Saturday, December 29, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9.  "Gods & Monsters" x Lana Del Rey

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

10.  "Adorn" x Miguel

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

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

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

What were some of your fave tunes of 2012?


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

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

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


Friday, December 28, 2012

2013, Be Good to Me: Pt. II

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. What countries did you visit?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013, Be Good to Me: Pt. I

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

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

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

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

What are your goals for 2013 & special NYE plans?

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

-Chymere A. 

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012

    On the True Meaning of Christmas

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

    Chymere Anais


    Saturday, December 22, 2012

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

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

    1. "I Want You" -Luke James

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

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


    Saturday, December 15, 2012

    Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 32 {Be Patient}

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

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


    Friday, December 14, 2012

    Fitness Fridays: Things to Remember When Running

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

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

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

    Saturday, December 8, 2012

    Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 31 {Young Girls}

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


    Chymere Anais


    College Diaries: Graduation Season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Chymere Anais



    Friday, December 7, 2012

    Mind Over Matter

    Progress journal for this week:

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

    Workout Playlist:

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

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


    Wednesday, December 5, 2012


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

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

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

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

    Favorite Sound: silence.

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

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

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

    Friday, November 30, 2012

    Fitness Fridays: Fitness Goals for December

    It has been a while since my last Fitness Fridays post, where every Friday I would come by briefly to track my own progress and to motivate anyone else who was on a journey to good health and well being. Honestly, I have been slacking on my weekly workout plans. It didn't feel ethical to preach about physical fitness if I wasn't living it. However, I was able to re-discover inspiration and I've taken some time to re-focus and get back on track for December and enter the new year in full force. I believe starting now will benefit more so the momentum isn't lost mid-year.

    With that being said, I've made a few fitness goals to commit to starting bright and early tomorrow morning. Not only will this give me a good starting point to get back in peak performance shape, it will also allow me to prepare for a January detox. The program is being prepared by a friend of mine who specializes in holistic wellness. I'm really excited to just clean out my system of all the toxins and be able to properly begin a healthy lifestyle. My goals are as follows:

    Pinned Image♥ No fast food
    ♥ Less eating out, more cooking [balanced] meals
    ♥ Only drink water, tea, and juicing fluids
    ♥ Very limited alcohol intake
    ♥ Run 2 miles in the morning and 2 miles in the evening 5 days a week
    ♥ Swim at least 4,000 yards 4 times per week
    ♥ Keep it spicy: switch up the workouts to keep it fun and interesting
    ♥ Do ab-focused sets right before bed (I.e. 3 reps of 50 crunches, 50 sit ups, 50 Russian twist )

    My advice to anyone who is attempting to shape up who is not sure about where to start: start small. My list may sound intimidating or maybe even impossible, but I am aware of what I am capable of athletically. If you do not have the experience of someone who has been an athlete most of her life, it is okay to start simple. Perhaps, start with 1 mile jog, 3 mornings per week and a fitness class for the day time. You have to be honest with yourself, but you should never be afraid to challenge yourself. If you are able to do so, it would be a great investment to meet with a personal trainer and nutritionist, so that an expert is able to guide you and create a workout regimen that works for you and what you are looking to achieve. Many people will try to do things alone and do it the wrong way, which can be dangerous in the long run. Also, it may help to find a reliable workout partner with equal interest, yet a higher experience level. The most important thing is to focus on improvement and not be afraid of where you are right now in your fitness journey.

    Hope this helped and I look forward to staying consistent with this particular segment of the blog.
    Happy Fitness!!!

    Chymere Anais

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012


    There is a voice inside all of us, 
    That lies beyond the fibers of physical make up
    A voice that is quiet and calm and honest
    Bearing the essence of the thoughts and dreams that sit in confinement
    That little voice, just waiting to make a difference
    But we being composed with trained qualities like fear
    Are too afraid to be heard loud and clear
    Too afraid that if the curtain is pulled that the spotlight might be too bright
    Or the defense for what’s right won’t be liked by the audience
    A deep dark penetrating fear that blocks the blessing to ears
    So the chaos continues, people ignorant of current issues
    Children misguided by the mere silence
    A mind plagued with guilt and fatigue
    From thoughts fighting to be released
    All because no one is brave enough to speak


    Monday, November 26, 2012

    Photo Diary: Thanksgiving Moments

    Being around family centers me.  It's so important for me personally to surround myself with love and I've been so blessed to have a family as close knit as mine is.  Upholding some of these traditions we have now depends on my generation and younger generations.  As the years go by, I can only hope our bond grows stronger, so that my future children will have the kind of rewarding childhood I experienced, just because I had a family reunion every Thanksgiving (and most summers) to look forward to. Blessed.


