Archives for July 2017

July 25, 2017

Birchbox Update & a Bit of Inspiration!

                                         Everything’s not coming up roses!

In February I purchased a year subscription to the Birchbox, an online monthly subscription service that sends you a box of five samples of  beauty related products. The boxes range from skin care items, perfumes, makeup or whatever they throw in!  If you have read my previous blog posts about Birchbox, you know I am not their biggest fan. From this day forward I will no longer critique all the items/samples in each box.  Since I’ve committed/paid for the yearly subscription, I will continue to evaluate, but only share product information, I believe are worth reading about, and not commenting on cheap filler/samples among a few worthy items. The following is a mix of the products worth mentioning in the June & July boxes!  

Benefit Cosmetics

Boi-ing Airbrush ConcealerThis was a solid good product. It was easy to apply, blendable, covered dark under eye circles, was easy to remove and did not irritate my sensitive skin. I think it’s a good buy for the money. Full-Size, $20

 Oribe

Oribe Dry Texturizing SprayThis is an invisible dry spray that is supposed to build volume, and it did. I used it as a dry shampoo and it extended the life of my blowout from the previous day. The scent is light and I noticed a slight shine on my hair after application. I love this product as much as the Oribe, Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray that I reviewed in my A Questionable Value post and the Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo that I reviewed in my A Jolly Thought post!  If all of these Oribe products were not as costly, I would be using all three of these products regularly, and loving them!  Dry Texturizing Spray,  Full-Size 8.5oz $46  or  2.2oz $22 Wowee!!!!

 Klorane 

Dry Shampoo with Oat MilkNo reason to re-view this product, I purchased it and reviewed it in my Cold Weather Skincare Update, and here is what I wrote and still believe!

“Good product, but when compared to the Klorane dry shampoo, there is no comparison. Klorane is the superior product.  It not only works as a dry shampoo should, absorbing excess oil from hair, it adds volume and texture to your hair after application and leaves your hair looking healthy and smelling fresh and clean. ” 

The Beauty Crop

Fabulous Flocking Lashes MascaraIt has been a wonderful experience trying new mascaras, since I was a teen I’ve been loyal to the many different Maybelline washable mascaras.   Of late I’ve tried a few mascara’s that are all waterproof, contain argan oil or jojoba oil that I have loved, and the Fabulous Flocking Lashes Mascara just joined the ranks!  This was the only full size sample I have ever received in my Birchboxes!  I loved the way it easily glided and adhered to my lashes, didn’t smudge, and was easy to remove. I am now a fan of waterproof mascara that contains essential oils and make my eyes look alive. Full-Size $19.00

So that’s the wrap up of the two Birchboxes I received for June & July!  Not many items that tickled my fancy, but I will continue to evaluate and share anything useful I find.  

This is something I need to share; this week I viewed this segment on the local news, I am in awe of this woman and the road she traveling! 

Self-proclaimed ‘dying woman’ becomes mother of invention for necessary comfort

July 18, 2017

Why Can’t I Maintain Proper Nutrition?

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are aware that it was started on the premise of sharing information that empowers you to live life with Style & Flare, in spite of RA, or any other chronic disease.  I live and breathe each day working to live a life free of any of the effects of RA, or at least being able to be productive on days when the effects are dominant.  

Sadly, it is a challenge many days, and little setbacks can/will undermine my greatest efforts to control this disease, so it doesn’t control me!  Well, today I admit defeat with my efforts to lose weight on the Weight Watchers program.  I appreciated their response to me; 

“Dear Mary Ann,

Thank you for contacting Weight Watchers. My name is Chessy and I’m sorry to hear that you decided to cancel your Monthly Pass subscription.

Though we never enjoyed losing a member, as you requested, your subscription with us has been cancelled. You will have full access to the interactive tools, tips and recipes as well as access to unlimited meetings with your Monthly Pass card until July 17, 2017.

Please note that your sign up date was on April 18, 2017.

