Friday, August 31, 2012

Fitness Fridays: Fresh New Start

As you probably already guessed, today marks the first day of a new weekly, 3-month installment on this blog: I officially welcome you to Fitness Fridays.  Today for Fitness Fridays, I came up with a few basic notes based on my outlook on what it means to be in shape and helpful guidelines for anyone beginning a fitness journey of their own.  It's not implying that I am a know-all expert, but most of what's offered is from participation in and coaching sports, as well as knowing what works for me when I'm on my own...
{Source: Women's Health Magazine}

  1. Define what fitness means and why it is important (to you).  In America alone, there are so many different sources of information floating around molding the general public's ideas of being in shape.  Most of these sources have valid studies and contributing research to prove a particular stand point, but a lot of it, especially in media, is the reason so many people walk around with low self esteem and a poor self image.  It's as if beauty has been painted a certain way and if an individual is deviates from that portrait, it's ugly, or not good enough to be called beautiful.  Whether is to release a certain amount of weight or reach your highest performance level in a particular sport, the key is to understand that being in shape has more to do with long term health and ability.  Even though physical fitness is popular, it has to be more than an effort to impress people or follow a trend.  Find out what it means for you personally and let that be your sole motivation; not what you see on the cover of a magazine.
  2. Create and constantly affirm a champion mindset.  Believe that you have what it takes to successfully achieve your fitness goals, but also develop a habit of looking in the mirror and being proud of yourself every single day of this journey.  It's no need to compare yourself to someone more athletic, skinnier, more muscular, etc. Understand that everyone starts somewhere and even the pros have failed at some point. See where you want to be in your mind, stay focused, and keep going!   
  3. Start slow.  If you are not accustomed to heavy workouts or it's been a while since you've done any sort of physical activity, it's not necessary to kill yourself in the gym for 5 hours the first day. I always notice how people, especially on Twitter, love to boast about how many miles they've run or how much time they've spent in the gym.  Realize that technique, which improves over time, is more important than over working your body the wrong way.   It is okay to start off with just a 30 minute work out and slowly progress to a 2 hour work out.  Treat your body kindly.
  4. Drink plenty of water and don't see food as the enemy.  We all know water is essential to everyday life.  The law we've known forever is to stay hydrated.  However, the one thing we can't seem to acknowledge is that food is not the enemy.  Although I'm still learning healthier alternatives to satisfy my sweet tooth, I don't deprive myself of foods I love and I don't diet.  If I indulge in a slice of cake, I'm not going to feel guilty and go extra hard on my work out routine for the next day.  When you let go of the guilt, watch how much more naturally healthy decisions are made!
  5. Last but not least, have fun!  If you are not being satisfied when you exercise, try something new.  Sign up for a dance class. Find a fitness partner. Change up the playlist.  Go for a hike or bike ride.   There are millions of ways to stay active; you are not subjected to running and weight lifting.  Whatever it takes to keep fitness fun, so that you actually enjoy taking care of yourself, do it.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 17 {Black & White Risque}

Feeling a little risque this week and wanted to incorporate that sexy mood into Soundtrack Saturdays. I absolutely love these songs and the black/white, creative aspect of the featured videos.

1. "In the Dark"-JoJo

2. "Play"-Goapele

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 18 {Liam Bailey & Gary Clark, Jr.}

Liam Bailey and Gary Clark, Jr. are two young artist with so much talent; they are so amazing. Both musicians, both from different parts of the globe (UK and America) have equally incredible auras that speak loudly through their feel good music. These two songs have been on my musical radar and I couldn't wait to post them for this week's SS. Hope you guys enjoy!

♥ Chymere A.

1. Liam Bailey - "Please Love Me" 
2. Gary Clark Jr. - "Bright Lights"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fitness Fridays: The Introduction

Nike Women "Make Yourself" Campaign: shot by Annie Leibovitz
Getting back in peak performance shape, as mentioned in a previous post, has proven to be hard work, yet rewarding.  I am loving the momentum building up everyday and where my energy level is since I've started back on a substantial work out plan.  The quality of my life is definitely changing for the better.

