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!!

time to sit back and unwind.

Flowering tree! ???????????? #spring #Chicago #tree #flowers

Finally! Seems that June took ages to get here! And when it arrived, it brought temps that felt more like November 1 than June 1, but it’s finally warming up, at least for a couple of days. See-saw summer weather: Chicago’s M.O.

this weeks weather

Today is Aidan’s last day of school, then this weekend, he’s off to the National Jr. Youth Leadership Conference. He arrives in Chicago on June 13, and June 15, we take off for a long vacation, just the two of us. I’m so looking forward to it. Disney World, the beach, good times.

Aww yiss. #disneyworld #disney #magicband #yay
yay!!

Apparently, Aidan is now measuring at 5’1″…which just happens to be MY HEIGHT. My son is my height now. His feet are already bigger than mine, but now he’s on track to be taller than I am before long too. I mean, I knew it was coming but it’s still crazy. I hope he doesn’t act too stubborn when it comes to taking pictures when we’re on vacation. I need photographic proof of this height thing.

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this was from april this year.
he was one inch shorter than me here.

A few weekends ago, I went to see a show at Second City. I enjoyed it. The show was called “#dateme” and was based on a girl’s experiences with some dating site. OK Cupid I think it’s called? Anyway, they had this picture-taking thing set up outside the theater so I took advantage:

#dateme #thesecondcity #Chicago

I also got to meet Sarah Dessen again, and she was a lovely as ever. I remember, 11 years ago, when I discovered her books and fell in love with her writing. And I used to wish so hard I’d get to meet her. And now, this is the what…fourth or fifth time I got to meet her?

This author. ???? @sdessen #author #booksigning #Naperville #inspiration

Speaking of authors, Meg Cabot is back with *two* new princess books, and I was lucky enough to meet her as well:

Me and Meg Cabot. She's amazing. ???? #author #megcabot #Chicago #Naperville #booksigning

Honestly, if I ever leave Chicago, Anderson’s Bookshop will be one of the top five things I’ll miss.

These days, I’m kind of at odds. I’m restless, waiting for my vacation to get here. I should probably start packing. I got a new suitcase. Purple this time, with the 360? spinner wheels. Because the last time I went to Orlando and was lugging my luggage, the big suitcase kept flipping around. It was awkward and embarrassing! A guy had to help me on the escalator! So with this one, I shouldn’t have to deal with that. Plus my lovely pink bag was starting to rip and all that stuff. You know how it goes after the airlines batter it for a while. I got a good deal on this case, too. I went to Sears–which, I don’t even care, I love Sears–and the case I ended up getting had a regular price of $159.99. It was 50% off, so that took the price down to $79.99. I had coupons and Shop Your Way Rewards, so my total cost was just over $50. Not bad, huh?

I have new shirts and shorts and bathing suits to wear, and new shoes too. They’re not *that* new because I remembered I needed to break them in, so I’ve been doing that. All I need to do is pack everything sometime in the next ten days. Probably buy Aidan some vacation wear (his dad bought him a bunch of “nice” summer wear for his conference, but he’s not going to want to wear khaki shorts and polos at the beach, right?).

…and my mind just went blank. I guess I didn’t have much more to say. Probably the next time I update will be when I am back from vacation. So, till next time……

this week.

Seven years ago today I moved to this city which I both love and hate. #Chicago

This past Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, marked my seven year anniversary of living in Chicago. Adam, my friend Andy, and I packed trucks and my car, and the three of us, plus little Lucy, took the six hour trek to the Windy City. I was excited and looking forward to a new life with Adam. I didn’t anticipate the depression and anxiety that would overcome me once I settled in. It was quite the adjustment and I still often feel out of sorts. But there are some things that are so cool about living here:

1. Being able to do the majority of my working from home.
2. Finding a yoga community that I love.
3. All the authors I get to meet.
4. All the cool people I’ve met.
5. Being able to work on TV and movie sets.

It was an OK week. There was freelance work, meetings, yoga, A Different World on Netflix, Insurgent 3D (#hotmess), and movie theater food! See, I don’t go to the movies often, so if I am hungry when I go, I like to splurge on concessions. I had a hot dog, nachos, and Reese’s Pieces, which I am still working on actually. Makes it more special. I missed the Insurgent swag, but after seeing the movie, I’m kind of OK with that. It was OK, but I enjoyed in like how I enjoyed Twilight. Meaning I laughed for two hours at stuff that wasn’t meant to be funny, etc. etc. Good times. Daniel Dae Kim + Theo James on a big ass screen in 3D though was almost too much for me to handle. I’m pretty much over that silly crush I had on Theo, but I’ll never stop thinking he’s gorgeous, even with his stupid beard.

Waiting for #Insurgent3D. Rocking these Real3D glasses like a boss. ???? ????????

A photo posted by Ronni (@lilrongal) on


this was me waiting on the movie.

