Capsule Wardrobe Challenge – Phase II

3x3x3x1 Item Selection

Greetings!

I finally made my selections.  I chose my pieces to include in the capsule and decided on a Nude, Grey, and white pallet with pink and green to add pops of color.  Remember the 3x3x3x1 Guide?  Well I tweaked it a little bit.  Feel free to shop my items (or very similar) below.

THREE (3) ITEMS – TOPS

1 – White Soft Blend Button Down Blouse,

1 – Grey V-Neck Tee shirt

1 – Grey Sweater

THREE (3) – BOTTOMS

1 – Dark Denim Skinny Jeans

1 – Topshop Light Washed High Wasted Skinny Jeans

1 – Teal Pencil Skirt – BTW, I’ve had this skirt for YEARS.  When you buy classics, they are easy to include in a long time Capsule wardrobe.

THREE (3) – OUTERWEAR

1 – Green Military Vest

1 – Pink Long, Duster Cardigan

1 – Grey/White Blazer

My actual blazer…….

Great Substitute!

ONE  (1) – SHOES

1 – Nude Bow Flats (Similar to mine)

I didn’t add jewelry or handbags to this challenge, but I imagine that if you create a color template, you’re more than likely okay with using the same bag through the duration.  As far as jewelry, since my items are basics, I left the options open to add a statement piece, as I see fit.  My jewelry is pretty simple, anyway, sometimes adding a statement necklace.

 

 


Hey ladies,

Before I move to Phase II of the wardrobe challenge, I want to provide a PSA.  I don’t want anyone to confuse this challenge as a fashion driven challenge. Although the details do involve fashion, they focus more on style, time, and money.

STYLE – At times, we interchange the words fashion and style, but they both mean something different.  Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it.  We all have style, yes, that means you.  Whether you prefer a pair of Nikes and Sweats, Stilettos and skinny jeans, khakis and a polo, or a mixture of them all, that is your style! Some may need a bit of help polishing that style, but the capsule wardrobe will, and should, help you hone in on that style and display it with the fashion items in your closet.  Although fashion may not be important to you, being who you are, unapologetically, and being comfortable in your own skin, is very important.  Use this opportunity to find your style.

TIME  – I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time, when getting dressed, staring at my closet.  Once I finally find an outfit, chances are I change it 3 more times, just to end up wearing the first outfit I put on.  I’m hoping that this challenge will create more time for us all.  Use those extra minutes to sleep in a bit, have a cup of coffee or tea on the patio, meditate, pray, have breakfast, read your Bible, or even do a bit of Yoga.  We all need time for more self care. Let’s not waste it on things that really don’t matter, that much.

MONEY  – Money does not grow on trees.  When I think about all the clothes I have in my closet that may not get much rotation, I think about the wasted coins. Let’s face it, clothes are expensive, if you’re buying a higher quality.  If you’re not buying a high quality, you’re spending money on purchasing the same cheap items over and over.  Full disclosure: One year, I decided to do a sum total of the dollar amount I spend on clothing and it equalled over $5000!!! That’s bat shit crazy!!! FIVE STACKS!! Do you know what I could have done with that money??!?!?!  With that said, living a simpler life with a smaller wardrobe, can be very beneficial to your wallet.  Take that money and invest it in a savings account, in a black owned bank, or use it on other things.  Plan a day with your kids, or bae, use it for self care at the spa or a solo date.  Whatever you choose to do, create memories not clutter.

 

PHase II

  1. Define your theme – Study the Pinterest board you created in Phase I.  Choose a few styles that really speak to you and match pieces you may have in your closet.  Notice whether or not your pins have similarities?  Did you pin a lot of outfits with stripes?  Prints? Were your selections of a certain color scheme? A lot of grey tones? Bleach tones?  Shop your closet with motivation from the pins on your board from Phase I.  Pinterest is your friend! Use it. Abuse it. It’s a very helpful tool.
  2. Choose your Capsule Pieces-  Here is where it gets tricky.  We’re going to start choosing the items for your capsule.  Use the 3x3x3x1 rule as a guide. Example: 3 shirts x 3 pants x 3 shoes x1Dress.  The options you choose will most definitely depend on your lifestyle.  Keep in mind that the challenge is only in effect on weekdays.  I am fortunate enough to work at a company where we can wear jeans every day.  My 3x3x3x1 Rule might be a bit different.  I may split one of the threes and add a dress or blazer in the mix.  Something like this:

3 Jeans x 3 blouses x 2 dresses/1 Blazer x 1 Pair of shoes, I don’t know yet, but I do know that I’m not going to take up too many times with shoes.  I’m more than likely going to include these neutral flats that can go with lighter colored clothing or black clothing.

