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

IMG_2537

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!!

a look back at 2016.

Was 2016 a good year for you?

The world had a rough 2016. A lot of sadness, loss, and pain. I grieve with the rest of us over the hard things that have happened, and hope for healing and love. Sadly, I have a lot of fear for what’s to come, but since this post is about looking back, I won’t go into it here.

For me personally, I cannot complain. I worked a lot, but I never worried about money. I was able to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences (although I’d like to, and plan to, make some of them happen a lot more!), and I got to travel to New York City, Disney World, and Scotland, make new friends, and improve my writing.

What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
– flew first class
– attended a red (black) carpet event
– attended a movie premiere
– attended a celebrity-studded after party
– attended the New York City Teen Author Festival
– traveled out of the United States
– visited a castle (other than Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, although I did visit Cinderella Castle this year as well)
– slept in a mansion
– went on a writing retreat
– got hypnotized
– attended a con party
– spoke on a con panel
– attended chambanacon
– got a mammogram
– ROLL PODS!

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Well, I don’t know her that well yet, but the new wife of my cousin gave birth to the most adorable baby boy.

Did anyone close to you die?
No. Thank God.

What countries did you visit?
– Ireland (for a layover, 2x)
– Scotland

What date(s) from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 14: I got to talk to Theo James I got to talk to Theo James I got to talk to Theo James!!!!
Ronni asks Theo a question (AOL Build)

March 14: I met Jordan Rodrigues!!! I loved him on Dance Academy and on The Fosters, and he was sooo amazingly nice and great to talk to. He’s a really cool guy and I wish him the very best.
Me and Jordan Rodrigues

March 14: I attended a movie premiere and all sorts of cool stuff came with that experience
The Divergent Series: Allegiant World Premiere, Red Carpet, and After Party

May 13: I finally made it out of the United States
Off to the UK on Aer Lingus

August 15: Got to fly first class for the first time and loved it, of course
#firstclassflight

October 8: The day I met the lovely Jennifer Niven and we discovered we were friend soulmates forever. My world shines brighter because she’s in it.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally making it to another country! And I did it all by myself, only had one panic attack and got lost once, but I survived and loved it. So excited to do it again someday soon.

What was your biggest failure?
Keeping the apartment clean. EPIC FAIL on that one.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
– got a couple of colds, but they didn’t last very long
– depression and anxiety got a bit out of control, so I started therapy and being much better about taking my meds
– fibroids grew a lot, necessitating the need to schedule a surgery (for early 2017)
– anemia (due to the fibroids)

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

What song(s) will always remind you of 2016?
Sorry – Beyonce
Formation – Beyonce
The Greatest – Sia
Revolution – Diplo
Gasoline – Halsey

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– ***writing***
– yoga
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– journaling
– connecting with my friends

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spending time on social media. It’s a great way to network and make friends, but it also takes away from my writing and productivity. I need to find a better balance.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– Halsey
– Låpsley

What did you want and get?
– to talk to Theo James :)
– a trip to New York City
– a trip to Disney World
– a trip to Scotland
– a new Prada purse
– a Kate Spade bag (I got 2 actually)
– LuLaRoe leggings
– a new computer
– new writer friends, near and far

ChiYA December 2016
(I love the striped sweater OK?)

What did you want and not get?
– MORE AIDAN TIME (there is never enough)
– to talk MORE to Theo James
– to see the Statue of Liberty, the Cloisters, and the High Line in NYC
– a major book deal
– a visit to Morton Arboretum

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 42. (Seriously, how am I 42?) I spent the day working, then I went out to dinner at Sakura with Adam and Aidan.
If the rest of 42 (oh god how am I 42) is like today, I'm gonna have a great year!! #yay #happy 😊🌈⭐

What kept you sane?
– writing
– therapy
– friends

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

What political issue stirred you the most?
– Black Lives Matter
– the election
– the Dakota Access Pipeline

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
Change comes slowly and painfully, and resistance is real and strong, especially when some people think they’ll benefit more from the status quo no matter how much it’s actually hurting everyone.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
– Yoga clothes: leggings, tanks. The brighter the better.
– Skinny jeans and boots.
– Denim jackets, yes please.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Signing with an amazing literary agent

Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? the same
iii. richer or poorer? richer

In 2017, I’m looking forward to:
– being recovered from my surgery
– the Writing Cross-Culturally Workshop
– domestic travel (mostly to visit friends)
– international travel
– another Disney trip
– writing a new book
– more yoga, and getting back to barre
– new music and books
– seeing Aladdin on stage
– seeing The Nutcracker for Christmas
Beauty and the Beast in theatres
Everything, Everything in theatres

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

in review: the year 2015.

Untitled

Was 2015 a good year for you?
It was pretty good. Had a few sad parts but I can’t complain. I got to take Aidan on an epic 3-week vacation which included Disney World, I got to see Ginger Doss in concert twice!, I made new friends, I “finished” my novel (still revising), and I got a job that I generally enjoy with good teammates and that pays well. I also got asked to blog for Theologians Net, a fan blog for Theo James. Radical.

What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
– drove in Florida
– visited Daytona Beach
– bought Uggs
– visited LEGOLand
– drank blk. water
– saw a ballet (The Nutcracker)
– saw The Lion King musical
– took a ballet class
– got a keratin treatment for my hair
– rented a car

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes.

Did anyone close to you die?
My stepfather Greg. :(

What countries did you visit?
Still none. But next year, for sure!

What date(s) from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 15–July 4: 3 week epic vacation, just me and Aidan

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing my novel. Still needs revisions, but it’s done! Finally!

What was your biggest failure?
Still not being *there* with the novel.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing other than the normal. Praise God.

