start your own movement.
    We are the generation of dreamers, artist, creators, influencers where the brilliance of technology and innovation is only getting better. How can you use your talents and influence to help steer people in a positive direction? What can you do to contribute the the solution?

    Surely, there are other ways to be apart of the solution. There is so much you can do, so much you can find to do through mediums such as Google. Every action you take matters. Every tweet, blog post, status, etc. matters. Never think you are too small or insignificant to enact or provoke change. Above all, we need to pray and to put our faith in God (a higher power than ourselves), rather than world systems and men. 

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    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    Self-Love ♡ Sundays | An Act of Release

    Despite how freeing it is to finally let go of something, it's not always a speedy process. It may take some people longer than others to get to a place in their existence where the hurt, pain, damage, etc. is just not worth holding on to anymore. We are all so infatuated with time, that we allow the time to pass while we're complaining about it. The point, though, is not to keep track of the time, but to take the time to heal in spite of it. 

    For example, I spent years, literally, blaming a particular person for the damage they caused, for "ruining my ability to love". Even when I thought I moved on, when no one was watching, I would mull over the things that went wrong and what I could have done differently.  I created this ideal image of what happened within our involvement with one another to avoid facing the cold, hard reality. The most significant part was looking in the mirror and realizing the role I played in allowing one person to have that much control over my mind and emotions. No one should have that much power over you. 

    Then one day, I craved closure. Not only was the previously mention situation still haunting me in a way, it was creating a blockage that wasn't fair to the person I'm currently building with.  This is not to imply that moving on always requires [direct] closure, but it was absolutely necessary for me personally. 

    I remembered a message I wrote that was saved on my notes app that pretty much said (in nicer language, of course), "Good-bye and have a nice life"; waiting for me to release it to who it was intended for. Every now in then, I'd read it and prayed for the day where I was courageous enough to mean what was said, but it just sat there, because I wanted my words to hold weight. I kept thinking to myself, especially during moments when I saw all the goodness happening right in front of my face, 'Girl. Let it go.'  So on this particular day, I decided it was time.

    Self-love is a continuous process and often times, quite challenging, so I continue to write through it. Hoping my mess message will make a difference in someone else's life. Writing a letter is the best way I've ever known how to express myself. I sent the note as an act of release and I was taken back by my own bravery. Seeing that he did indeed read it was such a relief, which was even more of a surprise to me (I thought I would be hurt by the lack of response, but I really wasn't affected at all, to be honest). And let me just say from this and many other experiences, letting go of something that you've been holding on to in vain has to be one of the most liberating feelings in the world. 

    Pearls of Wisdom: It's all a matter of finding forgiveness in your heart, distributing it out to anything/anyone that hinders joy, growth, or inner peace, and not worrying that your compassion will somehow deplete the more you give it away. To forgive others is to heal self. Forgive others so that you are able to move forward without negativity pulling you backwards. 




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    Sunday, November 16, 2014

    City Finds | Sun in my Belly + Beyond

    Girl time is so vital to life. It's nice to not only find a friend to who seems to float on the same wavelength as you most days, but to also make efforts to connect and spend time with people I care about. Friday was spent exploring the city with Sheriden, one of my favorite individuals to be around.  I'm so appreciative of the connection we've had since day one and the fact that it's bloomed into a healthy friendship of value and mutual respect. 

    The day started with brunch at Sun in My Belly Cafe in Mid-town Atlanta, a first time experience for both of us. With its rustic decor, industrial loft aesthetics, and pleasant customer service, this place stole my heart as soon as we walked in the door. I ordered the Challah french toast with a Brussels sprout slaw side dish and was pleased to know the food was equally amazing. 

    After leaving the brunch spot, we began the apartment hunt, which was the sole intent of our outing. Because I'm not sure how much information I'm permitted to share at this point, I'll save the details on that subject matter for later. Working up an appetite once again, we stopped for fast food and continued our adventures in Little 5 Points, perusing the thrift and record stores in the area.  

