9. Rescue Me

Remember when Snowmageddon was a thing? Well Minnesota is living through it’s own version of that right now and I AM OVER IT. February saw record snowfall, the snow banks are now taller than me, and if I had one more terrible commute cause idiots don’t slow down on the snow, I will lose it. I already took a warm weather vacation, which I greatly needed, so I need to figure out another way to deal with this never-ended winter. Maybe a staycation?

In the meantime, I’m knitting and working on a few things. Earlier in February, I sat on a career panel at work, and it went really well - so well, that multiple people have told me that I should be a speaker! It definitely has the wheels turning my head but as always, my imposter syndrome and fear is creeping in, but I want to explore it.

Things I read this week:

The Coming Care Crisis as Kids With Autism Grow Up (The Atlantic)

12 Of The Oldest Pictures From Black History In America (Buzzfeed)

employer requires women to wear perfect makeup — and writes them up if it’s smudged (Ask A Manager)

The Hard Lessons of Dianne Feinstein’s Encounter with the Young Green New Deal Activists (The New Yorker)

The Documentary Highlighting the Real Green Book (The Atlantic)

This Female Twitter Comic Was Actually a Man Pretending to Be His Own Wife (The Cut)

Another Gerber baby makes history!  (Motherly)

When Will Sex Work Finally Be Decriminalized? (Jezebel)

The Problem With a Fight Against Toxic Masculinity (The Atlantic)

Why One Dad Decided to Live on Expired Food for a Year — Food News (The Kitchn)

Sarah Cooper’s Non-Threatening Leadership Skills for Women! (The New Yorker)

Black Women in the Labor Movement Have Long Defended American Workers (Teen Vogue)

The Best Joke at This Year’s Oscars Was a Hidden One (Vulture)

An Open Letter To The American Left: Don’t Make The Mistakes We Did In Britain (Buzzfeed)

Why white school districts have so much more money (NPR)

The knitting community is reckoning with racism (Vox)

“I’m Afraid You’re Going To Die Because You’re Fat” (Fat Girl Flow)

What Happened When We Started a Feminism Club at Our Catholic Boys School (The Cut)

How Black Women Made GIFs Into a Language of Self-Expression (Broadly)

Things I loved this week:

This week I attended a Fireside chat with Melissa Butler, founder of The Lip Bar, presented by The Activate Network. It was a wonderful event and I picked up a lot of great gems from Melissa’s talk. I also got a chance to see some friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile.

For my Target run this week, I used their Drive Up service, which is incredibly clutch for anyone who has a small child. You use the Target app to order items, and select the “Drive Up” option when you check out. Then you just pull up and they bring it all out to your car! Also you can use Cartwheel deals for Order Pickup or Drive Up orders, which is a great bonus.

Have you seen the new Showtime show Black Monday? Its about the 1987 Wall St crash and tells the story of the year leading up to the crash from the perspective of one firm. I started watching because Don Cheadle is the lead, and I’d watch him act out paint drying, I love him so much. He’s great, as always, but I’m also really loving Regina Hall in the show as his righthand man/former GF. If you like Don Cheadle’s show House of Lies, you’ll love Black Monday.

Have a great week everyone!

Join Me For A No Shopping Challenge!

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There’s nothing like sitting down to pay bills to make you wonder “where did all the money go?”

I feel like I’ve been asking myself that question A LOT. And I know where it’s going - it’s going to things, that take up space and clutter up my house. I look around and I see things that I wanted in the moment, but I didn’t really need. And don’t get me started on all the clothes and shoes that I’ve bought over the years, that I either don’t wear or have given away.

I need a change, and to start making some good money habits, so why not start by committing to not shop for one month? That means not succumbing to those “sale” emails, no strolling Target & putting things in my cart just because they are cute, and no trips to Sephora even though my hands are dying for some "L’occitane hand cream * sobs *

I’m going to begin my No Shopping Challenge on Sunday, March 3, and end on Saturday, March 30 - that will give me a full 4 weeks of no shopping. I’ll evaluate my accounts and budget at the end of the challenge to see just how much not shopping has saved me.

