Satisfied Sundays // Vol. 3 1/14


Well, this week has been more stressful than most but some good things happened.


I am grateful that…


My physical therapy didn’t exacerbate my Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms so I didn’t flare up.

Mocha and I had three “perfect” walks this week. This means no jumping, pulling or stealing things (like gloves, hats or doggie bags).


What are you grateful for this week?


Satisfied Sundays // Vol. 2 1/7


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And here I am, one week in to the new year and I’m already forgetting to post.


This week I am grateful that…


…my skin is under control and more even-toned.

…my back pain is getting better with physical therapy.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Start the New Year Right with These Easy, Simple Self-Care Tips ||


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Self-care today seems only possible if you have the spare time and money. Unfortunately these are both finite resources and many of us can’t afford to “splurge” on today’s glamorous idea of personal care.

Below, I’ve put together a small list of easy, basic, and effortless self-care tips that go deeper than the mainstream trend. You can really do these anywhere, at any time and need only one thing: a positive attitude.

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IMG_4862Taking care of our whole selves goes beyond eating fresh fruit and veg every day and exercising properly. Stress (we all experience and ignore it) plays a damaging role on the body and cannot be willed away by a green juice. The mental health conversation is much more public and doctors/people stress the importance of taking care of yourself.

However, people still have a fantastical notion of self-care that is just not plausible for every day life. Aided by social media, the concept of taking care of your mind means taking the day off, gathering your favorite skincare and sitting poolside with your books and booze. I won’t lie, that sounds AMAZING but this type of personal care is just not realistic for long-term management.

We don’t need more products or long meditations exercises.  We need small easy to chew actions that we can incorporate effortlessly into our already busy lives.

I hope you find these tips helpful and doable! LMK in the comments how you self-care.


Stay Hydrated

Raise your hand if are going to throw something at the next person whos says ‘drink more water’. Yeah, me too; until I learned how important it was to maintain my water intake.

We live on water and our bodies are made up of it. When we stay hydrated our blood moves smoother, faster and provides fresh oxygen to every part of the body. Proper oxygenation means each cell runs and heals quickly. Water even keeps the brain alert and makes us feel more awake.

Next time you feel a little sluggish drink water and see how you feel!


Close Your Eyes and Listen

Whenever, Wherever. Just do it and don’t listen for anything specific. Open your ears to noise and you might surprise yourself. It doesn’t matter if all you can here is the heater, or someone typing in the next room. Forcing yourself to hear what’s around you makes sure you are aware without consciously thinking about being present in that moment!

Don’t like what you hear? Change it. Even if you can’t move make another sound louder — like music. We are affected by noise and react subconsciously to it. For example, I cannot stand when my dog licks her lips at night. I use a fan to cover it but I still experience disturbed sleep if Affie is particularly restless.


Do Something Different

We are creatures of habit but monotomy kills creativity. Do you walk the same way up and down the stairs? Have you ever noticed?

I totally repeat actions and small movements every day without realizing it. Every morning I take out Mocha’s food, add water, and microwave it. While the food is heating, I take out Affie’s and add water to that. I switch the food and pour M’s into her bowl. I add flax seed to A’s and olive oil to both.

Monotomy kills creativity. It may not feel like it at first, but these little routines can make you feel unproductive.

You don’t have to add anything new to your day. Just switch something up. For me, I could warm Affie’s food first or add the olive oil before the flax. Maybe, I can even make my coffee before my breakfast!


IMG_4909These three ideas may feel like nothing at all but that’s the point. Self-care shouldn’t be a luxury we only enjoy occasionally but something we work on every day. We consciously take care of our physical bodies so why are we cutting corners with our mental health?

Are these tips easy to incorporate into a very hectic life? What are your other self-love ideas? LMK in the comments!


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Satisfied Sunday // Vol. 1 12/31



Nothing to disclose.

IMG_6008.jpgSometimes I get so wrapped up in the things that could go better I forget that a lot actually goes right. Each Sunday I want to write down one sentence or sentiment I am grateful for. And, just like everyone else in the world with New Year resolutions, I want to make this a new type of post in the new year.

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This week…

Even though my back hurt like hell and I could barely turn I was still able to walk Mocha while my father recovered from a knee injury. Spoonie win!

I was able to get an appointment at a fabulous Physical Therapy in less than a week. Another Spoonie win.


Okay, so that was two things but that’s okay. We can all use more gratitude in our lives, right? 🙂 Are you grateful for anything specific this week? Let me know in the comments!


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.



Holiday Season 2017 — Get to Know Me Christmas Tag



Christmas Ornaments 2017 || the Rite of Aging...Early BlogIt’s that time of year again where everything is festive and bright. Everyone is merry and looking forward to food in abundance and more family time than they can manage.

I hope you enjoy this Christmas tag post! If you do one link me in the comments so I can see it!

All the best during the end of the year and holiday season!


Do you like to stay in your PJ’s or dress up for Christmas?

PJs all the way! Christmas is the only day it is okay to dress down! I can eat breakfast in my flannels, open presents and even cook dinner (though generally I don’t because Mom always said where clean clothes when cooking!)


If you could only buy one person a present this year, who would it be?

My pets (collective). My dad and I are not really holiday present people. We are always on the look out for them and if we find something we make an excuse, like ‘it’s your quarter birthday!’, to give it as a gift.

Christmas Ornaments 2017 || the Rite of Aging...Early BlogDo you open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Christmas morning.


