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 Skinny 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!

October 31, 2017

Time Management and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Life before the RA diagnosis consisted of non-scheduled activities that fit into a few desirable categories that revolved around my work schedule.  My work schedule is carved in stone, but all other time was dedicated to socializing, going places, and recreational shopping.  Any time left over was used for addressing household responsibilities that I begrudgingly did.  

Well times are different now, life with RA not only alters your outlook on life, it controls how you spend your time.  Experiencing varying levels of daily fatigue, I possess a heightened awareness of how and what I do with my time and how I treat myself and time itself.  Now, I measure how much time I spend, and what results come of this time.  I will not waste time on unproductive thoughts, conversations, and activities.  I create time blocks that may include meal planning, med management, and meditation.  Socializing, going places, and recreational shopping are still a part of my life, yet, since my RA diagnosis I’ve come to appreciate my time spent on self-care and self-preservation.  Some people may lament and think they were dealt an unfair hand, well life gave me a bowl of lemons, and now I make the best sorbet!   Be well & have a great week!

The Great Gale of October 2017

Firemen cutting their way out of my street.  3am

The aftermath!

Clean up complete!  Mission accomplished!

October 31, 2017






Have a “spook” tacular time!  Mary Ann

October 24, 2017

I Didn’t Get the Memo!!!!!!!

It has occurred to me that I am out of the loop in relationship to the holiday of “Halloween”!   Growing up in Boston, it was always freezing cold and we wore our winter coats under our store-bought costume.  Nothing was over the top, it was a short jaunt around the neighborhood trick-or-treating, and early to bed! My friends and I quit the trick-or-treating in the 4th grade, and looked forward to have November 1st off each year, in observation of All Saints Day!

Lately I have noticed the way Halloween has been turned into just another commercial come-on.  Homes are decorated to the nines and the decorations are no longer pumpkins on the porch, or a scarecrow here and there.  People are spending ghoulish amounts of money, not only to frighten us, but to compete with their neighbors.  I didn’t get the memo!  When did Halloween become the warm up for the upcoming winter holidays?  It occurred to me, Halloween has become corrupted by greed.  With all the displays in the stores before Labor Day and decorations spilling out of front yard graveyards, trick-or-treating is just one of the components of this commercialized holiday. It’s turning into a monthlong holiday with pop-up stores selling costumes, decorations, and Halloween makeup.  It’s no longer a simple holiday, some of the decorations and costumes are downright frightening.  

I may long for a simpler time, and not be part of the commercialism of Halloween, but I surely enjoy everyone’s efforts as you can see in my snapshots. Have a great week!





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