Road Trips & Spring Break!

Road Trip-Periwinkle Starr

Hello Y’all!! How have you been? Spring break is over so its back to work and reality 😀 This week, I will be sharing my thoughts on road trips. Road trips are fun! Going away forces your brain to break out of its normal routine because you’re no longer in your personal space neither are you in control so you are more or less at the mercy of the road – which could be good or bad depending on what situation you’re in. The feeling of breaking my routine and doing something fun and exciting away from home is always a welcome distraction any day. A lot of people love road trips for totally different reasons. For some, its the joys of driving for hours on end while for others, its the views – where you get to see things you’ve actually never noticed before even if you’ve probably driven past that same route a zillion times 😀

 Each road trip has its own unique experience and a story to it which I like. On this particular road trip, I got to meet Janet Esteves aka Mrs Mickey and tour her home. She is the current Guinness Book of Records holder for the most Mickey Mouse memorabilia on the planet with a collection of over 11,000 pieces that took over 40 years to accumulate.

The Tour

Walking in the front door, we were warmly welcomed by this charming lady into this exquisitely all white decor town home; it felt as if we had known each other for years. When I was invited to meet her and tour their home, I wasn’t certain on what to expect because my mind was thinking – if there are over 10,000 Mickey Mouse pieces in this home, there’s going to be a ton of stuff E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E for sure – I was mistaken. The home was very modern, beautifully decorated with tons and tons of Mickey Mouse figurines, cookie jars, ties, mugs, table cloths, key holders (you name it, she had it!) laid out or arranged so intricately and beautifully, the word ‘blown away’ is an understatement. During the walk through, I asked her how she kept track of ALL the inventory over the years; she smiled and she showed us an iPad with all of the items; no two items were the same.  😐 It was such a fun tour and an experience I won’t be forgetting in a very long time. 😀 😀

Special thanks to Mrs Mickey! 😀 Since it was a private showing, we couldn’t take any pictures but I found this link on YouTube and wanted to share it with you all. Feel free to share a road trip experience you’ve had recently. Until I come your way again next time. Ciao for now!!

Periwinkle Starr

 

 

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Couponing…Savvy Or A Little Extreme?

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Hello Starr readers! It almost feels like we’re ziplining through 2017…I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not :/ For the high achievers, that depends on how far you are on your to-do list for the year or the rest of us who are really just happy to be here 😀 Today was one of those days I wished I owned a segway – you just stand and do nothing while on your way to where you need to go instead of 3 inch heels – that would be pure heaven! So if you’re in the Dallas Metroplex and want to try your hands on a segway, check out Dallas Segway Nation in the link below:

http://nationtours.com/texas/dallas-segway-tours/

This week I want to share my thoughts with you on something we all love; for some, a bit more than others and that’s couponing. I absolutely love saving money and getting deals on items when I shop but I don’t necessarily beat myself up when i miss out on a sale or forget my coupons at home and only realize as I’m checking out that I could have saved a few bucks if only I remembered. 🙂 I’ve always been puzzled by a few instances I refer to as every checkout clerks nightmare – an overflowing cart and a ‘binder of coupons’. And yes…I said ‘BINDER’ coupled with the tired, frustrated and sometimes angry looks of the rest of the people on the line. I’ve often wondered that unless you have 19+ children or you’re shopping for a school or saving for that cataclysmic event that’s not going to happen, you really don’t need that much stuff.

My suspicions of this being something on a deeper level was confirmed when I happen to come across a show while channel surfing titled ‘Extreme Couponing’ where a lady said the beep sound made whenever a coupon was scanned was like joy and happiness to her ears 😐 Now in my mind, I feel it sounds a little cray to reduce your threshold of joy or happiness to a beeping noise when buying stuff you really don’t need, stuff you might not use and probably running out of space to keep. There has to be a point – in life as a whole -where we draw the line on excesses because at different times in our life, we may find ourselves going over or lower than where we need to be. As long as we have a clear boundary or a point of return, we can always get back to having a stable core and a balanced existence. Its been a busy week y’all, TGIF!

Until I come your way again. Have a wonderful weekend and be safe!

Periwinkle Starr

PS: A lot of readers send their comments directly to my email. Please feel free to share your thoughts with everyone by posting in the comment section as well. Thanks!

Just Ask!…You Might Be Surprised.

