hello 2018.

I align myself with peace and calm, not stress.
I am aligned with the joy and light of my highest self

The last couple of years have been rough on a general, worldly scale. I’m hoping 2018 brings some big, positive changes for good people trying to do good things.

I hope I am a good person and that I keep focus on doing good things.

The year started off with me setting intentions, meditating, and writing. Tonight’s dinner menu is pork loin, green beans, and macaroni and cheese. I plan to spend the day sleeping in, writing, relaxing, hanging with the kid, and enjoying my last day off before having to jump back into the fray of work and life and the bone chilling cold weather, which I will avoid as much as I can. This evening, I have a date with my writer group on Google Hangouts. Excited to chat with everyone!

As I’ve said in the past, I don’t really do resolutions. Rather, I like to set goals. Actually, intentions might be a better word. Things I want to accomplish, changes I’d like to make, but not necessarily within the confines of the 365 days. Some of these goals are recycled, because let’s face it. I am who I am and the same things I’ve been working on all this time are probably the same things I’ll be working on for the rest of my life. But it’s OK. I’m a work in progress, and that’s fine.

Intentions for 2018:
– I want a joyful, energetic body.
– I want a loving, compassionate heart.
– I want a restful, alert mind.
– I want lightness of being.

In 2018, I NEED to:
– DRINK LESS SODA (And only ginger ale if I *do* have it. I’m talking no more than once or twice a month.)
– DRINK MORE WATER
– exercise more
– do more yoga (I say this every year. I haven’t been to a real yoga class in months. That needs to change. I know it won’t any time soon with this COLD ASS WEATHER, but once it warms up, it’s go time.)
– walk more (I want to take more walks around the neighborhood once it gets warmer out.)
– write more (I really want to draft the novel that’s been knocking around my head the past 18 months or so, but I’ll take anything the muse wants to give me.)
– make more money (I like to buy things. I like to travel. I like to donate to charities, and I like to give lots of gifts. I need money to do those things. So, I need to make more money.)
– pay off at least one big credit card
– spend less time on social media
– spend more time working toward my goals
– spend more time with my loved ones
– declutter and clean my bedroom
– take more pictures!!

In 2018, I hope to:
– read at least 25 new books (at least 10 by POC)
– do a better job of keeping the place clean and neat-looking
– travel to at least one place, domestic or international
– have financial comfort (I really like being able to buy whatever I want, within reason, of course, and also spoiling Aidan and my mom)
– have more fresh, whole foods and less meat in my diet
– eat less fast food
– get in better physical shape
– make new friends and appreciate the friends I already have even more
– have so many work-from-home projects that I am more than comfortable financially
– do more self care (massages, positive self talk, spa days, etc.)
– journal more
– save money
– be more brave with my writing
– write more snail mail letters
– maintain a work-life balance that also sustains my lifestyle
– keep up with my Self Love planner

In My Dreams for 2018:
– a publishing contract
– my creative well running over
– discipline to complement and honor the creative well
– happiness and health for me and my loved ones

Looking Forward To:
– summer
– new books and music discoveries
– writing this novel (or whatever novel comes out of me)
– trying to grow my hair longer
– seeing the A Midsummer Night’s Dream ballet
– Jekyll Island in June
– writing retreat in July
– seeing where my writing takes me!

Here’s hoping that 2018 is filled with love, light, peace, happiness, good health, amazing opportunities, and positivity for all of us. Be willing to let go of what does not serve you to make room for that which does. Sending it to me and all of you.

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year in review: 2017

Was 2017 a good year for you?
On a personal level, I cannot complain. Yes, I had some ups and downs, but that’s normal, right? When I look back through my photos, I feel immense gratitude at the people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen, and the stuff I got to experience.

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
– went ziplining!
– stayed at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
– rode Avatar: Rite of Passage
– watched a solar eclipse
– rode a chairlift
– visited Utah
– flew business class on an intercontinental flight
– attended a gala
– hired a life coach
– attended the Once Upon a Time convention
– had a spa day

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Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but a close friend of mine is expecting!

Did anyone close to you die?
I lost my sweet Helena.

