Friday, June 24, 2016

Music Collective: vol. 48 {Shooter}

Yesterday afternoon, the visual premier of "Shooter" by Atlanta artists, BOSCO & Speakerfoxxx, dropped. First of all, I've been following BOSCO's career for years and I'm so proud of how far she's come. Then to team up with a dope personality like Speakerfoxxx, these remarkable BFF's have an impressive, almost magical, on-set chemistry that is quite apparent in this video. Not only is this one of my favorite songs from their most recent project, Girls in the Yard, but I absolutely live from the energy of this video...so here for it. With endless style themes from the 90's, unapologetic girl power, and positive summer vibes, it's hard not to love! 
@ChymereA
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

S u m m e r 2 0 1 6 : Books + Ambitions


At the beginning of the year, I underestimated my ability to completely ignore the books I promised to finish before July stacked on the top of my desk, glaring at me day in and day out. And it was less about how much free time I actually had and more about lacking the desire to actually read. The first book I picked up was around May 31st, I read all of 2 or 3 pages, and sat it right back to collect dust with the others. The year's stress is just starting to subside enough for me to find the patience to sit revisit this list once again. Because it's summer, I'm leaning towards more light reads. 

'Black Cool' is a collection of short essays, so that's been a breeze to sort through, loving it so far. Still waiting on my turn to finally get a hold of 'Between the World and Me' (and it better live up to the hype). The remaining two, 'In the Country We Love' and 'The New Cool' are substantially larger in volume, so I probably won't start those until the end of July.  All that being said, here are the 4 books on my summer reading list: 

Books:

  1. 'Between the World and Me' by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. 'Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness' by: Rebecca Walker
  3. 'The New Cool' by: Neal Bascomb
  4. 'In the Country We Love' by: Diane Guerrel
...as well as a simple list of goals to accomplish before summer's end, listing the first goal as the most important and the ones to follow in random order of importance, because HELLO, I need to be on somebody's beach as soon as possible. What's summer without the ocean? 

Ambitions: 

  • Take a road trip to the beach
  • Vegetarian journey (tracking from 05.01.16) 
  • Purchase my domain
  • Consistently create fresh content for this blog and HBCU Buzz
  • Create more freelance opportunities for myself
  • Master the art of having fun without over-spending: spend less, save more

What are you reading and accomplishing in S u m m e r 2 0 1 6 ?
As always, book recomendations are welcomed and greatly appreciated here! 

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

City Finds | Earshot


In lieu of keeping with the #misfitMusicMay theme of last month, I thought this would be a perfect time to begin June off with a City Finds review relative to keep the momentum going. I can hardly believe it's been a full year since I've done one of these! But first, it seems fitting to share a back story, so that you-mainly new readers-can better understand why Earshot has a special place in my heart.

The very first album I owned was 1999 by Prince, which was actually a hand-me down from my mom that I was so proud to have in my possession. I was so infatuated with it's colossal, rotund size and the crackling sound as the needle touched the rippled texture. Although I could request to listen, I was forbidden from toying with my parents' collection, out of fear that I would scratch up and destroy their sacred collectibles, therefore that gift was a special moment for me. Not only did it feel like I gained a piece of my parents' trust, it marked the beginning of my obsession of vinyl collecting. Who knew this would turn out to be a hobby I'd love well into adulthood?

One of my favorite things to do as a little girl was crate hunt for classic vinyls in smelly thrift and stores. Even now, I'm constantly exploring my way to and through as many local hole-in-the wall shops as possible, looking relentlessly for more records to add to my collection. There's something so magical about discovering those unwanted treasures and fingering through endless titles of artists new and old. Sometimes I imagine I'm a teenager in the 70's, looking for hot new records for Friday night's kickback.  Aside from that, I believe I'm one of the few people my age who still likes to purchase physical copies of albums I like that could all potentially be a foreign items of times long gone one day.

Although I'd like to believe that there's no such thing as a coincidences, I stumbled upon Earshot completely by accident. It was a rainy day in January of this year and I was looking for some kind of fast food place to eat after work. I can't remember what prompted me to go the opposite direction of home, but I ended up in the a pretty easy to spot outdoor shopping center in Winston-Salem, NC, with a cluster of restaurant options and regular chain retail stores. Dismissing any kind of appetite that I had, Earshot caught my attention immediately.

Cornered between Marshall's and a Jamaican food spot (that I'm dying to try, by the way), is this small, yet efficient, space, where I found a little slice of heaven. After spending about 2 1/2 hours inside, perusing the shelves and "playing" DJ on the turntables the store provided for listening purposes, I left the store with 3 CD's that had been either misplaced or stolen from me in previous years and 2 vinyls. Just like I did with lunch money in high school, I casually spent the money initially designated for food (lunch money) on my new music purchases, Usually driving in the rain annoys me, but that particular evening, it didn't bother me at all, just appreciating the prolonged time lapse, so that I had more time to spend with Bob Marley, Alicia Keys, and all the various artist included on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack.

