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Who gives a flock(ed) Christmas tree?

Hi guys, it’s me. The GRINCH.

Baby Grinch lying on a blanket
baby Grinch

Ok, just joking. I’m definitely not as equally parts cute and terrifying as the baby grinch. Usually though? I have such a deep abhorrence for Christmas and the whole Christmas season. I definitely blame my years of retail and working at a credit union inside a grocery store. They had one of those select your favorite Christmas music cd (BARF, none of them) that seemed to be set to play ONLY the Chipmunks Christmas Album. Yes it was as torturous as it sounds. This year though…something’s changed. I saw the Seaside Post Office decked in its holiday best and didn’t feel a twinge or discord. In fact…it was kinda cute.

Seaside Florida Post Office Decked in Christmas Cheer
Seaside, FL Post Office

Something has happened. This year? I’m not a Grinch. I’m sort of excited to put up my tree. (also a little terrified. You see I have this wild kitten, Dumpling. I am so afraid of our cherished ornaments being ruined due to this feisty little guy.) Which brings me to my next subject: flocking

photo of a flocked christmas tree from instagram with no decorations
How gorgeous is this flocked tree? No decorations? Simply stunning
@wifeonadime you’re killing it sis

I’m thinking that if I had a flocked tree, then I wouldn’t have to do much in the way of decorating. I could just throw some lights on it, maybe some garland and call it good. Then our cherished ornaments won’t get busted. Granted, so many of our ornaments are homemade, but the sentimental value makes them priceless. A flocked tree might be ‘on trend’ which necessarily something I strive for, I really love the idea of simple this year. Next year, Dumpling won’t be quite as wild, I think. I can probably put ornaments on the tree without risk of everything getting dumped. (get it, dumped)

There are definite perks to using what we’ve already got. I splurged and got a 9′ Balsam Hill Fraser Fir (unlit) back when LuLaRoe paid my bills and gave me money to spend. It’s beautiful and fits in the corner so nicely. I would save xx by not buying another tree. We could just put our fun retro colored lights on the tree and call it good. Buuuuut I feel like it’ll look so naked. Flocked trees will shed. Regardless of how much I spend, it’s going to shower the wood tile with snow ev.er.y.ti.me a branch moves. Especially at first. Really though, who gives a flock?

So, I guess my question is, is the allure of the flocked tree enough to convince me to spend money on another Christmas Tree? Should I get a flocked christmas tree and fulfill all my trendy christmas dreams??

Stay tuned.

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Here’s How I’m Bringing Fitness Back

Hi guys, it’s me, Christia. The one that used to run half marathons, attend zumba class 5 days a week, fit into her jeans. Remember me?? I mean I kinda sorta do. I’m bringing that fitness back. And here’s how I’m going to do it.

photo of my brand new peloton spin bike
My beautiful new friend- peloton

I recently welcomed a Peloton into the Palizzi household. Like ordered on a Sunday and had that shiny beautiful bike delivered that following Wednesday. I proceeded to ride three times before I left for a week-long yoga retreat and, omg, I think I’m hooked. I love that I can get a hard cardio work out when it fits into my schedule. It’s really no excuses since it’s right in the middle of my living room. Quite the conversation piece, haha.

My goal is ride that sexy bike 5 times for at LEAST 30 minutes. I also want to aim for my 10K step goal with my garmin. I want to eat vegetables, like a lot of vegetables. Concrete goal, at least one serving with every meal. Water, I need to drink it and not coke zero. Make good choices when I have to. Like I can’t say for sure I will 100 avoid fast food but there are better choices. Make the better choice. I want to also bring my lunch on work days. I don’t need to #TreatYoSelf every day I work, that’s just silly. Make my lunch, control the calories, you get the gist. I also will input my food choices, good or bad, into my fitness pal (ChristiaP)

Coming off that yoga retreat high, I want to take advantage of the different classes offered by Peloton and do yoga the other 2 days I’m not riding my bike. The cool thing about yoga is that it’s my practice, no one else’s. I’m excited to bring that mentality to the peloton. Yes I’m excited for the leader board and for seeing my output increase but I also know that I’m racing against my own damned self.

If you are a fellow peloton user, add me! #30somethingmum

I’m so excited to start this journey of bringing my fitness back. 30 lbs to go and I’m starting now.

