Down By The Bay!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. Its the fourth of July here in the States and its a somewhat a quiet one this year. The last couple of days have been so beautiful with lower temperatures in the mornings which has been heavenly outside especially on walks without the humidity and sweltering heat. I’m not sure how long this is going to last but it’s Texas…who knows? I was in the Bay Area recently and it’s been one of the places I had never been to so I was looking forward to it. I had heard a lot but did not know what to expect.

One of the things I do when I go to new places. I love to mentally start out fresh on a clean slate and let the city write it’s own story and frame my experience. For a Texas transplant, I have pretty much gotten used to big spaces, big cars, wider roads, big EVERYTHING. So, getting into the city and seeing cookie cutter terraced homes with multiple stories literally perched on the edges of cliffs or on top of each other; or sidewalks with slopes that would leave an accessibility specialist dumbfounded was odd for me. Oh….did I mention that it felt like Winter in Summer? It was cold and windy. We were 10 minutes from the coast so according to friends, that’s the cold part of the city.

My Experience & Thoughts.

It’s the most expensive city in America! I kid you not. I saw houses that weren’t anything to write home about just by looking on the exterior but I quickly learned they were worth millions of dollars. Rent is through the roof and a lot of people live outside the area and come in for work because the cost of living is so high.

It’s cold. If you packed your bathing suit and planned on re-enacting those ‘Bay Watch scenes of running on the beach in the sun….in slow motion, I have to stop you right there. You may not make it back if you do LOL. Its not only cold but also windy. People were dressed for Winter in Summer. And I mean winter jackets, boots, scarves and hats.

The service was awesome! There’s a level of etiquette that I don’t get in Dallas at a regular restaurant. The waiters were more personable, very attentive and didn’t treat patrons like your typical assembly line fast food place. The service we got would only be received at high end restaurants in the DFW Metroplex.

There’s so much to see. Any person looking to do touristy things in San Fran needs about a full week to get it all in. It sounds long but it will be worth it in the end. From Wharf 39, the Pier, Alcatraz, bus tours, boat rides, restaurants, historic gardens, museums, the golden gate bridge, the Hippie area and so much more. It would be worth your time, I promise.

Earthquakes are the norm around there. The ground is constantly moving so the logical part of me is wondering why everyone and their neighbor has their houses perched on the edge of hill looking out to the ocean. I’m concerned that the ground has to literally cough and those structures may come tumbling down.

Never Get a rental Car in San Fran. The cost of parking is so high it’s not even funny. Taking a taxi, Uber or Lyft is the way to go. The city has a land scarcity issue which doesn’t help when finding parking. Driving around looking for a spot to park your rental is not a problem you want to have in an area you’re not familiar with. Uber it was for us!

The homeless situation is real. I was having breakfast at a diner with a full-on window view of the city, traffic and people going about their day. There was a building across the street from the diner with a recess along the exterior wall. Not too long after sitting down for breakfast, I see a homeless guy walk up to that corner and pee right there and keeps walking. I see a janitorial staff come out with a cleaning buggy and hoses down the area and go back inside the building. I kid you not, in less than seven minutes, another homeless goes right to that corner and pees and keeps walking. I see the janitorial guy AGAIN come out and do the same thing. I’m thinking to myself ‘what in the h**l is wrong with these people’? It’s not uncommon to see extreme wealth and homelessness on the same block.

Drug Addiction is a serious problem. I saw people shooting up on the sidewalk facing ongoing traffic in broad daylight. I mean…out in the open with the needle in their veins – where you could see blood and whatever drug they were injecting…And people just walked on by like it was the norm. That scared me a little. There were people lying on the sidewalk nodding off, some looked dead…and I kid you not, people just walked on. A friend of ours told us to be mindful how we held our phones out in public, that it could be snatched.

All in all, San Francisco is beautiful and different in it’s own way and I look forward to exploring other parts of California in the future. Please follow, like and comment. Until I come your way again, stay cool and hydrated this Summer!! I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

The Shrewdness of Time!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? Summer is officially a couple days away but the heat isn’t waiting till then. Its time to slather on the sunscreen, sun hats, sun shades and the short shorts because the proverbial ‘Texas Burn’, is on!

So I tend to get pulled into watching numerous clips of TikTok videos streamed on YouTube about dogs…especially when bored or just looking for something to distract myself. The funny antics or despairing experiences they’ve had and their journey to recovery and being loved back into the loyal, furry little friends that they truly are bring back memories of growing up and having litters of puppies every now and again. I come from a dog loving family so its in my DNA.

