so far, so good.

We’re just a hair over two weeks into 2015, and I must say that I have no complaints. We had some super cold days, but seeing as I work from home, I haven’t had to deal with them much. And the day I needed to go out? The temps jumped up to 30F.

Love my new Frozen hat!! ???????? #frozen #elsa #disneyside #selfie

So far, January for me has been reading reading reading. Lots of reading. Some for pleasure, and some for work, work, and more work, for which I am grateful.

I’m doing work for Pivot Point Academy, which is a beauty school. My project is very interesting. I am proofreading Dutch books, and learning a lot of Dutch cosmetology terms in the meantime. For example:

kleur = color
haar = hair
dik = thick

I like this work, I like the team, and I really hope I get the chance to continue working for them once this project is over.

I am also working for Berlitz again, a huge and fast project that is kind of high maintenance. It’s all right, though, because it’s money, and again, I really like the person I’m working with.

Those are my paying jobs for now. I’m also still doing the work-trade thing for Moksha, and I’m not sure if I mentioned that I’m doing work-trade for The Dailey Method as well. I work in their kids room. It’s very early every other Sunday, so I wake up grumbling about it. But then, when I’m in there, and a little kiddo comes in, I melt. Especially when they start off shy, but then halfway through the hour, they are climbing on me. Last Sunday, one of the little ones, Noah, came. Now, my first day doing this, in October of last year, Noah showed up, took one look at me and freaked out so much his mom had to leave! It kind of hurt my feelings! I mean, it may not have been me. Children are so unpredictable, any factor could have played into the fit he threw. But this time, he waved and smiled shyly at me, and then halfway through, he was on my lap. And he pretended to make me breakfast!

So, it’s rewarding as well as exhausting to work in the kid’s room. But it’s worth it because the kids are typically very sweet and friendly, and I get so many credits to use at The Dailey Method. I love working out there.

I haven’t done any working out this year yet. How horrible is that? Either it’s been too cold for my tastes, or I’ve been buried under deadlines, and let’s face it, maybe I’ve been too lazy. But my body is craving movement, so once I clear some of these deadlines (!), it’s back to Moksha (for real!) and The Dailey Method for me.

I’ve become obsessed with the song Elastic Heart by Sia. I heard about it while browsing tumblr, apparently there is controversy around the whole little girl dancing with a grown man or whatever. People are so dumb sometimes. The video is beautiful and sad and the song is amazing.

Also, the little girl? Maddie Ziegler from Dance Moms. Her dancing is mind-blowing. The girl is so good. So, so, so good. Her dancing tells stories. Watch the video, and see for yourself.

I watched a few episodes of Dance Moms a few years ago and actually enjoyed it, once I get past the drama. Abby picks awesome music, and I always enjoy watching dance. Maybe I should start watching it again.

I watched Maleficent and REALLY enjoyed it. It was simple, and predictable, but sometimes I like that in a story. I don’t always need for a story to be complicated with 90,000 plot twists for it to be enjoyable.

I finished season 2 of Gilmore Girls over the weekend. I’ll start the third season when work settles down.

I’ve been reading recap blogs and would LOVE to do my own. I have one in reserve, but I’m not sure if I want to go in that direction. There are a billion VC Andrews recap blogs so not that. And all these recaps seem to require a level of critical thinking that I’m not sure I’m capable of or interest in doing a whole lot of. And of course, I am notorious for never following through on such things, so there’s that.

Anyway, this entry was pretty pointless, yeah? I just felt like checking in. Till next time….

looking ahead.

2015a

The year started off with me staying up until an ungodly hour writing, and then sleeping in until about noon or so. I ate pork and avoided chicken, and I read and relaxed. It’s crazy that it’s 2015, the start of ordinary time, and the start of a brand new year.

As I’ve said in the past, I don’t do resolutions per se. I know myself too well, and to resolve to do things that I will most likely give up on within a couple of weeks gets depressing. But I always make some loose goals for the year, not necessarily resolutions, but things I hope to accomplish or make happen. I looked at last year’s list and was pleasantly surprised at the number of things in the “Need to Happen” section that actually did happen! :)

Things that Need to Happen in 2015
– LESS SODA (And only ginger ale if I *do* have it. I’m talking no more than once or twice a month. I went crazy in December, drinking ALL the ginger ale and pineapple soda, just to get it out of my system.)
– MORE WATER
– more exercise (This includes barre classes at The Dailey Method. I earn eight credits a month working in the kids room, so I need to take advantage. And I will. I love those barre classes so much.)
– 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 the winter settling in, but once it warms up, it’s go time.)
– more walking (I want to take more walks around the neighborhood once it gets warmer out. It’s too easy for me to get sucked into the comfort of the bed or the couch, and that’s no good. My life is passing by in a haze of dreams, and not the good kind!)
– more writing (I really want to finish this novel I’m working on and get it ready for submission. I can’t believe that it was ten years ago that I seriously dipped my toes into the publishing pool for the first time. I know now that I was not ready for publication then. I am ready now, and thirsting for success.)
– making 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 of the Visa cards
– less time on social media, more time working toward my goals
– taking more pictures!!

