Archives for May 2017

May 30, 2017


On and off for the last 6 years, I spend a night or two at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel on or around the Memorial Day weekend alone.  Last year I wrote a bit about my stay and visit with my friend Irene.  This year my visit was with Jeff and Sean Patrick earlier this month. We stay at the Fairmont because I feel a connection to the hotel, and most importantly, it never disappoints!  I love the central location, my friends still live in the area, and it is a great jumping off point to do anything in Boston!  

I’m real familiar with the area, I went to school around the corner on Commonwealth Avenue, and spent numerous hours diagonally across the street at the main branch of the Boston Public Library.  On many occasions waiting to be picked up by my Mom or sister, I sat on the cold stone bench that encircles the library, eating roasted chestnuts and burnt popcorn!  My mother told me the story of that fateful day she got married on January 6th and was snowed in, due to a blizzard.  She spent the first three nights of her married life at the Copley Plaza, while waiting to catch the first flight to New York City.  I know she spoke highly of the hotel when she regaled us with stories of her wedding, and realize she never spoke of where she stayed in NYC.  That speaks volume of the Copley Plaza, and its place in her heart.    I seem to have gone off on a tangent, mainly because I adore this hotel but all I really want to do is share my visit with my husband and pup, and the great time we had at this beautiful hotel.  The whistle tour starts now…….

We were lead to the….

on the 5th floor, overlooking Copley Square and the Boston Public Library!

The boys were extremely comfortable and I went for a little workout upstairs!

The view was spectacular from all angles, and the snacks were okay!


One of the really unique things they have at this hotel are their canine ambassadors. 

Catie & Carly Copley

Both of these dogs are rescue dogs, and are usually at the hotel together when we visit.  On our last visit, only Carly was present, Catie had gone home for the day!  Sean Patrick is very friendly with Catie, knowing her for years and missed her!  Last week I learned that Catie had passed away, and we will miss her!  I leave you with a picture of Sean Patrick and a very special lady, Catie Copley!

Have a great week and I hope you enjoyed a small glimpse into our life!  

May 29, 2017



All we have of freedom, all we use or know--
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago. 
 ~Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue, 1899

We will never forget!  MaryAnn & Joy-2017
May 23, 2017


No sooner had I posted an April Birchbox review on May 2nd, another box was at my door.   Taking a quick glance at the contents of this box, and recognizing my affection for two of the brands, I immediately went to work.  Below are the results of the products I tested.

Derma e

Microdermabrasion Scrub|Full-Size, $32.50

The sample size weighed 1/2 oz., enough for 1 and 1/2 applications (I have a large face). The scrubbing beads are finer than most microdermabrasion scrubs, yet  worked as well as the more granular products I have tried.  The scrub left my skin with a glow and smooth appearance, the same results achieved using pricier products.  

Living Proof

Perfect hair Day® (PHD) In-Shower Styler|Full-Size, $24

This is a new Living Proof  product that you apply in the shower after you shampoo and condition.  You liberally apply the product from roots to ends and quickly rinse.  This product is formulated for air-dried hair styles. Products are being introduced often for this type of style and I have yet to try one that achieves the same tousled look that should be rendered.  Air drying your hair is a great way to cut down on time blow drying and exposure to the drying effects of blow drying your hair. This product did absolutely nothing for my hair.  I read some of the given suggestions to braid or put your hair in a bun if you do not have wavy hair.  Well, I do put my hair in a bun when I want air-dried tousled hair and I don’t have to use any product to get it, or maybe the 1 fluid ounce sample was not enough to cover the length of my hair.  

Lord & Berry

Line/Shade Eye Pencil-Black|Full-Size, $19

This is a highly pigmented eyeliner that was easy to apply (no drag), looked sharp, but then the product smudged under my eyes or I wiped my eyes and ruined the look.  I’ve never been a fan of eye pencils, yet this brand that I never heard of, before it arrived, sells quite a selection of eye pencils which I probably will look into.  

