What I’ve Learned From Fashion: Then vs Now

Hello Yall! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the world. Its been a minute since my last post and I’m so glad to be back and writing again. It still feels like Spring in North Texas which is so nice that I’m not worried about what Summer is going to be like this year. If you’ve been with me on this journey, fashion is something I have always loved and admired albeit from a distance. Over the years, my sense of fashion has evolved and looking back, it’s so fun to see what my style was then versus now. And I must say, a lot has changed. This post isn’t intended to be sexist but as a lady, I can only speak from that standpoint so guys, please bear with me.

I dress for my body type and undertone. I’ve done this so many times in the past where I purchase an item of clothing just because it looked great on a model or mannequin or buying a dress with the goal of fitting into it LATER….Haha guilty as charged. Thats over and done with. I dress for now, for today. The future will come, and I will be ready.

I embrace bold colors. I remember when I was younger being told that wearing bright colors would be too ‘shouty’ of a look. Being able to break out of that mold and add a splash of color has been so refreshing and indeed liberating. Whether its lipstick, a nice blazer or shoes, bright colors have a way of lifting your mood and making things vibrant.

Getting Rid of the bulk and Investing in a few good quality pieces. Over the last couple of years, I started decluttering my wardrobe. Of course, there are keepsakes that I will always hold unto, but I started getting rid of things I rarely used and began donating them to those less fortunate and who would use them rather than sitting in my closet year after year. The more I decluttered, the lighter my space became and the less stressed I was especially when I had to find something in a hurry.

There’s a thin line between preserving relics and hoarding. I recently watched a documentary that linked hoarding to mental instability in an otherwise functioning adult. A lot of our grandparents and great grandparents endured the great depression where lack and not having enough was their reality. Unfortunately, when the wars were over and everything went back to normal a lot of them didn’t believe that things would remain the same, so the saved, and saved some more until it became …..Hoarding. Getting rid of old makeup and using up what products I currently have are some of my goals going forward.

Having good quality essential items….at all times. For women these will include good quality under garments, dresses, shoes, outwear items for all seasons. Have a closet thats ready to go. You don’t need to rush to the store every time you have an event, engagement or occasion. Go window shopping in your spare time. Look for deals. Take your time and find quality pieces. When you rush to the shops when you’re in a hurry, you may end up buying something in a hurry, buying out of desperation and buying something you may wear only a few times because it was the best you could do in that moment.

Skincare and overall wellness is key. Having a consistent skincare regimen and treating yourself to a spa at least twice a year. This doesn’t have to be some highly scary expensive feat either. A lot of ingredients can be purchased at your local grocery store or online at Amazon. Having an at home detox regimen. This includes magnetic clay soaks, Epsom salt soak with essential oils to remove toxins acquired from the environment around you.

Eat more fresh and less processed foods. When you are healthy, you feel good and when you feel good, you look great.

Folks, along the way, its normal to morph into your own sense of fashion and develop your own style. Even if you have a personal shopper or closet assistant, there comes a time where you know what you like and what looks best on your body but better still, you know how the clothing you wear makes you feel. Comfort and confidence are a match made in heaven when it comes to personal style. Until I come your way again, feel free to share your do’s and don’ts and how your sense of fashion has evolved then versus now.

Periwinkle Starr

P,S.: Photos are culled from FreePik.


Skincare – A Vast Array of Options and Alternatives.

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing great in your corner of the world. I’m back with a new post as promised and I have to say that the weather in North Texas has been wonderful even though we’ve had thunderstorms and the occasional tornado warning. I almost feel like when it comes to the weather, we can’t ever be happy…lol. Anyway, with Spring comes planting season, and I have added new indoor Pothos plants to the house. I’ve been told that these are low maintenance plants that can survive with minimal effort so, wish me luck!

Skin is the one organ we as humans all have in common and writing a blog on skincare is a topic that intrigues me because it’s so vast and is certainly not a one size fits all. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it tells a story about your health, your age and where you’ve been. Some people were gifted with amazingly good skin that requires little or no maintenance while others may need to be intentional and work at keeping their skin vibrant, healthy and youthful. But it doesn’t matter what kind of skin we have; we have a responsibility to take care of it the best way we possibly can. I haven’t written on skincare in a very long time, but I feel it’s time to revisit the subject – but from a different perspective. I love learning new things, new information but also gleaning from aestheticians, specialists and naturopaths; and yes, random folk are some of the avenues I’ve gleaned from the most and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with you so grab a drink and a snack and get cozy!!

