Magic

 

 

Black women really are magical.  No for real.  Is there really nothing we can’t do?? I don’t think so.  The problem is, not everyone is exposed to this knowledge.  The BIGGER problem is not every BLACK woman knows their magic, sees their magic, or even believes in their magic.

To be clear, a black woman’s magic encompasses the beauty, power and resilience we all hold, as defined by the #blackgirlmagic phrase creator CaShawn Thompson.  CaShawn goes on to explain,  “I say ‘magic’ because it’s something that people don’t always understand.    Sometimes our accomplishments might seem to come out of thin air, because a lot of times, the only people supporting us are other black women.”

For the record, women, in general are forces to be reckoned with. However, I make it my duty, as a black woman, to first look to a black female creator, curator, artist, designer, and, or business owner whenever I have a need.  I take extreme pride in building a team full of BLACK. GIRL. MAGIC!  And you better believe that I’m sharing all of their goodness….When I know, you know.

It’s too often that we don’t get the recognition we deserve, the funding we qualify for, or the platform we’re worthy of. It’s up to black women, to push other black women to the forefront and market them, support them, acknowledge them, share them, and most importantly, spend their money with them.

Black women are out here killing the game, taking over all industries, and saving lives.  Literally!  Recognize your own magic and celebrate the women around you. Sprinkle it everywhere.


(Black) Women who created the magic

Photographer: Rena O Productions

Makeup Artist: Wendy Bhola 

Manicurist/Pedicurist: Face and Body Day Spa

Headwrap: Chi Chi Lamour 

Earrings: Xpozher Accessories & Home Boutique 

Watch: Big Chop Accessories

Sequin Jacket: Melodrama Boutique

I. Am. Woman Shirt: Black Vibe Tribe

White Denim Shorts: Vici Dolls

What female black owned business are you digging right now?

XOXO

Starr

Photos shot by Rena O at the Le Meridien Hotel in Houston, TX

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Amazon Prime Day

Hey y’all!

It’s Amazon Prime Day, and I’ve rounded up a few my favorite Amazon buys and a few other items I’m drooling over.  Go ahead….Get your shop on.

For the Home + kitchen

Amazon Echo Dot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Echo (2nd Generation) – Smart speaker with Alexa – Sandstone Fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OXO Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

I prefer to grind my own coffee beans, and this is a pretty good deal for a grinder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keurig K-Cafe Single-Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker + Milk Frother, Dark Charcoal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stone & Beam Geo Throw, 50″ x 60″, Ivory and Blue

 

 

 

Rivet Modern Geometric Print Pillow Cover, 20″ x 20″, Teal

MaidMAX Cloth Storage Bins with Dual Plastic Handles for Home Closet Bedroom Organizers, Foldable, Beige, Set of 6

I have limited storage space, so these bins are very helpful in storage & organization.

 

 

Travel

Samsonite Prism Two-Piece Hardside Spinner Set (20″/24″), Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fashion

PRIVÉ REVAUX”The Exclusive” Handcrafted Designer Aviator Eyeglasses

These are very similar to the black Ray Ban Aviators, that I love, but at a much lower price.

 

S-ZONE Lightweight Women Genuine Leather Backpack Casual Shoulder Bag Purse Medium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VATI For Apple Watch Band 42MM Sport Loop, Lightweight Breathable Nylon Replacement Band for Apple Watch Band Series 3/2/1, Sport, Edition (42MM, Pale Pink Sand)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Madden Women’s Elouise Fashion Sneaker

 

Beauty

Clarisonic Mia 2, 2 Speed Facial Sonic Cleansing Brush

I’ve had my Clarisonic for years and it works great!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syntus Essential Oil Diffuser, 300ml Aromatherapy Cool Mist Ultrasonic Aroma Diffusers with 7 Colorful LED Display, Timer Setting, Waterless Auto Shut-off Function, Wood Grain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waterpik ADA Accepted WP-660 Aquarius Water Flosser

The BEST Flosser EVER!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Prime Day!

XOXO

 

Starr

Don’t Cry Over Split Ends

A few days ago, I had a moment of vanity insanity.  After my trip to the salon to get a trim and to shape my afro, I returned home, looked at myself in the mirror and completely fell apart.  My hair was sooooo much shorter than I wanted.  I honestly couldn’t believe that I was literally crying, but there I was, in the middle of the bathroom…in real life tears.  Was I really this vain?  Am I THAT attached to my hair? No ma’am, this couldn’t be so. I love short hair! I have gone from shoulder length to less than an inch length, to shaved sides, to green hair, to a pixie cut, straight hair, to curly hair.  I’ve done it all and realized that I really have no attachment to my hair, so these tears were definitely deeper than hair.

