Tips On How To Motivate Yourself

Good Morning! I know it’s been a little over a week since my last post and I’ve tried to balance my online duties with real life ones and feeling overwhelmed as a result. Since I had a habit of going MIA on here, I didn’t want to fall back into those bad habits where I start feeling uninspired or frustrated and do a disappearing act. I knew I had to recalibrate before I could be useful so that’s exactly what I did! I’m in a better mental space now and wanted to share the three tips that gave me motivation and helped me push past the negative energy that attempted to hold me back.

Listening To Music

I love listening to music. It always puts me in a better mood and depending on the song, I feel like I can conquer the world. Songs like Beyoncé’s “Formation”, Drake’s “Nice For What” and Ciara’s “Level Up”  are girl power anthems but they are also the songs I dance to when I am all alone using the mirror as my own personal audience (don’t judge me!) The songs don’t have to have empowering lyrics but if the beat goes hard and makes me feel good, that’s motivation in itself! Music has a huge effect on mood so I tend to stay away from the sad songs (in other words, no Adele or Keyshia Cole songs unless I’m purposely trying to put myself in a funk lol) and I think that it has had a great impact on getting me pumped and ready to start the day.

Repeating Positive Affirmations

Now I know that repeating phrases like “I am worthy”, “I am beautiful”, “I can do anything I put my mind to” sounds very corny and ineffective but I can honestly say that if you say something over and over, you really do start to believe it. I guess that’s why pathological liars can be so convincing! In this case, I feel like it’s best to “fake it until you make it”. In other words, say phrases like this until you actually start to believe them. You can google “Positive Affirmations” or come up with your own if there is something in particular that you want to have embedded in your psyche. There are days that I may not feel like I am doing my very best but a positive affirmation is a great pick me up and helps me feel optimistic about my future.

Limiting/Eliminating Toxic Relationships

This is the most important tip because negative energy can be transmitted from one person to another and when it spreads, it’s hard to get rid of. Think of it as an annoying cold that won’t go away but instead of it being damaging to your physical well-being, it’s damaging your mental and emotional well-being. I’ve mentioned in multiple posts that being in a toxic relationship had a harmful effect on my self-esteem but the relationships that can be the most toxic aren’t always with the  person you are dating. If you have toxic friends, family, coworkers, do you best to limit your interactions with them and if you can cut them out of your life, get to snipping! Once you are free from their negative energy, your spirit will feel so much lighter and focus on what you need to do to get to where you want to be.

These tips are the ones that have had the biggest influence on my motivation but there are plenty more that I’ll address in future posts. I would love to read yours as well so let  me know what motivates you in the comments section below.

The “Amore Luxe Media” Summer Promo Specials are still happening so you have until September 21st (the first day of Autumn) to take advantage of them! Specials include a free blog/website/social media page consultation, 25% off writing services and 15% off a basic marketing plan. Email me at angelacherai@gmail.com for more info. Make sure you come back on Thursday for my next post but until then, remember to love and live luxuriously!

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#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!

#WisdomWednesday: My Smile Direct Club Experience (so far!)

Good Morning! For #wisdomwednesday, I wanted to discuss my journey towards achieving a more beautiful smile. I have aligners in my mouth that are provided by Smile Direct Club and although I’ve noticed a big difference since I started wearing them in March and my friends/family have seen the change as well. I haven’t really discussed details about the journey and what I hope to accomplish so I figured why not do it in a post so I can share my experience with all of my readers! Hopefully you will learn about the SDC process and a bit more about me as well (as if I don’t share enough already lol)

I was about 7 in this picture and this is one of the few pics I have from back then that shows my teeth lol

For the past couple of years, I wanted to improve my smile. I wore traditional aka metal braces as a teen and although they helped tremendously with my smile, I still wasn’t satisfied with the overall appearance of my teeth. My 2 front teeth overlapped the 2 next to them and as a result, made my overbite more pronounced and didn’t give the illusion of straight teeth. My smile wasn’t a major issue anymore but I still had an idea of what I wanted my smile to look like so I started researching different options for improving my smile that would achieve the results I wanted without breaking the bank. I didn’t want to do traditional braces again so I decided to go with invisible aligners because well they are invisible lol and I didn’t want to go through the wire tightness and discomfort that occurs with metal braces.

