Depression Awareness – #fightforlightandlive

My submission for the hashtag #fightforlightandlive. The idea behind my manicure – fly free: free from depression, free from the weight it brings, free to be who you are without fear.

Here is my question for the world: Depression sometimes goes hand in hand with autoimmunes. Is it because it is hard to cope with a life-altering diagnosis? Is it because autoimmunes are inflammatory diseases, affecting all organs including the brain? 

I suffered from depression, on and off, long before I ever felt my first arthritic pains, but I wonder now if it has gotten worse because I still cannot wrap my head around my new disability or because inflammation runs rampant in my body.


Five minutes after I applied top coat I had to wrestle the Saachi for something and everything smudged. My left hand came out with the least damage so I photographed that hand.


DSCF0563_fotor-001I used 2 coats of Zoya Giovanna as my base. I used 1 coat of Deborah Lippman One Short Day (from the Wicked collection) on my thumb and ring finger. I used 1 coat of Serum No. 5 Forest Lights and 1 coat of Zoya Opal on my index, middle and pinky finger.

I stamped with American Apparel Parakeet and MoYou London plate 02 (from the Mother Nature collection).


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Don’t forget to check out everyone who went green for Depression Awareness. Use #fightforlightandlive across all social media!

GOT Challenge: White Base

Check out the sidebar for the link to the Facebook group.

I am not going to lie…I love how this came out. It is super cute and fun. I cannot stop looking at my hands! The stamping could be better but this afternoon I could not even fill out a simple UPS DHL slip without my fingers getting stuck and painful. My hands went past shaky right to pulsating so I expected the worst when I lift the stamper. It smeared the base but I was totally okay with that today! (The top coat masked the flaw! Yay!)

I hope you like my GOT manicure this week. Since my Nails Inc. glitter has blue and pink glitter I went with a gender symbol design. When I flipped through my stamping plates I knew it was perfect with the other colors!


DSCF0539_fotorI used 3 coats of Nails Inc. Sprinkles Sweets Way (thumb, index, pinky) and 2 coats of Milani Peacock (ring) and Zoya Reece (middle) as my bases. To bring the blue creme and pink shimmer together I added a generous coat of Sally Hansen Color Frenzy Candy Drops and 1 coat of INM Holographic Top Coat – Silver.

I stamped with butter London Cotton Buds and Bundle Monster plate BM 310. The butter London polish became so thick after a few uses I could no longer stand it as a base. I reserved the remainder for stamping and it worked really well!

I sealed everything with 2 coats of Seche Vite because the glitter ate the first coat!


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Check out the other white base manicures below!

The Crumpet’s Tri-Polish-Tuesday Challenge – August #2: Blue, Yellow, Red

I did this manicure yesterday but by the time I took and edited the pictures it was 11:30 and I was too tired to write a corresponding post.

I wanted something quick and relatively RA-easy so I went with a simple dotticure. Unfortunately, as the Orencia fades, my fingers are getting more and more shaky and weak. Yay for non-uniform dots! #RAfriendlynailart.

I toyed with using the same polishes as last week since I like primary colors together but then I decided to go neon…of course.

It was not until way after finishing this manicure I got that nagging feeling telling me I had done this manicure before. Thankfully, I haven’t but I did do something similar for another TPT back in April! (linked here) I am not happy with that nail art and think today’s came out much better!

I hope you think so too!


DSCF0525_fotorI used 3 coats of American Apparel Neon Yellow as my base.

I dotted with American Apparel  Neon Red and Pop Beauty  Pacific Hoot.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Check out the other tri-polish manicures below!

The Good Pain

It exists! Good pain!


Two weeks ago, I climbed for 5 days straight, two to three hours each session. First of all, I know right? That sounds a) completely unbelievable and b) totally regrettable. But, guess what? I felt amazing. I hurt but it was all muscle pain and no, it was not “I strained a muscle and now I cannot move”, it was “I had a great workout and now my muscles are repairing and strengthening themselves”!

I texted a good friend of mine on staff to tell him I was in pain and at first he thought it was a flare. I gushed over how great this good pain felt.

I forgot what a good workout felt like. I felt mobile, happy, charged, and overall “normal”.


…I dislike using the word “normal”. My normal no longer exists. My RA-ridden body is the new norm yet I still remember what “normal” feels like.

This is probably holding me back, mentally. I do not mean, life-wise, getting a job, moving around, living…I mean, I cannot move forward with this disease. I keep hoping it will go into remission, I will go back to the way I was.


All of that aside, I was thrilled. I remember way back in high school my muscles ached when I climbed too hard and I felt painful and uncomfortable. I remember my annoyance when I pushed my body too far when I shouldn’t have. I knew my limits and ignored them.

Now, I love this pain. The muscle pain reminds me I am still able-bodied, I am still capable, I am not just the RA. I still have limits and push myself past them.


How strange, right? My perception of pain completely changed. Regardless, I still have to pick and choose my battles like whether I should climb or cook the dog food, I still cannot do both in a day.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

FingerFood Themes Buffet: Inspired by Holidays

I wanted to try my first sunset gradient/palm trees on the horizon manicure for the Theme Buffet but the SIMPLES challenge this week is “splodging” so I decided to incorporate both.

Check out the sidebar for information on both challenges.

Summer is fading faster than I anticipated so I am trying to fit in as many neon manicures as possible…not that the absence of summer stops me from wearing neons, of course, but I am itching to start my winter manicure circuit again!

