Its Fun Day Monday, Let’s Bake!

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Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s fun day Monday and what better way to start the work week than with a sweet treat to end a busy day.  I am trying a new recipe that I found online. A big shout out to Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest, I knew I wanted to make this from the moment I saw the outcome. This is going to be a little bit more complex than the recipes I usually make but I don’t want you running for the hills before figuring out what exactly it is.

Bursting Blueberry Cardamom Buckle!!!

I love blue berries and I think they taste great in E-V-E-R-T-H-I-N-G from muffins, cereal to pancakes. They are rich in antioxidants that help fight against aging and even are known to aid in lowering blood pressure. One of the things that make this recipe so easy to make is the fact that the ingredients are items you already have – lying around in your pantry. The only item I had to purchase was Cardamom and the grocery store brands are quite affordable so no excuses. There are three parts to this buckle. We have the batter, the berries and the crumble. Lets get started!!

Ingredients for the batter

♥ 1.5 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, 3/4 cup light brown sugar, 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter melted, 2/3 cup whole milk, 2 large eggs (or alternative), 2 tsp vanilla extract.

The berries

♥ 2 tsp lemon zest, 2 cups fresh blueberries.

The crumble

♥ 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 4 tbsp salted butter at room temperature.

Lets Do This!!

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cardamom and sugar.  Add butter, milk, eggs or alternative, vanilla. Mix together and set it aside.

Rinse the blueberries. Shave the lemon (in my case lime) unto the berries and mix together.  Pour the batter into the greased pan and sprinkle the zest-ed berries unto the batter.

For the crumble, mix together the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Hand mixing works great to ensure an even distribution of ingredients. Sprinkle unto zest-ed berries and bake for 45-55 minutes until golden on top. Let cool for a few minutes after baking and serve warm.

 

I hope you enjoy! Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

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Boundaries: The Key to a Healthier You!

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Hello beautiful people!! Its been a fun minute since my last post. I hope you’re doing well in your part of the world. I am so excited for the weather like you won’t believe. The warmth is here. There’s more daylight to enjoy and the Duchess of Sussex JUST HAD A BAYBAY!! Anyways just  like I always say, when it comes to the weather, we can never be happy for any extended period of time so I have resigned myself to the new norm – enjoy it until you don’t! This week I’m writing about something that’s very important to our existence as human beings and it’s called boundaries; so grab a cup of tea, some biscuits and get comfy.

In the past, I always thought of boundaries as something on the external, outside of me. Ever hear of the term, ‘they invaded my personal space’. Its often used to describe physical things – separate or outside of ourselves but there is a different way of looking at it. A boundary is something that bounds or limits according to the Urban Dictionary…

My Definition of Boundaries

What I will or will not permit, what I will or will not accept, what I will or will not yield myself to either in my emotional, mental, or physical experience as a human being.

In life, there are things we have control of  and there are  things we have no control over. An example would be setting off on a trip with no control as to what happens after you leave your home to get to your said destination. Whatever comes your way during your journey – you need not get worked up or attempt to burst a blood vessel because – it’s out of your control.

Boundaries are not just physical barriers that we put up to protect, preserve or maintain order but it can also be emotional, mental as well as spiritual boundaries. Without it, we would descend into chaos. Without boundaries, we would be out of sync and we would lack peace within ourselves and I mean the peace that radiates from the inside out not the faux zen with a thriving volcano seething just beneath the surface. Here are a few areas of life where I believe you and I need to maintain healthy boundaries in order to function at our optimal best. If we are lacking or out of sync in one or more of these areas, we might need to take a closer look and re-evaluate our reality.

•   Boundaries Within Families. It is very important to have boundaries between spouses, between parents and children and between siblings because these are the closest points of influence to us. When healthy boundaries exist in a family unit, it’s great but when it’s lacking, it could be hell-ish.

