Archives for August 2018

Distemper and the cone of shame

Of course my dog has an Instagram account.

Of course she does.

When the rescue organizations were [heavily] vetting me to become a dog mom, my friends were telling them that my future dog was going to live a spoiled existence. Toys and play and treats and photo shoots would ensue. My dog was sure to get her own Instagram account, they said.

I fought the urge to give her a separate account for months. I already have a Disneygram account in addition to my personal account. I don’t need to add a third to the mix.

Until I did.

Of course I did.

And then it was time for Nia’s spay surgery. And she we I decided that she was going to diary the cone life. It’s been a rocky two weeks, but I think the pup is going to be A-okay. At the very least, she’s going to have one hell of a happy life.

 

The day of the spay was horrible for me. One of my worst days. I was already going into this with SERIOUSLY conflicting feelings. I know that she’s essentially better off being spayed early, but I couldn’t help anthropomorphizing her soon-to-be inability to have children. And then they called me after she came out of anesthesia.

Apparently, Nia shows a number of signs of being a distemper survivor, including weak enamel on her teeth, tremors, head bobbles, and now, seizures (well, seizure, singular). The vet says that as long as she seems happy and healthy, we just need to keep an eye on the symptoms and take extra good care of her teeth.

Day 3 was the last day of being remotely sleepy. None of the sedatives worked for our lil pup. So we had to manage her insanity with constant vigilance and baby gates.

The peace didn’t last long, though, because Nia decided that she could do anything with or without the cone.

Thank God for baby gates (something I swear I said I would never use).

She’s definitely my puppy because I love perching just as much as she does.

We actually had to take away some of her toys because of her teeth. She loved chewing on the hard toys, but no dice anymore on those. Soft and squishy only now. I think I’ve noticed the difference in the way she chomps on my hand.

I took away the cheap flip flop, and then she annihilated my Roxy flip flops. How’s that for vengeance?

Whoops!

Even I’m ready for the cone to be over.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Quirky style: An accidental style maven

In the last few years, I’ve really started honing and owning my own sense of style. A couple weeks ago, at my brother-in-law’s wedding, I realized that it’s kind of a thing I’m proud of, and it’s definitely a thing that Brian is proud of. So I’m learning to love this part of myself.

The night of my brother-in-law’s rehearsal, we had drinks at the faaaaancy hotel bar (the hotel that Beyonce and Jay Z were staying in), walked the city a bit, and had dinner at a lovely restaurant.

“I think I missed the dress code,” I told Brian. “The other people are all city chic, and I’m over here rocking the Chrissy pink.”

Chrissy disneybounding as Mrs. Hopps in front of Toy Story Land display at Disney Social Media Moms On the Road Conference

This was at the Magical Disney Social Media Moms on the Road Celebration. I was Disneybounding as Mrs. Hopps from Zootopia. It’s also the dress I wore to the rehearsal dinner with even pinker hair.

“Isn’t that the point?”

Two minutes later, a stranger walking past us complimented my pink on pink on pink ensemble. “I like your…pinkness!”

“See? You get random compliments from strangers!” And, to my utter surprise, it wasn’t the last compliment of the night.

I thought about it for a second. And he’s so right. For years, I’d ask his opinion of something I was planning to wear — whether it was rainbow tie-dye yoga pants or a Minnie Mouse onesie — and his response is always, “Well, it’s not something I would wear, but I think it’s really cool that you do.” And then he’d realize he was supposed to say, “It looks really good,” and he’d say that too.

Chrissy dancing on a bench with pink hair and a yellow dress

I bought myself a tripod so I could play around with photo shoots by myself. It wasn’t my worst decision ever.

Ever since I was a small child, I’ve been drawn to bright colors — pinks, teals, greens, yellows — and bold patterns – it is known that I have a thing for polka dots. But I’ve also been drawn to self-doubt, self-preservation, insecurity, envy, and other non-desirable traits. But the more I step into my own skin, the skin I’ve had for 35 years that isn’t going anywhere, the more I accept who I am and that how I dress is a part of that.

Chrissy wearing a brightly colored patterned dress in front of a willow tree and a lake

Bold patterns? Rainbows? Bright colors? Check Check Checkity Check.

Several people (a friend who’s known me for years and one of my brothers-in-law included) have recently mentioned something about me appearing comfortable in my style. Since dying my hair hot pink, it’s as if I’m more me than I’ve been since I was a child. Even before that, I began embracing a hobby called Disneybounding, in which I dress up as characters from Disney cartoons, movies, and even theme park attractions. It gives me the freedom, encouragement, and PERMISSION to dress like a “Polish war bride.”