When your Monthly Pass account expires, it automatically becomes a FREE registered user account. You can log in whenever you want and enjoy the free features found on the site. In addition, you will continue to receive our newsletters and announcements……..” 

Even though the response was not a personalized one, it hit me hard, I realized that once again I was unable to stay the course and do something that would benefit my overall health, and potentially contribute to the reduction of  painful RA flares.  It’s odd that I feel a huge physical improvement within days of eating healthfully, yet I fall back into my original eating habits, and gaining what little weight I’ve lost.  I’ve chewed over why dieting success has eluded me, and can only come up with is the time needed to live the best life possible, is time-consuming and all-encompassing.  From the moment I wake up, I start with the myriad of medications I take, in two stages.  To prepare for a successful day starts with a well orchestrated plan of what will be!  Healthy eating is a job unto itself, but it is one that I must commit to and I need to prove to myself that I’m all in before I join any more programs, buy anymore books, or try the latest and greatest diet trend.  So, when I wake tomorrow, I’ll take my pills, stretch, hug my dog, and realize that the shame is not really from failing, but rather failing to try again!  Wish me well!

I wish I could eat like my neighbors!

July 11, 2017

Going Natural!

Spring and early summer has left me battling allergies, and the constantly changing weather isn’t helping it either!  I hate calling doctors, I just don’t want them to prescribe any more medications, there is absolutely no more room in my pill-box for any new ones.  So I took it upon myself to monitor and change some of the products I use daily.  It was my intent to replace items that I normally use with natural and/or organic products. Since it was my watery eyes, constant sneezing, and a runny nose that were the problems, I’d start with replacing my soaps, add calming oils to my nightly ritual, and try aromatherapy shower tablets to help me breath.  Earlier this year Reverie Farms of Argyle, Texas sent me two of their natural and organic soap products, I hadn’t tried them yet, so I brought them out and started.  Daily I used the Sensitive Shea Bar Soap and the Peppermint Organic Foaming Soap.  I have sensitive skin and was pleased that I had no adverse reaction to the Sensitive Shea Bar Soap, it left my skin super soft, and moisturized,  without the use of chemicals. The Peppermint Organic Foaming Soap worked beautifully as a hand soap.  I love that the soap not only cleansed my hands, it smelled delicious, and left my hands soft and moist.

The other products I introduced into my daily self-care were the Aura Cacia Purifying Eucalyptus Aromatherapy Shower Tablets and the Relaxing Lavender  Shower Tablets.  

Found the scent not strong, but medicinal.

 

Lavender scent shower tablet was lovely!

The product was rather expensive for not accomplishing what I wanted it to do, relieve some of the congestion and aid in easier breathing, it also bombed out as a shower experience.  You need to know if you use a shower tablet the aroma quickly dissipates into the air and that’s all it does.  Finally I put a towel over my head tried to absorb the aroma of the relaxing lavender tablet, the aroma was good, but it quickly disappeared.  I did not realize any relief from these products.  

Even though I felt confident in what I was attempting to accomplish, relief from allergies, it did me no good!  I finally went to my doctor who explained that any medication used to treat allergies would not affect any of the medication I was taking.  

July 4, 2017

LET FREEDOM RING!

                                  

It is not very often I recognize the silver lining associated with my Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis, but since my diagnosis I realize holidays, whether religious, secular, or patriotic have been a source of stress and exhaustion. Now, I need to listen to my body and do what is right for me, which excludes following any tried or true traditions normally associated with a certain holiday.

So here I am, early morning on the 4th of July, the fifth day of this holiday weekend, thinking about how great I feel.  I participated in all the activities that I had anticipated at my speed,  following a healthy diet, and not feeling deprived because I left early or canceled going to one of the events.  Doing so allowed me to enjoy the true spirit of this holiday and not be so distracted by superficial trends.  I wish you all a very enjoyable 4th of July and look forward to a day filled with sun and fun!

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