BEFORE:

 

AFTER:

Instagram: @ShardaeMorrisStylez

I’m a bit of a free spirit. I’m very nonchalant, a little impulsive and not very disciplined.  Committing to grow my hair out and not succumbing to the scissors, and sometimes the razor, is not about hair, but about staying true to my word, disciplining myself, and committing to a task…finally!  To see that the sacrifices and the work that I put in, in and effort to reframe from breaking the commitment to myself, were gone and literally swept away into that little hair vacuuming machine, was painful! It was heartbreaking.  I’m still not fully over it, but this I do know is that because of the cut, my hair is crazy healthy, split ends are gone, my curls are poppin, and the length will come right back….one day.

Take a look at my hair choices over the years.

See, I’m not that attached, but I care about growth and progress. In regards to my current condition, I will work with the fresh and healthy hair and watch it grow.

Moral of the story: Sometimes you have to cut off the dead ends in your life.  You may cut off more than you intended and the after shock may bring you to literal tears, but the growth and progress is worth the heartbreak.

Don’t cry over split ends, girl.

XOXO

♥ Starr

PS: Looking at the before and after pictures, I may have overreacted….

Buy Black – Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas is coming up on us whether we are ready or not.  If you’re anything like me and always plan to have all of your shopping done in October (yea right!), but end up scrambling around 2 weeks before Christmas to find the perfect gifts, then I’m here to help you…to help us!

I’ve curated a quick gift guide for you to give to your loved ones or for the secret santa gift exchange amongst your girls.  All of the items are from the brilliant minds of beautiful black women (with a sprinkle of a few Kings)!

Shop Away….

1. Her Space Co – The new year is approaching and we are all working on making 2018 a lot better than 2017.  Gains, right?! Well, these ladies have created a planner, like no other.  It’s like a planner and journal married and had a baby.. a Plournal?…a Janner?  No?  Well they actually call it the Layered Living Planner.  They know that the Juggle is Real.  I’m sure your girl would love that you are encouraging her to have a prosperous 2018!

 

2. Soyful Aromas – Each candle is hand poured by the sweetest person and one of the first people I met, in the Bay, Janét L’amour.  My favorite scent is Getaway, but please try them all!

 

3. ThatArtista – Philece is just as beautiful as her drawings are. She captures the energy and beauty of black women and transfers that to her art.  I personally have purchased 4 of her pencil illustrations and have a few more in cart! If you know someone who loves art, this is the perfect gift for her.

 

4 . All Dem’ Shades – By far one of my favorite Black Owned clothing Brands.  I’m an introvert.  I typically don’t like conversing with strangers, so I let my clothing do the talking (although some pieces provoke conversation).  All Dem’ Shades lets your clothing tell everyone how black and proud you are.  Go there now and get 20% off sitewide, with the code HS20.  The sale ends December 10th. Get this black bomber and so much more!

 

5. Hillman Bookstore – A Different World was definitely a show for the culture.  I can only imagine that Denise Huxtable grabbed this sweatshirt (probably off the floor) running late to class.  So I bought it.  Grab one for your people or shop the rest of the offerings from the Bookstore.

 

 

6. The Melanin Beaker Mug – We all know that Melanin is the secret sauce.  Grab this mug for the coffee loving scientist in your life and let them sip their magic every morning! I’m too excited for mine to arrive! #Melaninpoppin  Did I mention that if you order, today, you’ll get $5 off your order?

 

7.  The Write Fit – This brand says that the write fit is more than fashion, it’s a way of life.  Refer to gift #4 to be reminded why statement fashion is a must.  The best thing about these items is that they are suitable for the man in your life to represent for the ladies, as well!  I snagged this beanie, but you should most definitely shop the site to snag something for your peeps!

 

8. Nicholle Kobi – We have ALL seen Nicholle’s prints floating ’round the internets.  Well, all of her images are actually available for purchase as posters, on coffee mugs, stationery and tote bags!  Grab one or grab them all.  This notebook is one of the many items on my wish list…hint hint.

 

 

I hope that you found something on the list to stuff in a stocking or gift to yourself. I mean, from all the last minute shopping you’ve done, you deserve it.

Merry Christmas to you all!

xoxo

♥ Starr

Knocking Walls Down

The below is a transcript from the In My Opinion with Starr Howard Podcast // #WordUpWednesday – Knocking Walls Down// Aired on September 13, 2017

In my days of solitude, I’ve realized that I have created a huge wall around , not simply my heart, but all of me!  I created this wall and disguised it as boundaries. Trust me, boundaries are absolutely necessary, but they are there to protect your space and your peace.  Boundaries are easier to move and adjust.  This wall has not only kept people out, it has locked me in.  This wall keeps me from feeling, connecting, loving, and even disliking.  This wall has made me feel nothing.  I at times, do not allow myself to feel; which was the driving factor behind the podcast episode “Mask Off”.  A friend recently told me to simply let-it-go and let those emotions out and allow my hear to fell and love.  Our heart does what it’s supposed to do, when we let it and not try to dictate and control it’s job duties.  So, why do we build walls?  For protection, right? I see it this way: a wall doesn’t just become a wall overnight, it takes time and effort.  It develops over time.  Each lie we’re told, we lay a brick.  Each time someone breaks our heart, we lay a brick.  Each betrayal, we lay a brick, until a wall is built.  Exactly how that wall is built, piece by piece, is exactly how that wall comes down, piece by piece.  Also it’s important to understand that we don’t start building these walls when we become adults, this wall can build and develop in childhood.  When we see our fathers leave our mothers, we lay a brick. Every time our fathers don’t show up when they say they will, we lay a brick of distrust for men.  When our mothers compete with us or tell us that we’re getting fat, our hair is hard to manage because it’s nappy, we lay a brick of disconnection to other women.