There was always a big pup among the litter who was the bully, cried the loudest and stayed on mama tits long after the others had dozed off for the night. Yes, I’m referring to that one. I remember one time when I had to feed them in separate bowls because this cute little rascal would literally eat everything before the others even got a head start. So one day, something happened. I had just got done serving up their food and I was sitting in the kitchen watching them eat. The little rascal finished his food and looked up at me and then at his brother eating a couple of feet away. I knew what he was thinking LOL. He knew by now that he wasn’t supposed to go near his siblings plates during meal time so this is what he did. He pretended to be sniffing something on the floor and walking around the room….all the while closing in on the nearest pups plate. I was watching him intently but he was oblivious to me. In this pups mind, he was smart…very smart if I might add. All this time, he was pretending to sniff something on the floor, he was inching closer to his brothers bowl. In this pups brain, all of this was going to go unnoticed…..WRONG!!! I was unto him from the moment he looked at his brothers plate. I could literally see the wheels turning as he was trying to figure out the most stealth way to steal a couple bites of food without me knowing. I share this to say that…..

Life is a playground and you’ve got to get on it and play. You will fall down, You will learn from it and hopefully get back up and in the game again…literally. With time and experience, you learn and you grow. You don’t fall for the same tricks as you once did. You aren’t as gullible as you once were. You tend to question things – by asking ‘why’ and by anticipating the outcome of things whether good or bad. There is a sharpness, a seasoning that comes to you that cannot be acquired in any book or crash course. Life itself is THE school.

Time makes you shrewd.

*If you apply yourself to the school of life, you can spot things from a mile away.

*You aren’t quick to react as you were in your early days.

*You are more observant.

*You listen more…not just to what is being said in the moment but how it’s said and when.

*You become better at reading motives and intentions.

*You become intentional and more clear on what works for you and what doesn’t. What you want and what you won’t accept.

*You realize that you are human and you DO have a choice. Nothing is set in stone. There are no absolutes…someone just hasn’t discovered a way yet.

In my opinion, life is a playground when you are young. You fall, you get scraped, heal faster, learn from it and get back on the playground. I believe this is the time to train yourself because when you’re older, you get stiffer, you’re becoming brittle, you’re not as quick or you don’t heal as fast. But its meant to be that way. This is when you can sit back and pour into the younger ones who are willing to listen. Those who understand the invaluable pearls of wisdom being bestowed and who want to ensure that they don’t fall into the same ditches you did…literally. A timeless saying that rings through is to ‘never cast your pearls to swine’ is one that I often heard growing up but honestly did not grasp the depth of until much much later.

Folks, these are the gains and rewards we enjoy when we actively participate in life. Some of us took a fall and are now watching from the sidelines, afraid to get back on this playground called life. I speak to you and to myself as well…’Don’t be afraid. There’s only two directions it’s going to turn out: Good or Not so good’. That’s it! It’s better to try and not get the outcome you want than to not have tried at all. Until I come your merry way again, please like, follow and share your thoughts with me and the other Starr readers around the world. Have a fabulous week ahead!! I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

Back To Living Life?!

Hello Y’all! It’s been a moment since my last post. I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. I feel like every day that goes by brings me a step closer to living life as it was before the pandemic hit. Texas has been great in getting people back out and into some semblance of life as we knew it before the corona virus and I am so grateful for that. My heart goes out to my friends and Starr readers in Asia, most especially those in India who are having it really rough with a new ‘variant’ of the virus. I am sending you good wishes and prayers and I hope this passes and we can all get back to living as we once did.

A lot has changed in the past 12 months. I’m still working my way back to how it was pre-pandemic. Simple things like going to the gym or swimming. I know a lot of folks who haven’t gone back to the gym and prefer to workout outdoors, in small groups or virtually. How we stay active doesn’t really matter just as long as we keep fit and stay healthy is our defense against getting sick. I recently started walking again after almost a year and it was so freeing to be back on the trail, enjoying the scenery, the sounds, the smell of nature all around and see some of the regulars I’ve come to know over the years. It felt so invigorating and inspired me to write this post about not giving up…no matter what. Sharing is caring and we can all learn from each other so here goes…

The Spiel!

Life Happens…To Everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich, poor, handsome, pretty, unattractive, skinny…..you get the gist; we all have to go through life. A lot of times I don’t understand why especially when I’m in the middle of something, but sometimes, I get a clearer picture at the end of the tunnel or when I’m out on the other side. There’s no escape, we all have to go through things and I’m not trying to be a Debbie-downer but just want you to have a realistic outlook on life in general. We have to be braced, ready and open enough to find the silver lining…in everything.

Be Consistent. Whether its working hard on yourself to be a better version of you; or committing to eating healthy, exercising, or taking ownership of the kinds of people you surround yourself with, or just being mindful of the vibes or energy you put out into the world or absorb from your immediate environment. Be consistent.