    By the end of the night, we impulsively decided to meet up with one of her friends to catch a late night movie. Beyond the Lights was the movie of choice, which wasn't one that I ever intended on seeing in theaters, however, I'm so glad I did. It was an awesome movie with such a beautiful message, and in retrospect, I definitely think it's a movie worth paying to see.

    It was a great start to the weekend and the epitome of an epic day (because life is meant to be epic), full of love, laughter, adventures, and all around good vibes. These are the kind of days I live for. 

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    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    Music Collective: vol. 18 {Dreams are Made For Two}


    Not only is this a completely captivating record, the sound is mastered so well with such a beautiful vibe, which is very typical of +FE. Adding the lovely Carlitta Durand on the vocals was icing on the cake. My love for this song has recently been resurrected and heightened by a certain individual in my life, so, lyrically, it resonates on a more personal level for me now. Whether you're in like, in love, a combination of both, or simply someone who appreciates good music, you'll definitely love this track, a sound you can easily get lost in. Enjoy your jam session! 

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    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    Look Book | Refined Sunflower

    Refined Sunflower


    This outfit works well for an all inclusive, post-date-meet-the-parents type of evening. Something classy, but not conservative. Black is a staple color in my wardrobe, but let's add a pop of color to show the bright side of my personality. Feminine, but casual. Nails painted neutral/soft pearl-like color. Keep jewelry simple; nothing gaudy.  Viola! It's expressive and bold, but not obnoxious, a relatively toned down look for a wildflower, who is as free as a bird without caging said individual into a claustrophobic box, constructed by society's rules of being a lady.

    What do you think? How would you have styled this ensemble differently?

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    Friday, November 7, 2014

    November Goals

    Image found via tumblr.

    The year is almost over and flown by at light speed. 2014 has been so unexpectedly wonderful and although I'm constantly learning to be present enough to take it all in, I can't help but to be excited for the holidays, as well as the upcoming year.

    In retrospect, it's been a pretty successful year. I kept my goals coming into this year pretty simple and was able to accomplish so much more, so that's going to be the underlining mission from now on when it comes to goal setting: Keep it simple
    1. Exercise daily and be mindful of my eating habits, even on the weekends. For the most part, I eat pretty descent during the week, but for whatever reason, as soon as the weekend hits, I just stop caring. I'll get better.
    2. Finish the semester strong. It's been challenging, but I have to keep going. It will all pay off one day. Not a debate.
    3. Apply to be apart of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
    4. Maintain zen. Protect my peace. Stay balanced. These may all seem like 3 separate goals, but I believe they all essentially work together.
    5. Try not to over-think every little thing. Some things are actually designed to happen organically. Allow.
    6. Pick back up on reading. Commit to reading, at least, one book this month and 2 in December.
    7. Make more of an effort to spend time with the people I care about. 
    8. Do something exhilarating to get the adrenaline pumping, like go cart racing or running a full mile to a twerk play list without slowing down the pace. (laughing out loud at "Twerk Play List" terminology)
    My goals for this month pretty much align with what I've been doing to stay focused this past year or so. I don't want to make a long list of unfulfilled promises, but I do want to continue to make progress towards the bigger picture. While it's good to be driven, it's also important to take baby steps and celebrate the small victories too, as I emphasized in a previous Self-Love ♡ Sundays post, so we'll see how this goes!

    On a scale of 1-10, how has your year been?
    What are some of your goals for November??

    - ♥ Chymere A. 
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    Sunday, November 2, 2014

    Self-Love ♡ Sundays | Perception.

    As we all know from basic physical science that potential is the possibility of a thing, while kinetic is the action and force behind the realization of potential. A brick can potentially shatter a glass mirror, distort and reshape whatever image it holds completely, but not without force or action. A woman can reshape whatever image she holds in her mind, but not without force or action.  

    In our lives, we can sense and differentiate between when something is stagnant and when something is moving. Sometimes we see it in literal forms, most times we can't. Even subconsciously, we are able to recognize when something shifts from one state to another. It doesn't matter if we decide to adapt accordingly or if we try with all our might to resist, the change is still happening, because change is inevitable. 