Hopes for 2015
– read at least 75 new books (I have 55 listed in my Goodreads challenge, but I like to go over if I can)
– better job of keeping the place clean and neat-looking
– more driving (My poor car is rotting in this city. I need to use her more.)
– travel to at least one new place, domestic or international
– visiting and spending time with friends who are not local
– more background acting work, but as core rather than a pedestrian
– financial comfort (I really like being able to buy whatever I want–within reason, of course–and also spoiling Aidan and my mom)
– more fresh, whole foods and less meat in my diet
– better physical shape
– making new friends and appreciating the friends I already have even more
– so many work-from-home projects that I am more than comfortable financially
– more self care (massages, positive self talk, spa days, etc.)
– more journaling
– more time at Stonehouse Farm, or in nature in general
– saving money

In My Dreams for 2015
– getting a publishing contract
– meeting a certain actor (if you don’t know by now then whose blog have you been reading all this time?)

Looking Forward To
– my mother-son trip to Disney World with Aidan this summer
– visiting Legoland in Florida with Aidan, and my friends Joey & CeeCee
– acting classes at Chicago Actors Studio (the Saturday classes this time)
– barre classes at The Dailey Method
– summer in general
– new books and music discoveries
– starting a new novel

Here’s hoping that 2015 is filled with love, light, peace, happiness, good health, amazing opportunities, and positivity for all of us. No fear, go for your dreams, leap, and a net will appear. 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.

Happy Monday night. ????????
Let’s do this thing!

in review: the year 2014.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! ???????? #christmas

Was 2014 a good year for you?
I certainly cannot complain. I got to do a LOT of neat stuff. I didn’t get severely sick. I made amazing new friends and got to bond with old friends. I traveled a lot, and got to visit Disney World. I met celebrities and skilled actors. I won neat prizes. I pushed myself in new ways. I learned even more about myself…but I’m still learning. Always learning.

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
– was an extra on more than one TV show, in a commercial, and in an indie film
– was a core extra on the show SIRENS (starts Jan 27, 2015)
– attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Disney World
– attended Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival at Disney World
– attended Anderson’s YA Literature Conference
– attended Wanderlust in the City
– rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Disney World
– saw Fantasmic at Disney World
– saw the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney World
– flew out to Los Angeles to meet celebrities at a charity event
– participated in a spin class (Flywheel)
– participated in a barre class (The Dailey Method, The Bar Method)
– spend a weekend at Stonehouse Farm
– slept in a yurt
– made lavender incense
– ate honey right off a honeycomb
– wore a bee suit and hung out around honeybees
– traveled to Jekyll Island
– tried raw oyster
– saw dolphins in the wild
– took acting workshops
– took acting classes at Second City
– visited New Orleans
– visited Malibu
– put my toes in the Pacific Ocean
– tried a po’boy sandwich
– played Cards Against Humanity
– visited The Field Museum
– ate at Girl & The Goat
– visited Michael Jackson’s childhood home

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes.

Did anyone close to you die?
No, but a good friend of mine lost her son. It was heartbreaking.

What countries did you visit?
Still none. Will 2015 be the year? Let’s hope!

What date(s) from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 17, 2014 – got to meet a bunch of celebrities from the movie Divergent
November 7-15, 2014 – long Disney World trip!

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally taking those acting classes I’d been dreaming about.

What was your biggest failure?
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Colds, migraines, stomach issues, etc. Nothing too serious, thank goodness.

Where did most of your money go?
travel, books, gifts, bills, my car

What song(s) will always remind you of 2014?
Shining Star – The Householders
Tu – Camila
Hanging On – Ellie Goulding
Some Day They’ll Know (Odesza remix) – Pretty Lights
Feel Flows – Slow Magic
anything at all by Odesza

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– writing
– yoga
– barre classes
– long walks
– retreats at Stonehouse
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– acting
– interpersonal interaction
– personal reflection and spiritual work
– journaling
– taking more photos

What do you wish you’d done less of?
– being afraid
– hiding
– wasting time on social media (tumblr and facebook especially)
– messing around on the computer/ipad/iphone

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– Odesza
– Philter
– Feel Flows

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 40. (Seriously, how am I 40?). I slept late, went to my friend Jen’s for a photoshoot, ate macarons, had an early prime rib dinner, ate key lime pie for dessert, shopped at Michaels, talked to Aidan on the phone, rode around looking at Christmas lights, hung out with Ashley from upstairs a bit, watched Christmas Vacation, and wrapped Christmas gifts. I got a Tiffany necklace from Adam. :) It was a good birthday.