•   Social Boundaries – These are your interactions with people in your social circle. It’s very vital to surround yourself with healthy, upwardly mobile and those who make you grow in ways that pleasantly surprise even you. If there’s drama, gossip, knit picking and all kinds of elementary school foolery; it’s thank you – NEXT according to Ariana Grande.

•   Work/Life Boundaries.  A saying I can never forget says, ‘Work is a part of life. Work is not equal to life’. If you find yourself spending more time at work instead of with family, I believe it’s time to break the cycle and re-establish our boundaries again. By the way, there’s nothing to feel guilty about because we’ve all faltered at some point in our lives and will continue to do so. The goal is to enjoy life and not strive for unhealthy perfection.

•   Mental Boundaries. This is taking responsibility for your own mental health, wellness, and growth. Life happens to everyone and our goal (you and I) is to choose the right things to focus on in spite of our life circumstances. Knowing when to look at the big picture of events and when to zoom in to the fine details of life is key.  Getting facials and massages are nice but being responsible for your own mental growth and overall well being is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.

•   Re-Learning the Art of ‘NO’. Have you watched a toddler that’s learning to speak. My guess is their favorite word is no. Even for the things that they do need..ha ha! Now, that’s a little too extreme but I find that there are grown adults who have literally forgotten the art of saying no. They are bent out of shape and stretched too thin by takers who care nothing about the fact that these kind souls are literally ripping at the seams and cannot muster the courage to JUST SAY NO. We have all been there and done it at some point and there is no shame or judgement here. But a time comes when you come to yourself, you realize that even if you gave all you had including the very last drop of blood in your body to these people or person, it would never be enough. This realization is the beginning of freedom which in turn leads to the re-establishment of boundaries.

So feel free to like and share your thoughts and comments with me. I hope you enjoy the weather while its still ‘nice’ out. Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

Springtime in New Orleans

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Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world and your week has been off to a great start. The weather has been great!! For the first time in what seemed like forever, Dallasites can finally rid themselves of ‘most’ of their layers ha-ha! This winter was brutal in my opinion and seemed to last longer than winters of the last couple of years. I am so happy to ditch my boots for sandals and heels and I’m just about ready to pack up all my winter gear and reorganize my closet for summer. It almost feels like we can’t ever be happy with the weather. We (myself included) must always look for something to whine about no matter what.

First Time Ever!

It was my first time being in ‘Nawlins’ aka New Orleans.  Looking out at the terrain from my window seat, all I could see was ‘Swamp Land’.  It was waterlogged for miles and it reminded me of a fishing town. Upon landing, the weather was a good 69°F and the air was a little more weighty with a hint of moisture than what we get in Texas. We later had lunch at the famous Johnny’s Po-Boys restaurant which was really good. I never really knew why it was called a Po-Boy sandwich. Well, I learned it was called that because it’s what the poor people ate back in the day. Its a very basic sandwich with the option to have shrimp or fish on it – hence the term fish or shrimp Po-Boy.  The guy behind the counter reminded me of Popeye the sailor man and I’m not kidding.  He was a short  stocky man with curly dark hair. He wore a white apron and had muscular arms with a grunt to his voice that was funny when he barked out orders to the cook in the back who scrambled around while taking orders. Everyone who came in for lunch seemed to know him and make small talk with him while getting their food.

Our group had a few hours to wander into the French Quarter and sight-see before heading back, so off we went. Taking in the ambiance all around me kind of reminded me of the show Southern Charm and the possibility of recognizing any of the cast members from the show as we meandered our way through traffic to get to the famous Bourbon Street. There was music blasting so loud you had to raise your voice to be heard.  The houses were quaint, with the signature wrought iron balconies. There were hanging plants everywhere and one could not help but notice beads in trees, beads caught on bushes…I mean, it was bead central over there. We stopped to listen to some guy do a street jazz performance which was really cool. There were Daiquiri signs on almost every bar we passed and I learned that you’re free to walk around in the open with alcohol. At Jackson Square, we walked pass the monument, art galleries, masquerade and costume shops, street art displays, the St. Louis Cathedral, psychics sitting out in the open, and tons of voodoo shops which was the scariest part because business seemed to be booming with tourist going in and out of the shops. There were  ‘no picture’ signs at the entries so my guess is  that those indulging in the black arts did not want to be identified or photographed. We stopped at the Cafe Du Monde next to the French Market and I tried the signature Beignet (pronounced ‘been-yet’) with hot chocolate (it was 70°F) and it was amazing. Everyone was having hot chocolate in that heat so it wasn’t weird.  This wasn’t festival season so getting around on foot was really easy. I also tried authentic Jambalaya from a no name place which I found to be very savory. It wasn’t long after that we said goodbye to that charming and festive city.

