A Very RA Thanksgiving || 2018


I’ll be perfectly honest, I’ve been a “Mopey Molly” the last few weeks. I’ve been almost sick so I felt totally spent. Just being awake was difficult. It was hard to feel good about anything until my sinus infection finally broke out and I am now on antibiotics and getting better.

agriculture autumn background decoration

Every Thanksgiving I write a post detailing what I am grateful for because even though I am dealing with a pretty heavy illness I still have so much good in my life.

So, without further ado, here are the things I am most thankful for this year…

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orange and blue pumpkins

My Brain

Rheumatoid Arthritis robbed me of my physical ability but I still have my wits. As long as I maintain my mental state, I can conquer the world.


RA is an autoimmune disease which means many of the symptoms (many, not all) are internal and invisible. Often times, chronic illnesses warriors feel isolated and unloved because the people around then don’t believe them.

My family helps me when I need it, doesn’t make me feel bad for it, and most importantly (for me, at least) doesn’t treat me like an invalid because guess what, I’m not.


It really astounds me how often people think I’m a burden because they feel like they have to make accomodations for me. (First, educate yo damn self and second, I make my own accomodations, thank you very much).

I am so lucky I have “true” friends who grab my arm and help me get up on to a curb; amigos who stop so I can take a break and don’t bitch about me holding them up; besties who help me cut up my food at restaurants without a lick of judgement.

And, what’s especially amazing is they just do. I rarely ask for help and my friends know how embarrased I get asking for it especially when it comes to my RA.

My current physical ability

I complain about the pain and swelling and immobility but truthfully, it could be worse. I am still mostly able-bodied. Yes, I do sometimes need assistance (canes, walkers, etc) but I still have the OPTION to use them.


Sure, I cannot work full-time without pain, fatigue and other symptoms but at least I can work. And, I am lucky that one of my jobs is done from the comfort of my own home.

…Speaking of…


I live in a beautiful house, in a safe neighborhood, close to everything I could possibly need, including…


…access to some of the best doctors/specialists (human and veterinary) in the country. They’ve kept my disease from progressing and I don’t have to wait ages to see them. Most I can see within days.

Private Insurance

It does not escape me that I could be paying thousands of dollars every month on medication alone. Add in doctor’s visits, specialists, routine imaging, etc I could either a) experience serious monetary instablity or b) forgoing important treatments all together because I point blank can’t afford them.

I am especially grateful I can afford good private insurance that covers most of my medical costs and ensures I can see all those great specialists without leaping through any fancy hoops.

My Pets

I bet you were wondering when they would pop up, right?

I don’t even know what to say except where would I be without them? They give me purpose (when I often feel like I have none anymore), they keep sane and safe. I am fortunate I can care for all of them both physically and financially.


What are you grateful for this week? LMK in the comments!


Hi. my name is Monica and I have RA.


Happy Halloween Sugar-Spin || Nail Art


Nothing to disclose.

I’m finally getting around to posting my Halloween nails to the blog. And of course, it wouldn’t be Fall if I didn’t spin some sugar on my nails. Unfortunately, there is no way the sugar-spin technique qualifies as “arthritis-friendly” nail art but I enjoy doing it and it is oddly therapeutic. For me, it’s worth the extra pain and immobility as long as I’m having fun!

I hope you like this double textured sugar-spin nail art. I couldn’t leave well enough alone so I added some funky glitter on top. I think it came out well, if I do say so myself. Heh…

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Halloween Orange and Black Sugar-Spin Nail Art with Formula X Glitter (ft. Zoya and Color Club Nail Polish)Halloween Orange and Black Sugar-Spin Nail Art with Formula X Glitter (ft. Zoya and Color Club Nail Polish)Halloween Orange and Black Sugar-Spin Nail Art with Formula X Glitter (ft. Zoya and Color Club Nail Polish)Base: Zoya Anais (discontinued)

Sugar-Spin: Color Club Wham! Pow! (orange), Formula X for Sephora Bombshell (discontinued)


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Peacock Feather Water Decals || Nail Art


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Items sent for honest review. Opinions are my own.

Some affiliate links.*

You all know how much I L-O-V-E water decals. They are the epitome of easy, arthritis-friendly (or, chronic pain-friendly) nail art. So, I am always on the look out for new to me designs and willing to try most any of them.

I eyed these peacock decals from Born Pretty Store for a while and finally decided to try them. They were cute and pretty but honestly, I was a little let down. First, the product only comes with 10 designs which is a little unusual…That’s not a lot to work with. For example, if I wanted to use a decal on each nail that would only leave me with enough for one manicure, right?

