Archives for March 2017

March 28, 2017

Staycation #2!!!!

a vacation spent at home or nearby-noun

On this past rainy and overcast weekend  Jeff and I embarked on our second attempt at a staycation.  Unlike our first attempt, spent at home, we went to a hotel, for one night, 26 miles away!  I’ve been home for a little over an hour and find myself not only refreshed, but thinking about the remarkable time we had at the Castle Hill Inn, Newport, RI.  Comparing the two staycations we have had, this one was approximately 40 hours less than the one in January!  So how much fun can you have at a semi-isolated location, during a rainy 23 hour stay?  Loads of laughs and doing as little as possible and not actually going anywhere other than the bar and restaurant.  Castle Hill sits on 40 acres on a peninsula overseeing the East Passage and the Atlantic Ocean.  Our stay may have been short, but it certainly is memorable.  You are greeted warmly on your arrival by attentive staff, and ushered to a room with spectacular ocean views and a welcomed fireplace!  I didn’t take many photos, I was busy doing nothing, but here are a few!

Ariel view of the hotel, picture courtesy of Castle Hill!

Entrance to the Rose Room

Toasty and Comfortable!

Remnants of 3:30 PM High Tea!      

We ate, drank, and watched the world sail by until it was time to go home!  I realized you don’t need to name an occasion to slow down and enjoy life!  I’m looking forward to many more “cations” whether near or far, for hours, days, or weeks!  

March 21, 2017


Last week I blogged about my new experience with the Birchbox subscription service, a box of selected samples of makeup and beauty related products, that are sent to you each month.  What I didn’t share in last week’s blog is that I also subscribed to Box of Style The Zoe Report!  Box of Style The Zoe Report  is a quarterly subscription service that delivers each box filled with fashion, beauty, and lifestyle items that will upgrade the wardrobe you already own.  If you subscribe to the Box of Style, you are getting a box of items put together by Rachel Zoe for each season of the year. My subscription started with the spring box.  All items are anchored around a “Hero” piece.  The cost of this subscription is $99.99 each season/$400 yearly, and it can be cancelled at anytime. It is advertised that the total value of the products are over $400/box.  I received my first box last week and here are my impressions of what was sent.

Tribe Alive Custom Carryall, retail value: $238

♦This is the “Hero” piece; the bag is constructed with hand-woven cotton, fully lined, brass zippers, and leather trim.  It has one interior zippered compartment and two open side pockets.  It is surprisingly light in weight, roomy, and the picture does not do it justice. Tribe Alive was founded by Carly Burson. She partners with female artisans to help employ impoverished women at fair-trade wages.

Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powder, retail value: $65

I was ecstatic when I found Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powder in this box.  I’ve used different brands of exfoliating powders, and I knew this one was the best. I currently use this product.  The rice based powder activates when it comes into contact with water, you massage in circular motion and the powder becomes a creamy foam.  Rinse with water and you now have a soft and smoother complexion.  I use this at bedtime.  It is a great exfoliator, but even better, this was a full size bottle of the product.  Tatcha was founded by Victoria Tsai.  

Adornmonde Ivo Earrings, retail value: $62

 ♦These are a pair of convertible earrings/ear jackets.  They are a bar bell stud design, with an open circle ear jacket.  They are very nice, but are just not my style.  Adornmonde was founded by Niki Allworth, she designs limited edition jewelry.  

BKR 500ml Water Bottle, retail value: $35

♦When I opened the box and saw the glass water bottle, I was disappointed.  I had already destroyed two infusion water bottles and didn’t think I’d have better luck with this one.  The silicone cover is thick and has protected the bottle.  Yes, I’ve dropped it already, but I like it!   The lid does not leak, and the cap has a comfortable carrying ring.  The bottle and  silicone cover are easy to clean.  All glass water bottles are heavy, a small price to pay for an eco-friendly product! BKR, founded by Tol Winter and Kate Cutler.

Symology Scarf, retail value: $50

A great accent to any outfit.  Love the gold and berry color, and the softness of this scarf. This scarf can be used as a hair tie, on a bag, or draped loosely around your neck. Symbology was founded by Marissa Heyl.

butter London Piece of Cake Nail Polish, retail value:$18

Absolutely adore this nail lacquer!  I’ve only recently started using it and was very pleased to find this in the Box of Style.  What makes this lacquer so great is that it promotes stronger and healthier nails while being chip and fade resistant.  butter London does not add the following chemicals to their lacquer:   Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, DBP, Toluene, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, and TPHP.   butter London was founded by Sasha Muir with the help of Nonie Creme.

The Spring Box  pleasantly surprised me!  I was anxious to know whether I had made a good decision when subscribing to this service, and now I anxiously await the summer edition!

Hopefully the end of Winter!


