Saturday, June 30, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 10 {National Anthem}

Here's a play list I've created a play list with songs from completely different vibes, genres, and times. In addition, the feature video is a video that I love completely by Lana Del Rey.  As it is a metaphorical representation of the John F. Kennedy, what he stood for, and how he voluntarily became apart of a struggle that was not his, it's a bit controversial, but it's so deep and I love the meaning behind it; just in time for American Independence Day.

  1. National Anthem -Lana Del Rey*
  2. Loving You -Paolo Nutini
  3. Disparate Youth -Santigold
  4. Nightfall -Robert Francis
  5. Balloons -Foals
  6. Ray of Light-Madonna
  7. Let's Go -Calvin Harris ft. Ne-yo
  8. Unbelievable -EMF
  9. Wonderful Life -Estelle
  10. You Get What You Give -New Radicals
  11. Autumn Serenade -Kurt Elling
  12. Be Good (Lion's Song)-Gregory Porter
  13. Pyramids -Frank Ocean
  14. The World is Ours -Rick Ross MMG ft. Pharrell, Meek Mill, & Stalley
  15. Around My Way -Lupe Fiasco 
  16. Lately-Dom Kennedy

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 9 {Cali Bound Playlist Pt. I}

Here is a list of songs from my Cali Bound playlist on my ipod.  These are some of my favorite songs that make me smile and, somehow, always put the silver lining in my clouds of doubt:
  1. Natasha Bedingfield-"Unwritten"
  2. Janet Jackson- "Escapade"
  3. Joss Stone- "Free Me"
  4. Andy Grammer- "Keep Your Head Up"
  5. Bob Marley- "Is This Love"
  6. Laura Izibor- "Shine"
  7. Rascal Flatts- "Summer Nights"
  8. Jhero- "Everything"
  9. Jessie J.- "Who We are"
  10. Lee Ann Womack- "I Hope You Dance"
  11. India.Arie- "Video"
  12. Ne-yo- "Better Today"
  13. George Benson- "Breezin'"
  14. Zack Brown Band- "Knee Deep"
  15. Nina Simone- "Feelin' Good"
  16. Miguel- "...All"
  17. 2 a.m. Club- "Same Night Sky"
  18. Herbie Hancock ft. Corinne Bailey Rae- "River"
  19. Leona Lewis- "Happy"
  20. Jordin Sparks- "One Step at a Time"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On the Little Things (Carpe Diem)

photography by: Chymere A.

Many times in life, we tend to forget to count our blessings and fail to learn how to find happiness in the most unexpected places.  We get so caught up in busy agendas, careers, drama, etc. that we forget the little things. That's the lesson I've been clinging to lately; to slow down and stop and smell the roses from time to time.

Early this morning, I took a drive to clear my head and ended up at a children's garden. Walking on this little cobblestone path surrounded by things most people ignore on a daily basis, I whispered a prayer to thank God for the breath of life and for the beauty of his creation. Suddenly, my innocence resurfaced and the lens I saw life through changed.

God lead me in this corner of town for a reason; He needed me to unplug from all my distractions and be still enough to hear His voice. Horace, a Roman poet, once concluded an ancient poem with the phrase: 'carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero'. This translates to: 'seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future'. Every waking moment holds a purpose. It's an amazing verse that I've permanently adapted as a personal mantra and it's tattoo'd so that I will never forget.

Realizing that so many people don't wake up to see a new day, or can't even hear/see/walk to experience a new day, I felt so blessed to be alive and present. By the end of my stroll, my thoughts stayed in pockets of my brain in an organized manner. I was re-energized and felt a blanket of peace wrap around me. I love finding hidden treasures like this one, full of serenity and inspiration.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekend Rules x Shanel Cooper-Sykes

