41. Winter Is Coming (In Minnesota)

Photo by  Aaron Wilson  on  Unsplash

Happy Friday!

Today I woke up to temps near freezing, and a weather report that mentioned a blizzard, a winter storm warning, and 7 days of temps in the 40s. Yup, winter is coming back to Minnesota and making an early appearance. The Twin Cities will only see flurries, but it’s only a matter of time before we have our first storm of the season. Hopefully this year it can hold off until after Halloween!

It’s been quite a week for me - in the same week we learned our water heater needed to be replaced, and our toddler came down with Influenza A. I actually had her scheduled for a flu shot last week…and then she got sick the day before her appointment! Luckily I’ve already received my flu shot this season so I’m feeling good despite the level of germs in our house. This is your reminder to get yourself and family members a flu shot, especially if you’re expecting!

What I Read This Week:

Sports Illustrated was sold recently, and their new owners are turning what was once an amazing site into a content mill (and laying off half the staff)

This piece from The Atlantic sums up quite nicely how I’ve been feeling about the technical challenges on The Great British Baking Show

Halloween costume inspo from Queen Bey

Post-Great Recession, housing wealth is transferring from families to corporations at alarming rates

Glamour made a list of all the fashion brands that have introduced plus sizes in 2019

Get into these essential pop-culture podcasts

I love this oral history of Lizzo’s rise to fame, and that it came courtesy of Minneapolis - St. Paul Magazine

I read this story about a girl suspended after raising the alarm at her school about rape, and it instantly reminded me of this great episode from The Cut on Tuesdays about whisper networks

The most prolific serial killer in US history was allowed to thrive for decades because he targeted women of color

Gabrielle at Design Mom has been documenting the process of moving her family to France - out of the series, this post on how to get visas was the most informative for me.

As a mom of a young child (and with one on the way), I relate so hard to this letter from Motherly

Turns out that you can inherit two copies of the same chromosome from one parent, and it’s more common than researchers thought.

If you’ve ever spent time on The Knot and wondered how they got started, this is the podcast episode for you

Other Stuff:

If you’re one of the awesome people who provided your email address for my email list, you probably have some mail in your inbox :-) I’d love some feedback on format - I’m trying out the Email Campaigns option on Squarespace.

If you haven’t signed up for my email list - what are you waiting for? Check out the right sidebar to subscribe to my email list!

Have a fabulous weekend!

40. Thoughts on Blogging


I started blogging way back in 2004 simply cause it was new cool thing and I needed an outlet and escape from the stress of grad school. The mid-2000s were the wild west for blogging and it felt like everyone got into the game and had a story to tell. By the end of the decade I was reading a ton of personal blogs and really enjoying them, along with continuing my own blog.

And then a few years later, I looked up and everyone just…stopped writing. At least the people that I read. And the few folks that were still writing were getting really big, and posting less, and more sponsored content. Now in 2019, the personal blog/essay landscape looks totally different than what it once was. I was reminded of this time period when I read “The 4 Personal Blogs I Still Keep Up With In 2019” on Man Repeller,.

When I started writing again, I enjoyed having a place to share my story. But over the course of the year I’ve become more and more wary. There are so many bloggers who share their lives online for clicks and retweets and sponsored content contracts, and it ends up as fodder for GOMI and r/blogsnark. Even innocuous things become things that people speculate on, or outright rip you to shreds over. There are a lot of bloggers/influencers who are out here pimping out their lives/kids/etc to make a buck but there are others who shared an organic story that others connected with on some level. This Buzzfeed piece highlights a lot of what I’ve been thinking about how much I share of myself, not only here, but on other websites where I’ve written for pay. I’m nowhere as famous as the people mentioned in that piece, or those gossiped about on r/blogsnark, but I am a person who’s shared some personal stuff with The Internets. Overall I’ve pulled back on how much I share in general - my IG has been a wasteland over the past few months with sporadic posts and zero stories. I share when I feel like, and right now, I’m not really interested in sharing much with folks. I’m definitely not interested in fame or fortune.

So who knows what will become of this space. Maybe it will just hold link roundups and the occasional thought I need to get out into the world.

Things I Read This Week:

Deadspin advocates for a shorter workweek and I really can’t disagree with their assessment

Apparently the BBC won’t allow you to say Trump is racist on air…interesting…

A designer has launched a new effort to make architecture schools less white

Who’s your emergency contact? Emergency services professionals have some suggestions for helping you choose the right person

I legit do not understand this story that’s basically the plot for The Orphan

What happens when DNA genealogy websites start sharing their databases with law enforcement?

Who else is a fan of DaBaby? He’s having a GREAT year

Gigi Hadid was NOT here for this runway crasher!

I love this story about burning a bridge when quitting a job - we need more of these!

White people have got to be stopped from doing white people things

Jemele Hill thinks Black athletes are finally starting to understand the power they hold

I listen(ed) to almost all the podcasts on this list of influential nonfiction podcasts, and they remind me why i got into the podcast genre

Poor poor kale, the saddest leafy green

I like and appreciate this marriage advice from divorced women

Gucci Mane serving as the brand ambassador for Gucci’s Cruise 2020 collection is the most 2019 ever (and long overdue!)

