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

 

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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

A Do-Nothing Weekend…At last!!

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Hello Y’all! I hope your weekend has been nothing short of amazing. Can you believe we are already in the Ember months? It is SEPTEMBER!! …and Labor Day is a few hours away. I love to call it the start of the Holiday marathon because we just keep rolling from one to the other until the end of the year.

This blog title is so cliché because I feel like a do-nothing weekend is just not doable – but a ‘do-nothing stress inducing’ weekend absolutely is. Forgetting about deadlines, alarms and traffic is such a sweet spot to be in, even if it’s only for a few days. I have more time to spread out my activities as opposed to racing to get everything I need done in a 48 hour time crunch…ha ha! So here I am in my living room with my hair marinating in a blend of  natural and essential oils, nails done, face in a mask and writing this post with a sappy Hallmark movie playing in the background. I would say that I’m very intentional about doing nothing stress related for the next couple of days…ha ha.

Tips for a Fun Holiday Weekend!!

Snooze galore. Need I say more!

Pamper yourself – Get a facial, a massage, paint your nails, give yourself a mani pedi because you absolutely deserve it.

Catch up with family and friends.

Take your vitamins. I know this is funny but most people are always on the go during the week that they don’t stop to take ANY vitamins. This might seem trivial but since we get one body per lifetime, its best to keep it nourished and balanced – vitamin supplements help with that.

Socialize and have fun! – Pool parties, parks, picnics, barbecues. I know nothing about grilling but I love volunteering to be a taste tester. There are endless activities going on all over the DFW Metroplex so there’s no reason to stay home .

Drink red wine – your heart will thank you for it!

Exercise – swim, go for walks, zumba, hit the gym.

Take time to be quiet, calm and relaxed. For some this would entail things like meditation, listening to a good sermon, acupressure or acupuncture; do what works best for your body type.

Get refreshed!…I do realize that three days is a short period of time to de-stress but it is better than no time. Besides you will feel recharged and in tip top shape to hit the ground running again!

Happy Labor Day in advance!! Feel free to like, follow and share your fun tips for a do-nothing weekend!! So until I come your way again, its going to be lots of rest, fun, friends and food. Be safe and hope you have a fabulous time!!

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

Slow Cooking …In Texas!

Hey Y’all! I hope your week has been as hot as mine. If you’re in North Texas, you know that there isn’t any escape from the heat at this time of year. I was in Austin for work and found it nice and pleasant…and by nice I’m referring to 86°F of sunshine. That was heaven compared to the miniature hell hole I have found myself in the last couple of weeks 😦 I can literally cook breakfast aka make scramble eggs on the bonnet of my car – it’s not even funny anymore; and ‘No!’ There is no upside to this situation. No bag of gold at the end of this rainbow, just heat…and lots of it. Anyways, I just needed to whine for a quick second.

In spite of the heat, I found myself making excuses just to stay home in the cool and do nothing; it wasn’t long before the scale started to ‘lie on me’…ha ha!

My Turning Point

Here I was trying to figure out how I was going to get more exercise without straining myself excessively when I got a message from a friend of mine asking if I wanted to go walking in the evenings? My reply was…YES!!! I got off my couch, put on my trainers and literally ran out the door before I could convince myself otherwise. My first walk was painful…and yes I said “walk’. I didn’t realize how unfit I was. We started walking a little over 5 miles four times a week. JUST. LIKE. THAT! If i could spend time watching TV for at least an hour each day, then I could walk for an hour and some every other day. So we would meetup at a park close to both our homes and off we went. Its been almost a month since I started walking outside and I feel so much better. I’m not up to running yet but I can do a light jog…(tongue hanging out) LOL!

Benefits of Walking

You’re out in nature.  You’re breathing in natural air and not central air. You get to catch up with friends. You will improve your circulation and in turn, your heart will thank you. You will begin to loose weight at a steady pace over time instead of crash diets and killer workout routines – in this heat!!

Safety Tips When Walking

•      Have your phone on you always.

•      Walk with friends or fitness buddies.

•      Having pepper spray on you doesn’t hurt.

•      If you’ve got allergies, take medication.