I’ve already surpassed my goal of seeing three movies in a theater this year! I saw Mockingjay Part 1 in January, The Duff in February, and Cinderella and Insurgent this month. I may go see Home at some point (a movie with a cute black girl with naturally curly hair as the lead? yes please!), and then there’s nothing that interests me really until November, when Mockingjay Part 2 comes out. I’m just not into the Avengers stuff like everyone else is. I love the movie scores, though, so there is that. I used to be into the Batman movies, but now that they’re rebooting AGAIN, man, I’m just tired!

I’m already halfway through my 2015 Reading Challenge goal, so I probably need to make it higher. Right now I am reading BURNING KINGDOMS by Lauren DeStefano, who has a really great Twitter feed.

I totally was expecting Saturday to be exhausting and overwhelming and it totally wasn’t. Maybe because I got an OK night’s sleep, and I drank a Blue Edition Red Bull. But I had to get up at 7:15am, which is just cruel for a Saturday (unless I’m at Disney World) to head to The Dailey Method for kid room duty.

I am supposed to report to duty at 8am to give moms time to arrive, and I like to use that time to you know, suck down the Red Bull and eat a Luna Bar. This morning when I arrived, the cutest baby was already there, sitting in a bouncy chair and drinking a bottle. I was a bit taken back and surprised someone just plopped the baby there. And he was happy as can be, kicking his little feet and sucking down the formula. Turns out he was the son of one of the teachers there, and turns out that he was probably my favorite of the day.

I spent four hours in the kid room today and it was truly enjoyable. All the kids were good and they listened well, and even though there were diapers, so many poopy diapers, and they made huge messes, it was still fun. And Cole, my buddy who’d been plopped earlier that day, was just the perfect baby size. Squishy but solid, adorable little face. It was too much! I didn’t want his mommy to take him home!

After that, I came home, had lunch, then headed over to Meksha for a workshop with Seane Corn. It was the third time I got to do a workshop with her and it was incredible. Seane is the real deal. She’s so frank and so out there with everything. And I love it. She’s a great speaker, and the practice today was perfect. Just the right amount of challenge and restoration.

The amazing #seanecorn and dorky me. #mokshayogachicago #flowandglow @mokshayogachicago
me and seane corn. i look like i am trying to eat her.

Seane Corn and Me
when i first met her five years ago

I ran into some friends there who I hadn’t seen in a while, some in years. That was soooo nice! I am kind of a loner, but getting love and light from people is so so so good.

So happy to see this cutie!!! @cassyoga ???????????? #flowandglow @mokshayogachicago #mokshayogachicago
me and cassandra. i met her at my VERY FIRST yoga class at moksha nearly five years ago!

I’m easing back into my yoga practice and it feels really good. It’s also brings up a lot of crap again, and that whole feeling of not knowing where I fit keeps coming back. All the worlds I am in are so different. They overlap in some ways but not at all in some others. I go to Moksha and everyone is eating healthy, raw, organic this or that. I go on set and people have no problems scarfing down the Cheetos. I go days where I feel guilty as hell for eating meat, and other days where I’m like “Screw it, I want a corn dog and I’m going to have one and enjoy it dammit.” And frankly, I LIKE steak and I like corn dogs, and I like bacon. I hate feeling guilty about the things I eat. Talk about being privileged, being able to have those sorts of feelings about food, right? I can’t remember a time that eating was something I could do without a lot of issues coming along with it. It gets confusing and scary and it’s often easier to avoid eating altogether until I can’t stand it and have to get something in my stomach.

Plus, eating healthy is HARD when Doritos and Reese’s Pieces taste SO GOOD. But I need more veggies in my life so I must work on getting more. Especially spinach. Green beans. Mmm spinach and green beans. I seriously go weeks without eating vegetables. That’s NOT GOOD at all.

And ugh, I already have new split ends. I might need to accept the fact that super long hair won’t ever be a reality for me unless I buy it and have it installed. :(

Maybe eating more spinach will help my hair grow. The biotin is working magic on my nails, which don’t even need it, but my hair. Please grow and stop splitting and breaking hair! Argh.

I got up at 7:15am. It is now 4:30am and I haven’t been to sleep yet. Either that Red Bull is potent as hell, or I’m just…still wired from the yoga workshop.

I should wrap this up now. I’m just babbling. OK then. Till next time….

october.

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It’s so hard to believe that it’s already October, even though the leaves have been slowly changing, some of the days are less mild than others, and pumpkin everything is showing up at all stores. I am not a fan of pumpkin myself, but Adam loves the stuff.

Morton Arboretum Autumn 2012

October is traditionally a hard month for me… but the last few Octobers have been so busy that I haven’t had time to really get sad. There were all the years I was working at Schawk for fourth quarter, and last year I had my video review and ton to attend, plus other teacher training stuff to deal with, so I was pretty busy last year as well. This year, October is going to be pretty mellow. OH WAIT, IT TOTALLY WON’T.

I have freelance gigs, travel plans, workshops I want to attend, and a massage to enjoy. I have to make my annual trek out to Morton Arboretum for pictures and happiness and a visit to my favorite tree. I’ve got to start preliminary holiday shopping plans. And I need to watch The Little Mermaid because I just got the Blu-ray today.

