Monday, June 30, 2014

June 2014 Favorites + Blog Recap

At the beginning of the year, a few months before I stopped posting on the blog I had prior to this one, I started doing Current Faves monthly, where I would post a list of favorites from that particular month, broken up into different categories. It was inspired by the magazines and blogs I frequent that do monthly favorites or editor's picks as some would call it. I really liked the idea, so I figured I would get back to it once I started up my new blog.  To change it up a bit, I revamped the structure and gave it a new name, which is 'Chymere A. [insert month + year accordingly]', witty enough and pretty self-explanatory. I'll also do a blog recap each month, so you'll never miss a beat.

Here are the things I've been loving in June:

        • I was so inspired by this interview conducted by GG Renee of All the Many Layers on her Soulful Beauty series: "By clawing my way out of the mess I made, God worked with me to transform me into a more humble, diligent, and appreciative person."
        • Operation #GetYourLife: A "Zen" Checklist For The Modern Woman was exactly what I needed. Mission in progress.
        • Sailor Moon is coming back!!! Talk about nostalgia, realized. 
        • The video below is a synopsis of my childhood and with the proper freedom to do it, I know for a fact would have created something just as epic with toys and other random household items. I saw this video towards the beginning of fall 2013, but now that my career ambitions are aligned to go in the engineering, I strongly believe in the concept of this start-up even more and love how it exposes young girls to the opportunities available in the S.T.E.M. fields.
    • ♥ Music
    • Album: Xscape - Michael Jackson. How anyone expected for this album NOT to be absolutely flawless, I don't know.
    • Song:
      • I have fallen absolutely in bliss with this song, Here x Shadows on Stars. Special thank you, Cipriana of Urban Bush Babes, for the introduction to the incredible duo!
    • ♥ Beauty:
    • The Skinvigorate™ Cleansing Brush [used with Mary Kay® Botanical Effects® Skin Care skin care line] from Mary Kay is like a spa experience in the privacy and convenience of my own bathroom. I had heard of similar facial cleansing tools from the YT beauty community. The others were all a little out of my price range, so I never tried them out to compare them, but I will say that Mary Kay's version is the most reasonably priced one and works wonders on my sensitive skin. 
    • Miscellaneous:
      • Semi-annual sales are gifts from God. That was confirmed with my purchase of the Lemon Verbena candle from B&BW, such a summery clean scent that I absolutely love. May have to go buy more of the same kind (and bigger) ones ASAP!
    • ♥ Shows 
      • Dexter
      • Game of Thrones
      • The Big Bang Theory
      • Hit the Floor
    • ♥ Currently Reading: The Astral by: Kate Christensen // #GirlBoss by: Sophia Amboruso  
    • ♥ Blog Recap 06.14
      • 06.13: #livebeautifully
      • 06.15: Summer Reading List 2014
      • 06.17: City Finds-The Beehive ATL
      • 06.19: June/July 2014 Wish List
      • 06.20: Less is More
      • 06.23: Why I Chose a Career Path in Engineering
      • 06.26: Shamelessly Inspired (Do You, Boo!)
      • 06.28: Soundtrack Saturdays Exclusive: vol. 1 {For the Love of Geekdom, Pt. I}

    What things/places/blogs/books/concepts have you been loving this month?

    ♥ @ChymereA

    Mid-Year Review 2014

    Looking back on the state of the year up to this point, it has been an exceptional year, which only forces me to believe that it can only get better from here. Many things happened that weren't in my plans and turned out to be little acts of kindness from the universe, serendipitous almost. The tragedy that we see on the news daily reminds me that the world is bad enough without my help, so  I choose to focus my attention on all the good that sometimes goes unnoticed. Here are the best happenings of 2014 (so far):

    Best in 2014

    Life Experience:

    Visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time with my family was an immaculate experience. Words-not even photos-even do it justice. Definitely a chance of a lifetime that I'm so blessed to have experienced with the people I love the most.