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Music is better than…

One of my favorite musicians says music is better than everything. I would have to agree with him.

Music is unique in its ability to transplant you back to a single moment in time. I cannot hear KC & JoJo’s All My Life without specifically remembering my first slow dance with a boy, a much shorter boy, that reeked of acqua di gio cologne. (To be fair, they were are all much shorter than 5’8″ 6th grade Christia.)

Music can inspire. It can help you write that book, or that blog post, or that essay. It can pump you up to finish that workout, or go that extra mile or hell even that FIRST mile. (Seriously Jay-Z Run This Town was my JAM when I was learning how to run.) It can bring you in touch with emotion or help you through a difficult time in your life.

A good song is one that tells a story and can cause an emotional response. This past weekend, my friend Emily was in town from Atlanta. She’s my friend because of this amazing thing called music. Truly. I met her at a concert in Atlanta. A Matt Nathanson concert, of course. She was in town because one of her favorite bands was coming to Santa Rosa Beach and would I like to go with her? I mean, DUH. Live music on a Saturday night? Sign a sister up. The show was at the Seaside Rep Theater and despite driving into Seaside literally every day, I had no idea where this venue was. Turns out it’s a tiny tiny venue but acoustically checked out. The stage is nice and unobstructed. And then I was introduced to The Talbott Brothers.

Photo courtesy of Em Pear Photos

When I tell you that I was captivated from the very first second they stepped on stage, I’m not lying. They are incredibly talented musicians, truly gifted lyricists, and so endearing and funny. It’s been a while since I cried at a concert, thanks a lot Talbott Brothers for breaking that streak. I totally cried during their encore of a currently unreleased song called Family. (The album comes out 10/18/19 and y’all NEED it.) In the mean time, I’m waiting for that Lizzo cover that Emily promised me.

I am so incredibly grateful for Emily and the amazing person that she is. I’m so grateful for music for bringing us together, and for introducing me to The Talbott Brothers. They are on repeat in my car, on alexa, basically anywhere I go they’ll be singing. I’m also really hoping to attend the 30A Songwriters Festival so I can see them again, and again!

 

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Previvor’s Guilt

Previvors are, as defined by FORCE, “individuals who are survivors of a predisposition to cancer but who haven’t had the disease. This group includes people who carry a hereditary mutation, a family history of cancer, or some other predisposing factor. The term specifically applies to the portion of our community that has its own unique needs and concerns separate from the general population, but different from those already diagnosed with cancer.”

I am a previvor.

While that term hasn’t ever felt exactly right, by definition, I fit. You know how there’s a thing called survivor’s guilt? I have previvor’s guilt. I got a choice in the matter. I got to choose to have my mastectomy. My salpingectomy. These were choices I had. I didn’t face life or death in order to make these decisions.

I don’t feel brave, or strong, honestly, but I recognize that I made some drastic (to some) decisions. I feel like I made the best choice for my situation and family. My breasties that are battling stage IV metastatic breast cancer are strong and brave and so powerful. My fellow previvor’s are strong and brave. They’ve gone through so much. It’s weird. I don’t feel like I’ve suffered enough to be considered a previvor. All of this, of course, is my own issue. My own feelings of inadequacy.

Today is National Previvor Day. To my fellow previvors I applaud you and honor your strength and bravery. For making the choice.

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Halloween vs. Christmas

I feel like the world is divided into two categories, those that LOVE Halloween and those that LOVE Christmas. Of course there will be some overlap. Some people are equally passionate, or not, about the holidays but there are people that start listening to Christmas music in July, y’all.  JULY. It’s still boiling hot in most parts of the US. Santa is still on his much needed holiday and those elves? Well they haven’t even begun working on the hot toy for this year’s Christmas. Some people even go so far as to put their tree up before Thanksgiving and it’s just fine.

I myself live on the darkside.

img_5436

The Addams family home is my dream house. Seriously, some girls want a Barbie dream house? Nope, give me that haunted one. Black is not only my favorite color, it’s the color of my soul, 97% of my wardrobe, and the way I like my coffee. It’s also my nail polish color 10 months of the year.