A few pictures

Getting out and seeing different people and places is really interesting. Having the courage to explore the world around you is not always easy but it starts with putting one foot in front of the other. Springtime is here guys and ladies and its time to get out and explore. Until I come your way again, feel free to like, comment and share your experiences with me. I remain

 

 

Periwinkle Starr

Springtime And Fools Day!

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Hello Y’all! It’s springtime already and its been a minute since my last post. I woke up this morning to catch a glimpse of a Blue Jay bird on the oak tree next to my porch. I don’t think I have seen anything as intricately designed and as beautiful, the sight of this bird brought back memories from my bird watching days back in Ohio. Just as I was about to creep closer to get a better view, off it went! I remember living in a small college town that literally went to sleep when school was out made me appreciate the quiet scenic beauty of bird watching.  Some friends of mine have a feeder in their backyard that brings all kinds of birds to the yard (and no, I’m not referring to the milkshake song by Kelli’s ha…ha), but it was a always a sight to behold with everything from hummingbirds to Orioles…pure beauty!

Happy Belated April’s Fools Day!! I hope you got to do something fun to your friends and family. Well, I SURE DID!! A colleague and I saran wrapped two of my co-workers cubicle  for April Fools Day and it was awesome! They were both out of the office the whole week prior and what better way to welcome them back than to have a brand new cubicle,…oh the joys of unpacking everything…ha ha! I mean, nothing was exempt, from swivel chairs to pens, hand cream to monitors, dirty coffee mugs, heaters, plaques even the rice stuffed snowman was not left behind.

The Plot

So BeBe (not real name) sends me a couple of prank options to pick from. We had already wrapped the office managers office last year with Christmas wrapping paper so that wasn’t new anymore. The second option was to newspaper wrap everything but where would we get that many newspapers and we had to act fast because time was of the essence.  The last option was to use saran wrap…he he. That was totally doable especially with a dollar store eleven minutes away from the office, it was a quick trip worth taking.

I get to the store, ask for help finding the goods and I grab EVERY box of saran wrap on the shelf and head to check out. When it gets to my turn, the check-out clerk says “I see you’ve got a whole ‘lota’ wrapping to do huh?” I smiled (showing all teeth) and answered “I sure do”! It was more fun wrapping than I had expected. Come Monday morning, I’m skipping into the office as innocent as the lamb I am and say my usual ‘good morning’. One of them is smiling while the other is still trying to untangle a few ‘brand new’ items from the saran wrap. I nearly died laughing!! They promised to retaliate which will take another year so we still have plenty of time to think up the next prank.

The Bottom Line

Life can be hard sometimes, we need to laugh a little and re-learn the art of playing and having fun. Let me know how your April Fools Day turned out in the comment section below because I will be needing a few good tricks sometime soon. Until I come your way again, stay safe, happy and full of vibrant energy in your part of the world! I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Back And Moving Forward

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Hello Y’all!! Happy New Month! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? Its been pleasant so far and I’m waiting on more consistent weather to set out on new adventures for 2019. It just dawned on me that the last adrenaline adventure I was on was when I went kayaking on Lake Grapevine, so me and some friends are getting warmed up for that…hopefully the weather in north Texas cooperates.