Although I was a good candidate for Invisalign according to my dentist, the cost would range from $3000-$5000 and that just wasn’t in my budget. Around the same time, I kept seeing ads for Smile Direct Club which provides aligners similar to Invisalign but the cost was much cheaper because there are no monthly orthodontist visits and the aligners are shipped all at once so you don’t have to deal with a dentist as a middle man to continue treatment. I paid a down payment of $250 before my treatment began and I am on a payment plan and pay about $75 a month which will come to about $2100 total when I’ve made all of my payments. That is a price I can definitely work with!  Before treatment can begin, you must have your teeth impressions done and you can do this by taking impressions (putting the gooey clay like substance in your mouth to get a physical impression of your teeth) and mailing them in or you can go to a Smile Shop in person so they can do a 3D scan of your teeth. I chose the second option since there are multiple Smile Shops in the city and I made an appointment with one which was as simple as clicking the link and choosing the time. The process itself takes minutes and within weeks, I received my scans via email and I created a before and after treatment visual as shown in the picture below. I was satisfied with the after shot  because it eliminated the overlap as well as gave the appearance of straighter teeth so I decided to go ahead with treatment. I didn’t know what to expect when starting but I was excited and anxious to start my treatment right away.

The top picture is what my teeth looked like after braces but before SDC treatment and the after are what my teeth will look like when I’m done with treatment *fingers crossed*

Everyone’s plan is different based on their specific issues and the SDC dentist put me on a 9 month plan.  I started treatment on March 21st and should be done by the beginning of December as long as my teeth move according to the scheduled plan. If not, SDC offers refinements at no additional cost but I hope it doesn’t come to that point. Today makes 18 weeks into my treatment and so far, I have no complaints. Every 2 weeks, I swap out my aligners for a new set and besides the initial tightness that occurs when putting in a new tray, I haven’t had any issues as far as pain. The tightness goes away within a day or two and I sometimes forget that they are in my mouth. At the beginning of my treatment, I had a major lisp but it has decreased significantly so I am happy about that! The only drawback is that the aligners have to be taken out anytime you want to eat or drink anything with the exception of water and brush and floss before putting them back in. Some people lose weight because they don’t want to have to take them out to eat and brush/floss them afterwards after snacking so they only eat the major meals. Some people actually gain weight because they snack constantly and will put up with the constant brushing and flossing. Unfortunately, I have been snacking A LOT so while I’ve put on a few pounds, my teeth have gotten whiter as a result of the constant brushing/flossing so it hasn’t been completely terrible! Also, I would rather brush my teeth 24/7 than to deal with metal braces as an adult. I know there are many adults that have metal braces and more power to you but since I’ve been through that experience as a teen, I don’t wanna relive those years with braces at 32 years old. I already look younger than my age as it is and having metal braces would bring my whole appearance back to 2000 so I’m good on that!

The before pic was taken at the end of last year and the after was taken a few weeks back 90 days into treatment.

I have 140 days remaining in my treatment plan and am satisfied with the process and results so far. I know there are negative reviews about SDC online mainly because there are no dentists visits and if a person has a major bite or crowding issue, aligners aren’t the best way to go but I can only share my thoughts and opinions based on my personal experience with SDC. I can honestly say that I’ve had a 99% positive experience with SDC. I took off 1% because the constant brushing/flossing is annoying lol but other than that, it’s been amazing!  If you are interested in receiving an impression kit or scheduling a free scan at a Smile Shop, use my referral link. Once your aligners ship, I’ll get a gift card and you will be on your way towards a beautiful smile. It’s a win-win for everyone 😛 Here’s the link: https://mbsy.co/lwDBb

If you’ve worn braces or aligners, let me know you experience by posting in the comments below and if you have any questions about SDC, I’ll be more than happy to answer them. I plan on talking about my health and fitness journey on Friday so be on the lookout for that. Until then, always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

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!