You did really well for the first attempt, and I agree that it's great to have a beautiful live-in model to practice with.
I've had my ring for several months and am very happy with it, except for the mounting bracket. I got a Vagabond too and find that the combination makes a great traveling set up.
There are many ways to use it besides having the model close to the background for that shadow. I used it as main light , with sunlight coming in as a rim hair light in the window shot, and as the main light in a very dark abandoned stable. Meter the camera to use the ambiant light behind her and adjust the flash for as much light as you need for the effect you are looking for.