My Healthy Lifestyle Journey

 

some of the. meals/snacks I’ve prepared!

Good Morning! I’m writing this post right before I have to head to the dentist (ugh!) to get my wisdom tooth pulled. I still have to go back for fillings and crowns and I am so disappointed with myself because things shouldn’t have gotten this far in regards to my dental health and my health in general. I know exactly why I am at this point though. I grew up in a household where I could eat anything I wanted at anytime. I didn’t have to ask permission for snacks and goodies and my mom bought and cooked whatever I liked. If she couldn’t cook it, we ordered it and I just accepted that as a way of life. I’ve worked out here and there but I knew to see real results, I’d have to change what I eat as well and that part would be tough for me. I want to be the best version of myself and I knew that in order for that to happen, I’d have to change up my eating habits. I’m not too big on beef or pork ( I do like bacon though!) but chicken as always been my weakness. I love Chick Fil A and when I go there, I get the same thing: 12 piece nuggets, waffle fries and a Coke or sweet tea. On this particular lifestyle plan, I can’t eat red meat, can’t drink soda and no processed foods…bye bye Chick Fil A šŸ˜¢ Fortunately, pasta is still on the menu in whole wheat form which doesn’t taste half bad. I have to prepare all my meals myself and that’s a first because I NEVER cooked on a regular basis. It’s been a challenge especially since many of the foods I love are no longer on the menu so I’ve had to be creative and try other type of dishes like my almond apple muffins above ( I know they look like cookies but it’s only because of the angle) steamed asparagus (eh!)  and boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( at least I can still eat chicken!)

I’ve been working out at least once a day as well doing things like squats, crunches, lunges and other types of exercises that will tone my tummy, legs and booty. I want to look and feel healthy and I feel that with this new healthy lifestyle, I am on the right track. I may have a “cheat day” in the future but as long as they don’t turn into cheat weeks and months, I think I’ll be alright. I will continue to keep you up to date on my progress and in a future post, I’ll show you before and after pics(yikes!) Keep giving your all into whatever it is you desire and make sure to share your journey with me. We’ll talk soon!
Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Toxic People

toxic_people_learn_to_love_yourself_Adlandpro_QuoteGood Afternoon! I wanted to discuss an issue that I have dealt with in my personal life for quite sometime. I mentioned this briefly in anĀ earlier post of mine but I didn’t realize how serious this issue was until I started thinking about the changes I wanted to make in my life this year and what I would need to do to make sure that they were achieved. One of my major goals is to think and act in a positive way to attract positive energy into my life. I know that one way to attract positive energy into my space is to do things that make me happy and give me fulfillment and joy “Amore Luxe” and everything the site stands for fulfills me. Being able to share my message with others is also fulfilling and most importantly, being around family and friends who believe in me and urge me to be the best version of myself helps me to build myself up and stay strong no matter what obstacles come in my direction.

Unfortunately, not everyone in life will care about the things that you are doing or even want to see you do well. They will not usually say these things to you directly but instead will shut down every great idea that pops in your head and block any great opportunity that comes in your way. The telltale signs of Ā “toxic” people are usually easy to spot Many times, these people are pessimists who don’t have anything positive going on in their lives. They have learned to see the glass as half empty and instead of changing their perspective on life, they decided to contaminate the minds and souls of the people who have positive energy radiating around them and have attracted love, success and anything else that they have desired and earned. Instead of trying to focus on what it is about this person that has brought them all of this good fortune and try to have some of these positive attributes for themselves, they find it easier to bring the positive person down to their level. They will do this by way of indirect insults, backhanded compliments and gossip. Gossip is like a virus that spreads and all of us are guilty and spreading gossip at one point or another. Gossip is usually malicious and is intended to insult and belittle the subject that is being spoken about. Toxic people have a sharp tongue and gossip is their weapon of choice to hurt others so they are no longer seen in a positive light. Ā Toxic people will also try to corrupt the people with positive energy by gossiping about others and sucking them into the negativity. It is difficult to stop bad habits such as gossiping but bringing others down does not lift you up in any way shape or form.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. emphasized this point perfectly when he said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” You have to be the better person and rise above the negativity by spreading positivity not only in your words but your actions. One of those actions that you will need to take is to dispose of the toxic people in your life. This is not wishing any ill will or harm to them but you cannot have them in your personal space and expect to grow and evolve. They are not ready to continue on this path that you are creating and do not deserve your time or energy. In order for you to be the best version of yourself, you have to let go of anyone or anything that is holding you back. These people may be a part of your family, one of your friends (which is the case for me) or anyone in your space that your deal with that tend to suck the light out of your soul. You won’t be able to shine with their dark spirit in your space so release them so their negative energy can float elsewhere.

