17. Switching It Up

 
Photo by  Tembela Bohle  from  Pexels

Photo by Tembela Bohle from Pexels

 

Happy Friday friends - we made it to the weekend!

This week I stood in my closet, looked at everything in my section, and declared that I have nothing to wear. Of course that isn’t literally true, but it feels that way. During this long winter I’ve worn the pieces over…and over…and over. I don’t even want to look at another sweater again! The chances of any more snow storms are low (knock on wood) so I’m going to switch over my closet this week. BTW, is that not a thing that people do? I mentioned I was going to do this on Twitter, and someone asked me what it meant! Unfortunately we don’t have the space for my entire wardrobe to live in my closet all-year round, so I have to switch things out based on the season.

I also need to pick up some new items and I’m approaching it thoughtfully this time around. Normally I’ll just go to the mall/browse websites and order whatever is on sale and cute (cause we don’t do full price ever). Last year I read Rachel Miller’s awesome Buzzfeed piece about how she gave herself a dress code, and it immediately struck me as a genius move. When I thought about my own closet, I realized that I actually wear a lot of the same stuff over and over, and some things in my closet are never touched. So as I switch over my closet and incorporate some new pieces, I’m doing it thoughtfully based on what items I actually need (either a staple piece or replacing something I wear regularly) and my personal style/what I enjoy wearing.

My preferred style is classic, almost borderline preppy. I don’t do a lot of prints but I love stripes. For spring and summer, I plan to wear lots of dresses, skirts and slim ankle pants with cute tops and maybe a cardigan as needed (cause yall know I stay freezing). For my shoe collection, invested in a pair of Rothy’s because everyone has raved about how awesome they are, and I picked up some cute flat sandals from J Crew. To round out my wardrobe I’m on the hunt for cute, delicate jewelry, and my look will be complete.

As I pack away my winter stuff I’ll donate my winter things that I didn’t wear this winter, so that I don’t make the same mistake next year.

Things I read this week:

A Troll's Alleged Attempt to Purge Porn Performers from Instagram (Jezebel)

Inside The World Of Stay-At-Home Moms Who Blog For Profit (Buzzfeed News)

Ancestry.com romanticizes slavery to sell you a DNA kit (MPR News)

The Mystery of Business Casual (The Atlantic)

How A Popular Women's Website Became A Pay-To-Play Nightmare (Buzzfeed News)

This Was Supposed to Be a Story About a Bizarre Anti-Vaccine Rally and a Sedated Bear. Then It Got Weird. (Gizmodo)

Is This the Millennial Parent Book? (The Cut)

Earth Day Conundrums (Design Mom)

Oh Uh-Huh, You Need To Wash Your Makeup Brushes. Here's How. (Jezebel)

Abigail Disney Scorches Wage Inequality at Disney: “Reward All of Your Workers Fairly” (Vanity Fair)

I Spent $17K to Freeze My Eggs—and I Regret Every Penny (Glamour)

What Does Being Basic Look Like in 2019? (Man Repeller)

You Can Opt Out of Facial Recognition Screening at an Airport (Lifehacker)

Reply All’s Brilliant Roman Mars Episode Messes With the Podcasting Industry (Vulture)

How airport scanners discriminate against passengers of color (Vox)

The Disciplines Where No Black People Earn Ph.D.s (The Atlantic)

In Defense of Hating Popular Things (MEL Magazine)

Amazon created the expectation of 2-day shipping. Now it needs to scale back. (Vox)

Your Debt Isn't a Personal Failure (Jezebel)

How Did Megan Thee Stallion Become the Next Hottest Rapper Out of Houston? (Vulture)

Other Stuff:

As this post publishes, I’ll be seeing Avengers: Endgame - I truly hope it’s as good as everyone says it will be! I’m actually seeing it twice on Friday so I hope it’s worth sitting through twice in one day.

I’m also volunteering for a few hours at the Yarnover, which is a conference hosted by the MN Knitters Guild. I recently joined and I thought this would be a good way to get involved with the Guild. I also expected to do some shopping but I realized that I have too projects on my to-do list, so I’m going to try to refrain from buying more yarn (but no guarantees!)

Need something to watch on Netflix? I really enjoyed Love Death & Robots.

I’m currently taking clients for both Career Mentoring as well as Ace the Interview Prep Sessions!

Enjoy your weekend!