    Wednesday, November 21, 2012


    I love the fact that my grandma has kept every single letter my grandfather wrote her during his time in the military, while he was still courting her. A love that is as strong as theirs is something I pray I have the opportunity to experience with someone one day.  It's sad that the digital age has stripped away the sincerity and vintage beauty of handwritten letters, but it's something that I will do until my muscles no longer allow me to.

    I'm sitting here with my grandma while I'm diligently typing this elaborate, wonderful story of love and bliss.  Breaking the silence that danced in the room, she asked, "What are you over there typing?"

    "A love story," I say briefly, not wanting to break my focus.

    "About who?" she pries further.

    "You and granddaddy."

    For a moment, the silence returned, as if we were trying to create a space for his spirit to join the conversation.

    She giggled softly, "Oh honey...that story has to be written on a different kind of paper." 

    The implication that their love defied modern definitions made me erase this long story I'd already typed, because somehow her thought sounded profound enough metaphor to be the perfect summary and ending.

    Chymere Anais

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Mon-Wave Mondays #4

    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images


    As the NBA creeps closer and closer to playoff time with only a few games left in the regular season, there is not much room for error at this point. It’s not looking promising for the L.A. Lakers, who fired head coach Mike Brown this week.  Fans anticipated the return of Phil Jackson only to be disappointed that Mike D’Antoni took the position instead.  Whaaattt? Considering D’Antoni has never won a title with any of his previous teams nor has he lead any teaam to the playoffs, I think that was an extremely miscalculated move.  Hopefully, the players will be able to pull together and recover from some of the upsets so far in time for the playoffs


    I want to be an optimistic fan, but the Cowboys win Sunday night wasn’t really impressive as far as I’m concerned.  There is still more time, however, for hope to be revived. The tell-all will be determined by what they do Thursday in the Thanksgiving day match-up againgst the Redskins.

    Even as a loyal Dallas Cowboys fan, I must say that the Atlanta Falcons have had an impressive season and 8 games in were undefeated. QB Matt Ryan’s stellar performance will be a great asset post season and with the direction of Mike Smith, they have a chance at taking on any of the elite teams they face post-season.

    Is it too soon for Superbowl predictions?

    The NY Giants have a pretty good chance at making it as Super Bowl contenders again.  In the past, they’ve been pretty diligent at barely motioning into the playoffs and dominating at the last minute.  Although defensively they could be more consistent, they have the strategy to make plays at pivotal moments in the game.

    As far as opposing team, I’d say San Fransisco 49′ers have a pretty decent shot at making it to the Superbowl. I consider the 49′ers to be the underdogs, and it’s always nice to see the underdogs in a title race. As a whole, they have definitely stepped their game up since last season. Defensively, they have established a promising pace that would make them seemingly qualified to perform at a higher level.

    Follow me on Twitter + IG: | @ChymereA

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 30 {Bossa Nova}

    Music is pretty much an important element of my family's cultural dynamics, which is the main reason why it plays such a heavy role in my life today. Growing up, I was always exposed to a variety of music. Even though my house was always full of different sounds from around the world, jazz was always the dominate genre.  There was something incredibly therapeutic about the smooth sway of melodies that rang throughout the confinements of our home. With intentions  to create a peaceful ambiance this week, my musical mood was definitely a reflection of my Latin roots. All week long, I studied, worked, and played with the fond memories of childhood by dancing around the apartment to bossa nova inspired jazz.  It has a funky, yet sweet rhythm and even with added vocals (usually Brazilian, Portuguese, or Spanish lyrics) is so beautiful. Every time I hear it, I fall in love with how it flows so romantically.

    Today's feature artists, Stan Getz & João Gilberto completely set the tone for my environment this week. The letras, or lyrics, of this song are poetry of a once harmonious love story that began to lose its tune. To me, it's one lover trying to explain to the other that the love they share is meant to be. I also love Ella Fitzgerald's upbeat, slighly paraphrased rendition of this song. Take a listen and I hope you enjoy!

