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

 
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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!


These 3 Changes To My Skincare Routine Completely Transformed My Skin

 
Photo courtesy of  Pixistock

Photo courtesy of Pixistock

 

Let me tell you about I learned that I had dry skin - I was in my freshman year of high school. I was doing the normal teen thing of doing everything that everyone else was doing, including emulating their skincare routines. My friends scrubbed their faces everyday with harsh acne products, so I did too even though I didn’t have acne. All went well, until the day I woke up with huge scabby patches on my cheeks. I’d inadvertently given myself contact dermatitis, which means that I’d dried my skin out so much that the upper layers had turned into scaly scabs. Luckily an emergency trip to the dermatologist informed me that I could heal the damage by applying lots of water and Eucerin cream to the skin until it healed, which it thankfully did.

From that point on, I began my journey to understand my skin and how to best care for it. I’ve battled dry skin all my life and I’ve gone through a mountain of products to try to combat it. While I’ve had my bouts with acne, luckily I haven’t had to deal with much of it and it’s sporadic at best.

So what did I incorporate into my skincare routine?

Step 1: Double Cleansing

Double cleansing arrived in the US from Korea a few years ago, and it’s become a really popular method. Like the name suggests, it’s basically washing your face twice - first with an oil-based cleanser, and then following up with a water-based cleanser. The theory behind double cleansing is that you need the oil-based cleanser to remove sebum and other oil-based impurities on your skin, while sweat and grime are removed with a water-based cleanser.

I only double cleanse in the evening, and the oil cleanse is also my opportunity to remove my makeup. I’m currently using the Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil but I’m exploring drugstore versions because the Josie Maran is a little pricey. After oil cleansing, I immediately follow up with my water-based cleanser - either Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Tatcha Deep Clean Exfoliating Cleanser (which one I use depends on the next step).

Step 2: Exfoliation

For years I dealt with random acne, and little bumps on my forehead, and I assumed that I’d always have to deal with them. Then I read a random article somewhere that noted that people with dry skin need to exfoliate more, because their skin doesn’t naturally slough off. That dead skin can get trapped in pores and cause acne. Armed with that knowledge, I started testing various exfoliating products, from scrubs to chemical exfoliants. Unfortunately most products are just too harsh for me - if I’m left with a tingle in my cheeks, I know it did too much.

After much trial and error, I’ve finally landed on the products and schedule that keeps my skin healthy and glowing, but not irritated. I alternate daily between physical and chemical exfoliation, and I use a gentle chemical exfoliant. For my physical exfoliation I use my Clarisonic Mia cleansing brush with a sensitive skin brush head, and I wash with the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser. On chemical exfoliation days, I use Pixi Glow Tonic toner after I use my Tatcha deep cleanse cleanser. I found that using both the Clarisonic and Glow Tonic on the same night left me with irritated skin, but alternating them allows me to remove dead skin without irritation.

Step 3: Serum Instead of Moisturizer

I know what you’re thinking - “you said you have dry skin, how are you skipping moisturizer?” I know this sounds absolutely crazy, but hear me out. Refinery29 ran a story in late 2018, in which the author shared that she hadn’t used moisturizer in 2 years. Instead, she turned to exfoliating and using serum, on the advice from a dermatologist. I was already in a good exfoliating routine, so I decided to try it out, and I was surprised to see fantastic results. To end my evening skincare routine, I use Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum Moisturizer, and if I need a little boost, I’ll also add a few drops of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Serum as well. The Vichy serum does an amazing job of leaving my skin feeling hydrated, but not greasy or heavy.

Best Skin Ever

At age 36, I think I finally have the best skin of my life, thanks to finding a great skincare regimen. I use great products but its really the combination of techniques that have yielded the best results for me. It also helps that it’s a relatively simple routine to follow, which has really helped me stay consistent.

What do you use in your skincare routine? Are you having success or looking to change it up? Let me know in the comments!

