PLEASE READ!!!!!!!!!!

Hello you beautiful, engaging followers of mine.

So, I’m currently attempting to migrate my site to godaddy and set it up as just juliexplores.com. Unfortunately I cannot (for the life of me) figure out how to set it up and it looks like I may have to start from scratch! It seems to be easier to set up a brand new site then to migrate. I’m just sad that some of you won’t follow along for the ride. So this is me giving you ample warning that this blog may seize to exist and juliexplores.com may be my new home. It breaks my little heart that I will have to loose all of this content that I’ve created but alas, such is life. I will not dwell on this for too long, I am trying to start a business and considering I am not too good at this tech stuff, I will have to accept what is.

So here’s hoping you hop on over to juliexplores.com when it becomes a thing.

Music Monday: Cheers to the Fall

You’re about to thank me for this week’s Music Monday. 

  

I said this a couple of weeks ago on another Music Monday but, Andra Day is not a name you’re going to want to forget. If her vocals aren’t enough to capture your attention (you must be deaf but) her lyrics will definitely pull at your heart strings. 

Her debut album carries a song for every occasion so turn it up, sit back and travel back in time. Her music fits right into a time when Billie Holliday was singing her heart out, but thankfully we are lucky enough to experience Andra Day’s soulful music now.

I immediately fell in love with Andra Day  when one of her songs stumbled into one of the Spotify playlists that I listen to. She’s getting plenty of comparisons to Adele, Amy Whinehouse and even Billie Holliday; but Andra Day’s music is strong enough to stand all on its own. When I first discovered her music, she only had four songs on Spotify. Her voice was captivating though  and I craved for more music from her. It felt like the longest wait, but finally Andra Day has delivered new music and it was absolutely worth the wait. 

  

No matter what your relationship status is, Cheers to the Fall has a song for you. You can either currently relate or a song will bring back a memory that you thought you had forgotten. My favorite part about the album is that you can hear Andra Day’s emotion with every breath she takes. You believe every word she says and that’s the beauty about music; it helps you connect with strangers if only for just a couple of minutes. 

During “Red Flags” she sings about regretting a relationship and you’d be lying if you said you couldn’t relate, “I should’ve known that I’d loose everything. I should’ve known that red flags were warning me”. I’ll be honest with you, I had completely given up on R&B music. I chose to stay with old school Jagged Edge, Ginuwine, Toni Braxton etc. but I will admit that there is hope. Andra Day is the voice that we needed in R&B and she confirms that in “Goodbye Goodnight”. A true heartbreak song that I will undoubtedly be crying to, in no time. It wouldn’t be a proper review without mentioning the motivating and encouraging, “Rise Up”. This song is perfect for any and all occasion, you may be going through a break up, you may be getting ready to ask for a raise, maybe you just need 15 more minutes on the treadmill this song’s lyrics is sure to give you the extra push that you need. 

She closes the album with the title-track, “Cheers to the Fall”. The song that celebrates the mistakes and forces you to try harder. “I can’t pretend to be perfect/ or fit into some made up roll/ but I can make the hand I’m dealt work if/ I decide to never fold”. The album is the best thing that has come out of Summer 2015. Andra Day is the best thing to happen to music, since Allen Stone debuted his music. Do yourself a favor and go get the album! You can thank me later! As a matter of fact, come back and tell me what you think. 

xoxo

  

Dear Fat People,Ā 

Yesterday I woke up and found that the twitter-verse had imploded. A youtuber had posted a video titled “Dear Fat People” and the reaction to the video wasn’t all positive.

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I am a fat person so I got on YouTube and I watched the video (before I read too much about it on Twitter). I wondered what was so important that she felt the need to address us all collectively. While watching the video I became immediately upset. Off the bat, I understood what she was trying to do; she wanted to come off as a comedian who pushes the boundaries. She mentioned a couple of times how she was giving fat people “tough love” and that she only said these things because she cared. You see, the “tough love” aspect of the video was lost immediately, being that she opened with mocking fat people, “what are you going to do fat people? You going to chase after me”.

She goes on to explain that fat-shaming isn’t an actual thing it’s just a thing that fat people invented. She proceeds to mock the body positive hashtag, which is what pissed (for lack of a better word) me off the most. If you knew anything about the actual movement behind the hashtag, you would understand that the point is for ALL body types to express themselves. No matter how big, or small; no matter their oddly shaped noses, the fact that one toe is bigger than the other, or that one boob is noticeably bigger than the other (the right one for me). The movement is meant to bring EVERYONE together no matter their insecurities.

In the video, this person also goes on to mock actual fat people that she’s encountered, “and they complain and they smell like sausages and I don’t even think they eat sausages. That’s just their aroma.” Yup “tough love” at its finest. In recent years, I have come to truly love comedy and I admire a comedian that can push the boundaries. A comedian that can say what everyone is afraid to say, without actually offending a large group of people. This wasn’t comedy though, no part of it was entertaining, I didn’t let out a chuckle. You cannot make an offensive video and call it comedy when the video isn’t actually funny.

