Things I Loved In 2017 + What I’m Excited About In 2018

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Y'all don't even know how good it felt taking these last two weeks off! Seriously, I feel refreshed, re-inspired, and ready to tackle the world! While I didn't “unplug” I did let go of a rigid schedule. I focused these last two weeks on doing what I felt like doing rather than sticking with the same old schedule that was feeling a little too routine and confining. What did that look like?

Lots of random mid-day dance parties, wayyyy too much Broad City while eating Trader Joe's chicken nuggets, and lotssss of time with my feet in the sand at the beach. Oh and meditating every. single. day. again! Which is something I haven't done since I started working for myself in 2014! Oh and crystals! Lots and lots of crystals (more on all the fun woo-woo stuff to come, don't worry!). It's been inspiring to say the least and I can't wait to share it all with you in the coming weeks! In the meantime, stay tuned to the bottom of this post where I make three BIG announcements for this year!!

But now, here are things I loved from 2017 as told by top TCM posts from 2017!

Doing Nothing

I loved slowing down last year and giving myself space when I needed it – and I guess you guys did too because it's one of my top 10 posts from 2017! While the post kind of started out as a joke, it's all too true. and the last tidbit of advice in that post is exactly how I tried to live the final weeks of 2017 and let me tell you, it paid off! I wrote 7 posts one afternoon (over 6,000 words!) in under five hours! Sometimes doing nothing is exactly what we need to do! —> Read here: 12 Things To Do When You Don't Want To Do Anything


Another super popular post from last year was my 7 steps to manifest anything you desire! Which I'm THRILLED to be bringing you even more of in the coming year! Manifesting is a skill I've been practicing for as long as I can remember and recently, I've been working on letting go of some really big blocks that have been holding me back. I've noticed my vibe rising and my life changing just from these subtle shifts and I'm excited to take you all on this journey of what I'm learning and how you can apply it to your life too!

manifestation quotes, manifest, law of attraction, manifest abundance, affirmations

Getting Real About Women's Issues

2017 was the year of the woman they say! With the growing concern about female contraception being covered, the pay gap, and of course the #metoo movement, I was really excited to partner with my friends at Hancock Regional Hospital on their women empowerment site and bring you guys some content I had really been wanting to write: my fears about pregnancy, my fears about having kids, and what happened to my body when I went off birth control! I'm excited to keep sharing more in the coming months.

Feeling Defeated & Depleted

#Truth: 2017 was a hard AF year in a lot of ways. I spent most of it extremely angry, resistant, and feeling defeated and depleted by life. The news broke my heart, but I couldn't turn it off. I struggled with a heavy existential crisis where I felt like having this platform of TCM I needed to help bring awareness to issues like (in no particular order) #NetNeutrality, gun violence, saving the elephants, natural disasters, my alma mater being forced to host a Neo-Nazi (check out the inspiring video my friend shared while there – you can fast forward to the four minute mark to start), and so much more.

Honestly, I felt paralyzed by what to do most days and it felt silly to write about some topics in the midst of such pain. So why is this feeling on my “things I loved” list? Because it gave me the opportunity to re-ground in gratitude. To take action and find my own inspiration. To fight back and become stronger!

That was a heavy last one, so here's a puppy picture to cheer you up ?

Adulting for a decade

I turned 28 last year! And probably one of my favorite posts of all time to write was the advice I'd give my 18 year-old self. I cried while I wrote that post and it'll probably always be a favorite. I've learned so much these last few years from how to clean to letting go of harmful communication tactics. With a decade of adulting under my belt, I can't help but feel nostalgic… and also like I'm in for round 2 of a quarter life crisis haha! There's so much I accomplished that I'm proud of, and so much that didn't turn out like I expected. It's all beautiful in it's own way though and I'm excited to see what the next decade holds.

First year of marriage!!

E and I celebrated our first year of marriage in 2017! Honestly, it didn't feel like it though. Ever since we spent time together for the first time, it's always felt like we've been together for years. So the first year of marriage honestly felt like all the other years we've been together. We did finally take our honeymoon to Kauai and Maui which were beautiful islands and we got our little Tucker which has been an amazing journey.

rachel ritlop eric dresdale wedding

Movies, TV, Books, OH MY!

If you know me – like really know me – you know that I LOVE tv and movies! I actually wanted to be a director or an actress when I was a kid! Depending what's going on in my life, I'll watch TV at least 7 hours a day, but sometimes as many as 12! There are very few things I haven't seen which is why I loved rounding up some of my favorite movies to get us all through the quarter life crisis. Movies and tv aside, I also love to read and enjoyed sharing some of my favorite memoirs by women with you all! Some of my other favorites from this year include:

Just a few TV Shows I LOVED watching in 2017:

Netflix: The OA (shout out Katherine from Slightly Savvy [PR maven, check her site out here] for turning me onto it – another one of her suggestions I loved was The Mist ), Santa Clarita Diet (Stop everything you're doing because this show is AMAZING – just get past the opening scene!), Rivderdale, Fuller House honestly seems like it gets better season after season, The Good Place, Atypical, 13 Reasons Why, Glow, disjointed, Arrested Development, Master of None, Jane the Virgin, Vandal, Mindhunter, and Grace & Frankie… and Netflix, I love you!

HBO: My beloved Girls ended this year and I'm still recovering from it… but I am loving Insecure and Big Little Lies! Other favorites from years past holding strong in 2017: Silicon Valley, Ballers, Game of Thrones, ohhh basically just HBO I Love you.

HULU: Prison Break coming back (Fox), Blackish (ABC), The Good Place, Younger (Hulu), This Is Us (NBC), You're The Worst (FXX — stop everything you're doing and go watch this show if you haven't!!!), Broad City (Comedy Central), The Handmaid's Tale, The Good Wife, 30 Rock

We moved!