14. Progress, Not Perfection

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You know how Shonda Rimes had a "year of yes”? I realized recently that I’m having a “year of doing shit that scares me”. It actually started in late 2018 and it’s helped me hit the ground running in 2019. I took some much needed leaps of faith and also made some investments in myself, which are slowly paying off.

Accomplishments in Q1 2019:

I started my Etsy shop - opening JTM Knits has been a dream for a few years, but I got the push I needed to do it totally by accident. I had some leftover yarn from a different project and I decided to use it to make myself a slouchy beanie, and I got multiple orders when I posted it on social media. I’ve made 10 sales so far and I’m really excited about my progress.

I stuck to a writing schedule - I really missed writing regularly and I knew that I needed to continue to flex that muscle. I also didn’t want to lose momentum with my writing and posting regular content. So I gave myself a small goal of posting once a week, on Fridays. In Q1 I was able to stick to this goal, only missing one Friday when I traveled to Tulum in February. I’ve now added a second day of content (Tuesdays!), with the ultimate goal of publishing three times a week. I’m also continuing to write for A Practical Wedding, in my Ask Jareesa column, and other one off pieces that I pitch to them.

I completed the 1K1Day program - I’ve been following Nicole Walters for a couple of years and I’ve been very intrgued by her 1K1Day program for new entrepreneurs. I went back and forth about if I should do it or not, and at the same moment I decided to just go for it. I’m so glad I did - I’ve learned a ton and it’s given me the structure and clarity that I needed for my entrepreneurial journey. I’m implementing the things that I’ve learned and I’m really excited about this new direction.

Keep in mind, this is all on top of the normal stuff like working my corporate, running our household, and spending time with my family. I also took a weekend trip to Tulum which was amazing and I definitely need another one of those soon.

Things I read this week:

The Women Changing the Face of Contemporary Tattoo Culture (Man Repeller)

This is incredibe—Just one month after giving birth this mom had two more babies (Motherly)

Celebrating Debt Freedom Is Gauche (Chief Mom Officer)

3 Girls Fought Their School's Sexist Dress Code and Won in Court (Jezebel)

The Complicated Life and Death of Nipsey Hussle (Vulture)

Is Hustle Culture Actually Hurting Us? (Girlboss)

How to overcome perfectionism in a judgmental world (Quartz)

Women’s Work: Being Promoted To Clean Up (Role Reboot)

Millennials Are in Their Thirties (The Cut)

The rent’s ‘too damn high’ in rural America, too (Curbed)

Creating the Space & Knowing Our Value: On Being A Black Artist in the Design Community (Design*Sponge)

So, Uh, What Happened on Game of Thrones? (Vulture)

Things I’m Loving This Week:

I finished my test knit! It’s a gorgeous shawl but it is HUGE! I’m really happy to get a test knit under my belt and get the experience.

This weekend is the Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop - it’s an opportunity to visit local yarn shops, donate to charity and pick up lots of squishy yarn. Last year I got some great projects and I’m excited to pick up some new items!

I Listen To These Six Podcasts Every Week (and You Should Too!)

I realized when I was writing this post that I’ve been listening to podcasts for a long time. My very first podcasts were The Bob Edwards Show and the Answer Bitch show. Both were on XM radio (this was pre-merger with Sirius) and the only place you could get the episodes was from the iTunes store. I’d download episodes to my iPod classic and listen to them in the lab as I worked (so you see how long it’s been, since I haven’t worked in a lab since 2012!).

Over the past 2-3 years, podcasts have really exploded, along with the ways that you can listen. I use Spotify for 99% of the podcasts that I listen to regularly, and I keep Stitcher because that allows me to listen to This American Life. I’m sure you can also listen to podcasts via Apple Music, Soundcloud, Stitcher, or other podcast services.