•      Walk in well lit areas.

These are a few pics from my trail. Let me know what tips you can share to stay fit. until I come your way again, stay cool, fit and hydrated.

 

Periwinkle Starr

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Cooking For Friends!!

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Happy Easter!!! …and April Fools Day! Its been a minute y’all and I am so relieved that this years Fool’s Day didn’t fall on a work day. I would have walked into work skeptical that everything would be booby trapped; all thanks to the pranksters I call coworkers 😀😎 But on a more serious note, Spring is here and it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

One of my best friends and I had a pact for years where she stopped by my house on Christmas day and I at her house on Boxing day. We loved hosting!  I am no cordon bleu by any long shot but cooking for friends has been a fun hobby, something I have loved doing for ever but not as much as I would like these days. Nothing beats great company, home cooking and lots of humor… any day. The fact that we live and work in a fast paced environment where there’s a location for every meetup, we tend to loose the intimacy of being in our friends homes and getting to know them on a deeper level. For some, this might be an issue that brings anxiety but I am going to share some fun realities about cooking for friends and hosting that should set your mind at ease for the next time or the first time you have friends over at your place!!!

Fun Realities About Cooking for Friends  

  • You ‘finally’ get to clean!! If you are somewhat of a perfectionist or borderline O.C.D., you can skip over this point. But for those who never ‘EVER’ get around to spring cleaning, the thought of having people at your home should at least scare you into action…at least for their sake..ha ha! There is a saying I have heard that ‘the state of your personal space or dwelling is a reflection of your mind’. So look around you😨

 

  • You can finally see your dinner table!! For the mass majority, we are the generation that eats the most meals in front of the TV. Having guest over will finally motivate you to get that ‘library’ off the dining table for once. Lets stop deceiving ourselves that we’re reading all 25 books at the same time. They belong on the shelf with page markers so you can pick up where you left off anytime you want. 😎

 

  • You get to perfect your hosting skills!! Don’t you just admire and look up to accomplished women or men who are seasoned at every and any thing they do? Let me give you a spoiler alert…Those skills did not pop up over night. It took practice and in many cases, a lot of failed moments. Just like a muscle that you don’t use, don’t expect to win a marathon if those legs haven’t been trained to do so. Practice makes perfect!😘

 

  • You get to use all your cookware. Don’t you find it amusing that you find things you didn’t even know you still had when planning to have guests over as well as realizing what things you DON’T have. Sometimes looking for certain items turns into a spring cleaning moment because lets be honest, – there’s are some gadgets we will never use. So finding someone who will appreciate it is way better than just taking up real estate in your space.

 

  •  You don’t always have to break the bank. 😕 You can host on a budget and still have a great time. Designate who brings what and you should be good.  At the end of the day, community is everything. Having a good laugh and just relaxing with people you care about and vice versa does good for the soul.

As always, I would love to hear from you, your fun stories, burn stories and everything in between – the first time or last time you had friends over. Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

Kayaking on Lake Grapevine!!

 

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Hello Y’all and welcome Fall 2017! I hope you’re enjoying the cooler weather these past couple of days that it’s been so nice outdoors. I have always wanted to go kayaking but the timing has been far from perfect. This time, there were few people from my meetup group who were going and I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to finally try my hands at it.

Prior to the trip, it seemed everyone and I mean E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E had an opinion about kayaking on Lake Grapevine; Even the checkout guy at the sports store said ‘the water wasn’t clear, you couldn’t see the bottom’…Wa! Wa! Wa! In my mind I’m thinking, ‘there’s a reason why it’s called a lake :/ and if you want to see crystal clear to the bottom, you’re going to have to wait a couple more weeks for Irma to be done. 😐 A friend of mine gave me a ‘what to do if you get screwed while kayaking’ list of sorts…ha ha!. Some of the items on that list were outright hilarious. One of them was: ‘If you see something huge moving around or under your kayak, paddle faster’! 😐 To where? If I might ask – when I’m right in the middle of the lake for Pete’s sake. On a more serious note, I found those tips very useful especially if you don’t plan on being a part of the 6 o’ clock evening news. :/ I also did some research and found a couple of tips that would be useful to anyone interested in the sport.

Do’s and Don’ts of Kayaking – 101

  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Let friends and family know where you’re going, when and who you’re going with.
  • Do not drink prior – No mini martinis, wine tasting events or a ‘few’ beers before.
  • Use sunscreen.
  • Wear water shoes.
  • Have a water bottle to stay hydrated.
  • A whistle and a light along with your name and phone number taped to the inside of your kayak – necessary if you’re in a big body of water.
  • Wear a life jacket.
  • Wear polyester – wet clothing made of cotton against the skin makes your body lose heat at a faster rate.

Are You Ready to Paddle?

The weekend was finally here. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shinning but it wasn’t hot.  😀 I arrived a few minutes into and met other members of the group. Our instructor Steve Walls strikes me as an ‘all things outdoorsy’ type of guy. He was very friendly but firm on safety.  He was getting the first batch out on the water and then it was our turn. It was one of those days I wished I had a go – pro camera than risk damaging my phone in the water.

Getting into the kayak was when it dawned on me ‘What on earth have I gotten myself into’? After wobbling a few times, I got my balance and headed out with the rest of the team. I learnt certain tricks on how to maneuver the kayak against the tide and avoid running aground.

After the first 30 minutes of paddling, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to vomit or take a nap (I learnt that this is pretty normal to first timers) but since I was in the middle of the lake and I had signed up for TWO WHOLE HOURS of fun, there was no quitting now. 😀 😀 We made it back to the shore and it was awesome!! I hope you enjoy the outdoors while you still have it. Here are a few pictures of the beautiful Lake Grapevine!

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Special thanks to:

Steve Walls – http://www.discoverkayak.com (Certified Instructor)

Paul and Kate Kuthe – Canoe and Kayak Magazine (info source)

 

Until I come your way next time, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Summer Games!…Are You Winning?

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Hello Y’all! I hope you’re doing amazingly well and the heat feels just as wonderful as it looks :/ If you’re in my neck of the woods, you’d know that its office volleyball season  – where co-workers get to bond outside the four walls of the office and team build – that’s putting it nicely but we do get a chance to be out in the sun, socialize, make utter fools of ourselves and have a fun time doing it 😀

I happened to be drafted into our office league after many failed attempts to convince our Supreme Leader aka Team Captain that I was better off cheering on the side than actually playing; but for some reason, he had more faith in my athletic abilities than my actual track record in ANY kind of sports. So game day arrived. Our team had been on a winning streak the past week. Our morale was high. We were pumped and scheduled to play against ‘Shots n Sets n Bulls**t’…Now I’m thinking to myself, who on earth gives their team that sort of name anyway but at this point no one cared.

Game On!!

The games begin. We had four solid players on our team; the rest of us were just bodies. I also realized much later that the goal was to actually hit the ball instead of running from it…ha ha. In the end, we got beat by ‘Shots n Sets n Bulls**t’ 2 to 1. The game was over. We  would do better next time…I meant ‘they’ 😀

But whenever I hear the word ‘Winning!’, my mind always goes to Charlie Sheen and his epic meltdown a couple of years ago. He was on rampage acting like he was doing great on the outside when his world was falling apart on the inside. How often do we come across people who appear to have it all together so much so that we’re tempted to question if we’re trying hard enough or aiming high enough in our own lives. Its almost like trying to ‘Keep Up with the Kardashians’; although beautiful in pictures they have lives that are so tumultuous a normal human being would question their sanity on a daily basis.

But in my opinion, winning in life doesn’t necessarily mean you have ALL your ducks in a row or you’ve arrived and all your dreams have or are coming true. Winning in life means you’re taking steps (whether big or small) in the right direction (however that applies to you) to meet an expected end goal with a time frame in mind. The questions we must then ask ourselves is: Are you winning in life or are you giving people the impression that you are when you’re really not doing so good? And if you’ve lost sight by living from the outside inwards instead of from the inside out; how can you get back to ‘really’ winning in every area of your life?

Looking forward to winning the next game and maybe a little more practice will help. But until I come your way again, I hope y’all have a cool and fabulous weekend!!

 

Periwinkle Starr