Three Things My Husband Introduced To Me

If you know me, you know there are a few things I love - Beyonce, knitting, Great British Baking Show and fancy products from Sephora. A couple of those things he can tolerate, and other things he…gracefully leaves me to my own devices.

We do have common interests, like seeing movies, trying new restaurants and traveling. But just as I have my own interests, William does too. The joy of marriage is that eventually your spouse’s interests will rub off on you, and William has taught me a lot about his hobbies over the years we’ve been together.

 
3 things husband introduced to me graphic.png
 

He Introduced Me To Golf

Prior to meeting William, my golf knowledge was extremely basic. Like I knew it involved golf courses and clubs and there was a famous golfer named Tiger Woods. See I told y’all, basic. And then I married a golfer! He watches a lot of golf on TV, so while it was on I’d ask all the questions. Who’s that golfer? What club is he using? Why can’t they use a cart? Why they all ending up in the water? 🤣🤣🤣 Luckily my husband loves me and is used to my barrage of questions, and he indulged me. Thanks to him, I now understand what “par” is, why they don’t use carts, and how scoring works. I also know most of the names on the PGA Tour and I have my own fave golfers (Ricky Fowler is one!).

When he’s not watching golf, William is playing golf, including tournaments in the summer. Golf is one of his passions - he’s loved the game all his life - and I think he’s happy that he could share his love of golf with me. I’ve tagged along with him to the range, but I find the golf stance really awkward and painful, so I don’t do it often. The most golf I’ll do is mini golf or Top Golf 😂


He Taught Me About Comic Books

Before I met William, I only knew the bare minimum about comic books - Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman. I’d even seen a few comic book movies. But the minute someone said “Marvel or DC?’ I was lost. And I definitely didn’t know about indie comic book companies, like Image Comics. William is a huge comic book collector so one of the first things he started to teach me about was his comic book collection. He is a walking comic encyclopedia - he can tell you when a character first appeared, their entire story line, and more.

Once he moved to Minnesota, he found a local comic book shop and I started tagging along, and that’s when I realized that comics are way more varied (and fun!) than I thought. While he debated the merits of some book with the staff, I started thumbing through various books and getting into a few. William has an extensive pull list at his comic book store and I have my own modest list of books that I read. I’m also caught up on who’s Marvel and who’s DC and I even know his dream comic book purchases (in case you’re wondering, it’s Fantastic Four #52 and The Flash #104).


He Got Me Hooked On Asian Dramas

My husband is not a good sleeper - he averages 4-5 hours a night. This was great when Phi was a newborn, as he took virtually all of the middle of the night feedings since he was up anyway. When he’s awake in the middle of the night, he watches random shows on Netflix, and it was on one of these nights that he came across an Asian drama. He was instantly hooked, and he started watching more…and more…and more. In the morning he’d tell me about the latest show he was watching, and he made them sound so good, so I started watching too…and I was also hooked!

We’ve watched shows from China, Korea, and Japan. I think my favorite shows come from China and Korea - the story lines are so dramatic and the acting is entertaining. If you aren’t watching Asian dramas on Netflix, you gotta get on the bandwagon! Put these shows on your watch list: My Horrible Boss, Keep the Marriage In Jade, Something In The Rain, Two Fathers, and A Good Wife.

Has your spouse introduced you to anything that you wound up loving? Tell us in the comments!

16. April Showers

 
spring-flowers-birds.jpg
 

Happy Friday friends!

It is officially spring here in Minnesota - the snow is (almost) gone, and now we’re getting rain which is helping everything start to green up. I hear the birds chirping in the morning when I wake up, and sunset doesn’t happen until 8pm. My big coat and snow boots are packed away - now I just need to switch over my closet.

Spring and summer are the best seasons in the Twin Cities and I’m already making plans to get out more as the weather warms up. We’re planning to get a family membership to the MN Zoo, and I love to have brunch/happy hour on a patio or rooftop. William is looking forward to getting out on the golf course and he’s planning his tournament schedule. And of course Phi wants to spend as much time outside as she can.