I love quiet moments every now and then because I get to relax and ponder on a lot of things – which involve amazing everyday experiences, stressful situations or not so pretty moments; and yes, we ALL have experienced these situations at some point in our lives or the other.  With growing up, it’s very easy to look at life through a lens of items to be accomplished that sometimes we can get too busy and never take time off to process the journey so far. This is no ones fault by any long shot…I’ll blame it on technology and having a million and two things vying for my attention 24/7.

Sometimes its good to take time just to process your journey through life and how far you’ve come, how much you’ve grown, what you’ve learned and how you can do better.  I was hanging out with a bunch of friends a few days ago, and Jordan (not his real name) told us that every year on his birthday, he goes on an adventure to a different location. His goal is to find a place that is peaceful and quiet where he can relax, unwind and think clearly on what he’s accomplished the past year and what he wants to do for the coming year.

Wow! I found it interesting – coming from a guy because us ladies tend to do that more often than just once a year especially when you get those hormonal dips and spikes in continuous tandem…ha ha. No matter your ethnicity, whether you’re rich or poor, or where you were raised, there is something that happens to us all, and it’s called LIFE!  Often times, it’s so easy to forget how far we’ve come and the things we endured or worked hard to achieve in order to get to where we are now. We can very easily begrudge ourselves any kudos because of the goals we have not yet attained instead of looking at how far we have come and just being plain-ole thankful.

Reminiscing On The Past…

♣   Makes me thankful…I’m still here if not anything else.

♣  To be a bit more empathetic to the people I meet in every day life.

♣  To learn to be firm – you know what works and what doesn’t.

♣  Learning to dig my heels in when facing tough situations.

♣   Learning to sharpen my instinct and trust my gut.

♣   I’ve learned to pick my battles.

♣  I can laugh heartily at myself!

♣   Wisdom! There’s just something about someone whose been there and done that.

♣  Finding a way to process and make peace with all and any…

I read something that had a profound impact on me the other day, it said “Unharmed prosperity cannot endure a single blow” says Seneca, but a man/woman who has gone through countless misfortunes “acquires a skin calloused by suffering”. This man fights to the ground and carries on the fight even on his knees. He will never give up!

I hope you feel pumped, encouraged and fired up after reading this post but better still, I hope you take time for yourself to look back at how amazing your journey has been and how you want to move forward – in the best direction possible! Do like, comment and follow this blog for more posts from…

 

Periwinkle Starr!

 

Healthy Tweaks For A Lifestyle On The Go!!

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Hello Y’all! Happy belated Valentines Day! I trust you’re doing well in your part of the world and you took time to celebrate and just have fun. Its been a minute since my last post and I have been on the go non-stop. Trying to be healthy, stay in shape and still perform in peak condition is not as easy as i thought. Most of the time, my diet bears the brunt of my schedule and when you’re more of a night owl, that in many ways make it even more difficult to be all bright and sunny in the morning to do anything other than get ready that most people just give up and go with whatever the flow is.

Breakfast before heading out in the morning has never being my forte but I noticed that I often find myself rummaging through the office pantry for snacks mid-morning which I know are either full of empty calories or loaded with salt. I finally had a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment where I decided to try something different.  I am not one of those people who take drastic actions like shave their hair, quit eating or move to some monastery in order to change their lives; I believe in making small changes, small tweaks which I believe are more sustainable and kinder to my body without shocking it. So I decided to start a meal prep regimen consisting of healthier options and lower calories coupled with a 30 minute exercise routine every other day of the week. I went online, looked up YouTube Videos, Health and Fitness Blogs.

My Findings!

♦   Breakfast Options – Overnight Oats: I found a couple of recipes that are super easy and take you 10 minutes or less to prepare the night before which guarantee you a healthy breakfast full of fiber, antioxidants and fat burning carbs. This has been so good at keeping my mid-morning cravings at bay and increasing my focus significantly. My favorite overnight oats recipe is my Kiwi and Blueberry Recipe that I will share down below so stay with me.

