Sunday, September 28, 2014

Monthly Faves | September 2014 + Blog Recap

It's a little bizarre that tomorrow will be October...already. Midterms, colleges' homecoming season, and election day are right around the corner and it's finally starting to feel like autumn outside. Every year around this time, I have to take a moment to reflect on how fast time flies. The end of the year never fails to catch me off guard, even though I know it's coming. Nonetheless, I'm excited about the season and how beautiful this year turned out to be, thus far, despite the few hiccups. 

♥ Books + Shows:
  • Favorite book read in September: Purple Hibiscus by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Currently reading: Blame by: Michelle Huneven
  • Show: Gotham, Mondays at 8pm on Fox  
♥ Music:
  • Concert: OutkastATLast surpassed my already wild expectations. Experiencing all this good music in the middle of the illuminated Centennial Olympic Park, with phenomenal weather, I couldn't have thought of a better setting, even if I tried. On top of that, I was surrounded by beautiful people good vibes all around.  I wasn't heavily concerned with capturing photos and videos, because I was honestly in a zone, taking it all in. 
  • Albums: When Big K.R.I.T. drops a new mix tape and announces 11.11.14 as the official release date for his upcoming album, Cadillactica, I'm a happy camper. See Me On Top: vol. 4 is basically preparation for the Pay Attention tour (November 15th. Atlanta, GA. Yes, I will be in attendance). | 
  • Yesterday, Prince dropped two new albums, Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum, one being his 34th solo LP and the other premiering as the debut album of his new band, 3rd Eye Girl. The purchase of these two will definitely happen in the next couple of weeks, as homage to my very first vinyl, which was Prince's 1999 and gifted to me on my 10th birthday (fun fact about C.)
  • Last, but certainly not lease, Ne-yo's new album, None Fiction, is scheduled to release today. Other than me just being a fan, in interviews, he talks about getting back to the classic, pre-pop R&B era, so I'm anticipating what's in store in that aspect. 
  • Song: i x Kendrick Lamar. Bae did that! 
♥ Beauty:
  • To explain the gorgeous lingerie shot, most girls of color have struggled with finding the perfect nude. That is why Nubian Skin Lingerie is an absolutely brilliant concept! And the models are absolutely gorgeous.

♥ On the WWW:
  • Ever reached a point at a rock bottom and, in that moment, felt like you would never be able to rise and conquer? Find out my thoughts and personal journey of  Fighting Depression that was featured on FAWF . I wrote this for you. 
  • I did participate in the #30Layers30Days Challenge hosted by the lovely G.G. Renee of Allthemanylayers.com. It's a little hard to link directly to each post, but you can find them all relatively easy H E R E on my tumblr.
  • This particular piece on Darling Magazine about discovering your style (and owning it) was perfectly worded and I don't believe I could have said it better myself. | "Solidify your own style by curating your own interests...Take an honest glance at your wardrobe, and find muses who inspire you. Don’t follow someone simply because thousands of other people do."-Janet Sung
  • I've fallen in love with an artist by the name of AriJazmin, mastermind behind the up and coming Bgoti (be gold on the inside) artistic brand. Her angle on architecture is what lured me in. Total thanks to Ms. Janelle finger of Artistically Engineered for the introduction. Check out the interview H E R E
  • I was so intrigued by the insight in this article in regards to how women in S.T.E.M. fields are treated by their male counter parts. I love the voices behind the Dear Kate brand as well. 
  • Want to know how to accomplish your goals 30 seconds at a time? It would be beneficial for you to get into Think + Grow Chick to Step Your Game Up
  • Photography: Mike Lewis, Ola Vista Photography, has an extremely impressive portfolio. I was originally blown away by his under water shots and then the fascination grew when I saw how he's able to capture life in a single frame so brilliantly.
♥ Miscellaneous:
  • Bonfire Nights candle from Target
  • Toronto, Ghana, D.R...will all see me in 2015. Travel plans in the works! 