After living on the beach for four years and loving every second of it, followed by a new apartment that left me feeling miserable. I couldn't help but wonder if I'd ever find a place I loved as much as our beach apartment. BUT NOW… now we are a half a mile from the beach, with tons of natural light, and three times the space for our little family to grow! It was also the first time in all of my adult years getting to decorate a home (all our places were previously furnished)! I was thrilled to share our home tour series with you all last year and hope you picked up some inspo for your own home!

Connecting With Brands For Sponsored Posts

Honestly, while I had a couple of hiccups with brands last year (definitely could've used Slightly Savvy's post on “What To Do When A Brand Wants To MicroManage Your Partnership” last year)!

But even through those learning experiences,  I have to say overall I worked with some of the most amazing brands and absolutely loved connecting with brands for sponsored posts! They truly gave me creative freedom to share the stories I wanted to share that I knew you guys would love! Like this post on How To Start Repairing Your Credit Score, or sharing about the amazing non-profit, Forte Foundation in these posts to help empower women to step into leadership roles! I had so much fun and met some amazing people through these opportunities!

Celebrating my first year blogging!

Honestly, launching TCM has been one of the most wonderful, unexpected, gifts of my life. From the lightbulb moment to launching it, a total of 48 hours transpired! I had no idea what I was doing or what I envisioned it's future would be, but it has truly taken over my business in the most beautiful way. The blog has shifted my focus from general business coaching to blog consulting.

It's allowed me to meet amazing people, open my mind up, and inspire me. Through it, I've also reconnected and begun accepting a creative side of myself I had rejected for 20 years! So for all of that, I have to say a major thank you to each and every one of you reading right now. You've allowed me to now only turn a dream into a fulfilling career, but also helped me begin to accept and love myself.  I feel so blessed and have the deepest gratitude for each and every one of you.

Read about the Lessons I Learned From My First Year Blogging

Millennial blogger shares life lessons from her first year blogging - the confused millennial

So, what am I excited about for 2018?

AHH so many things! Connecting even MORE with you guys is definitely number one! Which is why I'm excited to announce a few things I have in the works:

1) My Pinterest E-Course is currently ON PRE-SALE!

So many of you have asked for ecourses in my reader survey and not all of you are ready to invest in my blog consulting packages, which is why I'm excited to start rolling out a series of blogging courses in the coming year(s). It won't have everything that my blog coaching programs offer, but it'll help you tackle niche specific things that might be holding you back!

Grab The Confused Millennial's Guide To Pinterest NOW!  I am thrilled for you guys to see just how I exploded my Pinterest traffic from around 2,000-4,000 pageviews per month to over 16k!!

NOTE: I discontinued the course due to Pinterest updates, now I recommend this course which is FABULOUS!

And my students are seeing the same results! Just check out what Katherine had to say:

“Your Pinterest stats are major #goals, and I was going to email you this, but I want to comment so everyone knows. I've been loosely following your Pinterest course (I'm still getting in the groove of everything, getting organized, re-doing some pins, re-watching your videos, etc.) and I've nearly TRIPLED my blog traffic from last week. Major win for me! So excited to continue this growth. :)”

>>> Sign Up For TCM's Guide To Pinterest NOW! <<<

2) Launching The Confused Millennial's PODCAST!

That's right you guys!! I'm THRILLED to be sharing this with you all! It's officially coming to you in February, so just one more month! In the mean time, start sending me your questions!! A lot of your already submit questions for the “Ask Rachel” portion of the blog, and not all of them work as a blog post, so this is going to be a fun way to answer allllll your questions about alllllll the topics! I have some exciting surprises for you in the podcast too, but more on that when it officially launches!

The audio experience is officially liveeee! Click here for ALL the details!

3) I'm going to Shaman School!!!

I've been pretty hush hush about this – but a big part of my time off last month was reconnecting with my body, soul, and nature which led to a beautiful series of events and the decision to attend shaman school. Huge shout out to Jordan from The Balanced Blonde for always inspiring me and helping me see my path from a far.

I'll be sharing more about the path, but for those of you who don't know, some background on my connection to Jordan and what an impact she's had on my career: It was probably 2014 when I reconnected with an old friend from college, the Mrs. of Mr. & Mrs. Adventure (check out their episode on The Inspiring Millennials Series here), and we were talking about our lives, fears, and what we hoped for our futures. She told me I had to check out The Balanced Blonde who had recently transitioned away from being The Blonde Vegan which led to some pretty horrible attacks and backlash towards her.

Watching Jordan continue to move forward despite the amount of hatred she faced was a BIG reason I found the courage to launch TCM. I don't always follow her blog regularly or super closely, but whenever I feel called to it things just start clicking for me. In December, an episode of her podcast from AUGUST randomly auto-played with Shaman Colleen of Style RitualsA lot had happened that week leading up that moment, which I'll be sharing more about in the future, but it felt like such a lightbulb going off! I spent a lot of last month meditating on whether or not shaman school was my next move, and I'm thrilled to announce it seems to be! I'm not sure how or if I'll bring any of this into TCM so stay tuned.

I will be integrating more spiritual and woo-woo posts though in the coming weeks since so many of you asked for more wellness and mental health content and for me, spiritual practices – not rooted in religion – are a big part of my mental health journey.


And last, but certainly not least, I just need to thank each and every one of you! Thank you for reading, sharing, liking, commenting, and supporting me on this journey! I've grown so much through this journey, and that's all because YOU have given me the space to do so! So thank you, thank you, thank you!

I can't wait to share all the new things with this year! Don't forget to drop me your questions/topic suggestions for the podcast or any random thoughts in the comments!