August 22, 2017

Labor Day Lament! 2017

On September 6, 2016 last year’s blog post focused on Labor Day being the end of summer for me, even though September 22nd was the official end date.  Labor Day being the end of summer fueled me with anticipation of all the work I/we needed to accomplish before the winter and holiday season was upon us.  This year I’ve adopted a totally different outlook regarding the end of summer. I’ve decided Labor Day will not mark my end of summer, I’ll live the endless summer for as long as possible.  I’ve made a list of things I will continue to enjoy until the actual end of summer in September and beyond, until the weather makes it impossible.   So here is to living in the present and a few of the things from the summer of 2017 that I intend to continue to enjoy…..

In the morning I’ll sit on the porch, sipping coffee with my friends!

Sitting around the bonfire on weekend evenings!

Have picnics at the beach and enjoy the view!

Enjoy all my fresh produce, yogurt, and eggs from 4 Town Farm!

Appreciate the landscape at my home that Jeff painstakingly works on!

Continue to explore local areas where we can take Sean Patrick for new and fresh walks! 

 

I’m working on relaxing and not being controlled by real or imagined time restraints. I’m taking each day appreciating all the good and positive things that are in my life.  I work on not worrying about life’s deadlines, expectations, and societal norms. Everyday I put one foot in front of the other, with or without pain, and surround myself with positive individuals that support and encourage my lifestyle.  Living with a chronic illness is a challenge, and it is the most difficult challenge imaginable.  To focus on only the challenges of the illness, will certainly rob you of the goodness that inherently surrounds you!  Have a great week and I’m leaving you with pictures of my Old Orchard Beach vacation.  

 

 

 

 

August 15, 2017

Things that work for me this summer!

It may seem odd or delusional, but I believe I’ve found the silver lining of having a chronic disease.  Since I no longer stroll department stores or malls perusing items I may or may not like, I shop with a purpose to hunt down items that accommodate my lifestyle with RA. The items run the gambit of kitchen gadgets, cosmetics, skin care, clothing, and most importantly shoes.  It’s been a blast shopping online and finding things that make my life easier.   It is a great comfort to have clothing that is not a challenge to use or wear, beauty items that don’t irritate my skin and cause problems, or kitchen tools that make life manageable on challenging days. Early this summer I purchased these items and have worn this shirt and used these cosmetics repeatedly since purchase.  The best part was realizing I can recognize by store descriptions and ingredients that I know by previous experience, will agree with me! In no particular order here are my Summer of 2017 favorites! 

  This Rag & Bone 100% cotton, long sleeve, round neck, relaxed fit, and asymmetrical front and sleeve slit t-shirt is first-rate.  It is loose-fitting but not untidy and it soft and a joy to wear. I wear it at every opportunity possible!  

Each morning after I moisturize my face I mix the Becca First Light Priming Filter Instant Complexion Refresh  with my sunscreen and apply.  I use this primer product to even out my skin tone, leaving my skin with a dewy finish.  As a primer, I appreciate how quickly it is absorbed and does not leave my skin greasy.  

 

 

Clarins Limited Edition is a trio of bronze tones that renders a natural and healthy glow, not a fake look!  It does not cause any adverse reactions to my sensitive skin and is appropriate for all skin types and skin tones.  I’ll continue to use this product daily into the winter months, without worry of an artificial look.  The compact is sleek and best of all easy to open!

 

 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Mini is the final product in my summer faves!  I heard so much about this product and only when I was able to find the mini size did I purchase it.  All I use this product for is to brush a bit on my check bones to add a dressier appearance if I’m going anywhere that requires it.  So, it is just a sweep of the brush on my cheekbones, in addition to the previous two items.  How easy is that? 

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I whole heartedly believe I’m now working on a level in most areas of my life, where I’ve assembled, a medical team, household items, clothing, cosmetics, and even friends who make my life not only livable but enjoyable, in spite of Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Have a great week!  

The kids in the neighborhood are getting big!

August 8, 2017

The iluminage Experience!

When life gave me lemons, I went shopping!  I’m on a steadfast path to making my life phenomenal as I confront RA.  Medications, diet, and exercise play vital roles in battling RA, yet the physical side effects of the disease need to be addressed.  I work on finding and trying items that not only make me feel better, they must provide some noticeable improvement as well!  So, with great enthusiasm I purchased three iluminage products that I expected to improve and correct some of my physical concerns.  I chose these three products because I became familiar with the medicinal uses of copper decades ago when my mother fought chronic and terminal illnesses.  I often wondered if copper technology really worked or was my mother being gracious when telling her well-meaning friends that the copper bracelet made a difference. So here are my findings and without any regrets or disappointment, I’m pleased that I tried these products.

  The iluminage Rejuvenating Sleep Masks purpose is to minimize the appearance of wrinkles with the embedded mineral copper that possesses skin-enhancing properties.  The copper is responsible for the skin’s renewal process.  After five weeks of dedicated wearing of this sleep mask, I did not notice any significant difference in the appearance of wrinkles. What I did love about this mask was that it did not sit on my eyes, it contoured to my eyes and blocked light completely.  It also has small and narrow pockets on the interior where I added a drop of lavender oil that I enjoyed.  Unlike the less costly face masks with “wake me up for champagne” or “zzzzzzz’s” printed on the mask,  I would not be embarrassed  to wear this soft and silky mask on any plane or anywhere for that matter.  This mask is one size fits all, adjustable, and washable.  It is made of 100% Cupron® cooper oxide polyester.  No, it did not succeed in minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, but it was a welcome discovery of a comfortable and light blocking mask. 

