Santa Monica In The Fall!

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

Howdy Santa Monica!!!

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

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

To Surf …Or Not

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

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

 

 

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

 

Periwinkle Starr♥

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Hello Ember!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Periwinkle Starr

The Beauty Of It All.

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Hello Y’all! Hope you are doing well in your part of the world? It’s been great in North Texas right until I remembered that school will be back in session real soon; I literally went from a solid six to a two…on the ‘patience for traffic’ scale and yes, I made that up LOL. Anyways, I am going to savor the nicely flowing traffic with the occasional wreck here and there before the madness begins. The high point of my week has been my discovery of one of my favorite ice cream places very close to my work – simple pleasure of life get me everytime.  But on a more serious note, there has been so much going on in the news lately. The saddest and most horrendous things have happened in quick succession that burying my head in the sand or pretending that it does not exist is no longer an option.

Hmmm…(Sigh)

These days people are afraid of people. Afraid to interact. People react because of a mindset that expects a negative outcome even when there isn’t a threat and I feel we are slowly being conditioned so much so that we isolate ourselves thereby widening the wedge between us as people, as humans. Life is too short to keep walls when there are tremendous opportunities to be gained by interaction and community and I am not just writing this but I am speaking to myself as well. Now, I’m not recommending going out and hugging strangers on the street but just having an open mind about every circumstance we find ourselves in before concluding the worst.  My life Mantra that I try to follow is to:

Give everyone a clean slate…to show you who they really are.

Until then, I feel like we can make use of those freed up brain cells for doing more relaxing or productive things instead of waiting for the next shoe to drop…which in most cases never does; or when it does drop, it’s the ones we don’t expect that surprise us the most.  We live in a fallen world and there will always be bad things or bad breaks happening all around us (and even to us sometimes) but the goal is to be able to see the beauty of life despite the negativity, despite the trials. I’m not a good horse rider but I love love the idea of the blinders they place on the horses head that force it to keep looking straight ahead and not at the noise and distractions happening on each side. I made up my mind a long time ago to not let people, events or bad breaks make me cynical, hardened and bitter. In my opinion, that’s too much power that no one deserves to have over me. I decided not to let a bunch of bad apples ruin the bunch – whatever that means or however it applies to you and I.

Anyways, Fall is around the corner and before you know it, we will start our progression towards the years end. Until I come your way again, stay safe, upbeat and open to the things we do find beautiful in life.

 

Periwinkle Starr

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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