November 14, 2017

UPDATED KITCHEN SWAP OUT!

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!

AVOCADO HUGGERS

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.

SEA STONE SPONGE HOLDER

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!

MASON JAR MEASURING CUPS

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.  

GW POTTERY HANDMADE STONEWARE BERRY BOWL

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 10, 2017

Just an Opinion!

Last week, Tuesday, October 2nd, to be exact, I was hit with a heavy metal door exiting work.  I went home, iced my arm/shoulder, and went to work the next day.  Swelling and pain skyrocketed, forcing me to visit a walk-in clinic.  Luckily, there was no break, a cross body sling, muscle relaxers, and rest were the doctor’s directives.  So, I’ve taken it easy, arm in sling, propped up in bed with a multitude of pillows, navigating the world-wide web!  I’ve read incessantly and now believe I have earned the title of “largest reciprocal of useless information.”

During my online perusal of different topics I gravitated to sites that I hoped would improve my life and standard of living.  What I uncovered was a multitude of articles that seemed silly and foolish, so I had to investigate.  There is much hype surrounding “living your best life” and  “being your authentic self.”  Some of these articles were written by psychiatrists and the likes of Dr. Phil, Oprah, and Huffpost, the list went on and on! These  must be hot topics, and I wasn’t in the loop, yet!  So I read as many articles that I needed in order to form this educated opinion.

All of the articles were slightly different in the number of steps involved in “living your best life” as well as tips, quotes to help you accomplish this feat.  In a nutshell,  one would give best effort into everything you attempt, be present in the moment, and derive satisfaction in the life you live.  Living a minimalistic life can also contribute to “living your best life.”  I felt by reading articles about “being your authentic self” that it was clearer in defining what you need to do to be “your authentic self.”  One should  never define themselves by occupation, marital status, social status, or where you live.  What makes you authentic is you and your uniqueness and ability to be your “authentic self,” not what you think others require of you.  You don’t require sympathy, affection, or approval of others.  

I found much of what I read suspect.  It would be extremely difficult for me to live “my best life” or to “being my authentic self.”  Like many others I am first and foremost committed to myself and my happiness, but need to navigate the realities of the world I live in, which requires me quite often to respond and act differently than I would like.  

Much of what I read must be taken with a grain of salt.  If I really bought into the checklist and reasoning behind “living your best life” or “being your authentic self”, I would be neither.  I would be the generic individual who is following others to achieve a lifestyle that is set by their criteria and not my needs!  I’ll continue being my genuine self by using common sense when sharing honestly with what I feel, as well as appreciating the opinions of others!  I hope my arm heals quickly because I don’t have many more days of recuperation left in my authentic self!  Be well!

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?

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