My full podcast subscription list has 40+ shows, but I listen to these 6 shows every single week…


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The Read

I came to show late, like maybe Year 3 or so? It was around the time that Beyonce dropped the self-titled album. I was just coming around to the fact that I was indeed a member of the BeyHive, and Kid Fury and Crissle helped me feel comfy with that fact. Those two are my cousins in my head, and I love their commentary on what’s happening in pop culture, and their advice to listeners. New episodes drop on Thursdays and it’s the first thing I open on Thursday mornings. I love this show so much, that I traveled to Chicago to see them live back in 2017, and it was totally worth it. They also have really cute merch - the Break Up With Him sweatshirt is my personal fave to wear.


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The Nicole Walters Podcast 

I discovered Nicole when my friend shared one of her videos on Facebook. I’ve been following her on Facebook & Instagram and really loving her authenticity. When her podcast dropped, I was blown away at how timely it was for me, as a newbie entrepreneur. The episodes are about 30mins which is the perfect amount of time for me, and I really love the stories she tells about her entrepreneurial journey.

If you’re a budding entrepreneur, this is the podcast you should be listening to!


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Reply All

I stumbled on this podcast by accident but I was instantly hooked. I grew up on the Internet, back when it consisted of IRC chat rooms and AOL dialup, so a podcast about the Internet is right up my alley. They’ve done some great stories, like tracking down phone scammers in India, or how fraudsters work on Amazon, or figuring out how robocalls manage to make it seem like they are calling from your number. My favorite episode is the one that shows how easy it is to fall for a phishing scam.


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Stuff You Missed In History Class

I’m a history buff - if I hadn’t majored in chemistry, history would have been my next choice. There’s so much to learn and that’s why I love this podcast. Every episode is well-researched and there’s a variety of topics. I’ve learned about so many figures and topics that I’d never heard of thanks to the show, and even with people I was familiar with, I learned a ton more than I thought I knew. Also I really enjoy the hosts! This show has been around for a long time so I highly recommend going through their back episodes as well. It’s great listening on your commute, or on a road trip, and most of the episodes are family friendly, which is a plus.


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Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

I think I discovered this show when I was driving in a rental car that didn’t have satellite radio, so I stuck to NPR. Yall know I love a good quiz show, and I was delighted to discover a nerdy yet funny quiz show on NPR. Each week there’s a different panel of celebs who compete to see who knows the most about the news from that week. I tune in every week and I’ve even attended a live taping when the show came to Minneapolis. I’ve also met two of the panelists - Brian Babylon & PJ O’Rouke - and they were both gracious and delightful.


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The Pitch

The first time I listened to this show, it was at the recommendation of Rachel Miller, who sent a link to the Tushy episode to the APW Slack with a "YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS” message. After listening to that episode, I went back and listened to the entire catalog. In this show, a startup pitches to a panel of investors, and you get to learn about a new company while also hearing the types of questions that investors ask. Not only am I learning about how to run a startup and how to pitch, I’ve learned about several new interesting companies.


Have you listened to any of these podcasts? What are you listening to regularly? Let me know in the comments!

13. Like A Boss

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Happy Friday friends!

2019 is turning out to be my personal “year of doing the scary shit”. For years, I’ve felt a desire to do my own thing, but I love the security of a corporate paycheck and benefits. I’ve also had major imposter syndrome and a fear that no one would ever want to pay for my knowledge. Well the Universe is always on time, and last year it started sending me messages that I need to pursue my passions.

I started 2019 by launching my Etsy shop, JTM Knits. I’d been itching to do it but I got the push when I knit myself a beanie and 10+ people asked to buy one. That led me to taking the 1K1Day course with Nicole Walters, which was a transformative experience for me. I really got a lot from the program, and I connected with some amazing entrepreneurs and learned a lot. Going through the course confirmed that I do indeed have something to offer and that I need to make it happen. So now I’m doing the scary thing and launching my first product - the Ace the Interview Prep Session. In this 60 minute session, I’ll work with clients to identify key experiences they’ve had in their professional career, and practice sharing those experiences in a way that helps interviewers evaluate if they have the right skills for the job. Basically, it’s an interview practice session with immediate feedback from me, based on my almost 15 years of working in several Fortune 500 companies.

To launch this product I’m offering 50% the session fee for the first five people who book, using the code INTRO50. To sign up, and to learn more about my other offerings, check out my professional website.