    ♥ Blog Recap 09.2014:
    • 09.01: 2014 | Last Quarter Goals (September & Beyond)
    • 09.02: Post-California Thoughts: Rationalizing Regrets
    • 09.04: Music Collective: vol. 11 {Go to London}
    • 09.07: Self-Love ♡ Sundays | BE the Standard
    • 09.09: Look/Feel/Smell Gorgeous | What's in My Glam Bag
    • 09.12: Look Book | Falling for Cool
    • 09.12: Music Collective: vol. 12 {Afri-Soca Play List}
    • 09.13: #EndRapeCulture
    • 09.17: Music Collective: vol. 13 {Souled Out x Jhene Aiko}
    • 09.19: Blog + Social Media Etiquette 101
    • 09.21: Self-Love ♡ Sundays | Transforming Negatives Into Positives
    • 09.23: Athlete Profile: Black People DO Swim
    • 09.26: Music Collective: vol. 14 {#OutkastATLast}
    • 09.27: Choose Your Circle Wisely
    • 09.28: [According to Her] Mara Hruby Speaks on Love + Passion
    Overall it's been an exceptional month, but let's continue to keep Ferguson, MO in our prayers. It is literally a war zone out there, so it's so important do the work to stay informed on the situation and to educated yourself on the people running for office prior to voting on election day (November 4, 2014). 

    @ChymereA


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    Mara Hruby Speaks on Love + Passion

    "...I know I'm a sensitive soul. I know I've been affected by a lot. I know I'm emotional and I feel like I can carry myself in a manner that it doesn't matter what the world brought me, I'm together. I'm in one piece. And I feel a power, a presence and a poise..."
    -Mara Hruby 


    For a while now, I've been a huge fan of this talented beauty, who was noted as a favorite from the very beginning. Aside from being an extraordinary singer/songwriter, I genuinely admire her, because she is always so regal and poised, but also complex; like some unknown creature from another planet. Even to someone who has studied her like a book for years, she remains a mystery; there are layers to her that she only offers glimpses of to the world and that's one of the many things I will always love about her.  I am incredibly moved by that, as well as her aura, because it all flows together so effortlessly with the emotion she pours into her music. 

    StyleLikeU has always shots these interviews with such articulate angles. I applaud the brand for its consistency, diversity, and their unwavering commitment to quality.

    @ChymereA
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    Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Choose Your Circle Wisely

    "You have to set your mind and heart to what you want to do to make your dream a reality. It's never to late to dream again." -Mother Darling
    Sometimes I need to hear it again-the calming reassurance from a familiar voice-to pull my mind away from self-doubt and feelings of defeat.

    Earlier today, I had a refreshing conversation with Mother Darling. There was a little uncertainty floating around my head and I just needed to briefly clear out my frustrations. When she made that statement, it resonated with me and I was just so relieved, lucky even, to know she is and has always been in my corner. Because she wasn't the first person I've had that conversation with, it made me think of the responses before her and instead of writing a post about not being afraid to dream again, it transformed into something much bigger than that.

    What I'm learning is how to build with people who are just as passionate as I am.  This does not mean that we agree on everything or that we share the same artistic abilities/capabilities; it simply connotes that we are all on the same page about achieving a quality life experience for ourselves and the people we encounter. So, with this realization, I am having to take a personal inventory of individuals who are currently in my life who either don't take me seriously, drain all my energy, and/or bring me down with negativity. The saying goes that you are an average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. At this point, I'm really questioning that, because I am all about surrounding myself with goodness on this journey, even if that means destroying a few bridges along the way. 

    Be careful of the conversations you engage in, especially when it comes to great ideas and dreams, because it's vital to be extremely protective of such fragile things. It's a shame that sometimes even the people you've expected to encourage you to dream big[ger] and be happy for you every step up the way aren't the ones you need, but it's also a blessing when you find the jewels who are.  How do I find the diamonds in the coal? Process of elimination.  

    Eliminate/let go of anyone who:
    • Agrees with your doubts. As humans, we may accidentally allow our confidence and joy to fade away into the abyss.  Sadly, there are people who will gladly accompany your misery and may even to persuade you to cave in completely.
    • Doesn't see your vision. This is the crazy part, because you also have to use discernment about who you share your visions with. Everyone won't be excited for you. Everyone won't be equally passionate. Everyone won't believe you can do it and some will hope that you don't. Everyone won't be a strong, prayer warrior for you in difficult times. Remember that.
    • Is a negative Nancy. This is anyone who makes you feel bad about letting your light shine. Anyone who doesn't empower you, doesn't benefit you. 
    • Doesn't celebrate small successes with you.  This goes back to finding people who are equally passionate, because if they aren't, they won't be able to appreciate the small steps and milestones towards the bigger goal.  If they can't be there for the little stuff, they don't deserve to be present for the big stuff either.