Hydration is Everything. I only learned this very recently that majority of people going about their daily lives are dehydrated. That included yours truly before I started making a conscious effort to hydrate on a daily basis. When the body is hydrated with clean, refreshing WATER, the skin is supple, blood flows unrestricted and toxins can be flushed out. Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body. I swapped out tea for lemon water for about two years now, and even though I miss the kick, my cravings have slowly died down to where I don’t even reach for it anymore.

Eating a Balanced Diet. Foods rich in fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, protein from plant and animal sources and healthy carbs. Olive oil, Avocadoes, Nuts, Carrots, Seafood fortify the skin and slow down the aging process. Also discovering what my body needs has helped me know how best to fuel it. Everyone is different.

Have a Skin Cleansing Regimen. Whether you’re a guy or gal, having a skin care regimen is key. Some have a simple routine and others go a little bit on the extreme, but the bottom line is to just have one. There is no judgement on your preference. Hygiene is a very important aspect of skincare. In this post pandemic world, we live in, its ideal to shower at least once a day. The thought of climbing into bed after an activity filled day makes my skin itch.

Be Openminded. In chatting with people across the board, I have heard so many different ways of caring for my skin. I mean from all-natural products all the way up to the latest scientific gadgets; some of which cost an arm and a leg. It has been intriguing to learn so many different ways. You can never know until you try and sometimes getting things done using technological enhancements or procedures may be the best route for some. For others, its a combination of both so called ‘extremes’.

Use a Water Based Moisturizer. Lotions without any of the nasty chemicals. Serums and natural oils responsibly sourced are also great for the skin Ex. Olive, Almond, Vitamin E oils.

Post Pandemic? …You Have Options. Here are some products that help. Antibacterial soaps and washes. Sugar scrubs. A pumice stone for your feet. Feminine washes for the ladies – those that contain tea tree oil are great. Clean razors and shaving creams. Waxes. Facial washes and scrubs. Exfoliators. Toners and Astringents. Masks. Safe sulphate free shampoos. Face clothes, loofas, body brushes and sponges.

Sunscreen is Vital. We all need protection from UV-rays.

Check out my last post on skincare here: Cosmetic Products…Phase or Maze https://myeamba.com/2016/12/05/cosmetic-products-phase-or-maze/

Folks, I had a blast writing this post and still feel that I have so much more to learn about skincare. I don’t think we will ever get to a point where we’ve nailed down the perfect routine quite frankly because technology is always changing and scientific breakthroughs these days are a dime a dozen. However, having an open mind to learn and experience new options have helped me a whole lot. Until I come your merry way again, please like, follow and share your thoughts on your own skincare routine. Be safe and upbeat!

Periwinkle Starr

P.S.: Majority of the photos used in this post are culled from Freepik.

Keeping Up with Your Fitness Goals in a Fast-Paced World!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the world. Spring Break is finally here, and I am officially over the cold weather. Spring cleaning has begun, and I have spent my weekend decluttering, cleaning and organizing. I must say that I am satisfied with the progress made so far. It is almost that time when we swap out our winter gear for lighter layers. Yesterday was my first time going hiking in a long time – prior to this, the weather has either been too cold or too windy. Being stuck at home or on the road makes it harder to keep up with any kind of fitness regimen. But at the end of the day, the scale does not lie and in order to stay healthy, one of the best ways to do that is to keep one’s weight down…as naturally as possible.

Be Active Any Chance I Get. Take the stairs. Have a workout app on your phone. When traveling, map your stay in areas that give you access to a gym. Always pack a pair of trainers. Walk as much as I can especially when in big cities. Swim. Zumba. Dance. Move.

Always have healthy snack options available. Whether it’s packing my lunch, baking healthy, low-calorie snacks or having fruits and veggies, I’m able to make better decisions about food because when I’m hungry, I tend to reach for high-volume, high calorie or filler foods that obliterate my diet.

