Owning Your Artistry: Tips to Help Make Your Brand Stand Out

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Hey loves, its been a while since my last post. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been able to just sit and write. If you follow my social media, you’ll know that I recently started my own brand, Charley’s Closet.

Through that, I’ve learned so much about myself and who I am as a person, entrepreneur, and artist. Starting out, I had my own vision which I still hold onto today. Girl Bosses like Nichole Lynel and Ronne Brown inspire me to do great things! Today we have so many “look-alike” brands, photographers, bloggers, etc. But as an artist, it is important to stick to your artistry and your own true self.

Owning Your Artistry

When it comes to owning your artistry, think about what makes YOU and your craft unique. This was weighing heavily on my mind, so I thought I’d share these thoughts of mine in this short blog post. I’ve come up with a series of questions to ask yourself as you prepare to bring your business to the next level! This will help you separate your business from all of the others in your industry. For example, let’s pretend I’m a bakery owner.

What is your Artistry?

My artistry (or business) is that I can bake any dessert known to man. I want to start a business called York’s Bakery.

Who are your competitors?

Around my area, my competitors are local bakeries and cake makers. My biggest competitor is Pat’s Cakes, Cupcakes, and Cookies.

What about your competitors do you like?

I love that they have a variety of desserts to choose from and they have their very own cake making service.

What makes you different from your competitors?

I want to stand out by offering baking classes every Saturday for those wanting to learn how to bake! They don’t offer that in my area, so that would be a nice asset to my business.

Thinking Outside The Box

You see how thinking outside the box could make you stand out from your competitors? It is important to know how you’ll stand out so people won’t view you as “just another bakery”. For me, owning a clothing line and retail brand was very personal to me because I love fashion. Its one of the many ways I choose to express myself. In Cleveland, there are many upcoming clothing brands. I own my artistry by putting my own personal taste and style to my brand.

I thought it would be hard for me to be noticed because of how highly penetrated the market was. Nonetheless, I found my artistry and I stuck to it. I love photography as well and it has became a big part of my brand. I am a stickler for quality. Fashion and Design have helped me put my brand in the hands of some amazing people and I am so grateful for that! I stayed away from the Fashion Nova look-alikes and built Charley’s Closet into its true form by making sure my brand represented myself and who I am and I love it. That, is how I chose to stand out. I really advice anyone wanting to start a business or if you already have one, or even if you’re just a writer or chef…whatever your artistry is, take these questions into consideration! Look over your business plan and make your artistry known! Until next time babes…

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Guest Post February | Finishing the Race!

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Author, Ashanti Chanel
Finishing the Race

You ever feel so stuck and discouraged? It’s like you’ve gotten yourself into this race you’ve created and now you can’t even jump over the hurdles. You see everyone around you accomplish their goals and you’re wondering where is my finish line? You’ve been running toward your dreams for years and It seems like you’re not getting any closer. The funny thing about life is we always see how long something takes but we never see how far we’ve actually come.

We’ve all got our passions and when we are trying to pursue them it’s so many constant reminders of “This is impossible!” “You can’t go that high.” “You’ll never make It to the finish line!” But it’s also that burning feeling in our bodies that’s telling us “This is what you love!” “You gotta give It your all even if you don’t win!”

It’s so easy to give yourself reasons of why you should give up but it’s so hard to realize why you should stay. Take a step back and ask yourself, “Why did I start this?” Was it for the world or was It for me? When you’re racing for the world, you lose yourself trying to win. You become what the “worlds winner” is suppose to be. Prideful, boastful, and you lose everything in the process. You lose the reason of why you started this in the beginning and you lose it in the end. When you race for you sometimes you have to walk alone, you have to struggle on your own. Others won’t understand why you do what you do. Not even your family and friends, but it’s not for them to understand. It’s for you and God to understand.

When he placed that fire in you, he didn’t place it in there for you to satisfy others with in, therefore the world won’t always agree with it. This hurdle that you’re dealing with right now in your life wants to stop you from finishing the race, but I need you to endure through it all. God created you with a purpose. He gave you a beautiful gift and even though sometimes It seems like nothing is working out in the natural, you better believe he’s cooking up something in the spiritual.