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Hello All! I hope your Monday has been off to a great start? I got to meet up with a few friends that I haven’t seen in a long time but somehow we always seem to continue right where we left off and I absolutely love it! Whats unique about this group is the fact that we all work in different fields, have different backgrounds but we always have a blast E-V-E-R-Y-T-I-M-E 🙂 🙂 After catching up, one of the guys starts talking about his current situation – You know it starts to get deep after a few cocktails (those annoyingly tiny glasses that contain all the calories you require in a day :/ I am making a note to self to schedule an extra 20 minutes at the gym) ha ha!

Perceptions. 

Matt (not his real name) keeps seeing a girl he’s come to be intrigued by at his favorite spot during lunch hour on a regular basis. Now Matt is very particular and isn’t one to compliment ladies that easily so when he says ‘a lady is pretty’, trust me – you can take that to the bank! Anyways, he’s seen her a couple of times but hasn’t really summed up the courage to speak to her. She’s always on the takeout line, never eats in. He said ‘he thought’ she was single because she didn’t wear any rings. She was always well dressed and sometimes made small talk with the cashier. He ‘felt’ she came across as snobby, snooty or proud. He saw her come in on one occasion with a guy. He said they ‘seemed’ pretty close, friendly and talked a lot so he ‘assumed’ the guy might be her boyfriend. At this point in the conversation, it almost sounded like Matt had begun to dislike this girl he hadn’t technically met but was even more intrigued by. He had also built up an entirely new persona of this girl based on his ‘perceptions’ or ‘pointers’ (don’t even know how on earth he measures those yet) and wanted my take and the views of some of the ladies in our group on the issue.

Now, I like to sometimes consider myself to be a holistic individual – not making hasty conclusions or decisions based on lopsided or one sided information. I love to mentally remove myself from a situation and look at it from an outsiders perspective, then put myself in each parties shoes before I make ‘assumptions’ and even then I can’t be 100 percent accurate because I (quite frankly) do not reside in anyone else’s brain besides my own. I feel we (myself included) as people have become lazy in the sense that we are so quick to sum people up, situations and or events based off of a few pointers (we A-L-L have those) – because it saves us the time and discomfort of actually doing the work.

At the end of dinner, we (guys and gals) all agreed that Matt needed to go back to the restaurant and the next time he saw the mystery girl – He should take a deep breath, walk up to her, introduce himself and A-S-K her if she wanted to eat in and maybe get to know her a little bit more – instead of whining to us for half the night (love you Matt!! ha ha) because the bottom line is: In life, you can never quite tell and if you sum up the courage to ask, you might be surprised at what you just might learn!

Feel free to let me know your thoughts and experiences on things you had assumptions or perceptions about  that turned out to be directly opposite to what you imagined. Until I come your way again, ciao for now!!

Periwinkle Starr

Swamped Wednesday?…Lets Bake!

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Hello Y’all! Hope you’ve had a great week so far. The Superbowl has finally come and gone. Looking down at my hands, I’m surprised I still have my fingernails after the anxiety brought on by Sunday nights game; which is one of the reasons I hate watching finals of A-N-Y competitive sport..  😀 It could be anything from the FIFA world cup finals to two seals fighting over a grape and it’ll get me in knots! Anyways, it was an amazing game nonetheless and I had a fun time watching it.

Over the weekend, my sisters went on a baking spree and all I got were pictures sent to my phone which is sad when you think about how Star Trek lied to me all my life about being able to ‘energize’ –  a terminology where they were able to transport matter from one fixed location to another – in my case, a huge slice of homemade key lime pie and angel food cake right unto my coffee table in Dallas :/ 😦 So I decided to forget my deadlines for a few hours, whip out my cookbook from one of my all time favorite shows -‘ The Great British Bake Off’ and make a treat of my own! A very well deserved treat if I must say.