Vitamin Supplements Do Help. Living in somewhat of a fast-paced lifestyle, it’s very easy to be low on some vitamins or minerals. In this post covid world we live in, keeping our bodies in tip top condition is the better option. When you have family and dependents, being sick is a luxury you cannot always afford.

Intermittent Fasting Works. Sometimes I feel like an overstuffed turkey because everything revolves around food. Slowly incorporating intermittent fasting into my daily routine helps my metabolism burn off excess calories but also allows my system to rest from trying to process something every other hour of my waking day.

Smoothies Are King! When done right, smoothies can be a great source of nutrients, antioxidants and fiber. The fewer the ingredients, the lower the calories the better. Trust me when I say that I would rather eat a full meal than make a 10-ingredient smoothie. They do exist.

Protein Powders are Great. When used as meal replacers, protein powders are a great way to augment my diet especially when I’m on the go. I try to find shakes that taste great, dissolve well and those I can drink alone or add to other foods and drinks. Finding the right one for you needs some research of the ingredients and buyer reviews. It will save you time.

Don’t Stop Snacking – Just Make Healthier Choices. Being a natural born snacker -if that is even a real thing – depriving myself does not work long term. I get on a strict regimen that lasts for a couple of months and then I just give in and eat everything I’ve craved for the past months. I learned that this part of me will probably never change… EVER so I’ve swapped my unhealthy choices for healthier options like homemade popcorn, low calorie frozen desserts, dehydrated fruit, nuts and home baked low-calorie treats.

Folks, we’re still in the first quarter so don’t give up yet. The gyms are still packed but I can see the numbers dwindling down because life gets in the way. I’ve learned that anything I don’t make time for or prioritize will soon be relegated to the background. Feel free to like, follow and share your tips and tricks on how you stay committed to your fitness goals with other readers. The more motivated we are together, the better we become. Until I come your way again, be positive, dream big and stay on the wagon!!!

Periwinkle Starr

P.S.: All photos are culled from Freepik.

Starting Fresh in 2023…Making Egg Rolls in the Kitchen!

Hello Y’all! Happy New Month & Year; and I hope you are doing well in your corner of the world. We had a snow-mageddon in Texas this week, so it felt like the pandemic all over again. Being trapped in the house within proximity to the fridge and pantry was awesome in good and bad ways. But it was good not having to fight my way through traffic and bad because there wasn’t a separation between home and work. But any way, we have one more freeze coming up and we should be done with winter. I missed writing so if you’re reading this, thank you from North Texas!

Let’s chat while I try my hands at a new recipe…..(drum roll) I’m making veggie egg rolls!! Ingredients: Cabbage, Carrots, Green Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Sesame Seed Oil, Olive Oil and Soy Sauce. How to Make: Clean and shred your Cabbage, grate your Carrots, Chop your Garlic, Green Onions and Ginger. Heat a pan and add olive oil. Sautee the ginger and garlic together. After fragrant, add the cabbage, carrots and stir. Add the green onions and let cook. Add a tablespoon of Soy Sauce and a tablespoon of Sesame Oil. Stir for a few minutes then remove from stove and allow to cool. Roll your egg rolls and use a baking brush and water to seal. Spray your air fryer with cooking spray and lay out. Spray the rolls with some butter cooking spray so it isn’t too dry. Cook at 350F for 10 minutes. Use a dipping sauce of choice. Calories are about 70-75 each.

Starting Fresh!

If you read my last post, I did a look back on the past year and areas that I could improve on. This was very insightful for me so much so; I had to share it with you. The year always begins with resolutions, packed gyms, packed libraries, packed learning centers and religious buildings. By years end, its reported that only 9% of the population actually follow through on their resolutions. I like to call them ‘tweaks’. For some reason, the word ‘Resolutions’ just sound unattainable. Here are some of my tweaks for 2023. If I can get myself to move from a 5 to a 7, that, to me is success! Perfection does not exist and if you know anyone who is, they’re probably crazy underneath it all…LOL.

Self-Care – Taking the time to rejuvenate and do the things you love and not just for everybody else.

Slow Down – Stress is the root cause of a lot of the ailments people suffer.

Scale Back on Excesses – Whether it’s unnecessary spending, snacking, drinking, or even saying yes to every request that comes your way. Balance is the key.