In the digital age we live in, technology has pretty much dominated the manufacturing of music. The popularity of vinyl records and classic turntables has resurfaced, which is awesome because now, turntables are more accessible and made with better quality, increasing a vinyls longevity. I also think it's cool that I am now able to buy vinyl copies of newer artist that I love. On the flip side, however, the prices of newer albums have sky rocketed in order to meet the demand of the current market, which is a little unfortunate. It makes me happy when shop owners like Phred Rainey, owner and proprietor of Earshot, value maintaining the tradition of making album purchases a affordable, fun experience for consumers. The ultimate goal when I'm vinyl shopping is to hold on to the art of collecting and host as many candid conversations as possible with fellow music connoisseurs, who deserve recognition for their contribution to timeless music.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Music Collective: vol. 47 {Show Me Love}


This is such a dope song with such an incredible and powerful message centered around love and unity.  It's so fitting to what has been going on in the world lately. Chance always brings his own element of uniqueness, which goes nicely with Hundred Waters' distinct sound.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

C-Day Wish List: 07.12.Summer16

C-Day Wish List: Summer '16

C-Day Wish List: Summer '16 by chymerea 

Ever since I started curating digitial wish lists of sorts on the blog, I've noticed the items have pretty much remained the same and that's because I don't really shop for myself nor does my style/desires change that often. After a while, certain things, such as this camera that I've literally had my eye on forever, become redundant. This year, I want to make more of an effort towards purchasing items on my wish list, because I work hard and I deserve it (no pun intended). 

Doing things for myself is not to eliminate the fact that I am extremely grateful for all that I do have and blessed beyond measure. Because there is so much suffering and poverty in the world, I think a lot of times the most compassionate people feel guilt anytime they experience materialistic indulgences. However, I think greed, not moderation, is the issue, just like eating healthy isn't necessarily about depriving oneself of the foods they love. With that thought, I'm learning to be more okay with wanting sometimes. 
  1. I'm short, so I love adding height to my frame. Recently, I haven't worn heels much and haven't been to many places where heels are "appropriate", but I'd like to add a nice, nude colored wedge to my wardrobe this summer, because they're usually pretty comfortable to walk in. These Jessica Simpson Jadyn wedges are perfect. 
  2. As an adult, there's honestly no such thing as summer vacation, so while I'm handling business, I think a sleek and stylish tote/briefcase would be suitable. It would also be replacing the one my parents' bought me for Christmas, which I can't seem to find anywhere. I really like the Merona tote from Target
  3. This BBC Adidas Artist Suit swim suit is so BOSS! Not only am I in love with the design, but it'll be supporting one of my favorite creatives, the one and only, Pharrell Williams. Currently, it's sold out, but I will find a way to get my hands on one before the summer is over! *fingers crossed*
  4. Summer season, of course, calls for stylish frames. My eyes are senstive to light, so I never leave the house without sunglasses. Right now, I'm loving this retro-trend. I try find inexpensive shades, so in the case that I lose/break a pair, it won't be a terrible loss, so I fully support Skyline Frames for offering a great way to find on trend sunnies without breaking the bank. 
  5. If you're familiar with any of my previous wish list, you'll notice that I almost always-maybe 95% of the time-include some kind of fragrance. I grew up inhaling my grandma's favorite, Chanel no.5, so I naturally gravitate towards Chanel most of the time. Also, like most women, I just love to smell good. On my radar this time around are CoCo Noir x Chanel Paris, which is more on the sophisticated/conservative side and Prada Candy, which has a more charming and flirty scent.
  6. I don't even know how to find authentic Yeezy 350's or what the retail value is, but I admire the style of the shoes so much. Perhaps, I should go on a hunt for a reliable sneaker plug.
  7. I've been lusting after this Michael Kors 'Darci' watch for months now. It's so simple, but the color is so splendid, it makes the watch stand out. 
  8. If I owned a Sony NEX-5TL Mirrorless Digital Camera The possibilities would be endless. I'd be able to elevate my productivity and produce quality content on the blog, get back into photography, etc. 
What's on your wish list this summer? I'd also love to know: what purchases have you made in the past year that you are most proud of?

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Why Black Girls Are Magic

Image cred.: Anastasia and Regis , via tumblr.
"Magic is dynamic energy and explosive happiness.
-Amandla Stenberg

On the night of June 5, 2016, I-along with black girls around the world-went wild on varying social media platforms anticipating who would be crowned Miss USA 2016. We sat anxiously in front of our respective television screens, voting for our favorite between Miss Georgia (Emanii Davis), Miss Hawaii (Chelsea Hardin), and Miss District of Columbia (Deshauna Barber). Finally, the winner was annouced and I could have sworn the entire earth exploded in that moment, or at least that was the sensation I felt in my heart. 

Besides her being absolutely stunning physically, what struck my attention about Deshauna Barber was that she exhibits a certain standard of balance, in the most sophisticated way possible. Having a background in the U.S. military as logistics commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit in Fort Meade, Maryland and IT expert for the U.S. Department of commerce, she epitomizes the duality of brains and beauty. It always makes me so proud to see black women win in major ways, so I couldn't imagine what her family and close friends must have felt when her name was announced.