Never Loose Sight of the Prize. Whether it’s your dreams, goals or vision for whatever you want to attain in life, never loose sight of it. I had the radio on the other day and heard this phrase that struck a cord with me. It said, ‘Never make a permanent decision based on a temporary situation’, or something along those lines. No condition is permanent and although some situations may be rough right now, it won’t always be that way. Keeping your eyes on your goal takes your focus off your current situation and gives you something to hope for, something to strive towards, and something worth living for.

Always Err On the Right Side. Always do the right thing whether anyone’s watching you or not because, what goes around boomerangs back around. It’s very easy to get caught up in instant gain but the after taste isn’t always pleasant. The best way to live a successful life is to be able to lay down on your bed at night with a clear conscience and have a peaceful nights rest. As easy as this may sound, it is not very common.

Kindness and Patience Go A Long Way. We live in a fast paced world. We want things now…and waiting is almost physically painful. But all in all, we need to remember to be patient and kind to the people we meet in our daily life. So when you’re waiting in line, waiting on the phone or just plain waiting. Curb the urge to start tapping your feet, tapping your fingers, pacing or getting worked up…periodt. Take a deep breath, relax and look for a way to focus your energy, count to 50, do something instead.

Coming out of the pandemic and into life as we have always known it has given us (myself included) time to think, process and reflect on our way forward. So until I come your way again feel free to share your reflections as we ease into life once more. Please like, comment and follow for more from…

Periwinkle Starr

Tell Your Story!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the globe. It’s been a minute since my last post and life has somewhat returned to normal since Snowstorm Uri decided to take a hike. Its March!! Happy New month to you all. I hope your new year resolutions are still on? People say that most individuals fall off the wagon by the end of January but hopefully you’re still in it till the end.

Do you ever have those days where you’re up late and craving all things rich in calories, savory on the taste buds and filling for your belly? Well, this was one of those nights for me. I had been craving pizza all week but tonight was different. It was as if my stomach was saying ‘It’s either you do something about this or neither one of us is sleeping tonight’…jeez. So I do the right thing by looking up the calories in a pizza I would usually get in the past and the time of day I intended ingesting those calories…I changed my mind and decided to make my own; Free of the excess oils and hidden fats. A recipe that I could count all the ingredients on one hand…Ha Ha! Off to the kitchen I went to make my own pizza. Surprisingly, once I got started, the growling in my stomach settled down quite a bit. I started to wonder, best hurry up now before it resumes again. Photos and recipe are below!!!

My post today is about the power of communication. We all have a story. Life happens to E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E, are phrases we are all too familiar with. I noticed that the most open phases of communication is when we’re kids and have no filter, and when we’re old-ER and no longer care what the world thinks. But there’s a gap between these two phases where we are either outwardly silenced or inwardly feel the need to conceal, withhold, or reveal as little as possible. Keeping up with appearances, not wanting to ruffle feathers, show weakness or simply ignoring things and hoping they’d die off or disappear are some of the coping mechanisms that we pick up along the way. This may appear fine and good in the moment but can I tell you that the burden on the human body is so heavy that emotional and mental weights have now been proven to cause illness, cancer, tremors, hernias, high blood pressure…you name it.

I stumbled upon a show where a neurosurgeon was talking about the connection between the body, the mind and the human spirit and it blew my mind. I later listened/read (can’t remember which), a story of an elderly woman who had a tremor. She had issues with walking and just doing everyday simple things. A neighbor invited her over to join their small group which she obliged since she lived alone and company would be good. On a particular day during the groups meeting, everyone was to share on something that happened to them that they never really opened up about. One by one, each person shared their story – nothing was too big or too insignificant, if it mattered to them, it was important.

It came time for the old lady to speak, she looked down, took a deep breath, and still shaking started talking. Her son had died many years ago. It was devastating. Everyone expected her to get over it and move on after the grieving period was over (technically). But she wasn’t ready. Attempts to talk about it were shut down. It was too painful for her husband to remember. And so, she buried it within her soul. As she spoke, pausing to wipe her eyes every now and again, one of the people in the group spoke ‘you’re not shaking’ he said. The old lady stopped and looked down at her hands. The tremors weren’t there. She could not believe it. She held out her hands and the shaking was almost non existent. The meeting at this point was over, everyone came round to give her hugs, there were more tears but it could only be a miracle that this happened.

When I listened to that story, I feel like the grief she was not allowed to express had to be suppressed. Since it was suppressed, the emotional stress of carrying this burden began to break down her physical body, manifesting itself as a tremor. Folks, I am not a medical doctor of any sort but I strongly believe that our mind, bodies and soul are intertwined and have the ability to affect the other especially when we’re out of sync, stressed, traumatized or holding unto blacked out memories that we have forgotten we even have. I feel that instead of waiting for the ‘I don’t give a rats behind years’, why don’t we give ourselves permission to be our authentic selves and speak our truth…NOW. I feel like old age should be enjoyed and not just spent in and out of medical facilities because of things we could have dealt with.

Disclaimer: Not all ailments are mentally or emotionally related but a lot of them are.