Digestives Biscuit

2/3 cup plain wholemeal flour

2/3 cup medium oatmeal

1 tablespoon bran

1/4 teaspoon crushed sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 sticks or 10 tablespoons of butter

1-2 tablespoons milk

Directions

1. Pour flour, oatmeal, bran, salt, baking powder and sugar into bowl of mixer. Pulse until thoroughly combined.

2. Add butter and continue mixing. Add milk and bring mixture to a firm dough.

3. Remove dough, flatten into thick disc and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 30 minutes.

4. Set disc of dough between 2 sheets of clingfilm or baking paper and roll out 4mm thick. Using a cookie cutter (in my case one of my Christmas mugs – sorry Santa!), stamp out rounds and set slightly apart on greased baking sheets. Use trimmings, work together and re-roll and cut out more rounds

5. Prick each round several times with fork, then chill in fridge for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile heat your oven to 190C or 375F

6. Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes until golden and slightly darker around the edges. Remove and leave to cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire wrack. When cold store in an air tight container for about a week.

This recipe is super easy and you don’t need to be a pro to make it. I hope you enjoy! Until I come your way again, be safe and have fun!! Here are some pictures for y’all.

Periwinkle Starr

A Skincare Regimen That Actually Works.

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Hello Y’all!! I hope you have had a great week so far and you are looking forward to the weekend. I guess we aren’t out of the freeze just yet :/ but I decided to  do a half hour lunch and take a nice walk. I discovered a Mediterranean cafe tucked in the corner of a building that I have walked by for almost a year without noticing; I’m already making plans to check it out. 😀

I was thinking to myself, ‘January isn’t over and I have pretty much riveted back to my usual skincare routine…which is ‘skincare at my convenience’. A friend of mine suggested using a combination of natural oils to remove my makeup which I think is a great idea but imagine me jumping off my couch at 2.00am after a late night or dozing off while trying to keep up with some late night TV show – then repeat that suggestion again – that would be an epic fail 😀 Having a skincare regimen that works shouldn’t be hard to keep up with and in my bid to kick old habits, I came up with what I would call  a basic skincare regimen that A-N-Y-O-N-E can follow and I’m sharing these basic to do items that will work with any skin type. These items range from grocery store brands to high end cosmetic lines depending on what your preference is. 😀

A Doable Skincare Regimen – 101

Clay Mask. Helps unclog your pores. Twice a month works great but if you’re out and about a lot, you might need to use it more often. There are so many products on the market from Queen Helen clay mask that are  more affordable to high end products like La Prairie masks.

A Gentle Astringent. Products that do not contain alcohol are best. Trust me, your skin will thank you for it a couple of years down the line.Witch Hazel is an amazing product!

An Eye Cream. With so many serums and instant result creams out there, I tend to go the organic route. Burt’s and Bees has an eye cream that works and has non of the scary ingredients in it. Use it twice a day.

Eye Makeup Remover. Having tried so many brands that claim to remove ‘ALL’ of your eye makeup. I’ve been disappointed to still find those mascara induced smudges you see first thing in the morning. But I was a little surprised to find a product that actually worked – Avon Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover Lotion!

Lip Balm. Brands from EOS, Blistex work great. A friend gifted me with a Cinnamint Lip Balm by Young Living Essential Oils that’s also very good. Thanks M. 😀

Mineral Peel. I cannot stress how important this is for your skin. If you are in your late twenties and up, I would recommend you try this at least once a month. Being out everyday coupled with daily makeup application plus all the toxic metals in our environment; you need a gentle mineral peel regimen that gets rid of the dead skin cells and help resurface new skin. I would recommend Avani mineral peel products because they are gentle, natural and affordable but if you would prefer high end lines, Vine Vera mineral peel works equally well.

Face Wash. I always go with any products that are gentle on the skin.

A Water Based Body Lotion. Water needs to be the major ingredient. Be on the look out for products that have collagen in them. The older we get, the more collagen we need to maintain the firm texture of our skin.

Sauna. One of the best ways to unclog and detox your whole body at once. I try to make it a habit to sauna after a swim. I can’t recommend a specific time frame (30 minutes – 1 hour) for a sauna session because our skin reach different breaking points -where we begin to sweat after being exposed to hot air – at different times.

Wipes. Organic, oil free, unscented baby wipes – yes I said baby wipes – work great! 😀

A go-to Homemade Facial. Take a peek in your kitchen cabinets and I can guarantee that the possibilities for a good facial are endless! 😀 We all have different skin types and varying levels of sensitivity to products, so please pay attention to your skin. Feel free to let me know what skincare regimen items work well for you. 😀 Until I come your way again next time, its ciao for now!