Be Mindful of Time – Timing is everything. We can always do better. Something as simple as going to bed an hour early can increase your productivity levels and alertness during the day.

Get Your Work Done – In Texas, we say ‘You need to bite the bullet’ to get things done sometimes. It means sometimes you may need to be uncomfortable for a little while to attain a goal, a dream, task or fulfill a promise.

Rest – Need I say more.

Be Organized – Always position yourself for whatever life throws at you. We have no control but we can always do the best with what we’ve got.

The Gift of Giving – When you step outside of yourself and give of your time and resources, whether it be by volunteering or serving in your community, it makes you grateful for the things you may take for granted. Giving is a two-way street. Both parties benefit immensely.

Positivity is Contagious – Surround yourself with positive people and if there aren’t any around you, be positive no matter what.

Folks it’s good to be back and writing again. Let me know how I did on those egg rolls and what new habits you intend imbibing in the new year. Until I come your way again, be safe, stay healthy and remain positive.

Periwinkle Starr

A Look Back at 2022 – An Epiphany of Sorts.

Happy Holidays and a belated Merry Christmas to all! I hope you are doing amazingly well in your corner of the world. 2022 is at its end and I am resting my way into 2023 but also taking the time to look back over the last 362 days. Taking time off to rest every now and again is so vital to being fit and healthy. Sometimes we don’t even know how exhausted we are until our body breaks down and we’re bedridden and forced to rest. Anyway, I’m warm and cozy, have my hair in a bun, my snacks nearby and I’m ready to dive into today’s post.

I Had An Epiphany….

I realized that ‘Everything matters’…We are very fond of separating our lives into compartments like work life, relationships, religion, health & fitness, friendships, hobbies etc. But in actual fact, these pieces make up who we are and are intertwined or bleed into every other area no matter how hard we may try to compartmentalize. One area that’s not doing so well affects every other area. ‘Yeah…yeah, we know that already’, I imagine some reader say but take a minute to think it through.

Every step counts. I mean this literally. It’s hard to keep up with a fitness regimen. All the determination in the world will get you nowhere if your body is tired. On days where I can’t drive my tired body to the gym, I can walk through the house, go up and down the stair’s multiple times, do online Zumba, stretch or exercise in place. You’ll still burn calories which is better than not exercising at all.

Hydration is huge part of weight loss. I didn’t know this until a friend of mine who is a fitness buff and competitive lifter shared this with me. Being hydrated with WATER removes toxins from your system, aids digestion, reduces constipation, and improves your skin, brain function and overall health. When I hear medical professionals tell the public to drink 8 glasses of water a day, I roll my eyes because no one and I mean NO ONE is drinking that much water…its soo boring especially when you have zero calorie diet drinks and everything else out there. I know I wasn’t. But to get there, start by buying a half gallon water bottle. It doesn’t feel like that many glasses but trust me that I exceed this quantity in water intake these days. This water bottle changed my life and I know it can change yours.

Sleep is important. If you’re always on the go during a typical work week, take one day on the weekend to sleep, rest, relax and let your body recharge. When you rest, your cortisol levels come down, this signals to your body that you can relax; stress reduces and the craving for salty and sweet snacks go down. Its literally a domino effect. If you have a bad or poor sleep routine, it’s only a matter of time before it begins to take its toll on your life.

Procrastination has an effect on weight loss. Quit telling yourself that you will start tomorrow. You would start walking, start dieting, sign up for a gym membership, join a fitness group, sign up for a personal trainer…..you get the gist. START NOW! Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Opt for a low calorie dressing on your salad instead a high carb option. Opt for a healthy midnight snack or pass on a second serving at meals. What really matters are the baby steps.

You can’t do it alone. There is that 1% of individuals who lose ALL their weight in their basement while livestreaming on YouTube. Well, I hate to break it to you, but those individuals are far and in between. The rest of us who are the 99% need to have a support system, people with similar goals, text groups and accountability partners to motivate us on our down and lazy days. Now, if you aren’t sure where to find ‘those’ people, start with your circle. Find out from friends, neighbors and ask if they’re interested in starting for example a mall walking group, joining a class etc. If that isn’t successful, you can find fitness groups online via social media. There are no excuses. There is a group for everyone out there.

