#FearlessFriday: How To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Good Morning! I know I said that I was going to discuss my healthy eating habits and I promise that I will get back to that…once I start eating healthy consistently that is! I’m all over the place with my good days and bad days but I am aiming for progress not perfection so once I start making some serious progress, I will be sure to share my tips and all of that. For now, I wanted to focus on something that has worked for me and that is the one thing that helped me when I was suffering from writer’s block and in need of inspiration: an idea book.

 

A page from my idea book…my handwriting is terrible I know lol

As I previously mentioned, I have been going to therapy for the past several months to cope with my anxiety, stress and mild depression. During one of our sessions, I told my therapist that I have felt uninspired and as a result, couldn’t think of anything to write about on here. She suggested that I purchase an idea book and write whatever comes to my mind in whatever form I wanted. Since the book was mainly to help me brainstorm, it didn’t have to be organized and structured like a planner and I didn’t have to have any particular goal in mind while writing. I can honestly say that having no restrictions when writing was such a freeing experience. I could write whatever I wanted, how I wanted and there was no wrong way to go about it. The ideas flowed easily after that. I wrote my ideas into random lists like “Amore Luxe Media Goals” and “Ideal Jobs/Careers” as well as a list of blog/video ideas based off of the ideas from the other lists. I realized I was lying when I said I didn’t have anything to write about because it was clear in those few pages that I actually did. Now I’m not saying that I have it all figured out but my idea book is a step in the right direction!

Remember that the only rule is that there are no rules so don’t feel confined to write your ideas and thoughts in a certain way. You don’t even have to call it an idea book if your book has other things in it like pictures or song lyrics that you’re working on. The point of the book is to spark your creativity and do it in a way that’s unique to you and your thought process. I bought my book for $5 bucks from a Macy’s outlet store but you can go to your local book store, Amazon.com or a specialty store where you can get a leather-bound book or an engraving if you’re fancy like that! I consider my book and the contents in it to be an extension of my personality and plan on using the ideas in it to create a new vision board. The possibilities are endless and I am so thankful to my therapist for helping me rediscover my passion and purpose through this book.

 

Do you have an idea book or something similar? Let me know what you use it for and how it’s helped you in the comments section below. Have a great weekend and make sure you always love and live luxuriously!

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Book Review: I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual

Image result for i'm judging youGood Morning! After a great weekend of hanging out with friends, I am ready to get back to blogging. As a certified book junkie, I wanted to start sharing my opinions on books that have resonated with me. I read a lot of romance/mystery/drama books but books that are funny, relatable and give valuable lessons and insights are few and far in between. That’s why I was so excited to read I am Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by blogger/digital strategist Luvvie Ajayi.

I started following Luvvie on Instagram (@luvvie) and her blog AwesomelyLuvvie.com and loved her wit and humor especially as it relates to pop culture, social media and everything in between. I knew I had to read her book and see what the “side-eye sorceress” had to say in greater detail. Even though the internet has connected all of us so we can stay in the loop,  it’s very refreshing to disconnect from the world for a bit and sit down with a good book in your hand (or iPad in my case!) and Luvvie’s book did not disappoint. Some of the memorable parts of the book for me were when she spoke about the “Dinner Scrooges” who make eating out an issue, the different types of friends that you most likely have in your circle (I am a former Flake so that paragraph hit me hard lol ) or the “promise ring” relationships that never seem to last! Even though I only know Luvvie through social media, I feel like she could definitely be one of my friends that would fit right in my inner circle. She would be the one who would make you laugh until you cry, be there to support and uplift you at your lowest points and would tell it like it is even if you don’t wanna hear it! Her “judgment” comes from a place of love and concern (and a bit of self-entertainment too) and as much as she can critique about what’s wrong with the world, she admits that she isn’t perfect and is still figuring this thing called life out (and doing a great job of it by the way!)

