Winter means….


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…snowflake nail art! I am obsessed with snowflake nail art. My MoYou London plate (website linked here) remains my most used stamping plate of the year. That sounds kind of sad but it is absolutely amazing. The best thing is I can use it well past December! Where I live it snows until March so I never feel weird or out of placing putting it on my nails.

I hope you like this icy gradient and double stamping look I created for the Challenge Your Nail Art 12 Days of Christmas!

Facebook Group | Social media tag: #cyna, #12daysofchristmas


snowflakegradient2GradientOPI No More Mr. Night Sky – dark grey, I Drive a Super Nova – light (both from last winter’s Starlight collection)

StampingMoYou London stamping – Festive collection plate 02, Barry M Cosmetics Chai (grey), SinfulColors Snow Me White (white)


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

December means….


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…more nail art than I can handle!!!

I am interested in at least four separate nail art challenges, one swatch and one Rheumatoid Arthritis challenge!…and I am trying my hardest to post as much as possible to Instagram.

I took a lot of time from the blog because I became unhappy with my views. I averaged less views per post than when I even started the blog. I lost interested. People are moving from reading to viewing. My Instagram account stagnated and only acquired followers after I posted video tutorials.

I love YouTube, I love producing videos as much as the next person but it really is a sad state of affairs that nobody reads anymore! I honestly started focusing more of my time on videos.

I will post to the blog. I love writing (however horrible I am at it — never my strong suit in school) and I miss it. This blog, no matter how unpopular is my personal space to write, be creative and not care what other people do or think.


With that in mind, take a look at my first nail art of the month! I created this look for the Challenge Your Nail 12 Days of Christmas challenge. The first prompt is Silver & Gold.

I have taken part in the Challenge Your Nail Art 12 Days of Christmas challenge since 2013. Jessica from “Be Happy and Buy Polish” (check out her awesome swatches here) used to host but her family grew in recent years. She took a step back from her many nail-related duties to focus on her home life, and rightly so.

Challenge Your Nail Art Facebook |  Social media tag: #cyna #12daysofchristmas


sparklesgsBaseZoya Goldie

GlitterSinfulColors All About You, Sephora by OPI Lights, Glammer-a, Action!


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Getting My Wisdom Teeth Out | GRWM Video


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Contains some affiliate links.

I hope you enjoy this video! I filmed it the morning I got my wisdom teeth removed but I couldn’t upload the footage until today. The look I created is quick, arthritis-friendly and bright. Perfect for days when I have to go to the doctor’s and want to feel a little better about the situation!


Don’t forget to sign up with Ebates to get cash back on some online orders (here)!


Products Mentioned:

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer (SPF 15)

Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 50

Chanel Illusion d’Ombre Velvet Eyeshadow – Rouge Contraste

Urban Decay Electric Palette – Freak//Thrash//Fringe

Physician’s Formula Original Organic Wear Mascara

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Lip Balm

The Dental Saga, cont. | Rheumatoid Arthritis + Nail Art


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A month ago I wrote about some serious tooth pain on the right side of my jaw. That same week I went to the dentist and they took a slew of x-rays. It turned out I had numerous cavities; two accounted for the severe pain. The doctor filled them in the same day and thankfully, there was no need for root canals. She also noted the necessity of removing my wisdom teeth before they became a cesspool of bacteria. Not a big deal as I saw these extractions coming for years (more on this later).


If you are not familiar with fillings, the dentist drills away the decay then either fills it in or takes a mold for an onlay or crown cap. This results in blood and bacteria flooding the mouth and let’s get real, even with the suction device, you still ingest a lot of it. Most doctors know to prescribe antibiotics to autoimmune patients because well, that much bacteria can cause serious issues. Easy peasy, right? In, out. Done.


Unfortunately for me, this new inexperienced doctor did not know to prescribe said antibiotics. I felt a little low after the procedures but I chalked that up to extra inflammation and energy in the healing process. I added insult to injury by sitting for my monthly infusion at the end of the week. That’s when it all went to hell. As Friday evening wore on I felt worse than usual and as the weekend drew closed I developed a low-grade fever. I called my rheumatologist who immediately prescribed antibiotics. The fever broke but I felt worse.

I thought I was dying.

