Saturday, September 28, 2013

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 70 {Love in Flying Colors}

Back in 2009, I was introduced to The Foreign Exchange and I've been hooked ever since. Polish producer, Nicolay, and NC native, singer/songwriter, Phonte, came together and made an incredible collaboration, mixing so many musical elements to create a unique sound. A truly underrated duo, they prove, collectively, that the essence of music is not yet lost.

Their fourth studio album, Love in Flying Colors, dropped Monday of this week and it's honestly the only thing I've been listening to.  I have been patiently waiting on a new project from them, because it's been a while. Just as any +FE fan would expect, this album has caught my full attention with press play value.

'Authenticity' is still a classic and one of my favorite albums, which has been reiterated several times throughout this blog, but this compilation is just as smooth and soulful as any other record they've produced. It gives off a sort of nostalgic, deep love feeling with the lyrics without being super slow in melody and tempo. It's good, easy listening house music, but a few tracks make me break out and dance around with my invisible microphone. This album is absolutely dope. 

Fave tracks: Dreams are Made for Two, On a Day like Today, and Listen to the Rain

♥ Chymere A.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Dream Again

"You have to set your mind and heart to what you want to do to make your dream a reality. It's never to late to dream again." -Mother Darling

Sometimes I need to hear it again-the calming reassurance from a familiar voice-to pull my mind away from self-doubt and feelings of defeat.

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

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

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

Eliminate/let go of anyone who:

  • Agrees with your doubts. As humans, we may accidentally allow our confidence and joy to fade away into the abyss.  Sadly, there are people who will gladly accompany your misery and may even to persuade you to cave in completely.
  • Doesn't see your vision. This is the crazy part, because you also have to use discernment about who you share your visions with. Everyone won't be excited for you. Everyone won't be equally passionate. Everyone won't believe you can do it and some will hope that you don't. Everyone won't be a strong, prayer warrior for you in difficult times. Remember that.
  • Is a negative Nancy. This is anyone who makes you feel bad about letting your light shine. Anyone who doesn't empower you, doesn't benefit you. 
  • Doesn't celebrate small successes with you.  This goes back to finding people who are equally passionate, because if they aren't, they won't be able to appreciate the small steps and milestones towards the bigger goal.  If they can't be there for the little stuff, they don't deserve to be present for the big stuff either.
So, who is left? Your support system, made up of family members, friends, mentors, colleagues, business partners, etc. who have enough respect for you to want you to be the absolute best version of yourself and will never stand by to watch you think you can't achieve the goals you have set to accomplish. It can be hard to discover the people, the wolves in sheep clothing, that you genuinely thought had your best interest at heart, but really don't. It's tough to wave good-bye to people you may have known and befriended for several years. At the end of the day, it is up to you to choose your circle, so choose wisely. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 69 {Carolyn Malachi}

I've actually had the honor and pleasure of speaking to the soulful and incredible singer/song-writer, Ms. Carolyn Malachi on a one-on-one level in the past and getting the chance to dig a little deeper into her perspectives as an artist. When I heard her song Beautiful Dreamer for the first time {circa 2010}, I was immediately smitten. It spoke volumes to me when I was dealing with tragic loss of a close friend who committed suicide. To this day, I wished I could have saved her life with that song. Never forget. 

I digress.

As much as I'd like to do a full feature spotlight on her for SS today, just know that I am saving the good stuff collaboration for a future project. Oh, the anticipation! In the mean time, here is a preview. Although the songs I've chosen aren't exactly new, they're my favorites. Plus, classic/timeless music isn't about trend. Get into her; she is absolutely phenomenal, so is her art. 

♥ Chymere A.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

10 Things that Made Me Smile This Week

For some unknown reason, my emotions were all over the place this week, along with a dark cloud of negativity. Being so down in the dumps was just really wearing me down to the point where it was really counter-productive. Monday through Wednesday, I definitely wasn't in the greatest of moods.  In my journal, I wrote: "..happiness is a choice, so therefore sadness must be the opposing choice." While writing, I found hope in the fact that sometimes, in my own human experience, I do actually make good choices. After understanding that, I came alive in a sense and made a point to remember it.  From now on, when it comes to my sanity and emotional health, I will always choose happiness. 