I used similar colors to Debbie’s (The Crumpet) example manicure so I tried to go heavy on the purples. Regardless, I really love this manicure and it reminds me of sunsets which is part of the goal!

I used bigger chunks of sponge for this because my hands were super shaky, I could not pinch properly or manipulate the tweezers. In and of itself, sponging was not the most RA-friendly but eliminating the tweezers and using bigger pieces made this way easier!

I hope you like the final result!

 DSCF0517_fotorI used 2 coats of Julie G White Orchid as my base.

I detailed with small tweezers, bits of makeup sponge, China Glaze Sun WorshipperColor Club Mrs. Robinson, Poptastic, Almost Famous and Wham! Pow!

I finished with a generous topping of Seche Vite.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Check out the other manicures below!

GOT Challenge: Stripes

Check the sidebar for more information under The Crumpet’s Challenges

My first thought went to striping tape and I cried. Striping tape is a RA flare’s worst nightmare: shaky hands, small tweezers, straight lines. It all makes me want to crawl under a rock and stop painting my nails. Ok, that is a GROSS exaggeration but you get what I mean!

My second thought went to Winnie the Pooh and I gasped I had never attempted these characters. How is that possible? The Golden Oldies’ prompt this week is stripes so I immediately jumped to Tigger. I’ve seen some gorgeous Tigger manicures on Instagram and had the cartoon on my mind.

This was so much fun and it was only until after I finished I realized ALL the polishes I used were over a year old. I only meant for the base and stripes to fall under that category! While that is pretty cool, it probably means I do not buy enough nail polish!

Today’s manicure may have used old polishes but it featured a new technique: freehand decals! I grabbed a sandwich bag and set to work. Unfortunately, my decal smudged a little but I don’t mind. It kind of had a “artist’s sketch” vibe to it. This was definitely not a bad first attempt!

Now that I rambled on…


I hope you like it!



DSCF0504_fotorI used 2 coats of Color Club Wham! Pow! as my base.

I detailed with Wet n Wild Black CremeZoya Reece, and Urban Outfitters Westside.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Don’t forget to check out the other manicures this week!

Stopping the Orencia

I decided to stop the Orencia this month. I can no longer afford Accredo’s STUPIDITY.

Now, do not get me wrong, if the medication worked wonders and I felt able-bodied and “normal” I would gladly pay for it. However, I cannot justify  ~ USD $450/month for a medication that only works maybe 60%.

Yes, I am a part of the Orencia IV Infusion Co-Payment Assistance Plan. Yes, Accredo confirms my out of pocket expense is $5 so why do I receive a surprise $900 bill every two months?

I paid out of pocket long enough (since January)!

Why are the back-dated invoices not accepted by Orencia? Because Accredo send the invoices to Remicade (a Centicor company)….last time I checked, I was not on or never have been on Remicade.


I started over again. From scratch. I requested a new member ID from Orencia. I received the card attached to that membership. Accredo updated the information…properly! They sent the invoices to the right place…finally! A supervisor confirmed the changes.

I should receive a refund on my out-of-pocket costs.


….Maybe…Until I do, I stop the Orencia.


Regardless of the trouble with Accredo I struggle with stopping this medication. Orencia works best out of all the medications I’ve taken. But every latent infection comes back like clockwork: my on-going sinus infections, yeast infections, stomach pain and nausea.


Well, let’s hope in the next couple of months I will be re-united with my long lost money!


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Nail Polish Canada’s Summer 2014 Nail Art Challenge

What better way to celebrate the end of summer or summer in general than with neons! I am going through a splatter phase so I decided on a fun, bright one for Nail Polish Canada’s summer challenge. It does not look like anyone else has done a splatter yet so hopefully mine stands out with the white background!

I thought about adding some stamping or something a little extra but I decided to leave well enough alone and stick with the simple nail art.

If you like my submission, please vote for me here:




I used 2 coats of Julie G White Orchid as my base.

I splattered with separate straws and China Glaze Sun Worshipper, In the Lime Light and Color Club Mrs. Robinson.

I finished with a generous coat of INM Northern Lights – Gold before I realized my camera could not capture details under the sparkle! Yikes! Thankfully, you can still see the definition between the colors.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

The Crumpet’s Tri-Polish Tuesday Challenge – August #1: Blue, Yellow, Red

Check out the sidebar for more information!

Let’s not even get into the quality of the photos today. I apologize, my camera does not seem to capture whites well! I couldn’t get the lighting right and I couldn’t fix it! I am also not feeling to great, I wrecked myself climbing yesterday and now am paying for it. Not to mention, my cuticles went from bad to worse and the skin is peeling off my hands. Actual peeling. My body feels dehydrated but I am drinking enough water, getting enough electrolytes. Oof, my body is one hot mess right now. Most of the skin off my lips has peeled off and now they’re bleeding. I just feel off.

Anyways, now that I have gone way past TMI lets get on to the nail art. Because I feel so wonky, I needed to do a design that was easy on the RA. What better way than splatter painting? I do not even touch the nail for that! Fun, easy, quick. And guess what? I actually photographed my left hand. This is unheard of as the last time I did was my very first nail art a year ago. I found waiting for the polish to thicken added to the splatter effect so my left hand came out way better than my right.

Please ignore my awful skin and pictures…but I hope you like the nail art! I am pretty pleased with how it came out.



Polishes used: Milani Spotlight White, Color Club Almost Famous, Wet n Wild I Red a Good Book, and Anise Make Waves.

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Check out the other August week one manicures below!