Hayes, Chymere A.
HBCUbuzz.com, 5 Jun. 2016

After the program went off and I updated my social media accounts accordingly, I sat down with my computer to finish this post that has been sitting in my drafts for months, because who wouldn't be inspired?  There is some kind of magical force that happens when I have the opportunity to witness black excellence in any capacity; it doesn't matter if it's listening to First Lady Michelle Obama giving a commencement speech at Howard University or watching swimmer Simone Manual compete for a spot on the USA Swimming Olympics team, the motivation is all the same. Learning these people's success stories is an important aspect of keeping my energy clear and my creativity charged. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, only recognizing the glory pulls me back into the dangerous habit of comparison, so knowing what people go through, especially black women, reminds me to keep going. 

It resonates so deep when a black woman wins, simply because representation matters and seeing someone who looks like me work hard against adversity creates positive images in my mind of what life can be if I'm dilligent about what I want to achieve. The belief system that Black Lives Matter doesn't ommit the fact that other people with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds work hard too; it's just something supernatural about seeing people who have been told what they can't do be resillient enough to show the world what they can do.  That's why black girls are magic and will continue to break the cycles, defy tradition, and fight the odds 2016 and beyond.

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Self-Love ♡ Sundays | Falling Behind

In the age of social media, sometimes avoiding the game of comparision becomes a daunting task. I'm not sure if this is anyone else's problem, but I decided to be candid in the case that it is. We live in a society of sharing, where we share everything from celebrating milestones to what we eat that day. It's no longer weird to walk around in public, arm extended, talking to and/or posing for a phone or a camera. Despite the many benefits of blogging and social media to name, we are narcissistic and over-exposed. Thus, we've created the perfect formula for self-sabatoge, jealousy, delusion, etc. to exist.

All of us are selective, very strategic about what we share, because most of us want to be percieved a certain way. Most of us-myself included-don't want to show certain aspects of our lives out of fear of being too vulnerable.  We don't want to be open about our failures or the mistakes we've made that caused us to fail. We don't want to highlight our fears and insecurities (even though sometimes we do, unconsciously). We don't want to show moments of defeat.

There have been moments when I'd drop "subtle" hints on my Twitter feed about something I'm going through and a close friend would text me: 'hey, are you okay?' As much as I truly appreciate gestures of genuine concern, I'd immediately feel embarrassed, stumbling all over my words/thoughts to respond...as if I'm not supposed to have any emotion besides happiness. Why is that? Do I not fully grasp the concept that everyone has their own demons to fight and it's okay to be sad sometimes? 

And I know most of the sadness stems from having green eyes, playing envy of others' blessings or ability to be blessed. It reminds of a familiar bible story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Careful not to rescript the entire passage, it was basically a parable Jesus told to his disciples of two sons, one who did everything right according to his father's laws and the other who ran away and was frivolous of his inheritance. The son who stayed at his father's estate felt he lived an noteworthy life and because of that carried this sense of entitlement and didn't think his brother deserved to be welcomed home with elaborate gifts and celebration. When he questioned his father, the father reassured him that he was always with him and everything he owned was his. The compassion he felt for the brother didn't change or lessen the love he had for both of them, nor did it take away from what belonged to each son individually.

Basically, there is enough room in the universe for all of us to be blessed, but if we're consumed with what others have, we fail to recognize the blessings and resources available to us. Also, we never truly know what people have gone through to get to where they are, because for most people, those are the parts they refuse to showcase. 

Obviously, the greater lesson here is to not compare your journey to that of others. However, I constantly catch myself thinking the grass must be greener on the other side, watching other people experience certain things and feeling inadequate, or feeling like I'm falling behind, especially at the age where every one around me sort of expects me to have my life together by now.

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post about believing in abundance and how much I don't believe there is a such thing as "missed opportunities", yet-more often that I'd like to admitt-I fall into this conviction that I missed my mark, that I had all these chances that I ruined, somehow. It's such an awful way to think, but I'm just being honest and the first step to healing is acknowledgement. 

So where do I go from here? How many times do I have to remind myself that it's all good, that I'm here for a reason, that God hasn't forgotten about my silent prayers? This whole life thing is a learning curve and I don't think I'll ever have all the answers to these penetrating questions. A huge part of me trusting the process is acceptance and expressing myself via words-no matter how over exposed I may be-allows me to be more honest with where I am at each stage.

Nante yie.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Springtime (March | April | May) Favorites ♡


Now that the blog is back to its regularly scheduled program, I've decided to bringing back the favorites. Starting in June (6/31), these will be posted monthly. For whatever reason, this is my absolute favorite time of year to highlight things I've been loving, reading, and listening to; probably because I make most of my purchses in the spring/summer time. Although this one is a composition of 3 months, it's relatively short, so we'll start with the Music category:

Music:

Style:

Blogs 2 Love + Around the WWW:

Lifestyle + Miscellaneous:

That concludes the springtime favorites; hope you all enjoyed it! 
What are some things you've been loving lately?



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