  The iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Socks are a big hit with me!  My dry and scaly feet responded in a positive way, but I applied a thick cream, before putting on these socks. The socks are woven with high-tech copper infused thread, so it should repair and replenish, moisture on dry feet.  These are cushioned socks are extremely comfortable with shoes and wearing them at night.  My feet still look like crap, I didn’t notice any of the “skin’s renewal process” by wearing these socks, but I did notice a softer sole and loved the comfort level of these socks.  The socks are made of 89%Cupron® copper-infused polyester, 9%nylon, and 2% spandex.  The socks are non-irritating and washable by hand.  If I had the money, I’d probably buy a half dozen of them and wear them all the time. 

  I didn’t “turn back the hands” of time but I absolutely loved iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Gloves.  Once again, they are embedded with patented copper technology and are supposed to change the appearance of your hands in four weeks by promoting the growth of proteins in the skin.  I just put them on each night over my La Mer hand treatment and enjoyed how my hands felt each morning.  The slight compression of these gloves felt wonderful!  The compression gloves that I fight to keep on longer than five minutes were of no use, at least these gloves were extremely comfortable.  Hand washable, made of 88% Cupron® copper infused nylon and 12% spandex.  I really like these gloves and think they are worth the price!

There is nothing in my power I won’t do or try to make my life more comfortable with RA. There are hits and there are misses, and not all things I do affects the RA, they just make me more comfortable.  So, when there are nights I don’t sleep, it doesn’t matter that I have dark circles under my eyes, it matters that when I was having a rough night, a comfortable mask made it bearable.  I’m not just throwing darts at a random list, I’m just flushing out anything and everything that will allow me to live life with style and flare!  Have a great week!

 

 

 

 

August 1, 2017

IS IT HOPE ON THE HORIZON?

Each and everyday I awake with an expectation that the day will be pain-free, or at least I’ll have manageable pain.  Rheumatoid Arthritis is my reality that I must face each morning, and it continues to be the greatest challenge of my life and the most tedious job!  To manage,  I’ve made  commitments to:

♦exercise regularly;

♦eat healthy and lose weight;

♦structure my life to accommodate RA & its side effects;

adhere to adjustments made on my treatment plan; and 

never give up

Some of the above I’ve realized successes with, while others are a work in progress.  But, my big news is that I’ve been given an appointment at the Benson-Henry Institute For Mind Body Medicine.  At my September appointment I will start my journey in a Stress Management & Resiliency Program structured for helping individuals that have been diagnosed with a medical condition, a chronic condition, or would like to reduce stress.  My excitement in this program does not stem from all the failures that I have experienced in trying to live life at its best, but the concept of being guided by professionals in a joint effort for me to improve my quality of life and hopefully reduce medical symptoms associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  

Sometimes, defeats in life lead us to our successes.  I am hopeful that my acceptance to this program will lead me to acceptance of my condition.

July 25, 2017

Birchbox Update & a Bit of Inspiration!

                                         Everything’s not coming up roses!

In February I purchased a year subscription to the Birchbox, an online monthly subscription service that sends you a box of five samples of  beauty related products. The boxes range from skin care items, perfumes, makeup or whatever they throw in!  If you have read my previous blog posts about Birchbox, you know I am not their biggest fan. From this day forward I will no longer critique all the items/samples in each box.  Since I’ve committed/paid for the yearly subscription, I will continue to evaluate, but only share product information, I believe are worth reading about, and not commenting on cheap filler/samples among a few worthy items. The following is a mix of the products worth mentioning in the June & July boxes!  

Benefit Cosmetics

Boi-ing Airbrush ConcealerThis was a solid good product. It was easy to apply, blendable, covered dark under eye circles, was easy to remove and did not irritate my sensitive skin. I think it’s a good buy for the money. Full-Size, $20

 Oribe

Oribe Dry Texturizing SprayThis is an invisible dry spray that is supposed to build volume, and it did. I used it as a dry shampoo and it extended the life of my blowout from the previous day. The scent is light and I noticed a slight shine on my hair after application. I love this product as much as the Oribe, Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray that I reviewed in my A Questionable Value post and the Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo that I reviewed in my A Jolly Thought post!  If all of these Oribe products were not as costly, I would be using all three of these products regularly, and loving them!  Dry Texturizing Spray,  Full-Size 8.5oz $46  or  2.2oz $22 Wowee!!!!

 Klorane 

Dry Shampoo with Oat MilkNo reason to re-view this product, I purchased it and reviewed it in my Cold Weather Skincare Update, and here is what I wrote and still believe!

“Good product, but when compared to the Klorane dry shampoo, there is no comparison. Klorane is the superior product.  It not only works as a dry shampoo should, absorbing excess oil from hair, it adds volume and texture to your hair after application and leaves your hair looking healthy and smelling fresh and clean. ” 

The Beauty Crop

Fabulous Flocking Lashes MascaraIt has been a wonderful experience trying new mascaras, since I was a teen I’ve been loyal to the many different Maybelline washable mascaras.   Of late I’ve tried a few mascara’s that are all waterproof, contain argan oil or jojoba oil that I have loved, and the Fabulous Flocking Lashes Mascara just joined the ranks!  This was the only full size sample I have ever received in my Birchboxes!  I loved the way it easily glided and adhered to my lashes, didn’t smudge, and was easy to remove. I am now a fan of waterproof mascara that contains essential oils and make my eyes look alive. Full-Size $19.00

So that’s the wrap up of the two Birchboxes I received for June & July!  Not many items that tickled my fancy, but I will continue to evaluate and share anything useful I find.  

This is something I need to share; this week I viewed this segment on the local news, I am in awe of this woman and the road she traveling! 

Self-proclaimed ‘dying woman’ becomes mother of invention for necessary comfort

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