Saturday night, one of my mentors, the lovely Shanel Cooper-Sykes, a woman I admire and respect so much, dropped jewels of wisdom for the ladies with the hash tag #WEEKEND RULES on twitter.  Many people, here and there, over the years have taught me what I should be aware of as far as partying goes, but I think this list alone is a pretty exceptional compilation of the best advise I've ever heard. I decided to post it on my blog, because it has the potential to save some young lady out there who doesn't have a clue. Here are the 20 rules on how a lady should conduct herself and maintain poise in public, social setting:
  1. Make sure all your task, responsibilities, and situations are complete so that you actually have an accomplishment to celebrate.
  2. Have a reason to go out (to meet people, to spend time with friends, to enjoy music, to dance, etc.)  If you are going out because you are bored or lonely, STAY HOME and work on YOU! Read, work out, study, write, meditate, etc.
  3. Decide where you're going, what you want to experience, and your plan before you go out, so you don't become apart of someone else's plan.
  4. Have a spending plan before you go out so that you aren't just blowing unnecessary money without realizing it.
  5. Dress how you want to be addressed. Don't go out looking like trash and then be mad when you're treated like it.
  6. Stand out.  Don't wear the same ole "freakum dress", lashes, and long weave that everyone else will have. Be different. Be unique.
  7. Hydrate your body will and eat good if you plan to drink.  If you are dehydrated and hungry, you'll get drunk quickly and that's not cute!
  8. Set your alcohol limit before you start drinking and when you reach it, STOP.  A good buzz lasts a while, but it can fool you to think you can take one more.  Being drunk is so unattractive (and dangerous).  Do that at home, not in public.
  9. Have your own money, buy your own drinks, but graciously receive if a guy offers to buy you one.  There is nothing worse than a chick standing at the bar looking thirsty! And there is nothing wrong with even sending a guy a drink!
  10. Do no accept drinks from others that have been brought over to you in an open glass.  Though you may trust your friends, don't trust the trail of people that the drink passed to get to you.  Date rape drugs and Micky's are commonly used!
  11. Don't easily give out your number to random men who just asked for it.  You're worth more than that! Have a conversation first and if there is a mutual attraction, then take his number.  Then wait a few minutes and text him something cute and sweet.
  12. Don't be on your phone tweeting and texting all night.  It makes you look lonely and desperate.  Turn it off and enjoy the night.
  13. Have positive conversations.  Don't bring your stress and drama into the weekend.  Let it go and create a better week ahead
  14. Accept compliments and flirting with gratitude-not attitude! After all, there are some women who get no attention at all.
  15. Flirt, be sexy, have fun, laugh, smile, and enjoy the people you are with.  No need to be stank, closed, weird, and funny acting.
  16. Go home before the lights come on! Don't be the last person in the club/lounge.  Leave and let people wonder where you went.
  17. Don't go to the club or bar looking to find your husband.  Not saying it's impossible, but if he's at the club, he is not looking for his wife.
  18. Don't sit around VIP tables, celebs, or men with money who are buying bottles.  It's obvious what you're up to and they know it.  Gold diggers aren't cute!
  19. When you're drinking a drink, sip from the same spot.  Don't have lipstick smudges and fingerprints all over the glass.  It looks nasty.
  20. Represent God in you at all times.  Be a lady. Be aware.  Be responsible.  Be beautiful.  Be grateful.  And enjoy yourself!
So, there you have it, the "blueprint", for that next roadtrip with friends or a fun girls night out. To be apart of a network of extraordinary women and improve the quality of your life, be sure to check out some of the classes, products, and seminars offered by Shanel Cooper by clicking here.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 8 {PUSH}

If you've noticed from my post in the past week or so, my thoughts have been super California-centric lately.  This song, released in October 2011 from Lenny Kravitz most recent album, 'Black &White America', came to mind when I was reflecting, writing down my goals, and looking for musical inspiration. The lyrics are so powerful and planted a seed when I first heard it, letting me know that one day I will be able create a new home somewhere else; in my case, on the West coast. Push carries a powerful message that defines what I have to do at every point of my life, a little more clearly than I can on my own. This song is just another reminder of  how much I adore Lenny Kravitz, who is an incredible artist/musician and one fine God creation, lol.  Hope the song blesses you the same way it blessed me!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A List of Mind Wanderings

  • I miss my family so much.  When I get to the point where I feel like I'm losing balance in my own life, family always brings me back to my center; I don't think any of them realize that.
  • Lately, I've been thinking about my future.  In a month exactly, I'll be turning 23. I wonder about what my life is going to look like at 25 and if I'm spending enough time investing in my purpose, my dreams, and myself.
  • Jet-setter, domestic goddess, or both if possible?
  • There is a deeper level of happiness that I haven't reached yet, potential I haven't seen emerge.  After reading this post on Wacky Little House, I've certainly put a few things into perspective, such as where I am and what's important to me in this moment, besides being spoiled by instant satisfaction and in the process, making a complete mess of things. I'm a constant work in progress.
  • Education is important, but sometimes it's so hard to focus, but because I want to be here, I'm trying my best to find a study regimen that works for how I process things mentally.  This goes hand in hand with the potential thing I mentioned, because I know that I'm intelligent and capable of exiting college successfully.
  • Today, it's a priority for me to relax a bit; read a book by the pool and possibly try to find a local park with a swing set.  Do you remember how free you used to feel when you swung towards the sky and released all inhibitions and worries with laughter? I need to feel that child-like spirit again.
  •  Am I the only person whose brain goes in overdrive during the most abnormal hours?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 7 {Hip Hop & Southern Bass}

It's Saturday, so you already know what time it is! For Vol. 7 of Soundtrack Saturdays, I've decided to do a music review. This week I added two new albums to my ever-growing music collection, both of which I absolutely love,  the debuts of Big K.R.I.T.'s Live from the Underground and Curren$y's Stoned Immaculate.  For a few years Big K.R.I.T. and Curren$y have been huge on the hip-hop scene by always delivering mix tapes that combine real life stories, southern style bass lines, and old school vinyl sounds.  Even as artist who have already established an exceptional mainstream presence, they both managed to stay true to their authentic, underground images and that's what I enjoyed most about my listening experience. I also like the fact that I can just press play and that is, unfortunately rare these days. Some call it "stoner music", which is obviously a fitting label, but I appreciate mellow music that I can just vibe to.  Plus, most of the greatest musicians known to man, at some point, created high inspired music (Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Bobby Womack, etc.), but I digress. These albums have been blasting in rotation all week and get a definite two thumbs up (and a smile) from me. Great investment.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Flip a Coin

Decision making is such a hard process for me sometimes.  It's probably just fear of knowing how many bad life choices I've made in the past and not wanting to add to that long, ridiculous list of mishaps.  I guess I'm a little more cautious than I use to be, but for good reasons right?  I don't know. I love the new me, the me that I spent so much time rebuilding; however, I miss that part of me that took risk and was never afraid to fail.  It didn't matter how ill thought out an idea was or how stupid it sounded to others, I would always follow my heart. Now? Not so much.  To be honest, I'm not even sure what my heart is saying and I have no recollection of when I became so out of touch with my own inner voice. I’ve been following the rules and acting against impulse. Seems like, in an honest effort to be right, I’ve lost a sense of individuality and creativity.  As much as I try to embrace uncertainty, this feeling is just a bit overwhelming. 

The time has arrived for me to make a solid decision once again.  Rather than feeling confident in my prayers and myself, I have crazy, gymnastic butterflies doing flips in my stomach.  On top of that, the walls are closing in, meaning I don't have all the time in the world to think it through.  Perhaps I should just flip a coin. 

Often, I read an excerpt from a book by Rainer Marie Rilke, entitled Letters to a Young Poet, because I find myself in a similar place quite a bit.  It inspires me and reminds me that questions do not necessarily come from some unknown, evil force and to be patient with myself in order to discover the answers I receive from God..the universe.
“You are so young; you stand for beginnings. I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will, gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day. Perhaps you are indeed carrying within yourself the potential to visualize, to design, and to create for yourself an utterly satisfying, joyful, and pure lifestyle. Discipline yourself to attain it, but accept that which comes to you with deep trust, and as long as it comes from your own will, from your own inner need.”
This is such a refreshing and beautifully written perspective to my a.m. venting.   Hopefully I'll be able to apply it. 

♥ @ChymereA

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 6 {Just a Kiss}

When I think about how I would ideally like the perfect love to happen, this song comes to mind. I fell in love the minute I heard it on the radio last summer.  The lyrics as well as this video describe those good feelings of growing to love and connecting with someone on a deeper level. Lady Antebellum is a really great group and so many of their songs, especially from Own the Night, touch my heart's imagination. Just a Kiss is definitely one of those songs. 

Chymere Anais

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