Last year, like any Halloween lover, we decorated at the beginning of September. Obviously, no fresh pumpkins because while I love zombies and creepy things like that, a rotting pumpkin isn’t my jam. It was also before my surgery, and y’all I was healthy. We had the house perfectly spooky and then, like all psychos, Michael came in October. I wasn’t so healthy then but Barry was activated to help with Michael and Julian, Gabriel and I had to undecorate in a hurry. I couldn’t lift ANYTHING. Those boys worked their buns off with a frazzled mama trying to do everything to evacuate. Bless them. I’m so grateful for my health and mobility this year but Michael has me still a little gun shy.

It’s currently September 26 and I have only decorated our mantle. I mean, it’s pretty cute but it’s certainly not Christia Palizzi, Halloween Lover, Buffy Obsessed, level decor. At what point is it safe to put the stuff out? I have definitely been diffusing Capri Blue Pumpkin Clove oil for the whole month, so it’s like sorta festive. (Side note, the volcano oil is SO good. I’ve been diffusing it upstairs during the day.) I think this weekend we will pull out the black and orange bins and get our spook on. Next year, however, hurricane season be damned. I’m decorating as soon as September starts.

So, tell me, are you an Addams or a Claus??

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When I grow up…

Remember when you were little and the world was your oyster. There was no dream off limits. You want to be a unicorn? Sure girl, keep on. Pediatrician, duh, you’re totally smart enough. Teacher, of course! The world needs teachers. Me, I wanted to be a writer. I mean I specifically remember writing a short story in the third grade, shout out to Ms. Capponni for challenging my 3rd grade brain and inspiring me to try, about how the moon got up in the sky. I don’t remember many details about said story but it is a vivid memory. That and my 3rd grade science fair project that taught me all the phases of the moon. This science fair project used a small white ball, a flashlight and my hands to replicate the different stages. It’s come in handy when my kids try to quiz me on different moon phases.

Them-“What is that moon?”
Me- “Yo, that is OBVIOUSLY a waning gibbous.”
Them- “Hey Siri, what is the current moon?”
Robot Voice- “The current moon phase is waning gibbous.”
Me-Smug As Hell

ANYWAY, beyond a fascination with lunar activity, a love of writing was instilled in me at a very young age. You guys, I used to write fanfic before it was a thing. Yes, I might have starred opposite Jasper Jax but I mean someone had to. Plus, Brenda Barrett was my best friend.

My two best friends locally happened to leave at the same time. One moved away for ever and one is on a spectacular vacation. In their physical absence, I say physical because I’m a texter and they’re still getting and sending texts, I’ve come back to a dear friend who’s been dormant for some time: writing.

Before we moved to Florida, I had completed an entire novel. It’s a romance novel, yes a sorta sexy romance novel. I even went to a writers retreat and pitched my book to my dream publisher. You guys, she asked me to submit it. I did and then she asked me to revise and resubmit. I NEVER DID IT. It was just such a busy season in my life. I really appreciate and agree with the constructive criticism that the editor sent me. We just had to move from KC to FL. And then when we got here it was getting settled, finding my place, decorating my home, you know all the standard reasons for avoiding success. I highly doubt that my revise and resubmit offer is still valid but I might just see.

I might be almost 36 and I’m still not quite sure who/what I want to be when I grow up. I think, though, I might want to be a buyer and a writer. I mean who says I can’t be both? What did you want to be when you were little?

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Happy Anniversary

Y’all, I blinked and an entire year has passed by. I cannot believe that ONE YEAR ago I was having surgery at this very minute. I was under the careful eyes of Dr. Ordoyne and Dr. Wise. My surgery would last six hours and when I woke up, I would ask Dr. Wise if he was going to do surgery. He laughed and said it was done. Anesthesia is a surreal experience. I remember not quite believing that we were on the other side of this massive thing. I do remember looking down and seeing a horrible black front clasp bra that was embossed satin and tons of gauze and tape. I remember thinking, I guess something did happen.

The only other surgery I’d had before this one was my appendectomy in like 1990. I don’t remember anything after it beyond antibiotic shots to the butt that seriously almost broke me, and huge horse pills that have scarred my ability to take a pill to this very day. I didn’t know how I would react after anesthesia. As it turns out, after anesthesia, I’m pretty much just like any other Christia, with maybe a little bit of my favorite gangster rappers thrown in.

When I look back at pictures of my body marked up for surgery, I’m instantly thrown back there. I remember feeling so ready and almost excited about the prospect of losing my mom skin. I felt like it would help me feel confident once that was gone.