Parameters for my March No Shopping challenge:

  • There will be no shopping for non-essential items - essential being things like food and basic toiletries.

  • No clothing, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, home accessories, etectronics, etc will be purchased during the challenge.

  • I will buy for #BabyPi but only if absolutely necessary - like if she grows out of her shoes and needs a new pair.

If it goes well, I’ll extend this into April!

Wanna join me? Commit to joining me on the #JTMNoShoppingChallenge and let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

8. Flying Solo

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This February has been absolutely terrible. We’ve set a state record for the snowiest February on record and the month isn’t even over yet! The snow piles are ridiculously tall, it’s so cold, and I’m officially over it. On the plus side, my SUV has been super clutch this winter and I’m very thankful that I’m not driving my sedan anymore.

This week was busy thanks to work and other commitments, so I’m very glad we made it to the weekend. The husband is out of town so I’m flying solo with Phi this weekend, which should be fun. I’ll probably take her to the indoor playground for some playtime, but otherwise we’ll be hunkered down at home since it’s expected to snow again this weekend * sigh *

Things I read this week:

The Women Who Contributed to Science but Were Buried in Footnotes (The Atlantic)

My Wife Was Dying, and We Didn’t Tell Our Children (The Atlantic)

Boyfriend and girlfriend are out. ‘Partners’ are in. Here’s why more millennials are changing how they define their relationships. (The Lily)

Why “Follow Your Passion” Isn’t Always The Best Career Advice (Girlboss)

A Friendship Baked in the Great British Bake Off Tent (The Atlantic)

What Kids Are Missing By Not Reading More Authors Of Color (Role Reboot)

Meet The Beauty Influencer Who Isn’t Afraid To Say What She Thinks (Buzzfeed)

How ‘Fatal Attraction’ Forever Changed Our View of the ‘Crazy’ Other Woman (MEL Magazine)

Blackface Was Never Harmless (The Atlantic)

White Woman Claims to Confront Racism by Creating Racist Yoga Event; Clearly Doesn’t Understand How Racism Works (The Root)

my office has a burn book we all have to read and sign (Ask A Manager)

“When Nobody Knows You, Everything Is Potentially Damaging”: Amid Accusations of Staff Mistreatment, Amy Klobuchar Grapples with Minnesota Mean (Vanity Fair)

What It Means When Cardi B Refuses to Code-Switch (Man Repeller)

What Is Business Casual Style? (Putting Me Together)

Measles is back because states give parents too many ways to avoid vaccines (Vox)

Why women of color take more risks in the workplace (Quartz)

Things I’m loving this week:

After I read the Jackie Aina piece on Buzzfeed, I spent an afternoon watching a bunch of her videos - I see why she’s so popular!

Have you watched Umbrella Academy yet? You need to!

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

This One Experience Taught Me Patience and Persistence

By nature, I am not a patient person.

I’ve always been this way so I can’t blame it on social media, or our instant gratification culture. It’s just my personality - I want what I want when I want it, and that’s usually right away. I think it’s because I’m a researcher and a planner, so I put a lot of effort into making a decision, and thus when I come to a conclusion, I want the payoff right away. I did all the work of figuring things out and making a plan, so I deserve the results as soon as I complete that work, right?

If only life worked that way. In fact, most of life doesn’t work that way. Everyday we do work that we don’t know is going to pay off. We might have an agreement that it’s going to pay off, or other people may have gotten a good result, but it’s not guaranteed that I’ll get the same result. Right now, I’m typing this on my lunch break at my corporate job - on Thursday, I expect to be paid for the work I put in over the last two weeks, but something weird could happen and I might not get paid. It’s an extreme example, but yall get my point.

I’m also not very persistent. I think it’s because growing up I was allergic to everything outside in nature, and I loved books. So instead of rolling around in the grass, I just wanted to stay in my room and read (also I wasn’t allergic to the books, but I was allergic to the grass). While my brothers spent years pursuing athletic pursuits, I had short stints in karate and volleyball before I gave them up for pursuits that came easier to me.

For years I walked around believing that patience and persistence were not in my wheelhouse. I have lots of great skills and qualities but patience or persistence were not among them. I told myself this story for YEARS. Until one day, I realized that it wasn’t actually true anymore - I just simply failed to recognize what patience and persistence looked like in my life.

What made me realize that I had these talents after all? I had an “aha!” moment when I reflected on my natural hair journey.

I spent most of my life relaxing my hair, and I decided to go natural in 2008. Originally it was simply a goal to grow out my relaxer and get to know my natural hair texture, and then see how long I could grow it out. By 2011 by natural hair reached my brastrap when stretched and it was a major time commitment to detangle, wash and style it every week. So in October 2011 , after much research, I decided to start locing my hair. I knew that it would take some time to get the gorgeous locs that I saw on other people, but I was commited to the process. I spent two years battling frizz and shrinkage, and trying to make my hair look presentable while it went through the initial locing phase. In that time, i learned to look past what my hair looked like day to day, and to trust the process. I didn’t know when it would happen, but I knew eventually I’d have the type of locs that I initially coveted. I grew so detached from the process, that I didn’t even realize that I’d achieved my goal until a friend pointed out to me how long my hair had grown. I’d survived the shrinkage phase and come out on the other side with the hair I’d always wanted. I’m now 7.5yrs into my locs journey, and I regularly get stopped and asked about my hair.

During the two years of the “ugly” shrinkage phase, I could have given up. I could have said “forget this!” and combed them out. Or I could have stressed myself out worrying about how my hair looked, and felt bad about myself. Detaching from the process, and making the active decision to just stay the course, is what allowed me to have the patience and persistence to go through the difficult time.

So why have I been thinking of myself as someone with no patience or persistence? Because the one place where I’ve struggled with this the most is with my body acceptance journey. Over the years I’ve had periods of weight loss and gain, and judge myself over it. I’ve tried lots of different strategies - tracking, daily weighing, challenges - and while I’ve had periods of success, nothing has really stuck. I know what to do, I just struggle with consistency and continuing to stay the course.

Thinking about my hair journey has allowed me to reflect on the type of person I really am, and what works works for my life and my personality. Giving myself more credit, and also grace, has gone a long way in changing the narrative that I’ve told myself around patience and persistence.

7. Escape

 
 

So…last week I had a post mostly written but then life got in the way and I didn’t get a chance to publish it.

Why was I so busy? I was packing and prepping for a long weekend in Tulum, Mexico. I’ve never taken a warm weather trip during the winter, but will from now on! It was glorious to enjoy sunshine and the ocean breeze, plus all the margaritas and tacos I could stuff in my mouth. Tulum is a gorgeous town and I will definitely be back to explore more of it.

The only sucky part of my trip was Delta putting my bag on the wrong flight, and then taking 24hrs+ to get it back to me. Luckily I found a shop with a dress that fit and some sandals that works, so it didn’t ruin my trip.

The highlights? A beach day at Casa Malca (aka Pablo Escobar’s mansion) and Burrito Amor.

Things I read this week:

Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Mommy Makeover (Allure)

Opinion | When the Suffrage Movement Sold Out to White Supremacy (New York Times)

The Best Movies That Lost Best Picture at the Oscars (Vulture)

Plain to Polished: Using Accessories to Pull Outfits Together (Putting Me Together)

The Global Legacy of Quebec’s Subsidized Child Daycare (Citylab)

Art Museums Need to Address Colonialist Theft—Not Diversity (Broadly)

She Started Selling Abortion Pills Online. Then the Feds Showed Up. (Mother Jones)

Here’s Why So Many Americans Feel Cheated By Their Student Loans (Buzzfeed)

Things I’m loving this week:

I took a rare solo trip to Target and I found this A New Day sweatshirt that is super cute, and it’s light enough to layer.

I started reading Keise Laymon’s memoir Heavy on my trip, and it’s really good!

This episode from Reply All had me on the edge of my seat

Enjoy your weekend!