Archives for October 2016

October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!


Where there is no imagination there is no horror. – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.






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October 25, 2016

Six Months Gone By In A Flash!

Last week benchmarked my 6 month goal to post at least one blog each Tuesday!  Instead of having a feeling of accomplishment, I’m left confused.  My intent for this blog was to deal with everyday lifestyle obstacles associated with having an autoimmune disease.  When I reread my posts, I see a light-hearted lifestyle blog that rarely touches on the challenges associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and infrequently mentions Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

Make no mistake that I live with the effects of rheumatoid arthritis each and everyday, but consciously find it difficult sharing the painful reality of this disease.  It was not my intention to trivialize this chronic disease by focusing on cosmetics, weekend jaunts, or critiques on dining experiences.  I have marginalized the seriousness and pain of this disease according to some readers of my blog, that also have rheumatoid arthritis.  It was never my intention to suggest cosmetics, socialization, or dining would relieve pain associated with this disease.  This is why I feel I need to clarify what my blog is about and where it is going!

RA Style & Flare is a lifestyle blog written by an individual that has been diagnosed and is being treated for severe rheumatoid arthritis.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a distinct and unique disease in that treatment and medication differs by doctors recommendations and decisions of the patient.  You will never, I repeat never see any medical information on this site nor any medical disclosure about my condition.  This blog was meant to share lifestyle information that all individuals with or without rheumatoid arthritis may enjoy reading about and sharing. 

Now that I have addressed an unexpected issue, I am going to leave you with a snippet of what you will see on my blog in the coming months.

-collaboration with Always Joy and other  contributors

– a vlog that highlights my strategies for living life with style and flare

-updates on my weight loss and attempt at knitting a throw

…and so much more!

The list of topics are many and varied and I look forward to continuing this endeavor, hopefully without ticking anyone else off! 

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My Week in Pictures!






October 18, 2016

THE EDIT-Lots of Things Going On!

It’s been a crazy and busy week since my last post!  I’ve been shaken to the core with the swinging temperatures of the northeast and the challenges of meeting a new donut in town, happily it didn’t have disastrous effects on my diet!


A trip to PVD Donuts was exciting and frightening!  I wanted to try these donuts mainly due to all the positive hype surrounding them!  Jeff loved them, I was not impressed, probably because of the lack sugar I have eaten in the last month, they were much too sweet for me!  The donuts looked as if they were pieces of art, and I haven’t met anyone who has eaten one, and not loved it!

The drop in temperature had me switching from summer hand creams and trying out the new ones I purchased in August, yet only used in warmer weather.  The Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer, was not what I had expected!  It receives rave reviews and football teams actually use it.  I have extremely dry skin due to the RA meds, and when the weather dropped last week, I was left with cracked dry hands.  The Jack Black Hand Healer went on extremely thick and further irritated my hands, when rubbing the cream into them.  I didn’t feel any relief after the product was absorbed, my husband tried it and liked it, it will not go to waste.  I’ve been using the La Mer Hand Treatment, for a while and love it!  What’s not to love about a silky cream that is non-greasy, and sinks into your skin?  It leaves your skin soft and supple and helps with dry cuticles.  I use it sparingly because of the price, but am seriously thinking of making this my one and only hand cream!   The last hand cream I purchased was the Supergoop! Forever Young Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn.  What is buckthorn?  I read about this product during the summer in the fall favorites section of magazines.  I immediately purchased a 1 oz tube for $12 mainly because it was given the Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner 2016.  Not really crazy about it, it wasn’t greasy which is good, but it was not very moisturizing.  It does have a SPF 40 sunscreen in it, and that’s a good thing!  handcreams-1

This last product is from Chanel, I have been using the Chanel Le Weekend De Chanel for about 8 weeks.  According to Chanel this product:

“Enhances renewal and replenishes hydration to give skin a much-needed weekend break. Combined with relaxing Rose Water, a gentle Glycolic Acid Complex is gradually released for ideal exfoliation and lasting moisture. Skin is softer and more luminous for the week ahead.

During the weekend, apply morning and evening to the entire face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Use in place of your usual serum and moisturizer, and always follow with sun protection in the daytime. Apply two days in a row to intensify the benefits.”


I look forward to the weekends because of this product, it exfoliates my skin and leaves it feeling refreshed and moisturized.  My skin looks healthy and feels great, and that is sometimes all I need!  It’s another product that is extremely expensive but delivers the goods!

Knitting Update:  Going slow and steady, maybe driving Jackie crazy!  A picture will surface next week of my progress!   Hope you like my week in pictures!

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October 11, 2016


I’m on a new diet!  I normally would call any weight lose program a food plan, but a food plan and I don’t normally get along, so I’m following a diet!  This diet that I am on is, The Microbiome Diet, by Raphael Kellman MD.  This book was introduced to me by a doctor I follow on facebook that my husband is a patient of at MGH.  


Since I know that all diets are not for all people, I’m just going to give you a brief summary of what this diet is about and how I am working it!  First, the book was a difficult read for me, extremely technical and off-putting.  What I did take away was if I followed a very strict regimen of foods you eat to heal your gut and avoid foods that cause your gut to be unhealthy, you will lose weight.  The foods you avoid are processed and packaged food, trans and hydrogenated fats, dried and canned fruit, fruit juice, gluten, all grains, sugars and artificial sweeteners, dairy products and eggs, deli meats, peanuts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, iceberg lettuce, canola oil, alcohol. What it leaves you to eat are fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins, which you eat for 21 days.  The book also lists vitamins you should take, I ignored them because I am already taking vitamins suggested by my rheumatologist.   The second stage is for 4 weeks and you follow the same 21 day diet with a 90% compliance rate (get to cheat & eat foods not on the list) of the above listed foods, and upon completion you start the final stage where you eat these foods with a 70% compliance rate. I really made it sound easy, but this is just a simplistic interpretation of the diet by me, not gospel!

I just completed the first 21 days and with minor slip-ups, have lost 10 lbs.  The slip-ups  were due to the fact that I didn’t read the book carefully enough and ate eggs, sweet potatoes and a few other foods I should have avoided.  I did stay clear of processed foods and sugar 100% of the time, and I like the result of my efforts.

I like how I feel, I find what I’m eating agreeable, I’m satisfied and have lost many food cravings, so I’m just going to do my best and stay the course and hopefully acquire healthier eating habits.  

Along the same line of bettering my life, I noticed the hardest part of the diet was my night-time grazing that I missed immensely!  My favorite meal on any day was usually after dinner.  So after a visit from my knitting friend Jackie I started making a throw, under her tutelage to keep my hands busy and myself out of the kitchen!

In future posts I will periodically share my anticipated success at dieting, but you’ll see my throw grow each week until I’m done!


Signing off now with hopes of success in your life with whatever your goals may be!





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October 4, 2016

My Squirreling Ways!

As I often say, anticipating your needs is the best method for dealing with an unpredictable disease, that is Rheumatoid Arthritis!  I’m back to school/work and anticipating the change of season and harsher weather as the norm, not the exception, so I shop.  I will not bore you with the household incidentals that I purchase and could supply an entire army with, but I Christmas shop, and purchase the cosmetics and items I will use during the winter months and holidays.  This post is just the start of my squirreling ways, to ensure a stress free winter! 

I’m betting on good health and many social occasions to attend, (time will tell) so I purchased very basic cosmetics that I investigated this summer.


-By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge #10 Berry Bloom

I’ve purchased many lip balms & hydrating lipsticks, but this is quickly becoming a favorite!  The application was smooth, mainly because of the angled stick and smooth consistency of the lipstick.  Even though this is considered a “Hydra-Balm Fill & Plump Lipstick” it is a full coverage one that doesn’t settle into lip lines.  Great for my mature lips but not for my wallet, but worth it!

-Tom Ford Lip Color #46 Something Wild

It was questionable when I purchased this $53 lipstick whether I should have my head examined or not.  I’m always looking for the best product and take all recommendations as gospel, a mistake.  I have nothing negative to say about this lipstick other than the shade did not work for me.  It is a creamy, build-able  lipstick of coral/pink color.  I figured it would be a good autumn/winter shade, but it disappeared on my lips.  It was not particularly hydrating but it wore beautifully and did not dry my lips.  If I should win the lottery any day soon, I would try another shade!  

-Sisley-Paris Photo-RougeHydrating Long Lasting Lipstick

I wanted to love this product, and the reason I sent it back was because the color photo was darker than what arrived.  I did try it, it glided on smoothly, was long wearing, and it didn’t bleed into my lip lines.  I thought I was purchasing a Pink Flamingo color, it was weirdly similar to the Tom Ford shade that I described above.  The names are deceiving, Tom Ford is a medium-dark pink-coral and the Sisley is pink, yet they appear to be similar.  I will repurchase a Sisley lip color, I loved the texture and feel on my lips. 


-Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

I don’t even know if it works, I just love the name.  It’s a body cream that helps tighten and smooth the look of skin.  It’s labeled that it contains no parabens or phthalates, thats good!  The cream absorbs quickly and leaves no oily residue.  I purchased the small container, what a mistake.  This is my new after bath body cream, I just love the smell.  What would make it even better is, if it would tighten and smooth the look of my skin.  Time will tell and I can only hope!

—La Mer “the reparative skintint”  (I call it; “my tinted moisturizer”)

I love this product!  Directions say that you should apply after moisturizing, I don’t, I use this as my first line of defense.  It is a sheer tint that is creamy and is great for everyday use.  I like it for work, I don’t like to look made up, I just want to look better than I usually do when I wake up. 

-Becca Beach Tint Fig

This was recommended to me by a salesperson at a cosmetic counter, after I asked for a cream blush.  She suggested this tint and told me to get it at Sephora, and I did!  I’ve been using this product for over a month and find it to be as good as described.  First off, I love it because it is sans parabens and is enriched with antioxidants and vitamin E, which soothes your skin.  The creamy texture is easy to apply and blends quickly.  It is a build-able blush and has a staying power, great for work!

-Smith & Cult N01-Pillow Pie

This is the second Smith & Cult nail polish I have used.  Pillow Pie is a semi-sheer finish pink polish.  The reason I like the two shades I have purchased is the unique neutral colors that do not chip easily.  The polish is also free of formaldehyde, toluene, & dibutyl and hopefully that is a good thing because I only know what formaldehyde is and only want to be in contact with it when I’m dead!  

In coming weeks, I will continue to share the things that make my life with RA more bearable!

My Week In Pictures!





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