My Late Night (Two Crust) Pizza Recipe!

Crust Ingredients: 2 Cups of Flour, 1/2 Tsp of Salt, 2 tsp of Fast Acting Yeast, 1/2 Cup of Water, 1 tsp of Sugar.

Topping are whatever I had in my fridge at the time: Pepperoni, Black Olives, Pickled Banana Peppers and Green Bell Peppers, (No Cheese TYVM).

Sauce: A combination of Marinara Sauce & Ketchup.

Directions: Warm the water in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add sugar and then yeast. In a mixing bowl, add flour and salt and mix. Pour in the foamy, activated, yeast water. Mix and cover for one hour. Turn your Oven to 350oF. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the dough and a dusting of flour. Divide dough into two and refrigerate one half for later. Get your rolling pin and stretch the dough out. Get a pan and apply cooking spray. Transfer the dough and stretch some more using your fingers. Add the tomato sauce, toppings and pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Its ready. Cravings satisfied. Time for bed!

Until I come your way again. Tell your story, it may be the one thing that can save your life, your health, your relationships…you never know until to speak your truth.

Periwinkle Starr

Something To Smile About!

Hello Y’all ! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s February already and from what I’ve seen the last couple of days, 2021 is already picking up speed. Its been so beautiful and breezy this weekend and I’m starting to get my hopes up that the weather is going to change in my favor. But who knows what the weather will be in North Texas anyway.

I have decided to start the year off right by cleaning house. I honestly don’t know why I keep watching the show Hoarding, Buried Alive, but I do. It reminds me of when I was a kid and would watch horror movies from behind the couch, wrapped to my eyeballs in blankets. One of those movies titled ‘Crow Haven Farm’ scared the life out of me but I kept on watching…haha! Living in a wealthy and blessed country with retail options for everyone, not to mention the sales happening every other day; coupled with access to credit cards and numerous payment options, ANYONE can be a hoarder. And that’s the Gods honest truth. So if you would like to join the squad and ‘clean house’ this new year, grab a glass of wine or your favorite beverage, a notepad and a pen and a snack; climb into your favorite chair and lets get to work.

Taking Inventory: Going through my home room by room and taking note of what I have, don’t really use or need and what can be traded, given away or discarded. Or you can group things into categories like cosmetics, clothing, accessories (hair, footwear, perfume or even nail polish), cooking utensils (some of us have had items for years that really need to be swapped out with the exception of family heirlooms, keepsakes or antiques), books, furniture, or odd gift items (wink) etc.

Make A Decision: Decide what you would want to keep, what you would like to sell, what you would like to give away and what items you would like to trash. There’s nothing wrong with having stuff just as long as we don’t let the stuff have us. I had this feeling that I had written a similar post to this one and after taking a look back, I realized I had. I think I’ll call this a Part II or sequel of that post so If you haven’t already, check it out at Cash In The Attic?! | Periwinkle Starr (myeamba.com) 🙂 But on the other hand, if you cannot decide, you can always get the help of friends, family or consultants to do it for you.

Reorganize: You don’t have to break the bank but you can spruce up your space by removing unnecessary clutter, make your space vibrant, uplifting and fun! Some times little tweaks to a space change the mood in the room, and even give you a bounce to your step whenever you’re in that space. I love, love window shopping and would give myself a couple minutes to reroute my plans whenever I see something interesting or different. Did someone say squirrel? LOL. But a major part or reorganizing is getting rid of the old and letting in the new.

It’s a new year folks. Covid or No Covid. We are and will always be resilient; and we will keep living our lives to the best of our abilities, being free of fear, being safe and having some sense of normalcy. I have heard of a lot of people who have lost friends and even family to this darned virus and it makes me so sad and more concerned for the future. But never the less, I choose to be hopeful. I choose to love on my family and loved ones and check on my friends. Until I come your way again, take some time to do something for you, something worth smiling about. I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Good Vibes Only!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? I was up late one night with some time on my hands and decided to get this post going while my creative juices were still flowing…oh the joys of writing. As the name implies, ‘Good Vibes’ is a term that’s easily tossed around in everyday conversation so much so, that we can overlook what it really means or it’s implications. But there is a deeper meaning that the definition does not do enough justice to and I’m going to shed a little bit more light on it in this post.

When I fly, one of the things I memorize once I’m seated in a plane are the safety features, where the exits are located and what to do in case of an emergency. One of the instructions that irk me every time I hear it is when the flight attendant asks us to ‘put on the drop down oxygen mask first before helping your child’, heaven forbid something happens during the flight. This statement has never really sat well with me until it hit me. You have to be OK, alert, or afloat before you can help someone else – irrespective of who they are to you. I notice that no matter how much you may want, wish, love to help or assist or even visualize good things for loved ones; the decisions they take must happen between their own two ears, and the overall outcome is THEIR responsibility and not yours. This is often a hard pill to swallow especially when you have a ‘rescuer’ type personality, but in reality, it rings true. At the end of the day, we have the sole responsibility of creating healthy boundaries, enforcing them, keeping our peace and enjoying life while fulfilling our own purpose. Here are a few things that can and will help.