These walls we have up start very early and our built piece by piece.  The only problem with that is, it can take YEARS for that wall to come down, causing you, me, us to miss out on blessings, opportunities, and people that were sent to better and increase us.  Don’t get me wrong, we should definitely protect ourselves.  Everyone is not deserving of your heart, soul, spirit, energy, or even your time, but we must use our spirit of discernment and vulnerability to determine who we should open up to.  Sometimes we have to risk it all and take the plunge.  We have to put ourselves out there and become available, but tread lightly.  I can say that each time I’ve let my wall down (And there haven’t been many times), I never once regretted it.  My regret comes when I try not to feel and miss out on the love.  I can honestly say that it’s truly better to love than to not love at ll.  So, how do we really know who we should let our wall down for?  Truth be told, we don’t.  We let them do the work.  We definitely shouldn’t make it impossible, but we should make them work for us.  We make them prove themselves to us.  We judge each person individually by THEIR behavior and not by the last person’s actions.  We have to make a decision as to whether or not we will allow someone else in. We have to decide to slowly pull the wall down.  If the result is not exactly what we intended, we accept it and move on.  We are resilient.  We can get through heartbreak.  If you’ve done it once, you can do it again.  If you’ve loved once, you can love again.

I’ve made the mistake of letting that wall define me.  It changed me.  I’ve become cold, standoffish, and untrusting.  I don’t like the person I’ve become.  I don’t like that I don’t allow myself to feel.  The very thing that I think I’m protecting, is the best thing about me.  It’s what makes me, me.  My heart, no matter how tender it is, my compassion, regardless of how limitless, and my ability to love and accept others, regardless of they have treated me (Proceeding with caution, of course), is what makes me the person I am.  It is who God created me to be.  We must stop going against God’s natural order and creation, and be who we were created to be, lovers!  Love heals all.  Don’t miss out on your blessing because of what someone else did and how someone else treated you.  Remember that behavior had, and has, absolutely nothing to do with you.  It has everything to do with the other person and the agreements they have made with themselves.  Don’t ever give anyone the power to change, control, and dictate who you are.  You have that power! You own you, so go out there and own the world and LOVE!

Thank you and God Bless you all!

XOXO

♥ Starr

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ~ Proverbs 4:23

UNITY

In my teenage years, I remember hearing Queen Latifah rapping the lyrics U.N.I.T.Y.  Although her song called for unity among black men and black women, the catchy chorus still rings in my thoughts every now and then, and even more so the last few weeks.

Hurricane Harvey hit my home state hard!  I’m a Texan, I attended undergraduate in Beaumont, I grew up in Houston and Rosharon, graduated high school in Angleton, TX, and spent the last 14+ years in Houston, before relocating to California, this past February.  All of my love ones are spread around all of South Texas.  To say that my stress and worry  levels are high, is an understatement.

Photo from http://www.HoustonPublicMedia.org

 

Photo from nbcnews.com

To watch the devastation of the city and hear the worry and panic in the voices of my friends and family, and not have the ability to do anything to ease their spirit, is hard!  The one thing that makes my heart smile is watching Texans come together in love, compassion, and unity.  During a time where our country felt the most divided with racial tension and gender discrimination, Hurricane Harvey swept through and showed the true meaning of Humanity.  It forced us back to our natural instincts of service and survival.  At this moment, I am proud of human kind.

Unity seems to be the buzz word the last few weeks.  Think about being in a state of dehydration or a bit overheated.  Our bodies crave water to quench that thirst and heal the dehydration.  Our country was craving unification.  A few weeks ago, after Charlottesville, the Bishop at my church announced a Fast.  A Unity Fast to pray for our nation.  A Fast to bring this country together.  This Fast was scheduled for three days and the three days happened to fall during the time of the Hurricane.  As we fasted and prayed, the country joined together as a whole.

Ezra 8:23 – So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.

Sidenote: God answers prayers, but know that the answers don’t always come the way we want them to come.  Be ready! Be careful what you pray for, because you just might get it.

