29. Lazy Summer Days

 
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Happy Friday!

I must admit - I’m writing this post on Friday morning, from my day job. Normally I write this post on Wed evening and finish it on Thursday evening, but I’ve been struggling the past few weeks with having a consistent writing schedule. since I took my staycation. Basically I’ve been lazy, LOL. But it’s summer so there should be some level of slowness and chill time, right?

My chillness has even extended to my knitting - I’m trying to add stock to my Etsy shop but I’ve lost the motivation to knit!

Hopefully next week I can get back to actually writing in advance and also regain my knitting mojo. Send me some motivation and less heat!

Things I Read This Week:

‘Blown Away’, ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and the Joys of Craft Based Reality TV

Hustlers looks like it's gonna be amazing - check out the real story that inspired the movie

22 Side Hustles You Can Start, Like, Yesterday

Farai Chideya shares her story of three failed adoptions on her quest to motherhood

Next Billion-Dollar Startups: Rothy's Makes This Year's 'It' Shoe. But Can It Keep Growing Amid A Flood Of Copy Cats—And A Founder's Departure?

New Coke Didn’t Fail. It Was Murdered.

Twitter Reacts To The Abject Insanity That Is The 'Cats' Trailer

Other Stuff:

William and I started watching Nurse Jackie on Netflix - this show is hilarious! Looks like it will be our new show to watch together.

While everyone will be seeing The Lion King this weekend, I think I’m going to see The Farewell instead. All the reviews of the film have been excellent, and I loved the original This American Life story that inspired the film.

Enjoy your weekend!

28. Reunion

 
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Happy happy Friday friends! We made it to another weekend!

This week I got invited to a new Facebook group, for my high school 20th reunion. I graduated in 2000, so next year will make 20 years.

In some ways, tt doesn’t feel like I graduated 20 years ago tho. Like I just became an adult a hot second ago. It’s only been in the last five years that I got married, had a baby and bought a house. I didn’t feel like an adult for a very long time, and there are still times when I don’t, like when I remember that I still need to rollover two 401ks. It’s so weird to that almost twenty years ago, I was fresh out of high school and embarking on my (sort of) adult life.

Right now I’m on the fence about going to my reunion. I didn’t go to my 10 year because I didn’t want to buy a flight to catch up with folks that I could just catch up with on Facebook. Also (surprise surprise) I was pretty nerdy and awkward back then. I was an ugly duckling who blossomed once I left my hometown and moved away for college and grad school. In the past twenty years, I’ve grown and changed a lot and so have my old classmates, so maybe it’s worth taking a trip back home for next year’s reunion. And even if the reunion itself is trash, we can spend our time visiting with family, which is a plus.

Did any of yall go to your high school reunions? Was it worth it or was it just a waste of time?


Things I Read This Week:

Vox asks a good question: “What does an engagement ring signify?”

Wardrobe Oxygen provided a good breakdown of how blogs make money - as a blogger I found it super helpful!

Chief Mom Officer paid off her mortgage and shares how life is going post-mortgage

MEL Magazine has advice on how to correct people who mispronounce your name (this is something I’m an expert at!)

In The Atlantic, Emily Oster breaks down a new study focusing on marijuana and pregnancy

Did you know that the BeautyBlender was invented on the set of Girlfriends?

Black Lady Sketch Show is coming to HBO and I’M HERE FOR IT!

Did you know there are Facebook groups where you can pretend to be a Baby Boomer? I’m intrigued

A Detroit music festival charged white people more than BIPOC and people are mad (I find nothing wrong with this btw)

Vox digs into the explosion of tourists in Antelope Canyon, one of the most Instagrammed places in the world.

A Canadian official said something stupid & Twitter rightly dragged him

Two great posts from Design Mom about the Jeffrey Epstein story and how we should do-over social media

This week’s life tip: hand wash your delicate clothes with a salad spinner!


Other Stuff:

I had a very delightful birthday! I spent time with my family and also with a good group of girlfriends, and it was the perfect way to spend my birthday - low-key, chill and relaxing. William got me a Sephora giftcard which was perfect since I currently have twelve items sitting in my cart. Josephine also spent the entire weekend saying “Happy birthday Mommy!” which was adorbs every single time.

