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♥

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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

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

 

Summers Here!!

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Hello Y ‘all! Its been a while since my last post. I hope you’re doing well in your part of the world? Fourth of July has come and gone. Getting a few days off to rest, be outdoors and not worry about work and deadlines is always nice. Besides, the heat is back and those delicious ice cream flavors are not going to eat themselves now. Its amazing how fast this year has run by, we are already in July and before you know it, we’ll be organizing our closets for Fall and then Winter. I have been trying to get back to being healthy but I find it so hard because when I’m on the road, its so much more difficult to make healthy choices that after a while, you just don’t.

Summers here and one of the things I like to do around this time is evaluate the year from January up to this point. Here are a few things I like to do that I feel will benefit you so stay tuned and thank me in the comment section below…ha ha!

♦      Finances: Look back on all things ‘money’. Are you saving up for the future? Is your debt going up or down and what effect does it have on your credit score?  Are you making wise choices when it comes to money and do you have a plan B just in case something unexpected happens?

♦      Health & Wellness: Are we making the right choices that will ultimately have an effect on our health. Are we staying fit, going to the gym, walking or running on a regular? Are you keeping up with your routine health checks (especially if you’re 30 and up)?

♦       Are You Keeping Up With Relationships, Friends and Family: Always checking in to ‘really’ see how you’re doing with your partner, catching coffee or in my case tea with friends. Going dancing or meeting up for drinks at happy hour really does help take the edge off adulting and everyday living.  Having a good belly laugh does wonders.

♦        Skincare & Lifestyle: These seem like an odd pair but your skin is a mirror image of your lifestyle. Something as simple as getting enough sleep at night, wearing sunscreen, brushing your teeth before bed (I know…no need to roll your eyes but it does matter), not smoking, taking off your makeup even though you’re dead tired or turning down the offer for that third drink that might seem trivial but the benefits (in the long run) are almost priceless. A little here, a little there and a few drops become a huge lake…or so I’ve heard.

♦        Play: Find time to let your inner child out. I recently went whirly balling with a group of friends and it was so fun – my body and I had a come to Jesus moment the next day LOL!! So I urge you to get out, go kayaking, hiking, explore the world around you. Get out of the work-home-grocery-repeat cycle and enjoy!!

I missed writing and I sure am glad to be back!! Feel free to tell me what you plan to do this Summer. Like, Comment and be a Starr Reader! Until I come your way again which will be sooner, be safe and have fun!!

 

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!