Chrissy in tamatoa Disneybound outfit in front of a mural wall

This is one of my favorite Disneybound outfits to date: Tamatoa! I am planning to bring it with me on my next Disney World trip!

It’s funny, because I used to essentially wear pajamas to work, and now that I work at home, I find myself getting dressed up more than I have in years. I even wear makeup regularly (thank God for Julep)! I’m having fun playing with bold colors and unique combinations of patterns and styles. I’m matching things that 10-year-old me would have rocked and 25-year-old me would have mocked.

Chrissy wearing an orange dress and green scarf with yellow sneakers for an Orange Bird Disneybound.

This was an Orange Bird Disneybound that I was really excited about.

I wanted to provide my top tips on how to create your own style and own your style. It’s surprisingly easy when you figure out what makes you happy.

How to own your style

  1. ABOLISH all beliefs or rules of style. They don’t own you. They limit you. White after Labor Day? PSHA. White is for any day (except when drinking red wine on an airplane…)! Wheelie sneakers and light-up clothes after age 10? Roll on with your bad self. Stripes and polka dots together? It’s a thing. I swear. Seriously, though. Who came up with those style rules anyway? Forget them and make your own rules!
  2. TRY different styles and combinations and see how they make you feel. Go into an actual store and use the dressing room or order from Amazon, who provides free return shipping. Forget looking at fashion magazines and Pinterest. Make your own combinations.
  3. DISCOVER what makes you happy. For me, it’s hot pink and teal. It’s dressing like Disney characters. It’s bold patterns and rainbows and happy colors. It’s remembering what it’s like to be a kid again. For others, it may be band tee-shirts that have been collecting dust since you got a big-girl job. Or geek skater dresses. Or leggings as pants. Or black goth dresses. Or hippy chic boho skirts. Or fancy pantsuits. Take the time to figure it out.
  4. DONATE old clothes that don’t serve you well. If you try something on or wear it for a day and feel the slightest bit uncomfortable in what you’re wearing (and I don’t mean that it’s too tight. You want to feel like YOU in your clothes), it’s time to say goodbye.
  5. SWAP with friends. I’ve had several friends who have either lost weight, gained weight, or cleared out their closets, and they’ve shared their clothes with me and other friends. And I’ve done the same on several occasions. It’s actually really fun to see your past style as someone’s future look. Believe me, it’ll give an outfit new life.
  6. SMILE. Be confident in who you are and what you’re wearing. For me, it’s not about what’s in and out of fashion, it’s what makes me happy, confident, and comfortable. You’re the only you that’s ever going to be. So make your you stand out.

Take the Brave Pretty Challenge.

So what I’m really just saying here? Own the heck out of you. Wear and be and do what makes you happy. Spread joy. I want to know what your style is like. What are some of the things you love to wear?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

1979. Or melancholy and infinite sadness

Quick before you read any further! I want to know your first thought when you saw the title of this song. Got it? Great.

Last night, I was checking out after a quick trip to Trader Joe’s. A woman who I figured was close in proximity to me in age was running the register.

“Your total is 19.79.”
“Great song!”
She made a face and started humming to the music playing in the store.
“I can’t hear what it is.”
“1979? The Smashing Pumpkins?”
“What? Oh. Your total”
“Yep. Loved them.”
“Oh I don’t really know them much. I think anyone younger than me wouldn’t have known that at all.”
I bowed my head in sadness and dismay while facepalming.
“But I know Billy Cor…gan, right?”
“Yes. Billy Corgan.” Visions of magazine articles and album covers filled my head instead of photos on Facebook. Song lyrics on the inside of CD covers instead of lyrics.com. Surreal videos on MTV instead of YouTube. I picked up my bag and started to leave, my chin buried in my chest.
“I should get points for knowing that, right?”
“Have a good night, young lady!”
And I walked out of the store wondering where to get a walker and a bottle of prune juice.
I’m okay accepting my age, but MAN was I not ready to be worlds apart from someone no more than 5 years younger than me. I remember my friend Jane and I planning our escape to the MTV Beach House, where we hoped to stay in Room 1979. It was a thing. I swear.
And now I’m just melancholy. With infinite sadness.
You see what I did there? Fine. Go Google it.
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The best four days in gaming

Every year, I trek down to Indianapolis for four nights to play as many games and see as much cool stuff as I possibly can at Gen Con, a board gaming convention. This year was no different. Brian and I made our way down to Indy, where I played dress up a few times, demoed/played 22 games (I have a crazy New Year’s resolution to play 365 games including 100 unique games and 25 games that I own that we’ve never played, so this was a good booster because I’m super far behind. Puppies make board gaming hard), and shopped, well, not a lot, but a little. Since quitting my job, we’re kind of on a budget or something like that.