Other Stuff:

It’s getting cold! Fall is in full swing here in Minnesota which means it’s time for a trip to the corn maze and the pumpkin patch! Hopefully we can carve out some time to do that soon.

I think I’m going to need new winter boots this year - any recommendations? Given my “delicate condition” (lol) I need something that I can slip on, since the odds of me being able to bend over and get my boots on and off will be slim to none by the end of winter.

Guess who has finished exactly ONE winter hat so far? I gotta do better.

And finally, RIP to a true icon and legend, Diahann Carroll. Your examples of class, poise, and shadiness live on.


37. Look It Up

Photo by   rawpixel.com   from   Pexels

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels


Happy Friday friends!

To know me is to know that I’m an information junkie. I love knowledge and learning new things. As a kid I loved reading, and the thing I loved to read the most was our set of World Book Encyclopedias. Legit, I was really into it! We don’t have encyclopedias anymore, but we do have Wikipedia - I have happily wasted 2 hours of my life at a time, tumbling down a Wikipedia rabbit hole as I learn about things I’ve always wondered about, or discovered something new.

I was reminded that I’m just “different” from folks on Wednesday, when I saw a tweet from a young flight attendant who didn’t know that TSA was created as a direct response to the events of 9/11. Their justification was that “flight attendant education didn’t teach them that”.

Everyone might not be as curious as I am, but I found it so weird to only know things because you’re taught them in a school setting. I learn new things everyday thanks to my phone and Google Assistant. Seriously, I use it at least 10 times a day - I start my day asking Google what the forecast is, and I’m off to the races after that. Just this week I asked Google what Whoopi Goldberg’s birth name is, who owns the different Premier League teams, and when This Is Us premieres. William and I regularly whip out our phones to look something up to settle a bet, or to reference an actor’s IMDB page.

Seriously yall, there’s too much information out here for folks to walk around ignorant, or just having questions. Just look it up, or send it to me and I’ll look it up, cause I’ve probably wanted to know the answer myself.

Things I Read This Week:

It’s almost time for new fall shows, and Vulture has a roundup of the best new shows to watch this fall

The Wing sounds like a really terrible place for Black women

I love this roundtable discussion on protective hairstyles

Ask A Manager shared a great Q&A with a transgender woman about her experience in the workplace

Several outlets are reporting that LEEP procedures could be the cause of sexual dysfunction in many women

This week’s life tip: How to wash your “hand wash only” clothes

A woman took an AncestryDNA test and wound up reuniting with the “anonymous” cord blood donor that saved her life

If you haven’t read the Caroline Calloway story yet, you must cause it’s WILD

Uber & Lyft claim not to serve underage kids, but it’s not stopping teens from using the services

Best part of Designing Women? Julia Sugerbaker

This week I learned that Medicaid can (and will) take your loved one’s home to pay for nursing home care, and that feels incredibly wrong

Buzzfeed shared the emotional stories of women serving life in prison

Other Stuff:

This week is the “fun week” at my company - they bring in really cool speakers, we have tons of fun events and giveaways, and it all culminates in our big sales meeting. We all gather in the Target Center and spend the afternoon listening to speakers and enjoying performances. It’s my favorite time of year at work and it never disappoints. This year’s highlight was a talk with Elaine Welteroth, who I adore.

So this high school in Famington Hills, MI allows their students to dress up for their student ID pics, and I find this so adorable and charming! I love how the inspo ranges from celebs to memes to pop culture.

I just got over the worst cold in the history of colds, and I’m so happy I won’t be spending my entire weekend in bed, like I did last weekend. Beyond doing the normal adulting things, I’m going to take myself to go see Hustlers - I’m so excited that it’s finally out!

Enjoy your weekend friends!

36. Seven Years Later


Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week!

This Monday is my 7th anniversary with my current company. It’s also been 7 years since I made my career transition from laboratory chemist to data analyst. I’m really amazed that it’s been 7 years because it’s about 5 years longer than I expected to be here. When I first started, I thought I’d made a terrible decision - the culture was completely different than what I was used to, I was working in a completely new space, and frankly, the company wasn’t doing well. Things got really dire around the 2 year mark, between company issues and a terrible boss, and at my lowest point I considered walking away, even without a job, but my husband convinced me to stay. Then there was a time where I expected to be laid off along with 10% of our headquarters staff, but somehow I stayed on. Over time, things have gotten better, both for me and for my company.

Along the way, my life and priorities changed. In my 20s, all I cared about was my salary & vacation time, but as a married woman having babies, I care about maternity leave, flexible work arrangements, etc. The two biggest things that have kept me at my company are my benefits (including the maternity leave) and the way the entire corporate culture has evolved for the better in the last 5 years. I get to work with really smart, talented people each day, and I report to a leader who provides guidance but gives me autonomy, and I get to enact real change, which is very gratifying. I legit like what I work on, and I get to make meaningful changes that impact customers directly, which is really cool.

I’m not sure if I’ll make it to the 10 year mark at this company, just given our family priorities, but it’s been a great 7 years that have taught me so much. It hasn’t always been great, but overall it’s been a good 7 years. And frankly, I’m happy I left the lab when I did and made a career change.

