Cash In The Attic?!

CITAPERIWINKLESTARR

Hello Y’all and Happy New Month! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s June already and I can’t believe it. This year has been interesting to say the least but just like the Timex wrist watch commercial, we have learned to ‘take a lickin and keep on tickin’. That’s about all we can do right now. The weather in North Texas is surprisingly cooler than the heat we are used to at this time of year but again, not many people have been on the road, pumping CO2 (among other things) into the atmosphere via fumes.

Quarantine has made us become more acquainted with our living spaces than we have ever been before corona hit. I will admit that I was more of a visitor in my own space, barely around during the week abnd home only on some weekends – and I was either out and about or getting stuff done and was never really there.  So I finally had time to look closely at what I was working with…ha ha!

 And then, it happened…

I was surfing channels one day, when I stumbled upon the show ‘Hoarding, Buried Alive’. It had been a while since I had watched an episode so it was a good distraction. As the name entails, the documentary shows the lives of people who have been overtaken with saving and keeping things for ‘future’ use that really never get used – if that makes any sense. Before you know it, I had watched three episodes back to back. I was appalled, shocked, and glued to the TV all at the same time. I realized something towards the end of the third episode that apart from a minute number of people that have mental issues, the majority of people don’t go to bed one day and while tucking themselves in, say out loud, ‘when I wake up tomorrow, I want to be a hoarder’. It often starts when something either tragic, traumatic or shocking happens in their lives, that is not addressed or dealt with and slowly, they start stacking up stuff.  The usual phrase I kept hearing was ‘I might use that someday, or this may come in handy, or we can put this to some use’. And before you know it, the home gets filled with stuff, in some cases to the ceiling with footpaths as the only means to get around or in most cases some spaces within the dwelling were deemed inaccessible. There were all kinds of animals, rodents, dead animal carcasses, and fecal matter all around – it was disgusting to watch. The aim of the show is to then have an intervention of sorts with the individual and then enlist the help of a clean up crew to clear out the home.

No One Is Perfect.

Those people could be us, our parents or our friends. I can assure you that the average person knows at least two people in their lives with hoarding tendencies.  They may not be so far gone to make it on to the show but the tell tale signs are already there. I kid you not, the very day after watching that show, I started reorganizing, I started sorting through things that I hadn’t looked at in years in an attempt to declutter my space.  Here are a few tips to having cash in your attic instead of clutter. So stay with me.

♦  Do your best to make peace with your life’s circumstance the best you can. Get     counselling, forgive, meditate, go to therapy…do something!

♦  Develop a waste not want not approach to life. This proverb means if you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance, you will never be in need. So instead of hoarding items for an apocalypse that hasn’t happened and isn’t going to happen, take what you need and some,  not E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G in the store.

♦  Sort through your stuff and make a list, grouping your items into categories and how you intend disposing off of them.  There’s covid-19 going around now, so yard sales are a big no no.

♦  Become an online retailer and make some money off the stuff that you don’t need, don’t use and probably stuff that’s just sitting there and taking up real estate in your home.

♦  Donate what you can’t sell to your local community store. Someone less fortunate will be able to put it to good use.  If they are hoarders themselves looking for a steal, at least it’s off your hands and no longer your problem.

I believe the state of a persons personal space to some extent paints a picture of the state of their mind and gives you a view of who they are. We deserve to give ourselves the decency (in the way we live) that our humanity deserves. No one should exist in such deplorable conditions but still, it happens but I believe we can avoid ending up like that. So until I come your way again, I want you to try my 5-step plan and let me know how it goes. Do like, comment and follow my blog and be safe out there!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

We’re On A Roll!….A Bread Roll.

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Hello Y’all! I hope your are healthy and doing well in your part of the world during this shelter in place ordinance aka ‘trapped at home’ restriction.  The weather is so beautiful in North Texas right about now, it’s such a shame that we can’t be out and about and enjoying life as we know it because of this darned virus.  So far, most of us have settled into a daily routine and  are finding new ways to occupy ourselves as we ‘patiently’ await the end of the lockdown and hopefully a possible cure. I have to say that those of us whining about being bored at home and restricted should really be thankful that we are healthy and not infected; because from all the horror stories I’ve heard of people who have either gotten sick, to what they endured or the hospital conditions is enough to keep anyone traumatized for life.

I remember when the quarantine first began, aside from the concern and fear we had, a lot of folks were somewhat relieved to catch a break from the daily hustle and bustle. There were so many things to take care of that it wasn’t too bad or as boring…AT FIRST. But by the end of the first month, literally everything became a slow lull. It has  been documented that the consumption of alcohol has skyrocketed, online shopping is through the roof, and binge eating is at an all time high.  A friend of mine was telling me that they actually counted the number of times they opened the refrigerator for snacks in a day and it was unbelievable; so much that we vowed to not to be the size of whales when this was all over and started working out together…virtually. But I get it, there literally isn’t much to do that we have to be intentional about everything on a daily basis like working out, waking up on time, getting some sun, eating healthy-er, minimizing alcohol consumption etc…or else, it will be a Whale-Fest when we get back out there. And yes, I invented the word. It literally means ‘a person looks the size of a whale’. LOL!

Anyways, after my last post, I received quite a few requests on what my next bread recipe was going to be.  I wasn’t planning on going in that direction but it didn’t hurt. So I decided to try my hands at a different bread recipe famously known as Soda Bread. The fun thing about this blog is the fact that I’m not a professional baker neither I’m I Cordon Bleu by any long shot. Just a fun gal who is willing to try her hands at baking, so be rest assured, there isn’t going to be any judgement here. This recipe is so simple and the ingredients may already be laying around your pantry. So here it goes!

Making Soda Bread!

Ingredients: 3 Cups of Flour, ²/3 Cup of Sugar, 3 Teaspoons of Baking Powder, 1 Teaspoon Salt, 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda, 1 Cup of Raisins, 2 Large Eggs (beaten) or Egg Substitute, 1-½ Cups of Buttermilk, and 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil.

Directions: Preheat your oven to a temperature ranging between 325 – 350º F ♠ Bring out your baking utensils – I dislike reaching or searching for things when I’m partially covered in flour. ♠ In a missing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. ♠ Stir in raisins. ♠ Set aside a tablespoon of beaten egg in a bowl – to be used for basting. ♠ In a bowl, combine buttermilk, oil and remaining beat eggs. ♠ Stir in the flour and mix until sticky. ♠ Transfer into a greased, round 9-inch baking pan. ♠ Brush the top with the remaining egg that had been set aside. ♠ Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. ♠ Cool for 10 minutes before transferring the cake to a wire rack. ♠ Cut into wedges and serve.

By now, it seems like everyone inclding yours truly has either exhausted their to-do list of things ‘to do’ or you just don’t want to do anything exerting, you can write a daily thankful list, and read it out loud at the end of each day.  Another thing we can all do is include a forgiveness list. With the lockdown, a lot of things and issues that we may not have dealt with or we may just have pushed to the background and overlaid with ‘activities can now come to light. This is the time to unravel, acknowledge and forgive…or at least do something about it. Trust me, your heart will feel lighter afterwards. Now if you are a saint, it just means that you’re either dead or in an isolated monastery located on some mountain somewhere, so these don’t apply to you. Folks, it’s been great. Thank you for sticking with me till the end. Please take care of yourselves, stay healthy and happy and remember to like, comment and follow. Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

 

 

 

 

Quarantine? Lets Re-Learn The Art Of Baking Bread!

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Hello Y ‘all! Its my hope that you are doing well in your part of the world, practicing social distancing and staying home? We are going on our third week of the Covid-19 induced lockdown and it’s become my new normal in a weird kind of way. Limiting my time outdoors as much as possible is the best way to reduce the chances of exposure to the virus. My heart goes out to those who have lost family members and loved ones and to those fighting the disease right this moment.  Through this trying time, I am doing my best to stay healthy, remain productive and still find some semblance of a lifestyle while remaining positive and its been tough.

When the outbreak hit the shores of the United States, it was no longer a problem within ‘those’ countries. S**t got real, if you will excuse my French. The store shelves were wiped clean in a matter of 24 hours. I was one of the late shoppers and by the time I got to the grocery store, there was literally nothing worth buying. There was no bread. No milk. No meat. NO NOTHING! So, I have decided to go back to the basics and brush up on a few skills, which includes re-learning the art of baking good ole homemade bread using very few items laying around in your pantry.

Lets Do This!!

Ingredients: 3 Cups of bread flour, 2 tbsp. or 1/8 cup or 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil, 2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast,  ¹⁄ 3 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water.

First, heat a cup of water for one minute and pour into a small bowl. Add the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes until the yeast becomes activated or foamy. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add vegetable oil and ¹/3 cup of sugar into the same bowl and mix. If you don’t like a sweet bread, you can cut back on the sugar. Add 2 cups of flour a little bit at a time (about ¹/3 at a time) and keep mixing with a spatula or spoon. Pour out the flour unto a nice dry surface that’s been dusted with flour. Knead lightly for 8 minutes. Using the same large bowl, add a tables spoon of oil to coat the bowl, and place the dough in it.  Cover with a damp cloth, and leave to rise for 2 hours until it doubles in size. P.S.: Notice, I’m using the third cup of flour to knead the dough. Setting a timer helps.

Take the dough out, roll and stretch it some more into the shape of a loaf. Take your 9″ x 5″ bread pan and place the dough in the pan.  Cover with a slightly damp napkin for about another 1.5 hours. Afterwards, remove the napkin. Depending on the size of the dough or pan, you should notice its risen about an inch or more above the pan, and now its ready to bake.  Heat your oven to about 325-350° Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. If you have an oven that doesn’t  heed to basic direction, you might want to start at a lower temperature…just saying.  When the top is golden brown, remove from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool. Scroll down to see the finished product. Its ready!!!!

 

Helpful Tips During The Quarantine!!

♥Finish uncompleted projects around the house. Sort through your closet. Organize your shoes. Write a list of all the kitchen utensils you need…I’m already making a list to get me some solid mixing bowls 🙂

♥Reignite your artsy side. My goal is to finish the blanket I have been croqueting for longer than I’m going to admit on here…he he!!

♥Write a thankful list E-V-E-R-Y D-A-Y. Life is so precious. People are dying, all alone and at a speed that is unprecedented because the virus is ravaging the body so fast, people are literally disappearing like mist. No preparation. No goodbyes. NO NOTHING! 

♥Keep up your fitness regimen. A lot of people including yours truly are exercising via zoom and other apps which help boost morale and keep your body active despite being confined.

♥Take your vitamins DAILY, whether you feel like it or not. This includes Vitamin C and D especially now that you’re not out and about or in the sun as much.

♥Rest. The news is constantly updating us on how many people have died or how many newly infected cases there are, or the problems medical officials are having on the frontlines. This is well and good to keep us informed but the rise in fear or anxiety can lead to unrest or worry for the future. Don’t let it get to you. Turn off the TV and go to bed on time. Rest easy, tomorrow will come and we will deal with it when we get there.

 

Until I come your way again, stay healthy, upbeat and remember if the rest of the populace decides to panic-buy the bread aisle at your grocery store, you can always bake your own!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

 

 

 

 

Like A Rushing Wind!

 

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Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. Whether it’s being holed up at home or out and about. The Corona virus has made landfall in Texas with quite a few people affected already.  The scary thing about this global pandemic is the fact that we are fighting something that can’t be seen or perceived with the natural eye…and that is beyond frustrating. When it first hit the US and became an emergency, a lot of odd things occurred and I will explain. So in my mind, when I hear the word ’emergency’ the first though that comes to my mind is survival, what to eat, medicine, drinking water, first aid kit, storage containers etc.  Not ‘I need a s**t ton of toilet paper and water’ to make it out alive’. Like seriously, why have we been watching Survivor, Naked and Afraid, Alaskan Frontier and all those ‘out in the wild’ shows for? Entertainment?

Drinks ‘Panic Buying’ All Around…

We are truly showing our real selves by this corona outbreak. In the span of a week, people have thrown away their first world status and reverted back to behaving like animals without cognitive thinking. At one of the grocery stores I frequent, a store clerk had to stand by the water stack to make sure people could only take a certain number so others could have a chance to buy some as well. Or was it the video of two ladies fighting in a store because one lady loaded the whole shelf of toilet paper into her cart and the other lady just needed one pack of toilet paper and she wouldn’t share.

Front Cortex Y ‘all…Front Cortex!

I think we should be stocking up on vitamin supplements to keep our immune system at it’s peak or soap to take showers once we come in from the outdoors; or hand sanitizers –  for the car, our desk at work, purses and around the house, instead of those folks out here stocking up on toilet paper. I saw a video where a mother was moved to tears when she couldn’t get diapers for her baby because some persons had bought the whole store or the guy who bought all the hand sanitizers across a couple of towns so he could sell them and hit the ‘jackpot’ or so he thought.  Unfortunately for him, he was caught and had to give away the whole stash. Another guy was photographed at a Walmart parking lot rolling four shopping carts filled with milk to his car. Now….unless something has changed and the rest of us haven’t gotten the memo yet, that milk is good for 5 days to say the least – or perhaps he was shopping for all his neighbors, coworkers and church members? I don’t know but some of the things I have seen are as funny and as silly as can be.

The corona virus is a serious situation guys but we have to find the silver lining in all the craziness. Lets do our best to stay healthy and minimize stress or things that can compromise our immune system. We will get through this if we stay calm and not panic. Lets keep abreast with the news and stay informed while practicing social distancing. I feel that this will be one of those things that blow over and are gone before we know it.  Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

What Are We Waiting For ?!!

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Hello Y ‘all!! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world! The weather feels like spring in North Dallas and I’m not holding my breath that this is going to last. I’m just going to enjoy it while I can. My porch is warm enough to sit out and I consider myself very fortunate that my Saint George Sword plants survived this winter and even blossomed so no complaints here. My heart goes out to the people in China especially the many Starr readers during this difficult and scary time. I pray that this nightmare be over ASAP and you can get back to your normal lives.

Looking at my forever changing list of hobbies, I noticed that some of my hobbies have either changed, been placed on the back burner or stopped completely. Life, commitments, family, relationships or just plain ole excuses have taken the top positions on my priority list.  A common excuse is the ‘When I do this <fill in the blank>,…then I’ll be able to do that…<fill in the blank>’. Oh and by the way, there’s nothing wrong with planning but there is an extreme to this where, we are basically living life in a ‘holding pattern’. And since we have not gotten to the said goal yet, we then do not give ourselves permission to do whatever it is…<fill in the blank>. Its like imagining life to be linear when in actual fact, things don’t always go as planned.

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It’s scary waking up one morning and you’re 70 years old and full of regret that you did not live, did not try or did not take calculated risks. The time is now. And with all the craziness happening in the world these days, there are no absolute promises in life. We live in a fallen and failing planet and bad things happen to good people on a daily, and as upbeat and positive we would like to be, we have no control over that.

Its Time!!!

Kick fear and uncertainty in the rear and take back your life, your dreams and do the things that really give you joy or make your heart sing. I’m going to give you some examples to paint a picture in your mind on what I mean. So here goes…

♣If you’ve always wanted to have a cozy tea or coffee shop with homemade baked goods, then start working on it. ♣If you’ve been waiting on the perfect moment to start a family, get your ducks in a row and go for it. ♣If you’ve always loved to dance and never could do it because of life commitments, consider getting back into it. Figure out a way to start small, maybe start giving night lessons once a week. ♣ If you’ve been trying to loose those pounds for the past 10 years and the scale hasn’t changed, it’s time to get a personal trainer and accountability buddies. ♣ Take that trip, go visit family and long lost friends. I can guarantee you that as long as you are alive there will always be bills to pay. Stop waiting on that perfect moment because it may never come. ♣ Give back in anyway you can. Sponsor a child. Look for volunteering opportunities within your city. ♣ If you’ve dreamt of having a cooking channel or even write a blog, go for it!

The goal is to DO IT NOW! It’s better to try and fail than to never have tried at all. But I know that as long as we keep at it, something has got to give. New York Fashion Week 2020 just happened and I specifically loved Jason Wu’s line and thought his clothing to be wearable by everyday women. Here are a few of my favorites!!

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Until I come your way again, please like, follow, comment and let me know what your thoughts are. Your feedback is always appreciated!! Bye for now!!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

Lets Get Fancy with A Pineapple Upside Down Cake!

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Hello Y ‘all! Its Super Bowl Sunday!!! I hope your weekend has been great. The weather has been cold as ice and I have loved the layers, the boots and the scarves but I’m just about done with the winter…haha. Traffic in North Texas hasn’t been too shabby and discovering a new route has cut down contact with the crazies LOL. I’m not even going to say it but … January is over. February is here! Can you believe it? My heart goes out to Kobe Bryant’s wife and kids on his passing. I am not exactly a basketball enthusiast but from what I gathered, he was well known and loved.

A lot of recent happenings in the world have made me realize a few things about life. Sometimes, the things that we stress about, get upset about or give unnecessary time to does not even matter when you zoom out and view life in all it’s entirety.  When you can get up everyday unassisted, have family that love you,  a husband/partner and kids, a roof over your head, a car to ride in, or just being able to dream and go after what you want….we need to realize that we are indeed fortunate. So when negativity in the form of people or circumstances come against you, shake it off and trash it. Life is too short and your time is too precious to waste. Recognize you’re on a mission and you’re going to savor every minute of your day without wasting brain cells on things that don’t matter.  Anyways, lets get back to the business of this post…super excited!!