    Moment in Sports:

    Kevin Durant's Ah-Mazing, heart wrenching MVP acceptance speech at the 2014 ESPY Awards


      Saturday, June 28, 2014

      Music Collective: Vol. 2 {For the Love of Geekdom}

      Underneath the surface, I'm a true geek. I love comics and told you that my major is in a S.T.E.M. field, but it's goes beyond that. I'm also a retired Pokemon card collector and gamer, who will always have a special place reserved in my heart for old school video game consoles, The Sims, and I'm always in the mood for bizarre science fiction, tainted horror, and well-written story lines.  It wasn't that I ever tried to hide that side of me, I just rarely encountered girls with similar interest, completely oblivious to an entire geek culture that I'm just starting to learn about.  However, having recently joined an incredible group of girl geeks just like me, I am more inclined to share this side of me on my blog.  

      With the childhood favorites slowly making their way back to modern-day television, such as Sailor Moon and Jem and the Holograms (which was actually a cartoon series before my time), I thought it would be fitting to do a segmented compilation that highlights some of my favorite scores, shows, and video games, past and present.

      Today will feature some ridiculously talented musicians I came across on YT: first, a band, Post Modern Jukebox and an instrumentalist that goes by the name of Ecensi to follow. Absolutely love the musicians selected and their covers are super fun and creative.

      ♥ Chymere A.

      1. Since I already mentioned it, first up is Jem and the Holograms: 
      2. Sailor Moon

      3. Pokemon
      4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
      5. Game of Thrones
      6. Final Fantasy VI [game]

      What were your favorite shows and/or games growing up?And don't worry, your inner geek is safe here. = ]


      Thursday, June 26, 2014

      Summer Reading List: Pt. II

       photo 7780D2EE-FE4B-4AA5-A2DB-13B73D150FC8_zps5g0oor7d.gif

      I am more incline to buy books, because the local library can be a hit or miss, and in my experience, mostly a miss. Therefore, I'm currently waiting for books to delivered to my house and requested items to get to the library. In the meantime, I picked up a few books that caught my attention to keep me occupied while I wait. So here is part II of my Summer Reading List 2014
      1. The Beautiful and Damned by: F. Scott Fitzgerald
      2. The Astral by: Kate Christensen
      3. One Fifth Avenue by: Candace Bushnell
      4. 32 Candles by: Ernessa T. Carter
      5. What Color is Your Parachute [40th ed.] by: Richard N. Bolles
      I'll also be checking out a few comic books, because it's been a while since I dived into a good comic series, other than Game of Thrones. These titles include: Empowered (Adam Warren) and Young Avengers

      Of course I have to ask again, what books are you currently reading this summer?
      ♥ Chymere A.

      Monday, June 23, 2014

      Why I Chose a Career Path in Engineering

      "Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own."
      -Carl Jung

      Instructors and counselors in grade school constantly informed me that math wasn't my strong suit, so I never told them how much I actually liked it; never even tried, because I already accepted failure. However, I was exceptional at it when I did decide to try. Sad to admit, but I spent my whole life, pretty much, embodying the definitions/labels other people placed on me. They weren't all bad perceptions, but bad or not, I am learning just how important it is to only be affected by how you define yourself. It became second nature to keep the possibility of impossibilities somewhere in the front of my mind and stick to what I knew. If I want to be a published author and blogger, there is no real need to challenge the other side of my brain, right? So many of us as give in to the stigma that if you go into a certain industry,your interest has to be restricted to that field, and I don't believe that at all. Honestly, I never wanted to be just a writer, even though I'm good at it.

      Choosing a career path in engineering was through a long trial and error process. After understanding what the next step would have to be, academic-wise, I knew I needed time off from school to wrap my mind around the magnitude of the leap from journalism Of all things right? During this time, I studied. I prayed. I prepared myself, mentally, for the jump. I became more aware of myself and how I respond to certain things-in my immediate environment, then to other inner worlds. I retraced my steps and tried my best to remember everything-from the subjects preferred in school, to the toys I played with the most during childhood.

      +Analyzing the aesthetics of buildings + landscapes. 
      +Designing floor plans + blue prints. 
      +Art and science projects
      +Pulling toys apart to figure out how they were made. 
      +Wondering about the mysteries of technology/computers. 
      +Spending hours on The Sims and just building houses in a brand new neighborhood. 