What countries did you visit?
Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway
(with layovers in Iceland and Germany)

What date(s) from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 10, 2017—the day I got all my girlie plumbing removed
February 17, 2017—the day I got an offer of rep from my agent Caitie Flum!
May 25, 2017—the day I brought Charlotte home
September 5, 2017—the day I left Chicago for a month abroad with my BFF Jennifer Niven
September 18, 2017—the day I visited Copenhagen, Denmark and FELL IN LOVE
September 26, 2017—the day I visited the ABBA museum and became a fan
October 1, 2017—the day I few into Iceland and saw rainbows upon rainbows
November 9, 2017—the day I met Jason Segel
December 6, 2017—the day I saw Hamilton

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What was your biggest achievement of the year?
1. signing with a literary agent!!
2. spending almost a month abroad!!

What was your biggest failure?
1. keeping the apartment clean. EPIC FAIL on that one.
2. not keeping up with my gratitude journal as regularly as I’d have liked.
3. not eating enough leafy greens.
4. not doing enough yoga or barre.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
got a couple of colds

Where did most of your money go?
travel, clothes, purses, makeup, toys, books, and gifts

What song(s) will always remind you of 2017?
– Just Say—Extreme Music
– How Far I’ll Go—Auli’i Cravalho
– This Night Is Ours—The Funshiners
– Issues—Julia Michaels
– The Louvre—Lorde

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What do you wish you’d done more of?

– ***writing***
– yoga
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– journaling
– connecting with my friends
– spending time with my mommy

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– eating junk food
– procrastinating
– being afraid
– wasting time on twitter

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– The Moana soundtrack

What did you want and get?
– a trip to Disney World
– a trip abroad
– an agent
– a Fjållråven backpack
– a (mini) home office

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What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a visit to Morton Arboretum
– a book deal

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 43. (bish whet) I slept in, then spent the afternoon getting pampered at The Spa at The Four Seasons. Then I had dinner at a French restaurant that didn’t have great service but the food was amazing! Adam gave me a Tiffany bracelet.

What kept you sane?
– therapy
– friends

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Theo James

What political issue stirred you the most?
*angry face emoji*

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
Sometimes you just have to say “yes” and make it work. You never know what amazingness is waiting on the other side of it!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
skinny jeans, cute tops

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
getting a book deal

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? in the middle
ii. thinner or fatter? a bit fatter (thanks, Italy)
iii. richer or poorer? richer

In 2018, I’m looking forward to:
So much! But that’s for another post!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

as 2017 winds down.

autumn in norway

It’s been AGES, right? I say this so much. Then I secretly vow to be better at blogging…and then I fall off again. To be fair, I’ve been fairly busy, and I have so much to tell you!

Since my last post, well, if you followed me on instagram or twitter, you know that I was abroad for most of September. I got to travel with Jennifer, who is one of my very best friends and also my soul sister, and it was amazing. It’s been a month since I’ve been back and I still can’t form words. Not only did I get to eat great food, see beautiful sights, and meet amazing people, but I got to spend a month with Jennifer! Having long distance best friends is hard, so we pretty much crammed all of our girl time into those three and a half weeks.

Here are a few photo collages from the trip:

💕💕💕💕🐝🌼👯
(I stole this one from Jennifer)

Oh #copenhagen #denmark, I love you so so so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Well hello there Denmark! I certainly did not expect to love you so much!! ❤️ #Denmark #copenhagen #europe #travel

A wonderful day in #norway ☀️😍

I got back to Chicago and was immediately thrust back into full-time and freelance work. I worked some when I was abroad, but it was different, working in a hotel room in Italy or Denmark rather than my apartment in Chicago. There, I’d open the window and listen to the languages and the different sounds and it was so awesome. Here, Fi is still making stinky messes every 40 minutes or so. I don’t have much room to spread out like I want. They’re tearing down a building across the street and for a week straight, my entire building would shake while they were doing their work. Charlotte has grown a lot, and she is a very naughty kitten! I’m covered in scratches and bites. She’s not the little rag doll she was the first day she came home. She’s feisty and vocal and strong-minded. I’ve had to start using the squirt bottle on her. I hate doing it, but she’ll just keep being naughty otherwise. Sometimes it’s exhausting. But then she tires out and collapses on me, and holds on to me so tight, and all my exasperation with her evaporates.

