The Crumpet’s SIMPLES Challenge – Week 10: Watercolor Base

I am so behind on all the challenges due to my unstable symptoms. I better whip myself into shape because the 31-Day Challenge starts on MONDAY! I did every single prompt on the right day last year. Let us hope I continue the streak this year!

Below is my watercolor base for the SIMPLES challenge this week. It also serves as my blue base for the MoYou London contest on Instagram. I know there are a range of opinions on the company right now but I like contests and I really like their plates. I just won’t “push the company forward” in my blog posts! Less work for me, right?




I included the picture I uploaded to Instagram. I used Milani Black Swift to stamp on my left hand and Konad Special Polish Black on my right. Reasons below!

DSCF0690_fotorI used 2 coats of Sephora Formula X Thrilling as my base. I was not feeling stark white because of my swollen fingers. White makes my nails look shorter and exacerbates swelling in photographs. Maybe that is just me?

I “water-colored” with Milani Power PeriwinklePop Beauty Pacific Hoot, and Anise Neons Make Waves.

I stamped with MoYou London plate 09 (Suki Collection) and Milani Black Swift. I switched to my Konad polish for the left hand because there was a lot of clean up on the stamper and Milani dried too quickly. I loved stamping with my Milani polish but I was not working quickly enough to get a crisp image.

I topped everything with Seche Vite.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Off the Orencia

Long story short, Accredo Speciality Pharmacy continually messed up and I was out quite a bit of money. Until I received my refund I stopped the Orencia…whether this was a good idea or not. Spoiler alert: a very terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.


I was in so much pain the week after the “missed” dose. Marmalade sat on my lap and tried to console me, she tweaked my hip and I burst into a fresh wave of tears. She then started crying, too. Best cat ever. I do not know if I would be able to get through these flares without her.


I hobbled around enough to eat and sleep but I lay in bed for days. My immobility and pain were so bad I considered going to emergency for a shot or IV or something. I never spiked a fever so I held off (I hate hospitals, can you tell?) I increased the prednisone dose to 12 mg. It did not help a whole lot the first few days but it was enough to get me to work.

A half-day camp put me in bed the rest of the day; a two or three hour shift exhausted me. I could not increase my prednisone dose because I started to get anxious and depressed, the two emotions I needed to check when working with kids!

I spent the last two weeks in bed. I barely did anything of value, I could not walk, drive, paint my nails, and sitting up was a chore.

That was last week.

What about this week?



I feel more stable but I have off from work this week. I am still on 12 mg of prednisone but I am sleeping alright as long as I take pain medication right before bed (otherwise, I am too painful to sleep). I care for my pets, I rock-climb a little, I am no longer unbearably nauseous and able to eat more than a yogurt.


I hope I feel better as my body adjusts to the Orencia’s absence. I hope I can stay off it because I refuse to use Accredo.


I hope I get my money back.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Tri-Polish Tuesday Challenge – August #4: Blue, Yellow, Red

Check out the  sidebar for more information.

This month passed at a snail-pace. I’ve always had a problem with August but time really slowed down. I am thrilled there is only one week left.

Here is my manicure for this week’s TPC. I had to re-do all my nails except for the accent because they became cluttered. I started with a dotticure and added clouds. It was too much and looked horrendous. I could not even look at the pictures. I went back and just did clouds and it came out way better.


DSCF0614_fotorI used 2 coats of Color Club Almost Famous as my base.

I stamped with Milani Black Swift and MoYou London plate 06 (from the Mother Nature collection). On the stamper, I layered Wet n Wild I Red a Good BookAnise Make Waves and a generous coat of Seche Vite to seal the design. After it dried, I applied it to the nail and added clouds with Julie G White Orchid.

I seal everything with Seche Vite.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


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


Exciting New Launch: Random Nail Art

I have been itching to write this post for a while now. A little over a month ago, the amazingly sweet Alessandra from The Sparkle Queen contacted me about a project she was working on: It’s main purpose is to bring new and veteran nail artists together with a nail art-specific, StumbleUpon-style site. If you do not already know Alessandra she has fantastic blog where she hosts “weekly link-up parties” for nail artists.

Alessandra worked tirelessly to add thousands of links into circulation and the work she put in was absolutely amazing and yielded a wonderful new addiction. I am totally serious, this is an addicting website. There are so many different nail art designs to discover so I am thrilled to click and click again!

What I particularly like about this website is it takes you directly to the blog post. Unlike StumbleUpon or Pinterest you are not re-directed away from the page first so you can comment and like as you please.

It is a wonderful set up and it is weirdly rewarding to click the button! The best part of all, you can add your nail art into the mix by clicking on the link at the bottom of the homepage.

I cannot even imagine how much time and energy Alessandra has put into this project but, and I know I am repeating myself, she has created something really awesome! And she hasn’t stopped yet. She is always adding new links and blogs to the lineup.

Click the button below to check it out!


Random Nail Art

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

A Rabid Affair

I am sorry for the spotty posting this week. I am not doing well off the Orencia…more on that on Wednesday.

The following post is actually my Facebook status but after I posted it I realized it could be my Misc. post for today as well…for my Facebook friends, you may already have seen this!


My father has been in India for over nine months for business. It killed him to be away from his dog (Saachi) for this long but a month ago, a stray dog “adopted” him. He was so thrilled. He sent EVERYONE (no joke) a picture of her with the caption “Look at my new dog!” She waited for him every night and saw him off to work every morning. Unfortunately, she was not allowed in the building because she was a stray but she would sleep outside. Dad brought her food and treats and was going to get her shots and vet visits done. He even considered bringing her back to the US. Yesterday evening, some rat from the apartment complex called Animal Control. She was taken away and put down. 


India has more stray dogs than people (at about 30 million strays) and many of them are vicious and rabid. In 2012 there was a massive rabies epidemic in Bombay and many of the strays were killed. The dogs the clinics vaccinated were also put down because the city would not allow their re-release. Rabies is a massive problem that is not given the time, money or energy it deserves. Granted, India is a very poor and corrupt country (a whole different issue) and even though there have been many efforts to eradicate the disease they do not have the necessary resources to make a big difference.


Part of me understands why someone called Animal Control. It is assumed most if not all strays have rabies. What upsets me is for a country with such a high prevalence of the disease it has little understanding of rabies symptoms! (This also opens up an education discussion which I won’t get into). You can see a rabid dog a mile away. My father’s dog was in no way rabid. I cannot believe someone could be such an asshole to call out one sweet dog; especially when you walk out of any building and there are five waiting to bite you!


I am not against euthanasia, when necessary. As a vet tech, I have seen way too many cases of people holding on to their pets even when their quality of life was beyond mortifying. However, I am against putting down animals for no other reason than to get rid of them.


After my mother passed away, my father and I spent the rest of the summer in India. I still remember telling my father “after vet school, I want to come back to India and run a free clinic for the families who cannot afford decent animal welfare and care for as many strays as possible”. Of course, my vet school goals changed over the years. Currently I want to work with the White Bengal Tigers, in India, but maybe I should re-visit this first idea. If I can physically get through vet school I will re-consider this goal. It will take more than one person to make a difference but maybe I can help in the effort…


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

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!