      This was some of what intrigued me growing up that I still take interest in now. Once I realized my ongoing, yet hidden/forgotten love affair with S.T.E.M. (Science Technology Engineering and Math), my academic ambition to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering resurfaced (side note: this was actually my initial major).  I didn't decide on this with the post grad "perks" in mind, because the way the U.S. economy is set up, there aren't any specific college degrees that guarantees much of anything anymore, no matter what area of study. With this career path, I am swimming down the middle lane between logic and creativity to experience the best of both worlds, so essentially I'll still be able to do what I love. Also, it  would genuinely be rewarding as a woman of color to contribute and connect to the society at large that way. I kept it secret for a while, because I didn't care for what [I assumed] people would have to say about it. Now, however, myonly concern, especially when it comes to making life/career choices, is to do what feels fitting to me.

      The final decision was made a while ago, but I still didn't immediately acknowledge that the necessary tools I needed to succeed were already inside of me. In order to gain that confidence, I needed more time to efficiently plan, to research, to reflect...and thanking God every step of the way for the wonderful gift of time. Perhaps, the universe realized how horrible I was at making quick decisions and granted me favor as a sympathy gift, because the years drifted by so fast and I still had not made a solid decision. That was the problem; I didn't have all the time in the world to keep tossing ideas back and forth in my head and on paper. The time that was so generously allotted eventually expired and I had to execute a plan and commit to it. Maybe the choice I made is a lofty goal and a little insane, but I made a promise to stick to whatever choice it was (until completion), so that's exactly what I'm going to do.

      Now that I feel more fluent in my ability to absorb the present moment, I’m more confident about implementing everything that I love into my future career plans, believing that I can and will achieve it all in this lifetime.  I am fully aware that it won't be easy. The course load is rigorous, sleep will be limited, and I'll probably break down a few times, hit a wall, and want to give up. As long as I keep God first and lock in mind that through Christ, all things are possible, I’ll be just fine. Therefore, bring on the challenge. I’m more ready now than ever before. 


      Saturday, June 21, 2014

      Music Collective: vol.1 {Songs of Summer I}

      Music has always been a pretty huge part of my life and one of those subjects I can talk/write about endlessly and never get tired of it. I listen to a wide range of artist and genres-everything from jazz to hip-hop to pop to dub-step. The Music Collective, originally titled Soundtrack Saturdays, began as a means to express my different moods, emotions, life events without having to say much, but grew into something like a haven for music heads and collectors alike. Because I grown so attached to this installment of my blog and admired myself for the consistency of it, I wanted to keep the "Soundtrack Saturdays" theme. And now, here I am, reintroducing it to those who are new to this blog and unfamiliar with my name [that I'm still establishing] floating in the blogosphere.

      Forgive the seemingly disorder that this series appears to be in, but I chose to do it this way to sort of refer back to previous music related post from my other blog. To avoid confusion, I'll explain. After 2 years of building this massive collection of play lists, album reviews, songs of the moment, etc. this particular serious, it would all feel null and void if I didn't, at the very least, continue to build on it. 

      Not all the songs are super new, but here's what's been on my radar so far this summer:

      What are some of your summer 2014 anthems?

      ♥ Chymere A.

      Friday, June 20, 2014

      Less is More

      The older I get, the notion that less is more is more appealing to digest.  In this ambitious, busy world we live in, sometimes it can be difficult to find lost value in the smallest of things, but more and more, I'm learning how to do so with ease.

      Simplicity makes me incredibly happy and too often it appears to be too faint to actually touch.  When I begin to wrap my psyche around what I picture my life to be on a day to day basis and what I hope for the future, I don't think I ask for too much; all I ever really wanted was to live a creative life and be constantly surrounded by love, art, and travel.  The life that I imagine truly isn't all that lavish, but in my mind worth so much more than what so many people strive for everyday, all in a rat race for something more.

