September 18, 2018

Things I Can’t Live Without!

Spoiler Alert!  There is no intellectual content in this blog post, just a realization and sharing of things that have had a great impact on my life and make me extremely happy!  Its been a challenging year and these have made my life tolerable and enjoyable as well!

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie:

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe was found on the Saveur.  Saveur is a website that; “Bring the world’s best recipes, drinks, seasonal dishes, and kitchen tips to your home.”  I allowed them in and fell in love with this cookie recipe.  It is the ultimate chocolate chip cookie that has a chewy texture without being doughy.  I fell in love with this recipe over a year ago and make these cookies regularly.  I weigh the dough, roll into a ball, and freeze most of the dough, and only bake a half-dozen at a time.  You can surmise why I only bake a few!

S’well Bottle:

My S’well Bottle is always with me at home or on the road.  I love my 15 oz S’well , I rely on it everyday to keep me hydrated.  My goal is to drink 64 oz of water a day, the bottle needs to be refilled often during the day.  This water bottle is great for both hot and cold beverages.  This smaller design is ergonomic due to the tapered design and narrow top that makes it easier to use/hold and drink from during challenging days. The bottle is toxin free, doesn’t leak, and best of all, S’well® supports UNICEF USA, which provides clean and safe water to the world’s most vulnerable communities.  

 

cote’ des roses

Prior to Spring 2018, my only experience with rose wines were limited to combining red and white wines from practically empty bottles of wine.  Constant advertising of trendy rose’ wines, and the housewives guzzling it down on television, and I, attracted to  pretty and shiny objects, was enticed into trying current rose’ wines.  On a rainy spring morning, I perused the shelves of wine in the local BJ’s.  I’m enthralled, thinking I was getting a deal, purchased one bottle of each rose’ wine in stock.  Slowly, from spring to mid-summer I tried all the wines except one.  I wasn’t in any hurry to try the cote’ des roses, it was such a pretty color and the bottle was designed to look like a rose. (turn the bottle upside down I believe)

Well fate be my guiding star, my favorite, an Argentinian rose’ Finc Wolffer was no longer available at BJ’s and I went home to try out my pretty bottle, chilling in the basement.  Low and behold it was delicious!  It was outstanding compared to the other bottles I had purchased and enjoyed.  This rose was dry, refreshing, and left no aftertaste, I was smitten.  The glass stopper was easy to open and can be recorked easily on this bottle as well as other wine bottles.  This wine is no longer available at BJ’s and it has taken me weeks to locate a store that sells this wine.  Mission accomplished, I’ve purchased enough to last me 6 months in case of another prohibition!

There is always a lesson to be learned and hopefully you agree that somethings superficial and unimportant, are worthy of recognition and it is a good thing to sometimes be distracted by pretty and/or shiny objects!

 

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater:

This multi-purpose toner is a frequent flyer in my handbag and one resides in my car.  A quick spritz to the face provides a pick-me-up anytime.  The toner smells fresh and is soothing.

  

At home I use the toner to set make-up and spray on dry hair.  I’ve blogged about this product before and believe it’s worth repeating.  The 4 oz, $7 bottle is a steal compared to other toners I’ve tried, that are not as gentle as this facial spray.

I often ponder the value of material things equating to happiness.  It seems so superficial to believe they do.  My higher order thinking wants to believe that experiences, rather than material things are most valuable.  Experiences are probably most valuable if you regularly go to the theater/concerts, sporting events and partake in travel.  I don’t know if there is a correct way to discern which one is most beneficial, but I do know I’m going to keep on making material purchases, preferably shiny ones, and have as many life experiences as well! 

January 9, 2018

‘Bomb Cyclone’ Really?

Last Wednesday I woke up to the news that we were going to get hit with a ‘bomb cyclone’ in the next day!  Really?  Surprisingly, I had never heard of one even though I consider myself one of the largest receptacles of useless information.  So Sean Patrick and I went to the beach to see if there were any signs of the ominous type of weather to come!  Nothing seemed amiss, it had been frigid and the beach showed signs of the weather!

Wednesday, 4:15 pm, I did not see signs of the impending ‘bomb cyclone’, but I didn’t know what a ‘bomb cyclone’ was.  So I went home to try to make sense of the storm to come.  What I learned was that two meteorologists coined this term,  they had used in a paper they had published.  A ‘bomb cyclone’ are powerful cyclones that get their energy from rapid drops in pressure caused by hot and cold temperatures colliding.  Similar to having rheumatoid arthritis, when there are drops in pressure caused by hot and cold temperatures colliding, I adversely react, in layman’s terms, I’m in a world of hurt.  So I patiently waited for Armageddon to come!