Games and swag I picked up at Gen Con 2018

I did buy some games and some jewelry, but I also managed to win a few games and walk away with a number of promo cards and decks too. And my friends over at Goliath hooked me up with copies of a couple new games from Games Adults Play and Pressman featured at the con as well!

I made a little video to show you the games I picked up. There’s party games for everyone as well as some fun, unique strategy games for more advanced gaming. Links to the games are below the video and on the YouTube page if you want to check them out for yourself (Some of them are affiliate links, which will earn me a teensy commission if you make a purchase!)

Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley

Dwar7s Winter

Lucky’s Misadventures Episode 42: Lost in Oddtopia

Argent the Consortium

Last Night on Earth

Machi Koro: Bright Lights Big City

Elemental Conflux

Friend or Faux

What Do You Meme?

Stupid Deaths

Pantone the Game (available for preorder)

Disney’s Villainous

Which of these games looks most interesting to you?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Returning to the Hundred Acre Wood

“Your life is happening now, right in front of you.”

Sage advice from a grown-up Christopher Robin’s wife, Evelyn (played by Hayley Atwell), as she lectured the titular character of the newest tale from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Brian and I had the opportunity to check out a screening of Christopher Robin earlier this week and it was everything I wanted it to be. Charming and sweet with the nostalgia my generation of millennials craves with every piece of media we experience.

Winnie the Pooh Disneybound

Of course, I Disneybounded as Pooh for our movie date! I also convinced Brian to wear grey as if he were DIsneybounding Eeyore.

Let me back up. I grew up with Winnie the Pooh as a child, fostering a mild obsession through high school. I loved Pooh,  and the rest of the gang. Even today, when I visit Disney World, I find myself snuggling up to Tigger and Pooh and Eeyore as if they were my best friends in the whole world. There was something special in each of the fluffy friends that really resonated with me. I loved them. And I recognized the wisdom in their tales. Christopher Robin is not without the classic wisdom that its predecessors have provided.

The movie begins with Christopher Robin (played by Ewan McGregor) bidding his childhood friends farewell before going off to boarding school. A series of drawings and scenes carefully, but briefly, detail Robin’s life to now. And then we hit the present day: Christopher Robin has to choose between saving his job and saving his family. Of course, by saving his job, he can also save his family, right?

With a little help from his dear friend Pooh, who stumbles into London after losing all of his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, Christopher remembers that doing nothing often leads to the very best something, and drops the stance picked up from his woozle of a boss (played by Mark Gatiss) that nothing comes from nothing.

I absolutely loved Christopher Robin. I thought it was light and charming, but full of a powerful message — one that really hit home, especially less than a week after finally piecing together my words about leaving my job and rediscovering my own childlike joy. The message of working to live instead of living to work isn’t hammered, either. It’s sweetly weaved throughout the movie, as Robin remembers what it’s like to be a kid again (to the benefit of his 8-year-old daughter, Madeline, who doesn’t know how to play).

Emotional Factor: I surprisingly didn’t tear up much (of course there were some moments, particular with slightly melancholy versions of the class Winnie the Pooh songs playing in the background) during this movie, but I sure did laugh.

Brian, my harsher Disney critic, enjoyed it without the nostalgia (he didn’t grow up with Pooh!) and thought “it was sweet.”

Be sure to stick around for the end credits scene featuring Richard M. Sherman and a few new songs from the Disney music legend (and if you don’t know who he is, I highly recommend watching The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story, which is a truly incredible and fascinating documentary about Richard and his brother Robert).

What childhood memories do you have of Pooh and his friends? Are you planning to see Christopher Robin in the theaters?

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr, with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers. The film stars Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin; Hayley Atwell as his wife Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline; and Mark Gatiss as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. The film also features the voices of: Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger; Brad Garrett as Eeyore; Toby Jones as Owl; Nick Mohammed as Piglet; Peter Capaldi as Rabbit; and Sophie Okonedo as Kanga.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN opens Friday, August 3 in theaters everywhere.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!