Little Habits = Big Results. Friends, if you’ve been with me on this journey for a couple of years now, you’d notice that I’m very skeptical about instant results especially when it comes to diet, health and weight loss. Not only does it take a toll on your body, but your brain hasn’t had enough time to master or take on new habits. Anything too fast or hastily done in my opinion isn’t sustainable. Start by tweaking the little things and slowly override the old you with who you want to become by imbibing new habits and better lifestyle choices.

2022 has been a good year. Life is seemingly back to ‘normal’. To all the readers of Periwinkle Starr, thank you for being a part of my journey. Thank you for the likes, comments and follows. The new year will be even better. Until I come your way again, be safe, upbeat and have a Happy and Amazing New Year!

Periwinkle Starr

(P.S. All photos are culled from the internet).

Meal Planning During the Ember Months!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the world. It’s been a minute since my last post, and it’s been very busy but also very good. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christm ahem…Fall and I’ve officially switched out my Summer garb for Fall. One of the things I love to do each year is go through the house and gather all the items I have but don’t use – and I know deep down that I may never ever use – and donate them to the community thrift store to help families in need especially at this time of the year. It’s awesome because I not only get to declutter, but I narrow my chances of ever becoming a hoarder in the future. It’s a win- win for both parties!…atleast I think so.

Anyways, as the year begins to wind down and the festivities kick in especially with parties, dinners, sweet treats and tons of sugar, I feel like the only way to balance it out can be achieved by planning my meals so that I’m nourished and not starving myself; but also controlling my portions so when I’m out and about, I can enjoy myself without feeling any guilt.

Culled from Freepik.com

When it comes with meal prepping, you first of all have to have a goal and know how you’re going to execute it. You have to prepare for shopping for foods YOU like to eat but are also healthy for you. Please don’t just follow all those YouTube videos prepping foods off someone else’s menu. This is one of the reasons why meal plans very often fail within the first few weeks.

A Few Things To Consider When Meal Planning

Pick a day to go shopping for ‘small’ food storage containers, cooking utensils, groceries and condiments. Block out a time for meal prepping.

Only make meals for a couple of days at a time. I usually prep for a five-day work week or four days; and I give myself a cheat day – this is when I get tired of eating my own food and just want to switch it up.

Create some variety. Having overnight oats with berries or an oatmeal muffin or a slice of banana bread,….there shouldn’t be too many options so you’re not wasting food. Choose recipes that are super easy to make, easy to portion out and store in the fridge for a few days.

Make it a balanced diet. If you’re having a lot of carbs, starches or heavy recipes, portion control is important. You can balance that out with steamed veggies, lean protein or a green smoothie. There are a plethora of food options that make quick meals, are great, and gluten free. Some of my favorites include Cauliflower Rice, Millet, Quinoa, Bell peppers, Chicken, Eggs, Oats etc.

Limit eating between meals because if you meal plan, and snack throughout the day and constantly eat out…it pretty much defeats the purpose.


By eating nutritious and homemade food, you cut back on unhealthy sugars, additives, calories and cravings. Weight loss. You save money – you get more bang for your buck. Above all, your body will thank you for it.

Folks, the holidays are here, and most diets go out the window before it even begins. One way of not losing all the progress you’ve made is to find some balance where you can enjoy it all without the guilt. Until I come your way again, I hope you enjoy the weather, attempt to meal plan and see how it goes. Be safe and have a fun month!

Periwinkle Starr

Getting Out of My Own Way!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the globe. We are in the Ember month already and slowly winding down to the end of another great year. In the last month, I have embarked on a journey of changing up what I’d call my norm. I started out small with changing up my routes to work every week and then trying out new foods when grocery shopping. I tend to head straight to the produce I like to eat and skirt past anything that looks odd, has a weird name or looks like it would be too much of a hassle to prepare. But I’m getting out of my own way. I didn’t know I would be sharing my journey on here, so a majority of the photos are from the net. But I discovered some pretty amazing things. I would purchase something randomly, google and ask questions about it then I’d try it. These are my findings:

Jicama – Looks like a root but full of fiber and reportedly great for digestion, heart disease, fights cancer, boosts brain function, a substitute for high carb foods and getting rid of bad cholesterol amongst other things. Not sure it’s going to be my favorite staple going forward but I tried. It has an earthy but mildly sweet taste when eaten raw. I boiled it then placed it on a baking sheet and baked it.