While looking over the goals on my To Accomplish list, I wanted to add something that would help me stay motivated on my fitness journey; so I've decided to train for a triathlon with Revolution3 for the next 3 months on top of my current excersise regimen, using Nike Training Club app on my iphone and websites such as Shape and Livestrong as guides.  Initially, the plan was to train without actually participating, but I thought to myself why not participate? Not only will ultimately it give me something to work towards, but I also I think it will be a really fun experience and, upon completion, will prove to be a great achievement to add to personal accolades. There are great things to be said about individuals who are able to conquer such a goal that requires a high level of physical ability, as well as mental preparation and self discipline.
To document my progress, I am incorporating a Fitness Fridays on the blog every week, starting next Friday, August 31, 2012. In this way, I can get feedback from my readers and motivate someone who may be on a parallel journey. It will include tips, inspirational quotes, recipes, journal excerpts, and pretty much anything related to fitness and healthy living.  Perhaps this new installment will inspire others to do a triathlon along with me. If you do decide or are already planning to participate in one and would like to be featured on Fitness Fridays, please shoot me an email me or shoot me a DM via Twitter [contact info can be found in the 'contact' tab above], because it would be so fun to create an army of athletes to blog this journey with!
Let the training begin!
[Sidenote: Thank you guys for your constant encouragement.  The comments you leave and the best wishes you send are remarkable and really do mean a lot to me.  I always feel the love from the web of support I've developed through blogging. During those times where I can't seem to motivate myself, there is always that one comment that makes me realize my dreams again, so I do cherish the connections I make here and want you guys to know that I am forever thankful.]

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 16 {My Week + Love Songs Pt. II}

My Week:

  • "Just What I Am"-Kid Cudi
  • "All Right"-Ledisi
  • "Total Praise"-Chrisette Michele
  • "Blessed"-Jill Scott
  • "What Can We Do (Here We Go Again"-Cris Cab
  • "Boobie Miles"-Big K.R.I.T.
  • "Smile"-Kirk Franklin

loves songs (the play list):

  1. "Ribbon in the Sky"-Stevie Wonder
  2. "I Have Nothing"-Whitney Houston
  3. "Half of My Heart"-John Mayer ft. Taylor Swift
  4. "So Amazing"-Luther Vandross
  5. "Still"-Tamia
  6. "If This World Were Mine"-Luther Vandross & Cheryl Lynn
  7. "Vision of Love"-Mariah Carey
  8. "Your Love is King"-Sade
  9. "I Knew I Loved You"-Savage Garden
  10. "Am I Dreaming?"-Xcape ft. Keith Sweat
  11. "Superhuman"-Ginuwine
  12. "At Your Best"-Aaliyah
  13. "Angel of Mine"-Monica
  14. "Greatest Love"-Musiq Soulchild
  15. "1000 Things"-Jason Mraz
  16. "Baby I'm Yours"-Shai
  17. "Is This Love"-Bob Marley
  18. "Heaven Can Wait"-Michael Jackson


Sunday, August 12, 2012

To Accomplish...

Summer has come and gone so fast, which means it's time for me to set new goals and enter fall with a BANG.  Making list are helpful tools for recall and organization purposes, therefore anytime I write a goal, big or small, down, there is a greater chance of me actually doing it. Because resolutions are not limited to the New Year, here is my mid-year, To Accomplish, List:
  • Get involved with a cause that means a lot to me.
  • Revise my vision board.
  • Create a sensible spending plan for myself.
  • Work on a DIY project.
  • Spend at least 30 minutes per day doing something that will contribute to my career (read, work on my magazine, brand build,write, etc.).
  • Write letters to my family members that I don't see often.
  • Release dead weight spiritually.
  • Lose weight physically.
  • Make healthier choices.
  • Find ways to contact women who inspire me to simply say 'thank you for being an inspiration'.
  • Go to a sporting event, alone or with a friend.
  • Travel backwards by successfully planning a beach vacation for the fall months and a trip up north before the summer is officially over, again alone or with a friend.
  • Take a train/bus ride, somewhere, anywhere.
  • Design an outfit, re-learn how to sew, and dust off my sewing machine to make it, even if it's something simple.
  • Pick a definite deadline [mm/dd/yyyy] to move to California.
  • Try to talk my family into moving with me. lol.
"Eventually I discovered for myself the utterly simple prescription for creativity: be intensely yourself. Don’t try to be outstanding; don’t try to be a success; don’t try to do pictures for others to look at – just please yourself." -Ralph Steiner



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 15 {Favorite Love Songs Pt. I}

For some reason, my mind has been stuck in the clouds lately; revolving around thoughts of love.  It leaves a bittersweet taste, an odd desire for a consistent companion for those Friday nights in. Not sure if it's loneliness kicking in or feeling like I'm finally ready to invest in something real, but for the sake of what this post is about, I won't go into least not today.  For this week's SS, I've created a playlist of of my favorite love songs and since there are so many, I've broken it into 4 parts. 