You may not even realize it but you’re closer to the finish line than you were yesterday, you’re closer to your breakthrough than you were yesterday.

You’re closer to finishing the race

Love, Shanti

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Guest Post February | Self Love

Dear Self,

Don’t neglect the responsibility of nurturing yourself. Your existence and imprint as the woman you’re daily developing and blossoming becoming is irreplaceable, unmatchable, and needed. Love the heck out of yourself, just as God loves you.

 

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Author, Widny L.

I am beyond thrilled, ecstatic, and honored to have been given the opportunity to speak on self-love. Not to mention the fact that this is an area which I have neglected for years, and prevented myself from receiving/giving love, appreciation, embracement; and the relentless power of choosing myself even at the worst painful, confused, questionable moments in my life. I’ve learned and I am still in the process of understanding daily that self-love isn’t just embracing the good parts of you that you’re proud of or others have been fond of; but also taking the time out to love the gooey, flawed, authentic version of yourself and investing time into growing and changing anything about you that would be for the better.

Loving a false you will not heal nor bring out the best version of yourself. When you fall in love with the real you, you’re an unstoppable, unshakeable, undaunted woman in the face of anything that may come against you to question your identity as a woman and as a child of God.

I believe there are many ways a woman can cherish, speak words of affirmation about, and appreciate herself wherever she may find herself in life: in and out of seasons, in her highs and lows, the good the bad, and the ugly; or on valentine’s day as a single or with a significant other… etc. Her self-love should be shown, given as a gift to herself no matter what the circumstances are.

There are a couple of things that I have been implementing more and more of, to the degree that it has become a lifestyle. Why? Because I believe a healthy woman is a growing and fruitful woman. But here’s one thing I’d like to share that can be broken into multiple parts but we will only speak of as one:

Be proactive in your time alone.

It’s our responsibility to nurture the woman you are growing into. No one else can cultivate you the way YOU can. I’ve failed miserably countless of times when I neglected and robbed myself by not choosing to utilize my time alone to discover Widny (you may add your name here also), walk in purpose, practicing to perfect my craft, have a day off to rest, disconnecting myself from social media to properly refocus, investing my heart and mind into things or people that are healthy; and, most importantly, seeing myself the way God sees me. We lose a piece of ourselves ladies when we don’t empower and invest. It will be very difficult to celebrate the next woman who’s popping and flourishing in their lane without being a hater; becoming bitter and envious of her.

When you take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, everything around you falls into its proper place. And ladies; correct me if I am wrong, but when you take care of yourself (and I am not referring to any materialistic possessions, titles, status), you glow differently; inner peace and joy becomes your GLOW.

Happy Valentine’s day, ladies!!!


To contact Widny, go to thewidster.com

What My 30 Day Social Media Cleanse Taught Me | Welcome 2018!

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Hi guys! Its been literally, 30 days since I’ve blogged (actually a bit more). Remember when everyone thought the world was going to end in 2012? Who would’ve thought that we would make it to see 2018?? God is extremely merciful and an awesome God. As the year started, I decided to give myself a break from social media so that I can clear my mind and start this year off with a new way of thinking. We all know that social media can be such an influence on our way of thinking and our everyday lives.

It’s Not Easy

First of all, DO NOT think that this challenge was easy for me. As a blogger & beauty influencer, I can tell you right now… it hurt my poor soul to give social media up. I couldn’t post any makeup looks, couldn’t express my thoughts via tweets, couldn’t keep up with my friends’ everyday lives on Snapchat, etc. I can say though, in the beginning I was so determined to do this. The first two weeks weren’t that bad, but as things started to happen in my life, I couldn’t express how I felt like I could before — via the internet.

Use Your Time Wisely

What did I do instead of browsing social media you ask? I read books, played games, hung out with my friends, I even got a chance to plan my entire semester out. I made myself a workout plan, a daily planner, a budget plan, and a business plan. Believe it or not, this helped me realize how much time I ACTUALLY spend on the internet. When I eliminated it completely, I realized how much free time I had to do other things like some of the activities I listed above. Even just cherishing those times with those you love without having to reach for your phone.. its a completely different experience.