Culled from the Internet

Dragon Fruit – So far, this was my favorite option. This is a really delicious fruit that’s even sweeter when ripe. It’s great for digestion and gut health, weight loss, hair health, improving skin radiance, helps improve asthma conditions.

Culled from the internet

Kiwano Melon – Also known as a horned melon is a beautiful fruit; something I would rather place on my shelf for decorative purposes than eat. When cut open, it looks like a cross between a cucumber and a kiwi. It has a salty taste to it and a little tang; and has so many nutritional benefits such as antioxidants, weight loss, lowering blood sugar levels, helps red blood cell reproduction, improves mood, and much more. It’s a little on the pricy side depending on where you are but worth trying.

Barley Tea – An east Asian drink made from roasted barley and reportedly aids in weight loss, blood sugar regulation, aids digestion, and may improve male fertility problems. Well, I tried it. Its tasteless and usually drank unsweetened. It has a mild hint of bitterness to it as well. More benefits include sleep regulation, curing the common cold, blood thinner, lowering bad cholesterol and improving weight loss. However, this drink isn’t the best for gluten sensitive individuals or those with celiac disease.

Culled from the internet

Sesame Seeds (White) – This an awesome addition to smoothies. It is tasteless with a hint of grain. It’s a great source of fiber, lowers bad cholesterol, very good plant protein source if you are vegan, reportedly lowers high blood pressure especially systolic numbers, supports healthy bones, reduces inflammation in the body, a great source of B vitamins, helps stabilize blood sugar, helps blood formation, rich in antioxidants, hormone regulation, bone and immune support.

Periwinkle Starr

Folks, I have spent the last month getting out of my normal routine and expanding my experiences in my little corner in North Texas – and it’s been refreshing if I must say, and I would like to keep at it going forward. I remember a saying by Hippocrates ‘Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food’. My only way of finding out is to try. Until I come your way again, don’t just skirt by those unknown produce in the grocery store or farmers market, be curious, ask questions or better still – try it!

Periwinkle Starr

Miami in the Summer!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. As promised, I’m back with another post all the way from North Texas. As is the norm, we had 3-digit temperatures a couple of weeks back so being able to get away for a while was a relief. We were in Miami!!! One of the things I was excited about was the fact I would be out of the oven and in proximity to huge ‘natural’ bodies of water, and lots of negative ions; not the artificial water holes and fake lakes we have in my part of Texas. When it comes to vacations, it’s so easy to want to jet off somewhere FOREIGN but I feel like there is so much more to see and to experience in my own backyard that I had not really appreciated before now. These are some of the things I noticed on my trip to Miami, Florida so stay with me.

The Sun Shines Differently. Something about the sky and the sun is so different from North Texas. No matter how much sunscreen or hats you wear, you will be tanned…. disproportionately if I might add. 😂😂

It’s So Tropical. The palm trees, lush vegetation, greenery everywhere is so calming and gives me that sense of being closer to nature. If you build plant it, it will grow is my new motto for Miami.

A plethora of Beaches to choose from. There are many beaches there, but South Miami beach was the nicest…in my opinion. There was washed up sea moss and seashells on the shore. Getting waist deep into the waves, I could see small fishes probably eating the plankton off the moss. The water was so salty it stung a bit the first couple times I got in the water. However, it felt so rejuvenating.

The food is GREAT! No matter where we went, what kind of food we ate ex. Cuban, Asian, Vegan, American, Italian, the food was amazing and always served hot…and I mean with steam emanating out of it. This happened everywhere we ate so I guess it’s a ‘thing’ in Miami.

Floridians Appear to be More Fit than most. I saw less heavy-set people in Miami, and I got to thinking, we do love our cars, meat and potatoes in Texas. So…..it’s to be expected.

Downtown is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I love architecture so being Downtown in the middle of the action was a must. There are boat tours especially in the Miami Circle area Downtown. Nice restaurants overlooking the water and that fresh ocean breeze.

