Trick Yourself into Loosing a Few…

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Hello y’all! Hope your week has been nothing short of amazing in your part of the world? I guess I spoke too soon, the burn is back in North Texas, and no… this is not another whining session. It’s almost like we can’t ever be happy. Its too hot, it’s too cold, it’s too muggy… on and on like some of the creepy toys with recorded voices sold back in the day when I was growing up – that should have been illegal by the way. Anyway,s this weeks post is about something I have thought about a lot and I have had several chats with friends for a while now.

The Dilemma!

It’s a no brainier that the older we get, the harder it is for our bodies to bounce back from all the sugar, drinks and our predominantly high carb diet. I started believing that the scale was not my friend anymore; when in actual fact, your metabolism is slowing down and you need to be twice as active just to keep up. It’s like waking up one morning and walking past a mirror before doubling back and screaming ‘What is happening to me’? – a little dramatic you might say but the struggle is beyond real. Not taking yourself serious enough is what is happening. Rome wasn’t built in a day just like those pounds didn’t pop up overnight. The usual progression is about 10 pounds per year and viola!…I look like I ate a wildebeest for breakfast with a wardrobe full of clothes that do not fit.

Allow me to paint a picture in your mind – a picture of the solar system, with the planets spinning around the sun. Now imagine you are the sun, the center of ‘your’ universe and the planets represent other aspects of your life – family, work, relationships, dreams and goals. If you’re happy with yourself and that includes being satisfied with who you are in the core of your being, then everything else benefits and your world is so much better.

So Lets Start Small !!

•          Start taking walks

•          Opt for tea instead of hot chocolate or all those lattes.

•          Reduce your portions and increase your meals.

•          Make up for your excesses with more time spent being active.

•        Never use the word ‘diet’. Your brain will go into panic mode and start                storing aka hoarding excess glucose and some people end up gaining weight when dieting instead of loosing weight. The key is to eat more small portioned and healthy meals; this will trick your brain into thinking there’s always going to be food coming in thereby prompting it to release the excess glucose and you’ll start to shed.

•          Drink more water and less soda or fizzy drinks and less alcohol.

•          Your body deserves rest. All nighter’s are inevitable but sleep is a key ingredient to weight loss and maintenance.

•          Do a gut cleanse. The cravings for sugar, sweet treats and carbs may be due to an imbalance in your digestive tract. First do your research and proceed with a mild cleanse before going hardcore. Its best to check with your healthcare provider before embarking into the unknown.

These are simple tips that gradually ease you into the process and I’m positive you will be shedding a few in no time…only if you stick to the plan. Thanks for reading! Follow me and share your experiences on how to trick your body into shedding a few! Until I come your way next time, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

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The French and Their Sense of Fashion.

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Hello Starr Readers! I hope your week has been nothing short of amazing in your part of the world. I can gladly say that the burn is over…at least for now. There is something amazing yet unpretentious about the french people. An elegance and class that isn’t perceived by the showiness of outward apparel but by a simplistic appeal that is rare to find. Growing up, I had private french lessons for a while. At some point, I could understand conversations and speak it but I never followed through on being fluent. As the years went by, I literally forgot most – if not all of it; but i never forgot the style, the grace and poise of my tutor which brings fond memories that i think are worth emulating today.

When it comes to style, the rest of the western world take their cue from the french people. To be à la Parisienne, there is a standard of beauty and elegance coupled with an under toned rebel beneath the surface – a defiance to popular trends of following the status quo that one must posses. The way you move, how you open your bag, how you cross your legs – just little things. It is said that, ‘you see a french woman first before you see her clothes’ and they do not overdress. A couple of style icons that are a source of inspiration to me lately are Bridgett Bardot, Audrey Tauton, Carla Bruni and Constance Jablonski; their sense of fashion is classic!

How To Be A Style Icon – With French Elegance!!

♦     Less is more – is much more! Designer pieces and accessories are great but the      problem comes when you have the name brand of every designer who has walked the earth on every part of your ensemble. When there’s too much going on in your appearance, you become a blob of ‘designer everything’ – which is too much stimulus to take in all at once talk less of being fully appreciated for all your effort.

♦     Alluring pieces that give what I like to call ‘The Push – Pull Effect’. A leather jacket which is considered hard over a soft floral dress. A beige pair of pants over an an insanely bright blouse. Minimal makeup when wearing bold colors or jewelry.