Jesus Confirmed It!

My relationship with God got so much stronger. I cannot stress this enough. Instead of expressing my thoughts on the internet, I confided in Him. When I talked to God, it was almost like writing in a diary. Whenever I had an idea, I talked to God about it and the next thing I know, He’ll confirm my thoughts. I felt so much pain, sadness, anger, and negative vibes go away after “writing in my diary”. Staying away from the internet in my tough times and just talking to Him gave me so much confidence. It confirmed success over everything I planned to do this year!

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MOVING FORWARD

So moving forward.. what did I gain from this that I can take into the new year? With all of this time on my hands, I was able to plan for my future. As a bit of encouragement, I say this…

“Faith without work, is dead.” – James 2:20

Once God does His part, We must do our part! I hope this post gives you some encouragement on spending more time with God and yourself, and motivates you to focus on your success!

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2018, The Year of Sacrifices

First, it will feel like a sacrifice. Then, it will feel like the grind. Then, it will feel like life. Then, it will feel like freedom. 

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So here I am. 10 in the morning, listening to Jhene Aiko’s “You Are Here” in bed, pajamas, bonnet and all. I’ve been thinking about the new year as of late, and I’d love to share with you my final thoughts of 2017.

I felt as if this year was rough, specifically for me because it was my hardest semester in college. Along with the huge load of school work, came a lot of life changing situations. Through it all, I can say there were various emotions I felt harder than ever before — such as loss, confusion, carelessness, and even freedom.

Looking into the new year, I want to see myself prosper and bloom. Now we all know that wanting to succeed is a universal goal for everyone going into the new year. But what is it actually going to take?

Looking back, I’ve always wanted to succeed, but if I really think about it… I always wanted more for myself but didn’t put in the necessary time and attention for it. Thats why I say that 2018 is the year for sacrifice.

First, it will feel like a sacrifice. Then, it will feel like the grind.

I feel this in many ways. One of my goals is to become more dedicated to Youtube. I fell off very bad this year and I want to use my weekends to create content. Now when it comes to weekends, all I want to do is relax.

Ever heard that saying, work now and rest later? I’m young, in my 20’s, and I feel like I should be using my 20’s to my advantage. 10 years from now, I see myself still working hard but already having a solid foundation. And to have that, I need to hustle like never before. As Obama says,

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A lot of it. I want to be able to say that in my 20’s, I DID THAT!! I did the damn thing!

Create a list

One thing I’ve started to do to prepare for the new year is create a list of goals. These goals are long term and short term. These goals include financial, business, education, and personal well-being categories! I’ll share some,

Financial

  • save $30+ a week
  • Pay $10 to my credit card every week
  • save $1000 by the end of the year

One thing I kept in mind is that I have to be realistic. My initial goal was to save 3k. now, knowing my spending habits and just who I am as a person, I knew that that wasn’t going to happen! a thousand a year is reasonable for me because again, I’m in school and I have to pay rent.

Create a goals board

Here’s another idea to go along with your list. Create a goals board. Its very simple and very cheap. Just grab you some sticky notes, a sharpie, and a poster board. Write out your goals on the sticky notes and post them on the poster board. When completed, take the sticky note down and tally your completed goals. By the end of the year, look back and see how many goals you’ve completed!

Leave 2017 behind

You heard me! Those hardships, that awful job, messy situations, backstabbing friends, whatever it is that didn’t make you happy.. leave. it. in. 2017. Choose to flourish, choose to prosper, choose to be the best you in 2018.

One thing I’ve learned in 2017 and am so so so thankful for, is that I realized my worth. If this hasn’t happened for you yet, believe me when I say it’s coming. And on God’s time. Before 2017, I was a wreck. I let certain things affect me and certain people use me. God let a lot of things happen to me, just so that I could get to this point in life now and say this:

That moment you realize your worth, your whole life will change in a positive way. I’ve learned that it is okay to be selfish at times and it is okay to drop whatever or whoever it is that is hindering you from living your best life. You were thinking about others more than yourself, and that was the problem. It is okay to put yourself first. I’ve also realized that it is okay to do things that make you happy! Learn to only care about your opinion only. It’s the only one that matters! When I decided to let those things go and do things that I love, I became a person I was able to love. And THAT became my foundation for everything else I wanted to do in my life.

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A word, by yours truly…

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Gifts for Him and Her That Won’t Break The Bank!

It’s getting close to that time where gift shopping gets hectic. If you didn’t shop for Black Friday or Cuber Monday, this post will be especially useful to you. If you like this, share with your friends and family to save them some bucks as well!

IMG_8419Gifts for Her under $100!

  • Scarves, hats, and/or glove sets
  • Body mists and perfumes
  • Candles
  • Candy
  • Fuzzy Socks
  • Nail Polish
  • Soft blanket
  • Lipgloss
  • Makeup brushes
  • Sweaters
  • Alex and Ani Bracelets (prices vary)
  • Jewelry from Pagoda (prices vary)
  • Wine glass set
  • Chipotle or Target gift card (girls love Target and Chipotle)
  • Hair care products
  • Gas gift cards

These are some of the things I could think of right off the bat. If I was shopping for Secret Santa, I’d get some fuzzy socks, a candle, a gift card, some lip glosses, and maybe a wine glass set.. because who doesn’t love wine?

IMG_8417Suggested Stores

  • Forever 21
  • Bath and body Works
  • Walmart
  • Yankee Candle
  • Target
  • Boohoo
  • Sephora
  • MAC Cosmetics
  • Fashion Nova
  • PINK
  • Victoria Secret
  • H&M
  • ZARA
  • Pagoda
  • Chipotle
  • Old Navy

sheamoistureGifts for Him for under $100!

  • Wax candle
  • Phone accessories
  • Bath rob
  • Watch
  • Cologne
  • Products for his beard
  • Personalized jewelry
  • Sweat suit
  • BRM35MSunglasses
  • Jeans
  • Jacket
  • Dog tags
  • Wallet
  • Shoes
  • Trench coat
  • Socks
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Framed poster
  • Duffle bag

 

If I’m buying a Christmas gift for a male friend, I’d get him some nice cologne, a black phone case, a framed poster of his favorite music artist, a wax warmer, and a nice watch! If I’m shopping for my man, I’d add in a nice coat and jeans in there.

WhiteBlackLeather.Front_1024x1024Suggested Stores

  • Express
  • Ralph Lauren
  • ZARA
  • The North Face
  • Banana Republic
  • Urban Outfitters
  • BoohooMAN
  • Walmart
  • Nordstrom
  • Target
  • ASOS
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Topman
  • Bath & Body Works

Unique/Personalized Gifts

I think it’s super sincere and thoughtful to get someone a gift that would mean more to them than just another clothing item, jewelry piece, etc. Personalized gifts are a great gift for someone who doesn’t want to break the bank. Think of a special or important event in their life, and create the gift around that. Here are a few options:

  • 41NZ8FA2D5LFriendship bracelets
  • A painting of them, a family member, someone they admire, etc.
  • Matching shoes
  • A shadow box with memorable photos inside, a jersey, etc.
  • Bake them their favorite desert
  • 41009-pad-w_stemless-wine-glass-larged248495add8a6249017b5128f6c66cf7A locket with a memorable photo inside
  • Personalized wine glasses/shot glass
  • Coffee mug with a personalized touch
  • A homemade quilt/blanket
  • Tickets to a game, comedy show, or concert
  • Calendar
  • Keychains
  • Pillow cases with initials
  • Notebook filled with your favorite memories, written by you
  • Matching rings

 

Got any more ideas? Comment below!

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Beginner Friendly: How to Start a Blog + 100 Blog Post Ideas

Hey loves! It’s been a minute since I’ve written to you guys. Recently, I’ve been trying to get into the swing of things when it comes to school, work, and finding time to blog. I’ve gotten a bunch of responses on creating this post, so here it is!

HOW TO START A BLOG

Pick a blog platform

There’s so many platforms to choose from. I use WordPress, but you can choose from Tumblr, Squarespace, Blogger, Weebly, etc. As a beginner, you’ll want a blogging platform that’s easy to set up, and doesn’t require any coding skills. You’ll also need to think about what kind of blog you want to create, now and in the future. As your blog grows, you may want to change the look of your site and add more features for your growing audience. That means it’s important to choose a blogging platform that’s flexible, with room to grow.