Shop Similar shoes here, here, and here

I’m excited about the revelations to be had at the end of this challenge and can’t wait to hear form you all!   Take this as an opportunity to be present in the things and people that really matter. Let’s live more simpler and fuller lives!

Chat later, y’all!

XOXO

♥ Starr

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Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

I recently moved to California, from Texas, if you didn’t know.  But I bet you do know (or have maybe heard) that everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes closet spaces.  I’ve gone from a huge walk in closet to a sliding door closet with one hanging bar.  I know, first world problems. Anyway, I have for a long time worked on living a minimalist-ish life.  With the decrease in closet space, I knew that the easiest place to start was my wardrobe.

I’ve wanted to create a capsule wardrobe for years, because truth be told, I much rather prefer a simple life, but I love fashion!  I am sometimes consumed by it!  Lately, I haven’t really cared much.  I think I got a glimpse of my need for clothing as I was packing, unpacking, and unpacking some more, and found a number of items that still had price tags!

I knew that building a capsule wardrobe would be a task but I’m up for the challenge, and I’m starting slow and small.  Working a capsule wardrobe means more time for things that really matter, and less time making decisions on frivolous things.  Truthfully, the majority of my morning routine is deciding and “un-deciding” what to wear for the day.

First, let me explain what a capsule wardrobe is.  It’s a compact wardrobe made up of staple pieces in coordinating colours–usually around 30 items or fewer, including shoes and sometimes even accessories.  These pieces are timeless classic pieces, that can transition from season to season, year after year.  That is the original idea of a capsule wardrobe, but things have changed especially with our need and desire to have STUFF.  I can only hope that one day I can get to 30 items or fewer.

Let’s do this together.  I’m new to this and will need your help just as much as you’ll need mine.  Join me in the Spring Wardrobe 10x10x10 Challenge.  10 outfits, 10 days, and 10 items.  The challenge will start on April 18th, for 10 days, weekdays only.  I’ll post steps and instructions here.

Phase I

The first phase to get us started is 3 fold:

  1. Purge your closet the best to your ability – this may take some time, so grab some tea or wine, crank up some tunes and get to work!
  2. Pin away – Create a Pinterest Board of Spring wardrobes that catch your eye.  Use this as a guide to streamline your style/preferences and choose looks that are similar to items you already own.
  3. Shop your closet – Really push yourself to not purchase any new items for this challenge.  Use what you already own.  The goal is to minimize and ultimately save some coins.

These first 3 steps will help to get us started.  I’ll be back next week to share what I’ve done and provide the next steps to prepare us for the challenge!

Personal Style Tip:  White tee shirts are staples!!  Grab a few with the perfect shape, fit, and neck and build an amazing wardrobe from it.

Good luck, y’all!

XOXO

♥Starr

Dealing with Toxic People & Regaining your Power

Hey y’all!

I’m a strong believer in keeping the right people around you and living in a positive and supportive space.  We’ve all heard the homage, “You are the company you keep”.  Oftentimes we encounter a few toxic people whether it be at work, school, casual encounters, and sometimes friendships. Toxic people are those who have betrayed you, hurt you, and/or abused your trust.  Truth be told, the closer you are to someone, the higher the chances that they will hurt you.  Sometimes people do things and aren’t aware that they have hurt, upset, or betrayed you, BUT take time to look at their pattern of behavior.  If that person or persons continues to engage in behavior that is unbefitting to you and your relationship, then they just may be toxic.

Tired of this picture, yet?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been praying and asking the Good Lord for a looooooottttt of everything, lately.  I feel that I’m walking in my season of Jubilee!  However, there is one thing that I’ve suddenly realized; where am I going to store all of this everything that I’ve been asking for (Physically, mentally, and emotionally)? God can’t put anything in place if I have old non-purposeful stuff in its place.  Think about a refrigerator…it’s hard to find space for newer, yummier groceries, when the old, spoiled and rotten items are taking up space.

It’s the same with life.  Remove the toxic so God can have room for the fresh.  I read a quote that stated, “Until you let go of ALL the toxic people in your life, you will NEVER be able to grow into your fullest potential.  Let them go so you can grow!”

So how exactly do we deal with toxic people? Let me count the ways….

Limit your interactions

Simply say “No”.  Spend less time around them.  Communicate with them less.  When you are less responsive, they will eventually remove themselves from the equation.