I assumed by the title that Luvvie was going to be somewhat preachy and although I do like reading books from experts in their respective fields, sometimes I just wanna laugh and nod my head in agreement without feeling personally targeted.  I’m Judging You does just that while slipping in a lot of gems in between. Luvvie has taught me that it’s okay not to put every moment your personal life on display on social media, (I was never really guilty of that but her words confirmed what I already believed) that there is no one way to live your life to be considered a feminist (thought I was going to have to start making picket signs and put empowering quotes by women in all of my sm bios lol) and most importantly, that we need to be aware of the specific privileges in our lives and help others who are oppressed in whatever way we can. That lesson stuck out because so many of us feel like victims of our own circumstances and feel that we can’t contribute unless it’s some grand gesture. Luvvie makes it clear that by speaking out on the behalf of others who are oppressed can mean a lot and by living your life as a person who tries their best to be a good person and bring positivity to others can be very impactful. I choose to help other women by sharing my stories and experiences to connect with others who may be going through something similar. I believe that together, we can make magic happen and I feel that Luvvie would definitely approve 😉

I don’t do ratings or anything like that but I’m Judging You is the equivalent of jollof rice for the soul (I’ve never had it but Luvvie is OBSESSED with it and I know my Ghanaian/Nigerian friends and readers would agree!) and its a recommended read for anyone who is in need of straight talk laced with laughter and encouragement. Now all I’m waiting for is for Luvvie to write her next book “I’m Doing Better, Now What?” and I’ll be all set!

If you’ve read I’m Judging You, let me know what you think in the comments section below and if you have any other books you would recommend to me, share those as well! Until the next time I post again, always remember to love and live luxuriously!

#FearlessFriday: Learning How To Take (Constructive) Criticism

Image result for constructive criticism quotesGood Morning Lovelies! Back in 2016, I planned on doing a #FearlessFriday post every Friday where I would share something that I was fearful of or that held me back from reaching my full potential. It could be something as extreme as conquering my fear of riding on airplanes without having a mini panic attack before takeoff or something as minor as going outside of my comfort zone and trying something new like online dating for example (check out my previous post to read more about that!). Today I wanted to discuss something that has held me back from being the best version of myself because of my own personal insecurities. The thing is, I do not take criticism well AT ALL. Like its to the point where I become defensive or embarrassed and lose the motivation and passion to do what I initially set out to do. At first, I didn’t understand why I was this way towards people who were just trying to help me out. As I thought about it and went deeper into my past, I realized that criticism for me was a way of pointing out my flaws and failures which in turn meant that I wasn’t worthy of whatever it is that I desired.

It all goes back to having low self-esteem as a child and teenager and although I have grown and changed drastically since then, some of the doubts and triggers linger from those times that create doubt and wariness as an adult. Back then when I was picked on, I took it personally not realizing that kids prey on weakness and can sense it from a mile away. My insecurities were a weakness that held me back from speaking my mind and embracing everything that makes me, me quirks and all. Even though I learned that self-confidence is essential to do well in life and to gain respect from others, constructive criticism still felt like a punch in the gut and instead of using critiques like “You need to post more content that will appeal to a wider demographic.” or “Your inconsistencies with your blog come across as laziness and you need to do better” as motivation and encouragement, I looked at it from a pessimistic point of view as me not being good enough. These critiques and suggestions that came from my friends were only meant to help but instead I turned it into a ‘woe is me’ party and didn’t heed their advice. Needless to say when the light bulb finally went on in my head, a lot of time had been wasted that could have been used to create content and achieve my goals. When you know better, you do better and now that I get it, I’m going full speed ahead!

Now let me be clear, constructive criticism is totally different from being negative, petty or just a certified hater. If someone you know is being critical just because of their personal preferences, do not offer any solutions to the issue that they are being critical about or are coming from a place of negativity, anger or resentment, that is NOT constructive criticism but is destructive and toxic. Limit or avoid these kinds of people because they will only bring you down in the end. Constructive criticism should be helpful and beneficial to your life and if the critique doesn’t offer a solution or valid reason for your problem or concern, you might want to take a second look at the person that is offering their unwanted opinion.

To my friends, thanks for always providing me with love and support but most importantly, being truthful with me about things that I needed to improve. The truth can hurt but the constructive criticism has made me stronger and more determined than ever and for that, I am forever grateful 😘

 

I will be posting a book review from one of my favorite bloggers/motivational speakers on Monday so stay tuned for that! Have a great weekend and remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

Is Online Dating Worth The Hassle?


