Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My Favorites From The Duro Olowu Spring 2017 Collection

I love me some Nina Simone. I loved her talent, grace, beauty, and her ability to be bold and stand in her truth in the face of adversity, and that is probably why I was drawn to Duro Olowu's spring collection. Ms.Simone served as his muse and inspiration during the design process. But of course, that is not the only reason I am always drawn to this talented designer. He has this ability to meld Western fashion silhouettes with African influences. He never shies away from bold colors or graphic prints, and it all melds together seamlessly.

My Favorites From The Duro Olowu Spring 2017 Collection www.toyastales.blogspot.com #toyastales #DuroOlowu #Spring2017

My Favorites From The Duro Olowu Spring 2017 Collection www.toyastales.blogspot.com #toyastales #DuroOlowu #Spring2017

My Favorites From The Duro Olowu Spring 2017 Collection www.toyastales.blogspot.com #toyastales #DuroOlowu #Spring2017

My Favorites From The Duro Olowu Spring 2017 Collection www.toyastales.blogspot.com #toyastales #DuroOlowu #Spring2017

My Favorites From The Duro Olowu Spring 2017 Collection www.toyastales.blogspot.com #toyastales #DuroOlowu #Spring2017





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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Into Action By Adding Floral Prints To Your Home

I am the kind of person that likes to make small tweaks to my home every season. You know, change the drapes and pillows, add some seasonal throws, and switch around some of my treasured keepsakes to add a little freshness to a room. When it comes to spring, I like to add brighter colors and some floral prints to complement the extra sunlight streaming through the windows. Usually, I stick to warmer accent colors like yellow, green, red, and orange, but this year I am considering adding some floral prints in pastel hues. So, after doing a little research, I found a brand that made the prettiest floral prints that I have seen in a long time. Joules, the U.K. based lifestyle brand, uses distinctive color and prints in their housewares, and I am loving what they have to offer this season. 
Below are a few of my faves from their collection.



Spring Into Action By Adding Floral Prints To Your Home www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #SpringFlorals #decorating

Spring Into Action By Adding Floral Prints To Your Home by latoyacl on Polyvore 

Joules Birchley Cushions (Buy Here) 
Joules Cuppa Mugs (Buy Here) 
Joules Tableware (Buy Here) 


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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Play Date

After the crazy weather, we have had I feel like I need a play date. I know play dates are usually reserved for children, but I need an adult version of it. Last week, we had almost sixty-degree weather. I was hoping that we had seen the last vestiges of winter, but unfortunately yesterday we had 12 inches of snow and today we are predicted to get 5-8 more inches. So after dealing with horrific traffic, slippery weather, and a sore back from shoveling, all I want to do is throw on some comfy, practical, cute clothes, and relax with my friends. Maybe play some adult board games or quizzes, watch some Netflix, and eat a ton of comfort food. So, today's outfit of the day is inspired by my need to chill in style.


Play Date www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #casualstyle #ootd

Play Date by latoyacl featuring pointed-toe ankle boots 

Red Valentino Embroidered Patchwork Sweater (Buy Here) 
Isabel Marant Etoile Davan Mid-Rise Boyfriend Jeans (Buy Here) 
Black Quilted Moto Combat Boots (Buy Here) 
Billie Two Tone Beanie (Buy Here) 
Olympia Le Tan Designer Handbags Dizzie Little Miss Splendid (Buy Here) 
Topshop False Lash Mascara Intense (Buy Here) 
Rodin Luxury Lipstick (Buy Here) 
Sonia Kashuk Longwear Eye Definer in Olive (Buy Here) 
Chanel Beauty Le Vernis Nail Color (Buy Here)



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Thursday, March 9, 2017

My March Faves

Hello, Lovelies! 
I'm back at it again! 
Today I am featuring a video about my March faves. 


My March Faves www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ColourPopMe #IrresistibleMe #JackandLucy


Some products you will be familiar with since I did a review about them in a previous post, but had not had a chance to try them out fully until now  ( Irresistible Me Clip In Hair Extensions and Jack & Lucy Wide Brim Hat ). The other product that I am featuring, which just so happen to be my favorite of the bunch, is Colourpop's Ultra Matte Lip Color in Zipper, which you can also check out in the video below.






Products Featured In Video: 


My March Faves www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ColourPopMe #IrresistibleMe #JackandLucy
Jack & Lucy Bicoastal Wide Brim Hat


My March Faves www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ColourPopMe #IrresistibleMe #JackandLucy
Lol! Rocking my wide brim hat but did not realize I had it on sideways in the video until after the fact. Still looks good, though, but luckily I had it right for the photos.
Handmade Necklace From HawasBoutique (Visit Here)

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip Color In Zipper (Buy Here) 


My March Faves www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ColourPopMe #IrresistibleMe #JackandLucy
Loving this shade of purple!
My March Faves www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ColourPopMe #IrresistibleMe #JackandLucy
Close up view of Colourpop's Ultra Matte in Zipper.


Irresistible Me Clip In Hair Extensions (Buy Here) 

My March Faves www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ColourPopMe #IrresistibleMe #JackandLucy



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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Smiling Keeps Me Sane


Sigh ... this post has been circulating around in my mind for a long time. 
As a blogger, I sometimes grapple with how much of my personal life I should share with my readers, especially if the subject matter is heavy, sad, or unpleasant. Even though readers complain about bloggers being not real enough, when bloggers do choose to share something personal or close to their hearts they receive just as much backlash for keeping it too real. So, I feel that most times bloggers can never win, it is a catch-22. Readers want you to keep it real enough for them to relate to you but not real enough that it forces them to face uncomfortable truths and situations. So, what is a blogger to do?