Even in the midst of what started off as a terrible week, there were some moments that really brightened my day:
  1. My ability to bounce back after a really rough patch of days and realize all my blessings. 
  2. The incredible, unconditional loyalty of my dog during those bad days and her company (I would have felt so alone otherwise). 
  3. Remember the frames I said I wanted on my Fall 2013 wishlist? Well, I found some {via}and they look so pretty on.
  4. Cool, breezy, cardigan weather and seasonal favorites from Starbucks (Hello, Fall!).
  5. This inspirational video {via Erica Fae}love her.
  6. This article.
  7. This photo.
  8. All the [infinite] possibilities of right now and tomorrow.
  9. Momentum and consistency in my workouts.
  10. And as always, music. 
Anytime I morph back into this realm of feeling sorry for myself, I'll have to consider all the things that bring me joy on a daily basis and never forget to experience heaven on earth as much as possible.  The good life.

What made you happy this week??


Chymere Anais

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 68 {The Electric Lady}

Whenever I do album reviews for the Soundtrack Saturdays series, the main thing I always look for is press play value. If I am able to just press play and listen to the entire compilation without skipping a track and still want to hear it all again when the last song goes off, that, to me, is the definition of a great album. It's one of those things that isn't evident in a lot of recent releases, but it's always good to come across that rare component in someone's artistry.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 67 {Loving at the Moment}

A few new albums have dropped recently and thanks to my Rdio app-which is much better than Spotify in my opinion-I'm able to listen to full albums directly from my phone. It tops every music app I have downloaded. This short playlist features absolutely beautiful, sappy, love songs from a select few super talented artist off of their recently released albums. The one I haven't heard is that of Janelle Monae and I am patiently waiting for 9.10.13, scheduled release for the highly anticipated The Electric Lady. I'm pretty sure it is amazing.  Expect a review from that one and a couple from this list. In the meantime, here goes the songs I've been loving at the moment:
Chymere Anais


Thursday, September 5, 2013

JetSet | Carry-On Tote + Travel Essentials

Unfortunately, I haven't done much traveling this year.  There are a few travel arrangements in the works satisfy my inner wanderlust within the next few months left of 2013 and I'm really excited about them for various reasons. Because I intend to travel as much as possible in 2014, I've decided to expand and start a new mini-series entitled, JetSet, a resource and travel guide for young women on the go. 

For the introductory post to this series, I wanted to invite you to sit next to me on this flight to get a sneak peek inside my carry-on tote (lol). I've noticed other bloggers and beauty gurus on YT participate and I personally enjoy them. I like to keep one packed in the case that a last minute, impromptu road trip comes up.  Some of these are wishlist items, such as 1//2//3, but in due time, I'll be making those investments.  Until then, here's how I would pack a minimal bag to meet all the security requirements for a carry on and still manage to have everything I need.
  1. Hoodie. Planes have a tendency to be cold.  Even in a car, people like me will have the a/c blasting. To stay comfortable ready in both situations, I'd recommend a hoodie like this one that's small enough to stuff in the bad and easy to throw on. 
  2. Tablet. A tablet that is compatible with my current phone is one of the things I have yet to invest in, but I soon will.  Tablets' sleek design helps eliminate the need for an over-sized laptop, because it doesn't take up too much space or weigh too much.  The technology is efficient and multi-functional too, so it's just a really nice to have, whether the trip is business related or just for fun.  
  3. Passport wallet. For international travelers, I'd suggest carrying a passport wallet that stores passports along with all the other essentials, like debit/credit and identification cards. This should actually be #1, because having all your important documents and belongings in one, accessible place is extremely important. I really like this one I found on Etsy. 
  4. Magazines. Ebony. Architectural Digest. Nylon. Essence. Rolling Stone. Whatever your preference, magazines are perfect for leisure reading/browsing to keep you busy and entertained. 
  5. Earbuds.  I am currently in the process of putting more music on my phone to avoid having too many gadgets on hand at  once.  From music to audiobooks and videos, this is definitely something I refuse to leave home without, especially on a long flight.
  6. iPhone. Self explanatory, right?
  7. Portable phone charger. And who would want their phone on that dreaded 1% battery life mid-flight? Not I. 
  8. Travel size toiletries. What if your out-of-state crush wants to meet up for lunch when you land? What if you have a layover in a state when you expect to arrive to your destination? This is a woman's travel emergency kit for unexpected changes in the itinerary. In addition to that, security is enforcing more and more restrictions, therefore it's vital to have FAA approved products while traveling. 
  9. Facial wipes.  Flying can tiring, daunting even, so it's good to stay fresh after a long flight. The Pacifica brand is my absolute favorite. Not only do their coconut water cleansing wipes smell and feel incredible on my skin, they are 100% vegan and designed for people with sensitive skin. (By the way, I am not being paid to promote this.) 
  10. Healthy snacks.  It's normal to have the munchies while traveling.  To avoid having to spend an excessive amount of money on food at the airport, pack snacks for in between meals that are both healthy and fulfilling. 
I hope you all enjoyed virtually vacationing with me! 
If you have done a 'what's in my carry on', or any travel related post, please leave the link in the comment section below, so I can check them out. If you've not done one, I tag you!!! 

