June 14, 2016

Part 1-Gift Sets

In a few months I will celebrate the 3rd anniversary of my Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis.  After living for years in excruciating pain and being advised by doctors to seek psychiatric care, a simple blood test proved that I was not crackers.  At this point, I was on the road to better health and challenges associated with the disease and/or side effects of the medications I took.  There were so many things to straighten out and not being a very deep person, I focused on my physical looks first.  I knew my skin was dull, dry, & gray and I looked almost as good as what the cat dragged in.  To improve my outward appearance I purchased many products rated with 4-5 stars to improve my complexion and appearance, but was not successful.  Continuing on this path I would surely be broke in months if I continued to buy tons of products.  I thought about my teen years when money was in short supply and I would wait till Christmas or Mother’s Day to buy gift sets of new products to try, I thought this would be a good avenue to re-explore.  The gift set products has yielded successful results.  The first sets I purchased were:  First Aid Beauty Face Cleanse & Exfoliate , bareMinerals up close & BEAUTIFUL
The First Aid Beauty set was a $10 investment that included a 2 ounce tub of face cleanser and 10 facial radiance pads.  I loved the face cleanser mainly because it made my extremely dry and sensitive skin feel soft and clean.  Followed with the facial radiant pad that gently exfoliated my IMG_0462skin leaving it smooth and brighter.  This set is not only impressive for the results that it yields, yet contain no parabens, harsh chemicals, or colorants.

The bareMinerals up close & Beautiful 30-Day Complexion Starter Kit intrigue me.  I had previously used the bareMinerals Ready Blush in “The Indecent Proposal” (plum) and the bareMinerals Mavelous Moxie Lip Gloss in “Dare Devil” (blackberry) and loved the products.  Each morning for at least two weeks I applied the original foundation in the 4 steps that should have produced the look of bare skin with flawless coverage.  It just didn’t work for me!  I liked the way the product felt when I was applying it, but I really did not see the coverage this 50 something babe needed to look radiant, or produce a healthy looking skin.  I would never advise anyone to not buy this product, bareMinerals have proven to be a contender of cosmetics of value, just not for me with their foundation products.

XO - 1

 

June 7, 2016

Adopted Sleep Habits

 

Blog - 53For years my sleep habits were simple, go all day and night, and sleep when you no longer could keep your eyes open.  If I wanted to do something, I did, and made up for the missed sleep whenever I could.  I was always tired, yet ready to roll.  Then everything changed. I was tired and the joints in my hands and feet were killing me. I attributed my exhaustion and pain to lack of sleep and did not seek medical help until I could no longer stand my fatigue and pain.  After months of doctors’ visits I was finally diagnosed with severe RA.    The lack of sleep, pain, & medications took a big toll on my appearance and personality.   All the things in my life changed once I was diagnosed with RA and it has taken years to change my behaviors to accommodate my RA.  This is how I have addressed my chronic fatigue.

Eventually my body began to respond to the medication, my activity level increased, yet I was still fatigued. I was getting adequate sleep, yet I never woke up feeling rested and usually struggled either staying awake or alert during the day.  I had read that sleep deprivation can raise susceptibility to infection and aggravate rheumatoid arthritis, which was an eye opener!  As I have been doing for the last 2 years, adjusting my behavior to make living with RA more manageable, I had to change my sleep habits.

My sleep habits are simple adjustments I made to my nightly routine.  I go to bed and wake up the same time each day, including weekends.  I added walking the dog as soon as I’m up to my routine, instead of walking him at night.  The nightlight in my bedroom has been removed and I no longer go to bed with my iPad in hand.  I also drop lavender oil on my pillows before bedtime and use a deep-breathing exercise I learned in physical therapy.  All of these adjustments helped, but the most significant adjustment I have made is, decreasing my consumption of coffee and caffeinated drinks.  I do have coffee in the morning and limit how much I have at that time.  The rest of the day I drink water or  decaffeinated tea.  All these small adjustments have helped me sleep better, stay asleep, probably contributed to some weight loss, and helped me live my days with “flare”.

XO - 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

May 31, 2016

BREAKING THE BANK FOR BEAUTY!

Tammy Fender - 1There can be no other explanation on why I would spend $165 for a Tammy Fender Anti-Aging Treatment Regimen, other than desperation!  Now, officially in spring I found the need to change my morning and evening routine in an attempt to mitigate what could potentially be a bad face month.