♦     Disheveled is not always a bad thing. The clothes look put together but not in a stiff or stoic way. A look that seems effortless, soft and graceful but also well thought out.

♦     Minimal accessories. Investing in good pieces every now and then is a great way to accessorize any outfit – a really nice bag, a nice hair piece or sunshades; these add to your look without being too overpowering.

♦     A lot of neutrals. The ability to mix and match when you have neutral items of clothing in your closet open up endless possibilities especially when you have a time crunch.

Are you French? Have you  ever been to France or lived in France at some point in time? Your comments are welcome! Feel free to share your thoughts about the things you love about the fashion sense and lifestyle of the french people. I’m attaching a few pictures of the Winter/Fall French Fashion Week for 2017 that I find really cool. The countdown is on for French Fashion Week come September 25 through October 3, 2018. Until I come your way again, I remain

 

 

Periwinkle Starr

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Slow Cooking …In Texas!

Hey Y’all! I hope your week has been as hot as mine. If you’re in North Texas, you know that there isn’t any escape from the heat at this time of year. I was in Austin for work and found it nice and pleasant…and by nice I’m referring to 86°F of sunshine. That was heaven compared to the miniature hell hole I have found myself in the last couple of weeks 😦 I can literally cook breakfast aka make scramble eggs on the bonnet of my car – it’s not even funny anymore; and ‘No!’ There is no upside to this situation. No bag of gold at the end of this rainbow, just heat…and lots of it. Anyways, I just needed to whine for a quick second.

In spite of the heat, I found myself making excuses just to stay home in the cool and do nothing; it wasn’t long before the scale started to ‘lie on me’…ha ha!

My Turning Point

Here I was trying to figure out how I was going to get more exercise without straining myself excessively when I got a message from a friend of mine asking if I wanted to go walking in the evenings? My reply was…YES!!! I got off my couch, put on my trainers and literally ran out the door before I could convince myself otherwise. My first walk was painful…and yes I said “walk’. I didn’t realize how unfit I was. We started walking a little over 5 miles four times a week. JUST. LIKE. THAT! If i could spend time watching TV for at least an hour each day, then I could walk for an hour and some every other day. So we would meetup at a park close to both our homes and off we went. Its been almost a month since I started walking outside and I feel so much better. I’m not up to running yet but I can do a light jog…(tongue hanging out) LOL!

Benefits of Walking

You’re out in nature.  You’re breathing in natural air and not central air. You get to catch up with friends. You will improve your circulation and in turn, your heart will thank you. You will begin to loose weight at a steady pace over time instead of crash diets and killer workout routines – in this heat!!

Safety Tips When Walking

•      Have your phone on you always.

•      Walk with friends or fitness buddies.

•      Having pepper spray on you doesn’t hurt.

•      If you’ve got allergies, take medication.

•      Walk in well lit areas.

These are a few pics from my trail. Let me know what tips you can share to stay fit. until I come your way again, stay cool, fit and hydrated.

 

Periwinkle Starr

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Near Death Experience…New Outlook on Life

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Happy New Month Y’all!! Can you believe its July already? Well, I can. Time flies by when your’re fully occupied. One of my favorite things of the season is being able to dress lighter; you can almost never go wrong with all those insanely bright colors. I finally (rolling eyes) got around to packing up my winter clothes and making room for my summer clothes…LOL, so don’t be down on yourself if its the middle of the year and you haven’t organized your closet space yet. Now, as much as I love writing about all things ‘light’, fun and positive; I also love to write about deep life experiences and the lessons I learned in the process. Today’s post is one of those.

That Fateful Day.

One sunny day, years ago; I had gotten some time off and wanted start my day with running a few errands before settling in to chill, relax and take it easy. I made a stop at a Goodwill store to drop off some items I had kept for so long but couldn’t find the time to give away. I remember driving down the road about 5 miles from home and getting close to one of the traffic lights on my way. It was green as I approached it and suddenly changed to yellow the closer I got to the light. It remained on yellow for longer than a light would usually be and so I decided I would cross it.

All I remember was seeing a huge dark shadow come from the my side and in a split second, all I felt and heard was ‘Bam’!! I saw myself in the car but it felt like I wasn’t bound by gravity. It reminds me of those car collision tests with dummies where the impact is recorded and replayed in slow motion. My car somersaulted 3 times and landed on its roof.