If you’re looking to showcase more photos than words, Tumblr is perfect! Their platform is mainly for visuals and in my opinion, is the best if you’d like to display your photography.

If you’re looking to sell items on your site, I’d suggest using Squarespace! If you’re apart of the e-commerce community, their platform lets you easily sell items without a hassle.

If you’re looking to express your feelings, share stories, reviews, or maybe even start a travel blog, WordPress, Weebly, and Blogger are awesome for that. These are all great platforms if you want to become a lifestyle, beauty, or fashion blogger as well.

What’s your theme/topic? 

Picking a theme is so important because it will draw attention to your blog. Having a niche will separate you from the crowd. To choose my theme, I wrote down 5 things that describe who I am — Caribbean, college student, fashionista, young, and black. I also thought about things I like to do/talk about — college, love, shopping, etc. So as you see on my blog, I chose palm trees and bright colors as my theme. I centered my blog posts around my life experiences, fashion, beauty, and school. Find your passion. If you’re passionate about food, start a food blog! Maybe you’re passionate about video games. Write a review on the latest video game that sparked your interest. So there’s a few things you could do that can help your creative juices to flow!

Pick a name 

To start, my blog’s name was The Style Island. I chose this name because it represented my origin (Jamaica, the Caribbean) and what I like (style = fashion, beauty, shopping). To help pick your name, I’d suggest referring to the words used to help you choose your theme and topic. In the future, you might want to buy your domain name. Make sure it is as original and true to you as possible because once you are ready to take that next step, you’ll want your name to be available for purchase.

Start blogging!

It’s really just that easy! 4 simple steps. Unbelievable, right? Well sometimes, all you have to do is start. If you’re thinking about becoming a lifestyle, fashion, or beauty blogger, here are 100 blog posts ideas to get you started!

1. YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT THUS FAR 

2. FAVORITE BLOGS OF THE MONTH

3. FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF

4. OUTFIT OF THE DAY

5. MAKEUP COLLECTION

6. A COMPETITION/GIVEAWAY

7. BLOGGING ADVICE

8. FASHION WISH LIST

9. EXERCISE TIPS

10. FASHION/BEAUTY HAUL

11. BOOK REVIEW

12. FAVORITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS

13. ‘HOW TO STYLE’ OUTFIT POSTS

14. PRODUCT REVIEWS

15. ROOM TOUR

16. HOST A GUEST POST

17. WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG

18. PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

19. HOBBIES POST

20. WHAT’S ON YOUR PHONE

21. HOST A Q+A

22. FAVORITE PODCASTS

23. AN INTERVIEW WITH A BLOGGER

24. INTERIOR INSPIRATION

25. A NEWS STORY

26. PRODUCTS WORTH THE HYPE

27. A DIY / HOW TO

28. HEALTHY SNACK RECIPE

29. PAY-DAY SHOPPING PICKS

30. A FASHION SHOW REVIEW

31. A STORY ABOUT YOURSELF

32. A LIST POST (KINDA LIKE THIS!)

33. A RANT (IT FEELS GOOD!)

34. YOUR FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS

35. A LIST OF YOUR DREAMS AND GOALS

36. A TAG POST (TMI TAG, ETC)

37. A POST ON YOUR FRIEND/PARTNERS STYLE

38. YOUR EVERY DAY MAKEUP ROUTINE

39. COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY ADVICE

40. A BEFORE AND AFTER POST

41. AN INSTAGRAM ROUNDUP

42. A 30 DAY CHALLENGE

43. A REVIEW OF A PLACE

45. A CONTROVERSIAL OPINION

46. YOUR HAIR HISTORY

47. A ‘GET THE LOOK’ STYLE POST

48. WHAT’S IN YOUR MAKEUP BAG

49. MONTHLY FAVORITES

50. DETAILS OF YOUR HOME

51. YOUR FOOD DIARY

52. AN EMPTY PRODUCTS REVIEW

53. YOUR HANDBAG COLLECTION

54. THE REASON YOU STARTED BLOGGING

55. A MAKEUP TUTORIAL

56. SHARE SOME POSITIVITY

57. ASK YOUR READERS A QUESTION

58. PLACES TO VISIT WHERE YOU LIVE

59. YOUR FAVORITE APPS

60. A ‘DAY IN THE LIFE’ STYLE POST

61. OFFER A SERVICE

62. A LIST OF LIFE HACKS

63. MUST-HAVE ITEMS

64. EMPTY PRODUCT REVIEWS

65. SHARE YOUR WORK SPACE

66. ROUND UP YOUR OUTFITS THIS MONTH

67. STYLE INSPIRATION POST

68. HOW YOU STAY ORGANISED

69. A MOVIE REVIEW

70. FAVORITE STREET STYLE LOOKS

71. A BIRTHDAY/ANNIVERSARY POST

72. SHARE YOUR FAVORITE BLOG POSTS

73. A GET READY WITH ME POST

74. 5 THINGS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT

75. JOB INTERVIEW TIPS

76. BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS

77. A BRAND FOCUS

78. AN EVENT YOU’VE BEEN TO

79. YOUR OPINION ON A TREND

80. SAVE VS SPLURGE

81. HOW TO DE-STRESS

82. AN OPEN LETTER TO SOMEONE

83. A ‘WHO WORE IT BEST?’ POST

84. HOW TO GAIN FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM

85. HOW TO START YOUTUBE CHANNEL

86. WHAT BLOGGING HAS TAUGHT YOU

87. BLOGGER BLOOPERS (I DARE YOU)

89. YOUR SHOE COLLECTION

90. AFFORDABLE HOMEWARE IDEAS

91. YOUR EXPERIENCE AT SCHOOL

92. HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BLOG

93. A SKINCARE ROUTINE

94. FACE OF THE DAY

95. WAYS ON HOW TO PROCRASTINATE

96. BLOGGING DOS AND DON’TS

97. BEAUTY HACKS

98. HOW TO GET MOTIVATED

99. THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU’RE SAD

100. YOUR FIVE YEAR PLAN

Any ideas I’m missing?? Let me know!

xoxocharleymone

 

RECLAIMING MY TIME

A necessity in 2017! Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time we stop accepting everything that is thrown at us. Not all of it is good and if we’re being honest… we’re only getting older! We don’t have time to waste on people and things that aren’t giving us the happiness and peace we deserve. Time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.


Be wary of time wasters

During the summer, I finally got the grasp of this concept. I’m sure you’ve all experienced this as well. When school is out is when your inbox starts to fill up with “lets work” and “lets link up” people who never fall through. People can be time wasters. Those candidates who swarm your inbox with “text me” and not “when are you free?” are time wasters. Beware of those who make the same mistakes over and over again. THEY are the they that DJ Khaled was talking about! They don’t want you to succeed or change. They want you to stay in your repetitive cycle of stagnant situations. They don’t want to see you at peace or prosper!


Learn to say no

If you say “yes” to every request, you will never have any time for yourself. Get super protective about your time, and say “no” to everything that will effect your life in a negative way. It’s okay to say no sometimes. It isn’t rude or ignorant. It’s just you saving time for yourself and that is completely okay!


Do what makes you happy

As cheesy and original as it sounds, this is the most effective thing you can do when wanting to reclaim your time. Use your time wisely, and when I say this, do what is going to keep you happy. A time at peace and joy is never a time wasted. That blog? Start it. That book you’ve been dying to read? Read it! That idea? Get it out there! Whatever your gift is, put it to use!

Cut out distractions

What is there around your workspace that distracts you from the task at hand? Sometimes it’s visual clutter, or papers lying around that call for your attention and action, or emails on your computer that pop up at the wrong time, or the phone, or coworkers. See if you can eliminate as many of these as possible — the more you can focus, the more effective you’ll be and the less time you’ll waste. That equals time saved for the good stuff!

How will you reclaim your time?

