Passion Planning

AUGUST // 28 // 2016

Hey guys,

It’s been a long time!  The last time we spoke, I told you I would be giving a couple of helpful organization tips here and there.   Well, today I’m going to tell you about something that really helps me stay organized and most importantly productive.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a thing for planners. Yes, a paper planner! I know that sounds weird, especially being in the digital age and all, but I have found that having something tangible really helps me. People ask me all the time why I don’t just put everything in my phone. Well, oddly enough, I only use my phone to make phone calls. I really don’t use it for much more than that on a consistent basis. I have found that actually being able to put my hands on my planner helps me. This may not be for everyone, but as I stated before, it works for me.

With all that being said, I have to tell you about this amazing planner that I have. It is called The Passion Planner. AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING! Did I mention it is amazing? This planner was created by a young female entrepreneur who saw a need for it and filled it. The Passion Planner isn’t just any old planner. It goes well beyond setting up appointments and staying on schedule. It also helps you set goals and keeps track of them throughout the year. At the end of each month, there is a section that allows for reflection. Being able to sit down, reflect on my month, and see if I have taken any active steps towards achieving my goals is very powerful. It helps to hold me accountable. My Passion Planner has increased my productivity in the last two months that I have had it. Because my weekly schedule tends to be pretty busy, I set aside time each weekend to sit down and plan out my week. Being able to see what I have ahead of me keeps me mindful of how I should spend my time. Now, I don’t want you to think that every hour of my day is spent working or staying busy. I definitely find time for all of the fun things, but in addition to those, there’s work, afterschool activities for the kids, as well as chores that must be completed regularly. My planner is essential to my every day functioning. I could go on and on and do a whole commercial on the Passion Planner, but instead I’ll just leave you with the website so that you can check it out for yourself. www.passionplanner.com Remember to check them out on Instagram and Facebook.

Passion Planner

My Passion Planner

In some way, we all probably use some form of a planner. It may be on your phone, it may be with a couple of post-its, you may even be one of those people who can remember EVERYTHING (yeah right)! As long as what you are doing is working for you, that’s all that matters.

Until next time,

Erika

Mission Trip to Haiti

APRIL // 7 // 2016

Hey y’all!

Thank you so much for your interest in sending me to Haiti!  This is an opportunity that I feel so fortunate to be blessed with and I can’t wait to go and spread the good news of Christ.  Below is the official donation letter, just read and click here to proceed with a financial blessing.  Remember to type in my name (Starr Howard), in the note section.

Haiti Donation Letter

Thank you again!

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”  ~ Mark 16:15

Capsule Wardrobe RED-y….Maybe

I’ve been thinking hard about a capsule wardrobe.  I LOVE clothes, shoes, and everything in between, but I have too much stuff!  I mean, when you pull a dress out of your closet and think to yourself how cute it is, but can’t remember ever buying it, then you may have a problem.  #Firstworldproblems

With that being said, I will may work with a Capsule wardrobe for the spring.  I’m still doing a bit of research, and have found this blog to be very useful. To get a bit of practice, I created a few outfits from this amazing red sweater I scooped from Old Navy, using the items I have in my closet.  Some of these pieces, you have seen before in previous posts.  I guess that helps build that capsule wardrobe I’m speaking of!

Option #1:  You will see a lot of leopard in the next few options, but what can I say, it’s the perfect neutral.

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Sweater – Here ( color – Flame Attempt) / /  Leopard print beanie – Here and similar here / / Scarf – similar here / / Bag – Here / / Boots (old) – Similar here

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Option #2: I can’t tell you how much I love all things plaid!! throw the red sweater on top of this plaid shirt, or wear the sweater alone and tie the shirt around your waist.  Either way works!

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Same Sweater

Ray Ban Aviators (Nordstrom is currently price matching) / / Buffalo Plaid Shirt – Here // Ruby Woo Lippie – Here / / Watch (My favorite arm piece) – Here / / OTK Boots

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Option #3: I’ve used this bag for everything from a carry on, to a computer bag, to my every day bag.  It’s reversible, inexpensive, and comes in every color imaginable. I like to pair this outfit with a pair of brown tights when it’s a bit cooler.

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Skirt – Old J.Crew, but you can get a similar one here / / Ankle Boots. Mine are old, but here are a similar pair / / Tote  / / Statement necklace (mine is sold out) Similar here

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Option #4: This H town weather has not afforded me many opps to wear my OTK (over the knee) boots, but when I get the chance, it’s on! This exact clutch sold out, but I’ve seen them everywhere if you are looking to add one to your wardrobe.

