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LaToya Ebony

How To Decide Which Clothes to Throw Away

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BUILDING A BETTER WARDROBE: WHAT TO PURGE

There comes a time when we all need a little wardrobe upgrading in our lives.  With so many clothes staring back at us in our closets, which ones do we keep and which ones get tossed?

When I was growing up, I used to give all of my inanimate objects feelings and personalities. I imagined they said things like, “pick me, wear me!” and I’d choose accordingly.  As I got older, that mentality fell away, but it was replaced with an attachment to my clothing. Almost like a fragrance, each item reminded me of a time and place that was either adored or abhorred. Either way, as a result, my closets always remained overcrowded with items I no longer wore or liked.

6 Quick Tips

Ive already outlined the 6 reasons you’re afraid to throw away old clothes, but now it’s time to get to it. The good news is, it’s simpler to choose than you may have thought.

You don’t feel confident in it. This is number one above all else. We all have different taste in style and one thing I may deem as something to throw away may be a clothing item that makes you feel like a million bucks. Listen to your heart, but don’t B.S. yourself either. There’s no sense in owning something that doesn’t accentuate the diva/divo inside.

It doesn’t fit. This another time to be honest with yourself. I’ve mentioned this before, but let’s drive the point home, shall we? When you wear things that are too big or small, it can make you look out of shape. Your body size doesn’t matter, by the way.  If an outfit is too big, you risk looking sloppy and unorganized. If an outfit is too small, it pushes into the skin causing areas on your body to bulge out and create body “rolls” where they might otherwise not exist. So try every questionable garment on, face the mirror, and tell yourself the truth.  Worst case scenario, more shopping is in the future 🙂

You’ve outgrown the style.  I don’t think this needs much explanation. We’ve all had things we simply don’t like anymore, but somehow stay in our closets. When you spot it, toss it or give it away.

If It’s in bad shape, it’s time to free your closet of it. There’s no sense in walking around with stains you’re trying to hide or safety pinning missing buttons (unless your you enjoy it). If you’re having trouble, “in bad shape” basically means items that are torn, tattered, missing buttons, pilled up, or stained.

You haven’t worn it In a long time. This can be the hardest item(s) to get rid of because most people have such hope for an item and will continuously hold onto it until they get a chance to wear it. I get it, if it’s beautiful and makes you happy, you should wear it. Here’s a suggestion, give yourself a short timeline. If it’s a really cute top or accessory, wear it by the end of the week. If it’s something a bit more dressy, get together with some friends and have an outing so you can all get dressed up and spend some quality time together. It kills two birds with one stone!

If an item has bad memories attached, it should be the first to go. Keeping a top from your cheating ex in some way makes you relive that relationship every time you see it. Sometimes throwing those items away can be therapeutic. Give it a try and see how much better you’ll feel. It may take some time, but it eventually always feels good to get rid of the baggage and toxic memories.

If you want a glimpse into how my own purging is coming along, check out my latest Youtube video, Wardrobe Purge | Pants & Skirts.

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Now that you have a good idea of the kinds of things to throw away, get to it! This is the next step in creating that perfect wardrobe you envision. Come back and let me know how it went 😉

6 reasons you're afraid to throw away old clothes

6 Reasons You’re Afraid to Throw Away Old Clothes

By fashion, lifestyle No Comments

BUILDING A BETTER WARDROBE: THE MENTALITY

If you’ve read my previous post How To Organize Your Closet, you know that clearing my closet of unnecessary things has been at the forefront of my mind for the last few weeks.  I know you’ve heard it time and time again, “You have to purge your closet in order to make room for new things”.  It’s old news and, quite frankly, very annoying when throwing out your precious possessions is the last thing you want to hear.

I get it. It took me years to get to the mindset I have today and I still struggle at times.  It’s hard to let go of your stuff—even for celebrities like Kim Kardashian who cried when her husband, Kanye, got rid of 98% of the things in her closet before he replaced them with new things. You see, it doesn’t matter how easily a person can replace old things because it’s not aways about the money. It’s an emotional attachment.