    For a long period of time, I felt stuck. I reached this chateau in life and didn't know how to manipulate my environment to how I saw fit.  Now, if I made the decision back then to trust God and be still, I wouldn't wreck my brain trying to control the circumstances, but...I'll get back to that.  The point is, I was stagnant. I couldn't move, I couldn't decide on anything, and because my vision was so clouded with what was happening in my immediate view, I didn't understand my purpose of being there. My mind wasn't in the right place, so everything I did to try to change my situation was null and void, pretty much. So I wallowed and cried and imprisoned myself with indecision.

    Then I gave up. In an almost sudden movement, Instead of trying to push and question my placement, I prayed for peace. I surrendered control and learned to hold myself accountable for certain things. I decided that my might alone wasn't strong enough. That's when the shift happened, or at least that's when I noticed shift was happening all along. That's when the universe began to show me things and construct doors that weren't there before. The changes that took place were so beyond anything I could've imagined for myself and that deserted chateau became something else. I was now on a beach, surrounded by beauty and positive energy. It was like magic. Anyone can reshape whatever image she holds in her mind, but not without force or action. 

    God stepped in and transformed my mind, open my heart, and made me not only realize the power within me (Exodus 9:16), but also the power of perception (Ecclesiastes 2:14). By the way, I don't mean to preach here, just sharing my story, testimony, whatever you want to call it. To divert to more scientific terminology for all my logical thinkers reading, American sculptor, Horatio Greenough, phrased it best:

    "Whether it be the sweeping eagle in his flight, or the open apple-blossom, the toiling work-horse, the blithe swan, the branching oak, the winding stream at its base, the drifting clouds, over all the coursing sun, form ever follows function, and this is the law. Where function does not change, form does not change...It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law."

    Form follows function is a commonly used phrase in most S.T.E.M. based courses in academia, so I don't know how much more proof is needed to convey just how powerful the unseen (energy, mental capacity, force, etc.) is and for God to bless us with all this power when he created us never fails to amaze me. 

    Pearls of the day: I challenge you upon reading this, to relinquish your need to control; to understand that there is a higher force working on your behalf. Nothing is as bad as you perceive it to be. You are there for a reason. You are here, on earth, for a purpose. Even if you believe in the Big Bang theory, just think of how the stars are placed in the sky. You are made in the image of a divine creator and there is nothing more phenomenal than that. 

    ♡ // Chymere Anais

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    Friday, October 31, 2014

    Chymere A. Loves in...October 2014

    October has been an exceptional month, full of unforgettable moments, new adventures, and no complaints. At Page 304 of 365, I can honestly say that I've accomplished so much with still more time left to fulfill the few goals I have yet to touch.

    ♥ Music:

    • Songs: Fantasy x Alina Baraz & Galimatias | Talk About It x Erik Hassle [both tracks featured on The October Mixtape no. III]
    • Album(s): Anomaly x Lecrae  | Tough Love x Jessie Ware

    ♥ Beauty:

    ♥ Tech:


    ♥ On the WWW:

    • For someone who literally craves a physical beach all the time, even in her dreams, this article written by Zadie Smith gave me an entirely new and rather refreshing perspective, which is something I greatly appreciate when I'm reading other people's thoughts. Her explanation of "...A reality shaped around your own desires..." was award-winning, along with the writing itself. In honesty, it made me want to move to Manhattan, but then I realized I may have missed the entire point, so I read it again...and again...one more time, then bookmarked to read later.  I believe I finally understood what she meant by Find Your Beach.
    • Reading the beautiful articles from GG's Layers to Self-Discovery Tour had me in a positive mindset all month long and I was so honored to participate and be apart of such an amazing group of writers.
    • Thanks to Urban Bush Babes for introducing The Line Up, a collection of super dope street style photos captured by Photographer: Anka Itskovich // IG: @the_line_up
    • YouTube Channel: Life with the Logans {via Vicky Logan}


    ♥ Miscellaneous:

    • Food: Why am I just learning that the Rice Crispy treats at Starbucks are amaze-balls? I'll take that with a Salted Caramel Mocha frappuccino, please | Desserts at Café Intermezzo in Mid-town Atlanta
    • Shows: Gotham | American Horror Story binge will commence today, for the sake of Halloween *says a prayer*
    • Candle: Pumpkin pie candle from Walmart
    • The new journal that I recently purchased from Home Goods. My current journal is coming to a close and I can't wait to begin writing in a new one
    What have you been loving in the month of October?