Though, to be fair, these are similar to full nail designs which never come with a lot.

My other biggest issue was the gradient style of the background ended in white which means I could only use it over a white base. Not a big deal but makes the decal way less versatile.

Otherwise, they performed well, slipped from the backing properly and didn’t bunch on the nail.

Check them out below but before you do, don’t forget to…

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Peacock Feathers Water Decals Nail Art ft. Born Pretty Store ReviewPeacock Feathers Water Decals Nail Art ft. Born Pretty Store ReviewBases: Zoya Rocky (blue), Essie blanc (white)

  • Dry brush detailing

Water Decals: Born Pretty Store peacock feathers* ($0.99/piece)


Want to know how I did this? Check out my water decal nail art tutorial below:


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Born Pretty Store 10% off code


Help Wanted



I struggled to put the litter in the trunk and as I turned to return the cart a man…rushed up and said “Let me take care of that for you”.

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How many times do I see someone struggle to carry something or just need help reaching something from a higher shelf? How about something basic like holding the door for the next person. What about a plain old “thanks”? These little gestures seem par for the course, right? Wrong. It amazes me that true decency doesn’t exist in the world.

I am young…I look even younger. So, I’m fit, right? Why do I need a disability placard? Why does it surprise me that nobody helps when I don’t see anyone jumping to an elderly person’s aid?

So, when something amazing thing happened to me it meant so much more than just the kindness of strangers.

Interested in the rest of the article I wrote? Click here to see my full thoughts at RheumatoidArthritis.net!

  Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Easy as Pumpkin Pie || Video Tutorial 2018



Some affiliate links*

Sometimes you just have to update a previous makeup look and that is exactly what I’ve done. Last year, I created an arthritis-friendly orange, autumnal look that I have to say came out quite well.

I find myself reaching for similar colors and tones and decided to film an updated version. It is just as if not more arthritis-friendly and very easy to achieve. I’ve linked as many of the products as I could below the video.

But before you check it out, don’t forget to…

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Products Mentioned:

CVS Oil Blotting Sheets $4.99

*Milani Eyeshadow Primer $8.00

Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette (Shades: Mousse/Butter Pecan)

Morphe 35OS Nature Glow Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette $24.00

Tom Ford Eye Defining Liquid Liner PenEye Defining Liquid Liner PenEye Defining Liquid Liner Pen $58.00

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon (Shade: Blacquer) $25.00

YSL ‘babydoll’ Mascara $32.00

*Simple Cleansing Wipes $5.00

*Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream $10.00

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette $68.00

Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray $32.00


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

The Love of my Life is Cat…


…And here’s why.

Why is my Relationship with my 17 year old Cat, Marmalade, so important?When I was twelve I understood death. I understood the most important person in my life was gone and not coming back. I understood her body was no longer alive.


fullsizeoutput_2e7bI didn’t understand what death meant. I didn’t know my mother wouldn’t see me graduate high school, college or graduate school. She wouldn’t see me date or marry. She would never meet her grandchildren. She would never see me grow up, fulfill my dreams and carry on a happy, whole life.


fullsizeoutput_2e75I was lucky she didn’t work after I was born. She stayed at home with me. She drove me to school every day. We played the license plate game and I memorized the states on the map. I recited Japanese and Spanish. She cooked my meals every night and made me do logic problems at the dinner table. She dragged me to all her appointments and let me sit there quietly and patiently like a good little Asian kid.

I had a lot of balance issues as a child. I didn’t swing my arms properly and couldn’t walk in a straight line. I also fell a lot. She worked tirelessly with me on my gross motor skills. (Guess what, Mami, I’m a balance climber now!) She helped me with my homework. She spoke with me in Spanish. She painstakingly dressed me so that nobody knew I didn’t give a flying rat’s ass about my appearance.


fullsizeoutput_2e72Would anyone spend that much time on their child? I’m sure most parents wanted to, but the reality was they couldn’t. My mother rarely took time for herself because she poured her every waking moment into my existense. I was lucky to have such an attentive parent. Both my parents were extraordinarily loving however, my father traveled for work. He just wasn’t physically home all the time.

After Mum died I felt very alone. Life was foreign. My favorite person was nowhere. The house was empty. I turned the corner, nobody was there. I went outside, there was no one to call me in for dinner.


fullsizeoutput_2e71I felt deserted even though our extremely large family flocked to our sides in support. Friends came out of the woodwork and wept with us, people I didn’t know materialized out of thin air, but, none of them were my mom. And nobody could be.