Things I read this week:

The ‘Men’s Liberation’ Movement Time Forgot (Vice)

Is It Ever Too Late to Pursue a Dream? (Longreads)

How Google Wiped a Neighborhood off the Map (OneZero)

Columbine Survivors Talk About the Wounds That Won't Heal (Westword)

‘Women Can Be Required To Wear Something That’s Painful.’ (Longreads)

How to quit Facebook without quitting Facebook (Vox)

One year after Uber’s fatal self-driving crash, pedestrians aren’t any safer (Curbed)

Cottage Cheese Is the New Greek Yogurt (The Atlantic)

Big Pharma’s Go-To Defense of Soaring Drug Prices Doesn’t Add Up (The Atlantic)

Is the Cradle Act Better Than Nothing? (The Cut)

Cancel Your Clothing Subscription Box. Love, Me (Wardrobe Oxygen)

Always Bring Stomach Medicine When You Travel  (Lifehacker)

The Underground Railroad of North Korea (GQ)

Why placeholder engagement rings are on the rise (Vox)

NFL’s minority head coaches weigh in on state of diversity in their ranks  (The Undefeated)

It’s Becoming More Evident: The Stress of Racism Is Killing Our Babies ... and Us (The Root)

“The Big Error Was That She Was Caught”: The Untold Story Behind the Mysterious Disappearance of Fan Bingbing, the World’s Biggest Movie Star (Vanity Fair)

Ta-Nehisi Coates Is an Optimist Now (Intelligencer)

High School Girls Say Hell No to Boys Ranking Their Looks (Jezebel)

I’m Fat and Not Fit—So Where Do I Fit In? (Self)

Things I’m loving this week:

I’m still cranking through my test knit - I’m about 60% done and I know I’m going to LOVE IT when it’s finished. It’s a shawl and I really love the pattern, and I can see myself making several of these either for myself or as gifts.

Also I’m coming to the end of my March No Shopping challenge - I’m glad I did it but I’m ready to get some new things for spring. I’ve been really struggling with my closet, partially because we’re in this weird time of year where it’s warming up but not completely warm so I can’t switch over my closet yet, but I’m SO TIRED of all the winter things that I’ve been wearing for months. I’m definitely ready to add a few pops of color into my wardrobe.

Enjoy your weekend!

My Chrome Bookmarks Are Like My Own Personal Time Capsule

Confession - I am a collector of things, especially information. I have a wealth of (sometimes) useless information which I hope will one day get me a slot on Jeopardy. My love of knowledge leads me to read lots of things on the Internet, and when I discover something that use useful or informative in some way, I save it. My two means of saving things are my Feedly and my Chrome bookmarks.

You’d think that I save things with a purpose, but no, I don’t. I read something and I think, “this is useful in some way, or it could be, so I better save it!” So click the little flag button in Feedly, or I hit the star on Chrome, and I file it away to a place where I can find it again later, in case I need it.

The number of times i’ve actually gone back to things is woefully low.

In the course of my reading of things on the Internets, I came across a blog post that said you should clean up your Chrome bookmarks. Apparently other people are just like me, and they never clean up their bookmarks. After reading that piece, I immediately set out to clean up everything in my bookmarks, and get rid of the stuff I didn’t need. I expected to find a lot of links that were broken or outdated, but what surprised me what those bookmarks signaled about my life and the transitions I’ve made over the years.

My bookmarks are organized into folders, and I had complete folders devoted to specific times in my life - planning my wedding, preparing for the arrival of #BabyPi, buying a house. My wedding planning folder was full of research into venues and vendors, DIY tutorials for projects I never attempted, and tons of wedding gown designs that I loved before I went shopping. Scrolling through those links, i was reminded of the hours I spent on my laptop, looking at site after site for pricing information on flowers, or a venue that was both cool and cost effective. Similarly, my Baby folder had gems like reviews of car seats, and products like baby wraps that I was considering.