Smiling Keeps Me Sane www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #grief #coping #SmilingKeepsMeSane


At the end of the day, you can only be true to yourself, even if it makes others uncomfortable. So, for me, that means sharing some painful memories that have shaped the woman I am today.

For almost 18 years I have despised this time of year. I know "despised" is a strong word, but in my case, it is an accurate description. More specifically I loathe Easter and the weeks leading up to it and the weeks immediately following it. Why? When I was twenty years old I gave birth to my only child, a beautiful and charismatic baby boy. He entered my life on April 12th and changed my life forever. He made me feel a depth of emotion that I didn't even know was possible, and as cliche, as it may sound I finally understood what unconditional love was. Unfortunately, our time together was short lived. Two weeks before his third birthday he died in a car accident with his father, grandmother, and aunt, on March 29th, which happened to fall on Good Friday that year. They had decided to take a road trip to visit another relative, and I stayed home because of work and to make preparations for his third birthday party that was supposed to be held in a couple of weeks. They were on the highway headed toward their destination when traffic came to a complete standstill because of construction. A semi truck driver for some reason did not see the miles of traffic in front of him not moving and slammed into the back of their car at full speed without breaking and killed them all instantly. I never found out why the truck driver never stopped. Did he fall asleep at the wheel? Was he under the influence? Because of shoddy police work they never gave him an alcohol or drug test, so, I will never know what the contributing factors were. Those unanswered questions still haunt me to this day. Unfortunately, I ended up burying my son on his birthday the day I was supposed to be celebrating his life. To say the least, I was devastated, shattered, and ever since then, I have been a shell of my former self. 

In my experience with dealing with a loss of a child, that pain never goes away or subsides. It will stay with me until the day I die. The loss of any loved one can seem too hard to bear, but it is especially hard when that loved one is a child because it goes against the nature of things. As a parent, we always assume that our children will end up burying us, so, it is hard to grapple with it when it is the other way around. It made me question everything that I thought I knew about life, and at a very early age, it taught me a hard truth, that no matter how much we try to plan and control our lives sh*t happens. Over the years I have had my ups and downs with regards to my grief. Some days are better than others. Sometimes I can go weeks without it being the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep. Other days, the pain is so intensely crippling as if it had happened yesterday. I used to think something was wrong with me, but after years of researching grief and how it affects people, I realize that my reactions are normal. Everyone grieves in their own way, so, I never judge anyone and how they choose to handle it to cope. 

One of the ways I have managed to cope is searching out things that will make me laugh because internally my heart is always crying. Laughing and sharing in moments that put a smile on my face momentarily relieves the pain of my scarred heart and stress that I carry around with me every day. I have a naughty sense of humor at times, and the more inappropriate the joke the harder it makes me laugh, and I cherish those moments. Even if it is just for a moment, it brings me a bit of joy and it keeps me sane in this crazy and chaotic world.




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Monday, March 6, 2017

Eye of the Tiger ( My 9 Favorite Finds Featuring Tigers)

At first glance, it may appear that today's fashion post is about the huge trend of adding patches to your favorite clothing and accessories, but guess again. Do you know what it is? Lol, the title is a huge clue! If your guess was tigers then you are right on point. Now I know you are probably scratching your head right now because this is one of the trends that was all over the runways but have not gotten as much attention in magazines, blogs, or social media. I can kind of understand the hesitation. It is a bold and playful look so some may not know how to incorporate it into their current wardrobe, but have no fear, this trend works even in small doses. If you are more of a minimalist you can easily work this trend by rocking it as an accessory such as a cell phone case or jewelry. If you are a bold maven you can go all out and rock the trend with abandon and no boundaries. 
Either way, it is all good!



Eye of the Tiger ( My 9 Favorite Finds Featuring Tigers) www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #tiger #patches #trends #EyeOfTheTiger

Eye of the Tiger by latoyacl featuring a black suede bootie


Miu Miu Leather Jacket (Buy Here) 
A.L.C. Elisa Turtleneck Cropped Sweater (Buy Here) 
Stella McCartney Skinny Boyfriend Patch Jeans (Buy Here) 
Stella McCartney Embellished Faux Leather Clutch (Buy Here) 
Jeffrey Campbell Optimum Black Suede Bootie (Buy Here) 
Lancome Artliner Precision Felt Tip Liner (Buy Here) 
Witchery Matte Lipstick (Buy Here) 
The Collection By Phuoung Dang Liquid Red Parfum (Buy Here)
Milani Mascara (Buy Here)

Below are few more of my favorite items featuring tigers!

Eye of the Tiger ( My 9 Favorite Finds Featuring Tigers) www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #tiger #patches #trends #EyeOfTheTiger
Kenzo (Buy Here)
Eye of the Tiger ( My 9 Favorite Finds Featuring Tigers) www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #tiger #patches #trends #EyeOfTheTiger
Sonix (Buy Here)

Eye of the Tiger ( My 9 Favorite Finds Featuring Tigers) www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #tiger #patches #trends #EyeOfTheTiger
Forever 21 (Buy Here)
Eye of the Tiger ( My 9 Favorite Finds Featuring Tigers) www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #tiger #patches #trends #EyeOfTheTiger
Kenzo (Buy Here)
Eye of the Tiger ( My 9 Favorite Finds Featuring Tigers) www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #tiger #patches #trends #EyeOfTheTiger
H & M (Buy Here)
Eye of the Tiger ( My 9 Favorite Finds Featuring Tigers) www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #tiger #patches #trends #EyeOfTheTiger
Rokoko (Buy Here)
Eye of the Tiger ( My 9 Favorite Finds Featuring Tigers) www.toyastales.blogspot.com #ToyasTales #tiger #patches #trends #EyeOfTheTiger
American Eagle Outfitters (Buy Here)


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Spring Prints Sale - All Items starting at $5 at SheIn.com! Ends 3/6