Nipple Sparing Mastectomy = NSM
(For real this is a hard picture for me to post! My body carried 4 big ol’ babies, obvs)

It’s an entire year later and I still don’t feel comfortable in my skin. There are definitely aspects of my new body that I appreciate and love. I also really respect the fact that my risk of breast cancer is significantly decreased. It wasn’t a quick fix though. Turns out, getting that mom skin cut off did not instantly make me confident. I needed to fix something inside of me for that to happen. Dr. Wise did keep his promise though, I did wear a bikini all summer, thank you very much.

I’m just going to say, that center picture, with the blue cords taped to my chest was right after surgery. I was definitely 100% still on a pain pump, and thus high as a kite. Those blue cords are doppler cords to make sure blood flow to my flap was good. You see, they didn’t just take the fat and shove it in the breast cavity, they performed a transplant and reconnected blood vessels. I had those dopplers until I was discharged and honestly having them removed freaked me out a bit. What if a flap failed? Thankfully, it didn’t happen. The pink is my first time standing up after surgery. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until you remember they cut me from hip to hip and pulled my skin insanely tight. Do you see how straight I’m standing?? Hi, that’s HUGE! #TootingMyOwnDamnedHorn My surgeon was definitely one that encouraged walking as straight as possible and as much as possible from the get go. I think right after that photo I walked to get my first self served icee. Ok, I think Barry actually served it to me because that pull down motion would have been hard to do with my chest muscles so weak.

It may have been one year, or 365 days since my surgery. I may be roughly 30 lbs over my ‘goal’ weight (thanks to my nonstop bulking pre surgery that’s mysteriously continued post surgery). I will forever do the nerdy peace sign pose and be grateful for the knowledge that a BRCA1 mutation has provided me. I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to be proactive and take control of my health.

In someways it feels like an actual lifetime since September 11, 2018. In others it feels like the blink of an eye. Or like an anesthesia nap. You don’t remember anything happening but you look around and see subtle changes. I went to sleep hoping that when I woke up I would instantly feel comfortable in my skin. That I would feel like the badass that I know lives deep inside. It turns out that it doesn’t exactly work that way. I need to work on making my inner and my outer badasses match. Pretty sure that peace signs and tacos will definitely help the two come together.

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Fashion Forward

I spent a week in Dallas for work. Hours were spent in different showrooms getting the sneak peek of what’s to come in spring/summer 2020 fashion for kids. It was so fun! Owen’s said he wants to be a fashion designer when he grows up so I’m very appreciative of this opportunity to see what’s coming.

Spring/Summer typically means brights, whites, swimsuits, fun patterns and 2020 has plenty of all of the above. Some of my favorite trends for S/S2020 are neons, 90s trends like mesh jackets, letterman style jackets with really dope patches. I’m here for it.

Women’s fashion is less advance, at least at this market. In March we saw fall/winter which is in store now. LOTS of warm colors, olive green is queen. Camo, snakeskin and cheetah print make up the patchwork of the season. Everything is so soft. Everything is cozy and I can’t wait for a few things I picked for Stellar.

I am currently obsessing over hats. How very bloggery of me. I ordered two hats that should do me for fall, and for like ever. I have followed this australian hat company for ages and decided to just take the plunge. Instead of buying three or four cheap target hats that lose their shape quickly, this one will last for a while, fingers crossed. The quality is so great, it came so fast, especially coming from down under! I haven’t worn it yet, but I also have struggled with the whole getting dressed thing after Dallas. I’m sure I’ll be back on my game soon enough. The winter white trend that I saw while stalking my favorite australian instagrammers had me dead set on a winter white hat.

Lack of Color Ivory Rancher special

I’ve also been following Gigi + Pip for a while. I’m a huge hat fan, and would wear hats every single day of my life were it allowed. From baseball hats to straw hats, to floppy beach hats, to these fallish hats, I’m here for it. This one feels sturdy, well made, I absolutely love their slogan, inspired by women who wear many hats. Hi, my name is Christia and I wear many hats both literally and figuratively.