Learn to Be Kind to Yourself. Good vibes start within you. People tend to be harder on themselves than they would be on others. Stopping all forms of negative self talk or harsh chastisement is something that we may need to be intentional about and catch ourselves a couple of times before our brain can actually breaks the cycle (something I read some where about breaking bad habits and how many times you have to do it for your brain to grow new neurons – ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!). A famous saying is to love thy neighbor as thyself – the goal is to FIRST love yourself, be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, forgive yourself, and then comes the ‘others’. But how often do we find ourselves doing things for others that we would not even think to do for ourselves – because somewhere, at some point in our lives, we have been trained to think that we do not matter which is so far from the truth.

Get a Backbone. Standing up for yourself verbally, mentally, relationally is very important because it sets the stage and informs those around you that you will not tolerate unacceptable behavior. The backlash will come depending on the health of your inner circle, and you will hear words like ‘stubborn, difficult, opinionated…and more. These are complaints of those who can no longer take advantage, can no longer control, use or abuse you. But keep at it because the world is learning who you are. I guarantee that you will have a little bit more peace after this.

Be Responsible. This is a tough one but being self sufficient or self reliant in life gives you the ability to set the bounds around your life. As the saying goes ‘He who pays the piper, controls the tune’. Self sufficiency is a broad spectrum that could mean a myriad of things ranging from being financially stable or having a roof over your head, to being in control of vital decisions that affect your life. If you aren’t there yet, work towards attaining this goal. It will pay off in the end. There are countless cases of violations that occur just because we are at the mercy of cruel or unhealthy people.

When People Talk, Listen. There is a famous saying ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks’. As humans, we are always communicating who we are to the world around us, whether it’s being funny, sarcastic, gossiping, slander, non-verbal communication or mental projections. The key is to listen. People say what they really feel, not in grandiose conversations (although that tends to happen sometimes), but in every day chatter. Being an avid listener will save you a whole lot because you will be able to sift out those you can truly trust and those you should not cast your pearls to (literally).

We are Human Antennas. Have you ever met a person, maybe lived with them or worked in close proximity with them who outwardly were nice, did all the right things but in your heart, something just didn’t sit right with you about them? Well, that’s your gut or antenna picking up on something that transcends the physical realm and should not be ignored. Haven’t we all heard countless stories of ‘I had a gut feeling about ‘them’ but no outward proof to back it up’, or ‘They were so charming, I just ignored the feeling’.

Whether You Like It or Not, You Are in a War. You are in a fight for survival, a fight to be, a fight to not just thrive but flourish, a fight to be happy, sane and free. Our everyday life is fraught with things fighting for our attention, fighting to drain our energy if we would just let it, or fighting for our emotions or our time (fill in the blank). We need to fight to keep negative or undesirables at bay in the context of what we can control. The choice at the end of the day is yours.

Hold Your Lines. Do you ever notice that when an unhealthy individual comes in contact with a healthy person who they cannot access, cannot control, cannot manipulate or take advantage of, they become livid, they will hate your guts, they will try to take jabs (or chicken scratches in my opinion) at your armor, but they will not and cannot succeed because you see them, you know what they are about and as a principle, you do not budge or subscribe to those type of channels.

Be Kind to Others. The world has enough evil in it already. Be kind. Do unto those as would like done unto you but still use wisdom. Treating people the way they truly deserve does not make you any better than they are. Put out into the universe what you would like to receive from it.

Skip into the Sunset. Folks, life comes with it’s own challenges – it’s called being human. There are no real super hero’s but there are people who have mastered the ‘Art of Living‘ and I believe the earlier we master this art, the better we will be at doing life well. At the end of the day, if you incorporate these basic things into your routine, things may not automatically snap into instant perfection BUT you will be lighter, you will enjoy the simple things more, you will be a healthier and mentally stronger person all round and giddy enough to skip into the sunset because you have done the best you can. Thank you so much for reading. Please like, follow and comment. Until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Happy Turkey Day!

Hello Folks! I trust you are doing well in your part of the world. Here in North Texas, it’s Thanksgiving Day. I’m not so certain in these times we are in with giving ‘absolutes’ on any information especially now that we have a couple of states banning the Holiday or limiting the number of family members you can have over at your Grandma’s house, which I think is absurd but another story for another day.

