Archives for November 2017

November 28, 2017

Count Your Blessings!

Last Thursday as I was thoroughly enjoying our Thanksgiving feast,  I began to think about all the things I was grateful for. Living with a chronic pain makes it extremely difficult to stay positive and be able to express gratitude; rheumatoid arthritis and gratitude don’t seem to mix.  I continued to eat and think about the hardships the Pilgrims experienced, yet they dedicated a day for thanking God for their bounty of food they were blessed with.  What I realized was even though the Pilgrims experienced such hardships in the new world, they still expressed gratitude, leaving me to believe that pain or illnesses don’t necessarily have anything to do with feelings of appreciation. Gratitude  is a feeling of happiness that comes from appreciation.  So, me being treated for a chronic disease should have no bearing on my ability to express gratitude.  Thanksgiving 2017, I am grateful for:

My rheumatologist, for his ability to treat the disease and his efforts to ameliorate my level of pain.  

Sean Patrick, my personal trainer,  whether I’m happy, sad, or in pain, his love is constant and his commitment to me is unyielding.  

Family and friends in my life that stick around during challenging times.

Rheumatoid Arthritis, has made me mentally stronger and aware of my own body and taking good care of it.

Chatter strips on highways, help me stay in my own lane!

The opportunity available, living in a time that I can express my opinions in cyberspace!

The list is long and varied, but when you really put things in perspective, life may not be perfect, but it was never intended to be perfect. Life was intended to be lived and above all appreciated.  Have a great week!  M



November 21, 2017

It’s That Time Of The Year!

Since early October I have felt pressure to compose a gift guide in response to the intense advertising in magazines, on television, & other media outlets, sharing Christmas gift guides. Last year in early December I reacted to a gift guide I had read and responded to in my blog post A Jolly Thought!   This post addressed my disdain of suggestions of Christmas presents  specifically geared for individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  In retrospect, my blog post seemed to read as a polite rant ending with my suggestions of what any individual with or without Rheumatoid Arthritis would like.  Well, this holiday season is different.  I’ve come up with a holiday gift guide that consists of presents I have received and items I have purchased over the years that merit recognition.  This is my tried and true gift guide that I hope you enjoy!

My good friend Jackie is a tremendous gift giver!  She bestows presents on you that you would never think of buying or needing, but now would never want to live without!  The Henry and Friends™ gray cushion cover with Henry the Jack Russell Terrier proudly displayed, has found a home on my bed in both winter and summer.  

The monogrammed cotton, white with navy piping, J Crew Pajamas are an example of something I purchased for myself and think it would make a great present.  These pajamas are holding up beautifully after a multitude of washing and are comfortable and take up little space in a suitcase.  

 The two monogrammed Garnet Hill Signature Bath Sheets  are a Christmas present we received years ago that are still used a few times a week. Whenever I’m putting them into the washer I think about my niece Carla and how thoughtful the present was and how much we have used them.  Years have gone by and they are still plush and absorbent.  

The last item in the above picture is the coveted Fairmont Hotel bathrobe.  This full length, thick shawl collar, terry and velour bathrobe is a dream to own and wear.  This was last years present from my husband and hopefully he purchased it on the Fairmont Black Friday days.  This year all Fairmont Stores are 25% off everything from November 24-26th.  You could never do wrong with a cozy bathrobe!

The LL Bean Moonbeam Alarm Clock is the best alarm clock to wake up with.  The blinking light  before alarm sounds is a welcome change, as is the gentle sound of the alarm.  This retro looking alarm clock has a light up dial making it easy to read.  It has an electrical power source with a battery back up, as well as USB port.  What more could you ask for?

Lush Bath Bombs are my absolute favorites.  I love a good soak with one and particularly enjoy the soft water and the different scents of the bombs. The Luxury Lush Pud is a seasonal bath bomb that I enjoy with its lavender scent. The Reusable Bubble Bar Magic Wand turns your tube into a pink bubble bath with a candy scent that feels devine.   

Hope this gift guide is helpful, and your holiday shopping is as painless as mine!  Have a wonderful holiday week!


November 14, 2017


Last summer I started swapping out kitchen ware and kitchen gadgets that challenge me when I cook.  In my September 5th blog entry, FIRST KITCHEN SWAP OUT!  I explained how I focus on items that will not pose a challenge for me in the kitchen as well as being non-adaptive products.  Within the past two months I’ve made a few additions to my new arsenal of kitchen tools that are functional and easy to use, even on the toughest days!


