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

 

 

 

Summertime Luau’s.

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Aloha y’all!! The world cup is officially here and its been fun catching up on the games. So far, the 2018 games have been exceptional; it seems like I’ve seen almost everything under the sun from body painting, world cup kits, memes of coaches caught unawares and all kinds of social media foolery as a result…The pleasure of watching has been ALL mine. 😀 So a group of friends were organizing a Luau; this would be my first real Hawaiian themed party and I was so looking forward to it. So here’s my take on it. Stay tuned!

Learning the Hukilau!!

Come the day of the Luau. It was all things Hawaii. Everything ranging from the beach themed shirts, grass skirts, lei’s and flowers…lots of flowers. The story behind the Hukilau dance is based off of the fishing culture of the Hawaiian people. Huki means ‘to pull’, and luau means ‘leaves’. The song is about the fishermen throwing their net in the ocean and the fish lured into the net and then the people join hands in pulling the net out of the water. Learning the Hukilau fishing dance was pretty interesting but oh so graceful. Loved it! There were prizes for the best dressed and Jan a friend of mine won 110 percent – from the flowers on her head, the grass skirt, and more leis, even her shoes were Hawaiian themed that she made herself; while Ed won for the guys! There were dance competitions, photo booth as well as a Tiki bar. It was fun, relaxing and I have to say we all had a great time.

So guys and gals, summers here and its time to set it off on the right note. Lets get out and do something new, fun and a little outside of our norm. Let me know what summer events you’ve been on and ones you can recommend. 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

 

Cooking For Friends!!

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

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

Fun Realities About Cooking for Friends  

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Periwinkle Starr