Read one of my older posts to learn about ways to detox your life.

xoxocharleymone

 

Girls Trip: NYC + LOOK BOOK

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To keep updated, read my last post before you read this one! This past week, some friends and I made our way to New York City! After a long 14 hour bus drive, you’d think we’d be ready to hit the hay. Nope! At 3:30 in the morning we made our way to a bar called Brooklyn Vibes. The strip we stayed in for the trip is apparently where a lot of Caribbean places and people reside. During my stay, I can attest to this! Brooklyn Vibes played nothing but Caribbean hits and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Check out my first vlog, recapping my time in New York City and my travel skin care routine! [click here]

IMG_2937.JPGThe first day we visited Poco, a brunch restaurant with bottomless mimosas! They also specialize in organic lunch and dinner.  The drink options were mimosas, sangrias, and bloody mary’s. Of course I went with the sangrias. My friends and I wanted to be adventurous, so we asked for a bloody mary. Let me tell you… THE WORST DRINK I’VE EVER TASTED. Tomato juice in my drinks aren’t the move. The bartender said that many people order it because it’s suppose to ‘cure a hangover’? I don’t get that logic, but nonetheless if I ever had a hangover… bloody mary’s wouldn’t be my go-to. Yuck. We had about 5-6 rounds of sangrias. Talk about day drinking.

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On the menu, I got the pulled chicken sandwich. In between the bun, there was applewood smoked bacon, a 3-cheese blend, tomato and chipotle aioli. SOOOOO GOOD.  It came with a side of potatoes, which was also really good, and a side salad with some type of sauce on it. I couldn’t really recall it, but it was sweet and looked like vinaigrette. If you got the bottomless sangrias, your entire meal would be just $32 plus tax. Not bad I say! It was definitely worth the money. I haven’t seen too many of these type of places in Cleveland, but hopefully I find one!

FullSizeRender.jpgFor brunch I wore a yellow romper from Altar’d State with black strap sandals from Urban OG. I paired it with my favorite Francesca’s sunglasses with a top white frame, some midi rings, and just a small black wallet from Aldo.

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The next day, we visited China Town. A.k.a, bargain city. Unfortunately, this was one of the stops we agreed to go to later and never found the time to! I actually wish I was able to shop here. i saw lots of sunglasses, bracelets, and bags I wanted to buy! I reminisce going to China Town the time I visited NYC  when I was young and getting a deli sandwich from this small asian cuisine restaurant and I wish I knew the name of it. The scenery is beautiful as well as the bargains in China Town!

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We also visited Coney Island. I always thought Coney Island was in a different city, come to find out it’s right in NYC. I’m not a fan of rides, but there was great food, a reggae festival and salsa dancing on the boardwalk. We even stopped to get ice cream. It was a very windy, and even chilly day which wasn’t expected. Nonetheless we still enjoyed ourselves. We took some pictures next too some huge artwork by artists right in NYC. We even got stopped by a few photographers to take photos of us.

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I wore this beautiful scarlet dress with leaves on it (you know I love palm trees) from Forever 21. Here, my black strap sandals are pictured. I wore my yellow hand bag, reviewed in my latest fashion post from Aldo. I paired it with a rose gold linear necklace from Francesca’s.

 

Our final destination was Times Square. The scenery and vibe is truly capturing. It took us about an hour to find food. There were way too many options! H&M was HUGE compared to the one in the mall in my hometown.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetThe Juice Shop. My best friend wanted a smoothie so bad, we searched high and low for one! We finally landed to one and guess what, the smoothies were TEN DOLLARS. I’ve never had a smoothie for that much and neither have my friends. Then again, it is New York. We tried a PB&J and CJ smoothie which consisted of peanut butter, chia gel, strawberry, banana, agave, and almond milk. Yum! It tasted just like a PB&J sandwich and after tasting it, I still don’t think $10 would be worth it, haha.

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I featured this denim button up dress in my vlog. It is from H&M and I got it for only $15 (yes it was on sale)! My cute sandals are from Alumni, a store we found on a strip in Brooklyn, New York.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetFun fact: I spent $40 on this meal right here. Chicken alfredo and a drink. N E V E R  A G A I N. It was delicious though, but definitely not worth the price. This dinner was at il Fornetto. The service was great and our waitress had a great sense of humor. The dinner was by the lake and on the lake were beautiful swans and boats. There was a ‘beware of sharks’ sign, but honestly the water was way too shallow for sharks. I think it was just for entertainment. Anyways, my friends and I regretted spending up to $50 at this restaurant!