I woke up this morning to the news that Diego Maradona has passed on and it was a shocker. Now, for some of the younger millennials or Generation Z folks who may not be familiar with this guy, He was like the Michael Jackson of soccer. He was phenomenal on the field. Once he got the ball, the opposing teams could literally see their courage leave the stadium, go back to their hotels, pack their bags and head to the airport because it was GAME OVER – that was how amazing he was. But like all great talents, it almost seems like their demons are more fierce (for lack of a better word). All in all, he made his mark in the world. He put Argentina on the map and he will be missed. May his soul find peace and his family comforted.

The weather was bright with a tolerable hue of sunshine. We had a soft breeze that wasn’t typical for this time of year but it was awesome and I had a great time. Thanksgiving this year was great but … different. We all know 2020 started off right until it got ‘jacked up’ by COVID and just when we were just about getting our lives back to normal, then we got on the political impeachment, then the second term election trail which, hard as many of us tried to stay out of it, could not because the craziness hit an all time high. At this point, I kinda want my money back, and I mean for the first 6 months of the year LOL…as if we, the mere mortals that we are can ask anything of the creator. But hey! On a lighter note, we have so much to be thankful for; because if you are reading this post, you are still here. And that is more than enough.

I don’t know about you but I see a trend over the past couple of years especially with the holidays and if you are seeing what I’m seeing, then you know what I’m talking about because you see it too. Less and less people are cooking meals these days and instead opting for meal pick-up services, curb side deliveries or even getting a chef to cook in their homes while they channel all the energy that it would have taken to cook the meals to actually relaxing, spending time with family, friends and loved ones. If you ask me, that makes a lot of sense and is justifiable on all counts BUT there is such a thing as a home cooked meal, a meal made with love, care and patience that trumps restaurant or ”assembly-line’ delivered food. But at the end of the day, everyone is not going to be a Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart and for some that is ok. Friends, today is the day to sit back, throw off all diets, all food trackers and treat yourself.

It’s been a very different year than what we have ever experienced but we are still here and it’s worth being thankful for. Hug your loved ones. Do something nice for your friends and or co-workers. I’m just a little intrigued as to whether there will be any social distancing for the Black Friday shoppers this year. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Be safe, have fun and until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

A Food Lovers Paradise!!

The ultimate goal of any food lover is to be able to enjoy the foods we love, not compromise on taste and not gain weight. A Perfect World right? These are three things that are almost impossible to attain because the mantra we’ve all heard is “whatever taste good is probably bad for you…and may cause damage to your body or even shorten your life span”. Disclaimer!!! This post is based on my experience with diets over the years and the things I learned along the way. I am not a medical professional by any long shot but I’m here to give you my experience from an avid dieters perspective so stay with me.

Now, any food lover knows that weight gain is almost inevitable without the aide of exercise, cosmetic procedures, stimulants, food deprivation or weight loss supplements, especially as we get older. Your energy levels reduce, your metabolism slows down and all the signs of aging start to pop up. You notice that your are eating probably the same portions of food but you start packing on weight and don’t know why. There are a couple of people who are blessed with not being able to put on weight no matter what they eat and we envy your metabolism – so you might as well log off now because this post is not for you (just kidding)!

The rule is – There are no rules when it comes to weight loss!

Sorry, I just busted someone’s bubble. This is the reason why some get surgery thinking its going to be the end-all-be-all fix and before you know it they’ve doubled in size – even worse off than before they began their weight loss journey. Lets not even get started on the diet pills and supplements – some of which do work only for as long as you take them, or in other cases may have side effects that have not undergone approved testing. I find that the same way you fool kids into eating their veggies is the same way you can trick your body into not gaining weight by swapping a few ingredients without compromising on taste. Having health conditions like thyroid issues and other underlying ailments might be a reason why diets may not work for some but I believe that all diets should be tailor fitted to a persons body type, specific to their metabolism and guaranteed to work specifically for them. Here are a few things I realized over the years…

Every persons body is unique including the way we burn calories and our bodies reaction to certain food groups. I follow a lot of food bloggers and one of them (Plantiful KiKi) adopts a high carb diet and is as slender as a stick. I tried the exact same diet and gained 6ibs in a week. She later provided a disclaimer several videos later that she is of Mayan descent – and guess what the Mayans ate? GRAINS! Well, my weight loss diet was trashed plus I just added six extra pounds of weight I had to loose.

Eating food in its natural form will help you loose weight…FASTER. I know, late night frozen dinners and Pizza deliveries have saved lives in more ways than we can be thankful for but if you want to loose weight fast, you will need to cut back or cut out processed food and eat fresh. Opt for zero calorie sodas instead or regular soda. I guarantee you, the scale will be kinder when you step on it and yes, you can thank me later.

Food portions matter. Diets always limit what you can and cannot have but that just deprives the dieter until they can’t take it anymore and find themselves gorging insane amounts of food with promises to restart the diet the next day. Or waking up and finding yourself on the pantry floor and not knowing how you got there LOL. Trust me, we’ve all been there and done that or similar. The key is to eat whatever you want but in controlled amounts while bulking up your servings with veggies so you stay fuller longer.