So about my fast. The most common form of fasting is the elimination of food for a period of time.  However, I believe that we must Fast from the thing, or the people, that have the strongest hold on us.  The thing(s) that cause us to behave outside of ourselves.  I decided to Fast from Social Media.  I found myself waking up and scrolling my timeline, randomly reaching for my phone throughout the day, scrolling before I fell asleep, and checking my timeline, while on the phone with family and friends!  It was ridiculous.  With so much going on in the world right now, from Charlottesville, to Colin Kaepernick and the NFL, to Hurricane Harvey, social media took complete control of my emotions.  I found myself reacting to people I don’t know and posts that I would normally scroll past, and not in a favorable way.  I was allowing other’s opinions and lack of compassion and knowledge effect my mood and my behavior.  That’s when I decided that I had to remove myself from that space.

The last 3 days have been awesome!  It’s allowed me time to myself.  I’ve been more calm.  I’ve given loved ones my undivided attention.  My thoughts and my heart is clear! During the fast, I took a moment to evaluate my wants and how I can become more intentional about those wants.  In my intentions, I made sure to write down those wants, putting them into God’s universe (I’ll blog or podcast about that later). In addition, I’m not weighed down by the constant photos and news regarding Harvey.   I only know the facts about Houston from friends and family who are actually living through the situation.

I will definitely add social media back to my life, but my approach is different now.  If we are not careful, social media can dictate who we are and how we behave.  We must control how we react and who we allow to control how we feel.  I suggest that if, and when, you feel yourself getting out of character as a cause of social media, take a break.

I also encourage you to pray and give to local organizations in Houston and surrounding areas.  Give to organizations that are actually on the ground and giving to those who need the help.  Please check back over the next few days for organizations you can feel confident and comfortable in your giving.

 

Chat later!

God bless you all.

XOXO

Starr

Mask Off

The below is a transcript from the In My Opinion with Starr Howard Podcast // #WordUpWednesday – Mask Off // Aired on July 26, 2017

A few weeks ago was the beginning of a big melt down for me.  For the new booties just tuning in, I recently moved from Houston, TX to the East Bay Area in California.  It has been the most necessary and rewarding, yet hardest, thing that I’ve ever done.  I knew that with the move would come a new and evolved me, due to growth and development, but as you all know (if you don’t know yet, you will soon know. because we all, one day, must face growth) with growth comes loss.  Loss of comfort, things, and people.  People you thought would be with you for always.  I knew it was going to happen, but I didn’t know who, when, why or how.  Shortly after my move, I ended a 17 year relationship (9 years as friends and 8 years as committed partners) with the man who I thought I was going to spend my life with.  I also removed myself from a 15 year friendship with someone who violated my trust TWICE.  The second time was AFTER I spoke with her, sister to sister, about the first violation, then turned around and did the same thing again.

So, for those keeping count; I moved half way across the country, alone, to an unfamiliar place, away from my family, friends, favorite restaurants, tailor, dentist, mechanic, everything that was familiar.  I broke up with the one person who knows me better than I know myself.  That sounds a bit cliche’, but it’s the absolute honest truth.  I parted ways from a sisterhood that I cherished, with a person I talked to every day.  I got to Cali and realized that I am literally starting over.

BUT

Like most women, although all of this was transpiring, I never showed it.  I continued to get up and go to work with a smile on my face.  I continued talking on the phone to friends, joking, listening to their issues, providing kick ass advice, encouraging them, being a listening ear, sharing the beauty of Northern California with my social media followers, only to immediately log off and cry.  I would hang up FaceTime calls and bury my face in a pillow and cry.  I walk out of the office building, get in my car, strap on my seatbelt, and cry before I reversed out of the parking spot!  I remember getting in the shower every night and letting it all out.  The shower was my favorite place to cry because it was cleansing, literally.

This went on every other day, approximately, for 3 weeks, but n one knew.  There are 2 people that I speak with on a daily basis via FaceTime.  When I finally divulged this information, they were both in shock and  both asked “Where was I?”, not knowing that they were there in the middle of my storm, the entire time!  But, as women do, I hid it.  Maybe I didn’t want anyone to see me cry.  I was teased and reprimanded a lot for “crying too much,” both by family when I was younger, and an ex used to get annoyed when I cried, so I hid it.  Maybe I hid it because they would possibly ask questions that I didn’t have the answers to.

Truth be told, at the time, I had no idea why I was crying.  I don’t know why my heart felt so heavy.  I initially thought that I was homesick, so I booked a flight a week later.  I was back in Texas! Back with old and new familiar friends, back to driving down Westheimer and seeing family.  The weekend was amazing, but as soon as I boarded the plane, the tears flowed….for 3 hours!! It was at that time that I realized that I was not simply homesick.  I had been homesick before, when I went 2 hours away to college, but this was different.  Plus this feeling went on for about 2 more weeks.  I study psychology, so I knew it wasn’t depression.  I also knew that whatever it was, I had to go through it.  In my talks with God, I didn’t ask to remove the hurt. I wanted to feel it.  I wanted to experience it.  I knew that feeling it would remind me of that moment, when I made it out.  I wanted to remember what it felt like to be in a place that would ultimately make me a better person that I was at that moment.  With great pain, come great triumph and the same way I want to live in the triumph is the same way I want to live in the pain.  I realized that instead of pretending like everything was okay, giving the strangers the best part of me, but saving the worst of me for myself, I decided to tell my close friend what was going on.  My sister friend gave me the space to cry, in front of her.  We talked it out and both realized that what I was going through was a mourning.  A mourning of my previous life in Houston.  My previous friendship(s) and my previous relationship.  I decided to call and speak to my ex about the hurt.  I faced it.  No more pretending like I was fine.  It was important to me that I expressed my hurt and anger to those who were a part of the hurt and those who were a part of the healing, including myself.