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Destroyed Skinny jeans (old) Similar pair here / / OTK Grey Boots – Similar pair Here and Here / / Clutch. Exact item is sold out, but a cute one can be bought here

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Option #5: I love scarves, but it as previously mentioned, it hasn’t been cold enough in Houston to wear them.  I can’t wait for those 2 weeks of winter! Mixing stripes and leopard is a new found love of mine.

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My exact leggings are here, but here is a similar pair / /  Similar Leopard Cross body, Splurge here and save here / / Combat boots here / / Similar scarf here and here / / Sunnies / / Lippie

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Option #6: I love what a leopard print brings to an outfit.  It matches nothing but goes with everything! When in doubt, throw in a bit of leopard to take your outfit up a notch.

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Boyfriend jeans – Here and Here / / Leopard pumps – save here and spurge here / / Favorite Watch – here / / YSL Clutch here

 

What I love most about all six of the above options is that they are not hard to put together and most pieces can probably be found in most of our closets, yet they still look put together.  That’s also a reason why I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe.

I hope this motivates  you to attempt to live a minimal life, (at least in your closet) if you don’t already.  I’m not sure how successful I will be in executing a capsule wardrobe, but one can only hope.

xoxo

♥ Starr

p.s. – I created these outfits using the Stylebook App.  Get into it.  It has been a time saver for me.

Four Friday Faves – Shopbop’s Surprise Sale

Well, it’s not quite Friday, yet, but I didn’t want you to miss out on this crazy good sale.  ShopBop is having a Surprise Sale that is soon to end, offering 40% off select items.  I have included my four faves from the sale, below.

 

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DKNY Black Cape / Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody / House of Harlow Ring / South Parade Sweatshirt

I’ve put myself on a shopping freeze for the month of November, minus Black Friday, so I haven’t indulged in this sale, just yet, but don’t let me stop you from taking advantage!

Happy Shopping!

~XOXO

♥Starr

Shop My Instagram Posts

Hey Y’all

I’ve included a few of my pics from the Gram and linked the places you can purchase the exact pieces or items that are very similar!

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I love a crisp white shirt paired with denim.  This is perfect for Business Casual Friday.

Fringe Necklace (Similar) / White Top MAJOR SALE!! / Fringe Bracelet / Skinny Jeans / Nude Pumps (Similar) / Reversible Tote (Comes in a heap of colors)

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My exact earrings are sold out but you can get a similar pair herehere, aaannddd here.

The twisted little nightgown that I’m wearing is an old Victoria’s Secret item, but I love it!  You can get a few cozies hereherehere, and here.

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Bucket Crossbody is sold out but you can get this one or  this one is on sale. / Graphic tee / Watch / Similar Statement Necklace, here and here. / Chucks / Denim Shorts, less than $10

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Same watch as above / Exact Bracelet is Sold out, but I love this onethis one, and ummm this one. / Coffee Mug

Be on the look out for more of my Instagram Posts.  I hope you find some really good goodies from my Gram!

~ XOXO

♥Starr

Shop My Style

FALL NEWBIES

I love Fall Fashion like no other!  I love it so much that I’ve already put away my summer clothes and it’s still well into the nineties here in Houston.  I think the REAL reason I put my summer clothes away is to make room, in my closet, for the new Fall pieces I recently purchased.

If you live in a city, like me, where it doesn’t get too cold, but it’s cold enough, then your winter wardrobe is more than likely not that extensive.  Typically, what I do is add a few accessories and maybe one or two sweaters to my closet, every year, to freshen up the things I already have.  I don’t splurge on boots since the weather doesn’t really afford me the opportunity to wear them very often.

I’ve picked up a few fall pieces and I’d like to think that I’m done, but we all know how that goes. Anyway, I’ve included a few of my most loved items that have recently found their way to my closet.  I hope you like them as much as I do.

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 “Quote Me” Clutch – Currently On Sale PLUS 40% off.  Click here.

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Fringe Necklace – Currently Out of Stock, but get a similar one here.

Cowl Neck Oversized Sweater – On Sale and comes in tons of colors, here.

Leopard Print Beanie.  Get it here.

Khaki Loose Coat, online only, here.

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Grey Ankle Tie Booties – Snagged them for 74 CENTS….Seriously. Get yours here.

Grey Felt Floppy Hat was bought here.

Houndstooth Poncho. Can be worn so many ways.  Find it here.

One of the many plaid everythings, that I own.  Get it here or here.

Black Suede Booties.  Great price and a number of options.  Here.

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Plaid Scarf.  Get it here.

Scoop Neck Long Sleeve Tee.  Crazy Comfy & Versatile, in this year’s Fall Color.  Find it here.

Printed Hi Lo Blouse.  Comes in a few other colors. Buy yours here.

Hopefully a few of these lovely items will make their way to your closet.

Happy Shopping!