Shift Your Thoughts about them

Your thoughts are powerful!  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  Stop spending time and energy being angry and upset with them.  Instead, pray for them and wish them happiness.  I know some may wonder why they should have to pray for happiness on the person who brings toxicity into their lives, but when you do, two things can happen; either the person will change (or unfortunately move on to the next person), or you won’t care anymore.  Pray YOURSELF happy!

master your emotions

Toxic people know your buttons, trust me.  Don’t allow your emotions to drive and/or control your actions.  Don’t give them the power and lose your Power.  Once you react and behave outside of yourself, you’ve  lost.   Keep control of your emotions and your dignity.

Don’t get in the arena with them

Mark Twain quotes, “Never argue with stupid people.  They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”  Stooping to their level is only given the toxic person exactly what they want.  It ain’t worth it!

Learn and don’t repeat

With every experience comes a lesson, right?  Ask yourself, “What have I learned”?   This experience can possibly teach us how to pinpoint toxic people in the future.  It can also provide you insight into what can attract you to these toxic people.  When you see who the person is, believe it.  Forgive them but don’t forget.  When you forget, it opens you up to fall right back in the same position again.

Gain Perspective

I tend to over think EVERYTHING!  I know this about myself, and I’ve accepted it.  To help me gain perspective I have a crew of people that don’t mind telling me that I’m doing too much.  (As I often do).  Share your experience with someone that you trust that can give you a clearer perspective on the situation.

