InMyOpinion Cover Artyoga & meditation – EPISODE 02                   GUEST CO-HOST: Veronica fraser, dih-ana marie, & michelle

Listen on Soundcloud and iTunes

Beauty Tip/Item of the Week – Trader Joe’s Aloe Vera Gel

s-l225Due to my extremely dry skin, it’s crucial that I stay moisturized.  When packing for my trip to Haiti, I knew that I needed something to combat the dryness, but I didn’t want to feel oily and attract mosquitoes.  I found this aloe vera gel while browsing the aisles at Trader Joe’s.  I applied it at night, after my shower and it kept my skin soft and moisturized through the entire following day!  In addition to using the aloe vera gel as a skin moisturizer, if your hair is dry, like mine and most naturally curly ladies, you can mix the gel in your conditioner and apply as usual.  It gives great moisture and shine.  I like to mix in aloe vera gel in a spray bottle with water, glycerin, vitamin e oil, and lemon grass essential oil for fragrance.  I usually use this spray mixture to refresh my curls in the morning.  Do a little research on aloe vera gel, it has great benefits.  Find your local Trader Joe’s here.  If you are nowhere near a TJ’s, you can find the aloe vera gel here,and have it shipped directly to you.

Now On to the Podcast…

Yoga and Meditation have extreme benefits to our minds, body, and health!  This weeks episode featured three beautiful ladies who are serious about their inner peace! Tune in to Episode 2 of the In My Opinion podcast and listen to amazing wisdom from Veronica (Facebook, Instagram) , Dih-Ana (Facebook) , and Michelle (Instagram).

You can catch Veronica’s classes at Afterglow Yoga – Missouri City, TX / / Powerhouse Gym –  Lake Jackson, TX / / Angleton Recreation Center – Angleton, TX.  Keep up with Dih-Ana and Michelle through their social media pages.

Yoga and meditation is such a deep subject and we didn’t have time to even touch the surface.  I’m definitely going to have the ladies back on the podcast in the very near future.

Namaste

♥ Starr

In my Opinion with Starr Howard Podcast

Recorded at Barron Studios in Houston, TX

Music Cred:Mahogany Marie
Song: Kick Back
Website: https://www.reverbnation.com/MahoganyMarie

InMyOpinion Cover ArtWHY ARE YOU SINGLE? – EPISODE 01                Guest Co-Host: Shamia Williams

Listen Here

 

I wanted to start a podcast as a branch of the blog, but was unsure of the process.  I wrote the idea down in my list of 101 goals to achieve in 1001 days, which meant that I absolutely HAD to follow through.  Once you write it down, your committed.  Although I wanted the podcast to be an extension of the blog, I also wanted to tackle other issues.  Issues that affect my community as a black person, a woman, and a black woman.  It’s quite common of today’s generation to look at celebrities and their reactions to issues that affect us, but realistically, their resources are out of reach for most of us.  As a result, I thought that I could bring regular people on the podcast to discuss real life issues with solutions attainable to real every day people.  I aim to not only bring serious issues and concerns, but also light hearted and fun topics all while learning and laughing!

I’m a very opinionated soul and I stand firm in my beliefs, but I also take time to listen and take in the opinions of those around me, the people in my life that I like to call my tribe.  We all have different journeys and separate paths, yet all reaching for the same star.  I hope that my tribe will be as influential to all of you as they are to me.


Episode 01 features my long time friend and college mate, Shamia Williams.  img_0357We talk about living single in today’s times and try to answer the age old question, “Why are you single?”  We tried to tackle this topic in an hour, but it was nearly impossible, so I hope to have her back on the podcast to finish up and also include feedback from you after you hear the initial episode.  If you would like to weigh in, please don’t hesitate.  Feel free to reach out to me on any of my social media outlets or simply comment below!  I can’t wait to hear from you.

In the meantime, all of my married people, take a gander at this article and let me know your thoughts!

Things Marrieds Shouldn’t Say to Single Women In Their 30s

Listen to the episode here.

 

 

Beauty Tip/Item of the week…In My opinion:

I’m a lover of perfume and sometimes wonder if, and oftentimes when, the fragrance removed itself from my body.  There are also moments when my days go on for ours, periodically leaving home before sunrise and returning after sunset, hoping that my fragrance lasted throughout the entire day.  I would advise you to keep a cute perfume roller in your bag for days like this, but to be honest, you may not always have a roller available.  Don’t worry, I have found the solution to your problem.  Rub a small amount of vaseline on your application spots, and spray the perfume on top.  Using the vaseline as a base.  This technique will make your perfume last longer without having to reapply!  I have included my favorite fragrances for you to shop, below. Also, keeping in line with all things “vaseline,” I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the lip butter.  I have very dry skin which unfortunately includes dry lips.  Lips that oftentimes burn in the summer.  I found this lip butter in my local drug store and haven’t looked back.  The product is moisturizing without being greasy and has a nice smell.  The Cocoa butter is my fave!  Not to mention, the little tin cans are stinking adorable. Pick one up the next time you’re pressing the aisles of the corner drug store.

Vaseline and Perfume

  1. Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Cologne 30ml/1.0 Fl oz. • Jo Malone • $65.05
  2. Yves Saint Laurent ‘Black Opium’ Eau de Parfum • Saint Laurent • $27–115
  3. Miu Miu Eau de Parfum • Miu Miu • $68–118
  4. Chanel Chance , Eau De Toilette Spray • Chanel • $60–125
  5. Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly – 7.5 oz • Vaseline • $3.49
  6. Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa Butter Lip Balm Tin 0.6 oz • Vaseline • $3.49

Again, thank you so much for taking time to listen to me on the podcast and reading all about my life and loves on the blog.  You are greatly appreciated.  If you have ideas for the podcast or topics you would like discussed, feel free to comment below.

Hugs and Kisses!
♥ Starr

New episodes will air every Monday.  Subscribe on Soundcloud.  I’m working on bring the podcast to you through iTunes, so stay tuned.

In my Opinion with Starr Howard Podcast

Recorded at Barron Studios in Houston, TX

Music Cred:
Artist – Pimpstrut Local #13
Song: Playon Playaz
Website: http://blocsonic.com/artist/pimpstrut-local-13

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.

IMG_1454

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

_____

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!

IMG_0486

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

_____

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.

IMG_0482

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

_____

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.

IMG_0484

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

_____

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.

IMG_0485

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

______

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.

IMG_0483

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.

 

rmink4374113783_p3_1-0_Fotor_Collage

 

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!

thumb_IMG_1295_1024

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)

IMG_1127

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.

FullSizeRender 3

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

FullSizeRender 2

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.

IMG_0331

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

79c7adc2ed12b7b61029340ca1d35222_Fotor_Collage

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.

IMG_0308_Fotor_Collage

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.

oxblood

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

lucas-sectional-999191916


BRETTE 92″ TUXEDO SOFA, INDIGO BLUE

c6a1845e4bfb102f90c2485c7a4c2284_best

 


 

SHERLOCK VELVET SOFA, ROYAL BLUE

c7bd20a48ed7c0dfb0a96d21e220db86_best


JENNIFER TAYLOR HOME PRESLEY SOFA,CORSAIR BLUE

602e03a43e91d5865cdb1f9f8015c544_best

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