I also wore this today:

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ronni!style
dress: free people
jacket: kohl’s
leggings: ragstock
sandals: earth origins

I promise this showing off my outfit stuff won’t be a regular thing. I am so not a fashionista, and this is not a fashion blog by any means. I don’t know how to do all those cute poses that the fashion bloggers do. But I had to show off this outfit because I’m so proud of myself for putting it together and I think it’s kinda cute and I got compliments on it.

Jury Duty

September wasn’t too busy for me. I worked a lot, visited my mom in Ohio, picked up the Aladdin and Jasmine Designer Fairy Tale dolls at The Disney Store, did a day of jury duty (did you know you get certificates if you actually serve on a jury?), and shopped. A LOT.

It was a good month, though, but September always goes too quickly. Time really does fly.

Before I sign off, I thought I’d leave you with the evidence of this deliciousness I had yesterday:

Mmhmmm.

I KNOW.

Till next time.

Had A Good Week

In My Element
loving the sun and warmth!

Yay! Had a happy week. Got to work at BOTH places I enjoy freelancing at, my other project’s finally kicked in, and that means $$ will be coming in for me again.

This is a good thing. No. It is an EXCELLENT thing.

Tuesday’s teacher training was canceled, which was a YAY because I got an extra free day, but the reason was a BOO because my teacher had a family emergency. :( Still, I got to go to Mia‘s class, which I haven’t in months, and it was so nice to be there again.

I’m seriously drawing a blank about Wednesday, except there was an AWESOME Amber Cook class involved. But that’s all I remember. Weird, right?

Thursday night, I attended a food healing workshop with Moses & Zeina. Oh my goodness. I learned SO MUCH. And got to taste some yummy things (cheesy kale for the win!)…. and I got to taste some things that made my tongue very angry. Yeah, pesto made from cilantro and onions? NEVER AGAIN.

Friday night, I attended a Kundalini workshop (another Moses & Zeina special) that included a fire ceremony and gong meditation.

OH MY GOD.

I never realized how beautiful a gong could sound. My fault for only really knowing of them from The Gong Show, I suppose. Anyway. Every savasana should include gongs. Or wind chimes. (I once took a workshop and there were wind chimes and that was also amazing.) But this GONG. Wow. I’m actually looking up gong meditation albums on emusic.com. I don’t know if my iPod can replicate what it’s like being in the room with a gong, but seeing as I’m not going to be carting one around with me, listening to it in my iPod will have to do. :)

Although, I believe Kundalini Yoga In The Loop has gong meditation regularly….must research this more. AND THEN ATTEND ASAP!!

Speaking of Kundalini yoga… I’ve done it before, but wanted to try it in a class setting. It’s so so so different from what one thinks of as yoga. There are no asanas; there are kriyas, which is a set of kundalini exercises. The thing about Kundalini is that it’s hard core. It can bring up some stuff. The kriyas are uncomfortable, confrontational, and cleansing. Therefore, they are awesome. And scary.

I am so grateful for the opportunities I’m getting during my teacher training. Chances to push my practice. Chances to meet great people, learn new things. It’s seriously been insane in the best way possible. And I’m only what, 10 weeks or so into the program? There is so much more learning to be done, so many more experiences to have. I’m excited!

This journey is filling me with so much joy, and I want more! :D

(I also got the cutest pair of yoga pants. Tie-died and pink with purple piece signs on the butt. My friend Christine says they give new meaning to the phrase “Piece/peace of ass.”)

The weather’s been great all week! Nice and warm, hot some days. Beautiful. Blue skies, sunshine. My favorite! Of course, it’s going to get cool and rainy by the end of the week, but for now? Loving it! This is the best Memorial Day weekend weather I’ve had since I moved here!!

I’d forgotten that I’d purchased a Disney Parades CD when I was at Disney World during one of my trips. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade is a track on that album. WHAT. That song had only been stuck in my head for months since I was in the parade. OK, and only that first part because that’s the part of the parade Adam and I were in, so we only heard that loop over and over for 20 minutes BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT. The point is that I’d had this CD, and had apparently already imported it onto my computer. I could have been listening to the parade all this time! And also hearing the REST of the parade at that. So, I’ve been making up for lost time. :) Brings back happy memories!

Jammin' Jungle Parade

I also looked on YouTube to see if anyone happened to record and post a video of my parade, but NOPE. Someone posted one from the DAY BEFORE, though. Oh well.

**many hours later**

OK, so I started this entry many hours ago. This is what kept distracting me from finishing:

1. Aidan called.
2. I ate dinner.
3. Aidan called again.
4. I ate a 2nd dinner while watching the O.C.
5. Aidan called again.
6. I talked to my mom.

So now, it’s 1am, I’m trying to decide if I should get this gong meditation CD: Gong Suite: Six Meditations, but I need to be braiding my hair and getting to bed. LONG awesome Sunday ahead, and I need my beauty sleep!

I leave you with a photo of me reading one of my favorite magazines, more than 12 years running:

I read old people magazines. :)

I’ll decide about the CD tomorrow/today. Right now, I’m going to sleep. Well, I’m gonna braid my hair first, probably have a snack, THEN sleep.

Byeeeee! :)

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