I am a work in progress and am dealing with a toxic person in my life that I want to help but I know that I need to let go because dealing with them is draining. Ā I may have some of the answers but applying them to my life will be necessary for me to get to the next level. I hope you are able to do the same:)

Always remember toĀ love and live luxuriously!

My Year End Post: Master of My Fate

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  Ā  Invictus by William Ernest Henley

IMG_0410-0Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I wanted to write a post before the new year came in and since I have off from work for a few days, I figured that I would write my end of year post today. I have thought a lot about this year and all the ups and downs that have brought me to the place where I am today.

The beginning of the year started off well and I had big plans for the site and life in general. Things rarely go as planned so when my father suddenly became ill and died a few weeks later, my world was turned upside down. Nothing made sense anymore and I felt lost. His death was a wake up call for me and I started seeing everything in my life for what it really was instead of what I wanted it to be. After having a conversation with my publicist, I decided to relaunch the site under a new name that was more in alignment with my message of confidence being the foundation that everything else in life is built upon. “Amore Luxe” was going to be a new beginning for me in many ways and I wanted to incorporate this fresh start into other areas in my life both professional and personal. I told myself that instead of feeling stuck in a situation that was going nowhere in regards to the man I was seeing, I would attempt to date. Once again, reality didn’t quite match up to my expectations.

When I joined the online dating site OkCupid.com this past summer, I thought I would interact with men who wanted the same things I did as far as building a friendship and working on being in a relationship. I found out that many of them were more interested in having a “friends with benefits” type of situation and while messaging and flirting was fun for me at first, I soon realized that I wanted more and the guys I was interacting with weren’t ready and/or able to be open to the possibility of what that entailed. Even the one guy who I thought I had made a connection with from OkCupid turned out to be a flake who never made good on his word and it made me realize that even though online dating is different from real face to face interaction, disappointment when things don’t work out still hurts just the same.

While in the 4th quarter of 2014 after getting disappointment after disappointment over situations and people who had let me down , I told myself that I would focus on things that o could control and let everything else just fall into place. Focusing on “Amore Luxe” was definitely on that list but I needed financial stability so I could take things to the next level. Unfortunately, finding a job related to my major (marketing) was easier said than done. I went on a few interviews that didn’t pan out and with the holidays coming up, I knew that retail work would be something I could do until I was able to do what I really wanted. I talked about my job in my last post so I won’t get into that but working there has made me realize that my purpose is greater than my current situation and that it is up to me to use this as motivation to get me where I need to be.

As I sit here writing this semi long post(if you read up to this point, I am pleasantly surprised and appreciative!) I see now that I am the “master of my fate and the captain of my soul” meaning that no outside power or force can have control over me unless I allow it. Trials and tribulations are a part of life but it is up to me to stay strong and to pick myself up when I fall down. I can’t let fear of the unknown or disappointment run my life and I can’t let others opinions of me deter me from my destiny. 2015 is a week away and although I can’t be 100% certain of what to expect in the weeks and months to come, I can say that I am trying a different approach this time around that has nothing to do with changing physical attributes related to myself or “Amore Luxe”. Instead, I am focusing on becoming a better blogger, vlogger, businesswoman and most importantly, a better human being that can help others master their fate and become captains that can change the world.