    "..I hope you weaken, oh my love
    And forget those rigid rules that undermine my dream of
    A life of love and music with someone who'll understand
    That even though I may be out of tune
    When I attempt to say how much I love you
    All that matters is the message that I bring
    Which is, my dear, I love you..." [English trans.]

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Today I am a Wanderlust Gypsy...

    Port au Prince, Haiti
    Every now and then, I'll find myself lost in a dialogue with someone about the future. Conversations such as this, that stem from mutual dreams and ambitions, really do inspire me and make me extremely proud of the people in my life.  The other day, me and a close friend, who just so happens to be one of the most ambitious young men  I've ever met in my entire life, had an extensive conversation about traveling the world.  It started with him inquiring about where he should travel to next.  In response, I dished out names of the different places that I'd personally like to visit and we began to talk about travel plans for the coming year, as well as upcoming projects in our careers.  Because of the mutual interest, my dreamer's heart smiled just thinking about the possibilities of hopping on a plane (or boat) to any and every destination my heart desires.

    World travel is one of the biggest things on my before 30 list, as I've previously noted.  Nothing fascinates me more than adventure and exploration. The gypsy in me has always believed that 'the world is too big to stay in one corner' and although I've done my share of traveling, it will never be enough until I am able to see the world.  It's so sad to know that there are people who have never seen further than their own back yard. Being able to experience different cultures is powerful.  The way the lens is automatically transformed when a person realizes how vast the world, even in the ugliest spaces of it, is a complete humbling experience and if one has the opportunity/luxury and resources to tread the earth, learning the beautiful differences of humanity while basking in God's amazing artistry, they are fortunate and blessed. 

    With such a huge heart for world travel, I'm speaking it into existence that I will be financially suited to travel tons more next year, put this passport of mine to use, and if God allows, a road trip or two with friends and/or family before the year is over. To add to that wish, an incredible camera [like this one] to capture all the moments. Not only do I think it would be personally rewarding, but also beneficial for the sake of accolades.  For instance, there is so much material I could gather for my writing, another level of inspiration to create more in depth character sketches and thicker plots.  It could even be an avenue to growing my business along with this blog.  What there is to gain outweighs whatever could be lost.

    Lanikai, Hawaii
    Send me to:
    ~Paris, France 
    ~Arta, Greece
    ~Port au Prince, Haiti
    ~Rio de Janero, Brazil
    ~Cape Town, Africa
    ~Sydney, Austrailia
    ~Barcelona, Spain
    ~Lanikai, Hawaii
    ~London, England
    ~Cairo, Africa
    ....just to name a few of the places I'd gladly book a flight to tomorrow if I had a chance and hopefully one day be able to experience them with a special someone. Until that day comes, I'm falling in love and practically consumed with the thought of a jet setter lifestyle more and more each day.

    Is travel on your bucket list? Where are some places you dream of traveling to?

    {Special thanks to bloggers like Bobbi and Gabby from En Route that help me realize just how much travel means.  One day I will have travel stories of my own. In the meantime, I live vicariously through them!}

    Chymere Anais

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Releasing fear. Releasing doubt. Releasing control.

    This week, I lived my life according to how I imagine my life to be, acting and moving as thou.  Sometimes we get so caught up in where we'd rather be, that we forget to enjoy where we are. In my thoughts on Friday evening, I vented on Twitter with realizations of how blessed I am; how I could wake up tomorrow [breathing] and lose it all in some wild fire explosion, yet still have an abundance left.  Tonight/this morning, I literally used my physical lens, glanced at this space I've had the opportunity to create from scratch, to see that I have so much to be thankful for (i.e. transportation, a place to live, etc).  I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I honor where I am.  Finally, I'm at a place where I am able to reach beyond what I can see now and know that, ultimately, everything will be okay, because it's all in God's strong, unyielding hands.  And I'm genuinely happy, for no other reason than I want to be; because it's healthy, helpful, and because it's a waste of time to be anything but.

    At certain points of my life, I wasn't sure that it was remotely possible to overcome the things I went through.  My journals were so full of tears, convinced that my life was breaking into eternal shambles. The reason I moved on from the old blog was, because it held so many of those moments for the world to see.  In retrospect, I never had a reason to worry; my prayers were always completely safe.  So now, I'm not only praying, I'm also preparing and believing in my heart that the universe understands, even when I don't quite have the words to say in order to make myself understood.