I want to give you a few tips to help you get through your next melt down.  One will come, but prayerfully with these tips, we can prevent the explosion:

  1.  Recognize what you are feeling.  Be aware that your emotions are on a rollercoaster.  Recognize that although you may not know what the root of the issue is (and that’s okay) but you are cognizant of the change in your mood and behavior.  This comes with knowing who you are and not accepting the notion that your just having a bad day or going through PMS (A male friend suggested this to me.  *insert eye roll emoji).
  2. Feel it.  Whatever “it” is, allow yourself to feel it.  Don’t drink it away.  Don’t smoke it away.  Don’t sex it away.  Learn from Solange and feel it.  Go through that shit.  How will you know how good it feels when you get to the other side, if you never felt how bad it was?
  3. Face it.  Sometimes the hard ugly truth is that you were the cause of the melt down.  If so, face it!  Don’t run from it.  Don’t put the blame on anyone else.  Face yourself.  If your situation is like mine, call the culprits up, not out.  We call them up to lift them and not ridicule them. Face those people and tell them that they hurt you. It’s up to them how they receive it.
  4. Get yourself a support team.  Sophia A. Nelson called it in her book, “The Woman Code,” your Front Row.  The people who will call you and let you cry over the phone with no judgement and no interruptions.  Remember that in order to have a solid front row, you must be a great participant on someone else’s front row.

I’m learning that it’s okay to let others see you hurt.  We don’t have to pretend that everything is okay when it’s not.  Vulnerability is a sign of strength.  When we hide from our emotions they will eventually surface and create bigger issues.  Mask off and face real life like a boss!

 

XOXO

 

Starr

 

If you are experiencing constant and consistent sadness and depression, please consult a mental health specialist.  

Sistah Vegan

This journey into a vegan lifestyle has not been easy.  Being from the South, meat and cheese is was a huge part of my diet, specifically barbecue and mac n’ cheese; however, I do remember, in my middle school age, attempting to become a vegetarian.  Since I had no money and couldn’t buy my own food, I had to eat what was provided.  In a black household, you have no choices.  You eat what your mother cooked, or you don’t eat at all!  Needless to say, that phase didn’t last long.

About six years ago, I did make the decision to cut out beef and pork, which sucks because I just got a taste of ox tails.  I didn’t like the way the meat made me feel afterwards; I immediately needed to sleep and felt heavy.  Note: Your food should energize you, not deplete you of energy. I think around a year later, I decided that chicken and turkey needed to go, as well.  I think I watched a bit of Food Inc, and saw the conditions the chickens were kept in and the steroids and hormones that were injected into the chicken to speed up growth and create large pieces of meat.  I then knew that I didn’t want the junk that was fed to chickens, fed to me.  It was obvious that I would not be able to quit all meat “cold turkey”, no pun intended, so I started “Meatless Mondays”; simply no meat on Mondays.  After a few weeks of Meatless Mondays, I started to add in Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc, until the elimination of meat became a lifestyle.  Don’t be fooled, though, I still ate seafood.  If you think bacon was hard, seafood was, and still is, a HUGE challenge for me.  When I mentioned that I’m from the south, that means Texas and Louisiana, where cajun and creole food reign supreme! It’s still a struggle for me, but I don’t eat as much as I used to.

Throughout this lackluster journey to a vegan lifestyle, I occasionally ate a barbecued rib (or 2), during the summer backyard parties, or a hot wing (or 8) during Sunday night football, and even a Daryl’s special poboy from Daryl’s in Lake Charles, LA. ( I would provide the contact information, but I’m trying to get you all on this vegan journey with me.)  I don’t believe in deprivation, so every now and then, I indulge; however, I still didn’t like the way those foods made me feel afterwards, but I did like the way I felt after a consistent vegan diet.  My skin was a lot more clear ( I suffer from eczema).  Note: Dairy promotes eczema flairs and acne.  Eliminate dairy, eliminate acne (Consult your doctor, though). 

I have recently become more vegetarian than vegan, but in an attempt to do better with my life, I’m extending a 30 Day Sistah Vegan Challenge.  With this challenge, I will share quick and easy meals, a simple shopping list, and if nothing else, moral support.  Please feel free to share your journey with me and the readers! Recipes are welcomed!