    - ♥ Chymere A.

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    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    Christmas Wish List 2014

    Christmas Wish List 2014


    It's no secret that my mind automatically switches to fall/winter mode as soon as fall officially hits. The excitement for Christmas time starts to boil unreasonably early for me. Maybe I love the season so much, because when Christmas Eve finally gets here, it's all over so fast...or maybe, I'm just a crazy nut who is utterly obsessed with the holiday itself. The lights. The festivities. The smells. The coziness of cold outside/warm inside. If I'm crazy, then so be it, because I absolutely love it all.

    Naturally, my head is already in the clouds about the most wonderful time of year, discussing plans with my loved ones, brainstorming everything from how I'm going to decorate my living space to what I wish to do to. I also think of ways to make it a special holiday for someone else, because it ruins the purpose if I'm selfish. In the same breath, I'v always kept with the tradition of creating a Christmas wish list, just in case anyone in my life is feeling a little generous; no pressure. Even if I don't get anything on this list, a girl can dream, right?

    With that being said, I now present my 2014 Christmas Wish List:
    1. Crosley X Portable Record Players: "Girl, put your records on!" It's weird that I've been collecting vinyls since the 90's and never owned my own turn table (I just used my dad's.) This has been on my radar for forever, seems like, and I believe this year will finally be the year for it to be in my possession, even if I have to treat myself. It's about that time. 
    2. Chance by Chanel: This scent is my holy grail, my signature fragrance. Such a beautiful aromatic touch for a lady like myself. My Grandma, who swears by Chanel no. 5, always used to tell me, "Ladies wear Chanel." Noted. 
    3. MARC by MARC JACOBS watch: For this particular item, any watch is welcomed. For those of you who aren't aware, I've recently began watch collecting that I hope to grow significantly over the years. 
    4. Samsung NX3000: This camera is sweet! I've been meaning to step my technology game up and this would be a step in that direction. Also, I just really miss photography and am ready to get back to it on a larger scale. 
    5. MF DOOM 'Operation Dooms Day' cassette box set: My vinyl collection continues because of this obsession with a time I didn't even exist in. However, when it comes to cassette tapes? Talk about childhood nostalgia at it's finest. Pretty soon, I'll be discussing my resurrected love for MF Doom on a Music Collective post. Wait for it. 
    6. H&M Shoulder Bag: I'm not one of those girls who owns a ton of bags nor do I feel like that many are necessary, but this would be a nice one for my day-to-day needs, especially on school days. 
    7. Zara Riding Boots: Although I am one of those girls who can never have too many shoes, I don't actually own that many shoes. A new pair of winter boots are long overdue.  
    That pretty much sums it up, pretty reasonable list compared to the ones I've conjured previously. What's on your Christmas Wish List this year? 

    - ♥ Chymere Anais



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    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    Music Collective: vol. 17 {The October Mix Tape, no. III}

    As the leaves begin to change and the weather stays cool throughout the day, my mood has been relaxed for the most part, therefore, my go-to musical selections for the month of October have created a pretty chill background ambiance that I absolutely love. I don't know what it is about this time of year that just completely mellows me out, but I welcome whatever it is with open arms each and every time. 