However, the truth is most of us don’t have a mansion with rooms that can hold hundreds of shoes and clothing. Most of us have modest spaces that can only fit a certain amount of clothing before our closets start to feel overwhelmingly cramped. You may have some amazing pieces in your closet, but with all of the “stuff” in the way, you can’t find it. Then you end up rushing out of the house looking subpar to your preference, and another day rolls by of you not living out the vision you have of how you want to look.  It’s kind of sad, right?

We’ve got to break this cycle, today! You know what you have to do, but you first have to change your mentality.

Here are some reasons I’ve pinpointed that may be holding you back from letting things go. Healing begins with recognition. Cliché, but I had to say it.

1.  I PAID TOO MUCH FOR THIS. 

Whether you paid $40 or $400, it all adds up. Everyone’s budget is just as unique as their style, so a number that represents “too much” cannot be named, but the sentiment is the same. When you’ve spent your hard earned money on something, it’s hard to let it go. Especially if the brand holds weight in the fashion industry. Here’s the deal, Hoarding it in your closet isn’t going to magically make it work for you. It either does or doesn’t.

Solution: Sell it. Make some of that money back and invest it in something else that you’ll wear and love.

2.   IT WILL EVENTUALLY FIT.

This is a touchy subject because I’d never want to recommend you give up on your fitness goals.  Instead I’ll jump to the…

Solution: Give yourself a fitness goal. If you can’t fit into X by X date, toss it.  A good time frame is 3 months. That way you’ll have an extra push to get fit and fit into your favorite dress again.  One plea, though. Be realistic about your fitness goals. If you can’t drop the weight healthily in a 3 month period,  and aren’t really giving it your all, you may want to reconsider keeping that item.

3.  IT’S SENTIMENTAL.

In no way would I ever tell you to throw away your Great Great Grandmother’s wedding dress that has been passed down for generations. However, that outfit you wore on your very first date with that guy who is now happily married should probably go.

Solution: Take a photo of it and stash it in a digital folder somewhere on an external hard drive. When you’re ready to let it go, delete it. Wash your hands of the baggage.

4.  THE PERFECT OCCASION THAT NEVER CAME.

My mother is notorious for this one. I can’t count how many things I’ve bought her that she won’t wear because she’s waiting for the perfect moment.  I’ve got news, today is the day. You’re alive and breathing-that’s a miracle! Have a little fun and be a fashionista on a Tuesday.

Solution: If deep down you know you won’t wear it, donate it. Give it to someone who’s perfect occasion happens to be tomorrow.

5.  THE FEAR OF NEVER GETTING MORE OR BETTER.

This was huge for me. I didn’t have much growing up, so I clung to everything I had. This made me a hoarder of old things and it was a very hard habit to break. I guess deep down I was afraid I may never have enough financially to treat myself to more.  I always had this voice in my head telling me that I better hold on to that old item “just in case”. Over the years I accumulated so many worn and dusty items that I habitually skipped over in my closet. I’ve wasted so much time putting on outfits and realizing, “oh, this shirt is the one with the missing button”. Never again.

Solution: Have faith in yourself. We can never repaint the past but most of us have control of our future.  We CAN dictate our finances. If you have a job that doesn’t pay you enough, find a new one. If you always buy cheap clothes you end up throwing away, start saving for what you really want. We may not all be able to buy the wardrobe of our dreams in one day, but we can all make small adjustments each shopping trip that help us achieve our style goals.

6.  LAZINESS. 

I don’t have to explain this one.

Solution:  Just do it. Now. My biggest motivation was imagining all of the space I’d have to get more clothes. If that doesn’t work, imagine cutting your morning routine time in half. Get rid of the excess and find what you really want to wear faster.

I’m on this journey with you and in the next few weeks I’ll be cleaning out my closet and showing you all on my Youtube channel. So tune in next Thursday to watch me purge my unwanted tops.

It’s time we bring the vision of our best selves to life.  Why not let our beautiful personalities shine through our clothing as well? It’s time to show yourself (and the world) what you’ve got!