Periwinkle Starr

The Art of Handcrafting: A Distant Memory

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Hello Y’all! I hope you’ve had a good week so far. I was on YouTube catching up on a few channels I subscribe to and I came across – as always – another makeup tutorial that I usually end up watching even if I have other things to do. :/ As amazing as the ‘after’  effect was in comparison to the ‘before’, I see that the art of having a skill or a craft is fast becoming a distant memory in our generation. People need an outlet and in this case, makeup fills that void.

In every culture of the world, the women were raised with some crafting skill or the other. It was a requirement to be able to use your hands for a skill. I was thinking to myself that I do not know anyone in my age bracket that knows how to use a sewing machine (myself included)…and not that we would make our clothes ourselves 😀 (that would be disastrous), but just to know how to tinker with one. :/ Anyways no worries if you have no skills, feel free to blame it on the industrial revolution 😀 😀 for rendering us all inept in one way or the other.

Taking a ride down memory lane, It was my first week of 4th grade, there was a girl in my class who sat behind me that seemed to be poking around with two huge pins and some yarn; I later learned the term was called knitting. I was instantly fascinated and it wasn’t long before I pleaded with her to teach me how to knit. Before long I learned how to make a shawl, then a pair of socks and a cap – for fun! After 4th grade, my family moved to a different state and we had new neighbors. While playing outside every other evening, I noticed our neighbors cook would sit outside on their porch and knit. At the time, I had never heard the word ‘crochet’ before. She would do this between chores and as always, I was curious about how she was able to do that with one pin instead of two? I was fascinated and wanted to learn how. I would go and sit by her and watch her hands move very intricately between loops creating the most beautiful table cloths I have ever seen. I had to learn this new style of knitting and fast. She didn’t speak much english but she was very patient and happy to show me how.

Fast forward to present day, although a large portion of my job is done by clicking a mouse and sketching, every now and then I bring out my knit kit and continue working on that supposed table spread or blanket I have been knitting for a couple of years now… 😀 Its something I still find time to do. There is something very calming about knitting. Its as if your thoughts are streamlined into two basic things: where the hook needs to go and when to pull on more thread…very therapeutic if I might say. I have attached a few pictures. Let me know what your favorite crafting skill is and how you learned it. Until next time, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

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Opinions: Yours, Mine and Theirs.

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Hello All! Hope your week is going really well so far. I will be speaking about something that affects each and everyone of us (myself included) and would welcome your thoughts and comments on it. 🙂 So lets start off with a pop quiz question!

Do you know what the cheapest commodity on the planet is?…And I’m not referring to air because clean air is not even cheap. :/ The cheapest commodity on the planet are “OPINIONS”. And if you stand still long enough, I can bet you there’s someone waiting to dump one on you…because they can. :/ 🙂 ha ha

One of my industry favorites is renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. My fascination with architecture is not so much with bold and complex designs because any artistic individual can draw up the first weird – and often times a tad bit crazy – thing that comes to mind; but how that design is translated into a form with structural integrity…now that is what i call pure genius.

Santiago started out as a young man wanting to be an artist but a series of events led him to architecture school, and then to civil engineering becoming one of the few architects fully trained as an engineer. He has an amazing line up of successful projects over the years; but it wasn’t overnight. He endured many struggles and harsh opinions along the way to become the icon we applaud today. When he was first trying to break into the New York design scene through a showcase which he themed ‘sculpture into architecture’, he is quoted saying ‘ I am not aspiring. I would just like to contribute with a couple of gestures’. It was tough but he was persistent.

When I look in the eyes of little kids, I see dreamers who haven’t become tainted by the opinions and cutting remarks of people, family members, close friends and strangers. As adults, a lot of people have abandoned dreams, ideas and opportunities because someone said it couldn’t be done and had never been done before. A lot of people have been cowered into submission and conformity for so long that they do not know what might have been had they dug their heels in and stayed true to their dreams. The fear of  the backlash that comes with standing up for your dreams and daring to think differently is so strong that a lot of people are content to just tow the line like everyone else.

But guess what guys; as safe and secure that lifestyle might be…realize that we only get one shot at this thing called life and its better to try and fail than to never have tried at all. Its a new year and a new day. Shut out and shut down all and any opinions that are not stretching, challenging or pushing you towards reaching your fullest potential. You are worth it and you owe that much to yourself. 🙂 🙂 So until I come your way again next time, its ciao for now!!

Periwinkle Starr