Things I read this week:

The Underrated Link Between Success and Humility (Man Repeller)

Yes, She’s Checking Out Other People Too — She’s Just Way Better at It (Mel Magazine)

My ancestors were owned by Georgetown University, I soon graduate from there (ABC)

As a Black Mother, My Parenting Is Always Political (The Nation)

Mom Makes 6-Year-Old Party Guests Give Their ‘Build-A-Bear’ Creations To The Birthday Girl (Scary Mommy)

10 Native women you should have learned about in history class (Hello Giggles)

So, you should really be using a rinse aid in your dishwasher (Just Good Shit)

He Helped Wrongfully Convict a Vegas Man. Two Decades Later, His Daughter Worked on a Law to Make Amends. (ProPublica)

What Changes When the Presidential Field Is Full of Mothers, Not Just Fathers (The Cut)

Is your pregnancy app sharing your data? (Motherly)

Code Names and Secret Lives: How a Radical Underground Network Helped Women Get Abortions Before They Were Legal (Vanity Fair)

Things I loved this week:

I highly recommend you give the new Anderson Paak album a spin! I listened during my workday and before I knew it, I’d made it to the end of the album with no skips! I love music that helps me get in the zone when I’m trying to concentrate, and this album is that for me.

Also the GOAT, our Queen, Beyonce dropped the Homecoming documentary on Wednesday - how many times have you watched? I’ve watched it twice so far, and it’s just so damn good.

Enjoy your weekend friends!

Knitting with Jareesa - New Projects and A Completed Test Knit!

Last week I did some revamps to JTM Writes as well as my professional site, and I realized that I never talk about knitting on the blog! Whoops! I share on IG/Twitter quite regularly but for some reason I’ve never thought to share my knitting in this space, so I’m fixed that starting now.

My Knitting Journey

Knitting was always one of those things that I wanted to learn to do, and I decided to take a class when I moved back in MN in 2010. I signed up for a class through parks & rec, and I picked it up instantly. My first few projects were lots of potholders and a few scarves as well. And then I just…stopped. I think it’s because I was bored with what I was doing, but I was intimidated to try things that I perceived as more difficult, like hats, cables, clothing, etc. I attempted to take a sweater class and immediately felt like a freshman in a senior class (and to be honest I didn’t have the skills for that project yet), so I put my needles down.

My love of knitting was reignited when my friend Jen asked me to take a knitting class with her. We signed up for a mosaic knitting class hosted at StevenBe and taught by the fabulous Nancy Wynn. Nancy is an excellent teacher and the ladies in the knitting group, while older, were so sweet and welcoming to us. In that class I learned so much - how to cable cast-on, how to read a chart, how to do specific increases/decreases. Once I finished that project, I was hungry to do more. So I did another mosaic project. I did a few baby blankets. I did a bunch of cowls. And then I decided that if I was gonna do this knitting thing, I needed to tackle the things that I thought were “too hard”.

 
My first “real” knitting project that I was proud to show off!

My first “real” knitting project that I was proud to show off!

 

So, I started with hats. For some reason I thought knitting in the round was really hard - maybe it was the double pointed needles? After making two of the worst hats ever seen, I had success with the Copycat CC Beanie and the Purlsoho Classic Cuffed Hat patterns. Next up? A baby sweater and dress for Phi. The dress featured several different techniques like repeats, yarnovers, decreases, and different types of stitches. The sweater was really fun and taught me a lot, like how to pick up stitches and how to do a three-needle bind-off.

Since I started knitting again my goal has been to learn new techniques and get better at the things I know how to do. I love the look of colorwork including Fair Isle, so I learned how to knit continental so that I can keep a strand in each hand (in case it’s not obvious, I’m an English knitter). Over the past year, I’ve learned magic loop and how to do thumb gussets. I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve learned how to do both toe-up and cuff-down socks, and I learned how to do a heel flap and turn.

My First Test Knit

So test knitting is just what it sounds like - it’s where people try out a new knitting pattern for the designer. This serves a few purposes - to make sure that the pattern as written yields the desired item; to edit & make sure instructions aren’t left out; and to build a collection of samples that designers share when they promote their design. Test knitting always looked like such fun, but until recently I didn’t think I had the skills or the knitting speed to do it.

Since 2019 is my “year of doing shit that scares me” I decided that I was going to start applying for test knits. I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled and then I found a call for a test knit for a shawl designed by @knitatude. I applied and was accepted, yay! I test knit the Forever Shawl and it was probably the best thing I could have test knit, for my first time. The shawl called for techniques I already knew like the garter tab cast-on and yarnover increases. The finished shawl is huge and and so cozy!


 
My Forever Shawl test knit!

My Forever Shawl test knit!

 

New Projects

I started the year with a general idea of what I wanted to learn/master but of course I keep finding other cute projects that are calling my name!