Below is a list of a few items I almost always keep in my fridge and/or pantry:

  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Pesto sauce or Basil for homemade Pesto
  • Lemons
  • Mixed veggies
  • Almond milk
  • Berries
    • Strawberries
    • Blueberries
    • Blackberries
    • Raspberries
  • Quinoa
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Edamame
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Veggie Broth
  • Tomatoes
  • Soy Sauce
  • Penne Pasta

Two great books to assist you along this journey are listed below, as well.  I haven’t read through either, yet, but I have scanned a few pages.

  1. Sistah Vegan – This book is composed of black female vegans giving their real life experiences on becoming vegan and the benefits of a plant based diet for black women.
  2. African Holistic Health – This book provides an overview of the foods that are best (and not so good) for people of the African diaspora.  Regardless of what is said, we are not all the same.  Our bodies cannot process the same food as Europeans.  The book also provides great herbal remedies.

I hope you all join me on this 30 Day Challenge starting August 1, 2017.  Join the Facebook Group for daily updates!

 

Chat later,

 

XOXO

Starr

One of my favorite snacks/light lunches is an Acai bowl, especially on a hot day!  The bowl pictured contains the listed below.  I also add a spoon of pea protein.

Base Blend (Blended to form a smoothie/Frozen ice cream like substance)
Organic Açaí – Berry that contain antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats
Almond Milk
Bananas
Blueberries
Raspberries
Flax Seed
Broccoli
Multi-Vitamin Boost

Toppings
Organic Granola
Bananas
Strawberries
Almonds
Goji Berries
Honey

Enough is Enough

Do you ever have a day, week, or even a month, when you don’t feel you’re “enough?”  You’re not smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough, thick enough, skinny enough, or you don’t smile enough….If not, then God Bless!

I am not a person who has any lack in confidence.  Some may confuse my level of confidence with cocky, or full of myself, but I beg to differ.  I am confident in who I am and confident in my ability to do what I know I can do, yet smart enough to know what I’m not capable of doing and what needs to be outsourced.  What I have learned  is that it’s okay to admit both!  It’s okay to take deep inhales and blow the shit out of your own horn and it’s okay to admit when you simply don’t know.

But, here is my struggle…There are days when I feel like I am not enough of anything.  In those days, I am over critical of every being of me.  The kicker is, I’m not comparing myself with other women.  That’s too easy.  I’ve long surpassed that “What does she have that I don’t have?” stage.  I compare me to…me.  Am I giving y’all all of me that I blessed you with on yesterday?  Am I laughing as much as I did last week?  Am I as funny today as I was yesterday?  Am I as supportive as I used to be?  Am I the best me, I can be?  The problem with this kind of thinking is who exactly is the judge?  Who is the one telling me that I’m not doing enough?  The fact that must be faced is that I’M the judge.  I’m the one comparing me to me.

So often we put these unrealistic expectations on ourselves without giving room for err.  Of course we should always strive to be better than we were the day before.  There is absolutely always room for improvement, but there should also be room for mistakes.  Leave room for days when you give zero fucks about the way you look.  Leave room for the days you don’t care to be witty, or jovial, or supportive, because truth be told, sometimes you just don’t have it in you, and that’s okay.  Be confident in knowing that today, at this very moment, you are giving all you possibly can, even if you have to give an eye roll, because you’re simply not in the mood for BS, and can no longer fake it.  At least it wasn’t a “fuck off”, unless it was, and that’s okay, too!

You can’t possibly be everything to everyone, but you can damn sure be everything to yourself.  Choose you.  Your enough is absolutely enough!

 

XOXO

Starr

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Challenge – Journal

April // 28 // 2017

Day ten

We made it through the challenge!! Kudos my friends!  I have to admit, the 2nd week was not that easy to find much interest in my outfit selections.  I got better with my time management, though.  One thing that I realized is that growing up black with little money, I’ve always had a capsule wardrobe, we just didn’t have a name for it back then.  I love the concept and, as mentioned, I’m probably going to go for it again with more items, for the month of May.  The last outfit seemed a bit desperate, but still cute, nonetheless.

White Button Up // Teal Pencil Skirt // Bow Flats //  Necklace // Reversible Tote

I tried to add a bit of interest to my outfit with this amazing necklace.  What do you all think?

Chat later,

XOXO

♥ Starr


April // 27 // 2017

Day Nine

Hey y’all,

Thank you all who have joined me on this 10 day journey.  I know it was tough, but we’re almost to day 10!  I’ll keep today’s post short and just share with you the outfit selection.  I wanted to mention one thing, however, accessories can change your outfit and add a bit of personality to a basic capsule.  Since I wore this tee earlier this week, and this vest is unforgettable, I decided to add a bit of punch with this leopard print belt.  I think that it gives a little personality.  Thoughts? I kinda like it a lot.

V neck tee // Military vest // leopard print belt // High Waist Skinny Jens // Bow Flats // Reversible Tote

I’m sure to wear this again! It’s even cute without the vest.  Also, I have gotten so many compliments on these shoes.  The color is sold out at Zara, but you can get a very similar pair here.

 

 

Hey face.

 

Chat Tomorrow!