If you know someone who prefers video format and you want to share my tips, share this video:

P.S. No maxing out credit cards today. Baby steps, baby steps 🙂

CHECK OUT MY VEGAS VLOG

SHARE IT

I’m on this journey with you and in the next few weeks I’ll be cleaning out my closet and showing you all on my Youtube channel. So tune in next Thursday to watch me purge my unwanted tops.

It’s time we bring the vision of our best selves to life.  Why not let our beautiful personalities shine through our clothing as well? It’s time to show yourself (and the world) what you’ve got!

If this resonated with you, share it with your girlfriends. Comment below and tell us what your tips are. Leave your website link for us to check out too!

12 Step Guide to Perfect Hair Color at Home

By haircare No Comments

PERFECT COLOR, CUT, AND STYLE FOR TEXTURED HAIR

My hair cut, colored blue-black, and pressed

Side shot

If you’ve read my blog post, Meet My Mother, you know that my mother was was visiting from New York for the first time in six years. Yes, you read that right. Instead of requesting a good old fashioned meal, I requested a hair makeover. In true hair lover fashion.  Oh come on, if your mother was a talented cosmetologist I’m sure you would have done the same thing. When a woman is that good with hair, you don’t pass up on any opportunities.

Before

During. Video screen shot

As always, she did a fabulous job. I’m including the youtube video below so you can see all of the steps in action. Trust me, it’s worth watching. It’s full of tips and tricks, and if you’re like me, seeing the technique is just as important as reading the steps. Watch the video below.

Before you begin, lay out all of the products you will need and place them in arm’s length. Here’s a quick video demo of the products I used.

WHAT YOU NEED

Clairol Jazzing Semi Permanent Hair color in Bluest Black and Clear

Pink Oil Moisturizer to soften, condition, and style for shine.

Butterfly clips to keep hair sectioned

Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil for heat protection and shine.

  1. Shampoo the hair. Using semi-permanent color requires clean damp hair.
  2. Detangle the hair. We did this step off camera because, though my hair is texturized, it can still be a process to get out every tangle. Especially considering the hair at my root is much thicker.
  3. Create four sections of hair to work with and clip them up. My mother likes to use butterfly clips, but I prefer duck bill clips. Either way, keeping the hair in sections for organization keeps the hair neat and speeds up the process. The last thing you want to do is fight with tangles and unruly hair while applying a hair color.
  4. Apply the hair dye from root to tip. We used Clairol’s Jazzings hair color in 99 Bluest black. Because the hair at my roots is much thicker, we wanted to make sure the dye could saturate each strand in that area first. Feel free to apply your dye from tip to root. I’ve seen it done both ways. The good news is, because we’re not bleaching my hair, there isn’t the same urgency in time required.
  5. Next, cover the hair with a processing cap, a towel, and let it process for 20 minutes. There’s no need to sit under a dryer. Adding body heat takes the color from a temporary wash-out dye to a semi-permanent color that lasts 6-8 weeks.
  6. After the dye has processed, remove the processing cap and add the clear gloss directly on top of the first dye. We used Clairol’s Jazzings temporary hair color in 10 Clear. Put the processing cap back on and let the hair process for another 10 minutes. This seals in additional shine.
  7. Rinse and shampoo with a color safe shampoo. As my mother states in the video, it isn’t advised to apply conditioner to hair that is freshly dyed because it fades the color, but using a color safe conditioner is okay in this case. My hair is naturally very dry and if I don’t apply proper conditioners, it will get brittle and break off during styling.
  8. Rinse and detangle. Feel free to detangle with conditioner still in the hair for manageability. Repeat detangling after the final rinse and part hair in four sections to begin blowdrying.
  9. Apply your leave-in styling products and heat protectant. We chose Luster’s Pink Oil Moisturizer, Bumble & Bumble’s Invisible Oil primer, and Biosilk’s Silk Therapy. These products combined give my hair softness, shine, and bounce.
  10. Blow dry the hair. Use a blowdryer with a concentrated nozzle for faster dry time and a metal vent brush that holds on to the heat and straightens the hair better.  A good blow-dry before flat ironing the hair pulls it straight instead of smashing it between two irons. Flat ironing is best when used as a smoothing tool. My blowdryer is Conair Ion Shine 1875.
  11. If you need a trim, this is a good place to do it. Unless you plan on flat ironing the hair bone straight.
  12. Flat iron into the desired style. As seen in the video above, my mother actually flat ironed and curled at the same time. It cuts down on steps and heat applied.