    What have I been listening to non-stop as of lately, you ask? First, to set the mood, prepare a Vanilla Chai Tea Latte for yourself. This should only take about 10-15 minutes. Then, light a warmly scented candle, cuddle up on your favorite part of the sofa, and take a listen to no. III of The October Mix Tape trilogy: 

    ♥ Chymere A.


    no. III:

    1. Fantasy x Alina Baraz & Galimatias
    2. Talk About It x Erik Hassle ft. Vic Mensa
    3. Pretty Thoughts x Alina Baraz & Galimatias
    4. Make You Feel x Alina Baraz & Galimatias
    5. I'm in Like x Raphael Saadiq
    6. Ordinary Heart x Emily King
    7. Lullaby x Chargaux ft. Soft Glas
    8. I See Fire x Ed Sheeran (Kygo rmx)
    9. Goddess x Banks
    10. Feelin the Vibe x Chaira Noriko
    11. Respect x The Decoders ft. Mara Hruby & Van Hunt
    12. City Lights x Brett Bixby
    13. Suburbs x Mr. Little Jeans
    14. Life of Eve x Babel ft. Lapsley (Tulpa rmx)
    15. Names and Races x Foreign Fields
    16. Afro Blue x Robert Glasper ft. Erykah Badu, Phonte (9th Wonder's Blue Light Basement rmx)
    17. Another Time x City of the Sun
    18. Save Yourself First x Chance the Rapper, SoX
    19. Sunset x The Internet ft. Yuna
    20. Drunk in Love (Weeknd rmx) x The Weeknd

    + For more hand-picked music selections, browse through the archives H E R E. +

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    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Self-Love ♡ Sundays | No Rush

    Have you ever looked back in photo albums and wish you took more pictures? Sometimes, nostalgia does that to people like me. I'd smile at the memories, so clear and vivid, but still left feeling like I could have captivated more of those fleeting moments that are forgotten with age. Although it's not always as vital to be behind the camera as it is to just be, there are chances and tools [to capture more photographs] that we allow to slip away into the abyss, never to be reconciled with again.

    A large percentage of our lives are spent rushing to the finish line, anxious for "the next big thing" to happen. When we're 11, we can't wait to officially be a teenager. When we're 16 we can't wait to be 18, and so forth. Instead of absorbing moments for what they really are, our minds are fixated on future (non-existent) ones. At last, we find ourselves at that golden hour we've anticipated, helplessly wondering where time went and contemplating what's next.  

    Between the goal and the idea realized, there is so much substance hanging in the balance that we miss chasing the final result. Waiting is a game of opportunity; it's perfect time to grow, improve, build, but most importantly, it's a time to really be present and enjoy the process of dreams happening. I strongly believe that the individuals who learn to smile during the wait are happier and are more at peace within themselves and whatever circumstances they may face. And the chief aim of this journey of self-love is to be more at peace within /outside of myself. 

    Great things come to those who work hard with good hearts, humble spirits, and who are patient enough to trust the process.”[original quote]

    Pearls of the Day: Practice patience. Don't be so anxious for the end result of things. Try to remember that everything that is supposed to happen will happen and waiting period doesn't necessarily mean idle. Trust the process, learn more, keep growing, and build up to that point.

    ♡ // Chymere Anais
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    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    In Love With Your Rhythm

    In Love With Your Rhythm (A Compilation of Love Haikus)

    we are a garden
    the green plants are more vivid
    rooted in good soil

    your love for me blooms
    proves faint prayers matter too
    it reflects God's sun

    just your existence
    gives me energy unmatched
    perils can't touch me

    strategic movements
    tore down heart walls and guards for
    love overflowing

    with you by my side
    dark clouds are replaced by days
    abundant with bliss

    you are where my words
    feel so uninhibited
    here my art is safe

    my ears to your chest
    thankful for stars aligning
    for time spent with you

    your heart's trumpets sound
    the same way I imagine
    heaven's orchestra

    lost in the tempo
    careful to not lose senses
    so familiar with  you

    I press in closer
    silently wishing God would
    make time move slower

    after all these years
    in love with your rhythm still
    keep growing deeper

    thank you for being
    someone whose love anchors me
    together we fly

    ♥ // @ChymereA

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    Saturday, October 11, 2014

    Music Collective: vol. 16 {Tell the World}


    "...Can’t quench ya’ love, they can’t separate us from the love of God, there’s no estimate
    My face look the same, my frame ain’t rearranged, but I’m changed; I promise I ain’t the same
    Your love’s so deep you suffered and took pain, you died on the cross to give me a new name..."
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    Friday, October 10, 2014