Last December I purchased the Tammy Fender Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil, in the throes of a dry month in an attempt to salvage my skin.  The body oil worked like a charm, it absorbed quickly, left no sign of residue, and left my skin feeling soft and supple.  So banking on the success of the body oil, I reluctantly cashed in my chips and waited for Anti-Aging Treatment Kit to arrive and work miracles on my face.  When it arrived I was immediately impressed with the packaging, a heavy box with a drawer that held all six products.  In anticipation of using this kit I remembered what I had read online that prompted me to take this financial plunge:

Every product in this collection reflects Tammy Fender’s passion for the ancient tradition of holistic medicine, and each is meticulously designed to promote wellness not only on physical plane, but also on the emotional and spiritual levels, taking into account the person as a whole.

As you’ll find when using these exquisitely handmade, purely refined products, the natural outcome of finding true balance is healthy, glowing skin!”

It has only been a few weeks since I added these products to my morning and evening routine, I am pleased to say, for me it is well worth it!  My dry and sensitive skin responded to the products and within the first week I noticed my skin looked better than it had in months.

The kit included the Lavender & Fo-Ti Cleansing Milk, Bulgarian Rose Water, Quintessential Serum, Intensive Repair-Balm, Epi-Peel, and Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil.  It is a three-step morning routine of cleansing milk, rose-water, and intensive repair balm.  The evening routine would be the same with the addition of 1 or 2 drops of the serum.  You exfoliate 2 to 3 times a week with the Epi-Peel, my favorite the Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil after showering.

I don’t throw the word “fan” around very often, but I can confidently say that this product rocks and the only decision I need to make is it whether I will continue to purchase her products.  I think it is an affirmative!

XO - 1

 

May 24, 2016

Why Lifestyle & Beauty?

IMG_0078

Early on I realized that how I felt, determined how I looked. There seemed to be a direct correlation between the level of pain I was in and how I looked. Mistakenly, I started to dress and act the way I wanted to feel, so I slapped on a bunch of make up and dressed in clothes I loved. Surprisingly, it didn’t work, and made me even more miserable, if I actually could be! Dealing with RA and work as well as trying to assume the life I lived before RA wasn’t happening. I wallowed for months struggling to regain some sense of normalcy in my life until one of the articles I read put things into perceptive. My negative disposition did nothing to improve my appearance and health, when I changed my outlook and attitude, things began to change. My favorite shoes no longer were comfortable because of swelling, instead of mourning the loss, I bought better fitting shoes. The makeup I normally used no longer was effective because my skin type changed as a result of the many medications, so the hunt was on! Living life with a chronic disease has launched me into one of the greatest adventures I’ve had in years. Searching for clothing and toiletries that accommodate my new life with style and flare, contributes to my positive perception of the challenges in my life that I embrace!

Granted, there is more to life than purchasing items and searching for clothing that fit my new normal, but it is one constructive goal that has helped me deal with a debilitating disease!

 

XO - 1

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May 17, 2016

STRESS

1 (1)No one is immune to stress. Stress will wreak havoc on your body, mind, and spirit when you are well. So, having a chronic illness and experiencing stress, can be debilitating.

I have handled stress in many ways; some healthy ways and some destructive ways. I read about stress management and tried some of the suggestions. I’m not built for yoga, and meditation and I don’t gel. One suggestion that I thought would be great for me was to do something I love to do. Awesome, right? Not quite because I love to eat, buy expensive clothes, and travel, but none of those things reduced my stress.

Exercise is not one of my favorite activities, yet, walking has proved to be therapeutic. As I walk, I think about ways and things I can do that will help alleviate stress. Purposeful activities help me reduce stress. I may call a friend, and have a quick chat, or do something mildly physical and purposeful, like ironing. Yes, ironing!  Ironing is not a glamorous activity, but it does calm me and I accomplish a task that needs to be done. I like to think of it as meditation in motion-ironing out my thoughts and tense muscles.

What really has made a difference in managing my stress levels is the establishment of routines. This can be difficult to accomplish, but eventually is will become routine and yield calming results. When you structure your life and pre-plan the simplest activities you limit stress of the unknown. Taking control of your environment, interactions, and your future direction will certainly alleviate stress and fear of the unknown.

In future posts I will share some routines that I have found success with, and routines I am working on!

XO - 1

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