Archives for August 2016

August 30, 2016


It hit me mid sentence, as I was writing today’s blog post, that Labor Day was just 10 days away. The sadness that my vacation/rehab was soon to be over, and that I would be back to work, is disheartening. To live an organized RA friendly lifestyle requires much planning and prep work which changes by season. Much has to be done, purging cosmetics that are out of date, and more importantly preparing the skin care routine that agrees with my medications and lifestyle.

Cool/cold weather for me means dry, sensitive skin. My current cleansers and moisturizers are replaced with routines using masks that exfoliate my skin, or masks that hydrate my skin, followed by heavy moisturizing. As I write this, it all sounds like a bunch drivel to me, but to be able to present myself in a professional manner at work, is a major challenge. RA can and does wreak havoc on your appearance and so many other things. That’s what this post is really about. If I lived without RA, nothing would make me sweat, I would do things as they came along and didn’t have a worry in the world, and if I did, I could handle anything. So where does this leave me? When I’m done with this post, I’ll probably peruse Nordstrom Beauty online. I’ll take Sean Patrick for a walk, because daytime weekday walks will be few and far between. I’ll rummage through the dates on all cosmetics and purge all out of date products. The summer clothes will be put in piles of save, give away, and keep out as transitional clothing. My list will go on until I feel comfortably prepared to start a new school year and head straight into the fall/winter season. I think I’ll start addressing my Christmas Cards tonite!
XO - 1

August 26, 2016

Losing To Win


As an individual of Italian descent, pasta and bread were dietary staples with strong emotional attachments. The aromas of my mother’s Sunday “gravy” simmering (we call “sauce” “gravy”),coupled with the scents of the fresh bread my father picked up from our local bakery, still conjure strong emotional responses from me. Imagine my shock and horror when my immunologist informed me to give up white flour and white bread! Are you kidding me?!?! This must be some kind of cruel attempt at humor in his part. Sadly, as I soon learned, not only was it not a joke, he was right. It was not easy, and my mother couldn’t understand why I was eating only the meatballs without pasta and not “dunking” the crispy Italian bread into the gravy. Gone were morning cereals and bagels. Eggs were the norm. No more sandwiches- salads were in. Not only did I begin to feel better physically, but after a month, my blood work showed improvement. I was still fatigued, but not as fatigued. My spleen still throbbed. I was by no means ready to run a marathon, but I saw glimpses of hope. Some 16 years later, my husband and I still adhere to a SMART CARB diet: low glycemic foods and whole grains . Through the years, dietary choices have increased at the market. There are low carb breads and cereals. And while we do not eat white pasta, we thoroughly enjoy Dreamfields pasta with our Sunday gravy! Mom is thrilled!!

This is not to say, I do not cheat. I know my parameters. If we are at an Italian restaurant, and I can not resist the bread, I drizzle it with olive oil as the good fats in the olive oil slow down the absorption of carbohydrates. However, I am still my own worst enemy at times. For example, last Friday my husband and I indulged in pizza. My parameters are 2 slices. I had 4. The next day, I had a food hangover. My head was fuzzy, my elbows hurt, and I felt spacey. I immediately went for an Atkins shake and bar, took a walk, and told myself this too shall pass. And it did.

By giving up white flour, I slowly gained my health back and am stronger than ever.


August 23, 2016

Sean Patrick and Rheumatoid Arthritis

On the mend from my second hip replacement since late June.  I’m getting up and about regularly without cautions and even started attending seat yoga with my friends Tre & Val.

What I’ve missed most during my healing time is my best buddy, my dog, Sean Patrick!  SP - 1While recuperating I’m not able to play/rough house with him, and I desperately miss our early morning walks together.  What’s unusual about our early morning walks is that Sean Patrick was never my reason to get out of bed and walk.  Selfishly, I consider him to be my personal trainer who is responsible for the two-mile walks we take together before I go to work.  He not only lifts my spirits, he has been my constant companion through both my surgeries and challenges associated with RA.  At times during my recuperation and initial diagnosis he has spent hours laying on the bed with me or looking out the window patiently awaiting for me to rise. SP BED LOOKING OUT WINDOW - 1 He has been the best medicine through all of my physical struggles.  He has been known to lessen my joint pain by his comforting warmth and unconditional love.   It is true that pets can alleviate depression associated with illnesses.  They can be the best medicine, but are not the solution for all that struggle with chronic illnesses.  I just thought he needed to be recognized for all he has done, and continues to do for me! 

XO - 1

August 17, 2016


#kindnessrocksRI - 1

August 16, 2016


It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted a proper blog entry.  The site has been updated so that you can comment by just clicking on the comment button below each entry.  Expect changes to the my site as it continues to evolve.

This hot and humid August weather has really cramped my style!  I spend most of my time indoors trying to entertain myself, humidity does not agree with my Rheumatoid Arthritis.  You can only read, watch TV, clean, or sleep so much, I decided to rummage through my bag of cosmetic samples.  What I found were two samples from the fresh ® company, and what a surprise it was.Paula - 1  I first spritzed the sample,  fresh HESPERIDES GRAPEFRUIT eau de parfum,  it was a light, fragrant, and clean smell.  After a few hours, this light fragrance was noticeably present.  I loved the scent mainly because it was not sweet-smelling, something I associate citrus fragrances with.  It intrigue me that I wasn’t  privy to this product, because I have been searching for years, for a fragrance that is light and has staying power.  This enticed me to try my other sample, fresh SOY FACE CLEANSER, and what a surprise!  This extra gentle gel cleanser is for all types of skin, and not only cleanses your skin, it removes make-up, including mascara.  What a find!  By using this cleanser I can eliminate make-up remover from my nightly ritual.  There will be less stuff in the drawers and a financial gain to boot!  I no longer will purchase two types of make-up removers.  I’ve been using these two products for approximately two weeks, I liked the two samples so much, I immediately purchased the full size soy face cleanser and eau de parfum, as well as two other  fresh products.  The fresh HESPERIDES GRAPEFRUIT BATH & SHOWER GEL and the fresh HESPERIDES GRAPEFRUIT BODY LOTION are a dream.  Now, I look forward to my showers, the refreshing subtle scent of the bath gel is intoxicating as it foams and cleans beautifully.  When you apply the body lotion you get another level of a refreshing scent that smooths your skin and feels amazing.  It is so unusual for me to stumble upon such great products.  Most of what I purchase I have read about in-depth,  or acted on recommendations of friends.   If you decide to try these products, I certainly hope you realize the same positive outcome as I have!  Looking forward to your comments, just click comments below the post to share!

XO - 1