See Also:


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom: Paralyzing Thoughts

"Many times, we'll think so hard and deep about the [negative] consequences of an action, that we get too caught up in evaluating would could happen if things go wrong. If, in fact, the worst case scenario does take place, that has more to do with the law of attraction than the chances of it actually happening, or someone automatically "knowing" it would occur the way it did beforehand.  There is huge a difference between consideration and downright thinking too much. This form of over thinking is paralyzing and often conditions people to fear potential, even with the possibility of greatness. Never allow a something as weightless as unknowingness to stop you from being great. As the wonderful, yet simple Nike slogan would suggest: Just do it. "
-Chymere Anais

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Creative Habit

If I could rewrite any book word for word with the insurance that I'd remember to apply everything it taught me for the rest of my life, it would most certainly be 'The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life' by: Twyla Tharp.  This book is absolutely incredible. It's amazing how much I have learned so far and the best part about not being finished yet is that there is more to go.  Who knew a renowned choreographer , a person so skilled at something I've never been good at, could turn out to have such a gigantic impact on my life and turn out to be a role model, someone I admire and highly respect?

This book could not have waltz into my life at a more precise time. It's not the first occasion where the title itself caught my interest nor is it the first time I had intentions to actually read it, but it is the first time I've actually picked up a copy.  Though it is a pretty easy book to get through with uncomplicated, yet relatable language usage, I pause for a good 10-15 minutes after every chapter, just to let it all marinate. When I finish, I'll probably skim through for reference purposes. I rarely do that with books. The last book I did that with was 'Eat, Pray, Love' by: Elizabeth Gilbert. It's hard to pick which quotes are my favorite or which part resonated with me the most.  Both books, however, provoked a colossal amount of perspectives about myself and the world around me.  On a few occasions in my reading, it felt like Twyla Tharp was holding up a perfectly cleaned mirror up to my face, forcing me to evaluate my own progress, especially when it came time for the exercises between chapters. Because of that connection, I'm able to see myself and each of my creative pursuits in a brand new, incredible light. 

Only 5 out of 12 chapters deep, I've found incredible inspiration and gained exceptional clarity, which was a surprise to me.  It is motivating me to keep pushing forward in all my endeavors and keep finding ways to feed, harness, and cultivate my creativity. If I could financially support the idea, I would purchase copies and gift it to every artist I know. (Now that I think about it, I just might do that, splitting the occasions between Christmas and Birthdays...and to those artist who read my blog, regularly, I apologize for spoiling the element of surprise.) 

Anyway, if you, like me, strive everyday to live a more creative life, I highly recommend this book. If it completely transforms your lifestyle and takes you to the next level of your thought processes, I proudly say, 'You're welcome in advance." I really wouldn't suggest dreaming without this guide on how to dream.
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