Archives for September 2017

September 26, 2017

Early Autumn Compilation!


The Definitive Sign!  Summer is over!

Thursday and Friday of last week I was off from work.  I definitely was not expecting good weather, but was pleasantly surprised on Thursday by the mild, but overcast sky!  We did have to contend with the hurricanes that have graced us with their presence, but certainly not as devastating as many other states.  It is difficult to be grateful for dodging a bullet, when so many others are in crisis!   Yet, even with the unpredictable weather at hand, the beauty of Narragansett Bay is breathtaking.  I wanted pictures of the waves and came back with pics of theses guys!

Awakening on Friday morning, I felt and heard the heat running, the first day of autumn had arrived!  It was certainly a sweatshirt and fleece pant kind of day.  Earlier in the week I had picked up new sweats and paraded around with them all day!  So as I sit and critique the August and September Birchbox products worth mentioning, I must admit these two boxes were heads above what I’ve been sent previously, in the last six 6 boxes.  

August Faves!

amika  Bombshell Blowout Spray

The blowout spray is a heat-protective mist that boosts the hair’s volume and body.  Loved it, left my hair silky and shiny without drying my hair out.

GLAMGLOW® THIRSTYMUD™ Hydrating Treatment

Hydrated my skin, what I liked best about this product was ease of use.  You apply to your clean face, leave on for 10-20 minutes, whip off, and either wash off or massage residual product into your skin.  Ingredient list is impressive, hyaluronic acid, raw honey, and ginger root.

September Faves!

Davines  MINU Shampoo, MINU Conditioner, & MINU Hair Serum

There is nothing negative to be said about these products.  It does the job, and it does it beautifully.  I’ll probably will not purchase these products, only because the price is steep, even though it may be worth it!  

Finally, I think I’ve enjoyed today’s writing experience even more than I usually do, probably because of my comfy clothes that kept me warm today!  I have shut the heat off and am ready to embrace the new season. Have a great week!  

Jeff’s Apple Pan Dowdy

What food plan is this on?

September 19, 2017

Reflection On Life With RA!

I flatly refuse to let RA define or dictate my life and daily activities. It’s one thing to have no control over the medical treatment I receive, but it’s up to me to deal with the physical and psychological effects that RA challenges me with daily. What I struggle greatly with is being my manager of my physical needs that change way to often. Even possessing an unrelenting strength to succeed, doesn’t always yield positive results. I’ve come to realize that medication alone does not guarantee any quality of life, but I am solely responsible for my quality of life. So once again I reevaluate my commitment to only treat this disease, not live this disease. These are the things I have come up with!

My success is rooted in my attitude and mastery of time management. I must focus on efficiency and prioritize my needs by setting realistic goals. My goals should focus on my environment and passion of acquiring tools that will sustain a gratifying life with RA. I must stay on top of things in spite of challenges. Being goal oriented would include eating healthy, incorporating to-do-lists in my daily life, and making multitasking a thing of the past. It is instrumental for me to periodically reassess what works and what doesn’t, and finally, work harder on things that need change. I’ll never lose as long as I keep trying! Have a great week! Mary Ann

September 12, 2017

Art Naturals

On April 19th, 2016, Essential Oils, was the title of my second blog post when I started writing  RA Style & Flare.   The post was a short review of three essential oils I had tried to reduce dry skin.  At the time I knew nothing about essential oils other than they were an alternative product that could be used to heal skin conditions.  I did find success with one of the three products, yet never really adopted any affection for essential oils.  Well, I am now a total fan of the oils since I was sent samples of the Art Naturals Artisan Oil, Essential 8 Set.   

It wasn’t as if I knew exactly what to do with the oils, so a recipe book explaining the myriad of uses for the 8 different bottles of oils, prompted my experimentation.   I was so excited that I tried many recipes and would like to share my favorites with you.

 In the kitchen, I substituted a few drops of lemongrass oil to the dishwasher rinse dispenser instead of my Finish Rinse Aid.  My dishes came out just as clean and shiny with the addition of the pleasing scent of lemon and sans chemicals.

I now spray my counter tops with lemongrass and tea tree oil mixed with warm water, I enjoy the scent, and my counters are as clean as when I  use my chemically infused products.

 A burst of lavender engulfed my bedrooms when I vacuumed with drops of the lavender in my vacuum bag.

 I added a few drops of sweet orange to my foot bath and didn’t notice any difference in comparison to the bath oils I usually soak my feet in, but now I prefer the scent of sweet orange essential oils in my foot bath.

The list is extensive on how you can use the essential oils. The recipes range from beauty, seasonal scents developed with a combination of oils, as well as aromatherapy play dough and scented finger paints and more!

I discovered the advantages of using these oils are to be cost-effective, as well as having the ability to premix my all-purpose cleaners, carpet deodorizer, and insect repellent as needed.  The icing on the cake is the purging of so many products that contain synthetic compounds rather than the natural oils.  I probably would have never changed my ways if Art Naturals did not include the recipe book that is easy to follow and listed so many ways to use the oils.  It is to my advantage to maintain a healthful lifestyle and I intend to continue to use these essential oils.  Have a great week!



September 5, 2017

First Kitchen Swap Out!

I totally understand the reasons for using adaptive equipment, yet I just can’t bring myself to use any, even though in quite a few situations, it would make my life a lot easier.   I think it’s a psychological thing; if I act as if RA is not a problem, it will go away!  It will never go away and I’m still feeling the sense of personal loss, when everyday activities were not an exhausting experience or an exercise in futility.  This summer I worked on swapping out kitchen ware and kitchen gadgets that challenge me when cooking.  Here are a few that have made life easier:

These are my nesting mixing bowls that I have used and loved for years.  The handle and spout on the bowls were what attracted me to the set, yet it had never occurred to me that the weight of them would be a challenge for me when I was no longer in my twenties, or dealing with a debilitating disease.  So with great sadness they were donated and I purchased….

Cuisinart 3-Piece Mixing Bowls

I should have been using these from day one, they are light, easy to clean, & best of all they have a non-slip bottom that makes life very easy!!!

My garlic press caused problems before my diagnosis yet, I never replaced it until a few months ago.  I now use a stainless garlic rocker that is a breeze to use and easier to clean.

Lemmon squeezers have always posed quite a challenge, especially after a few drinks.  Since my squeezer was rusting out, I took a chance on the Prepara® Glass Juicer.  It’s the best!  Different name and design, but serves the same purpose and more!  This juicer is easy to use and clean, best of all it will store the left over lemon juice in a glass container that will not rust. 

Just a few transitional pieces, I’ll post more as I progress in my quest for a non-adaptive products that make life easier in the kitchen.  Have a great week!