    E is for Epic (Life is Meant to Be Epic, part II)

    This post is part of The Layers of Self-Discovery Tour created by GG Renee of All the Many Layers.  Follow the tour through the blogs of 26 women exploring the complexities of womanhood and self-discovery from A to Z.  Click here to keep up with each post and enter to win a giveaway package full of goodies for your mind, body and soul.   
    #LayersAtoZTour
    -----------------------------------------------------------


    When most of us think of the word epic, there’s a part of us that are both intimidated and excited about this level we have yet to reach in our lives. I can recall a time where the word was a symbol of some grandiose reward at the end of a tunnel, after all the sweat, tears, and sacrifice of chasing dreams have finally paid off. Until that day came, I wasn’t exactly able to channel my brains to think of that word when someone asks, “How’s life?” The retort was typically automatically generated based on the level of familiarity with the person inquiring. However, when was the last time you dared to respond, “Life is epic,” and actually meant it?

    Epic.

    Recently, I’ve challenged myself to reevaluate the topic of what it means to be epic. This 4 letter structure holds so much weight, and lately, had been dancing wildly in the fires of my mind. As the days passed by, I desired to experience this foreign concept, forbidden from everyday vernacular, on a deeper level, yet, clarity had not yet manifested. I wanted to know the word first-hand, beyond knowing it just for the sake of writing about it; to fall asleep and awake to the feel of its touch. But every night there was a void, because I still couldn’t fixate my mouth to say that life is epic and actually mean it.

    …And one day, it just happened, much like love, appearing at my doorstep unexpectedly.

    Now I know that to truly understand something-anything- requires a mental shift. It’s opening our hearts to the endless possibilities, rather than dwelling on circumstances and negativity, and to hold tightly to those moments that make one thankful to be alive. Living an epic life is finding purpose in each day, love in each soul, and bliss in every adventure. It’s feeling the sunrises/sunsets as they come and learning to appreciate the storms equally. Although the concept is still fairly new to me, every day I wake up with the intention to live on purpose that particular day, to maximize the 24 hours ahead of me the best way I know how, and not waste valuable time worrying about a future time that hasn’t arrived, has already passed, or the things I cannot control.

    Life becomes epic when we are fully aware that every breath is a blessing, that being alive is a choice, not a coincidence, and that the universe will open doors when our minds are in the right place, and not a moment sooner. Ask yourself ‘Is my life epic?’ and if the answer is no, go out and live! The choice is yours.

    -Chymere A.
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    Monday, October 6, 2014

    Monday Motivation | Live Your Dream


    I am convinced that my mom is like Storm and has this uncanny power to sense my emotions, or at least the shift in my normal patterns, enough to provoke some sort of change in them. Some people call it a mother's instinct, but I'd like to think of it as a super power, gifted only to the chosen few and she has it down to an Omniscience. She sent this video to me in the midst of me not feeling so confident about the goals I placed in front of myself, without me expressing those feelings to her. And I listened to it a few times and meditated on the message for a while, because it was definitely something I needed to hear, especially in that moment. 

     Many times, the journey to achieving your goals and living your dreams can seem like the hardest thing in the world. In those dark moments when your dreams seem too far away to touch, it's easy to cave in. The worst part about being in that place, I think, is attracting the negativity that's only feeding into that self-doubt. If you ever get to that point, just know that you are closer than you think you are; it's all a matter of continuing to push forward and refusing to cave in. Every now and then, you're lucky enough to stumble across things that motivate you to pull yourself out of that dark place and continue the journey with your head held high. 

    - ♥ Chymere Anais
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    Saturday, October 4, 2014

    Life is Meant to Be Epic

    Lately, I've been feeling like something is missing. And without it-whatever it may be-life just seems so...lackluster. I don't think it reflects how grateful I am for the things I do have nor how happy I currently am, but it's extremely difficult to ignore the frustration of trying to figure out what I need do-in this moment- in order to make life taste better. Because of this void, it is throwing everything else off. Maybe I'm experiencing some sort of quarter-life crisis for the first time. Whether it's a subconscious trick of the mind or my life is really as dull as it seems, I know something needs to shift soon. 