      One day this week, I was losing my mind thinking about how much I need to do for certain projects, so much that the thought of it all seemed to strip the very joy of it away from me. The part that doesn't come naturally is still just as important, but here I am, doing it all alone.  It made me question whether or not simplicity can happen in the same tune as an awesome career, or if one cluster of existing has to be sacrificed to achieve the other.  In the middle of working, I just stopped to let my thoughts marinate for a while.  Is this really something I want...because let's be honest: all the passion in the world won't be enough to build and sustain an entire empire.

      Ignoring the possibility that my dreams could potentially be taking a new direction, I convinced myself that it was just a temporary feeling of being overwhelmed that will fade eventually and to keep working hard on what I've sought out to do.  But I could hear the angel on my shoulder whisper that I was beginning to throw myself into my career to avoid noticing something missing. And if I continued, one day I would be the lonely, independent career woman, who I never wanted to be.

      The athlete in me is programmed to work hard and never give up. On top of what I was taught in sports, I've always had a competitive spirit.  However, I don't think it should necessarily be that way in other areas of my life. Because then, it becomes about other people rather than about me and the people who directly affect me. I don't want my work to consume me, even if it is something I love completely, nor do I want it to be something that requires popular vote in order to stay alive.

      Interesting quote:

      "I feel like the fantasy that propels you through your 20's was necessary and you needed it. As you start to get older, it's about reconciling the fantasy with reality and still maintaining a vision for your life-so that you're going towards what you want while still incorporating and folding in the reality of life experiences and how certain things, you don't have control over."   
      -Tracee Ellis Ross

      With that being said, is simplicity something to strive for or is it something that just is?

      A question that I probably answered on my own without me even realizing it.

      ♥ Chymere A.

      Thursday, June 19, 2014

      June | July 2014 Wish List

      Pretty soon, the birthday sunrise will appear. It will creep in when I'm not paying attention and catch me wondering where the time went.  However, this is the golden year from me, so I hope that I can be half way aware half way sober when July 12th, 2014 arrives.

      Other than becoming extremely reflective around the time of my birthday, every year I create a wish list, just like I did when I was a little girl to give to my parents. Usually, I make sure that my wishes are reasonably priced sensible items that isn't this ridiculous collections of designer names that I can't afford (at the moment). I'd rather splurge on experiences. However, this time around, I decided to dream outside of my box for a change. Without further ado, this is a peak of what I've been coveting as of late:

      • These phone cases are absolutely adorable and especially designed for summer.
      • I've wanted this #BlackGirlsWhoBlog t-shirt for thee longest, since the campaign launched, and I'm not really sure why I haven't purchased it yet; probably because I hadn't settled on a blog name yet,'s time.
      • The other day, I tried on a replica of this heel, a relatively popular design that I've fallen completely in love with. Now, I'm kinda thinking I want the real thing, or, to be more "politically correct", I would prefer a better quality version of it, because I think it's okay to invest in timeless, staple wardrobe items.
      • Speaking of popular designs, I've had my eyes on this Givenchy duffle for a while. Contrary to speaking the real thing, I'll take a replica of this one. $4,000 is a stretch of the imagination by a long shot.
      • Tickets to the #ATLast show 09.27.14 to witness the 20th reunion of my favorite hip-hop duo, Outkast. I understand that it says the tickets are sold out currently, but where there is a will, there is a way. Keeping hope alive!
      • Fun fact: I collect vinyls. Want. Need. Have to have this tech turntable from!
      • This turquoise + geometric necklace from Crafts and Love is just so pretty and simple. Turquoise is actually my favorite stone. As I'm rebuilding my jewelry collection, I love coming across pieces like this.
      • Added this to the list after posting, but these Paragon and Renegade bracelets stole my heart the moment I saw them. If you're familiar with the game, Mass Effect Mortality, you understand the duality of human kind summed up in those two words.
      • Last but not least, I really need a new laptop, as well as a professional camera, so these are more of a necessity than a want. I don't have to have state of the art of either per se; I'm still researching to come across products that fit who I am as a person and the things I'm trying to create on a more professional level.
      One of the most important social graces I've learned thus far is about independence and working smart for everything I want in life. To this day, mommy constantly reminds me of the value of hard/smart work and daddy has always taught me to not take anything for granted. Therefore, it's not that I am ungrateful for the things I do have, but in my adulthood, list like this gives me a visual of tangible things to work towards, incentives to go to work and/or be productive on days where I just feel like being lazy. Essentially, that's what my wishes are all about. The world is yours, so never stop dreaming! 