Some Things to Be Aware of in Miami.

Finding Parking is a Bear. A stranded hiker in the mountains has more luck finding cell service than it is to find parking especially in the downtown area. Hope on your luck or leave the day before…lol. Just kidding. But the city never sleeps so uber or taxi your way when you’re in the dense downtown area or bite the bullet and pay the price for parking. We literally had to download parking apps to pay for parking while we were there.

It’s Pretty Pricy. Being a tourist City, it does get expensive.

The lizards. We were near the coast and there were these Iguana lizards that would sometimes run when they see you or just stand really still and watch you. Some were the sizes of designer dogs…I kid you not – we were told they were harmless and would only bite when threatened. ‘Bite you say?’ was my response. ‘No hablas iguanas’ was my best Spanish phrase for I don’t do Iguana’s.

Huge Snakes. They have issues of invasive python species especially if you reside in the sub urban areas or everglades. These reptiles were brought over as exotic pets from Asia and Africa. These have somehow infiltrated the wild, are breeding like crazy and are now leaving the swamps and moving into the city in search of food.

Alligator’s that can turn doorknobs of people’s homes and scale fences…and I’m not kidding. I literally fell out of my chair when I saw a video clip but it’s true. People fence their pools and cover the top with a cage of sorts because you may want to take a nice evening swim and find a 12-foot gator or python enjoying the comforts of your backyard.

Lower Temperatures, Higher Humidity. Being one to whine about the weather ALL – THE – TIME, the humidity was obviously high-er. Wearing light clothing especially cotton serves as a wick to cool you down faster as opposed to other fabrics. While enjoying my newfound freedom, my hair did frizz, become poofy and stick to my skin. But it didn’t bother me much. I was just happy to be there.

Well, folks I was glad to be a pseudo tourist for a few days in Miami but happier to be back home. Like me, try to get out of your usual regimen and explore some of the jewels in your own backyard. Your likes, comments and follows are always welcome. Be safe, stay healthy and optimistic. Until I come your way again, I remain,

Periwinkle Starr 💕

Summertime Shenanigans: GF Baking with a Twist!

Hello Y’all! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s been a whirlwind of sorts lately but well worth it. We’re officially in three-digit temperatures and it’s getting unbearable by the day, but this is Texas, and the desert heat does not play….at all. Summer is the best time for the outdoors. It’s a great time to hike, swim, attend crawfish boil parties, go salsa/bachata dancing, go to the beach, outdoor concerts, do touristy things in your city like checking out local restaurants in your area, visit historic sights, and have fun in the sun – while wearing floral prints and enjoying every minute of it.

It’s the weekend and one of my favorite times to try out new recipes but also doing my best to incorporate healthy ingredients when I can. Today I am trying out a GF Yellow Cake Mix but adding my own twist to it. Being one to skip breakfast on a regular basis, having a healthy-er snack late in the morning will tide me over until lunchtime. Instead of reaching for a sugar filled, calorie dense treat, I feel like this recipe is a much better option.

Update on Health Goals

Culled from my food diary

I’m still on track with eating healthy but also staying fit by being active every other day. One of the things I’ve done recently is trying out new and unknown veggies when I go to the shops. For some, this is the norm but those of us who have that ‘stick to what you know’ mindset, it’s a big step…in the right direction. Bok Choy has been my latest addition and I find it to be an interesting option but also very filling. I’m looking forward to what my next experiment will be. Now let’s get back to baking, shall we?

Typical Cake Mix Ingredients: 3/4 Cup of Water, 1/2 Stick of Butter, 2 tsp GF Vanilla and 2 Eggs. My Added Ingredients: 1/2 Cup of Roasted Salted Almonds, 1/2 Cup of GF Oats, 2 Scoops of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Monk Fruit GF Sweetener, 2-3 Scoops of GF Baking Flour. Utensils: Mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, 2 Baking Pans – To get flat square feel, and a spatula.