Hey lovelies! I told myself that I was going to be completely honest with you guys about what’s going on in my life this time around so I decided to share something that I was kind of embarrassed about. Then I said eff it and decided to share my dating struggles. I’ve talked about the issues with the last guy I was seeing back in March (here’s the link to that post! https://amoreluxe.com/2018/03/14/shattering-my-rose-colored-glasses/) and that situation is dead lol but I wanted to step back out into the dating world but had difficulty because I don’t meet different types of guys in my neighborhood. At my last job, I only dealt with kids, staff and parents (and I’ve never gotten involved with a parent lol) and don’t frequent the types of places where I can meet different types of men so my only option was to resort to online dating. I’ve tried online dating in the past and even started seeing a guy that I met online but things did not work out. (Check out this post for details on that situation! https://amoreluxe.com/2016/10/14/forgiveness/) I was very hesitant to try it again but my bff Krystal suggested I try it again to see if things would be different the second time around. She told me to have an open mind but to always go with my gut because ignoring it could lead to serious consequences. If something doesn’t seem right about a guy when talking to him, don’t ignore that feeling and end it if things are being said or done that makes you feel super uncomfortable or seems suspect. I am not anxious to jump in a relationship or commit to anything serious at this moment but if I meet someone and we click, I won’t reject it out of fear either. With all of that being said,I felt like I was ready to try again so I decided to reactivate my account for “OkCupid”. I also signed up for a dating app called “Coffee Meets Bagel” and a site I’ve never heard of called “Hinge”. Here’s my thoughts and ratings on the sites/apps:

 

OkCupid

I joined OkCupid back in 2014 and liked it alright but I am very selective with who I choose to talk to so I ended up talking to a few guys but only had a real connection with 2 of them. I am still friends with one of them to this day (you know who you are 😉) and I am so happy that him and I support each other in our endeavors. The other guy who I ended up meeting in person and attempted to build something exhibited narcissistic tendencies and shady behavior and the latter was the main reason our situation ended. Needless to say, he was the reason that I was hesitant about reactivating my account but I told myself that I am wiser and that finding someone would be the icing on the cake and not the cake itself. Since there is no pressure, I could go into this with an open mind and just have fun! I realized that I’m just as picky as I was before but not just when it comes to looks. Most of the men I find attractive on the site seem to lack conversation and besides a “Hey what’s up?” and “What are you doing?”, it’s like pulling teeth to get them to say anything even though their profiles seem to have substance to them. One guy even hit me up after midnight when we hadn’t talked all day and tried to steer the conversation into a sexual direction so I had to shut that down quick! I’m not going to delete the app just yet but I am wary about the men that send me messages on there. This app gets a 2 out of 5 stars for now but hopefully I’ll meet a man who will change my mind.

Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel is different from OkCupid as far as the type of guys that frequent the site. I’ve noticed that more professional types (businessmen, doctors, lawyers) frequent this site than on OkCupid. These men also seem to be looking for something serious in contrast to OkCupid where many of the guys are looking for hookups and casual types of situations. Coffee Meets Bagel doesn’t let you browse through a large number of guys unless you pay for additional points or beans as they are called on the app. I REFUSE to pay for dating services of any kind so I deal with the limitations of the free services. I have begun conversations with a coupled of the guys I matched with but so far, nothing has materialized. The conversations only stay open for a couple of weeks unless you reopen it for 30 days so I’m guessing they expect you to make connections quickly and connect outside the app which I have yet to do. I will give this app 3.5/5 stars because I see it’s potential and I feel that some good prospects are out there just waiting for me lol

Hinge


Now this is a site/app I’ve never heard of until my therapist suggested it to me. This app is different from OkCupid and Coffee Meets Bagel in its simplicity. You only have to answer 3 random questions and connect your account to Instagram to create a profile. Even though there’s only 3 questions on the profile, they are interesting and the answers I’ve read have given me a bit of insight into what the guy is like. Like Coffee Meets Bagel, the guys on this app seem to be looking for something serious and the guys I’ve had conversations with so far seem have intrigued me. Not to mention that I am more attracted to the guys on this app as a whole compared to the other two! I haven’t made a real connection yet but I just downloaded it last week so there’s no rush. I am giving this app 4/5 stars and if I meet someone and it leads to something, I’ll be the first to promote this app all over my social media 😂

 

 

Have you tried online dating? What have been your experiences? And for the fellas, have you had similar experiences with women on these apps? I wanna know ALL the tea 😛

Sound off in the comments section and be sure to like and share this post!

 

Stay tuned for a new post either on Friday or Monday depending on how my week goes lol…until then be sure to love and live luxuriously!