Where did most of your money go?
travel, books, clothes, rent, bills

What song(s) will always remind you of 2015?
– Elastic Heart – Sia
– anything by Annelise Collette
– It’s In Her Eyes – manicanparty
– Better Days – RIVKA
– Out of Mind – Tove Lo

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– yoga
– barre
– long walks
– retreats at Stonehouse
– traveling
– 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
– messing around on the computer/iphone

What was your greatest musical discovery?
– Annaliese Collette
– Tove Lo
– RIVKA
– manicanparty

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 41. :O I went shopping at Target, put lights on the Christmas tree, ate lunch at Sakura (yummy) got a cupcake from Molly’s, and relaxed at home, chatting with Rena on Google Hangouts and playing TsumTsum on my phone.

How did you spend Christmas?
I spent it at home with my family. We opened gifts, then I read and napped and watched Aidan play video games the rest of the day. It was very relaxing and much needed.

How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
Most likely at home with Aidan and Adam. Maybe watching Dance Academy or Punky Brewster.

What did you want and get?
– a trip to Disney World
– a chance to meet Huntley Fitzpatrick and loads of other amazing authors
– critique partners for my book
– a new good friend

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
– an agent

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?
I won’t even mention his name here. Ugh.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
The work never stops.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
– Yoga pants and long tee-shirts or tank tops.
– Skinny jeans and boots.
– Leggings. Lots of leggings.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
– Disney World
– Anderson’s YA Lit Conference

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? About the same.
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. I’ve been eating like crap. Still look good in the skinny jeans and leggings, though.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer. :)

In 2016, I am looking forward to:
– breaking out my new Happy Planner
– finishing revisions on my novel and getting it ready for submissions (eeeee!)
– starting a new novel
– discovering new music (thank you, Spotify!)
– travel
– making new friends
– getting back into my yoga practice

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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!!

a look back at 2013.

2013a

Was 2013 a good year for you?
For the most part, yes! Especially the first nine months. I was busy, productive, learning, making friends and being with friends, doing new things. The last three months, I dropped the ball, though. I started hiding, and breaking down. Still trying to climb back up from that….

What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
– was a movie extra in a feature film
– camped out in a tent
– became a certified yoga teacher (CYT-200)
– got sick from a fair ride
– rang in Christmas with friends and chosen family at a pancake party
– visited the Bahai Temple
– many sites in NYC: Columbus Circle, certain parts of Central Park, Grand Central Station, and more
– went to Six Flags
– rode X-Flight and Superman while at Six Flags
– rode rides at Disney World that I’d never ridden before (Dinosaur, Primeval Whirl, Voyage of The Little Mermaid)
– ALA conference
– beat LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 and 5-7 multiple times. I cheated but still.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
I wouldn’t say anyone close to me gave birth, but a lot of people I adore did have babies and that’s always fun to see.

Did anyone close to you die?
Adam’s friend from middle school passed away. It was an eye opener because she was younger than me. She was a peer. I’m at the age where my peers are dying and it’s not necessarily because of a disease or an accident. It’s scary and sad.

What countries did you visit?
None. Dammit. I have GOT to fix this.

What date(s) from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don’t have particular dates in my head. Just lots of general memories.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
– I got my certification to teach yoga. I am a certified yoga teacher.
– I survived two long days on the set of Divergent, in uncomfortable conditions, and still decided I wanted to do more of that.
– I had a goal to read 75 new books. I read 96 new books.

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?
Yes. I had some colds and a pretty icky virus during the summer. Also had a trip to the ER in late July. Eventually I will need surgery. I’m trying to put that off as long as I can.

Where did most of your money go?
Disney trips, clothes, books, and gifts.

What song(s) will always remind you of 2013?
Royals – Lorde
Grins – Charli XCX
Lies – Marina & The Diamonds
Send Me Down – HAIM
Crave You (Adventure Club Remix) – Flight Facilities
Perfume – Britney Spears
I See You – Luke Brian
Claire de Lune – Flight Facilities
anything by The Piano Guys or Lindsey Stirling

What do you wish you’d done more of?
– writing
– yoga
– riding my exercise bike
– moving my body in general
– learning
– traveling
– acting
– interpersonal interaction
– personal reflection
– journaling

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?
This kind of music that’s sometimes called “chill step.” It’s dub step, but not as intense or fast. I love it. Blackmill is a great example of really good chill step. I also fell in love with Charli XCX, Haim, Lorde, and more. I really like female vocalists, and if they’re a little different? Even better.

What did you want and get?
– macarons from Laduree
– a trip to New York City
– to take my mom to Disney World
– to be an extra in Divergent
– to meet Gaston at Disney World
– new jewelry from Tiffany

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

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 39. (Seriously, how am I 39?) I hung out with Aidan. I got really cool gifts, and ate Harold’s chicken for dinner. It was a pretty good day.

What kept you sane?
– books, books, books
– yoga
– as much sleep as possible

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

What political issue stirred you the most?
The Affordable Care Act

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
– a feeling of terrified excitement in relation to a new experience usually means that whatever’s coming is going to be amazing and epic
– depression has a much stronger and scarier hold on me than I realized
– taking a job below my skill set and pay grade when I don’t have to will make me resentful and sad
– giving generously is very liberating
– having too much stuff is making me feel claustrophobic and weighed down. it’s time to seriously declutter.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
– Yoga clothes: leggings, capris, tanks, legwarmers. The brighter the better.
– Skinny jeans and boots.
– Denim jackets, yes please.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to spend more time on the Divergent set. Being able to do more acting in general.

In 2014, I am looking forward to traveling, taking photos, learning new things, amazing new experiences, visiting friends, meeting new people and making new friends, discovering new music, reading new books, and just living life. BRING IT! :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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