My “Resources” folder is the most eclectic, as it’s a collection of websites with really useful information that I don’t know how to categorize any other way. Where do I put all those Buzzfeed lists of lifehacks that I’ll never implement in my life, or services that I should use but never remember until it’s too late? And then there are my links to things I thought about buying, from companies that either don’t sell that product anymore, or have gone out of business entirely.

It was fascinating to me to see the transitions my life has gone through, all laid out in what I’ve saved over the years. And I’ve rediscovered some cool stuff! Now I just need to figure out how to visit some of these sites more often…

12. Technically It's Spring Now

Happy Friday!

Photo by  Ales Krivec  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

I swear this winter has felt like it’s gone on FOREVER, especially since this past February was the snowiest on record. I was worried that March would be more of the same, but it looks like spring has decided to make an appearance. The snow piles are melting, we’re starting to see (brown) grass, and I hear the birds chirping when I walk into the office. It’s amazing how a change in weather can completely change your mindset and just make you feel better!

This week I’m trying something new - I’m moving to posting twice a week. Keeping a consistent editorial calendar has been my biggest struggle over the years. I always start out wanting to publish five times a week, and then life happens and I fall off. This time I decided to do something different: I started with just posting my link/week roundup on Fridays to see if I could be consistent; now I’m adding in an additional day of content. My goal is to get to publishing three days a week by the end of the year.

I’m filling up my editorial calendar, so tell me - what would you like to see on JTM Writes?

Things I Read This Week:

Tourists are flocking to locations threatened by climate change. That only makes things worse. (Vox)

The Fertility Doctor’s Secret (The Atlantic)

How Baby Phat Won the Early 2000s (Broadly)

A Copy Editor’s Nightmare: The 15 Most Common Writing Mistakes I See (The Everygirl)

Americans are totally fine with reparations, just not for slavery (Quartz)

A 100-Podcast Syllabus (Vulture)

A Woman Has Won the ‘Nobel Prize of Math’ for the First Time Ever (The Cut)

Are a Woman’s 30s Truly Her Prime? An Investigation (Man Repeller)

In Praise of the Less-Than-Perfect Instagram Pregnancy (Shondaland)

HOORAY! Anthropologie Just Launched a 100+ Piece Plus-Size Collection (The Everygirl)

How Seiichi Miyake’s tactile blocks changed cities (Curbed)

How To Clean a Garbage Disposal (The Kitchn)

16 Amazing ‘Golden Girls’ Products Off Etsy That You Need In Your Life Now (Mommyish)

Why equal parenting is still a myth (Motherly)

A Huge Cyclone Struck Mozambique And The Pictures Of The Aftermath Are Devastating (Buzzfeed)

Silly and Cruel Beauty Gadgets That Were Destined for Failure (Gizmodo)

How Phishing Scams Are Evolving—And How Not to Get Caught (Gizmodo)

Only 7 Black Students Got Into Stuyvesant, N.Y.’s Most Selective High School, Out of 895 Spots (NY Times)

How The Very Hungry Caterpillar Became a Classic (The Atlantic)

Things I’m Loving This Week:

This year I’ve been looking for a way to track my progress against my goals. I like the look of bullet journals, but I don’t have the time, patience or artistic ability to do a bullet journal from scratch. Turns out I need one of the new fancy planners that are out there! I polled both Facebook and Twitter, and after looking at a bunch of them, I discovered the Clever Fox planner. What’s great is that they have free sample pages that you can download and see if the format works for you. So I’m doing that for the rest of the month of March, and if that works out, I’ll order one once my no shopping challenge is over.

This week I was chosen for my very first test knit! I’m working on a shawl pattern and so far it’s a fun knit. I won’t be able to give full details until the pattern is released, but you can get a sneak peek over on my Instagram.

#NoShoppingChallenge Update - I’ve been buying this week but it was all for Phi - her newfound potty training success has required that I get her more panties, socks and extra pants for school. I haven’t done any shopping for myself which has been a good thing, and I think I can keep it going until the end of the month.

Have a great week!