Solve and MOVE Forward

This is probably my favorite point.  Focus on the solution and move forward.  Don’t dwell in the relationship or the incident.  The more you focus on it, the more life you give it.

~~~~~~~

Letting go of relationships can be hard, especially when you’ve invested time and emotions in them, but remember who you are here for.  You have to take care of yourself and your space.  Spend time and energy on people and things that give to you and not those that take from you.  Protect your space and grow from your power!

 

….in a pretty awesome Power Suit!

 

Similar Pant Suit // White Cami // Stone Ring //  Y Necklace // Similar Thumb Ring // Shoes

 

Thanks for reading, Y’all!

XOXO

♥ Starr

California Solocation

hou-to-diego“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”  ~Susan Sontag

Lately I have been thinking about taking a vacation, abroad, on my own.  Naturally,  a ton of reservations cross my mind: Safety, Boredom, Loneliness, will I get stuck in another country?

So, in an attempt to take a “trial run” I decided to head to California, alone, on my first SOLOcation. My trip out west was planned right after I was laid off.  What better time to go on a 2 week vacation than during a time where you don’t have to clock in to a cubicle, right?

My SOLOcation included a week long stay in San Diego and 5 days in the Bay Area.  Two different areas of California, with two different types of weather.  You can imagine the struggle I went through while packing, not to mention, the fees I paid because of overweight luggage.

hobby-airport-flow

Let me walk you through how I packed for this trip.

Of all the apps in app land, the one that I will gladly lay my life on the line for is the Stylebook Closet app.  I don’t have the time or space to tell you all the goodness of this app, but I’ll try.  This app is a virtual closet.  So, here is how it works…

Upload a photo of every item in your closet and separate the items into categories and subcategories, i.e. tops, long sleeve tops, blouses, bottoms, jeans, skirts, etc.  This process can be very time consuming, BUT since I do a lot of my shopping online, I just use the photos from the stores where I make the purchase.

stylebookapp

After you have uploaded your items, including the brand, color, material, and/or price, you can start to create as many outfits you choose!  This helps me keep record of what I have in my closet. Once you actually wear an outfit or plan to wear an outfit, you can add it to the calendar. The app also informs you of the dollar amount per wear you get from each item.  So about the packing part.  One of the features on the app is the “packing” feature.  You create a trip and add the looks you have planned to wear on that trip.  The app creates a packing list, by category, from the outfits you included! Once you actually pack the item, you check it off on the app.

So back to my packing for this SOLOcation.  Once I created “looks” on the app, I pulled every item from my closet and started the elimination process, removing items that I knew I wouldn’t wear and pieces that could possibly take up too much space in my suitcase.

california-packing

A little much, right?  Don’t worry, I didn’t take everything pictured, but I didn’t eliminate much, either.  I ended up paying weight overage charges for every single flight.  No bueno and never again.  I bought some amazing luggage from Amazon, for a great price, click here, and these pretty awesome packing cubes by HOPSOOKEN.  Since I spent most of my time in San Diego, I wanted to separate the clothing for San Fran.  The cubes were helpful because they allowed me to compartmentalize my clothing by categories.

This SOLOcation was absolutely amazing, and I would absolutely do it again.  The best part of traveling alone was that I was able to do whatever I wanted to do without having to consider others and their needs and wants.  It also afforded me the opportunity to meet and talk to new people.  Because this trip was so long and filled with so many amazing trips to tell you about, I decided to break the posts up instead of one long essay.  You’re welcome.  I hope you enjoy Southern and Northern California through my eyes.  Stay tuned for my San Diego post!

XOXO

♥Starr

PS – If you are thinking about taking a solo trip and are a bit hesitant I recommend you just go for it.  If needed, take a mini trip to somewhere in the States first.

How do you Refuel?

On my podcast, In My Opinion with Starr Howard, I have a segment that I like to call “Last Impressions.”  During this segment, when time allows, I ask each guest a set of light hearted, informative, tongue and cheek questions, that give listeners a small glimpse into their personalities.  One question that I ask every guest is “What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?” I think a person’s music selection shows who they are, what they are currently, but I mainly ask to build my personal playlist.

The other question that I tend to ask more often than others is, “How do you refuel?”  I’ve gotten responses such as, work out, spend time with my kids, read, etc.  We all have busy schedules and activities in our lives that absorb so much of our pysical energy, and we are burnt out by the end of the day.  I have to say that most of that is self inflicted, however most of us don’t know how to refuel when our energy has depleted.  Our cars now give us warning lights when we are low on fuel, some cars inform us how many miles we have remaining until we are empty.  Some of us may not have vehicles that have any of those indicators; We know the car is out of fuel when we find ourselves at the stop light with no place to go.  So how do we know when WE are out of fuel?  What are our indicators?  What type of fuel makes us work best?  How do we refuel?

refuel

My mom has always told me to pay attention to my body.  Recognize when it’s time to slow down and give my body the rest it is, sometimes, begging for.  With that lesson taught to me at an early age, I’ve always taken the necessary time to put my body in park.  I never really knew any other mechanism of resting besides sleep, which is the number one way to refuel your physical body, but as I got older, I started to understand the importance of refueling the mental and emotional bodies.

