Holiday decor for the timely challenged, like myself, has recently left me feeling blah about getting in the spirit of all things merry and bright. With surgery being two weeks ago, I had every intention of decorating prior to my operation. But lets be real, that did not happen. We realized that our tree, sparkly things and fancy disco DIY garlands made from previous years, were in our storage unit, along with our hoards of vintage furniture. And so it goes and here we are. No big deal, you might say. But, in typical Steve and Britt fashion, we lost the key to the unit.
So, from personal experience — it is possible to spread a little holiday magic dust around your house, by using non-traditional item.
We did just that.
I’m a sucker for collecting interesting candle holders — particularly the ones from local shops where the glass is recycled, reused and repurposed. Once the original candle is dead over alive, I simply put ice in it, set it in the freezer for the day, remove in from the freezer, flip it upside down, leaving the remnants fall right out. From there the glass holders can be a versatile piece of decor around your home. For the holidays, I placed two sparkly, red candles in some of my favorite recycled holders. With the S. Pellegrino as a green backdrop and the red candles gives in their new homes, our house has a little holiday representation on our bar cabinet.
What can I say? I’m also a sucker for some succulents and decided to turn an “every day occasion” wall decoration into a beautiful, silver and gold door “wreath”. Once the holidays have come and gone, I will be able to continue to use the succulent hanging by simply removing the poinsettias and ornaments. Dingdong! HOLIDAY + DIY + SUCCULENTS + COST EFFICIENCY. Sounds like a year round embellishment knocking on the door.
Dress up your pup. I would have never imagined in a squillion years I’d be that lady. You know, the ones who dress up their dogs. And in Christmas costumes at that. BUT, I surrender. I’m officially that girl and I have accepted it. How could I not? Red sequins, a white fur collar — all on an adorable, seventeen week, mini-sausage dog. She would make even the Grinch feel a sense of holly jolly.
Although, Zoi hates me and this dress. FACT.
In our home, we are all about having bits of greenery year round. We live behind a beautiful Japanese garden and get an amazing amount of sunshine through the glass doors and terrace of our condo. Since living here, we have had many indoor plants to give our space an indoor/outdoor vibe. Throwing a string of lights on one of your larger,sturdier plants that you already own will give that instant glow and charm of Christmas. Thus giving you all the holiday feels. A bonus is that you can save a tree, time, money and energy all in the name of a winter celebratory decor.
I’d vote that I’m the least domestic person in the world. I don’t cook, bake and I am sure that if I did, people would be running for the hills. Not that I can blame them, but there is something about Christmas cookies. Perhaps it’s the everlasting memories of my Mum making her famous sugar cookies’; the cookies that I look forward to all year. Although the cookies above are not my Mum’s, or mine for that matter, I purchased a cheap dozen of grocery store cookies and placed them on a cake stand and on display on the counter. The visual of something that is season relevant can bring an inexpensive, cheery and dare I say delicious touch.
Take little ornaments and place them on some of your every day home accessories. Above I found the Christmas ornaments we received as our first year as Mr. and Mrs. Ochoa. Sentimental value holds no bounds and warms you to the core when thinking back on fond memories of Christmases past.
I am beyond thrilled to share that I have arrived HOME! Late last night they determined that I was fit enough to return home and all of my efforts of putting up the fight of my life, certainly seems to have now paid off. There is quite a descriptive post in the works, to walk through my latest health journey in words and how I feel that I have once again been afforded a chance at life. This has been an entirely transformative experience and one that I never imagined in my wildest dreams. Somehow, my strength and resilience is at an all time high and because of that I have been peacefully healing —- mind, body and soul.
My hemoglobin levels were considerably low, in which case I needed a blood transfusion. It never really dawned on me how wonderful it is that people donate blood, something I have always been too ill to do even prior to my diagnosis as I have always been anemic. I ended up using two units of blood which ran for about six hours. Shortly after I felt like a completely different person; less fatigued, less cold and returned color to my face. Thank you to those who donate!