Right now I have two projects on my needles: the Peek-A-Boo tee and the Afternoon in Lisbon shawl. I actually started the tee last year but I put it down because I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear it right away, so I figured it could wait. Basically it’s two identical panels that you seam together. I did panel 1 last year and I’m about halfway through panel 2. The Afternoon in Lisbon shawl is a gorgeous mosaic shawl but it’s done in sock weight yarn :-( I don’t often knit with yarn that light, and it feels like it’s taking FOREVER. I work on it sporadically.

Once my tee is finished, I’m going probably going to do the Reverb shawl. I actually made one of them last year, in shades of gray but sadly I lost my shawl when we were at the Auto Show. So this gives me an opportunity to do a new one in a new color gradient - this time I’m going for shades of red to bring some color to my wardrobe.

I still plan to do Flax sweaters for my family at some point this year - I probably should get to work on those huh?

Connect with me!

If you’re a fellow knitter, I’d love to connect with you! You can find me on Ravelry as Jubilance1922. Also be sure to follow me on Instagram: @Jubilance1922. I post a lot of my finished pieces on my feed, and I share my works in progress (WIPs) in my IG stories.



15. A New Look

 
Photo courtesy of  Pixistock

Photo courtesy of Pixistock

 

Happy Friday friends!

You may have noticed that JTM Writes has a new look! I took an honest look at my site and it really didn’t resonate with me, so I decided to make some changes. When I launched JTM Writes, I made the switch from Wordpress to Squarespace, and I’ve found that making theme/layout changes are so much easier in Squarespace. There’s a learning curve for Squarespace for sure, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to figure out how to design things to your liking.

The biggest change I’ve made is the Squarespace theme - I switched to the Five layout. I also turned on the right sidebar to share some additional information. I also took some time in Canva (my favorite program currently) to make a header for the website as well. I think the changes fit my overall aesthetic and outlook for the blog, but let me know what you think in the comments!

Please be sure to add JTM Writes to your RSS readers (like Feedly or Bloglovin) and you can also subscribe to the JTM Writes email list to get updates as well.

I also updated my professional website as well as my offerings for JTM Consulting. I’m offering a 60min Ace the Interview Prep Session for any job seekers who are looking to practice their interview skills!

Things I read this week:

The Wild Story Behind Aretha Franklin’s Long-Delayed Documentary (Vulture)

This Is Kirstjen Nielsen's Legacy (Jezebel)

Oh, Yay, Flexible Jobs Actually Make Your Work-Life Balance Worse (MEL Magazine)

Invisible Middlemen Are Slowing Down American Health Care (The Atlantic)

These bamboo nursing pads are great for taking off your makeup (Just Good Shit)

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” (High Snobiety)

Will Apple Just Kill iTunes Already? (Lifehacker)

Privileged | By Kyle Korver (The Player’s Tribune)

Mandatory paternity leave might be Wall Street’s best bet for gender equality (Quartz)

‘The Unthinkable Has Happened’ (Vulture)

The Urgent Quest for Slower, Better News (The New Yorker)

Here Is The First-Ever Image Of A Black Hole (Buzzfeed News)

Budweiser's Emotional Ad Shows How Dwyane Wade Has Touched People's Lives (Buzzfeed News)

Are You A Generous Tipper? (Design*Mom)

Listen up bitches, it’s time to learn incorrect things about someone you’ve never heard of (The Outline)

Marie Kondo-ing My Closet Made Me Confront My Own Internalized Fatphobia (BUST)

Beyoncé Meets Netflix: Everything We Know About the Upcoming Beychella Project (Vanity Fair)

How abortion became a partisan issue in America (Vox)

Why More Couples Are Getting Married by a Friend (The Atlantic)

Watching My Parents Bicker Taught Me How to Love (The Cut)


Things I’m loving this week:

Last week I got my bonus at work and I did something responsible with it - I paid off Sallie Mae! This loan was from my senior year of undergrad and I’m so glad to have at least one burden taken care of. Also, nothing is morning humbling than seeing your original principal balance, and then doing the math on how much you’ve actually paid over the years, and comparing the numbers. But I won’t dwell on that, I’ll just celebrate this milestone and work towards paying off my last two student loans.

 
Bye Felicia!

Bye Felicia!

 

I also went a little crazy after my March No Shopping challenge, including getting everything on my Sephora wishlist. I walked out of the store with several new Tatcha products, Nars foundation and concealer, and a few other goodies. I won’t be keeping it all (some products didn’t work for me) but it was fun to go see all the new products in stores.


Enjoy your weekend!