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

Results (Ahem)…Pie’s Are In!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? It feels like autumn already in North Texas and the time has come to change out Summer wear for Winter gear. It’s also officially baking season and I am so excited to dust off my baking pans and try my hands at baking something new. I had to get a solid pie dish as my old one had rusted all the way to Pennsylvania and back LOL…but with COVID still on the loose, I’m not about to add tetanus to the list of contagious ailments. Anyways, we are counting down to the elections. I am over it and just want to wake up to see that the nightmare is over already but, we still have a couple more hours to go. The world might be going to hell in a handbasket but still, we can be calm and relaxed, and bake some delicious piles instead of pulling out our hairs or biting our nails…haha!

Being a transplant from Ohio, I have to admit that when I first got here, there were a whole lot of things I found different. Texas is a meat and potato country of its own. Taco shops are literally on every corner here and the culture has a little bit of everything… in the right proportions. The Midwest on the other hand is what I love to call pie country. We have pies at every big event whether its a dinner, potluck or party – there has to be pie. When it comes to pies, there are two options (in my book) of it being a sweet or savory pie. Fruit pies tend to be on the sweet side while pies with meat or veggies tend to be savory. Today, yours truly will be making a savory double-crust meat pie and I’m going to do my best to make it as healthy as I possibly can. I learned that when baking pies, you can have whatever filling you want, what matters most is the crust. I’m linking a video on how to make the perfect crust down below so if you (like me) are a newbie to pie making, please check out this link. It’s awesome! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_3lBUMCRiA Disclaimer: As a renowned pie lover and taste tester, I will be trying this recipe and giving you my thoughts on what worked and what didn’t. So stay with me.

A Savory Meat Pie Dish!

Pie Filling Ingredients: Ground beef, white potatoes (optional), bell peppers, Jalapeno peppers, carrots, red onions and vegetable oil. Spices: Black pepper, Paprika, Turmeric, salt, powdered ginger, pepper flakes.

All you need to do is start by heating up a pan, wok or pot with cooking oil. Stir in the onions and black pepper and let it cook. Pour in the ground beef and stir until the meat changes from pink to brown. Then, add the rest of your spices and keep stirring. Add the carrots, and the other veggies and cook till soft.

Pie Crust Ingredients: 1 1/2 Cups of Flour, 8 Tbsp. of Butter, 1/4 Tsp. of Salt, 1 Tsp. of Apple Cider Vinegar, 3 Tbsp. of Iced Cold Water. Tools: Mixing bowl, rolling pin, measuring cups and spoons, saran wrap and pie baking pan.

Steps To Make The Crust: Add the flour, salt and butter in a bowl and mix. If you’re using a food processor, pulse until fat is cut uniformly into flour in small pieces. Then add water and apple cider vinegar. If dough is too dry, add a tad bit more.

Divide the dough into 1/3 portion for the top crust and 2/3 portion for the bottom crust. Place the doughs in a 2-3 gallon sized sealable freezer bag or saran wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Bring the dough out and gently pound and roll out both crusts. Spray the pan and gently transfer the bottom crust to the pie pan with a 1/4″ extending out over the edge. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and it’s ready for the filling. Roll out the top crust, place on parchment paper and cover with saran wrap before placing in the refrigerator. This will be placed on top after adding the filling. Using a basting brush, add egg or milk, or any top coating of choice to the top of the crust before baking.

Bake at 325 oF.

My Thoughts On the Results

The crust turned out a bit dry, so if or when I try to bake another pie someday, I plan on adding a little bit more water and roll out the dough thinner than I had done. I will also add more salt to the crust. I baked the pie a tad bit too long so next time, I would keep in mind to check it every 15 mins to make sure it doesn’t burn. The filling was excellent! I wouldn’t change a thing.

So folks, be safe, keep your eyes on the news and be aware of what’s going on in your environment. Sit back, relax and be calm. Everything will work out as it should. Until I come your way again, I remain

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

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

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

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

Lets Do This!!

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

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

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

 

Helpful Tips During The Quarantine!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

 

 

 

 

When It’s Ok To Let Go!

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

Life Happens To Us All!

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

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

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

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

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

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

Santa Monica In The Fall!

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

Howdy Santa Monica!!!

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

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

To Surf …Or Not

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

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

 

 

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

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

Hello Ember!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Periwinkle Starr

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 couple 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

 

Boundaries: The Key to a Healthier You!

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Hello beautiful people!! Its been a fun minute since my last post. I hope you’re doing well in your part of the world. I am so excited for the weather like you won’t believe. The warmth is here. There’s more daylight to enjoy and the Duchess of Sussex JUST HAD A BAYBAY!! Anyways just  like I always say, when it comes to the weather, we can never be happy for any extended period of time so I have resigned myself to the new norm – enjoy it until you don’t! This week I’m writing about something that’s very important to our existence as human beings and it’s called boundaries; so grab a cup of tea, some biscuits and get comfy.

In the past, I always thought of boundaries as something on the external, outside of me. Ever hear of the term, ‘they invaded my personal space’. Its often used to describe physical things – separate or outside of ourselves but there is a different way of looking at it. A boundary is something that bounds or limits according to the Urban Dictionary…

My Definition of Boundaries

What I will or will not permit, what I will or will not accept, what I will or will not yield myself to either in my emotional, mental, or physical experience as a human being.

In life, there are things we have control of  and there are  things we have no control over. An example would be setting off on a trip with no control as to what happens after you leave your home to get to your said destination. Whatever comes your way during your journey – you need not get worked up or attempt to burst a blood vessel because – it’s out of your control.

Boundaries are not just physical barriers that we put up to protect, preserve or maintain order but it can also be emotional, mental as well as spiritual boundaries. Without it, we would descend into chaos. Without boundaries, we would be out of sync and we would lack peace within ourselves and I mean the peace that radiates from the inside out not the faux zen with a thriving volcano seething just beneath the surface. Here are a few areas of life where I believe you and I need to maintain healthy boundaries in order to function at our optimal best. If we are lacking or out of sync in one or more of these areas, we might need to take a closer look and re-evaluate our reality.

•   Boundaries Within Families. It is very important to have boundaries between spouses, between parents and children and between siblings because these are the closest points of influence to us. When healthy boundaries exist in a family unit, it’s great but when it’s lacking, it could be hell-ish.

•   Social Boundaries – These are your interactions with people in your social circle. It’s very vital to surround yourself with healthy, upwardly mobile and those who make you grow in ways that pleasantly surprise even you. If there’s drama, gossip, knit picking and all kinds of elementary school foolery; it’s thank you – NEXT according to Ariana Grande.

•   Work/Life Boundaries.  A saying I can never forget says, ‘Work is a part of life. Work is not equal to life’. If you find yourself spending more time at work instead of with family, I believe it’s time to break the cycle and re-establish our boundaries again. By the way, there’s nothing to feel guilty about because we’ve all faltered at some point in our lives and will continue to do so. The goal is to enjoy life and not strive for unhealthy perfection.

•   Mental Boundaries. This is taking responsibility for your own mental health, wellness, and growth. Life happens to everyone and our goal (you and I) is to choose the right things to focus on in spite of our life circumstances. Knowing when to look at the big picture of events and when to zoom in to the fine details of life is key.  Getting facials and massages are nice but being responsible for your own mental growth and overall well being is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.

•   Re-Learning the Art of ‘NO’. Have you watched a toddler that’s learning to speak. My guess is their favorite word is no. Even for the things that they do need..ha ha! Now, that’s a little too extreme but I find that there are grown adults who have literally forgotten the art of saying no. They are bent out of shape and stretched too thin by takers who care nothing about the fact that these kind souls are literally ripping at the seams and cannot muster the courage to JUST SAY NO. We have all been there and done it at some point and there is no shame or judgement here. But a time comes when you come to yourself, you realize that even if you gave all you had including the very last drop of blood in your body to these people or person, it would never be enough. This realization is the beginning of freedom which in turn leads to the re-establishment of boundaries.

So feel free to like and share your thoughts and comments with me. I hope you enjoy the weather while its still ‘nice’ out. Until I come your way again, 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