    So, who is left? Your support system, made up of family members, friends, mentors, colleagues, business partners, etc. who have enough respect for you to want you to be the absolute best version of yourself and will never stand by to watch you think you can't achieve the goals you have set to accomplish. It can be hard to discover the people, the wolves in sheep clothing, that you genuinely thought had your best interest at heart, but really don't. It's tough to wave good-bye to people you may have known and befriended for several years. At the end of the day, it is up to you to choose your circle, so choose wisely. 

    ♥ Chymere Anais

    -original publish date: September 27, 1013
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    Thursday, September 25, 2014

    Music Collective: vol. 14 {#OutkastATLast}

    The big day has finally arrived; the Outkast ATLast concert in Atlanta's own Centennial Olympic Park, right back where it all began.  I'm excited to be around old friends, good music, and to be able witness the homecoming of one of the greatest hip-hop duos of all time, largely responsible for the development of hip-hip in the south. And anyone who knows me, knows that no matter how expansive my music collection can be, I will have a special place in my heart for those heavy bass lines and southern drawls that always remind me of a city that will forever be home. 

    With a few exceptions, the line-up is pretty phenomenal, so I anticipate a great show. It will be my first time seeing Janelle Monae since she's blown up as a mainstream artist, first time ever seeing Solange and Bun B. perform so, I'm just hype about it all.

    imagesource
    By the way, if you're an Atlanta blogger, or a blogger here for a weekend road trip, and will be in attendance at the Friday show, hit me up via Twitter and we'll see if we can do a miniature meet-up. (Now that I think about it, I probably should have scheduled this for earlier in the week, but...procrastination.). If you see me, don't be too shy to speak, especially on a day that I'm in an extremely happy-go-lucky and friendly mood.

    So without further ado, as an ode to this entire weekend, I present my 2-part #OutkastDay essentials play list (with links to a few): 

    The Outkast Discography (pt.I) 

    1. Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
    2. Slum Beautiful
    3. Prototype
    4. Git Up, Git Out (ft. Goodie Mob)
    5. ATLiens
    6. Spaghetti Junction
    7. Jazzy Belle
    8. Knowing
    9. Elevators (Me & You)
    10. West Savannah
    11. Aquemini
    12. Babylon
    13. Humble Mumble (ft. Erykah Badu)
    14. Da Art of Storytellin'
    15. So Fresh, So Clean
    16. Bowtie (ft. Sleepy Brown & Jazze Pha)
    17. Take Off Your Cool (ft. Norah Jones)
    18. The Way You Move
    19. Ms. Jackson
    20. Morris Brow (ft. Scar & Sleepy Brown)
    21. Shutterbug 

    The Affiliations (pt. II): 

    1. Tightrope x Janelle Monae ft. B.o.B. & Lupe Fiasco
    2. Dance or Die x Janelle Monae ft. Saul Williams
    3. Electric Lady x Janelle Monae ft. Solange 
    4. Love in the Parking Lot x Solange
    5. Trillionaire x Bun B. (ft. T-Paine)
    6. Diamonds & Wood x UGK
    7. I Do x Young Jeezy ft. Jay Z & Andre 3000
    8. The Life of Kings x Phonte ft. Evidence & Big K.R.I.T.
    9. Special Education x Goodie Mob (ft. Janelle Monae)
    10. Black Ice (Sky High) x Goodie Mob (ft. Outkast)
    11. Country Boyz x Nappy Roots
    12. Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You) x UGK (ft. Andre 3000)
    brought to you by: ♥ Chymere A.

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    Monday, September 22, 2014

    drowning.

    I miss the love of my life.
    The love of my life is missing from me.

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    Sunday, September 21, 2014

    Self-Love ♡ Sundays | Transforming Negatives Into Positives

    Last week, I was tormented with something that put me in a rather intense wave of depression.  It sent me on this spiral downward and I could not stop crying over things that I couldn't control. The tears clouded my vision; I could not focus nor could I see the sun, the perception of the many blessings I've been given, mildly distorted. It seemed like the end of the world. However, one morning, I woke up in time to catch the sunrise and took that as a sign from the universe, telling me in the most artistic form possible: The storm will pass and life will continue. The storm passed and life continued. 

    We all face shadows in our life and circumstances. Think back on all the previous times, when you felt completely overwhelmed by the darkness, and alone. You thought you couldn't make it through, but here you are, alive, breathing, and so far estranged from those moments. It's hard to process positive thoughts, but you have to remember that darkness builds character.

    Life gets easier the moment you become aware of how to handle adversity with grace and bounce back from failure to failure victoriously. Life is hard, but that doesn't mean you are under any obligation to look like "the struggle". In many cases, we've only failed because we've depended on society to tell us what failure looks like. Understand that outside people can only see what you allow them to see. You are a representation of God, your family, your culture, etc.

    As cliche as it sounds, rainbows only show up after rain. You have to go through the trials to get to that metaphorical pot of gold. When life gets you down, pick yourself up and turn those sour lemons into sweet lemonade. Life is too short for pity parties. Stay focused and stand tall in knowing that God never gives you anything you can't handle. 

    Pearls of the Day: Your story is beautiful because of the battle scars you try so hard to conceal.  The pain doesn't define you; it refines you. Nothing is more admirable than someone who lived in the valley, yet made it to the mountain top, some how.  You are strong enough and creative enough to make the negatives in life work for you and not against you. 

    ♡ // Chymere Anais
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    Friday, September 19, 2014

    Blog + Social Media Etiquette 101

    The blogosphere is an incredible community, a colossal melting pot infused with different characters from all over the world, each budding with fresh perspectives and interest. When I first began the journey on Xanga.com long ago, I had no clue it would turn into a mega-complex society of both individuals and groups. As the popularity of blogging continues to grow, it's no longer this small island of people who digitally document their life as a mere hobby; it's become so much bigger than that. Because of this growth, more and more people misuse the technology we're given that was engineered to give everyone with a voice a platform to speak.

    After many years of being apart of this world, I've noted a few aspects of it that aren't so pretty. The more I put myself out there, the more these observations come to light. The only way I know to improve the flaws within myself is to acknowledge them, then write out.  Here is a list of things that every blogger can possibly take from and tweak the way they see fit: 
    • Be kind. Instead of shrugging it off when you notice someone is on Twitter late at night, "in their feelings", reach out to them in a private message. Offer some kind of encouraging word. We love to say 'You never know what people are going through' after someone does something as drastic as suicide, but act like we don't care when given the opportunity to do so. Twitter is not designed simply for self-promotion, although it can and should operate as such. In some cases, it's the personality aspect of a brand. It's also a space for you to show support, network, and connect with others. 
    • Read first. Comment second. Engage with fellow bloggers through thought provoking comments; not just, "Great post!" If it has pictures and words, read the words too, out of respect for the work the blogger has put into that particular piece. If you're in a time crunch, and the post is lengthy, bookmark it and come back to it when you have time. If it doesn't speak to you personally, don't comment at all. Also, don't comment out of obligation or to make your web presence relevant. Be sincere in your approach, because it definitely shows when you aren't. 
    • Don't throw shade...publicly. I admit, I'm guilty of doing this on more than one occasion. Although I'm getting better, this is something I am constantly working on. In a previous post, I explained that people don't always catch my sarcasm, especially when they're not able to actually hear my tone. Honestly, it's not always necessary. Instead of publicly humiliating someone so that others can join in on the ridicule or providing a gateway for people divert attention to what they would not have other wise noticed, send them an email expressing your concerns or criticism. There is a certain way to handle things in regard to being open and honest; one of those ways is through being direct. 
    • Know the difference between constructive criticism and positive feedback. While it's vital to be nice, it's just as important to understand that not everyone who offers feedback is out to get you or waiting to see you fail. Not everyone with an opposing perspective has malicious intent. People who believe in you the most want to see you do and be your best and will always support you, even if you choose to not listen.  Sure, there are internet trolls with no life who hide behind this false sense of bravery called the internet, but I'm sure within that crowd of individuals saying things you may not necessarily agree with, are a cluster of people who are rooting for you.  Additionally, be very weary of 'yes-men', who kiss your ass whether you're producing mediocre content or not and only want to be recognized for their own benefit/exposure. That's not, and never will be, the kind of support you need. 
    • Cultivate your own ideas.  In the age of social media, blogging, and digital forms of information everywhere, sometimes it can be hard to be innovative when thinking up new ideas or coming up with topics to cover on your next post. I get it.  However, we all have a unique voice. All of us could witness to the same thing happening and, somehow, the stories would all start and end differently. Branding is a huge aspect of blogging these days, but it's so important to be authentic while building said brand. Don't try to be like anyone else. Don't feel pressured to take on something just because it's popular. Because of your God-given gifts and human experience, You are good enough and even though one thing may or may not be your cup of tea, it doesn't mean you don't have other things to offer. There is plenty of room in this world for all of us to thrive. Stay true to who you are, committed to authenticity and what you have inside of you to share, and everything else will fall into place accordingly. 
    That's all I have for now.  Bloggers, if you have any more tips, the comment section is always ready for your feedback and I'm always open to learning a thing or two more. 