And there you have it! Beautiful, healthy looking hair with shine and tons of bounce.  Just for my readers, I’ve added a special “hair porn” clip. I can’t be the only one who likes watching these.

SHARE YOUR FAVORITE TIPS

I’d love to know the products you like to use as well. Whenever I make my next haircare trip, I like to have a mini list of things to check out. Thanks in advance for sharing!

Green Protein Smoothie

By fitness, lifestyle No Comments

GREEN PROTEIN SMOOTHIE

Okay, I’m going to be honest with you. When you are just beginning or getting back in your groove, workouts SUCK. But beyond working out, keeping track of what I consume sucks even more. I know the benefits and I always feel better, but refusing that delicious piece of cheesecake hurts almost every time.

Okay, I got off track. Before or after my “glorious” workouts, I drink protein smoothies. Why? Long story short, they fill you up fast and help build muscle. Sexy.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups spinach
1 banana
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup of lite vanilla greek yogurt
2 cups frozen berry mix (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry)
2 tablespoons almond butter

First, put the coconut milk and spinach in the blender. Blend. Blending greens first helps blend them smoother getting rid of any gritty texture.  Next, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add Ice if your berries aren’t frozen.

ANOTHER EASY PROTEIN SMOOTHIE

TRY THEM

If you try any of these or have any other smoothie ideas, please comment down below and share. I’m also always game for more eating habits tips.

How To Get an Defined Twistout on 4 C Hair

By 4 C haircare, haircare, hairstyles No Comments

In the video above, I’ve walked you through the whole process of achieving this flawless twist-out.
However, in case you wanted a closer look, I’ve uploaded separate videos just for you below.

THE DETAILS

The twist-out.  Many of us go YEARS without finding the product that will make the time we put into twisting our hair worth the while.  For example, I toil over my hair for, sometimes, hours of styling, but when I walk outside–POOF! All of my definition is lost, my hair shrinks and draws up, and it looks like I didn’t put much effort into it at all. And sure, your co-workers can’t figure out why you frown when they say “ I love your hair, today!“, but you know. You spent hours washing, detangling, twisting, and letting your hair dry and the proof is NOT in the pudding. Well, rest assured. If you happen to have type 4 hair and you want a technique and product that will make your work count, I just may have found what you’ve been looking for.

Carol’s Daughter has some of my all-time favorite products in her line. These two are no exception.  The Loc Butter is my product of choice today, but feel free to use The Healthy Hair Butter if you are craving a little more hydration.  Both of these are really heavy on the hair and have a heavy herbal scent. If you have thin hair that gets weighed down easily, or aren’t into heavy scents, these products not for you.

The Loc Butter has some great ingredients including Coco butter, Shea butter, and Beeswax. I use it for twist-outs, but you can also use it for loc maintenance. The Healthy Hair Butter ingredients include Jojoba oil, Shea Butter, Beeswax, and Rosemary. Both are FREE OF silicones, parabens, mineral oil,  petroleum, and artificial colors.  I chose the Loc butter because it offers a little bit more hold. By just a touch.

I also use a bit of water in a spray bottle to re moisten my hair because I chose to blow-dry on dry hair.

Because I wanted my hair to have more length, I chose to use my Conair Ion Shine 1875 blowdryer. It has 1875 watts, uses ceramic tourmaline technology, and has two heat settings. If you can, use the concentrated nozzle for better results. This step is optional.

UNTWISTING MY HAIR

RECREATE THIS LOOK

Necklace: H&M   |   Earrings: H&M   |   Shirt: Love Culture   |   Skirt: Cream II   |   Shoes: H&M   |   Purse: H&M

VOILA!

My hair’s on point and my ‘fit pulls it all together. Time to head out and turn some heads 😉

If you have a holy grail twist-out product, share it in the comments! I’m always on the lookout for a dope new product.