Meditation

I like to practice meditation, the first thing in the morning.  My mind is fresh and ready to receive.  Also, I don’t have the events of the day on my mind.  I’ve referred to meditation in a previous post, and it took me years to understand what meditation is, and how it works.  To be honest, I still have so much more to learn.  I do know that meditation allows you to slow your brain down and block out all of the outside noises both around you and inside of you and focus on ONE thing.  When I meditate, I focus on whatever it is that my mind and body is lacking.  At times, I choose to sit outside, alone, with a cup of coffee, and open my mind and heart to whatever it is that God wants me to hear, feel, and understand.  When possible, after a few minutes alone, I try to write down those thoughts.  There are other times in my meditation where I read the Bible or a book centered around Christ and the Bible, and meditate on the word.  I study and pray in my moment of meditation.  What this does is allow me to cast away any other situation or issue that has no importance and is not a part of God’s plan for me.  It shifts my focus and prepares me to tackle the purpose God has created for me.

Yoga

Yoga can be practiced in partnership with meditation, and for some, yoga is a part of meditation.  I typically do a few sun salutations while my coffee is brewing, and it’s usually in my pajamas.  I’m going to Belize, in January, and I can’t wait to salute the sun on the beach!

how-to-do-sun-salutation-series-for-yoga

Yoga has so many healing properties, both physical and mental.  It can improve your respiration, energy and vitality, increase your blood flow, drops your blood pressure, helps you focus, and can all around make you happy! Listen to podcast, episode 02 to hear other benefits of yoga and meditation.  Not only does yoga energize you, there are certain poses that can also calm and relax you.  There are times ,at night when my mind is racing, I choose to do a few relaxing yoga poses (in the bed), that relax me and bring a sound night of rest.

refuel-4

Morning Walks

I love morning walks, especially on cooler days.  On warmer days, the humidity is so disrespectful, here in Houston.  When the temp drops, I like to feel the crisp morning air on my face and the sun shining down on me!  Since I am alone during this time, I notice the nature around me; the leaves on the ground, the trees along my path, the clouds in the sky.  This is a picture I snapped of a tree I walk by every day.  I’m not sure why I was so captivated by this tree, but I was!

refuel-3

My walks are not for physical gain, at all!  I grab my phone, ear buds, a playlist of my choice from Tidal Music, and a cup of hot coffee.  Those morning walks last about 30 minutes and allow my creative juices to flow.  I usually am thinking about my to do list and execution plan for the day.  Every now and then, new ideas are created on those morning walks.  Once I return to my office/desk, I’m refreshed and ready to take the day on.

Sage smudging

Smoke has a great ritualistic connection with spirituality.  Frankincense and Myrrh were given as gifts to baby Jesus and when burned can release a holy smoke and fragrance that is known to clear negative energies, connect us with the our higher consciousness and spiritual realms and surround us with high vibrations.  In Native American tradition smoke can be seen as a bridge to the higher realms, a way to bring in good spirits and dispel the negative or stagnant ones. People usually burn sage when moving into a new home to remove any negative energy left behind by the other residents.

refuel-1

I am a strong believer in the power of energy.  I like to burn sage whenever I feel my energy has shifted.  When my energy shifts, either because of contact with others who hold negative energy or situations that may bring me down, my attitude is not pleasant and my behavior changes. I don’t like my thoughts and I’m physically tired.  It goes back to knowing my body and knowing my soul.  This recently happened to me, as recent as last week.  I encountered a few conversations and people who imposed their negative energy into my space and I literally felt it.  It was wearing me down. So, yesterday, I smudged some sage and prayed.  The burning of sage can transform and deflect unwanted energy, bless a space as sacred and connect you to your higher Self.  I can tell you, I feel ten times better.

Chakra Stones

I’m teaching myself more about Chakras and Crystals.  Chakras  are the seven power points in the human body that circulate energy or the life force.

 

refuel-2

Crown Chakra – The highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually // Clear Quartz

Third Eye Chakra – Our ability to focus on and see the big picture // Amethyst

Throat Chakra – Our ability to communicate // Blue Sodalite

Heart Chakra – Our ability to love / Green Aventurine or Rose Quartz

Solar Plexus Chakra – Our ability to be confident and in control of our lives // Citrine

Sacral Chakra – Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences // Red Jasper

Root Chakra – Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded // Carnelian

If the Chakras are unbalanced – not properly aligned or blocked – it can affect physical and mental health.  In this same week mentioned above, my energy was waaaayyyy off balance.  So what did I do?  Placed the stone in the corresponding chakra area, where I felt the depletion, and prayed and meditated.

All is well with the world, for now….

I refuel daily! Every morning.  My form of refueling is more proactive than reactive. Some days, I engage in every activity I have listed, others, I do what is needed.  My suggestion to you is to set aside time, 5 minutes per day is sufficient, and act in your form of refuel.  If daily doesn’t fit your schedule, as my mom said, listen to your body.  Recognize when it’s time to relax and refuel.

