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

 

 

 

 

 

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Trick Yourself into Loosing a Few…

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Hello y’all! Hope your week has been nothing short of amazing in your part of the world? I guess I spoke too soon, the burn is back in North Texas, and no… this is not another whining session. It’s almost like we can’t ever be happy. Its too hot, it’s too cold, it’s too muggy… on and on like some of the creepy toys with recorded voices sold back in the day when I was growing up – that should have been illegal by the way. Anyway,s this weeks post is about something I have thought about a lot and I have had several chats with friends for a while now.

The Dilemma!

It’s a no brainier that the older we get, the harder it is for our bodies to bounce back from all the sugar, drinks and our predominantly high carb diet. I started believing that the scale was not my friend anymore; when in actual fact, your metabolism is slowing down and you need to be twice as active just to keep up. It’s like waking up one morning and walking past a mirror before doubling back and screaming ‘What is happening to me’? – a little dramatic you might say but the struggle is beyond real. Not taking yourself serious enough is what is happening. Rome wasn’t built in a day just like those pounds didn’t pop up overnight. The usual progression is about 10 pounds per year and viola!…I look like I ate a wildebeest for breakfast with a wardrobe full of clothes that do not fit.

Allow me to paint a picture in your mind – a picture of the solar system, with the planets spinning around the sun. Now imagine you are the sun, the center of ‘your’ universe and the planets represent other aspects of your life – family, work, relationships, dreams and goals. If you’re happy with yourself and that includes being satisfied with who you are in the core of your being, then everything else benefits and your world is so much better.

So Lets Start Small !!

•          Start taking walks

•          Opt for tea instead of hot chocolate or all those lattes.

•          Reduce your portions and increase your meals.

•          Make up for your excesses with more time spent being active.

•        Never use the word ‘diet’. Your brain will go into panic mode and start                storing aka hoarding excess glucose and some people end up gaining weight when dieting instead of loosing weight. The key is to eat more small portioned and healthy meals; this will trick your brain into thinking there’s always going to be food coming in thereby prompting it to release the excess glucose and you’ll start to shed.

•          Drink more water and less soda or fizzy drinks and less alcohol.

•          Your body deserves rest. All nighter’s are inevitable but sleep is a key ingredient to weight loss and maintenance.

•          Do a gut cleanse. The cravings for sugar, sweet treats and carbs may be due to an imbalance in your digestive tract. First do your research and proceed with a mild cleanse before going hardcore. Its best to check with your healthcare provider before embarking into the unknown.

These are simple tips that gradually ease you into the process and I’m positive you will be shedding a few in no time…only if you stick to the plan. Thanks for reading! Follow me and share your experiences on how to trick your body into shedding a few! Until I come your way next time, I remain

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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Near Death Experience…New Outlook on Life

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Happy New Month Y’all!! Can you believe its July already? Well, I can. Time flies by when your’re fully occupied. One of my favorite things of the season is being able to dress lighter; you can almost never go wrong with all those insanely bright colors. I finally (rolling eyes) got around to packing up my winter clothes and making room for my summer clothes…LOL, so don’t be down on yourself if its the middle of the year and you haven’t organized your closet space yet. Now, as much as I love writing about all things ‘light’, fun and positive; I also love to write about deep life experiences and the lessons I learned in the process. Today’s post is one of those.

That Fateful Day.

One sunny day, years ago; I had gotten some time off and wanted start my day with running a few errands before settling in to chill, relax and take it easy. I made a stop at a Goodwill store to drop off some items I had kept for so long but couldn’t find the time to give away. I remember driving down the road about 5 miles from home and getting close to one of the traffic lights on my way. It was green as I approached it and suddenly changed to yellow the closer I got to the light. It remained on yellow for longer than a light would usually be and so I decided I would cross it.

All I remember was seeing a huge dark shadow come from the my side and in a split second, all I felt and heard was ‘Bam’!! I saw myself in the car but it felt like I wasn’t bound by gravity. It reminds me of those car collision tests with dummies where the impact is recorded and replayed in slow motion. My car somersaulted 3 times and landed on its roof.

I was hanging upside down supported by my seat belt when the daze started to wear off. The windshield was cracked, the doors were smashed in – totally destroyed. There was shattered glass all around me. I reached for the door but couldn’t get it to open. The window in the back seat to the right was busted open and this was going to be the only way to get out of the car. I released the seat belt lock and hit the roof. There were pieces of glass that cut my hands and knees as I crawled out of the car.

By this time, people rushed to help. The paramedics, the police and more people came unto the scene. My car was rammed on the driver’s side by a black Ram truck. As I was been attended to, one of the questions I was asked was how I came out of the car and how possible it was that I had just a few cuts on my knees and hands. There were measurements taken of the window I had crawled out of and all the police could say was ‘you are an extremely lucky lady’. The car was totaled. The emotional trauma was so much, it took me a couple of months to remember everything that actually happened because all my body did was kick-in in that moment to survive.