      What are your material must-haves for the summer?

      - ♥ Chymere A.

      Tuesday, June 17, 2014

      City Finds | The Beehive ATL

      image source.

      [Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. ]

      Yesterday afternoon, the cousin and I took a little summer stroll in hot ATL.  We decided to stop by The Beehive, this absolutely adorable loft style boutique full of unique, handmade trinkets and accessories. Everything from the modest, urban-rustic decor to the intoxicating spells of spice and herb attracted me and I instantly fell in love. My cousin, who is a proud SCAD alum, is always in the know about hidden treasures like this around town and I'm always on the lookout for ways to support local artist/entrepreneurs, so following her around gets to be enjoyable for me most of the time. 

      Although all the jewelry collections were beautiful and certainly fitting to my personal taste, certain pieces naturally grabbed my attention the most. The founder of The Beehive, Melane Davis, actually designed the really cool zodiac constellation necklace from the line iram-inal Designs. I just have to go back and purchase for the birthday next month. The second collection photographed, designed by a young lady named Courtney of Crafts and Love, completed by amazing stone choices and a touch of romance, was enough to make me want to replace my entire personal jewelry collection. Perhaps over time I will. Until then, I can only admire.

      The ultimate attraction I have to this shop is the work space they offer to creators, as well as to facilitate their relatively inexpensive Bee Creative classes, such as intros to sewing and soldering.  That is something I'd definitely love to take advantage of in the near future [takes note of a new goal for summer]. All in all, this may just be one of my new favorite places to frequent.


      In what ways do you support your local artist? 


      Sunday, June 15, 2014

      Summer Reading List 2014

      A few months ago, in addition to the short, simple list of goals I gave myself at the beginning of the year that followed a central DO MORE theme, I gave myself a personal book quota.  From that point on, I vowed to read at least 2 books per month for the rest of the year. I admit, I slacked off a little, but I came across some titles and book reviews that caught my attention, so that motivated to get back to it.  Speaking of reviews, I've fallen in completely in love with the BOOKTUBE community on YouTube that I didn't even know existed until recently. It's definitely a community I would like to become apart of in the near future, so stay tuned for that!

      Here are the six books that are currently on my radar for light, summer reads. 
      {Click H E R E to check out Summer Reading List 2014, Pt. II}
      1. #GirlBoss by: Sophia Amoruso
      2. Love and Other Foreign Words by: Erin McCahan
      3. Eleanor and Park by: Rainbow Rowell
      4. Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by: Katie Finn
      5. The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern
      6. Wanderlove by: Kirsten Hubbard
      7. Ghana Must Go by: Taiye Selasi
      What books are you reading this summer?
      ♥ Chymere A.

      Friday, June 13, 2014

      Blank Canvas

      After chasing one of my wildest, most ambitious dreams to date only for it to not be anything like I expected it to be, I found myself completely lost. Needless to say, the experience forced me back to square one; putting the puzzle pieces back together again and starting over.  I felt like a blank canvas was absolutely necessary at that point. And thus this ever-evolving blog was re-born.

      I’m starting to think that blank canvases excite me; all the endless possibilities that come along with new beginnings spark something in me that I can’t explain in proper words.  However, it is my hope that this blank page brings longevity …and promise…and more importantly, constantly pours hope and inspiration into the lives of others, because at the end of the day, if I’m the only one benefiting, what does it even mean?

      So here’s for another shot, another chance, another sunrise.  New or old, I cherish each of you and happy that you’ve chosen to be here with me.  So now that you are here, let’s connect, be friends, and build empires!

      Oh…and #livebeautifully

      ♥ Chymere A.
      Created by Chymere x Design