How do you refuel?  Let me know in the comments.

Thanks Y’all!

XOXO

♥Starr

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11:28

Weekly Instagram Wrap – Up

Hey ladies and some gents,

I’ve wrapped up my latest Instagram posts for you.  Moonwalk on over to the IG Wrap – Up page, for a full list, and shop it up!  In the meantime, scroll down, for the latest.

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MARCH 5, 2017 – MARCH WINTER

I’m finally in California and semi-settled in. The hardest thing about relocating is finding replacements for your routine  services; manicurist, hair stylist, medical providers, and most importantly, finding a church to attend.  I did a quick google search, did some research on a few churches and decided to visit a few before I made a decision.  I was not disappointed in my decision and will keep this church in the runnings.  The weather is colder than usual, according to the locals.  I wasn’t upset about it because I finally got the chance to wear my winter pieces, something I could not do in Houston.  Every single item I wore is crazy old and sold out, but I have linked some similar items to shop.

Hair: If I easily embarrassed, I would be ashamed that my hair hasn’t been shampooed since I left Houston, over 2, maaayybbeee 3, weeks ago.  It was in a bun all week.  I took it down, detangled, then did a flat twist out using Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Butter.  Heaven in a jar!

I love that this sweater is crazy long!  It can be worn as a tunic (as pictured), or as a sweater dress.  Shop the similar top here and here.

My leggings are actually from Burberry and they are a ponte knit.  I would wear these every day if I could.  Shop similar pairs, at a cheaper price, here and here.

Leopard shoes match nothing, but go with everything.  Every lady should have a pair in her closet.  If you don’t, get a pair herehere, and here!

Happy Shopping ladies!

XOXO

♥Starr


FEBRUARY 16, 2017 – SUNNY REBEL IN LAKE CHUCK

My last few days in Houston were hectic! So what did I do, I drove to Lake Charles, LA to hang out  with and see some old co-workers.  With my old job, I spent a considerable amount of time in Lake Charles, but never really had time to explore the city.  Although I didn’t spend too much time there, I did take advantage of that short time and checked out the boardwalk.  Since the boardwalk is on the water, duh, it was a bit chilly.  I absolutely love this sweater.  It’s a loose fit, but not uncomfortable, and an easy fix when you want a quick cute outfit. Shop it out, ladies!

This sweater is sold out in this color but the other colors are on sale, right now.  Buy it here.

Shop these similar jeans here and here.

Similar watch, here.

Probably my favorite ankle booties!  Similar pairs here and here.

Shop these cute and trendy sunglasses here.  They have a great selection of moderately priced sunnies!

Thanks for reading, y’all!

XOXO

♥ Starr

7 Ways to Cope When You’ve Lost Your Job

Losing a job is a highly stressful and life altering event in anyone’s life.  Often time we walk into a job thinking that job is the job that’s going to boost your career and it’s a complete let down when you are let go.  Whether it’s a lay off, downsize, or you were fired, no one is ever 100% ready to lose their job, because, well…bills.  I’ve been laid off 3 times in the last 6 years (that’s once every 2 years) and each time pushed me closer to my real purpose in life.  Although my initial feelings were that of self doubt asking myself , Was I not good enough for the job? What did I do wrong?  Am I not smart enough?, I realized that it’s all a part of the process.  Since I seem to be a pro at this, I’ve outlined a few ways to cope after losing your job.

  1. Go Through the Emotions

Allow yourself to feel the emotions!   There are five stages of grief that we go through when we lose special and meaningful things and people in our lives.  Losing your job, in some cases does cause grief, and in extreme cases can lead to depression.  Feel every single emotion that you encounter, but don’t dwell in your misery.  I remember, after this last layoff, running into a fellow coworker  in the parking garage, carrying a box of my belongings and immediately breaking down into tears. It hit me that I no longer have a job.  How am I going to pay my bills??? Although that feeling of sadness was temporary ( it maybe lasted an hour), I felt it.  I felt upset and hurt, so I cried, and that’s okay.  I felt angry and wanted to get back at whoever was at fault.  I felt all of that and you will too, if you allow yourself to. Just don’t live in the misery.

2. It’s not personal

I actually believe that my last “release” had a lot more to do with me personally, than professionally.  I can’t prove it, but in my heart of hearts, I am almost certain.  Despite my feelings of being let go of because of personal vendettas, I didn’t take it personally.  Removing me from the company for personal feelings was more about them than it was about me.  Accepting that the elimination of your position is not personal will allow you to cope with the loss.  At the end of the day, as an employee, you are a number.  We have the bad habit of giving loyalty to a company that doesn’t reciprocate those same feelings.  Learn to separate your professional life from your personal life. The best advice I’ve received from a coworker many years ago, was to go to work to make money, not friends.  At times it may be a bit difficult to not make friends, but allow those friends to happen organically.  Don’t give too much of you personally.

3. You are NOT your job

Having an identity and a sense of self is of the utmost importance.  A healthy Work – Life balance is a great way to be okay when you lose your job.  I’ve witnessed a number of people who have nothing else going for themselves but their job.  Their entire identity is wrapped up into their title at ABC Company.  You know, those people who take their jobs waaayyy too seriously and are intimidated by others who pose a threat to their existence and importance.  Don’t be that person.  That person will have a helluva time coping when they are no longer employed.  Understand that you are not your title, you are a mother/free spirit/wanderlust/wife/artist,  who happens to be an {insert job title here}.  When I was laid off, each time, I knew that I was not that job.  I knew that I was going to be okay because that job didn’t make me and it didn’t make you!