The “Dear Fat People” video wasn’t motivating, it was offensive and triggering. Also, you cannot tell people when they can or cannot get offended. If I watch one of your videos and genuinely feel offended, that is my right. Now, that’s not to say I condone the fact that people are feeling offended and attacking this person. No. You don’t get to feel hurt and then proceed to hurt back. You feel the hurt, you work through it and you try to be a better person.

So, I am fat person. A fat person that is actively working on being healthier, who is starting to work out and trying to be better. I can honestly say; the video did nothing to motivate me. Now, don’t take my word for it, I actually encourage you to go search and watch the video (even though I wish this girl wouldn’t get any more views). I would love to hear your honest thoughts about the matter. Feel free to disagree with me, I will listen with an open heart.

Go watch and come back here and tell me what you think, lets start an honest, sincere, civil conversation. xoxo

Asking for a raise: An Emotional RollercoasterĀ 

Yesterday was the third time, since I started working at 16, that I’ve had to ask for a raise. It never gets easier but this time I dealt with the anxiety by live-tweeting my emotions prior to the meeting with my manager. Am I using Twitter correctly yet? 

With asking for a raise comes a lot of anxiety and I didn’t have an outlet, since I’m not telling my coworkers that I’m asking for a raise. So, my outlet was Twitter! 

I started by making my anxiety very clear:  

 
I couldn’t help but express my frustration with the actual act of asking for a raise: 

 

 My anxiety started acting up at this point. You know when you’re so nervous that your thoughts begin to run wild?:

   
  

Then, I tried to shake the nerves off because I know that a raise is what I deserve:  

 I then realized how annoyed my 77 followers might be getting so I felt the need to explain myself: 

  The anxiety crept back up though:  

  

 

I think I may have gone a bit crazy for a moment:  

 

So my plan was to meet with my manager as soon as he got into the office but he was running late. So obviously, I got impatient:  

 

Finally, he arrives and I get one last rush of anxiety (thanks body)  

 

I gave myself one last push: 

  And finally, had one last moment of doubt: 

   
Well I did it! I spoke with my manager. I made my case, I spoke with confidence and I tried my best to keep it together. He couldn’t give me an answer right away but I did it! 

Anxiety is such an interest feeling. Prior to my meeting with my manager I felt so foreign in my own body. My hands were ice cold and shaking, my stomach felt uneasy, I was nauseous, my leg kept shaking and I couldn’t sit still. As soon as my meeting ended I felt a wave relaxation hit my body and I was immediately calm; I completely went from 60 to 0. 

If you’d like to get intellectually progressive tweets like the ones above, feel free to follow me on Twitter: @juliexplores 

Have you ever had to ask for raise before? How did that go? 

Xoxo 

  
Remember to follow the blog  ā¤ 

Healthy Breakfast Smoothie | Juliexplores Cooking

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, it’s not always possible to prepare yourself a good and healthy breakfast. Some (most) mornings you wake up late and you’re trying to rush out the door. Lucky for you, I have just the answer for you: BREAKFAST SMOOTHIES! They’re a really easy solution when you don’t have time to have a proper breakfast. Here is a recipe that has been working for me!

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Ingredients:

*Blueberries
*Banana
*Ice
*Cinnamon
*Almonds
*Chia Seeds
*Almond Milk

Remember to SUBSCRIBE to my YOUTUBE channel & to follow the blog ā¤

Music Monday: Britney Spears

So I’m sure a couple of you were thinking I was going to cover the VMA’s on this Music Monday but NOPE. You see, I didn’t watch the VMAs. I didn’t watch the VMAs because of Miley Cyrus’ constant need to be belligerent. It’s like, “We get it Miley; you smoke weed and like to be naked. Who doesn’t? Do you have anything of substance to contribute?” (Yes, yes I know she is trying to help the homeless community but those efforts are forgotten when she forces everyone to focus on her antics). I could go on and on about this but instead lets focus on the positive: Britney Spears.

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My very first concert was a Britney Spears concert. It was during her Dream Within a Dream tour. I first fell in love with her when I stumbled upon the music video for “Baby One More a Time” and I have been holding on tight on the Britney Spears roller coaster since then. Now I know it’s been a rough couple of years for us Britney fans but dare I say, the bitch is back.

I have stuck by Britney Spears’ side through it all; through the good, the bad, the ugly and the crazy and I am so glad that I stayed loyal. Before the music and her looks, I fell in love with the entertainer that she is. So it’s been difficult to truly enjoy her when lately she had been a complete mess on stage. All she did was walk on stage and forget to lip sync. 

Well now, on her “Piece of Me” show in Las Vegas the Britney that I first fell in love with is back. Her dancing is phenomenal, she remembers to move her lips (and pretend to sing) and she smiles the whole way through. I don’t know what has happened recently but the sparkle is back in her eyes and the entertainer that she’s always been is back.

So on this Music Monday I encourage you to listen to Britney’s music and to celebrate the Princess of Pop. Let’s forget about the mess of a show the VMAs were last night and let’s remember that Britney looked great and let’s start saving money to go see her show in Las Vegas! 

What is your favorite Britney Spears song?