Here It Goes…

Ingredients: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 3/4 cup light brown sugar, 1 Pineapple or a 20-ounce can, 12 Maraschino Cherries, 1 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of salt, 1 egg, 1/2 cup Buttermilk (2 tablespoons of powdered milk with a 1/2 cup of water), 3 tablespoons of Canola or vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons of Vanilla extract. Lets Bake!

♥Turn on your oven to 325°F.

♥Melt the butter in the microwave and pour in a pan. Make sure the butter coats the sides of the pan as well.

♥Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly along the base of the pan.

♥Add the pineapple rings and then the cherries.

♥Mix the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.

♥Pour evenly over the pineapples.

♥Bake for about 30-40 minutes and check for a golden crust on top and use the toothpick test for the bottom.

Note: Place a wide pan filled with water on a rack beneath the pan because the sugar and pineapple can bubble up, leak and set off your smoke alarm.

Folks its been so busy and I have missed writing! No matter where you are in your part of the world, remember to stay positive, shake off the negative. Life is filled with so much beauty…don’t allow anything rob you of the joy of living. Associate yourself with those that bring out the best in you, and not the less in you.  Until I come your way again, please follow, like and comment. I remain

Periwinkle Starr♥

 

Happy New 2020!!

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Happy New Year Y’ all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? If you are reading this post, you made it!! I woke up to a freezingly cold morning in North Texas and all I wanted was a hot cup of tea, pancakes and my laptop.  It was too cold to sit out on the porch so my work desk with an ample view of the outdoors had to suffice. Looking back on the last ten years, I must say that it’s been one long ride and being thankful that I made it is so important because so many others did not.

When it comes to the first day of the year, I like to hit the ground running every time. If you are Starr reader and have been with my blog through the years, you know that I am not a fan of new year resolutions.  In my mind, I feel like we make those resolutions just so we can break them. I mean, who on earth do you know that follows through 100% on their resolves till the end of the year? That’s right – no one.

For me, with every new year comes tweaks – to be and do better. I feel like its easier to incorporate little changes than lists things that deep down I know I won’t  even keep before the weeks end LOL!

MY New Year Tweak or Mantra is “Effective Management”!

♦Time Management: Whether its reading one book in a week, to working out daily, or making a conscious effort to stay in touch with friends, meeting work deadlines, managing my time better is the goal. We have 24 hours in a day. The plan is to use it wisely.

♦Diet: Having a refrigerator filled with food and still eating out defeats the purpose in and of itself. The aim is to be intentional with meal prepping for a couple of days during the week which will help keep our budget from spiraling out of control.

♦Health & Fitness: Taking health and fitness to a whole new level this year is the goal. Whether its trying my hands at weights, swimming longer laps at the pool, joining one of those boot camps or just eating healthier and incorporating intermittent fasting into my regimen (Intermittent fasting is a whole other blog post on its own). The bottom line is to challenge yourself to get healthier and fit this year.

♦Career: Get on top of your goals, aspirations and dreams. Get started on whatever it is you planned on doing. Always remember that you are happier when you do what you are meant to do deep down in your soul.

♦Mental & Emotional Health: For some people, this is letting go of things that don’t make you happy, those things that drain you and take away your peace. Sometimes we believe that by burying our head in the sand or pushing things down under layers of activities will make certain  issues go away. This is not always the case. 2020 is the year to confront things, to speak your truth and uncover what’s in the dark. Life is too short – don’t waste it.

♦Manage Relationships: We all need somebody…anybody will not do. Make up your mind to clean house when it comes to relationships this year. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and not the LESS in you.

♦Manage Your Screen Time: Being a reality TV fan, I seldom have time to watch anything else because I can’t stand the wait or the suspense of watching a series. But every now and then, vegging out on my TV or phone is something we’re all guilty of and I feel we can all do better.  There’s been a study I came across that people are developing eye problems from the blue light emanating from phones and other electronic devices.

♦Give Back! Whether its volunteering, donating food to your local food bank or community store or religious center is awesome! We live in a self-indulgent society but stepping out of your sphere to affect someone else life makes a world of difference.

I hope you had a fun celebration. Its time to hit the ground running folks. If you fail to plan, you’re ultimately planning to fail. It’s going to be an amazing year so get ready. Do Like, follow and comment on your tweaks for the new year! Until I come your way again, be safe, upbeat and healthy!!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