Replace sweet and salty snacks with fruit and veggies. This will literally be painful on your taste buds the first week but by week two, your body will begin to adjust if you stick with it. Instead of buying a tub of your favorite ice cream, swap that out by making your own blend of frozen dessert while keeping portion control in mind as you go. To feed your sweet tooth, make your own granola or bake your own cookies or cake from recipes that are low in calories.

Exercise for an hour EVERYDAY. It doesn’t matter if it’s Zumba, running, dancing, walking, swimming laps, going to the gym or jogging on the spot. When you get into a rhythm of working out, it will be easier for your body to burn the fat instead of letting it sit overtime, making it more difficult to get rid of.

Stay hydrated with water, teas and homemade fruit juices and drinks. You can make your own juices, smoothies, etc. A lot of processed drinks have high sugar or sodium contents along with only God knows what. Make yours and sweeten with honey, maple syrup or other natural sweeteners.

Cut back on fast food or figure out a way to substitute certain items for healthier alternatives. I’m sorry but I had to go there. I love me a juicy burger and hot salty fries any day but that didn’t help my weight or my health. You can swap out the bun on your burger for a lettuce wrap. Instead of getting salty fries, you can get an unsalted, kid size portion or better still bake or air fry your own. I recently came across a story where some lady found a happy meal – burger and fries, that were 24 years old and surprisingly, did not disintegrate. It looked like a week old meal…that should tell you something.

Get enough sleep. Need I say more.

Folks, weight loss is such a passion for me because I have struggled with weight all my life. I believe that the solution does not always have to be life threatening or insanely expensive. The benefits of getting your weight under control far out weigh the temporary discomfort of not giving in to cravings. When your body is healthy, you feel and look better, your confidence increases and you are in a better position to improve your life. Let me know what your thoughts are on these pointers. Until I come your way again, be happy. healthy and upbeat!

Periwinkle Starr

Light At The End Of This Tunnel!





Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well where ever you are in your part of the world. Its almost Fall but still officially Summer here in North Texas, with temperatures in the 100’s. Now with all that’s going on, there seems to be more pressing things to focus on than the weather these days. The ripple effect of the epidemic has reached proportions that were not envisioned at the onset. But with everything that has gone on, instead of focusing on the negative things happening, the key to keeping your head up is to be positive.

There have been massive foreclosures and movement of people out of their homes and apartments in the metroplex. Massive job layoffs due to the slowed economy have put families in need of basic necessities. With the loss of work has come the loss of healthcare which is very vital for which the absence of will negate a person to the tax penalty the following year. Seeing tow trucks repo nice and exotic cars in the city has become the norm these days. The toll on parents due to having their little kids cooped up in the house for so many months has not been easy either. I feel like all parents deserve an award for surviving 2020.

But the truth is that life is not all roses folks. It has it’s ups and it’s downs and the only way we are going to make it through to the other side is to be flexible enough to roll with the punches. We have no control over ANYTHING that life throws our way, but we have control over our reaction to what life throws our way.

Lessons Learned From COVID-19

Save. Save. Save. Always keep in mind that there will always be lean times and we need to plan ahead for unforeseen circumstances.

Getting rid of the ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians Joneses Manual or Mentality’ we have subconsciously been handed all our lives. Have the courage to live within your means and not give a rats behind what people think. It’s better to have a lot and live a decent yet simple life, than to have nothing and look like a million bucks.

Keeping up with your health and fitness regimen. This includes exercise, cleaning up your diet and having a positive mindset. When the lockdown first began, a group of friends and I decided to start doing Zumba for an hour, five days a week. The results are AMAZING because while folks were complaining of gaining weight and becoming joined at the hip to the refrigerator, we got our bodies in shape and lost weight. It’s so sad that although some refer to the virus as a glorified flu to some, it’s been a killer for others due to health issues, some within their control and others that weren’t. The goal is just to do your best with your health…periodt.

Stay in touch and in close contact with family and friends. Meeting up for walks, outdoor games and activities while social distancing or choosing patio dining at restaurants will keep you in touch but also safe from being exposed to the virus.

Take your mind off of the news. Now this does not imply burying ones head in the sand by any means but try not to feed your mind with the negativity that comes on daily. I just need the highlights please.

Stay positive and upbeat no matter what. A friend of mine recommended writhing a thankful list, either the first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. That kind of narrows down your focus from the worldwide happenings to your neck of the woods or personal life. I believe this is an awesome thing to do especially with the fact that statistics show that drinking is up, with suicide rates and drug overdoses climbing since the pandemic began.

Believing in a higher power other than yourself helps. For most, it’s God, but for others its something else. I feel like that takes some of the pressure off without negating the fact that we have an active part to play in our outcomes in life. Balance is the key my friends.