    Releasing fear. Releasing doubt. Releasing control. 

    So 100+ post later, with many more to come, I now understand why writing is so real to me.  Yes, as a writer, I love the constant feedback I receive from blogging. One single comment has the power to light up my world. I love to make my mark using my gift and  gratefully accept those who read, as well as those who don't care to. Because I do understand that the depth of my words once written, how they affect others, and how they affect me, audience is not the motive anymore. More importantly, I knit these words together so that the message I transmit to the universe/God, what I manifest for myself, and the seeds I plant in the lives of others will all come out beautifully, serving a divine purpose. 

    Living in the moment, patiently waiting to see how life unfolds. I hope you are ready to enter the next phase of this journey with me!

    -Chymere A.

    Monday, November 12, 2012


    In Lust With: Channing Tatum, as well as the latest eye candy from No Boiz Allowed Mr. Don Benjamin . Yes to the Lord.

    In Love With: God. Myself. Ambition. And those individuals in my circle who embody all of the above. Everything happening to, for, and around me. Life is simply beautiful = )
    Working On:  press kits for my business, assignments/research papers for class, and trying to maintain a healthy balance. Yikes!
    Favorite Words: "When was the last time you allowed your soul to validate something for you?" Food for thought from last Sunday's sermon The Truth About Truth
    Favorite Visual: This new lovely layout for my blog, designed by Kimberly Luxe. It definitely exceeded all my expectations!
    Favorite Sound: Bossa Nova inspired jazz...Stan Gentz & Joao Gilberto radio on Pandora is just so...soothing. Great music to study/work to.
    Over the Moon About: The power of creating my own reality using divine imagination, the ability to see a situation, imagine as true, and it come to reality.

    Thinking Of: holiday plans and gifting ideas.
    Dreaming Of: Days where I allow my body to wake up naturally, make a cup of coffee, sit down at my desk and just write. Shower. Dress. Make an appearance at my office only to be greeted by enthused and art-driven employees, followed by a day of casual business meetings, expressing to clients and business partners my creative ideas, having lunch with a friend, exploring different parts of California. When I come home, curl up in my lounge wear with my the love of my life; cook for him, laugh with him, converse, watch a movie, then write some more. Fall asleep and wake up to a different schedule with consistent faces, yet another equally amazing day that I anticipate, love, and appreciate. One day...
    Chymere Anais
    {New 'Currently' format inspiration from The Indie Byline}

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

    Soundtrack Saturdays: vol. 29 {In Love We Trust}

    Jhene Aiko is an up and coming artist from Los Angeles, who I stumbled upon quite some time ago. Maybe some people weren't old enough to remember her collaborations with R&B/pop group, B2K, in the early 2000's, but she's definitely come a long way since then. She's a lot more soulful and seemingly more in tune with her truth now. 

    Although this came out about a year ago, I still really adore this song and how her angelic voice sounds on the track. It was a good idea to bring Casey Veggies in to really bring out a masculine counterpart to the message of this song.

    Follow me on Twitter + IG: | ♡ @ChymereA

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012


    {It's been a while since I've done a currently post. Although so much has happened in the past month or so, some of the answers are still similar to the first Currently back in September.  To track progress, I'm thinking I'll start doing this monthly with a twist. Thanks again, to Kimberly for the original idea.}

    ♥ Obsessing Over: Christmas decorating and I'll just say in light of the season, I've really become quite the Betty Homemaker. I'm spending hours in craft stores, sniffing candles, planning recipes, and making sure my apartment looks, feels, and smells like the perfect, cozy Christmas for the next 2 months.
    ♥ Working On: building the business side of CA Creative ™ . It's a lot of work, but definitely makes me look forward to the next "work" day.  Usually, I'm not able to focus all my attention on a single thing, let alone force it to happen on a daily basis. However, something about this project inspires and motivates me beyond what I can describe and when I sit down to create, it all seems to just flow so naturally. 
    ♥ Thinking about: What I can do (or keep doing) to mentally, physically, and spiritually prepare myself to recieve the things I've been praying for.
    ♥ Anticipating: spending the holidays with my family and secretly buying gifts for a particular family I've come to adore...A family that proves that even language barriers can't stop love from shining through.  Also, looking forward to doing a lot more traveling in 2013.
    ♥ Listening to: Neyo's recent album "R.E.D. (Realizing Every Dream)" on repeat (Please believe, there will be an album review this Saturday for SS!)
    ♥ Happy about:  President Barack Obama continuing his reign as the President of the United States of America and that I was able to be apart of history twice in this lifetime. Unforgettable.
    ♥ Drinking: Water and Simply Lemonade with mango

    ♥ Wishing: that people, despite their race, income status, and gender would unite to make positive differences more often.