Let’s Go! Combine the cake mix ingredients together in a bowl. Add oats and mix. Add GF Flour. Keep mixing and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sweetener and set aside. Chop the almonds and place to the side. Grease both pans and add a dash of GF flour. Pour in the batter into the pans and spread around. Sprinkle in the almonds and lightly mix without letting the spoon go all the way down to the bottom of the pan. Using a spoon drizzle 3 tablespoons or more per pan of the cocoa mix on top and with a plastic knife or chopstick, run through the batter to get that lush chocolate swirl design. Bake at 350F with constant checks until the cake separates from the edges of the pan and the top is golden. Toothpick checks every 15 minutes is great.

Tips: This turned out great, but it had a slight hint of dryness. I would add an extra tablespoon of butter to the batter in my next attempt. Folks I missed writing, but I sure am glad to be back. Feel free to share any healthy twists you are incorporating into your favorite recipes. Until I come your way again, I hope like me, you keep enjoying life and working on your health goals. Please like, comment and follow http://www.myeamba.com for more!! I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

Summer Vacation Aftermath!

Hello Y’all! It sure feels great to be back with another post. I hope you are doing well in your corner of the globe. I just got back from a much needed and well-deserved vacation, and I made a vow to myself to not ever go for long periods without actually taking the time to pack my bags and go SOMEWHERE, because stay-cations don’t cut it anymore. I turned off my phone and didn’t give a thought to work all the while I was gone. I did glance at my emails every now and then to make sure no one was harming themselves or getting into any crazy mischief while I was gone…Ha ha! Buy yes, its so nice to come to you with another post. Its amazing how getting time off to rest does wonders for every part of my being.

Vacations for me mean that ALL diets are off or in some way reduced to the barest medium. One thing I did as soon as I returned was to take a dose of a gentle laxative to clear my gut of any and all the junk I ingested,….in many ways, giving my digestion somewhat of a fresh start. Also drinking a lot of fresh clean water to rehydrate my body is something I’m incorporating.

Staying Focused and Loving Every Moment of It.

Culled from the internet

Some of the things I am incorporating post vacation have been helpful to me and my hope is that it helps someone else enjoy their time off without guilt but also get back in the saddle when they return home.

Big Volume, Low Carb Foods. The list is long and instead of just listing the foods on here, I’m including links to some of the youtubers that have been tremendously helpful in steering me in the right direction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIOk6o5_xS8; and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvaJfRtrJxg

Walk at least 10,000 steps a day. You can build up your resistance to do more. In my case, doing one loop around my favorite trail gets me 5000 steps so my goal is to do two loops and try to build my stamina as I go. It’s so hot in North Texas this period, my plan is to walk indoors…..instead of burning in the heat.

Don’t Deprive Yourself. Find healthy alternatives for the treats you love. I recently found a GF chocolate cookie mix and I’m going to try it out.

Try Dry Packaged Soup Mixes. These are not only healthy for you, but they are easy to make and keep you full for longer while supporting your weight loss goals.

Never Compromise on Sleep. People gain weight when they are stressed. Cortisol levels rise and the body goes into hibernation mode. This stems from the early man having to weather all kinds of hardships to survive – like harsh winters, famine and only God knows what…maybe fighting off dinosaurs? LOL! At least 7 to 8 hours will do great for your body, your mind and your emotions. If you can’t afford to sleep that long, consider taking short 30 minute to an hour-long nap during the day. That will help tremendously.

Get Your Fiber Intake Up. A diet rich in fiber helps with weight loss and an overall balanced diet. The times I’ve seen myself pack on the pounds was when I was eating a lot of high carbs, starchy and sweet foods. Fiber helps speed up your weight loss.

Stay Positive. You are what you think and if you believe you can, you will. Real and healthy weight loss takes time and is not a quick fix. It slowly gives your body time to adjust instead of the shock the body receives when you cut corners. Unless its life threatening, I’m really concerned about surgeries, or those trips people make to developing countries to get all kinds of procedures done.

Having Courage to Deal with Emotional Baggage. Sometimes, weight gain may be due to natural causes – a slow metabolism, thyroid issues or more. Other times, it could be due to an unresolved issue that triggers incessant snacking, binge eating or not eating at all. Doing the best to face up to any emotional issues clears me of any reasons I have to not lose weight or maintain a healthy body and instead focus my attention on resolving any medical issues or underlying conditions.

Folks, it’s so nice to be back home and writing again. Please like, comment and follow. Until I come your merry way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr