When It’s Ok To Let Go!

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Hello Y’all! Happy New Month! I hope your weekend has been great so far. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in North Texas. The temperature has dropped and I have finally swapped my summer garb for winter wear…at last! I turned down a camping trip with some adventure buddies this weekend. Well…considering the fact that I’m home now, swaddled in all things warm; I have my heat turned on including my mobile mini heater I carry around with me – and I’m still cold. There is no way in hell I was going to sleep OUTSIDE or pretend for a few days that I could survive in the wild. I feel like to really ‘survive’ out there, I may need ‘boot camp type of training like I’ve seen on national geographic…hehehe. My last failed attempt at camping ended up with us packing up and driving to a lit Walmart parking lot to spend the night because the nearest hotel was too far out. All the horror movies I have ever watched summed up into one HUGE film. I mean from bears, to anacondas, ghosts, people who had camped out and were never found, previous episodes of paranormal and supernatural combined…the possibilities were endless. So…no thank you. Anyways, lets get back to the gist.

Life Happens To Us All!

If you are alive and breathing, you have a story. Whether it’s good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, ecstatic or dreadfully tragic. We all have a story. Some people find a way to make the best use of what life has handed them and push forward to live a regular, imperfect life as our humanity allows but for others, not so much. There are three forms of expression I see and I feel everyone of us at some point has been in one or all of these three categories. Its the same trauma but different outcomes or should I say outward expressions. So stay with me.

The ‘Woe Is Me‘ Group. Those people who wear their life’s trauma as a badge of honor on their fore head- like it’s something to be proud of. It almost feels like they walk around with their souls leaking out; and if you stand close enough, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to regurgitate all over you. They go around with the same old sob story and have a reason why they can’t do anything while resorting to drain and suck the life and time out of all they encounter. These people move around a lot. It almost seems like as soon as they are discovered or exposed, they move on to the next unassuming source of supply.

The next group is the Emotionally Void. There are those who look to the outside to fill a void on the inside. Nothing will ever be enough. Whether its money, power, sex, drugs, alcohol…you name it. To use people and things for their benefit without care or consequences, just as long as it serves them is their modus operandi. These people have been hurt and have vowed to do everything and anything to not have to feel that way ever again. Its a ‘hurt you before you hurt me’ vicious cycle that never ends. There is a lot of camouflaging to the extent that after a while – not knowing who they ‘really’ are becomes a frightening reality.

Finally, this group is what I’d like to call ‘Forever The Optimist‘. Being one of those glass half full personality types, they are always looking for the good in people. The constant search for good that may balance out the bad in others or in situations – when some things are just what they are: plain old bad. Trying to give the benefit of a doubt or hoping the outcome is not as unpleasant as it seems in many cases is the norm. Instead of looking at the actions, sometimes these kind souls would often look at the backstory that caused or led to those actions; and in many cases would give a pass based on those facts or even permit certain things that aren’t necessarily healthy around them because they are so forgiving. They are torn between identifying with the pain they too have experienced or going the other extreme and burning people at the stakes…literally.

Balance is the key.  None of the people who fall into these categories is a ‘bad person’. We need to figure out a way to heal, move past the hand that life dealt to us and express ourselves effectively in the world. To think we can save everyone is ludicrous in and of itself and a burden so big we were never meant to bear. Change only comes by a person making a decision within their self to change. So hanging on is great but you have to know when it’s ok to let go. There comes a time where you need to choose your health and well being first and do away with guilt and condemnation of not being able to save everyone. Until I come your way again, be safe and upbeat knowing deep down in your soul that sometimes its ok to let go!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

Weekend Musings & Tornados!

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Hello Y’all! The weekend is almost over and I’m still trying to figure out where it went. Finally getting to spend a few moments of quiet was very refreshing. Im sitting on my rug, with my hair all over the place and watching the movie ‘Mortal Engines’ which happens to be absolutely brilliant by the way. It’s very different from what I was expecting and I find that refreshing. Its raining cats and dogs outside and there’s multiple tornado sirens going off at the same time. Hopefully we are still intact by the time I’m through writing this blog LOL. I’m wondering if you ever have those weekends where you have a ton of things to do…you were pumped to do it all…and ended up getting about 20 percent of it done. This is one of those weekends and I am not ashamed to admit it.

It’s A Real Tornado!! Should We Be Worried?

The intensity of the wind blowing against my window is so strong, I turn on the TV to find out what in the world is going on out there and the weather man says its a freaking TORNADO!! What exactly are we supposed to do? You know how we rarely pay attention to the flight attendant (atleast I don’t, unless they’re funny) when they’re doing the safety demonstration and then you frantically start checking in the back pocket to try to remember what all you’re supposed to do because the Captain just flew you right into some stormy clouds and everything in the cabin is shaking all around you – yep, that was me in that moment.

Hello Google!

I begin looking up ‘what to do in a tornado’. One thing I do know you’re supposed to  do in a situation like this is to get in the tub for safety. But then I’m thinking, what if you live on the highest floor in your building? That tub is going to deliver you straight into the mouth of the tornado – and that’s still not a good idea.  After spinning for a few minutes, Google finally answers with the best three options to be safe. Here goes nothing… :/

  • Go to the basement. Well, thank you great people of Texas. We don’t have basements. We don’t do basements. This is not the freeze belt (ahem) Midwest. So for the first point, we are pretty much screwed. On to the next one.
  •  If you have no basement, protect yourself by taking shelter under a heavy table or desk. I don’t know about you but IKEA furniture is made so light even a six month old can install it. So strike two – we would be sitting ducks on this option.
  •  Stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.  I guess that would leave me standing in the middle of my apartment or hiding out in my closet.  The latter option isn’t too bad although I need to take time off to dust my shoes because I’m rarely hunkered down that low and I can only imagine the sneeze fest thats bound to occur. The term other worldly would be an understatement…haha, but I’ll live.

It wasn’t long before the tornado moved south of us. The sirens stopped blaring and we could heave a sigh of relief. It was a sobering moment. I now feel like I need to be more disaster prepared and not take things for granted.  I’ve heard people say that it only takes a split second and reality as we know it could be altered beyond recognition. Hopefully this never happens to us or our loved ones ever again. I’m wishing you a fabulous week ahead, stay safe and upbeat until I come your way again.

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

 

 

Santa Monica In The Fall!

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Hello Y ‘all!! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world.  North Texas feels like June right now – that’s all !’m going to say about that. Why we are still in the 90’s is beyond me but anyway I’m not going to complain about it, at least we get as low as the high 70’s in the morning…Haha! So here I am sitting on my couch with a bag of ice on my head because I can’t seem to figure out what part of my body that isn’t hurting.  Fast forward to 6 hours earlier, I and a group of ‘adventure buddies’ just finished The Great Obstacle Race which we topped off with ziplining. Now, if I had been asked a day earlier if I wanted to participate in this race (Keeping in mind what I know now), my answer would be a HUGE no. But, the point of being a member of this group is to say ‘yes’. To get out of my own way and do things that I otherwise would not consider doing. So I get to cross that off my list while I nurse my whole being…LOL.

Howdy Santa Monica!!!

This was my first trip to this part of California. After getting out of the airport and heading to our hotel, I was wowed by the palm trees littered along the roadways, the smell of the sea and the quaint shops and buildings we rode past to get to our lodgings. Traffic was nothing compared to what we have here in North Texas, it was a breezy ride to our hotel which was literally on the beach, a 1.5 minute walk to be exact. I had heard about the amazing sunrise, the pier and all the fun things that we ‘land-locked’ southerners do not get to enjoy. The view was so breathtakingly beautiful, I spent a lot of time just starring out at the seascape from the window.  The beach is littered with exercise equipment, people meditating, some doing yoga, others running, a couple of people trying to catch a wave or just photographing the beauty of it all.  We were even told that depending on the day, Arnold Schwarzenegger (and yes I said the ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’, the one I was likening my fitness instructors to previously) rides his bicycle right past that area in the mornings. WOW!