#31DC2015 - Sweeney Todd inspired Nail Art | The Rite of Aging

I sounded melodramatic but I felt weaker, shakier, and mored fatigued on the antibiotics. than before them. I finally came out of this illness just in time for my wisdom teeth extraction! I was nervous only because I did not want to get so sick again. There was more blood, more “trauma” and I was not on particularly healthy ground going into this. The surgeon was experienced and prescribed me at least two extra precautionary drugs to knock out potential complications.

I healed up quickly even after a set of stitches came out the same evening (I accidentally pulled them out while brushing my teeth) and spent the night swallowing blood and clots.

Cinnamon powder stops bleeding fast! I mixed it in with yogurt and applied it directly to the area without stitches. It staunched the bleeding very quickly.


Once I crossed that hurdle it was straight shooting from there. I did not experience excessive bleeding or pain, the inflammation decreased quickly and I stayed healthy! All in all, I thought it was a success.

I always knew it was important for autoimmune patients not to get sick. Too bad I experienced it firsthand, though!

bloodBase: butter London Knackered

Splatter: OPI Guys & Galaxies, red acrylic paint


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Sugar-Spun Spider Webs | Nails & Video


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I have severe arachnophobia that manifested later in life. When I was young I let tarantulas crawl up my arms and shoulders. I touched the spiders who set up shop in the corners of my house. Then, at the age of twelve, I watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I had my worst fear realized. The Forbidden Forest scene changed my life and since then spiders send shivers down my spine and shakes through my soul.


Think I’m exaggerating? One day, during college, I found a spider in the corner of my room. I couldn’t move off my bed or take my eyes off that corner until my best friend and roommate came home and took care of it.

All this being said, spiders are fascinating creatures. They are small but they create the strongest structures in the natural world. In the inorganic world, engineers and scientists alike try to copy the strength and lightness of a spider’s silk and still have not succeeded.


thtx1rzI avoid spider webs like the plague because if there is a web, a spider is not far off. But, I just can’t help staring at the silky threads. They are beautiful. They are unique. The are strong yet thin and nearly invisible. They are made in such a way that it traps even the smallest insects. It legitimately blows my mind.


spider_web_necklace_with_pearls_of_dew-1Claire over at IG@clairestelle8 hosts a monthly nail art challenge and October marks everything Halloween.

I most certainly am not going to put spiders on my nails but sugar-spun webs are the perfect alternative.

I hope you like the look I came up with! And, if you’re interested check out my talk-through tutorial (here).


spiderwebsBaseSinfulColors Secret Admirer

Sugar-SpinPipe Dream Polish Sonic Transducer (holo), Barry M Cosmetics Chai (grey)


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

What Happens When All That’s Left is Pain? | Rheumatoid Arthritis


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It is almost 3 am and I am wide awake. A constant symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis is pain. Sometimes, the pain is bad but I take medications to  restrict it. I hurt every second of every day but I suffer from a dull ache and not a sharp stab.

I am used to chronic pain and since I am, shouldn’t I be used to any type of it? No, it’s the complete opposite! I am not used to punctuated burst of pains. I feel agony when my tooth/jaw hurts and as a result, I turn grumpy, depressed and restless (hello insomnia!).


I am in a really foul mood. The weather is cloudy and rainy (but warm! — my favorite) so I am decorating for Fall. I love this time of year but I can’t enjoy it! Cue an even worse mood. A simple conversation or thought triggers my depression but this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is not brought on by any of the usual culprits. It’s the severe irritation in my gums.


It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it? My tooth aches, so I can’t sleep since the pressure from my pillow creates an intense surge of discomfort. I don’t rest so I flare up which adds a separate sort of pain into the mix. Pain makes me feel sad and isolated. Sleep deprivation makes me fatigued and stressed so I clench my jaw making that pain worse.


RA is so…strange. And, not for the reasons above. I say ‘strange’ because of all the extra things, the extra occurrences I never considered or prepared for! But how can I prepare for a toothache? If I didn’t have an autoimmune, would it feel more or less painful? Would it matter?

Yes, which came first? The chicken or the egg?


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

31DC2016 – Coloring Flowers | Nails


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A little while ago, I tried my hand at coloring water decals (check it out here). It was so much fun I tried it again for the 31-Day Challenge flower prompt. I blended and mixed acrylic paints and love the final result.

I hope you do too!


flowers2flowersBaseColor Club On the Rocks

Water DecalsBorn Pretty Store


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.