~XOXO

♥Starr

Four Friday Faves – Royal Blue Sofas

Every time I move, I feel the need to purchase all new furniture.  New space, new beginnings, right?  Well, my last place was completely brown and blah, very traditional, very safe, and very much expected. I made the decision that the next place I move to will show a bit of my personality with no apologies, stepping outside of the lines.  In my head, I knew exactly what kind of sofa I wanted, Royal Blue, Regal, button tufting, sectional, of course, and glamorous!  I knew the one place that would provide the best chance of finding exactly what I wanted, or very close.  So I internet browsed right to zgallerie.com and found EXACTLY what I was looking for.  I called my nearest location, and received the best deal EVER, on the floor model, contingent upon my ability to pick the piece up, THAT day, with cash in hand.

This sofa is the most beautiful thing I’ve placed my eyes on, so naturally I want to share with you my four favorite royal blue sofas. I hope you step outside of the box and go for it!

♥♥MY ACTUAL SOFA ↓♥♥

LUCAS SECTIONAL

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BRETTE 92″ TUXEDO SOFA, INDIGO BLUE

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SHERLOCK VELVET SOFA, ROYAL BLUE

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JENNIFER TAYLOR HOME PRESLEY SOFA,CORSAIR BLUE

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Don’t be afraid to go bold in your living space and show your true personality.  If the color frightens you, make one piece the pop of color, surrounded by softer neutral colors, or throw a few bright colored pillows on your sofa and/or bed to spruce things up.

Your home should be a direct reflection of who you are, so surround yourself with the things you love.  Your home should wrap it’s arms around you as soon as you enter the front (or garage) doors!

Happy Shopping!

~ XOXO

♥ Starr

Peace be within your walls and security within your towers! ~ Psalm 122:7

Four Friday Faves – Scripture

In the book of Romans, Paul says that “when I go to do good, evil is always present.”

Every single day of my Christian journey is a struggle; not because I’m an evil person, but simply because I’m a person.  I’m human.  Evil is always present. Bad things happen to good people.  All of those things you’ve heard so many times before, But God…

But God can only deliver us from evil doings.

But God is the one who is our comforter when we are surrounded by tens of people, yet still feel alone.

But God is the one who KNOWS we do evil, but loves us anyway.

How comforting is that?  I know that whenever there is a situation in my life that I may think is negative, God always has something positive right behind it. I want to encourage you with a few scriptures that get me through tough times; whether if it’s a battle within myself (Evil lurking) or a battle with outside forces.

Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

In all things, seek God FIRST!  That’s all…

2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 

Jesus!  This scripture speaks to me!!  There are many times where I have been in a situation where either the people or the situation is a pain in my neck, but I have recently been in a situation where it’s felt like a thorn in my side!  I prayed and asked God to pretty much deal with it, then one day, this scripture was laid right in front of me.

The Apostle Paul was given a thorn in his flesh and he prayed the same prayer, THREE times for God to remove it, but God said, “No.  My grace is sufficient!!”

As opposed to asking God to remove this thorn, I started asking God to help me to deal, in spite of.  I’ve learned that His grace is sufficient, where I am weak, He is strong.  Once I have learned to rely on God’s grace, then I realized that the experience has and will continue to teach me patience.  I encourage you to view that sharp torment as a gift from our heavenly Father.

Luke 1:37 – For with God nothing shall be impossible.

My mantra is to live without limits.  Live in a fashion where you aren’t limiting yourself to certain skill sets, or goals and aspirations.  Many times the reason(s) people don’t try new things, or travel to unfamiliar and foreign places, or take deserving vacations, is because they feel that they are not worthy.  Those sorts of things are not things, or not places, or not adventures that they feel they deserve to experience. In addition, many people don’t go after certain positions in their career because they don’t think that the hiring manager will ever choose “someone like them”.

God doesn’t limit us.  He doesn’t limit our abilities, nor does He limit our potential, so why should we put those limits on ourselves?!  NOTHING is impossible with God on our side.

1 Chronicles 4:10 – Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.

I usually recite and read this scripture daily.  I’m simply asking God to increase not only my territory, but increase me.  Increase me in every aspect of my life, but in the midst of my increase, stay with me to keep me from pain.

Scripture can provide so much hope and joy and peace and guidance and wisdom and comfort. I pray that the scriptures I’ve chosen as my Friday faves encourages you to continue to rely on Christ and give you the comfort that you need.

~ XOXO

♥ Starr

Cooking with Trisha

I love great food!  I’m starting to realize that I prefer to cook great food in the comfort of my own kitchen (well, when I get my own kitchen), as opposed to spending the extra money dining at a restaurant…….every night. 