How did you spend Christmas?
I went to Ohio to spend Christmas with my mommy! It was good. I was sick, so for the first two days I couldn’t smell or taste anything. That was weird. On Christmas Day, my a bunch of people came over to see us and that was fun. I also slept really late. My mom and I stayed up all night talking. Literally. We didn’t get to sleep until after 8am. I loved that. We ate good food and watched movies and visited and had a good time. The day after, I went to my friend Andy’s and saw him and his doggies. Then we came home and opened presents.

How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
Most likely at home with Aidan and Adam.

What did you want and get?
– a trip to New Orleans
– a trip to Disney World
– a chance to meet Stephanie Perkins and other amazing authors
– a Frederick the Literate blanket

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– a flat stomach
– a trip out of the country
– to meet Theo James
– to see the Statue of Liberty, the Cloisters, and the High Line in NYC
– to be done writing my novel

What kept you sane?
– books, books, books
– yoga
– as much sleep as possible
– regular massages
– lots of blankets to keep me warm

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

What political issue stirred you the most?
Ferguson and too many fucking similar incidents.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Whenever I feel down about myself and/or my life, to look back at my Flickr account at all the neat things I’ve gotten to see and do, and all the neat people I know. That always cheers me up.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
– Yoga pants and long tee-shirts or tank tops.
– Skinny jeans and boots.
– my pink North Face fleece.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
– New Orleans
– Disney World
– Jekyll Island
– the prospect of meeting Theo James (even though it didn’t come to fruition because he bailed on the event)
– meeting Stephanie Perkins!!!

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Meeting Theo James. That cheeky bastard.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Happier. Last year I was fighting depression big time.
ii. thinner or fatter? Meh, about the same I think.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer. Not struggling, but nowhere near as carefree as last year.

In 2015, I am looking forward to:
– braking out my new Life Planner
– taking Aidan to Disney World in June!
– finally finishing my novel and getting it ready for submissions (eeeee!)
– starting a new novel
– reading new books by Sarah Dessen, Huntley Fitzpatrick, and loads more authors
– discovering new music (thank you, Spotify!)
– making new friends
– more barre classes
– getting back into my yoga practice
– taking more acting classes (eek!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

and so this is christmas.

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I always feel a little bit let down the day after Christmas. Part of the magic of the Christmas season is the anticipation of all the parts of the holiday: the food, seeing loved ones, giving and getting presents, watching the A Christmas Story marathon, and so on and so forth.

So now I am dealing with that post holiday let down. One good thing is that I have Aidan with me here and his birthday is coming soon. So we have that celebration to look forward to.

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I had a good Christmas, despite being sick and developing a cold sore. The cold that had been threatening me all week finally came into fruition big time on Sunday. It had started to feel icky on Friday, but Saturday was my birthday so I made myself enjoy it despite just wanting to lie in bed all day.

I had a great birthday! I slept pretty late, as usual, but also because I wasn’t feeling that great. The macaron place in the neighborhood was open for retail, so we went in and Adam got me a bunch of yummy macarons! My friend Jen had me over and took some photos of me. Here’s one of them:

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long hair don’t care!

After Jen’s, we went to the UPS store where we picked up packages and mail and stuff, then we went to a late lunch/early dinner at Longhorn. I had prime rib! It had been years since I’d had prime rib. Then we went to Michael’s, which sounds a lot more fun than it was. It took me AGES to find the Christmas washi, the place was crowded and over warm, and my cashier was kind of a bitch. It wasn’t a great shopping experience, but I really don’t care that much. After that, we went and drove around looking at Christmas lights! Hung out with the upstairs neighbor a bit, then crashed. It was a low key birthday, but it was a lot of fun. Ivy sent me a pack of Staedtler Fineliners (my favorite!), Grandma Bel sent me a scarf that is battery operated and therefore heated! (I have to say I haven’t had to use it yet, and I am grateful. It can stay in the 50s all winter for all I care!) And Adam gave me a beautiful Tiffany necklace. He’s getting really good at picking out gifts! :)

Sunday, I was completely out of commission. I was sick and exhausted. I slept the entire day. I was frustrated because I had so much to do, but no energy. Monday I made myself prepare for traveling, and Tuesday morning I slept a nice, drugged up sleep most of the way to my mom’s. I don’t remember too much of Tuesday, to be honest. We got a Honey Baked Ham, I took some photos, I visited with my mom, set up the gift I got for her and Greggy (a computer!), and was annoyed because I couldn’t smell any of the good things cooking and baking or taste anything!