March 16, 2017

Celebrate the Green!


May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And the rain fall soft upon your fields,

And, until we meet again,

                May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.                          



March 14, 2017


Dealing with rheumatoid arthritis and all the negative effects it can have on one, both physically and mentally have been a challenge.  This challenge has led to my ingenuity to bet RA at its own game!  Not all individuals with chronic illnesses choose to acquiescence and live the symptoms of the condition.  Other than the pain and suffering it sometimes causes, I am most interested in thwarting the physical manifestations of the condition!  I don’t mean camouflaging swelling or disfiguration, I’m talking cosmetic appearance.   Many individuals with active chronic diseases choose to continue actively in their pre-diagnostic world, and I’m one of them!  My pre-chronic illness was full of superficial choices, now, all choices are determined on how they may adversely affect me.  Since health and beauty products are pricey, and there are times that a product did not work out, a viable option was to sign up for the Birchbox, and test drive products!  

Birchbox is a health and beauty product subscription service which sends you a box with five samples, each month.  The service is reasonably priced at $10/month or $99/annually. This is a modest investment to ensure that a make-up or skincare product agrees with you. Even though cosmetics are returnable, not all cosmetic representatives are amenable when you return a product.  So, I signed on February 23rd, and within weeks, I received the March Birchbox!  

The attractive box contained:

♥amika Silken Up Dry Conditioner

Used this product to refresh my hair in between washes (used as a dry shampoo).  The conditioner made my hair look as if I just dried it, with a lovely aroma.  Satisfied, would probably purchase this product.

Coastal Scents® Revealed Smoky Eye Shadow

The sample of the eyeshadow contained only two of the four shades of the full size version. I was able to create a smokey/muted eye, with the two shades.  The eyeshadow is easily blendable and can be worn sheer or built to a bold intensity. 

Davines OI Shampoo and Conditioner

Single foil packets of the shampoo and conditioner, both paraben and sulfate free. Comparing the results of Davines shampoo and conditioner, to my Living Proof products, resulted in no obvious difference.

Davines OI All in One Milk

A post shower leave-in treatment, a couple of spritz and I dried my hair.  It is a weightless conditioner that gave my hair body and shine.  I really liked this product.  

♥Real Chemistry Fresh-Start Foaming Cleanser

A cream-to-foam cleanser that gently cleansed while nourishing, left my skin soft and supple with a light and fresh grapefruit scent.

Coola® Mineral Face SPF30 Unscented Matte Tint

This is a tinted sunscreen/BB Cream with anti-aging benefits.  It is supposed to even your skin tone, I didn’t see it.  

So, that’s the whole contents of the box.  Whether I purchase any of these products, I can’t really say, but it certainly was worth the money to try them out.  There is no shipping and handling fees when you join annually. Even though stores have return policies and Sephora is very generous with samples, it makes me uncomfortable to go into stores and ask for samples or return disastrous products.  Having a box delivered once a month will keep me satisfied in my quest to find the best fitting products.


March 7, 2017


 This past weekend, which was not a jaunty jolly one, I met up with some individuals that I hadn’t seen in years!  Being of a mature age and worldly at that (sic),  I thought I had heard it all, in the line of ridiculousness! 

With the knowledge that I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis I was welcomed with a compliment that I would have killed for years ago; “You look great”!  I’m glad I’m physically pleasing to you but, your well intended compliment doesn’t make me feel better.  Which got me to thinking, let me share with my readers some of the craziest things I’ve heard since being diagnosed, and exactly how I feel about them!

“My cousin’s next door neighbor’s aunt has arthritis.  It is a horrible disease!”

I Think:  Knowing that your relative who probably has osteoarthritis, which is a different condition than someone with RA,  do you really think I feel any better knowing that your relative has arthritis?  I’m not a big fan of misery likes company!

“The treatment for RA has come a long way!”

I Think:  I agree, yes there is a larger variety of poisonous medications that will address the progression of the disease!  Hopefully, I will not develop any other serious diseases associated with the taking of these drugs. 

“If anyone can beat this, you can!”

I Think:  Well thank you for your vote of confidence but, there is no cure for RA, it is a managed chronic disease. 

It was my intention to jovially explain Rheumatoid Arthritis without a litany of symptoms, medications, or management plans.  I felt the need to do this since I’ve smiled and thanked people for years for sharing their anecdotal knowledge of my condition in comparison to the reality of the illness.  I for one don’t want sympathy nor empathy for having an invisible disease.  I want the people who are part of my inner circle to know that RA is different for everyone.  Each person who is treated for RA gets an individualized care plan, it is not a one size fits all disease. It is on the same realm as a designer disease.  

The ignorance of humanity does not cause me to be angry, I just wanted to put RA in layman’s terms in proper perspective, and hopefully educate the public at large.