The day of my surgery I snapped an #instax polaroid of my baby, Zoi. It seemed obvious to me that if I had her adorable little mug looking at me with those eyes of hers, it would push me to do everything in order to make it back home to her. Aside from all of the tremendous amounts of love I received from people near and far, my amazing friends, family and of course my husband — Zoila was the one little (but actually very HUGE) incentive to show up, kick ass and get back on the road of life and viola! here I am!
Anyone who follows along on my Instagram knows that my baby Godson holds the actual key to my heart. He stole it from day one. When his beautiful mom — my lovely friend, Michele visited at the hospital the day after my surgery, she brought along a one of a kind flamingo and it instantly brought ridiculous amount of smiles — and not just from me, but all of the staff, fellow patients and anyone who saw my trusty IV monitor as I wheeled it by my side throughout my stay.
I’ll admit, my biggest complaint about surgery is that you are forbidden the basic human need of drinking water (or anything for that matter), prior to the procedure. In my case, I was told that I couldn’t have anything from midnight until later in the night after recovery. Quickly, my mouth became a desert and my need for water seemed like life or death. Of course that is an exaggeration, but it is certainly how I felt. As soon as I got the green light, which was about twelve hours later, I ordered “sips and chips” and I felt like I stumbled upon an oasis. Dreamy does not even begin to describe the feeling of when the ice water cooled my lips for the first time. Sometimes it really only takes the small things to make you feel a sense of nirvana.
Before I had even been transported to my room, my two best girls had flowers ready and waiting. Prior to my surgery, I couldn’t find the strength to speak to them. Distancing myself for selfish emotional reasons seemed to be the only way I could cope. I felt that if I spoke with them, I might expose that I thought I was going to die and that we’d never have an ABC reunion again. Without fail, they stood by my side no matter what and made sure that I knew they were there with me, showering me with their love and non-stop support. I love you both.
I felt so much power behind this operation. Power from prayer and positivity and all of the amazing thoughts that were put out in the universe in honor of getting through this operation with a successful outcome. I feel cheesy every time I say it, but there is no way I would have been able to do it without all of you. Every single person that took it upon themselves to take the time out of their day to wish me well and include me in their conversations with whomever they have faith in. It would be fair to say that I feel endlessly blessed. Seeing this gleaming photo at St. Joe’s Hospital and Medical Center seemed like a fitting vision for the morning after the operation. What a beautiful sight to see (I can even see my neighborhood if I look really close).
On the same glorious walk as pictured above, I was marching along the halls with the most important women in my universe. They guide me through every struggle and challenge and proudly walk by my side, even in the darkest of hallways. There are not many words that can do this picture justice, other than, thank you and LOVE.
Further exploring the hospital, my home away from home, I walked past my favorite piece of art adorned on the walls in the lobby of the Oncology ward. This particular wall decor always seems to catch my eye. I appreciate creativity and try to search for it wherever I may be. I can especially appreciate when it’s in unexpected spaces and places. Well done, St. Joe’s.
Just two short years ago, Steve and I spent the night at the hospital on Christmas. It was by far one of the more depressing of holidays. I feel very fortunate that I will be able to spend this Christmas with my family instead of inside the hospital walls. However, they do their best to make you feel in the holiday spirit. To those who will be spending your holiday in the hospital, my Christmas wish is that you are surrounded by love and joy. It will get better.
One of my favorite little cheerleaders, Kambrell joined me at the hospital a few days after the procedure. Seeing things through her eyes and the way she expresses her love for life, makes me feel equally alive. She is one of the most special little girls I know and I’m so grateful to be a part of her world.
Just a few of the many gorgeous flowers I received. THANK YOU! I was able to enjoy them everyday and smile thinking of each person and the memories we have shared. I chose to donate the flowers to the Oncology ward of the hospital once I was released. They were all so beautiful and I wanted other cancer patients to be able to enjoy them as much as I did. Please know that your kindness has such an impact and made many others smile, as well as me.
Last but most certainly not least, my Steve sent this to me the second night, once he returned home to our dogs, Keg and Zoila. He always knows how to make me laugh, as he was wearing my #ASU hoodie and my satchel to carry Zoila, all in an effort to take Keg on a walk. He takes care of all of us so very well and I am the luckiest person to have such a brave, selfless and loving man. Thank you seems so insufficient. What else can I say? You’re top notch, my love.
More to come soon.