Also during October, Aidan went to homecoming (I KNOW), I got a massage, I got all my watches fixed, I cleaned out a lot of clothes and things to donate, and I cleaned out the bathroom and threw out four bags of old shampoo and body washes and things. I did a panel at Windy City RWA with my fellow ChiYA bloggers. I kept up (mostly) with my Personal Power University class (don’t ask me about the homework I still have to turn in!). And Aidan popped in for a long weekend. It was cool spending time with my awesome kid. Adam’s parents also popped in for a bit, and that was cool.

The Fam

I also spent weeks trying to catch up and I think I’m *finally* there. It felt like my To-Do lists were growing even though I was steadily doing things. I haven’t been back to yoga, or barre (haha in years for this one), I barely got any new writing done. I interviewed for a job but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. That was a weird position to be in. So much is going on all the time…and the Day Job is busy. So it does seem like the list of things to do is never ending. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I came home after my massage Saturday and slept for hours and hours. Got up, maybe had a snack, and then slept all night.

But now, it’s two minutes to midnight at the time of this typing. That means November is not only looming, but it’s HERE, and it will definitely be here when this post goes live. Every weekend through the end of the year is booked except one and I just hope I can sleep in at least two of them. Soon there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas and expectations and family and oh God. I can’t even think about it now.

Instead, I’m going to bed. Till next time!

Just me

disney 2017.

My Happy Place 2017

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, this is not news to you… but I went to Disney World again! :) We stayed in the Polynesian, which was my holy grail resort, and now I want to *always* stay there. Beautiful grounds, comfortable room and bed, fun tiki bar with yummy drinks, great service all the time, monorails, close to Magic Kingdom… it was just amazing.

(I asked Aidan if he’d rather to go Disney every year and stay at a cheaper resort, or go every few years and stay at the Poly, and he picked option 2. When I asked if he’d rather go every year and stay at the Poly every year [MY preference] he said that it was a lot of money and that I work too much and too hard as it is. I have the best kid ever.)

Some of my favorite moments:
– riding Avatar: Rite of Passage (omG AMAzING!) and seeing Pandora, which is beautiful
– seeing Bev at Garden Grill
– Lola getting a Bippity Boppity Boutique makeover
– awesome dinner time conversations
– campfire brownie
– Happily Ever After
– playing in the photo booths
– finding the rose gold Minnie ears!
– running into Josh & Kelly

It was a really, really, really good trip.

I put together a few collages for your viewing pleasure, and there’s also a link to a full album of photos. Enjoy, and I’ll see ya soon!

Magical

Very Magical

So Magical

The Magicallest

eclipsed.

Eclipse2017

I did not plan on going to see the eclipse. I’d made a shoebox projector and had planned to go out during my work day, but joining the festivities at the planetarium? So not my usual jam.

But I had a migraine headache Sunday night that was intensifying, so I emailed work and told them I’d be out of the office. I also had an appointment Monday morning, another one Monday afternoon, and all the rushing around would have stressed me out! I still had an early morning (appointment #1 was at 9am), so it wasn’t like I was slacking.

My appointment was done lightning fast, and Adam said “Let’s check out the scene at Adler.” I was surprised, but happy. The main character in my novel is an aspiring astrophysicist, and it honestly did not feel right to be missing the eclipse because of her. But this surprise meant that I was totally unprepared. I hadn’t put on sunscreen. I didn’t have my nice camera. I was in a dress! But I didn’t mind. Not one bit.

Lots of walking and slow going, but we got glasses, a box of donuts, and found a beautiful spot by the harbor. My migraine was playing VERY nicely for once and keeping itself at bay, so I was able to enjoy the eclipse in all its wonder, even with the cloud cover battling peak!

IT WAS AMAZING!

It was hard to get pictures when the eclipse was starting—the sun kept looking round even though I could see that it was not. It looked like someone took a bite out, then it kept getting smaller and smaller. It got darker out; it was like twilight. And the temperature dropped. I was able to get more dramatic pictures (through my safe glasses, of course) as the moon started unblocking the sun, like this one:

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I am really glad things worked out the way they did. And my migraine waited until I got home to start poking at me again, so it really worked out well.

This really is such an epic summer. :)

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