4. It was your Time

One thing I’ve learned if I haven’t learned anything it’s that when it’s time for you to move, God will move you! Sometimes, in most cases, you have reached your maximum potential and God knows that way before we do, so He will move us, because we won’t move ourselves, for several reasons.  time-to-goEither we feel comfortable, we don’t have confidence in knowing that there is something bigger and better for us, the money is good, great benefits, etc, so we stay. Every single time I was laid off, it was time for me to go!! I remember waking up to go to the second job I was laid off from with stomach pains and often crying before, during, and after work, but I would not leave.  I was recently laid off 2 years before that, took a $20K pay cut and was struggling, so this painful job was what I needed to make ends meet,but God knew better.  He removed me from that job and gave me something so much better, that gave me back the money I initially lost plus $20K more.  At my most recent job, I peaked.  I didn’t see any people in management positions or higher that looked like me, which was a clear indication that chances for upward mobility for me were slim to none.  If that’s the way any company wants to operate it’s fully within their right, but it’s your choice to stay or not. Just hang on to the fact that when you are removed from a job, it was your time to go and pursue other opportunities.  Accept it as a win!

5. Pursue your dreams

There are people who are made for Corporate work and their are people who are made for entrepreneurship.  You have to know who you are.  Me, I enjoy the Corporate life, when it’s my own corporation.  I’m not that okay with taking orders from other people and I like to do my own thing, my way.  I like to believe that I’m a creative person and working towards someone else’s vision does not allow the opportunities necessary to display that creativity.  Take the time off to pursue those dreams you have been pushing to the side while you were making someone else’s dreams come true.  Push through that fear of failure and get it done.  Failure is a MAJOR part of success so face the failure head on.  Pursue what YOU want to do!  If it doesn’t work, at least you can say that you tried.  Don’t live with any ” I should haves”.  It’s not worth the stress.

6.  Take time to yourselfdepositphotos_10627813_original

Let’s face it, working a full time job is taxing.  For those who have spouses and/or children, it’s very rare that you get time to yourself.  If the situation allows, take this time without a full time job, for yourself.  Relax.  Do things you couldn’t find the time to do when you were working 40+ hours per week.  My initial reaction when I was laid off was to immediately apply for jobs.  Trust me, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t look for your next opportunity, but don’t let it consume you.  Take your time to find the job that is right for you.  Refer to Number 5.  Take a mini vacation to clear your mind.  I’m currently spending 2 weeks in California, sitting at the table in San Diego with the doors open, writing this post! Treat yourself.  Take care of yourself!  Don’t burn yourself out. Refuel and prepare yourself for what God has lined up for you next!

7.  Meditate/Pray

I’m a prayer warrior!  I love it, I practice it, I soak in it, I seek it.  I’m a firm believer that prayer changes things. Completely!  The day after my most recent lay off, I woke up (when I wanted to, mind you), had a cup of coffee, sat on the patio and had a little talk with Jesus.  After that talk, life became so much more clear.  I make sure that I take 45 minutes to an hour, each morning for meditation, before I start my day.  I do yoga while the coffee is brewing (for about 5 – 10 minutes), then take the remaining time to pray, read, and meditate on God’s word.  This practice doesn’t remove the hiccups from my day, but it makes it a lot easier to deal with.  Whatever you do to bring you to a zen frame of mind, calms you down, and slows your brain down, do it and do it daily.  This practice helps me to deal with life’s obstacles.

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It’s been 6 weeks since I was laid off and I’m busier now than I have ever been.  I’m working on pursuing my dreams and following the plan God has set for me.  It doesn’t come without sleepless nights, but I’m putting in the work and allowing God to use me for His purpose and His glorification.  I’m in a great place right now, mentally and physically (I mean, I’m in San Diego for goodness sake).  These steps helped me to cope.  I don’t wish anyone to lose their job, but if you ever find yourself in that situation, I hope these steps will get you through.

 

Love and Light!

♥Starr

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8

My Weekend Style

Hey guys,

I had a pretty busy weekend, and I’m crazy tired.  The weather here, in Houston, was absolutely gorgeous and forced me to get out of the house.  Although I spent most of my Saturday in the car, driving (Thank you Houston, for being so spread out), I enjoyed the beautiful weather, cruising these H-Town streets, listening to the H-Town girl, Solange, and her new album, A Seat at the Table.  I woke up and met my cousin at the studio to record a podcast episode, giving her the opportunity to share her story as a Breast Cancer survivor. Listen to that episode, here.  Then, I met my Sorority sister for lunch at this pretty cool vegan restaurant near the Medical Center, called Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli.  Get the Vegan Nachos and/or the Garlic Kale salad, they are both amazing.  I also attempted to do a little thrifting, but I suck at it.  My Type A personality won’t let me be thrift shop great.  I couldn’t take the clutter, large amounts of stuff, and the smell….so I bolted.  Anyway, shop my Saturday Style, below.  I’ve linked the “Reals and Deals.”