    Only naturally, I began to compare my journey to the highlight reel of others. Friday nights would be spent laying in bed, browsing endlessly through social media, watching all these amazing things happen for my family members, friends and associates, and sending out congratulatory wishes with "green eyes". Little by little, I drowned myself in my own misery and convinced myself that certain circumstances were holding me back, rather than me taking responsibility for limiting myself. 

    Note to self: The ally to emptiness is comparison and feeds the depression, so stop.

    Earlier this summer, marked the beginning of a new era in my life. The phrase has a nice ring to it, makes for a respectable tagline as well. However, I wanted it to represent a new way of thinking.  I wrote that out with the intention of making it stand for something beyond blogging; I wanted to create the life of my dreams by living something worth writing about every single day. Apparently, I have been doing something wrong or, perhaps, nothing at all. 

    Although I'm still sorting through the logistics of what I'm supposed to be doing, ultimately, shift is completely dependent on the actions I'm taking to make it happen.  It takes more than a hash-tag for thoughts to manifest, for life to unfold into this a beautiful existence to be proud of. Life is meant to be EPIC; full of love, bliss, adventures, new experiences, and moments that make us feel alive and liberated. Now is the time to put all this knowledge of how it should be to practice. Now is the time to do more than write out the phrase live beautifully, accompanied by a hash-tag; it is time to live beautifully too. 

    ♥ Chymere A.

    + This is a (to be continued...) post. Stay tuned for details about where you will be able to find Pt. II! +


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    Thursday, October 2, 2014

    Music Collective: vol. 15 {The October Mix Tape}


    Hello, October!

    I'm so excited for your arrival. You're such a calm, reassuring month. As soon summer is over, my mind automatically making plans for the two of us. Deep down in my heart, I wish I lived somewhere with a colder climate year round, because 81 degrees in October is a bit disappointing; I've become antsy waiting for your cool breeze to float by.

    Your presence is the first sign of Christmas in my eyes. I know it's a tad bit early, but I'm already anxiously waiting for it. Maybe, it's because when Christmas finally gets here, it's all over so fast, therefore,  I try to enjoy the coziness of said season for as long as possible...or maybe, I'm just a crazy nut who is utterly obsessed with the holiday itself. The lights. The festivities. The smells. The climate of cold outside/warm inside. If I'm crazy, then so be it, because I absolutely love it all.

    However, this is not about Christmas; this is all about you: The beginning of college homecoming season, and the prime time of a popular American sport, where Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays are dedicated to football. On the nights that I just want to cuddle up with hot tea, a blanket, and music in the background, these are the songs I'll listen to, which reminds me that tomorrow is Friday and I finally get a chance to relax.  

    Can't wait to experience all the wonderful things you have in store.

    ♥ Chymere A.

    Ps- Hope you enjoy the compilation!!



    no. I: 

    1. Water Under Bridges x Gregory Porter
    2. Rescue x Yuna
    3. Depth of My Soul x Thievery Corporation ft. Shana Halligan 
    4. Like Real People Do x Hozier
    5. Hey x King
    6. Turn Your Lights Down Low x Lauryn Hill ft. Damien Marley
    7. W.A.Y.S. x Jhene Aiko
    8. One Great Mystery x Lady Antebellum
    9. Enchantment x Corinne Bailey Rae
    10. Tuxedo x Cold War Kids
    11. Two Weeks x FKA Twigs
    12. Touch x Shura
    13. Say You Love Me x Jessie Ware
    14. By Your Side x Sade
    15. Latch x Sam Smith

    no. II: 

    1. Dexterity x John Coltrane
    2. Elegant Soul x Gene Harris & The Three Sounds
    3. Body and Soul x Thelonious Monk
    4. 5 am x Herb Alpert
    5. Turnaround x Charlie Haden
    6. Teach Me Tonight x Erroll Garner
    7. Silk x Rick Braun
    8. Midnight Blue x Kevin Toney
    9. If I Could Fly x Vincent Ingala


    + For more hand-picked music selections, browse through the archives H E R E. +
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