As many may relate, I have a few “go to” recipes that always get the job done when I can’t think of anything else, or in a time crunch, which typically consists of anything salmon related.  I mean, I have recipes stashed away, but who has the time when you can simply put salmon in the oven, season it with salt, pepper, and olive oil, topped with lemon juice, add a side of asparagus, and call it a wrap!  

Truth be told, I am very interested in adding more recipes to my recipe app, and learning cooking tips and techniques.  When writing the 101 goals I strive to achieve in 1001 days, I included attending a cooking class, which I am proud to say that I booked, paid, and attended.  We cooked (and ate) recipes from Trisha Yearwood’s cookbook, Trisha’s Table, which was included in the cost of the class.

Location: Williams-Sonoma, River Oaks

In Attendance: Myself, My Sister Friend (Mythicktofitdiary), and a few other older women.

Menu: 

Sweet-Pea Burgers – This burger is an excellent option for the non-meat eaters.  If you have kids, or adults, who prefer not to eat Sweet Potatoes if they are not topped with tons of sugar and marshmallows, then this is a great way to sneak this super food in their tummies. Topped with avocado, you can’t go wrong.  

Gwen’s Cole Slaw – I have always stood firm in the fact that I DO NOT eat coleslaw.  Even though I’ve never eaten a bite of it in my life, I could not be persuaded, and by the way, I love cabbage.  Crazy, I know. Some things about me cannot be explained.  Don’t question it, just go with it.  Anyway, because I paid for this class, I decided to give it a go, and turns out the slaw was not too shabby.  So good that I made it for a potluck at my church, buuttt I got a little heavy handed on the relish.  Better let next time, though. 

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake – This recipe is probably by far the best cake I have ever had!  The secret is to indulge right out of the oven.  Nice and warm.  Yum! I baked this cake for my church’s pot luck and baked muffins for my mom, for convenience, she says. Lol  

 

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If you ever have an opportunity to partake in a cooking class, I strongly encourage you to attend.  This class will not be my last.

Happy Eating, Y’all

~XOXO

♥Starr

Bachelorette on Bourbon St.

My beautiful cousin married the love of her life last weekend and we celebrated her last days as a single woman in New Orleans, the weekend before.  Even though we spent more hours on the road than in Nawlins, and my car was towed when I returned home to Houston, it was all worth it! The food was worth it, the hand grenades were definitely worth it, and the music had me twerking (my version of twerking) all night!  Worth it!

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The bride requested that we wear black, white, or a combination of both, so I went for the all white, a decision that was not very smart when roaming the streets of Bourbon, but I worked it out.  Unfortunately I took no pictures but you can see a bit of my white romper in the pic, above.

Check out my Saturday Night Nawlins get up.  I’m aware that the romper is white and I know it’s Post Labor Day, but if you live in a city with weather similar to Houston, and you don’t care about rules,  you can rock this white fit like I did!  I’ve included the links to my exact items and similar pieces you can score, along with the cute weekender I packed them in!

BEAUTY & COSMETICS

Beauty & Cosmetics

  1. NARS ‘Audacious’ Lipstick • NARS • $32
  2. Tom Ford Lip Color Matte • $52
  3. Christian Louboutin Beaute Nail Colour, Just Nothing • $50 
  4. Chanel Chance , Eau De Toilette Spray • $60–122 

 

ARM CANDY & FINGER FANCIES

Accessories

  1. Open Pearl Bangle • $10.90 
  2. BCBGeneration Gold-Tone Crystal Stack Ring • $12 
  3. Jacquie Aiche JA Mini Snake Ring • $165
  4. Nixon Time Teller Watch • $95
  5. Gold Stacks Ring Set • $42
  6. Kendra Scott Ivy 14k Gold-Plated Cuff Bracelet • $87.75
  7. Kendra Scott Elton Bangle • $70 
  8. Cara Circular Crystal Ear Cuff • $18 

 

BAGS AND SHOES

Shoes and Bags

  1. Mossimo Supply Co. Women’s Woven Trim Solid Weekender Handbag – Brown • $34.99
  2. 100mm Jeweled Faux Leather Cage Sandals • $65 
  3. Roll-Top Oversized Clutch White • $36
  4. Alexandre Birman Leather and Snakeskin Wavy Tie-Back Pump, Nude/Natural • $695 
  5. Mossimo Supply Co. Women’s Doris Footbed Sandals • $8.74 

 

WHITE ROMPERS

White Romper

  1. findersKEEPERS Moonlight Romper • $74 – My actual romper!
  2. Clove Layered Cutout Eyelet Lace Romper (Nordstrom Exclusive) • $128

 

The Bachelorette Weekend was totes fun, but I was exhausted!

Happy Shopping!

~XOXO

♥ Starr

I pray many blessings to my cousin and her hubby and their union.  

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD. – Proverbs 18:22