Alyx camouflage print T-shirt • $103.30 • Farfetch

Camo burnout tee • $45 • Topshop

Knitdigo Skinny Jean With Leg Zippers • $79.97 • Juicy Couture

Rag & Bone/JEAN High Rise Skinny Zipper Crop Jeans • $209 • shopbop.com

Saint Laurent Monogram Large Kate Chain Shoulder Bag, Bordeaux • $2,590 • Neiman Marcus

Rebecca Minkoff Affair mini studded quilted leather shoulder bag • $123.75 • The Outnet

adidas Women’s Superstar Casual Sneakers from Finish Line • $79.99 • Macy’s

Nixon ‘The Time Teller’ Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch, 37mm • $100 • Nordstrom

I really enjoyed spending time with my friends and family, the people I love.  How was your weekend?

XOXO

♥ Starr

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” ~ John 15:12-13

Caring for Box Braids

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My favorite protective style is by far, hands down….Box braids.  I’m completely obsessed.  I try to put my hair in this protective style at least twice per year, for at least 6 weeks at a time, during the Summer and Winter.  During that time, I make sure to go for regular touch ups so, my edges are always fresh.

As we all may know, caring for your hair underneath ANY protective style is crucial.  It should be understood that your real hair is always the number one priority.  With that said, find a braider who shies away from braiding your baby hairs.  Those fine hairs around your face should be avoided when braiding.  You should NOT experience tension or tightness after your braids are complete.

While wearing box braids, I try to shampoo my scalp every two weeks as opposed to my regular wash schedule, since I don’t use as much product, my hair doesn’t need to be shampooed as often.  I actually find it a lot easier to shampoo my scalp when I have box braids because I can put the cleanser directly on my scalp because of the parts.  After I shampoo, I proceed, as usual, with a leave-in and hair oil, then sit under a hair dryer to prevent any mold or mildew from forming on my scalp.  It’s very easy to neglect your hair when it’s in a protective style, because it’s hidden, but that’s the most important time to pay the most attention to your hair and especially your scalp.

Here are a few of my go – to products that are on rotation with, and without, box braids.

SHAMPOO – TERRESENTIALS ORGANIC – PURE EARTH HAIR WASH

lavender_garden_hair_wash_8_fl-_oz-_pglThis particular shampoo is actually a mud wash.  This wash is without any chemical detergents, foam boosters, protein thickeners and coating agents, emulsifiers, preservatives or fragrance.  There are a number of fragrances (derived from essential oils), but I love the way the lavender scent smells. I typically only use it when I have braids because it’s easier to distribute and rinse completely.

LEAVE IN DETANGLER – AVLON

I was introduced to this leave in by my hair stylist, Johari at Flowerchilds Studio Salon, and I have never looked back, nor will I ever look back.  Y’all, this ish right here!  8227This is life! (Insert Praise Hand Emojis).  It’s light and smells right.  It’s in a spray bottle to prevent heavy handed people like me from using too much.  I use this product damn near every day of my life.  Without braids, I use it to refresh my curls, daily.  With braids, I spritz it on my hair after a cleaning.  I purchase mine directly from the salon, but trust me you will NOT regret this purchase.

HAIR OIL – MANE CHOICE – MULTI VITAMIN SCALP NOURISHING GROWTH OIL

image_f3271703-72f2-4ee6-8260-eecd21bbc31d_largeI can’t really attest whether or not this oil has hair growing properties because I have to take into consideration that my hair was in a protective style and I was taking the Mane Choice Hair Vitamins, but I really like this oil.  When your hair is in box braids or twists, oiling your scalp is easy peasy.  The parts are already there!  This particular oil has an applicator which makes the task a lot easier.  Now that I have taken down the braids, I still apply the oil to my scalp and give myself a little scalp massage. 🙂

Protective styles are a must when you need to take a break from styling your own hair, and it gives your hair a break from you!  Just keep in mind that this is not a hair vacation, hair still needs to be cared for and maintained.

What’s your favorite protective style?

xoxo

♥ Starr

Give them the Boot(ie)!

october // 6 // 2016

Judging by the date on the calendar, Fall is here.  Judging by the sweat on my brow, it’s still hot as the dickens!  Let’s slow down on pulling out the turtlenecks and leather skirts, unless you’re interested in experiencing the effects of a heat stroke.  HOWEVER, their is good news!  We might not be ready to pull out the suede thigh highs, but we can always sport a cute little ankle bootie.  Regardless of the weather booties can be worn with skinny jeans, short shorts, skirts, dresses, you name it, there is a bootie to match with it.  I’ve linked my exact booties below and a few similar pairs for the ones that are sold out.

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Mossimo Supply Co. Women’s Raine Western Boots – Mossimo Supply Co.TM • $37.99 • Target

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Steve Madden ‘Gal’ Strappy Lace-Up Sandal (Women) • $89.95 • Nordstrom

Steve Madden ‘Denay’ Cutout Bootie (Women) • $149.95 • Nordstrom

XOXO Bedelia Lace-Up Block-Heel Booties • $59 • Macy’s

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Betsie Too Fringed Leopard-Print Calf Hair Ankle Boots • $89.99 • Off 5th

Tory Burch Orsay Leopard Print Calf Hair Chelsea Booties • $450 • Bloomingdale’s

grey-booties

STEVE MADDEN Glorria suede ankle boots • $125 • Selfridges

Nine West Acesso Suede Ankle Boots • $129 • Lord & Taylor

Thelma Suede Ankle Boot • $98 • Urban Outfitters

gold-booties

Lucky Brand Basel Booties • $99.99 • Dillard’s

NYLA Shoes Inc. Wishing You the Very Zest Bootie in Gold • $69.99 • ModCloth

Happy Shopping, y’all!

XOXO

♥Starr