Take care of yourself. As simple as this sounds, a lot of people aren’t doing this and It makes a whole lot of difference. Cut, brush or braid your hair, wear make up, shave, get your nails done, every now and then, wear your heels just so you don’t forget how to walk in them …Ha Ha! This may look trivial but it shows that you matter to yourself despite all the craziness going on.

If anyone told me at the beginning of this year that we would be in the situation we are in right now, I would have told them to shut the front door but its here and we have already survived the first half of it. No matter what is going on personally or in the world around you, remember that if you stay flexible, upbeat and focused, there’s light at the end of this tunnel. Until I come your way again, stay cool!

Periwinkle Starr

Times Are Changing.

Hello Y’all! I Hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s been a minute since my last post and here we are at the end of July; thanks to corona, the past months have been a blur. Summer is almost over and adapting to this new normal is all we can do besides not catching this darned virus. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’d remember that I did a post on Hillary Clinton a couple years ago; and as much as my blog is not political, I believe it’s only fair that I do one on President Trump as well.

One of the things I have come to understand about politics and the rule of democracy is that when dealing with human beings, there are no hard and fast rules. People are not sheep and the popular slogan of ‘one size fits all’ does not always apply. So, what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander. In the past couple of months, it’s been wild with everything from power play, political sabotage, racial injustice, to mass censoring. It literally feels like a movie unfolding before our very eyes. Its like being a spectator at a game of chess, and observing the moves made by the players.

Speaking on the parties we currently have, there are those people who are either for or against one side or the other and literally demand that we pick a side as if that will bring a solution to the issues we are facing as a nation today. I personally believe that there is no such thing as an absolute ‘good’ or absolutely ‘bad’ party because upon analyzing both options, there are certainly things that are favorable to all people within each group. But when I look at the foundation, what they stand for, the track records and I weigh those things against my conscience and the moral standard of what is acceptable in the light of our humanity, one side definitely outweighs the other in being a better pick. The older I have grown, I have developed a keen eye to observe and an ear to listen – not just to what is being said but the motives behind it, the actions that preceded before and what is being displayed or shown in the present. I have come to the realize that I would rather have truth screamed at me that the soft sweet words of a venomous snake as it slowly circles and strangles me while keeping me calm and at ease. Here are some of the things that I have noticed in our culture today that is slowly becoming our new normal.

The Cancel Culture: It’s like people have finally had time to dig up dirt on celebrities and public figures mainly because they are soft targets, and bringing a lot of things to light. I’m neither for or against these happenings but I do believe that Karma is a b***h and whatever is done in the dark will one day come to light. But still, it’s a painful thing to watch.

Massive Censorship: First and foremost, we have human rights and one of them is the right to freedom of speech or expression. People can’t even laugh or be comedic anymore because a large majority of people have become snowflakes and can’t take simple humor. I am waiting for the day that I get up in the morning and look on social media without seeing anyone apologizing for only god knows what. Anyway, here’s a link to get yourself up to speed on what your Human Rights are…and if you ‘really’ have them. http://www.youthforhumanrights.com

The Rise in Racial Discrimination: Shying away from the reality of racial discrimination is like have a rotting wound that’s oozing out puss but covered with the finest cashmere throw on. It still stinks and the only way to fix it is to uncover it and treat the wound head on. This seems easier said than done but kicking the can down the road has not gotten us anywhere, so why not just start now.

Attack on Religious Freedoms: I have noticed that over the past two to three years, there have been a rise in the number of cases going all the way to the Supreme Court due to attacks on Christians in the work place. This was not always the case in the past but thankfully there are law firms dedicated to the sole purpose of defending peoples religious rights and freedoms most especially in the work place.

The Power of the Camera: We live in a time where we are seeing ‘instant karma’ because someone had a camera in the moment and was able to report an incident with proof. Shakira once said ‘My hips don’t lie’, well the videos don’t lie so people need to be on their best behavior at ALL times because it’s not worth loosing your job or career over just because you were caught behaving badly…in public. I believe this is a heart issue. If you are a good human being with integrity, you won’t need to pretend

So….What Now?

A lot of things have happened since the pandemic, so much so that when I think of the months to come, I’m not so certain on what to expect. Folks have gone back to stocking up on food, piling up ammunition for only God knows what, and buying up survival kits plus catching up on episodes of Mountain Men, Alone and all those survivalist shows that depict people living off the grid in the woods some where. Or the other extreme where people are trying to hold unto life as they knew it aka choosing to be sitting ducks by not watching the news and hiding their head in the sand and refusing to accept that the country is changing and may never be what they knew it to be. I don’t have the answers folks but I’ll keep my eyes peeled and do my best to be upbeat. Feel free to share your thoughts, views and comments. Don’t forget to like and follow for more great content. Until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr