3. Cozy

We’ve finally hit that period in the winter when it’s just COLD. This year has actually been better than previous years, thanks to El Nino, but it’s still Minnesota, which means I’m keeping myself bundled up as much as possible. At this time of year, I love to cozy up in my fave warm clothing, with a blanket on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book, or my knitting needles. I haven’t had a lot of time to do that thanks to adult responsibilities and my toddler, but I’m hopeful that I’ll get some time to cuddle up in the house soon.

In case you aren’t following me on IG or Twitter (why aren’t you following me?) I have big news - I started an Etsy shop! Honestly I’ve wanted to do it for at least two years, but fear has stopped me every time. I had every worry - what if no one bought anything, what if people don’t like it, there are tons of people selling knits online so why would they buy mine, etc. But you know how the Universe conspires to bring you what your heart desires most? Well the Universe sent me messages through Cyndie Spiegel and Monique Malcolm (via last year’s Compact Camp), that gave me confidence to push through my fear. But the biggest push came courtesy of my friend network. After I posted a pic of a slouchy beanie that I made myself, eight different women reached out and asked me to make them one too! That was the Universe telling me “it’s go time” and so on January 2nd, I pushed that “Open Shop” button on Etsy and made it happen, yay!

My shop is JTM Knits and you can find it here - JTM Knits on Etsy

I’m continuing to add my inventory as I work through the hats on my backlog. My plan is also offer kids sizes as well!

Things I read this week:

Ellen DeGeneres And The Limits Of Relatability (Buzzfeed)

An Ode to Res’ Debut Album, How I Do (The Root)

Missy Elliott Will Be the First Woman in Hip-Hop Inducted to the Songwriter Hall of Fame (Vulture)

Career Advice From Crystal, the World’s Best-Dressed Operations Manager (Man Repeller)

Day care saved my motherhood (Motherly)

WTF? - my office is requiring us to disclose all medications we take (Ask A Manager)

Middle School Teachers Are Saints  (Very Smart Brothas)

✊ - Cops Can't Force People to Unlock Their Phones With Biometrics, Court Rules (Gizmodo)

Almost all of the actresses who’ve played Cleopatra have been white. But was she? (Vox)

Savage X Fenty Responds to Criticism That They're Selling Different Styles to Straight- and Plus-Size Customers (Teen Vogue)

Timely advice - Ask the Bitches: How Do I Prepare for a Recession? (Bitches Get Riches)

Driving Uber, freelancing, babysitting: shutdown workers scramble for cash (Vox)

The Unique Racial Dynamics of the L.A. Teachers' Strike (The Atlantic)

40 Self-Care Ideas For People Who Aren't Really Into Sheet Masks And Baths (Buzzfeed)

Totally implementing at least half of this list - 15 Tips From Marie Kondo That Have Genuinely Changed My Life (Buzzfeed)

Everything You Think You Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome Is Probably Wrong (Lifehacker)

A Call-In To White Feminists About "Surviving R. Kelly" (BUST)

R. Kelly and the Cost of Black Protectionism (The Atlantic)

Why Gillette’s toxic masculinity ad is annoying both sexists and feminists (Vox)

Romper Room: Serena Williams Serves a New Spin on Her Famed Catsuit at the Australian Open (The Root)

How Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody Became This Year’s Oscar Villains (Vulture)

No One Is an Influencer If Everyone Is an Influencer (Jezebel)

‘Intensive’ Parenting Is Now the Norm in America (The Atlantic)

The Racial Wealth Gap Could Become a 2020 Litmus Test (The Atlantic)

White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It's not  (The Guardian)

CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS - Mother of All Breaches Exposes 773 Million Emails, 21 Million Passwords (Gizmodo)

The Family Behind OxyContin Is Accused Of Pushing The Drug To Get Rich (Buzzfeed)

The best thing I read this week - Is Sunscreen the New Margarine? (Outside)

Things I loved this week:

The Tina Snow EP from Megan Thee Stallion - it’s been in constant rotation on my Spotify

Deadly Class on Syfy - I enjoyed the pilot so much that I had to get my hands on the comics!

I’m in love with the Twerk video (and free JT!)

You need to get into two new podcasts: The Nicole Walters Podcast and Ratchet and Respectable

SOCKS! I got a lot of socks for Christmas and it’s amazing how new socks are like an event - or maybe I’m just a weirdo LOL

On deck for next week:

Knitting, knitting and more knitting! Otherwise trying to stay warm!

Have a great week!

2. Vision

Remember when vision boards became a thing, like ten years ago? I think I learned about them when that terrible book The Secret came out. I decided to try it out, cause it couldn’t hurt right?

I made my first vision board when I lived in Orlando. Back then my board had pics of cities I could see myself living in, a pic of Black brides I snagged from Essence, Black couples, etc. And then I put it up in my bedroom, where I could see it everyday. And then things started to happen. First I moved back to Minneapolis - one of the cities on my board. I started dating more. It took some time, but eventually LM slid in my DMs, and then I became a bride.

At the start of 2016, I made a new board - this one had pics of houses, SUVs, money (like stacks of cash), vacations and a little Black baby. I stuck it right next to my bed, so when I woke up in the morning & before I went to bed, I saw it. Within months, I had a new SUV, then we went on vacation to Italy…and then I came back to find I was pregnant. The house didn’t come until the end of 2017 and the money came in May 2018, when I got my new job.

So it’s safe to say that vision boards work, at least for me. I’m a believer. I’m a believer in the Law of Attraction, of focusing on what you want to manifest in your life. I spent the last week of 2018 going through my old issues of O Magazine (and buying a few others) so I could put together this year’s vision board. This year I decided to stick common things together, so I have a section on health & wellness, a section on family (with a picture of a baby boy!), a section for entrepreneurial wealth, a section for travel and a middle section to remind myself how awesome I am.

I’m excited to see what will manifest in 2019 and beyond.

Things I read this week:

When A Billionaire Needs A Boss: The Story Of The Jimmy John's Sandwich Empire (Forbes)

How Comments Became the Best Part of Instagram (The Atlantic)

Hennepin County’s first black commissioner swears in on 'The New Jim Crow' (City Pages)

Scientists Have Figured Out How Endometriosis Causes Infertility (Buzzfeed)

If only more of us were so lucky - Woman With Rare Medical Condition Unable to Hear Men's Voices  (Jezebel)

NFL hires in the Rooney Rule era As a new round of head coaches is hired this offseason, we look at the league’s push for equality and what the data reveal (The Undefeated)

Exclusive: New Report Shows Gentrifiers Use Police to Terrorize Communities of Color—Without Even Calling 911 (Jezebel)

Kamala Harris Wasn’t Raised to Talk About Herself (The Cut)

Michael has a lot of student debt, and he’s trying to free himself from it the only way he knows how: getting another degree. (Buzzfeed)

Sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown granted clemency after 15 years in prison (Vox)

These Heroes Are Saving Black Feminist Classics by Putting Them on Wheels (Teen Vogue)

Career Contessa's Best Advice for 2019 (Career Contessa)

The Ghosts of Best-Of Lists Past (MEL Magazine)

“Just Treat Me Like Any Other Mother”: What Queer-Affirming Doulas Can Provide New LGBT Parents (Autostraddle)

Who Doesn't Want Trees? Lots of Detroit Residents, and They Have a Good Reason (Gizmodo)

Rising Esports Star, 'Ellie,' Was Just Some Dude Pretending to Be a Woman (Jezebel)

FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE - my coworkers complained that the look of my breasts post-mastectomy is making them uncomfortable (Ask A Manager)

Sandra Oh’s Golden Globes Speech Is a Master Class in Parental Gratitude (Vulture)

Christian Bale Brings Back Real Accent, Thanks Satan in Globes Acceptance Speech (Vulture)

$16,000 first-class seats sold for $675. Errors like these are more common than you’d think. (Vox)

This Woman Is Making Shawls Sexy, I Swear to You (The Cut)

Things I loved this week:

I know I’m late to the party, but I’m really digging Canva - it’s really easy to use and there are so many options for a wide variety of things to design, elements to use, etc.

Last week I took a tour of The Coven, a community and co-working space for women and non-binary people in Minneapolis. I instantly fell in love with it - it’s a gorgeous space that has lots of amenities and it feels like an awesome community. They’ve recently added a Social membership tier and I’m thisclose to signing up. I’m going to use my guest pass to get some work done, and if I love it as much as I expect, I’m signing up.

Looking forward to next week:

Just gonna be knitting and hanging with my little family….maybe have some tequila & girl talk with my friend C. Have a great week!

1. A New Year

2018 is now in the history books and 2019 has begun!

I spent my NYE at home, a little #NetflixAndChill with the husband. Smartest thing we did was put Phi to bed at her normal time, so we could get a little alone time .Facebook Memories reminded me of the NYEs of past - the year I partied in Atlanta (and made some bad life choices); the year I hosted a party & then drunkenly sent the Vegas dude an “I still love you” text - and it made me thankful that I can just chill at home for the new year, with my little family.

I also worked on my vision board and finished it on NYE, so I started 2019 full of intentions that will manifest throughout the year.

The holidays are over and we’re back to our normal routines, and it feels good!

Things I read this week:

I’d never heard of Robinhood but I’m fascinated by story of a launch that failed so epicly - The Epic Rise, And Fast Fall, Of Robinhood (3% “Checking and Savings”) (Chief Mom Officer)

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Was Supposed To Change The World With "Lean In." So What Went Wrong? (Buzzfeed)

My secret dream is to be a pop culture critic, so I loved this - Why cultural criticism matters (Vox)

I Watched 365 Movies in 2018, Even Though Nobody Asked Me to (Jezebel)

The Best Skin-Care Trick Is Being Rich (The Atlantic)

This hoe is crazy - A Mom Refused To Pay Her Babysitter Because She Got Ice Cream And 'Easy Kids' (Buzzfeed)

I’ve counseled hundreds of victims of gaslighting. Here’s how to spot if you’re being gaslighted. (Vox)

The Women of the New Congress Dressed to Honor Their Roots at Their Swearing-in Ceremonies  (Jezebel)

When A Billionaire Needs A Boss: The Story Of The Jimmy John's Sandwich Empire (Forbes)

Emergency medical responders confront racial bias (NPR News)

Things I loved this week:

I listen to a lot of podcasts, and i’m really picky. I love a podcast that has a good story, I don’t go for the shows where the hosts just talk to each other (with the exception of The Read). This week I listened to the first four episodes of the Nicole Walters podcast and I am full on obsessed! I’ve been following her on social media for a couple of years, and I knew bits and pieces of her story, but it was really refreshing to hear her tell her story about her family, moving into entrepreneurship, and being successful as an entrepreneur. Even if you don’t have (or don’t want) your own business, I think you’d find something valuable in her episodes.

A few months ago I read a roundup of Black skincare brands, and I discovered Base Butter. When I checked out their website, I was delighted to see they offer free samples of their Radiate Face Jelly moisturizer, so I placed an order to try it out. I got 3 sample packages, and each package has enough for 3-4 applications, so I could use it several times. I loved it so much that I ordered a full size bottle, and it’s become a staple in my skin care routine. Beyond being an awesome product, the customer service was top-notch. Definitely recommend!

Looking forward to next week:

Phi turns 2 on Sunday! I’m going to make her a birthday cake from scratch, and we’ll celebrate with a trip to Sea Life at Mall of America. I can’t believe my kid in 2!

Have a great week!

Weekly Rewind, Vol. 7-10 - I've Been Gone For A Good Reason!


It's been a MINUTE since I've written here, but I have a good excuse - we bought a house! Ultimately we ended up closing a bit later than we expected, but once we closed, everything moved into hyperspeed. We moved into our house a week after we closed, and since then we've been unpacking and getting settled. So that's what I've been doing instead of writing here each week, but I REALLY miss this space, so I'm back!

High of the past weeks: Moving into our very first house is top of the list of highs - it's been an interesting experience, but I'm really happy we've taken this step. And strangely, I really fee like an adult now, even more than when I got married or had BabyPi. Along with moving, we also saw Black Panther twice, which was everything I needed and wanted plus more. 


Stuff I've read over the past weeks:

Currently working on: Finding furniture and decor for our new house! 

Have a great week everyone!





Weekly Rewind, Vol. 6 - Olympics!

Photo credit:  Kevin Dooley , CC BY 2.0

Photo credit: Kevin Dooley, CC BY 2.0

Last Sunday was the Super Bowl and I was never so happy to see it come and go! I was...interesting to live and work in a city with the Super Bowl - I didn't partake in as much stuff, it was freezing, and I read later that some of the expensive parties were a ripoff. But my commute is back to normal, so yay! Now the Winter Olympics are in full swing, and I'm watching all the sports that I only see every 4 years - luge, biathlon, speed skating, curling, etc. 

High of the week: Got some REALLY great news - can't share details just yet but hopefully I will be able to share in next week's post.

Low of the week:  YOU GUYS, I had an ORDEAL this week that proved to me that changing your name is bullshit - I mean, I knew it was bullshit but this week proved it.

I discovered I have an old 401k from a job from 5yrs ago that I never did anything with. I'm a real adult now, so I figured I'd finally do something with it. Except I can't because the account is under my maiden name which is no longer my legal name. So I need to get it changed...which means I have to contact the Benefits center for my old company from 5yrs ago and get them to change it.

In order to do that, I either need to sit on the phone for 30+mins or I can try to recover my login details for the online system. I manage to recover my sign-in ID (yay!), but then I struggle a bit trying to reset my password. Manage to finally get that done and login...and then discover that I can only change address/email/phone online - to change my name I have to call. So I hop BACK on the phone and wait the 30+mins and get a very nice young man, who tells me they have to MAIL me a form to fill out. Luckily I can email it back to them with proof of my name change and then they will change it and then finally it will change with Fidelity.

If I had kept my damn name this wouldn't have been an issue. It was my choice to change my name, and I do like it, but I don't like the extra hassles that changing my name has caused, especially for stuff that I had completely forgotten about.

Anyway, how was everyone's week???

What I read this week:

Current pursuits: All things interior decorating! I'm trying to learn as much as I can, and look at all the pretty things on IG/Pinterest to get ideas and inspiration. If you have sites/tools that you love, please send them my way!