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    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    Music Collective: vol. 13 {Souled Out}


    At first listen, I wasn't an immediate fan of Jhene Aiko's latest release, Souled Out.  However, I was open to giving it another chance, because I have always been a fan of her music. It was then, on second listen, I realized what I was missing. It certainly didn't take long for me to grow in love with this compilation. 

    <<< Read full review here on The Sky Box Suite>>>

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    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    #EndRapeCulture

    image source
    How many times have we witnessed it? Where people think that, somehow, rape and general disrespect should be the norm? We have formulated this twisted logic about how girls should present themselves, then mothers/fathers blindly pass the senselessness on to their daughters, yet the ideals being embedded in the sons aren't even close to cohesive while trying to creating a fair balance. It has less to do with being "pro-woman" than simply having a regard for not just humanity, but the very vessels who are responsible for bringing life into this world. Just take a look at the statistics; the numbers in the United States alone are unbelievable. According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), approximately 238,000 victims of rape and sexual assault per year, 60% of these go unreported to the police, and 97% of rapist never spend a day in jail. As much as I hate being the bearer of bad news, I will not allow my silence to be apart of the problem.

    Short skirts, drunk/loose women, the pure silhouette of a woman's body, etc. are all things that entice men who aren't taught to be respectful or to have self control. Women are forced to walk on eggshells, careful not to awaken the sexual senses of men, because some (not all) men, sometimes women, will be the first to acknowledge when she's not so careful. The common phrase seems to be 'She should expect it', therefore approaching her in sexual regard-despite her wishes- is deemed okay. No, it's not okay, it's never okay, and men and women alike need to learn this in order to heal the ever growing rape epidemic happening globally.

    "Consensual sex" is just sex. To say that implies that there is such a thing as "non consensual sex", which there isn’t. That’s rape. That is what it needs to be called. There is only sex or rape. Do not teach people that rape is just another type of sex. They are two very separate events. You wouldn’t say "breathing swimming" and "non breathing swimming", you say swimming and drowning.
    I'm not sure who quoted that, but I couldn't have said it any better. We live in a society where the roots of epidemics such as rape and sexual harassment are almost overlooked. The terminology is changed so that the acts are justified. What is even more unfortunate is that when a woman speaks out, about, or against it, she gets all kinds of hostile backlash in return, immediately labeled as angry, anti-men, feminist, which is something I don't consider myself to be at all. Some women are passive about it, just because the topic itself is too controversial, too intense. However, something needs to be said, no matter how redundant, until there are more solutions than problems, until the news is quicker to cover human rights than celeb gossip, until women in general can live in a world where they are protected and placed at their rightful value.

    Please understand that this is not to negate that women should be mindful of how they present themselves. The issue I have is the lessons we're not holding men to a certain standard either.  I'm all for gender roles in respects to men and women each playing their part in society and there are certainly somethings in a man's role that aren't appropriate in a woman's and vise versa. There just needs to be a larger wave of people who are actively concerned with seeing justice prevail.