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I’d rate this trip a 9.5/10.. everything was amazing, even with the long train rides and expensive food. I enjoyed getting away for the summer and making memories with my friends! Next stop: Cancun? Stay tuned!

xoxocharleymone

#OnTheBlog | 9 Month No Heat Challenge, NYC Trip, Youtube Channel

Happy August, loves! May this month bring you prosperity in all aspects of life. May God turn all of your can’ts into cans, your confusion into clarity, your stress into peace, and your burdens into blessings! 

xoxocharleymone

9 Month No Heat Challenge

August 1st started my 9 Month No Heat Challenge — a whole school year. I did this last year and it was a success! I witnessed sooo much growth and difference in strength and bounce in my hair by the end of April 2017. This year I’ll have a strict routine for my natural hair, considering last year (due to my bad techniques when choosing protective styling) I ran into some problems like split ends and hair breakage. Last year my main protective style was human hair wigs, but this time around I want to expand and try crochet braiding, other braiding styles, and synthetic wigs that are affordable for college students. My first protective style is my synthetic wig from Sam’s Beauty.

Here are my guidelines/routine:

  • Wash day & re-twist (every other Monday)
    • Co-wash, detangle, twist
  • Include a hair mask every last Monday of every month into your wash day
  • Spritz water to hair every day in the morning
  • Take hair vitamins once a day
    • Nature’s Bounty Biotin, The Mane Choice (this is the one I’m using), Hairfinity Hair Vitamins, etc.
  • Night time routine
    • sleep with satin scarf with an optional satin pillow case
    • If wearing a wig
      • apply oil around edges and nape area before applying satin scarf
    • when in the mood to give hair a break from being in the twists, take the twists out and use your satin scarf to pull hair into a pineapple
    • apply Jamaican Black Castor Oil (or your oil of choice) to scalp and ends of hair
  • Drink a gallon of water at least 3 days out of the week
  • Switch protective style every 1-1.5 months
  • NO CUTTING YOUR HAIR OR APPLYING HEAT WHAT SO EVER! 

Here’s a few pics of me this summer wearing my natural hair. I loved it! To read all about last year’s 9 Month No Heat Challenge, click here.

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More pic mail! This is the Outre Synthetic Dominican Curly Full Lace Wig! I love, love, love this wig! IT WAS $25 FOR THE FULL LACE and $16 FOR THE HALF WIG VERSION. I got it in a 1B, and when it arrived it was soft and bouncy. The curls were AMAZING. It was big, full, and long which didn’t work for my height because I’m so short. I just took my scissors and chopped it down a bit to frame my face and sit on my shoulders, and it still looks full and big. 10/10!

NYC Trip + Youtube Channel

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I’m so excited guys! Some friends and I are heading to NYC this week! We deserve this break honestly. We’ve been working so hard this summer, so it’s only right we take some time off! But of course, Charley Moné won’t be taking a break from blogging. I’ll be mixing pleasure and work this weekend.

I’ll be vlogging my visit and creating a look book which will turn into my first Youtube video for my Youtube Channel! I’ve been wanting to take this step and venture out to a new platform for so long, but I had to take time to really think about how I wanted to represent myself and brand myself through Youtube before actually posting anything.But yes, be on the lookout for that video! In the meantime, subscribe to my channel [click here] so you can be first to get a notification for when the video is posted! All of my videos will be linked and posted to my blog as well for easy access. Also, follow me on Instagram and turn your notifications on to view the beautiful pics I’ll be posting while there!

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Anyone ever visited NYC? Give me the best places to visit — comment below! I really could use the insight. Also, just want to thank you guys for reading my blogs and interacting with me. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support!

Sidenote: I’ve been getting pretty active on Pinterest, follow me there!

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Question for today: if you could go anywhere in the world and blog and/or live for a year, where would it be and why?