After a lovely evening with my family last night I am bit sore today (after a nice walk on the boardwalk) but it was well worth it, as I love the beach and miss it tremendously, especially on days when I am feeling less than stellar (those are the days I need the beach/ocean the most!) As many of you know, a lot of people that are chronically ill are photosensitive (especially us Lupies!) This makes beach going quite an arduous task, and come summer, it can sometimes be difficult to even take a walk outside without breaking out, and feeling ill afterwards...So today, I am offering the best of Summer Accessories for the CHRONICLYsILLy! So that all of us can enjoy the summer with minimal discomfort (hopefully), and of course in style!
And of course, In a typical lupie fashion, I forgot to post the answers to the Riddles and brain teasers yesterday, and after a friendly reminder, I realized I had forgotten all about them! So without further suspense here are the answers to our Chronically puzzling riddles and brain teasers:
6. A cold
7. " Are you asleep?"
9. Brain fog
10. Autoimmune diseases
Summer Accessories for the CHRONICLYsILLy:
Silly Hats: Well, I personally, am a fan of your standard baseball cap, they're cute, easy, and I can pull my ponytail through the back, however, a baseball cap does not always offer enough protection from the sun, especially during the prime hours of the day (between 10-4). So I have adopted and learned to love the Floppy Hat (As you can plainly see, in the picture to your left, of my poppa bear and I, rockin' the Vera Floppy Sun Hat!) . I used to make fun of these hats, I thought they were ridiculous looking, until I was unable to sit outside without feeling sick afterwards and my good ole' baseball cap just wasn't cutting it...I have a few of these Floppy Hats, my favorite of which, is my Vera Bradley ( for those of you that don't know, I am a Vera fan!), and it has come in quite handy on more than a few occasions....So even if your not a huge fan of these, have fun with it, get some funky colors and styles, and make a fashion statement!
Umbrella Hats: Floppy Hats just not your style? Well, maybe you'd be more suited in one of these stylish (I use the term, "stylish" very loosely here) umbrella hats. No need to lug around that big old sun umbrella, these allow you to keep both hands free so you can text away on your phone, hold an iced coffee, and do just about what ever else your little heart desires, and they'll be sure to draw attention where ever you go! (if you want my personal advice, go with the Floppy Hat, but if your really stuck on this umbrella hat, knock your socks off, who I am to judge!)
SPF 100 Sunblock: Thats right, I use to wear SPF 15 (in my pre-lupus days) and I remember going nuts when my doctor first told me ( a sun loving, beach-going surfer) that I had to avoid sun exposure... I laughed in his face until I realized he was not kidding, it was a bad joke, and it was the first time I felt like Lupus had taken something away from me, but that was until I discovered... That's right folks, SPF 100! Now I can withstand bouts of the sun without feeling dreadful afterwards (most of the time!). So take that Lupus... SPF 100 is here to stay and you can't take my outdoors away from me!(most days)...If your an outdoor lover/former beach loving, ocean-obsessed junkie (like myself), I highly recommend this Sunblock (especially the Banana Boat SPF 100 Kids Sunblock, I find the kids ones to be much more gentle and hypoallergenic!)
Iced Coffee: Oh come on... you knew this was coming! How could I do a post about the best summer accessories for the CHRONICLYsILLy without having Iced Coffee on the list! As you all know I do not accomplish much at all with my Jolts of Java, periodically throughout my day, and now that the days are longer, and I'm up later, Iced Coffee has been my favorite summer accessory this season! Looking for a good homemade recipe? Check out the "Cooking for the CHRONICLYsILLy" post from this past Thursday (it's simple, deliciously refreshing, and low in calories and fat!) So grab you Iced Coffee on the go, or whip up a batch of homemade Iced Java (if your feeling really spunky, throw it in the blender for a frappachino-inspired drink!) , it's quite a fashionable accessory to be seen toting around this summer!
Neighbors with a Heated Pool in the shade!: Now, this one is a bit more personal, as it is one of MY favorite summer accessories, as our good friends, and neighbors across the street put in an in-ground, salt water, heated pool a few years ago! They let us use it at our leisure and it has become a staple in my summer accessories/activities (on days I am feeling well enough of course), and the best part, it is in the shade for about 22.5 out of 24 hours a day! It's also a salt water pool, so no chemicals! It's the perfect way to end my summer day, and it's always refreshing (even though it's set at 84 degrees, I still reynaud in it from time to time! yes, my Reynaud's is a bit ridiculous!) But nonetheless, I'd scope out your neighborhood, see if anyone has a nice looking pool (one that is preferably in the shade) and if you find one that tickle your fancy, it might be time to make friends!
Ugg Boots: (I'd like to thank our friends down under for these!) Now, your probably laughing, thinking I'm trying to pull your leg... No, I am 110% serious! I have trouble with my circulation and Reynaud in the 70-degree air conditioning in our house, and I get year round use out of these boots! (I wear the Emu's branded ones, just because they are tad bit less expensive! but they are virtually, the same thing!) So while I might look a bit ridiculous wearing them in the midst of summer, I rarely have a Reynauds attack when my feet are cozily camping out in these boots, and they are a summer must-have for me!
Awnings: I was not always a fan of our awning, It was more of an annoyance in my pre-lupus days, as it blocked my sun almost entirely in the afternoon hours in our backyard... Now however, I am a huge fan! It covers a majority of our patio, and keeps me sun-free all day long, if I want to get some fresh air and enjoy summer! As I mentioned before, I love the outdoors, and the awning allows me to sit out and enjoy the outdoors without having to worry if I am going to flare because of the sun (because as many of you know, even with SPF 100, a flare is NEVER 100% preventable and can still strike at any time!) I'd highly suggest an awning to anyone who is CHRONICLYsiLLy and loves the outdoors... And there are all different kinds, types, and styles to meet any and all of your awning needs!
Now that you are equip with all of the 2010 must haves for Summer for the CHRONICLYsiLLy, it's time for me to refill this mug-o-coffee, and leave you with my Page of Hope and Our daily Jolt-of-Java, and I'd like to give a special thanks to Hannah for everything she is doing to raise awareness and fundraise for the Butterfly Gala! Remember to stop by the page of hope, sign the guestbook (with some encouraging words!) and if you'd like make a donation (however big/small you wish!) all proceeds go to the LFA (and we are currently fundraising for the Inaugural Butterfly Gala-for lupus research!)
Jolt-of-Java: "It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, if there is one thing you should never forget it is this and that each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion, but we must be willing to receive it with open arms and a grateful heart"- KP