Thursday, 9:32 am, Sean Patrick and I ventured back down to the beach to see what was shaking and it was quickly apparent something was up!

By the floating ice, it was apparent the temperature was increasing and it started to snow!

Wednesday, 1:45 pm, we headed back down to the beach to see what was shaking, but we didn’t get very far!

The wind was whipping the snow around and it was cold!  I settled in at home and watched the weather from the comfort of a cozy armchair.  

Friday, 11:31 am, Sean Patrick went out and checked to see if the coast was clear!

After waiting for the walkway to be shoveled, we were able to escape!

Making our way to the beach we were met with cyclonic weather!

The visual display of snow being whipped in many directions was challenged by the water slamming into the shore.  It was quite a sight, but the bitter cold sent us fleeing for the comfort of central heating.

It was a fun and interesting few days, but I am happy the temperature has finally risen and I’m able to get my feet back into my shoes! (Insider RA joke)  

Hoping everyone that was affected by this storm faired well, and wishing all a great week!

 

June 20, 2017

KNOW THY MEDS!

Back on April 18, 2017, my blog post Made In The Shade!  was published.  The post was about a dermatological appointment,  the results of my biopsy, and most importantly the preventative measures that I should follow to prevent further sun damage to my skin.  At the time, it was explained to me that I was being treated for solar keratoses, as a result of long-term sun exposure.  I shared with my readers some of the preventative measures that were explained to me, and I now follow.

Well, here in Rhode Island we experienced torrential downpours all of Friday night and into Saturday morning. As soon as it cleared I headed to the beach with my dog, Sean Patrick.  Because it was gray and overcast I wore a sweater, but eventually removed it during the walk.  When I arrived home I realized I had a sunburn on my face, chest, and exposed arms.  For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how this could be, since I had only been out an hour, and it still had not completely cleared up.  I was confused on why this happened since I religiously apply SPF 30 on my face, arms, and hands each day.  Jeff suggested that I check all my medications, and see if any causes photosensitivity, and therefore may cause sunburn or rashes in a brief amount of time.  I researched my medication’s side-effects and realized that three of the many caused protosinsitivity.  Methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, & my occasional ibuprofen were the culprits.  

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that treating RA stinks, at best!  But to learn and treat RA each day for over 3 years and still get stumped at what it throws at you, is a rollercoaster ride that I want off of!  We do what we can at the time the challenge is presented and hope the challenges decrease.  Even thought the weekend was a washout, I spent last Tuesday in Boston, hanging at the Pru and watching the B 52’s at Symphony Hall, it was wild!  

Have a great, pain free week!  

 

 

May 30, 2017

FAIRMONT COPLEY PLAZA HOTEL, BOSTON, MA

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!  

March 28, 2017

Staycation #2!!!!

a vacation spent at home or nearby-noun

On this past rainy and overcast weekend  Jeff and I embarked on our second attempt at a staycation.  Unlike our first attempt, spent at home, we went to a hotel, for one night, 26 miles away!  I’ve been home for a little over an hour and find myself not only refreshed, but thinking about the remarkable time we had at the Castle Hill Inn, Newport, RI.  Comparing the two staycations we have had, this one was approximately 40 hours less than the one in January!  So how much fun can you have at a semi-isolated location, during a rainy 23 hour stay?  Loads of laughs and doing as little as possible and not actually going anywhere other than the bar and restaurant.  Castle Hill sits on 40 acres on a peninsula overseeing the East Passage and the Atlantic Ocean.  Our stay may have been short, but it certainly is memorable.  You are greeted warmly on your arrival by attentive staff, and ushered to a room with spectacular ocean views and a welcomed fireplace!  I didn’t take many photos, I was busy doing nothing, but here are a few!

Ariel view of the hotel, picture courtesy of Castle Hill!

Entrance to the Rose Room

Toasty and Comfortable!

Remnants of 3:30 PM High Tea!      

We ate, drank, and watched the world sail by until it was time to go home!  I realized you don’t need to name an occasion to slow down and enjoy life!  I’m looking forward to many more “cations” whether near or far, for hours, days, or weeks!