Spotlight on Black Businesses: Day 1

I’M BAAAAACCCK!!!Yes AmoreLuxe.com is back in action and instead of making an announcement regarding when I would post, I decided to just do it! I always wanted this site to be about encouraging and uplifting others but I wanted to do something different for my first post since taking an hiatus. While I was talking to my friend Amber (who helped me out tremendously with the project that I’ve been working on!) I decided that I wanted to do a photoshoot to highlight people in my life who have inspired not only me but others who watch and are motivated to get out there and be the best version of themselves by doing what they love. And you know I had to self-promote as well lol but in all seriousness, these individuals have made a great impact on my life and are part of the reason why I was excited to get back into blogging and I will thank each one of them in the posts that I will be doing over the next 3 days! First up is the group of 3 whose merchandise I’m actually wearing so if you like the t-shirts, hit them up! Read on to find out more about what lies beyond their apparel!

Regina Pearl (@hairgirlreginapearl)

There is so much I could say about my girl Regina who is one of my closest friends. She is the definition of a hustler and someone who never ceases to amaze me. Her work ethic is ridiculous not to mention, she is so talented at her craft which if you haven’t figured it out by now is hair styling. I would consider her an artist because her cut and color skills are true masterpieces. Speaking of cuts, she’s the only one I will let cut my natural hair and I’m reluctant when she does it even though I know its the right thing to do! If you are in the NYC/NJ area and are in need of a stylist who can cut, color, press, twist, loc, relax etc. check out her salon Hair Girl Regina Pearl on 124 West 24th Street in NYC. You can also find out more info on this talented woman (including how to make an appointment because she books up super fast) by checking out her IG page @hairgirlreginapearl. Regina, thank you for always encouraging me to be my very best and making me feel like a million bucks every time I leave your salon. You’re so in demand not only because of your talent but because of your heart!  Love you girl!

 

Nafeesah (@buildherupllc)

I met Nafeesah last summer at my girl Tiffany’s pop up shop and was inspired by her story and her message. Buildherupllc is about uplifting women and making them feel that they are more than enough. She is so full of light and positivity and I am so happy that we’ve met because I feel that we are on a similar path when it comes to empowering women. I definitely agree with the mantra on my shirt that says “Real Queens Fix Each Other’s Crowns” and this queen is only just beginning and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for her. Visit her IG page @buildherupllc to purchase her apparel as well as receiving daily inspiration that we all need in our lives. Nafeesah, thank you for being so genuine and sweet and make sure that you create that shirt that we discussed because I am definitely buying that one as well! You truly shine from the inside out and I want you to continue to teach and inspire because the sky is the limit! All Love:)

 

Jae (@mr_international_bmore)

Jae whether he knows it or not was part of the inspiration behind this t-shirt promo project! I purchased the shirt that you see me wearing above and he doubted that I would actually wear it so I said to myself, “I’ll show him!” lol…Jae is the jack of all trades and is so well versed in a variety of subjects and trades but his clothing line, Modern Hippie Apparel is true to the essence of who he is. He is the epitome of cool, chill and relaxed but at the same time, always aware of what’s going on around him and makes sure to educate whether people want to know or not! I am very proud of him and everything that he’s doing so make sure you check him out at @mr_international_bmore to find out more about Modern Hippie Apparel and how to purchase…Jae, I just wanted to say I told you that I was gonna wear it lol but I am so proud of you and admire your hustle and determination and I look forward to seeing what lies ahead for you. Love ya!

Make sure you stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I will be highlighting 3 more businesses! Thanks to everyone who has supported me during my hiatus because the words of encouragement and motivation meant more to me than you will ever know! Until tomorrow always make sure to love and live Luxuriously!

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!

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!