♦   Meal Prepping My Lunch The Night Before: Depending on what I intend making, it takes about an hour or less to prepare my food, veggies and snacks for my lunch the next day. Making my own meals isn’t just cost effective but I know what’s actually in my food. There’s so many hidden calories in restaurant food that eating out on a daily basis without an active lifestyle is not going to work long term. When done, refrigerate it and all I need to do is grab and go in the morning!!

♦    Putting Exercise Back On My Weekly To-Do List: I unearthed my Insanity Workout videos and started working out at home again especially when I have the weather as an excuse to not go to the gym, I could still workout within the confines of my home.

♦   Accountability Buddies: I have friends who are either in the same boat or have it all figured out. Everyone needs accountability buddies because they help me stay on track and call me out when I start to slack off.

Kiwi and Blueberry – Overnight Oats

Ingredients: 1 tbsp Chia seeds, 1 tsp Vanilla extract, 1/2 Cup of Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp shredded coconut, 1/2 Cup of milk, 1/2 Cup of oats, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 Kiwi, 1/2 Cup of blueberries.

 

 

So guys and ladies, let me know what you’ve done to stay healthy on the go. Making these seemingly minor tweaks to my lifestyle have done a lot with everything from loosing a few extra pounds to being more alert and focused.  Until I come your way again, stay safe, beautiful and healthy. I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

Time Awaits No One.

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Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? Its that time in the year that we get to layer on and feel like we belong with our mid-western cousins who are duking it out in the snow.  Speaking of snow, it snowed this past weekend in Dallas but it melted before we could see it talk less of getting a few snapshots of it. :/ Growing up, there were a lot of proverbs I learned in primary school. One of them is ‘a stitch in time saves nine’. It was something always quoted by my teachers at school and all my childhood mind could decipher as to it’s meaning was to get my homework done on time so I don’t get disciplined.

My Definition of Time

I love to look at time in a different light than just the two hands of a clock or a number on a calendar. To me, ‘Time is a silent witness that stays with us all of our days on this planet’. We think we have it in abundance until we wake up one day and find out that we have little of it left. We can embrace it for what it is or we can be trapped in it. I do not consider it to be a fair donor in the sense that every one of us is allocated a different portion of it all through our lives.

Being an avid listener, I am used to hearing people I speak with tell the same story multiple times. These stories are almost imprinted in my memory that I can mimic the dates and facial expressions when they start with, ‘In 1964, it was a cold Sunday…’. I see the way the eyes light up in animation and how they stare wistfully into space as they re-live the moment. They’re bodily present but absent in the mind. Its almost like pieces of their lives are trapped in moments of time where even their sense of smell is rekindled. Some get a taste on their lips just by reliving old memories of eating certain meals – that my friends, is the power of the human mind.

The Downside

Just the same way we remember pleasant events, we can also be trapped in unpleasant or distasteful events. A lot of times, we can get stuck in events – some of our doing and others we have no control over. The sad part is that sometimes we aren’t even aware that we’re stuck, we’re trapped in certain events without realizing that the world has moved on all around us. I was watching an episode of Ghost Adventures, this time they were investigating an orphanage that was closed down due to the abuse and mistreatment of the children during that time. One of the kids, who was now an old man was brought in and he talked about how he was beaten by the warden for no apparent reason on many occasions. In my opinion, he was a grown man but in his mind he was still a small boy trapped in that orphanage.

It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

The truth is this: Time waits for no one and YOU/I are not going to waste another second of another day trapped in a situation or frozen in time from an event that no longer matters. Here’s how to be unstuck!

♥Acknowledge the event for what it is – good or bad.

♥Think deeply about it.

♥Make Peace With It

♥Force yourself to grow beyond the situation.

♥Get up. Get back into the game of life and LIVE!!

So until I come your way next time, like, comment and follow my blog. I remain,

 

 

Periwinkle Starr♥