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    Presedential Election 2012

    [11.6.12]  In just a few hours, many of us are preparing to witness the admission of the next leader of the United States of America. I have my reasons why I would like to see President Obama continue his presidency for this next term, and although I could give an entire spill as to why he should, it's not my intention to persuade you in any way or tell you who to vote for, but to simply encourage everyone over the age of 18 who is registered to get out there and VOTE, if you have not done so already. Exercising the right to vote is so important in building the economy and moving this country forward. A small thing such as having the resources to educate yourself and formulate an opinion was not even an option for most people at one point.  It's a suffrage that my ancestors died for. Before 1920, women were not allowed to vote. For me, it's all about being able to be apart of a progressive history in a major way. I'm just here to let you know that your voice matters, and if you have been paying attention to the debates, now more than ever.
    Despite the outcome, it's imperative that we keep all the politicians (President, VP, Congressmen/women, state legislators, etc.) in prayer.  It's not an easy task to run and entire nation in ruins, therefore we have to learn how to trust a higher force (God), instead of putting all our trust and faith in one man. At the end of the day, the future is built in collective effort, which includes the citizens of America.
    Be resillient. Be empowered. Go vote. 
    May the best candidate win.
    Chymere Anais

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 28 {Tori Kelly}

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

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 27 {#GHOE12}

    It's only right that today's Soundtrack Saturdays honors the spirit of the the highly anticipated-never duplicated-
    North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University GHOE2012
    GHOE is a trademark acronym for Greatest Homecoming On Earth, for those of you who aren't familiar with the termonology. 

    {Disclaimer: In no way is this list a typical representation of my personal taste in music, however I strongly believe in the balance of things.}

    Hope you enjoy this year's top radio anthems for HBCU homecoming season.  Also check out Madame Noir's article on 7 Best Things About Black Homecoming.

    1. "Swimming Pools"-Kendrick Lamar
    2. "Money on the Floor"-Big K.R.T. ft.2 Chainz, 8-Ball, & MJG
    3. "Take it to the Head" -DJ Khaled ft. Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj
    4. "Pop That" -French Montana ft. Rick Ross, Drake, and Lil' Wayne (TUNECHI!)
    5. "Clique" -[G.O.O.D. Music] Big Sean, Kanye West, and Jay-Z
    6. "Bag of Money" -Rick Ross ft. T-Pain
    7. "Do It (rmx)" -Mykko Montana ft. Gucci Mane, Nelly, Yo Gotti, Travis Porter, Jeremih, and Nitti Beatz
    8. "Bandz'll Make Her Dance" -Juicy J.
    9. "Put it Down" -Brandy ft. Chris Brown
    10. "The Birthday Song" -Two Chainz
    11. "Dance For You" -Beyonce  Just for that final play, late night slow dance. = )

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Write Me (Back) Soon

    [Some more poetry for you guys. I know these are far in between but I do hope you all enjoy!
    And just in case you were wondering, yes. This is a very personal piece, but so are all the others.  I'm finally at a place where I can share this part of me with ease. ]

    Precious words spilled all over the empty pages
    From the bottom of my soul like imprisoned birds escaping dark cages
    Each word had a chunk of my heart enclosed
    Each line held a secret that I no longer had strength to hold
    Not sure if what I had to say would push you further away
    Or posses the power of love conquers all to seal our fate
    So naturally, my pen becomes the translator in a language of love that faded over time
    Writing a story of how true love, even after being jaded, has potential to thrive
    In an honest effort to reconstruct the love we once knew
    Was my bravery invisible or did it shine through
    Many sleepless nights spent wondering if you eyes ever crossed my heart's message
    With fragile hope that your hands caressed it and your mind would digest it, but not neglect it
    The jewels of my words were carefully carved to speak my truth
    Is it too much to ask for your scripted heart the same way I scripted mine for you?
    Patiently I wait as my heart breaks with every passing moon
    And each morning another prayer that you find the courage to write me back soon


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