    ♥ Chymere A.
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    Friday, September 12, 2014

    Music Collective: vol. 12 {Afri-Soca Play List}

    Most mornings, my bedroom becomes a party/concert when I get ready in the morning. It's safe to say if the music is right, I am a morning person. On these days, I gravitate towards upbeat music from the African Diaspora, because it takes me to a mental space where I feel alive and extremely proud of who I am and the cultures I represent (Ghana & the Dominican Republic).  The play list I've created has a summertime vibe, which I suppose is appropriate since it still feels like summer outside. 

    Brief history lesson: In case you didn't know, Soca music, shortened for 'soul of Calypso', is a popular West Indian genre that originates from Trinidad and Tobago and began in the late 60's/early 70's. Over the years, the rhythms have evolved from West Africa's kaiso music and spread all across the beautiful islands of the Caribbean.

    In the comment section, let me know your favorite tunes to get ready to in the a.m. I always love to hear the music that gets people going! Whether you prefer fast or slow to start your day, hopefully, you all enjoy the play list either way:

    - ♥ Chymere Anais



    1. Elele x Emma Nyra ft. Davido
    2. Carnival Tabanca x Bunji Garlin
    3. Over the Hills x Bunji Garlin
    4. Galore x Mr. Dale
    5. Bissa x Fatoumata Diawara
    6. Carnival Spirit x Patrice Roberts
    7. Authe x Phyno ft. Flavour
    8. Like No Tomorrow x Skinny Fabulous
    9. Baby Face x Don Jazzy
    10. Feel Like Dancing x Calypso Rose
    11. Keep On Rocking x Mya K. ft. May D.
    12. Just a Little Bit x Destra
    13. Soca Run Town x Bunji Garlin
    14. Party All Night x Shatta Wale ft. Jah Vinci
    + For more hand-picked music selections, browse through the archives H E R E. +
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    Look Book | Falling for Cool

    As I'm preparing for the cooler months ahead, an array of fall/winter styling options and ideas play out in my mind. I can't ever seem to keep up with trends, so I'm not sure what's "in style" or not, but that's not the most important thing in my look book. For me, comfort is always the winner when selecting clothes to build my wardrobe, however, this season, I want to go towards collection that is more reflective of my personality as well. 

    With that, I've created 3 different looks that I'll most likely be rocking on those cool days I so desperately long for:

    Rainy Days


    Pop of Green

    Blacker the Berry



    What style statements will you be making in the coming seasons?

    ♥ Chymere A.
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    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    Fighting Depression

    Something many people don’t know about me is that I go through waves of depression. And by waves, I mean the funk comes and goes, but when it comes, it takes me into a deep darkness that is not always easy to pull myself out of. It’s never so much sadness that I contemplate suicide or self-harm, however I do understand where that kind of self-destructive thinking roots from.

    I’ve wanted to write about the topic of depression for a while and I am still not sure if I’m quite ready to expose myself to do so. The reason I decided to though was because I was recently reminded of something I wrote on my old blog a while ago: sometimes your scars are there to heal others. Perhaps, I don’t have tons of expertise on the subject itself, but I know that depression is very real for so many people. From my experience, it is a demon disguised as a disease and medication is not always a guaranteed way to cure people of it. And it makes me cringe when people can’t seem to understand just how real it is.

    Just the other night, I experienced one of those waves again. Like always, a feeling of inadequacy erupts and happiness becomes so distant that I have to fight my way back to it. Given all the events that have taken place in this country, in the world, I felt extremely selfish because I can never really give an explanation as to why my emotions always seem to be so unstable. The reoccurring questions that replay in my head are: How can I live this way? How can I love this way? How can others love you when you “are” this way? 

    (( Continue reading H E R E ))
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    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    Look/Feel/Smell Gorgeous | What's in My Glam Bag

    It's no accident that 98% of my Glam Bag is nothing but Mary Kay products; Mother Darling has been a Mary Kay beauty consultant for almost 10 years. If it weren't for her, I probably wouldn't have any make-up at all. Also, because I have sensitive skin, there aren't many products that I can use, therefore, it is one of the few brands I absolutely trust. There is no way I'd recommend anything I don't use myself. On top of providing great products, The Mary Kay Foundation has helped to change the lives of women in so many ways, especially in cases revolving around domestic violence. 