By Christmas Day, I felt much better, though. Still sniffling and plowing through the Kleenex, but I had more energy and didn’t feel like sleeping the day away. Which was a miracle because my mom and I stayed up talking literally all night. Until after 8am. It was my favorite part of the visit!

Mommys tree. ????????????#christmas #tree #holiday
my mommy’s tree

Christmas Day was great! I slept in, everyone liked their presents, and the food was good. My taste was slowly coming back. Not fully, but enough that I could enjoy my dinner! And the company as well.

Once upon a time I used to write out long lists on my blog of the stuff I got for Christmas. I don’t even know if my readers care, but I like reading my past entries and seeing what I got that year. Let me see if I can remember what I got this year:

From Adam:
– Nintendo wallet
– Frederick the Literate blanket (!!!)
– lenses for my iPhone camera
– a pink lightning cable for my iPhone
– all of my favorite snacks in my stocking
– tons of hair ties (somehow he remembered that I kept breaking all the ones I had!)
– a light box (on its way)
– Mean Girls on Blu-ray
– Epic Mickey 2 for Xbox
– Nag Champa incense

From Aidan:
– Maleficent on DVD

From Chris & Matt:
– Kate Spade bracelet
– Kate Spade pouch
– toe socks
– cute Panda headband/ear warmer
– wax melts
– tote
– a bunch of gift bags (LOVE it, I always gather up the gift bags that people want to toss so I can reuse them–I’m touched that Matty remembered that)

From Mommy & Greggy:
– a bunch of cute sweaters and tops

From Leah:
– a pink lava lamp (aw yeah!)

From the In-Laws:
– awesome polka dot umbrella
– prints with Bob Dylan lyrics on them
– Doctor Who Dalek ornament
– super warm leggings
– Divergent Collector’s Edition
– woven blanket (I’ve been wanting this blanket for four years. SO glad I have it now!)
– canvas print of the family for the whole family
– Selzer family 2015 calendar

From Ivy:
– a cute canvas bag that says “I’m correcting your grammar in my head.”

From Andy:
– the large size Mickey Mouse Tsum Tsum plush!!!!

I’m sure I missed some things. I am so grateful to have the people in my life that I do.

Now, Aidan and I are both sick and kind of loopy from medicine. And I’m fighting the post-holiday melancholy that comes as we transition back to ordinary time and I wonder how we get through the rest of the year without this to look forward to. But I’ll be OK. I go through this every year and I manage.

Wrapped in one of my favorite gifts, a Frederick the Literate blanket. Thank you @adamselzer and thank you @laurendestefanoauthor for introducing me to it!! #christmas #love #cats #books ????????????
wrapped in my blanket :)

So, the weekend is coming and that means a lazy Saturday, a sorta busy Sunday (kid’s room and Pretty Late), and back to normal on Monday. Work for a new freelance client, I need to go to the bank, bills to pay, boring business stuff to do, and so on. So I should enjoy the downtime now, right? :)

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

i confess part 4 {disney world edition}

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i confess… the first time i went to disney world, in 2001, i was scared i wouldn’t like it. i’d been wanting to go for so long, i was worried i’d be let down after having built it up in my mind for so many years. but nope, i fell right in love with it!

I Finally Met Mickey!
my first time ever meeting mickey mouse!
august 2001

i confess… i both love and hate the wealth of information out there about how to enhance the park experience. i love it because of all the neat stuff i now know, but i hate it because everyone and their mommas know it too. and somehow that makes it less special because everyone wants to be special. #disneyhipster

i confess… the chocolate covered pineapple i had on my last trip continues to haunt me because it was JUST THAT GOOD.

i confess… i wasn’t sure about all the changes happening at disney and i almost skipped out on going this year because of it. magicbands, fastpass+, all the preplanning one has to do now. but you know what? i went on the trip with all that and still had a wonderful time.

i confess… disney amazes me with how it brings magic to kids of all ages. there are people in forums who say that they never get “magical” moments when they are not with kids, but i find that not to be the case with me. i’ve been given free stuff, gotten hugs from strangers, even been selected to be in a parade, just to name a few of the cool things i’ve had happen to me.

Jammin' Jungle Parade

i confess… i like mickey’s not so scary halloween party just a tiny bit better than mickey’s very merry christmas party.

Us with Witch Minnie

i confess… meeting a princess still gets me all starry-eyed.

Meeting Naveen & Tiana
especially if it’s princess tiana

i confess… every time i go without aidan, i feel guilty. so that’s why i always immediately book a trip with him to happen within the year.

i confess… taking my mommy to disney was one of the best things i’ve ever done. she loved the trip so much and i loved making her so happy. i don’t think i’d ever seen her smile and laugh as much as she did on that trip.

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look at her smile! and this was even before she’d ridden soarin’!

i confess… i have been to disney world 10 times and i still can’t wait to go back!

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