Have you ever built a Gingerbread house?

I vaguely remember making one at my father’s holiday work party when I was six or seven years old. I don’t remember bringing it home and I’m sure I was not very good at decorating the house!


What do you like to do on your Christmas break?

Sleep! The holidays are the perfect time for me to rest and bring any Rheumatoid Arthritis flares down. The best days are those I take a nap with my three pets!

Christmas Ornaments 2017 || the Rite of Aging...Early BlogWhat’s your favorite Christmas meal or treat?

Mint hot cocoa from Trader Joe’s. I stock up and buy a few tins because the store always sells out. I personally love peppermint year round so I’m set with my favorite chocolate!


What’s your favorite holiday movie?

Rent. The story takes place during the holidays. It can be very depressing at times but it maintains the spirit of the season with an absolutely lovely story and even more beautiful music.

Christmas Ornaments 2017 || the Rite of Aging...Early Blog
Candy Canes or Gingerbread Men?

Candy canes. By the way, why can’t I find the traditional red and white candy canes in grocery stores? They sell the green/white spearmint ones or the tri-colored ones but never the plain old-fashioned striped one!!


Have you ever made a snowman?

Yes, at my childhood best friend’s house. She, her brother, cousin and I worked together to make a huge one! That same winter, I attempted one on my own and proudly, the bottom snowball was taller than me; though, I couldn’t put them one on top of each other and it turned into a deconstructed snowman.


Which do you like better, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Christmas Day! Everything starts on the morning of the 25th. I’d wake up early and enjoy hot cocoa with a slice of Paneton (hispanic fruitcake). We’d open presents and just hang out with the family! Sometimes, we’d go to a family friend’s house for dinner but generally the day was pretty chill.

Christmas Ornaments 2017 || the Rite of Aging...Early Blog
White lights, or colored lights?

Honestly, it all depends on my mood. My family has accumulated a ton of traditional colorful Peruvian ornaments so I prefer white on the tree; but, sometimes I like a plain tree with colored strings and no ornaments!


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

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Flashback Friday: That Time Affie Trotted Off


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I grew it up in a gorgeous wooded neighborhood. It was a protected area where homeowners could only expand their homes vertically and not horizontally so they wouldn’t disturb the forest. Because of this, the houses were generally small with large, untouched yards wrapped around them. Fun fact: One was built by Andrew Lloyd Wright and remained in his family!

I know it sounds like I grew up in a quiet rural environment but actually I lived in the suburbs of Washington DC! The city and it’s neighboring counties took their environment seriously.


The surrounding streets connected through loops and general roundabouts with multiple outlets to the “main road”. This kind of made us one big happy neighboorhood, even if we didn’t know everyone who lived in the gorgeous 50 and 60 style houses.

Mine was not small but it was one story with a basement. It looked it, though, because of the vast garden. I was lucky that we had such an expansive yard. I had a lot of room to play and the dogs had plenty of space to run.

When we got Affie (our first dog) we decided to take advantage of this great big space and put in an invisible fence. I know it is a controversial topic but we thought it was a great idea because the dog had unblocked access to the entire property.

It was perfect for the Affie and Saachi (our second dog). They ran around all day (hours upon hours) as if they were farm animals and especially loved to trot next to other people walking their pets.

A in her Pillow Hat - 2007

In retrospect, this is probably why our pets are so aloof and self reliant. They preferred the outdoors and were not interested in playing fetch or Frisbee.

We liked to keep Affie’s fur short. It matted easily and I couldn’t keep up with the grooming. But, during late Fall, early winter we grew her hair out so she could stay outside and not freeze her little doggie butt.

The problem with this, we found out, was she would disregard her fence collar. We didn’t keep the shock too high but it was high enough that we thought she could feel it through inches of fur. Even now, we’re not convinced that she didn’t feel it.

Affie Chain - 2006

One weekday while I was at school a neighbor from three “neighborhoods” away rang our doorbell and handed Affie over to my father.

“We found her marching along the road!” she explained. My father was flabbergasted. He didn’t know the woman but thankfully she recognized Affie from when she walked her own dogs.

I don’t know how this lady caught this nutty dog but I have the upmost respect for her. Affie never came when she was called and played chase with anyone who looked at her.

Now, this is probably a good time to mention we checked on the dogs when they were outside but since they had full use of the property (front and back of the house) we never worried too much if we couldn’t see them. They explored every inch of the yard (and remember I mentioned it was very wooded) so we just assumed they were in some cranny inaccessible to us.

The woman was kind enough to remove Affie’s collar and it was still buzzing when she handed it over. She laughed “I can’t believe she didn’t feel it!”


We couldn’t believe it either.

After that, we checked on Affie more frequently and I did catch her making a break for freedom a couple of times. I think she chose to ignore the zap to continue her carefree exploratory existence outside of her usual four corners.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Simple Delicate & Pink || Nails

Affiliate links.*

I love intricate nail art as much as the next enthusiast but sometimes I crave the simplicity of one or two complementary colors. These pink nails are exactly that and I have to say I adore them. It’s been a while since I did delicate nails, let alone uncomplicated ones so these feel like a breath of fresh air.

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Simple and Elegant Bridal Nails featuring MoYou London Shanti Stamping PlatesSimple and Elegant Bridal Nails featuring MoYou London Shanti Stamping PlatesBase: Sally Hansen Petal Pusher*

Stamping: MoYou London Scandi Collection stamping plate 08, Color Club On the Rocks


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.