Alot of people were dressed down, relaxed with tons of touristy things to see and do. There is a vibe in the air, a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere that we do not have in North Texas because we are constantly on the go…to get somewhere and heaven forbid there’s a slow driver in front of us….ahem (got a little carried away there)..hehehe (I liken that to saying squirrel to your puppy) – works every time. But Santa Monican’s are predominantly very fit. I didn’t see a lot of heavy set people out and about. We got to catch the sunrise on one of the mornings and it was one of the most peaceful things I have ever experienced.

To Surf …Or Not

To be honest, I didn’t even feel tired or stressed out even though we were working full days and more. This might sound corny but Its almost like the sea takes away all the stress. It almost feels like the closer we are to nature, the more at peace we become. A feeling of oneness that words can’t really describe. So we headed out to the beach to relax and be lazy after a hectic day. I was going to try surfing…for the first time if I might add but after I was told that I had to shuffle my feet in the sand to let the stingrays know to move out of the way and not be surprised and accidently sting me, I was like ‘say what’?

I was alive and well when Steve Irwin died…by a STINGRAY!!! If a whole Steve, the internationally famous Australian wildlife dare devil could be killed by those things, there is no way I was going to be a statistic. My friends could shuffle all they wanted for all I cared; sun bathing it was – at least for me haha! My stay in Santa Monica was a wonderful experience and I got to explore a little bit more of the world around me.

 

 

Its been a fun experience y’all so I adjure you beautiful people to take some time to appreciate the world around you whether (like me) it’s doing the Great Obstacle Race or taking a road trip to someplace new. Trust me, your mind will thank you for it. So until I come your way again, be safe, happy and upbeat!

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

Hello Ember!!

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Hello Y’all! Labor Day has come and gone folks and when that happens,…you know what’s next….HARVEST!! I had the pleasure of hanging with a close friend who resides in the country over the weekend. It is so peaceful and therapeutic out there that if I wasn’t a town mouse, I sure would signup in a heartbeat to be a country one. We had the pleasure of plucking pears off the tree…something I have not done in years. I was as giddy as that rambunctious 7 year old that I was growing up. The joy of climbing trees and playing out in our backyard which was about 3 acres of lush greenery, fruit trees and a small farm. It was pure heaven. There is a stillness that the country gives that I miss because I live in the city, but getting healthy doses ever so often kind of make up for it.

I equate harvest time with pies. There are so many pies to be made around this time of the year and when the temperature starts dropping, staying in with a freshly baked pie is more tempting than being out on the town.  For the freshly picked pears resting on my countertop, I sure will be looking up some pie recipes and will be sharing the recipe I decide on.  Come to think of it, I have done a lot of cakes, buckles and cobblers recently but no pies yet, so that might be something I will consider including in my next post.  The beginning of September for some mark the end of the year. It can be amazing but it can also bring low feelings especially if you haven’t achieved what you set out to do at the beginning of the year. If you feel down about ANYTHING that you have been through from the beginning of this year up until now, stay with me…

Do Not Give Up…It’s Not Too Late. Things Can Still Change!

♥          There is a difference between being overly positive without being realistic or logical. This is not what we want or should be doing. Facing (head on) the reality of outcomes whether good or bad is one of the best ways to live. Knowing what you did right and what you can improve on is a key to moving in the right direction.

♥          Get back to the drawing board.  Look back at the steps that got you to this point and re-strategize. Maybe working out twice a week isn’t giving you the desired results, bump that up to four times a week. Maybe studying on your own isn’t helping much, then consider getting a tutor or joining a boot camp.

♥          Take a deep breath. Cry if you need to. Take a sulk day (and yes, in my world, there is such a thing as a sulk day. It’s a day I take a moment for myself and officially give myself permission to be up in my feelings; to nurse the curve balls life has thrown my way and just wallow in it aka acknowledge it, sit in it, reflect on it, and just be still for a moment.  After I’m done, I pick myself back up, encourage myself, square my shoulders, get back out there and face whatever obstacle with everything I have in me. There are no quitters here – its only over when we die.

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Life isn’t perfect folks, striving for perfection is a recipe for disaster. I have met people who strive for perfection and they are not happy, can’t ever be happy and unfortunately, will never be happy. One of my mantras in life is “I will accept 80% completion over 10% perfection”. And it has helped me change my way of seeing things in a less stressful way and in a more forgiving light.  Life is beautiful, filled with a variety of quirkiness, craziness, pleasant surprises and curve balls. Our goal is to be at peace while navigating our way through it the best we can. To be good, be strong, be honest and kind, to be considerate of others knowing fully well that what we give out is what we will get back in return. It isn’t over yet folks. Miracles do happen.

Until I come your way again, chin-up and brace yourselves because the best…is yet to come!

 

Periwinkle Starr

Fitness Instructors From Hell!

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Hello Y’all and welcome! Fall is here!! Its been a good summer in North Texas, not that I was out in it a whole lot but it feels like 2019 has been way better.  Its been an extremely busy year but worth every darn minute. I started back up with my fitness routine and decided to take it more seriously this year because I found out that just eating salads and boring food wasn’t really cutting it for me. So, I had to get my behind back on a gym routine and see if the scale would be ‘kinder’.

Working out during the week is not an easy thing to do because I get beat up….TWICE. Now, let me explain, I am not a member of fight club by any long shot hehehe but the thing is, you go to work, have meetings, run errands and everything else. But by the end of the day, you’ve survived round one. On this particular day, I was meeting up for my regular Zumba class. I arrived on time and as I was walking in, I could see the other tired souls drudging their tired bodies into the gym as well. They looked like they didn’t want to be anywhere near the gym, but hey – ‘you’ve gotta do what you gotta do’, right?

So we get to the class and I’m looking out for the instructor and I can’t see her anywhere. It turns out she had to be away and had a duo – a guy and a lady sub for her. Now if you ever see a guy instructor in a fitness class like Zumba,  just know it’s going to be a rough night. But, here I am still hopeful about it not being so bad until the class starts. This duo are not human, THEY ARE MACHINES. The lady not only wants us to do ALL the moves but scream as we do them. There is no hiding place in the  back folks because she was right there with us screaming at us to scream louder. Her face is beet red and she screams through the mic attached to her head piece, ‘I can’t hear you’ like four inches from some ladies face. I’m awake by then…Ha Ha! Just let me know how many decibels you require Ms. Jillian Michaels. But wait…

Timeout! Timeout! Timeout!

Today is Tuesday. Its way too early in the week to be this excited, we barely survived Monday – that happened just a couple of hours ago. But oh no – they keep going. At this point, I am totally out of sync because in my mind, peoples feet aren’t supposed to move that fast and besides I came here to get my heart pumping and not to have it explode all over my organs. Just then, out of the corner of my eyes, I see my friend take a step and next thing I see she’s flat out on the floor – BAAM! The instructor runs over to see if she’s okay. Just as she says she’s fine, the instructor lets Arnold Schwarzenegger’s half brother takeover. Now we’re really screwed. People start leaving, dropping out like flies.  We look like sweat lodge participants by this time. But they keep going. For some weird reason, the word ‘on steroids’ keeps floating around in my head somewhere…Ha Ha! But we made it through without anyone dialing 911. No heart attacks. No nothing. We just got two rounds of beating is all. That scale better be nice to me tomorrow or else…LOL.

Until I come your way again, feel free to share your fitness horror stories with me. Please follow, like and comment. Bye for now!!!

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

 

 

 

The Beauty Of It All.

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Hello Y’all! Hope you are doing well in your part of the world? It’s been great in North Texas right until I remembered that school will be back in session real soon; I literally went from a solid six to a two…on the ‘patience for traffic’ scale and yes, I made that up LOL. Anyways, I am going to savor the nicely flowing traffic with the occasional wreck here and there before the madness begins. The high point of my week has been my discovery of one of my favorite ice cream places very close to my work – simple pleasure of life get me everytime.  But on a more serious note, there has been so much going on in the news lately. The saddest and most horrendous things have happened in quick succession that burying my head in the sand or pretending that it does not exist is no longer an option.

Hmmm…(Sigh)

These days people are afraid of people. Afraid to interact. People react because of a mindset that expects a negative outcome even when there isn’t a threat and I feel we are slowly being conditioned so much so that we isolate ourselves thereby widening the wedge between us as people, as humans. Life is too short to keep walls when there are tremendous opportunities to be gained by interaction and community and I am not just writing this but I am speaking to myself as well. Now, I’m not recommending going out and hugging strangers on the street but just having an open mind about every circumstance we find ourselves in before concluding the worst.  My life Mantra that I try to follow is to:

Give everyone a clean slate…to show you who they really are.

Until then, I feel like we can make use of those freed up brain cells for doing more relaxing or productive things instead of waiting for the next shoe to drop…which in most cases never does; or when it does drop, it’s the ones we don’t expect that surprise us the most.  We live in a fallen world and there will always be bad things or bad breaks happening all around us (and even to us sometimes) but the goal is to be able to see the beauty of life despite the negativity, despite the trials. I’m not a good horse rider but I love love the idea of the blinders they place on the horses head that force it to keep looking straight ahead and not at the noise and distractions happening on each side. I made up my mind a long time ago to not let people, events or bad breaks make me cynical, hardened and bitter. In my opinion, that’s too much power that no one deserves to have over me. I decided not to let a bunch of bad apples ruin the bunch – whatever that means or however it applies to you and I.

Anyways, Fall is around the corner and before you know it, we will start our progression towards the years end. Until I come your way again, stay safe, upbeat and open to the things we do find beautiful in life.

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

The Baking Frenzy – Cherry Cake and Tea Breaks!

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Hello Y’all!! I hope you’re doing amazingly well in your corner of the globe. The heat wave is on and there’s no getting away from the mugginess and hell-ish atmosphere we are going to be stuck with for the next couple of months.  Trust me when I say we have it ‘nicer’ in North Texas – I had to be in McAllen, Texas (a small town near the Gulf of Mexico)and when I stepped off the plane, I was welcomed with a wave of heat, a tight vacuum of hot air and beautiful palm trees. 🙂 The sunlight over there is pretty intense. Its almost too bright that at certain angles, it can be blinding. But I survived it….and that’s all that matters.  The weekend was all things ’90 Day Fiancé – Happily Ever After Reunion Part 1. And yes, I said PART ONE… hehe. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, please do so. I promise you it will be worth your while…ahem (fake cough), that is if you love reality TV and all the craziness that comes with it!

On a brighter note, Summer is here and there’s fresh fruit every where!! I have been so occupied that I marvel at the time I find in my schedule to bake. I liken it to therapy – but with rewards LOL!  There’s fresh produce everywhere and I cannot do without trying at least one cake recipe that has fruit in it. The only ‘Disclaimer’ I’ll add is that you increase your workout sessions as you enjoy these recipes because the scale don’t lie; and after a while all those ‘placing on carpet versus tile or shaking it immensely coupled with undressing down and even removing your plastic teeth aligners will not save you…LOL!

Recently, I went grocery shopping over the weekend and came upon a deal that was too good to pass on. I got a big bag of lush organic cherries for 1/3 of the price.  I only realized a couple of days later that I had to figure out what I was going to do with them before they started going bad. Something easy and quick is my go to motto for recipes unless I REALLY want to go all out. So I finally decided on a Cherry Cake Recipe in the end, so Cherry cake it was! I wasn’t planning on blogging about it until I was halfway through and it occurred to me that it would be something y’all might like to try so I hope you enjoy the photos however few they might be.

Ingredients:  2 cups fresh cherries (pitted), 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 lemon zest, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup regular yoghurt, 1/4 cup milk.

Toppings: Whipped cream, melted chocolate.

Instructions: Pre-heat oven to 350F, grease  and flour 8 inch cake pan. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Ina separate bowl, beat egg and sugar until fluffy (2-3 mins), add zest and vanilla and beat for one minute. Slowly add oil. Add yoghurt and milk and keep mixing. Slowly add flour a little at a time. Fold half the cherries into the batter and pour into the pan. Top with remaining cherries and lightly press down using a spatula. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top (if you wish). Bake for 40-45 minutes.

The Results Are In!!

This is such a scrumptious cake that you would probably need a fork to eat. Its very moist with bursts of juice from the cherries in literally E-V-E-R-Y bite.

So until I come your way again, be safe, stay healthy and have fun!!

 

Periwinkle Starr