XOXO

♥ Starr

 


 

April // 26 // 2017

Day Eight

Hey people,

It’s day 8 and two more days to go.  I’m kind of dreading having to create and hunt for next week’s work wardrobe, already.  It’s crazy, huh?  Today, I was actually thinking that I might extend this a little while longer.  I may create a new capsule and continue through the month of May.  We’ll see how that goes.  My only concern is that since I don’t really go anywhere on the weekends, a lot of my clothing may not get much wear.  I’ll keep you posted.

Today’s outfit was not one of my faves.  I pictured something completely different, and it didn’t quite come out the way I envisioned it, but with having a Capsule wardrobe, you kinda have to roll with what you have.  I don’t think that it was horrendous, but just not my fave.  Check it out for yourself.

Paisley print cardigan // White button down // Dark Skinny Jeans // Bow Flats // Reversible Tote

I unbuttoned that top button on my white blouse after this picture was taken.  I felt restricted and a bit claustrophobic.  In addition, I didn’t take a head shot of this outfit.  I immediately changed into shorts and tee, when I got home, and got in the bed to relax a bit and watch last week’s Scandal, before my shower and bed time.  I wish that I would have snapped a pic because I really liked my earrings.  Maybe next time…

Have a good night, all.

XOXO

♥ Starr


April // 25 // 2017

Day seven

Hey everyone,

I’m not sure why I’ve been so tired for the last few weeks, but it’s crazy annoying.  I feel like I can’t get enough sleep!  Has anyone else felt this way before? I’m sure it’s all of this unbalanced energy.  Mercury, venus, Saturn, Pluto (is that still a planet?  idk), every thing is in retrograde.  I thought that I was prepared with all of the sage burning and crystal cleansing I did, but I guess not.  Anyway.  Thank goodness for this capsule wardrobe challenge, because God knows that I would not have the energy to get my whole self together in the mornings.  I’m barely making it now, with these 10 little items I have to choose from over here.  At least the pieces give me a fair chance at looking put together.  I can’t fully promise that I would give 2 shits had it not been for the capsule.  I’m tired, y’all.  Here is today’s fit….and a little cleavage for my male readers.

Pink Cocoon Cardigan / / Grey V neck tee // High waist denim skinnies // Bow Flats // Reversible Tote (That I have yet to reverse in the last 7 days) // Crystal Y Necklace (Handmade)

Last week’s, day 4, outfit was fairly similar to this one except for the tee, that I plan to wear tomorrow (Who Gon’ check me, boo?), and the accessories.  Side note: Accessories are key.  They can easily change the appearance of any outfit, sometimes taking it from drab to fab.

Here I am pretending not to be tired AF.

 

Goodnight.


 

April // 24 // 2017

Day Six

Hey y’all!

It’s week 2 and we’re back to the challenge!  Week one was easier to wear the outfits with the 10 items simply because the items were new and fresh.  This week I started to wonder if people around me will notice that I wore the same pieces last week.  Then I remembered who the F I am and realized that I really don’t care. 🙂 As long as my clothes are clean and cute, it’s all good.

This white button down is getting a lot of play and I’m getting my money’s worth.  I know that I mentioned this before, but you absolutely must have a white button down in your wardrobe.  Find one that fits well and compliments your body type and lifestyle.  I know most women have a problem in the chest area, with this type of top, so I recommend that you purchase the top one size up, then get it tailored to your body.  You can also get the buttons sewn together and wear it like a pullover.  I learned that little nugget of info from Wendy Williams.  How you doin’?

Moving on….Here is day 6 for you all!

Grey Sweater // White Button Down // Dark Denim Skinny Jeans // Bow Flats // Reversible Tote

I have no idea how I created this top knot.  Also peep the box over my right shoulder.  It’s full of clothing from my closet to donate.  I’m constantly purging….I hope you are too.

Chat later,

XOXO

♥ Starr


April // 21 // 2017

Day Five

We made it through the first week of the challenge!! Cheers my friends!  Today’s outfit is one of my favorite combinations; a tee shirt with a pencil skirt.  The one thing I love about this skirt, or any pencil skirt for that matter, is the versatility.  Pencil skirts can be paired with tees, silk blouses, sweaters, button downs (next week’s outfit), blazers, you name it!! I particularly like statement tees with a pencil skirt and converse, but I couldn’t wear that to work.  I’m sure to do it on a weekend and will make sure I post for you all.  I didn’t get through this first week unscathed, though.  I cut myself shaving, last night, just so I could wear this damn skirt.  I think the blood bath was worth it.  What do you think?

 

V-Neck Tee // Jeweled Necklace (Similar) // Pencil Skirt // Bow Flats // Reversible Tote

 

If you didn’t start the challenge, this week, start on Monday.  Hopefully my daily journal helped you out a bit.

Talk to y’all next week. Have a great weekend!!