I was hanging upside down supported by my seat belt when the daze started to wear off. The windshield was cracked, the doors were smashed in – totally destroyed. There was shattered glass all around me. I reached for the door but couldn’t get it to open. The window in the back seat to the right was busted open and this was going to be the only way to get out of the car. I released the seat belt lock and hit the roof. There were pieces of glass that cut my hands and knees as I crawled out of the car.

By this time, people rushed to help. The paramedics, the police and more people came unto the scene. My car was rammed on the driver’s side by a black Ram truck. As I was been attended to, one of the questions I was asked was how I came out of the car and how possible it was that I had just a few cuts on my knees and hands. There were measurements taken of the window I had crawled out of and all the police could say was ‘you are an extremely lucky lady’. The car was totaled. The emotional trauma was so much, it took me a couple of months to remember everything that actually happened because all my body did was kick-in in that moment to survive.

A Faulty Traffic Light.

That particular light was shut down and covered for repairs 2 days later; and even though I was given a ticket, I didn’t care to dispute it or go to court to prove anything…I was just happy and so grateful to be alive. All I wanted was for the whole ordeal to be over and done with…fast! I needed to get on with life.

My Outlook On Life Since Then…

Life is so fragile. A split second is all it takes and it can be all over. Knowing this reality humbled me in so many ways, I can’t even begin to explain.

I became a more compassionate human.

My empathy for ‘ALL’ suffering grew. Now I wasn’t exactly an ice queen by any chance but I did have some frosting..ha ha. This experience taught me to feel for others and not just those within my sphere of life.

Dissatisfied with all things specious.

Learning to forgive ‘quicker’. Life is too short. We are not and will never be perfect. Each of us sees life through our own perspective of what we believe to be right about the world. With that been said, some things are not worth the drag – what if the person you hold a grudge against passes suddenly and you didn’t speak because of something not worth it after all.

I keep it moving. There’s a sense of urgency to push ahead and not hold unto things, ideals or pattern of action that aren’t working or delivering the desired results.

Appreciative of every single day. Every day is not perfect but you’re alive! You can still dream and it’s not too late to change or try something new.

My belief in a higher power. Nothing else but the Big Guy up there watching over me.

Thanks for reading. Hope y’all have a fabulous month ahead and get to enjoy some amazing fireworks on the 4th! Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

 

 

Summertime Luau’s.

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Aloha y’all!! The world cup is officially here and its been fun catching up on the games. So far, the 2018 games have been exceptional; it seems like I’ve seen almost everything under the sun from body painting, world cup kits, memes of coaches caught unawares and all kinds of social media foolery as a result…The pleasure of watching has been ALL mine. 😀 So a group of friends were organizing a Luau; this would be my first real Hawaiian themed party and I was so looking forward to it. So here’s my take on it. Stay tuned!

Learning the Hukilau!!

Come the day of the Luau. It was all things Hawaii. Everything ranging from the beach themed shirts, grass skirts, lei’s and flowers…lots of flowers. The story behind the Hukilau dance is based off of the fishing culture of the Hawaiian people. Huki means ‘to pull’, and luau means ‘leaves’. The song is about the fishermen throwing their net in the ocean and the fish lured into the net and then the people join hands in pulling the net out of the water. Learning the Hukilau fishing dance was pretty interesting but oh so graceful. Loved it! There were prizes for the best dressed and Jan a friend of mine won 110 percent – from the flowers on her head, the grass skirt, and more leis, even her shoes were Hawaiian themed that she made herself; while Ed won for the guys! There were dance competitions, photo booth as well as a Tiki bar. It was fun, relaxing and I have to say we all had a great time.

So guys and gals, summers here and its time to set it off on the right note. Lets get out and do something new, fun and a little outside of our norm. Let me know what summer events you’ve been on and ones you can recommend. Until I come your way again I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

 

 

Anthony Bourdain: A Friend in my Mind

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Friday morning was a mad dash. I was off to two different offsite meetings before heading back to work. At almost mid-day was when I looked up my twitter feed. In that moment, I felt like my heart skipped a beat. It read “Anthony Bourdain was found dead by suicide”. I didn’t really understand what it meant; I had just watched the last episode  of Parts Unknown on sunday so he was still pretty fresh in my mind. This week was awful for the entertainment industry, first Kate Spade and now Anthony. I was puzzled, sad, wondering, afraid, questioning all at the same time. Lets take a walk back to how he became a friend – in my mind.