    On any given day, I'm inclined to wear just mascara and some lip balm/color combination.  It's very rare that I have a full face of make-up on; when I do, it's very light and minimal. Most of these items are products that keep my skin clean and refreshed throughout the day. However, I do carry things I may not wear on an everyday basis, because  you never know what could come up at the last minute, so it's important to always be prepared. 

    Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 10 from 6-9pm I'll be hosting a web party for my mom. Essentially, what this means is from 6pm-9pm you guys register on her Mary Kay website, shop online, and include my name in the comments upon checkout. Any order over $40 will receive a free gift. During this time, my mom and I will be working as a team to be able to assist you in any way via Twitter (@ChymereA + @ladyblessed_MK), so essentially, you'll have not 1, but 2, of your very own virtual personal shopper! It's just that simple. I think every woman deserves to indulge from time to time, especially when it's about supporting other women. Come join the party and have a little girl time!

    - ♥ Chymere Anais

    Ps- To learn more about how Mary Kay is committed to ending and preventing domestic violence C L I C K  H E R E.


    What's in my Glam Bag

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    Sunday, September 7, 2014

    Self-Love ♡ Sundays | BE the Standard

    A huge, and often misunderstood aspect of the law of attraction is that you attract who you are. It's more than  the affirmations you say aloud and the images posted to your wall for visualization; it's a total mental adjustment that has to be made. That basically means that on some level, conscious or subconscious, you attract certain things, people, situations into your life.  Our minds are such a powerful tool and if we're not careful, it can totally work against us. The more we become aware of what is going on beneath the surface, the better we are able to understand and recreate our circumstances.  

    Today, I've created a short, detailed list of things I have been working on for years and still learning how to master. Hopefully, it helps someone better navigate their self love journey as well: 

    1. How people approach you, along with what they feel comfortable telling you, says more about who YOU are than who they are. Do people feel comfortable gossiping with you or are they more inclined to share their dreams with you? Do your male friends respect you enough to treat you like a lady, even if you are just a friend? If you are surrounded by men who dog women and women who are fully of drama, that's not mankind working against you; it's you.  It's all about what kind of energy you exude. Love yourself enough to attract good things and good people into your life.

    2. Lose that sense of entitlement. It's dangerous for anyone to feel entitled to anything.  For instance, an employee goes into his/her boss' office demanding a raise. When the boss asks why, their response is how many years they've been at the job.  The boss proceeds to remind that person of a long list of poor performance and the fact that he/she is fortunate to still have the job they have. The employee gets upset for no reason and storms out of the office. The reasons why we feel entitled are endless. Often times, we tend to treat life this way, as if the world is suppose to respond to our temper tantrums. You deserve friends when you show yourself friendly, you deserve a to be promoted when you work hard to earn it, and the list goes on. No one owes you anything.

    3. Stop setting unrealistic standards. Unrealistic standards happen when someone isn't aligned with what they want, especially when it comes to relationships.  It's not fair to pray for something that you aren't receptive to at that point in your life (i.e. wanting something new, but not having room in your life for it). It's also unfair to want something that you don't have to offer. 

    4. Most importantly, treat yourself well.  In keeping with the law of attraction theme, the way you feel about yourself will manifest how others feel about you. This goes hand in hand with the previous point. If you want people who honor, respect, and appreciate you, those people will only show up when you've learned to honor, respect, and appreciate yourself. They will gravitate towards your confidence and your good energy. The most amazing individuals practically show up on your doorstep when you are able to care for you without the need for outside validation. The better your relationship with yourself is, the better your relationships with others become. 

    Pearls for the day: Work on building your house up before inviting anything/anyone in. Stay balanced. Stay focused. Stay positive. Last, but not least, Be the standard, and the rest will follow. Love starts from within.

    ♡ // Chymere Anais

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    Thursday, September 4, 2014

    Music Collective: vol. 11 {Go to London}

    "...Darling can't you see, there is more to you than loving me..."
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    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    Post-California Thoughts: I Miss You

    Dear Cali,

    I kind of miss you.  Bizarre right?

    Because things didn't quite work out the way I expected them to, at least not immediately, I've talked myself into thinking that I made a good decision about leaving.  Often times, I wonder what would have happened if I stayed a little longer, put up a tougher fight until the storm subsided. Careful not to compare my life to others, witnessing other people's success stories of turned dreams into reality, who started exactly where I did, makes me regret leaving even more.  That's the scary part about decision making sometimes; you don't always realize what you're walking away from or if a motion is worth giving up or keep going. In the moment, of course, moving back seemed like a great idea.

    My family was supportive either way, however, peering out the retrospective windows of my comfort zone right now, I don't feel proud or resilient. Honestly, it doesn't feel like I gave the minimum amount of effort required to pass the test to be able to say I actually did it. I keep thinking I allowed the city to eat me alive, the way people warned it would, and caved in too quickly. Although I'm aware that things typically happen for a reason, the only thing I seemed to have gained from coming home to refocus is how to do it better next time around, not so much rationalizing staying here long term.

    On top of that, I've never stopped thinking about a particular stranger I met and it breaks my heart every time she pops up in my brain. I know it's impossible to save people from themselves, but...compassion, I suppose. I can't be oblivious to what I experienced, but I also cannot deny the fact that deep down inside, I wish things worked out better for me there, when I was so absolutely sure that they would. 

    Perhaps, I'll wait until I finish school and establish myself before considering Cali again. I don't really know what's next, may not know tomorrow or a month from now. Trying not to think so far ahead. Eventually, I'll know, but in the meantime, I'm simply expressing what was on my mind and put my thoughts out in the open. Maybe whoever reads this is able to offer perspective or insight for me to chew on. 

    ♥ Chymere A.


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    Monday, September 1, 2014

    2014 | Last Quarter Goals (September & Beyond)

    September already...

    This year, so far, has honestly been significantly better than 2013. In January, I made a commitment to doing more all around, and I did just that. I wanted to move to Cali and I did it. Although it didn't work out, at least I tried. I'm just so blessed and all of it makes me extremely optimistic about how things will continue from this point.  I also started a happiness jar, that I don't always remember to keep up with like I should, but I still look forward to opening it on December 31st and reading all the little notes of good things that happened this year. 
    • Stay centered. Stay balanced. Stay positive. The first day of classes this semester was a big adjustment for me.  It's still the beginning and I already feel overwhelmed. I have to work on not getting so caught up in one area of my life that I allow it to burn me out completely. The key is balance and to slow down when I need to and find ways to escape when I start to lose my inner peace. 
    • Make at least a 3.0* this semester. This is not a game and knowledge is power. 
    • Prepare myself for some kind of paid internship next summer in my field. Plan. Research. Act as if I know that it already exist in the cards for me.
    • Continue planning for my trip to Ghana, West Africa. #Ghana2k16...more details to come.
    • Laugh more; explore my city more. Sometimes, I feel like I don't laugh enough. Other times, it's really hard to. Sometimes, I think that I haven't seen enough of the cool spots of my city and different place I travel to. Other times, I don't want to, lol. So...in that regard...I have not been surrounding myself with things that allow me to just let my hair down and feel more alive. Also, I've been missing great networking opportunities and chances to get out there, connect with new people, and experience new things. This month, I'm making it my business to gain my spirit back. 
    • Every day, even off days, wake up, work out, shower, get dressed, and get the day started early. Except Sundays...Sundays are always the exception, unless I'm going to church. 
    • Drink more water; eat more green veggies. 
    • ORDER MY FREAKING #BLACKGIRLSWHOBLOG TEE + CREW NECK. Like...whyyyyyy haven't I done that yet?? Beats me. {via CosMorgPolitan}
    • Get out of my funk and stop being lazy!!! I really should focus on gaining my athleticism back as well, just for the sake of being and staying young. I took one day off and it turned into...too long. I really have to push myself, which is why I needed to prepare my body this week with my fitness challenge at the end of August (which lasted 5 days, by the way) and get back into the habit of healthy eating at home. I've actually lost some weight, but I have 4 months to reach the ideal size/number. Aiming to run 10-14 miles + swim 8,000 yards per week. It sounds like a lot, but trust me, it's not. With that plan of action, I should be in great shape by NYE. 
    So that pretty much sums it up for my goal list for September until the end of the year. Nothing that extremely deviates from what I was already doing beforehand, but as I watch my seeds manifest in this harvest season, I'm simultaneously living in the moment and constantly aiming for better.

    What are your goals for the rest of the year and how do you hold yourself accountable?

    ♥ Chymere A.




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