Gigi + Pip Dahlia Hat

A few things on my radar for fall/winter


** denim coverall-Really, truly like a gas station employee coverall in denim. Madewell has cute ones, abercrombie has one too. I’m loving this Amazon barg. My friend Jen has this one, I think and it is so cute on her. there are some designers with one too, rag + bone’s is so relaxed and comfy looking.


** Camel colored coat- I’ve had my eye on this camel coat from gap for a while but with my winter only lasting for like 15 minutes, it feels crazy to spend $$ on a wool coat. This one from amazon is a really good price, but I don’t know if the quality is great. I am also loving this one from h&m and it’s a great price.

** final thing on my fall watch list…snakeskin booties. these are all from nordstrom. Sam Edelman. Blando. Dr. Scholls. I think they’re a cute neutral. I’m seeing them in place of my black booties with a pair of jeans and a cozy sweater. Or with my new Notorious B.I.G. shirt, cardigan and jeans, or same Notorious B.I.G. shirt and a pencil skirt. Basically anywhere I would wear the black booties I would do these snakeskin. Which of those 3 do you prefer?

I’ve never been the one stoked for fall fashions before. Growing up in the PNW we never really had a SPRING/SUMMER wardrobe. It all kind of was just one wardrobe. I don’t really remember wearing shorts growing up. Then, after living in the midwest for 7 years where there are definite seasons, I think the winter part of fall/winter kinda burned me out. Mostly because the winter part of the year lasted like 6 months sometimes. Here in NWFL we do get seasons, albeit very mild. Our fall, though, is glorious. Imagine the beach without another soul in sight. That’s our fall. It’s still warm enough to hang out by the water, to breathe in that salt air and soak up that vitamin sea, only we don’t have to fight the summer crowds for it. I have ALWAYS been a Halloween chick though. Give me everything spooky, haunted, vampirey, and ghosty. Here. For. It. I think that love for spooky has transformed into a love for all things fall, and yes, I’m including PSL on the list.

What is your favorite season? And what trend are you feeling for fall? Sound off in the comments.

xoxo,
Christia

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Intentions

I’m trying to be more mindful, more intentional with my time. I say try because I’m definitely, 100% a work in process. Ask me why I spent a few hours watching Married to Medicine on Bravo?? It’s one thing to do that while folding laundry or straightening and not paying complete attention. This was not the case, ha.
I’m planning out my blog posts and I am wanting to know what you want to read. I have most of September mapped out, and it’s honestly surreal that it’s September already. Like how has it almost been a year since DD day? But that’s a whole other blog post, seriously, it’s coming on 9/11.
I’m a big believer in saving money when I can. Splurge/Scrimp is a serious discussion in my head. Do you want to see bargain vs. splurge posts? Do you even care about that? What about a journey into capsule wardrobing? Boring? OR totally on your radar. Renewable toilet paper subscriptions? Random hacks for cleaning, norwex? Recipes that taste good and are family approved. Seriously, these are the random things floating around in my head.
I want to be consistent in my posting and writing and reading. Just like working out, it is important to continually flex these writing muscles as well.
So tell me, peeps, friends, what do you want me to write about???

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Happy 🖤 Day

Ever since Gabriel was a little guy, he’s gone to the cardiologist. I remember his fluffy curly hair, rounded belly and chubby legs lying there for the ekg and echo. He has a murmur and some form of aortic valve stenosis.

The first time we walked into that cardiologists office with two referrals (julian also had an innocent murmur and was discharged right after testing. I remember feeling almost guilty for bringing my chubby, healthy boys when the waiting room held kids with far more serious issues.

Like I said before, both boys had a referral. While julian was immediately discharged, Gabriel needed following. For a while it was every year. And then as he grew and his heart grew, it went to every two years. And then finally every three. Last summer was the third year and he was supposed to see his cardiologist. Or A cardiologist. Last summer, I hate to admit, I dropped the ball big time when it comes to this. It slipped my mind completely. So much so that when it was brought up at his 11 year old well child check up, I swore he’d gone to Pensacola a couple years ago.

This morning we finally had that follow up cardiologist appointment.

And honestly, we got the best news. He is discharged from cardiology. Completely. We never have to have another ekg or echo unless he starts showing symptoms. She said that his numbers improved so much from four years ago. They went from 15 to 6 and the stenosis wasn’t present. His heart is working as it should!

The appointment in Pensacola was for the littles who also had innocent murmurs and PFOs. My little heart babes.