An Authentic Human Being

Anthony Bourdain was a real and authentic human being. He had money, success, fame but he knew those things did not exempt him from life – the daily struggles of anyone alive on this planet. He was who he was and he wasn’t ashamed of it. His love of travel and of food took him all over the globe. He was curious about cultures different from his, intrigued about how people lived, their values and the things that set them apart from other groups. There had to be more to a person or groups of people and Bourdain understood that.

There was a humility about him; he was willing to travel to remote parts of the world to sit with total strangers, share a meal and just listen. He gave others a chance to paint their own pictures, an opportunity to tell their own story – not the scripts written by people outside their experience. He ate any where from the best restaurants in world to eating on street corners and in back alleys; on many occasions trying things from menu’s that some of us wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. This part of him I could so relate to because I have gotten sick so many times from tasting and trying different cuisines in the past that I made up my mind to live vicariously by watching Parts Unknown and the Travel Channel.

He had things that he struggled with, that was no secret. It was said that he ran from his demons but not fast enough. Could it be that if he had taken time to acknowledge the things he was struggling with instead of painting a different picture to the world, he might still be here. I remember his last visit to a remote village in Asia where he made an eerie comment saying ‘it would be the last time he would be back there’, – I cannot help but wonder if he already knew what he was going to do. So sad, sad indeed.

We can’t keep losing people like this.  Something as simple as talking to someone else can go a long way to being free. Diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle coupled with rest help re-center and refresh the body. Being in close contact with family, friends and loved ones keep us emotionally balanced. Mental illness is no respecter of persons. An icon was lost and we pray for peace for his family at this time.

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

Old Recipes Live Forever!!

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Hello Y’all! Happy Mothers Day!!! There are many amazing Mum’s in world but I am lucky to have the ‘BEST’ one! I remember growing up as a kid and having temper tantrums – and there were many – because I didn’t get something I wanted and often saying under my breath that I didn’t  want to be like my mum when I grew up. Well, fast forward to 2018… and I can say for a fact that I am a clone of her…ha ha! Its so bad that I would say something and all of a sudden I would have a dèjá vu moment where I know I’ve heard the exact same phrase before and truth be told, it was something she had said.

There are weekends that fly by so fast because I’m on the go-go-go and there are times where I stop everything I’m doing, kick back my shoes and just chill. On those days, I sometimes like to make homemade pancakes from scratch; and yes I said from scratch (no pancake mixes here), just like my mum made them for me growing up. Those pancakes made everything better and I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

My love of cooking and not being afraid to try my hands at different recipes started with a show I used to watch called the ‘Urban Peasant’ a looong time ago. It was about a  funny, easy going war veteran who loved to cook. He wasn’t perfect by any long shot but he made it fun and approachable and if a recipe didn’t turn out great; at least you knew what not to do the next time around. That show had a huge impact on me, not just in cooking but trying new things in life at least once.

Today is one of those days where I’m making a pastry that I grew up eating as a child without a care in the world. The recipe has evolved over the years but I’m of the school of thought that says ‘if it’s not broken, it doesn’t need fixing’! Its very easy to make and so simple anyone can make it…and I mean anyone. So keep reading!!

Recipe for Meat Pie!!!

Crust: 2 Cups of Flour. Salt ( 1 tsp). Baking Powder (1 tbsp). 1.5 Stick of butter. 1 Cup of ice cold water.

Filling: Half a red onion (finely chopped). 1 Medium potato. 16 oz. Ground beef. Thyme.  Black pepper. Cayenne pepper. Cooking oil.  1 Egg for basting. Salt.

It’s super easy! First measure the dry ingredients for the crust into a bowl then add the butter and knead. Slowly add the water, knead some more and set aside. Heat a pan or in my case a pot with cooking oil. Add the finely chopped onions and stir for 2 minutes. Add ground beef. Add thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt. Keep on stirring. Pour in the finely cubed potato and stir until fully cooked. That’s it for the filling!! Now take portions of the dough, roll out, add the filling, bast with the beaten egg and seal. Bake at 325 F until golden brown. Its so crumbly and tasty without all the heavy bready-ness and it goes with everything!! Here are some pictures below!

 

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Let me know what old recipes you love to make that work  everytime. Until I come your way again, I remain,

 

Periwinkle Starr