Favorite love songs (Pt. I)

  1. "Weak"-SWV
  2. "Ribbon in the Sky"-Stevie Wonder
  3. "I Choose You"-Ryan Leslie
  4. "Diary"-Alicia Keys
  5. "Here I Stand"-Usher
  6. "Someone to Love You"-Ruff Endz
  7. "Cosmic Journey"-Solange
  8. "Sweetest Love"-Robin Thicke
  9. "So High"-John Legend
  10. "Everytime We Touch"-Cascada
  11. "Nothing Like Loving You"-Amerie
  12. "Still in Love (Kissing You)"-Beyonce
  13. "Love is You"-Chrisette Michele
  14. "Make Me Whole"-Amel Larrieux
  15. "Angel"-Anita Baker
  16. "Beautiful Surprise"-India.Arie
  17. "A Thousand Years"-Christina Perri
  18. "Alone Together"-Marsha Ambrosius ft. Daley
  19. "So Beautiful"-Musiq Soulchild
  20. "You and Me"-Lifehouse
For Part IV, I' think it will be really fun and interactive to do somewhat of a readers' choice, combining the favorite love songs of my readers' and followers on twitter

What are some of your favorite love songs?

Chymere Anais

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Album Review | Watch The Throne - Jay Z + Kanye West

Artist: Jay Z, Kanye WestAlbum: Watch the Throne (2011)
Original review: August 8, 2012 on The CA Blog

One year removed from the release of arguably the best hip-hop collaborative albums of the past decade, Jay Z and Kanye West blessed summer 2011 with Watch the Throne, an almost obnoxious celebration of their successes, the empire they've built, collectively and individually, and the entities they've become. It was the beginning of an era where musical powerhouses could come together to create full LP's. The popularity of Watch the Throne was inevitable, yet it was a hit or miss for most people-either they loved it or hated it-but to me, was and still is a piece of work that stands out. If I'm being honest here, if we had to judge a book by the cover, the stunning artwork/design of Riccardo Tisci, I was pretty much sold at first sight. 

What I loved most about project was the lack of competition, where they not only made collaborating without outshining one another look easy, but possible as well. Only naturally, people expected it to be a rap battle of sorts, but that wasn't the case at all; just two mega-artist with roaring pride in who they are and what they do. It makes for a great story line. Also, I think it's pretty cool that the recording sessions were all over the globe in places such as Honolulu, Hawaii, Sydney, Australia, and of course, Paris, France; literally living the dream.

Musically, the production is what made this such a note-worthy album. Imagine names like Q-tip, The Neptunes, 88-Keys, RZA, all in astudio working to achieve one common goal: excellence in music. The samples, the use of beats and live instrumentation, the lyricism were all great attributes of this record as well. I was just entirely pleased with the way this album turned out. Although it was nominated for a few awards like Best Rap Album and made a few year-end list in 2011, I still felt like it was underrated. 

Favorite tracks: 

  • Murder to Excellence
  • Gotta Have it (ft. Frank Ocean)
  • Made in America
Follow me on Twitter: | ♡ @ChymereA

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On Chasing Dreams

I'm such a big dreamer. I fall into deep dialogue with my ambitions and those conversations keep me up at night...but why does it seem so hard to break into any industry involving the arts?  Is it because there are so many people who have become interested in things such as fashion and music, which makes it hard for people who are genuinely passionate about persuing their artistic dimensions? Is it because I have not networked to the point where I have a little black book of  big name connections?  Or is it simply because I'm not working hard enough? 

Whatever the answers, I just hope that I am able to tap into my God-given abilities in order to live out my purpose and manifest the life I was designed to live. There is so much I want and feel called to do; it's just a matter of getting to that place. Even though it sometimes gets frustrating to chase dreams empty handed, I won't/can't give up until I get there, which I believe makes me a solid candidate for success.

Chymere Anais

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 14 {Country Love}

1. "Wanted" -Hunter Hayes I heard this song for the first time this week and I just thought it the melody and lyrics were such a beautiful combination. It put me in a 'country love' type of mood instantly.

2. "Fasted Girl in Town" -Miranda Lambert
A definite contrast to the first song on this mini-playlist, I think this song is so seductive and wild.  It has a fun, upbeat Saturday night  energy.

3. "Born Free" -Kid Rock
This popular song just so happens to be one of my favorite tunes by Kid Rock.  It's classic, liberating and speaks to my soul and my experiences directly.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Normal Gets You Nowhere

Normal Gets You Nowhere by Kelly Cutrone & Meredith Bryan

This book, so far, is absolutely amazing.  A great portion of my thoughts about society and rules have been confirmed.  It fits my personality in so many different ways. When it arrived in the mail, I stayed up for hours reading and it provoked so much thought when I finally put it down. 

It's hard to really give a general synopsis at this point, but I do think it's designed for anyone who never really fit into the status quot.  It's for those bold individuals who, by living out loud, often feel like outcast on the journey of life.  The tone throughout the narration is vulgar and direct, which is a linguistic approach that I understand completely and can appreciate.

Being introduced to her by watching The Hills, I only expected that. I value any author with a honest, transparent delivery.  Although I do love how it is written as well as the subject matter, it's simply not for everyone; not because it's not an extraordinary book, but because it's packed with information that people may be offended by and/or not ready to learn. 

Overall, it's a fabulously liberating book and I can't wait to dive deeper into it.

♡ @ChymereA
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