Things I Read This Week:

The CEO of a Major Headhunting Firm Says the Best Resume He's Ever Seen Had These 6 Things (MSN)

Buyer Beware When Shopping on Amazon (Jezebel)

The Unspoken Hurdle of Getting Funding for Plus-Size Fashion Brands (Glamour)

The True Story Behind Mindhunter’s Atlanta Child Murders (Vulture)

The never-ending, very confusing battle for Etsy’s soul (Vox)

White-on-White Violence: How a Bedbug Diss Teaches Us Everything We Need to Know About White Male Fragility (The Root)

Chrissy Teigen wants her husband to take more pictures of her—and we can so relate (Motherly)

Kissing Ass At Miki Agrawal's Butt-Con (Jezebel)

Hollywood Almost Broke Renée Zellweger. Now She’s Back. (Vulture)

I Tried 7 Top-Rated Mascaras and Found the Very Best One (Man Repeller)

Don’t talk to me if you don’t want to talk about “Are You the One?’’ (Just Good Shit)

Do I Pay Off My Student Loans Or Save For Retirement? | Ask CMO And Ask The Readers (Chief Mom Officer)

Congress promised student borrowers a break — Then-Ed Dept. rejected 99 percent of them (MPR News)

Bachelor star 'begging' wife for sex 4 weeks after birth highlights sadly common problem (Motherly)

"Crazy Rich Asians" Writer Leaves Franchise Over Pay Disparity (BUST)

One year ago, Botham Jean was killed in his home. The ex-officer who shot him is about to go on trial. (Vox)

Other Stuff:

Anyone else a Steven Universe fan? This Monday was the premiere of Steven Universe The Movie, and in preparation, Carton Network did a marathon of the entire series…so I watched a lot of Steven Universe this holiday weekend! It’s such a great show - really touching and heartwarming but also really funny and entertaining! The movie was really great, a continuation of the story but with new songs and a new character as well. 10/10 would recommend.

I think I mentioned that this year my husband and I are following English Premier League. We’re now 4 weeks into the new season, and who’s team is on top? Mine! Liverpool is currently in the lead with 12pts and Man City (William’s team) is right behind them.

I’m really excited to see Serena Williams back in the US Open finals! I’m hoping she can get her 24th major this time.

Have a great weekend!

35. Nostalgia


I love pop culture - movies, music, TV, books, etc. I dig a lot of current stuff but over the past few months I’ve found myself gravitating towards music, movies and TV from the 80’s and 90’s - all the stuff I grew up on. I don’t know why I started doing this, I just got this urge to revisit all this old stuff I grew up on. Whatever the reason was, it makes me happy to revisit the things I loved in my childhood.

So that means in the car I’m listening to lots of New Jack Swing & 90’s R&B, introducing my daughter to Michael Jackson’s greatest hits, and revisiting all the music I loved in high school.

At home I’m watching of ton of old stuff like Designing Women (which is now on Hulu!) and Golden Girls reruns, cause I can’t get enough of 80s sitcoms with 4 ladies, LOL.

Things I Read This Week:

Why cashier’s checks are part of so many online scams (Vox)

Companies Are Realizing That Being Publicly Conservative Is Really Unpopular (Vice)

Getting Dressed Sucks When You’re Disabled. Where’s the Adaptive Clothing Boom? (MEL Magazine)

When Transgender Travelers Walk Into Scanners, Invasive Searches Sometimes Wait on the Other Side (ProPublica)

“It’s a F--king Scam”: Beware the Hollywood Con Queen (Vanity Fair)

The Fashion Industry Has a Plus-Size Problem. These Women Want to Fix It (Glamour)

Former Uber Employee Says 'Safe Rides Fee' Was the Rip-Off You Always Suspected (Gizmodo)

What I Learned by Printing Thousands of Pages of My Facebook Data (Slate Magazine)

Goodbye Popeye's Crispy Chicken Sandwich, We Hardly Knew Ye (Refinery29)

The Price of Being Fat (Teen Vogue)

Same-sex marriage in the US has been legal for years now, but queer couples still face wedding hurdles. Meet the planners who want to change that. (Buzzfeed News)

Why Big Movie Chains Won’t Show Martin Scorsese’s Netflix Epic (The Atlantic)

We may never know how many people have accidentally signed up to pay Rihanna $50 a month (Vox)

NFL Players Are Evolving. Fans Aren’t Keeping Up. (Vox)

Other Stuff:

Last weekend we made it to the Minnesota State Fair! The “Great Minnesota Get Together” is an institution - everyone goes to the fair. We’ve gone the last six years and I was really happy to keep the streak alive. Usually it’s hot and humid at the fair, but this year the weather was perfect - 75 and sunny with no humidity and a nice breeze. We got a chance to see a bunch of animals, visit a bunch of booths and eat a ton of food. Pregnancy means I couldn’t eat a few of my faves but I still got my fill of yummy treats on a stick.

How are you spending your Labor Day weekend? We’re heading to MI to visit my family and I can’t wait! We haven’t been home in almost a year and I’m so excited to see everyone and catch up.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!