She was not the only thing that died on August 6, 2002. I lost the most powerful connection I had to anyone, one I would never recapture. I suffered a loss I still don’t understand. Nothing could ever fill in that massive gap left over from a trauma like this.


Until Marmalade.

fullsizeoutput_2e74I have done nothing to deserve anyone (human or other species) like her. Even if I were the nicest, most altruistic person in the world, I could never justify Marmalade’s presense in my life. She is patient, kind, and gentle. Above all, she is maternal. She honestly believes she is my mother and cares for me like no one else.

She was a “hospital” cat at the clinic I worked at because the technician who previously owned her could not own pets in her new apartment. It’s weird to think “Samantha” was someone else’s love. Dad often says somewhere else she would have been your normal, run of the mill cat but she found her purpose with me. I needed security and stability and that is what Marmalade gave me.


M - Turtle!We adopted her seven days after my mother passed away and she must have picked up on something because since day one she was my caretaker and protector. She followed at my heels, she sat on me when I hurt, and she defended me from the world.


fullsizeoutput_2e77She sat with her front paws on my mouth when I got braces. She lay on my arms and legs when I had nightmares. She hit Dad and my friends if they tried to wake me from naps.

I was a kid and she cared for me. When I was sick she never left my side. She didn’t eat, she didn’t use the litter box, she didn’t even drink water. She only took the time for herself when I dragged myself to the kitchen. Once, I didn’t wait for her and I returned to my room. She screamed bloody murder until she found me (no exaggerations). Just like my mother she existed for me.


fullsizeoutput_2e7eLife happens in a very strange way. Through the greatest loss of my life I experienced the greatest love. Dad reminds me if my mom had lived I wouldn’t need the same type of relationship. Everything would be different. I would have never met Marmalade, Sunsilk (Affie, or the others). But, it doesn’t help to dwell on what could have been or not been.

fullsizeoutput_2e70Marmalade is 17 years old. She is near the end of her life any way I slice it. She is very healthy (not even given her age) but what’s going to happen when she dies? She’s physically been in my life longer than any human and our relationship is stronger than any one I’ve had. Dad thinks M’s passing will be traumatizing to me and he honestly doesn’t know how I will react. Will it the straw that broke the camel’s back? I’ve been through a lot and come out the other side. Because Marmalade was there. What happens when she’s not? Am I going to make it?

I trully believe we learn from everything and everyone. I credit my parents for who I am (all that nuture vs. nature stuff) but I also owe a lot to Marmalade. She taught me how to be totally secure in myself — to a fault sometimes — and to be strong.


fullsizeoutput_2e79She was my training wheels. She got me through everything at my most vulnerable time. She appeared at the time I needed her most; when I mourned my biggest loss. Even though, I will consider her a big one I know I will never have a cat (or dog) like her again.


Why is my Relationship with my 17 year old Cat, Marmalade, so important?


Hi, my namei is Monica and I have RA.

Yellow Watercolor Flower Decals || Nail Art ft. BornPrettyStore


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Products provided for honest review.

Some affiliate links.*

Born Pretty Store Watercolor Floral Decals product ID 30401

I’ve often said water decals are the easiet way to get fun, cute nail art without the work.  This sentiment goes for anyone really but especially those of us with Rheumatoid Arthritis. We just don’t have the pain tolerance or downright dexterity to create tiny masterpieces on our nails (not that I have the patience to that to begin with).


I get most of my water decals from Born Pretty Store because they are cheap and good quality. These floral numbers were more delicate than usual but I’m not sure if that was the design or decal, itself.

Born Pretty Store Watercolor Floral Decals product ID 30401 Review

The colors are pastel and subtle (aka the watercolor effect) so I think the flowers would look best against a white or off-white base.

I added mine on top of a smooshy yellow base and they are kind of hard to see. Cool kind of effect, though, so I hope you enjoy them! 

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Yellow Floral Water Decal Nail Art ft. Born Pretty Store, Sinful Colors and Zoya Nail PolishesBase: SinfulColors VIPeach

Details: Sephora by OPI Cab Fare (no longer available), Zoya Maria Luisa, Born Pretty Store water decals (product ID 30401)*

I used a foam-tip eyeshadw applicator to messily sponge the different polishes onto my nails.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Keen on making a purchase? Any purchase? Use my affiliate code below for 10% off (Disclaimer: I do not make a commision off its use).

Born Pretty Store 10% off code