XOXO

♥ Starr


April // 20 // 2017

Day four

Hey everyone,

It’s day four and this capsule wardrobe is moving along nicely.  I decided to toss on the white button down that I wore on Monday, pairing it with a pink/peach cardigan and high waisted jeans.  Thank the Good Lord that I didn’t spill coffee on this white top on day one! I’m a messy eater, y’all.  The one thing I suggest to all of you is to purchase a classic white blouse.  It goes with absolutely everything and is very versatile.  Check out the day four unit.

Pink Cardigan // White Blouse // Bauble Bar Necklace // High Waist Skinnies // Bow Flats // Reversible Tote

Have you all noticed that Passion Planner is in all of my pics!?!?  LOL  I carry that thing around with me EVERYWHERE!

P.S. My braids are heavy as hell.

Chat Later,

XOXO

♥ Starr


April // 19 // 2017

Day Three

This morning, I got a bit cocky with my time management.  Since I had so much time to spare, yesterday, I took advantage and slept in an extra 15 minutes on top of the 30 I was gifted, the day before.  If you know simple math, then that’s 45 minutes I decided to sleep in and catch an episode of Golden Girls.  Welp, I was dressed in a short amount of time, but I had to change my jeans because the ones I selected, were WAY too tight for the office ( They were freshly washed).  Needless to say, I was late to work….traffic. Anyway, I decided to wear that cardigan I replaced the knit blazer with and it was easy peasy!

J. Crew Paisley Print Cardigan // Dark Denim Skinny Jeans // Bow Flats // Reversible Tote

Funny Story about this cardigan, I purged my closet a few times last year, including the closet cleanse I did right before I moved to California, in February.  Every single time I cleansed, this party cardi was in the donate pile, but every time, I took it out because I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it!  I’m glad that I didn’t.

I need my eyebrows done, STAT!

Thanks for reading and playing along!

XOXO

♥ Starr


April // 18 // 2017

Day Two

Alright y’all,

Day 2 went a lot more smoothly than yesterday.  I was dressed and out the door in 15 minutes! I even had time to make my bed, which I did NOT do yesterday.

From the 11 outfits I made with my 10 pieces, I selected my outfit, last night, steamed it, and hung it in the closet.  I spent too much time yesterday steaming my items, because of lack of preparation.  Lately it’s been in the 40s in the mornings and 60s in the evenings, with a bit of rain, today, so I decided to wear the light sweater.

Also, after I made the post of my 10 items, I made a slight change and removed the knit grey blazer and replaced it with a cute printed cardigan I bought years ago from J. Crew.  The cardigan is perfect for layering and gives me more outfit options than the blazer did.  Plus it adds more of the pink and green color to my pallet and feels a bit more Spring than the grey blazer.

Here is my outfit from Day 2!

Military Style vest // Grey light Knit Sweater // Dark Skinny jeans // Nude Bow Flats // Nude Reversible Tote

I’ve worn this sweater/military vest combo before, but with a different pair of jeans and a pair of ankle booties. This adds to the argument of simpler living with capsule wardrobes.  When you choose timeless, less trendy pieces they transition a lot better.  I know that I didn’t include handbags in our 10 items, but this bag has come in handy, AND it’s reversible ( light blush pink on the other side).  I will more than likely use it throughout the duration of the challenge, because of its versatility. Carrying one bag has also saved me time in the mornings because I’m not taking tons of time switching out my belongings from one bag to the other.

Did I mention that this protective style has shaved off about 10 – 15 minutes of my time in the mornings, as well!?!  I am obsessed with Box braids and I typically get them twice a year.  Love them!

Don’t forget to let me know how your challenge is going.

Chat later,

XOXO

♥ Starr


April // 17 // 2017

Day One

Hey y’all,

Day one did NOT start of that great.  I had not developed my full 10 outfits, but I had a pretty good idea of what items I wanted to include.  That bit of knowledge helped me to plan my day one outfit.  Sounds good, right?!?  Well, it was all fun and games until I fell asleep last night with clothes in the washer, wet jeans ( I let them air dry), and a super wrinkle shirt! Needless to say, it’s Monday, so I hit snooze a few times only allowing myself 15 minutes to get dressed without realizing the situation that was ahead of me.  I managed to get the clothes dry while I did a few other things to get ready, but I didn’t leave the house until 6:45am.  I’m supposed to be at work at 6:30….Anyway, I am super happy with my first day selection.

 

I got box braids this past weekend, and they are helpful when getting dressed to go out.  They cut off a lot of time.  I sometimes style them walking to my car, or on a restroom break at work.  Protective styles are great for busy women and mommies.  They not only save time, but they save your hair from you.  LOL

{Sorry for the poor photo quality.  The lighting in my place, is crappy!}

I can’t wait to show you the outfits I have created.  The challenge is only 10 days, but I’ve created 11 outfits, so far, with the pieces in my capsule.  I’m excited to see what y’all put together.  Post your pics on Social Media and don’t forget to tag #blackgirlchat.

 

Chat later,

 

XOXO

♥ Starr