These reasonably priced avocado huggers used to store left over avocados are terrific.  I purchased them in an attempt to limit my sparing exercises with plastic wrap, the huggers are light weight and easy to use.  Any uneaten half, I squirt on some lemon and  store in the fridge, for use within two days.  They come in two sizes, accommodating small or larger avocados.  They are made of 100% FDA Silicone and are BPA and Phthalate Free, and best of all dishwasher safe.


This is a granite and stone sponge stand.  I really purchased this because it was attractive and it would dry out the sponges in between usage.  I was never real comfortable with sponges, I would find them laying in the sink out of the holder and worry about growing bacteria.  Well, this holder seems to stimulate good sponge hygiene,  and it looks great on my counter, practical and esthetically pleasing, a keeper!


It is a joy to use my dishwasher safe, stacked liquid and solid measuring cups in a self-contained design.  This  jiffy storage concept is a space saver and eliminates the time spent looking for individual measuring cups floating around the gadget abyss.  


This is my beloved stoneware berry bowl!  It was expensive, but has proved its worth.  I replaced my berry bowl… due to the small capacity.  Since I rinse and dry pints of berries to freeze and use in the winter, it was a necessity to purchase a larger vessel.  It was worth the price, which lead to the reduced time to rinse/clean berries! 

These are the latest additions in my kitchen swap outs, I will continue to keep my eyes open as well as find solutions to obstacles in the kitchen.  Have a great week, and be well!

November 7, 2017

The Low Down on Hair & Skin Care!

Returning to work after the summer break, I noticed a significant change in the texture of my complexion and hair.  I attributed the change to the lack of sunshine and the fluorescent lighting in the classroom.  The products I have been using didn’t seem as if they were working quite like they used to, maybe due to external factors or changes in my skin and hair, therefore, requiring different products.  So without hesitation, I purchased a few of the products I had read positive things about.  For the past 8 weeks I religiously used these four products and found varying degrees of success with them.  The four products purchased are Kiehl products and my decision to purchase them were not only based on reviews, but price point as well.  Here are the results!

‘Rare Earth’ Pore Refining Tonic|8.4 fl.oz $21.00

Post cleanse, I used a cotton pad and gently swiped the toner over my face.  The toner did remove excess dirt from my face (sadly, my cleanser didn’t do such a good job) and did not dry out my skin, it left my skin feeling soft and smooth.  There was no burn felt after the application. even though there is alcohol in this product.  The choice to purchase this product was predicated on the claim of minimized pores and the control of shine.  It worked for me, it tightened my skin and there appeared to be a reduction of redness, since using this product.

Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil|8.00 fl. oz $42

Really big fan of argan oil, this product did not disappoint.  I applied this product all over after showering, it absorbed easily and quickly.  After my hair was dried, I took a dime size amount in hand, and applied from ends to root.  The dry oil added shine and control of flyaway hair.   I thought this was a pricey product until I recognized that it was a multipurpose product that is easy to use, doesn’t stain clothing, and requires a small amount of product to yield great results.

Silk Groom Serum |1.7 fl. oz. $18

I didn’t realize that the dry oil was a multipurpose oil until after purchase, that could be used in the same way as the Silk Groom Serum.  The main difference between the two products that I can tell, is that the serum is enriched with Vitamin E.  Neither of these products leave any oil residue or weighs down your hair.  I love the smell of this product and the glossy shine it leaves, but since it is double the money of the dry oil, and renders similar results, I would not purchase this product again.

Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solutions|1.7 fl. oz. $78

Maybe I was overly optimistic or just plain gullible, but I honestly thought that decades of sun exposure, age, and environmental effects on my skin could be reversed or lessened by the application of this product.  Eight weeks have passed, and the results of the daily application did not lessen or remove my dark spots and even out my skin tone.  I may need a little more time using the product to realize change but that will not happen, I’m at the bottom of the bottle and will not re-purchase.  

Purchasing the correct skin care/hair care products is precarious at best.  There is so much more involved other than looking for a quick fix to a skin or hair situation.  There are so many factors that contribute to changes in one’s skin or hair.  With the change of seasons comes skin changes, as we get older our skin changes, and environmental changes, such as pollution can wreak havoc on one’s skin. 

Castle Hill Light, Newport, RI

Have a great week!