A Faulty Traffic Light.

That particular light was shut down and covered for repairs 2 days later; and even though I was given a ticket, I didn’t care to dispute it or go to court to prove anything…I was just happy and so grateful to be alive. All I wanted was for the whole ordeal to be over and done with…fast! I needed to get on with life.

My Outlook On Life Since Then…

Life is so fragile. A split second is all it takes and it can be all over. Knowing this reality humbled me in so many ways, I can’t even begin to explain.

I became a more compassionate human.

My empathy for ‘ALL’ suffering grew. Now I wasn’t exactly an ice queen by any chance but I did have some frosting..ha ha. This experience taught me to feel for others and not just those within my sphere of life.

Dissatisfied with all things specious.

Learning to forgive ‘quicker’. Life is too short. We are not and will never be perfect. Each of us sees life through our own perspective of what we believe to be right about the world. With that been said, some things are not worth the drag – what if the person you hold a grudge against passes suddenly and you didn’t speak because of something not worth it after all.

I keep it moving. There’s a sense of urgency to push ahead and not hold unto things, ideals or pattern of action that aren’t working or delivering the desired results.

Appreciative of every single day. Every day is not perfect but you’re alive! You can still dream and it’s not too late to change or try something new.

My belief in a higher power. Nothing else but the Big Guy up there watching over me.

Thanks for reading. Hope y’all have a fabulous month ahead and get to enjoy some amazing fireworks on the 4th! Until I come your way again, I remain

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

 

 

Anthony Bourdain: A Friend in my Mind

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Friday morning was a mad dash. I was off to two different offsite meetings before heading back to work. At almost mid-day was when I looked up my twitter feed. In that moment, I felt like my heart skipped a beat. It read “Anthony Bourdain was found dead by suicide”. I didn’t really understand what it meant; I had just watched the last episode  of Parts Unknown on sunday so he was still pretty fresh in my mind. This week was awful for the entertainment industry, first Kate Spade and now Anthony. I was puzzled, sad, wondering, afraid, questioning all at the same time. Lets take a walk back to how he became a friend – in my mind.

An Authentic Human Being

Anthony Bourdain was a real and authentic human being. He had money, success, fame but he knew those things did not exempt him from life – the daily struggles of anyone alive on this planet. He was who he was and he wasn’t ashamed of it. His love of travel and of food took him all over the globe. He was curious about cultures different from his, intrigued about how people lived, their values and the things that set them apart from other groups. There had to be more to a person or groups of people and Bourdain understood that.

There was a humility about him; he was willing to travel to remote parts of the world to sit with total strangers, share a meal and just listen. He gave others a chance to paint their own pictures, an opportunity to tell their own story – not the scripts written by people outside their experience. He ate any where from the best restaurants in world to eating on street corners and in back alleys; on many occasions trying things from menu’s that some of us wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. This part of him I could so relate to because I have gotten sick so many times from tasting and trying different cuisines in the past that I made up my mind to live vicariously by watching Parts Unknown and the Travel Channel.

He had things that he struggled with, that was no secret. It was said that he ran from his demons but not fast enough. Could it be that if he had taken time to acknowledge the things he was struggling with instead of painting a different picture to the world, he might still be here. I remember his last visit to a remote village in Asia where he made an eerie comment saying ‘it would be the last time he would be back there’, – I cannot help but wonder if he already knew what he was going to do. So sad, sad indeed.

We can’t keep losing people like this.  Something as simple as talking to someone else can go a long way to being free. Diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle coupled with rest help re-center and refresh the body. Being in close contact with family, friends and loved ones keep us emotionally balanced. Mental illness is no respecter of persons. An icon was lost and we pray for peace for his family at this time.

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

Old Recipes Live Forever!!

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Hello Y’all! Happy Mothers Day!!! There are many amazing Mum’s in world but I am lucky to have the ‘BEST’ one! I remember growing up as a kid and having temper tantrums – and there were many – because I didn’t get something I wanted and often saying under my breath that I didn’t  want to be like my mum when I grew up. Well, fast forward to 2018… and I can say for a fact that I am a clone of her…ha ha! Its so bad that I would say something and all of a sudden I would have a dèjá vu moment where I know I’ve heard the exact same phrase before and truth be told, it was something she had said.

There are weekends that fly by so fast because I’m on the go-go-go and there are times where I stop everything I’m doing, kick back my shoes and just chill. On those days, I sometimes like to make homemade pancakes from scratch; and yes I said from scratch (no pancake mixes here), just like my mum made them for me growing up. Those pancakes made everything better and I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

My love of cooking and not being afraid to try my hands at different recipes started with a show I used to watch called the ‘Urban Peasant’ a looong time ago. It was about a  funny, easy going war veteran who loved to cook. He wasn’t perfect by any long shot but he made it fun and approachable and if a recipe didn’t turn out great; at least you knew what not to do the next time around. That show had a huge impact on me, not just in cooking but trying new things in life at least once.

Today is one of those days where I’m making a pastry that I grew up eating as a child without a care in the world. The recipe has evolved over the years but I’m of the school of thought that says ‘if it’s not broken, it doesn’t need fixing’! Its very easy to make and so simple anyone can make it…and I mean anyone. So keep reading!!

Recipe for Meat Pie!!!

Crust: 2 Cups of Flour. Salt ( 1 tsp). Baking Powder (1 tbsp). 1.5 Stick of butter. 1 Cup of ice cold water.

Filling: Half a red onion (finely chopped). 1 Medium potato. 16 oz. Ground beef. Thyme.  Black pepper. Cayenne pepper. Cooking oil.  1 Egg for basting. Salt.

It’s super easy! First measure the dry ingredients for the crust into a bowl then add the butter and knead. Slowly add the water, knead some more and set aside. Heat a pan or in my case a pot with cooking oil. Add the finely chopped onions and stir for 2 minutes. Add ground beef. Add thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper and salt. Keep on stirring. Pour in the finely cubed potato and stir until fully cooked. That’s it for the filling!! Now take portions of the dough, roll out, add the filling, bast with the beaten egg and seal. Bake at 325 F until golden brown. Its so crumbly and tasty without all the heavy bready-ness and it goes with everything!! Here are some pictures below!

 

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Let me know what old recipes you love to make that work  everytime. Until I come your way again, I remain,

 

Periwinkle Starr

The Randomness of It All!!

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Hello Y’all!! The weekend is here! Sitting on my porch and starring into a vast expanse of greenery, listening to the sounds of birds chirping, the soft whisper of the morning breeze always seem to bring everything into perspective…don’t ask me how, it just does.  😀 Its almost like running through chaos all week and finally getting a few moments to be calm and regain my focus.

I sometimes get the sense that we as people look at life as a plan, a series of events, a destination, a succession of accomplishments that occur in stages…in order words; an orderly occurrence of events. I on the other hand sometimes love to look at life as a series of random events that do not always make sense when you’re in the thick of it. But the moment I step back and look at the big picture of events, timing, decisions made, seemingly chanced meetings, the good, the bad and not so pretty things that happen along the way; It… in some weird way makes sense after all.

Spoiler Alert 101

There really isn’t a specific order of occurrences in life. There’s a lot of RANDOM!

Sometimes, when things don’t go the way we think they should or things don’t happen as we imagine them to, we often think that we have failed in some way or the other. I have come to realize that by removing myself from being so up close and personal and looking at the big picture in a holistic way does something to and for me. Things begin to come into perspective in a way that blows my mind beyond anything I would have planned or orchestrated by myself. I have given all I can and now, I’m going to let it be, I am going to chill and have a glass of wine while i’m at it. 😀 😀

Recently, my friends and I drove by a newly constructed building on our way to a baseball game – The Texas Rangers against the Seattle Mariners. We lost… AGAIN!!! but who cares, ballpark food is so bad for you but taste sooo good and a once in a blue moon binge is not going to kill anybody right? – Anyway, it was a project I had worked on in the past. There it stood, majestic as can be. All the surrounding buildings looked dated beside it. Often times, no one sees the effort it took to create such a masterpiece if I could say so myself (wink). At some point in the process, it was a push-pull saga between peoples ego and doing what was best for the overall well being of the project and all the stakeholders involved: from the designers, construction managers, investors, the city, the occupants, the owners. At certain moments, things were frustrating and weren’t going well talk less of making sense. But now, looking at the end product; I can’t but be proud that it was all worth it. It all made sense. It wasn’t a perfect process but surely, it was worth it.

Life is full of randomness, things you can control and some you can’t. S***t happens to good people too. :/ Instead of being down on yourself when things don’t go the way you had hoped or expected; or it didn’t fit the mold you wanted, take a step back and look at it from a holistic perspective. Sometimes life does not make sense but as long as you keep doing your part, you keep being positive and keep pushing. I can guarantee that one day, you will be able to see the whole picture. You’d be able to connect the dots and you’ll be happy for good times and grateful for the times that things didn’t go as you had planned.

My To-Do list is long this weekend so i’d best get started on it. Hope you have a fab weekend! I would love to hear from you so feel free to share your thoughts with me and all our fab Starr readers. Also, take the time to check out my sister blog: https://www.periwinklestarr-glamfest.com/ Until I come your way again, do enjoy the randomness of life, its worth it!!

Periwinkle Starr