Manna Kadar Cosmetics

Glo Illuminator|Full-Size, $29

Glo Illuminator shimmer lotion can be mixed with foundation or worn alone, on face and/or body!  I applied this product on my face and body(well my arm) and there was no shine or glow on me!  I re-applied the product and did not notice any difference.  It is advertised for mature and dry skin, that would be me!  I am accustomed and in love with the Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer and have found this works best for me, not only in appearance but financially.  The Glo Illuminizer is $29/oz, while the Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer  is $26/ 1.5 oz.  


Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray|Full-Size, $22-$24

These are directions on how to use this product according to Oribe: “Shake. Spray on wet or dry hair. Tousle to taste and let dry in the St. Tropez air.”  I followed the directions both ways to a “t” without traveling to St. Tropez!  My hair looked magnificent, if I say so myself. I haven’t been as enthused with a product, since I picked up the   Gloss Chap Stick Rexall Drug in South Station, decades ago!  

I’m getting extremely impatient with this Birchbox subscription service.  My online profile would suggest that many of the products that do not receive raving reviews never did fit my product preference profile, yet still are sent in my boxes.  Tonight, I did email Birchbox and hopefully they will address the issue, and I will start to receive products and brands  that are of interest to me and my readers.   



May 16, 2017



Summer:  A time from June through August when the days are longest and the nights shortest.  A time to smell freshly cut grass, take meandering bike rides, watch skyrocketing fireworks, and lots of leisurely reading!  Here is my first installment of “Summer Reads”!

Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand

Celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe is found dead at his vacation home.  All of Thorpe’s family, current wife, two ex-wives, and children are summoned to Nantucket, where they will spread his ashes.  The story is told through each character’s point of view.  This is a story of complicated relationships, both past and present, Hilderbrand’s lively character development enhances the entertainment value of this book!  A quick and easy read, exactly what I like on hot and muggy days!

The End of The Point by Elizabeth Graver

A loving look at family over four generations, focusing on a second generation woman who succeeds.  There are triumphs and tragedies; friends and strangers.  The measured pace of the tale is comforting throughout.  I loved it!

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand

Affairs, tragedy, broken hearts and betrayals can be entertaining, remember Dallas and Dynasty?  This is another Hilderbrand novel told from multiple view points.  This read is filled with descriptions of restaurants, houses, and beaches on the island of Nantucket.  Quick and interesting beach read that will add a little intrigue to a lazy summer day.

In The Company of Women by Grace Bonney

A compilation of beautiful photography and answers to questions posed to creative women entrepreneurs.  Inspiring art and practical advise shared from the women.  Extremely interesting and inspirational!  A great coffee table book that will not disappoint!


Sean Patrick on the road to get his first summer styling!

Two hours later we have a puppy cut Sean Patrick!


May 9, 2017


When you were hired at your first job, I’d bet the farm that most of us never thought about how this was going to affect our social life.  We were happy to just have a job that was going to put cash in our hands, and concentrated how we were going to spend our hard-earned cash!  In essence, this would be considered our first financial plan, what we would do with our pay.  I thought about this because I couldn’t understand why or how I have a financial plan but, no health strategy after being diagnosed with RA.

Things really change when you deal with a chronic disease on a daily basis.  On good days, you may be elated that pain has subsided, but it is difficult to appreciate these days, because you anticipate the return of pain.  It seems like such a waste, wallowing around the time you are feeling great, thinking about what may or may not be ahead.  So I figured I’ll take a lesson from all the organizers, planners, and lifestyle mavens and construct my health strategy.

My life/health strategy is to embrace what I can control and to let go of what I can’t control.  First, I will commit to a health/wellbeing goal to stay active and take medication that may help with the pain.  Secondly, I will plan for times when the disease symptoms are severe.  I will manage my condition day-to-day by eating nutritious food, exercising, and working with a mobility trainer.  My idea of measures of adaptability never included adaptive devises, I will develop new skills and habits that will best work for me.

This all came to light this previous week, experiencing the unpredictable weather, range of temperatures, and torrential downpours.   It was a stressful week, and I knew I had to take steps to manage my condition and maintain some semblance of a healthy lifestyle, while still in pain.  In a nutshell, I’m still learning to adjust my expectations and practice simple self-care.  Have a great week, I intend too!