Thank you to all who have been on this amazing journey with me…we have so much more to do so stay tuned:)

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

Mary J. Blige “The London Sessions” Album Review

I couldn’t wait to sign on here and blog about Mary J. Blige’s latest album “The London Sessions”(hence why I am posting this at 9am lol) I have watched various interviews that she has done in the past couple of months leading to her album release and have been slightly intrigued. I was curious to hear the “different direction” she decided to go in this time around after being influenced by the sounds and artists coming out of London but I was skeptical that this album would sound any different from her earlier ones. Mary is always consistent when it comes to making songs about heartache and resiliency but I figured that the album would have a couple of upbeat tracks like she has done in the past with “Family Affair” and “Just Fine” but the rest would be songs about getting through heartbreak, finding strength from within and loving yourself over soulful R&B tracks. After listening to the album however, I was pleasantly surprised. Mary J. Blige took a chance and tried something completely out of the norm for her by working with UK mega producers such as Disclosure and Naughty Boy and having popular UK artists such as Sam Smith and Emeli Sande co-write on tracks. The result is something I like to call “electrosoul”. The majority of the tracks have a electro dance vibe and 808 beats to match but Mary brings something that few artists today can achieve: even on a dance track, she still manages to stand out over the catchy tunes because of her unique voice and candid lyrics. Although the entire album is amazing, here are the tracks that stood out for me:

Track 3- Not Loving You

In the chorus Mary sings, “There’s only so much I can do. If you’re not loving you” It is a very powerful song about someone who can’t seem to pick themselves up from the pain and struggle that life has brought their way. The lyrics are reminiscent of classic Mary hits but this time around, she’s not the one that needs the support but instead is trying to open someone else’s eyes. I love this track because the lyrics are simple but powerful and stir something deep within.

Track 5- Right Now

This song produced by Disclosure is classic Mary with a modern feel. Although Disclosure’s signature sound is heard throughout the song, Mary’s sultry voice gives the track a refreshing twist . “Right Now” is definitely the strongest and most out of the box out of all the singles she’s ever released and bridges her old school flair with today’s heavy drum bass driven tracks. She sings “They don’t see what it used to be from the outsideā€¦this can’t be what it used to be from the outside” The only thing I see is this song reaching #1 on the charts šŸ™‚

Track 6-My Loving

Here is another uptempo track from Mary (I am so not used to saying this in reference to Mary lol) As soon as I heard it, I felt like I was transported back into the 90ā€²s when my friends and I screamed the lyrics to “Show Me Love” at the top of our lungs. Mary shows that she knows how to get down and party like the rest of us. I want her to perform this track live on stage and do the “footwork” dance so I can really get my life!

Track 8-Whole Damn Year

UK singer/songwriter Emeli Sande flexed her writing chops on this track which resulted in a soulful track that appeals to Mary’s core fan base but the melody is a slightly different turn that highlights the pain in her voice. She sings “Winter took most of my heart, spring punched in my stomach, summer came looking for blood and by autumn I was left with nothing” The metaphors expressed her sorrow and despair so eloquently and made me want to take another listen.

Track 12-Worth My Time

Mary ends the album with a ballad that shows us that even though she may have switched her sound up this go around with “The London Sessions”, she is and always will be the queen of hip hop soul. In the chorus she sings “I won’t give up if you make it worth my time” After listening to this track and the rest of this album, I can honestly say that listening to this album was definitely worth my time and I can’t wait to purchase it on iTunes so I can put it on repeat on my iPhone:)

Make sure you purchase the album in stores and online in the U.S on December 2nd, 2014 . If you live in the UK, you can purchase it a week early on November 24th (lucky!) Click on the links below preorder the album on iTunes and/or Amazon:

* iTunes: http://bit.ly/MJLondonSessions

* Amazon: http://bit.ly/MJBLondonSessions

You can stay up to date on all things Mary J. Blige by following her on Twitter, (@maryjblige) Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/maryjblige) and by checking out her official website (http://www.maryjblige.com/london-sessions)

Make sure you let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Disclosure statement: I participated in the Mary J Blige The London Sessions album review program as a member of bLink Marketing Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.

I participated in the Mary J Blige The London Sessions album review program as a member of bLink Marketing Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.

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