A few months ago I saw this jumpsuit featured on Putting Me Together and I put it in my cart…and then sat on it for awhile. I finally pulled the trigger back in June, and I wore it for the first time for my birthday dinner. Listen, this jumpsuit is the holy grail. It’s like wearing pajamas out but still looking cute. Highly recommend! Two thumbs up!

Do you read Refinery29? I skim it cause they publish A LOT and a lot of it is salesy/clickbaity, but they have some good stuff mixed in. They recently launched a new vertical focused on Black women called R29 Unbothered, and they have a fantastic IG as well. Definitely follow if you need Black woman inspo & love in your IG feed.

Enjoy your weekend!

25. Learning Something New

 
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I love learning.

As a kid, I was a voracious reader - I always had my nose in a book and I read everything I could get my hands on. I love learning both random facts and also how things work, and I also love learning about history. I have spent hours going down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia pages. In my career, I’ve always taken roles that has required that I learn something new - a new technology, new programming language, a new methodology, etc. I love the “eureka” moment when I discover something new and it clicks in my mind.

My love of learning has also had an impact on how I’ve run my blogs over the years. It began when I moved over to self-hosted Wordpress - I was too cheap to pay someone to create and maintain my site, so I had to learn to do it myself. I spent hours and hours looking at Wordpress themes, and asking Google how to do things. I learned what the hell a cPanel was, how to add things via FTP (remember that?), how to find good plugins and add them, etc. But Wordpress is a beast to maintain and I got tired of all the upkeep. So I took my talents and site to Squarespace.

Squarespace is amazing. Yes there’s a learning curve, but that’s true for anything. Squarespace is really easy to get set up and start using immediately. I did have to spend a good chunk of time in the Help, and Googling various things, but I figured out how to do things in Squarespace much faster than I did in Wordpress. And Squarespace is so much easier to maintain, and to make changes as needed. I love Squarespace so much that I also created my business site on Squarespace, and I’m thinking of creating a third page for JTM Knits.

Along with Squarespace, I’ve also been teaching myself how to use Canva. I told yall before how much I love Canva and I’ve used it a ton, for all of my sites. Once again, there’s a learning curve, but they have really great tutorials and other tools to help you learn, and they even have experts you can turn to.

Beyond learning the ins and outs of Squarespace, I’m also learning a lot about SEO. I don’t want to game the system, I just want to make sure that more than 3 people read the things that I write :-)

Learning these new things have been fun, but it’s also given me a deeper understanding of my businesses and the inner working. And I can always use more tools in my back pocket.

Things I Read This Week:

The Iowa caucuses suck for Iowans (The Outline)

The Perils of Being ‘Office Oprah’ (The Root)

That ‘Sweatshop-Free’ Label in Your Clothes Is Mostly Still Just a Bunch of Bullshit (MEL Magazine)

America’s Job Listings Have Gone Off the Deep End (The Atlantic)

14 People on How They *Actually* Made New Friends as an Adult (Man Repeller)

These Millennials Got New Roommates. They’re Nuns. (NY Times)

One Day, All of This Will Be Embarrassing (The Atlantic)

Here's How A Christian Group Prevents Same Sex Couples From Adopting, In the Name of 'Religious Freedom' (Jezebel)

The dad from that viral baby video is demonstrating a crucial parenting skill (Quartz)

I Couldn’t See Myself in Any Book I Read in Prep School. It Changed Me More Than You’d Think. (Slate)

7 Easy Ways to Cut Back on Sugar (The Everygirl)

are these men hitting on me via LinkedIn or are they legit business contacts? (Ask A Manager)

Racism Is Not a Youthful Indiscretion; It Is a Deeply-Ingrained Mindset (Pajiba)

A Breakthrough in the Mystery of Why Women Get So Many Autoimmune Diseases (The Atlantic)

Paris Is Burning Is Back—And So Is Its Baggage (Vanity Fair)

Open Thread: If Free Shipping Went Away, Would You Shop Less? (Man Repeller)

The Life of a Facebook Moderator Sounds Even Worse Than You Imagined (Gizmodo)

The Revenge of the Poverty-Stricken College Professors Is Underway in Florida. And It's Big. (Jezebel)

They Gave America 13 Goals—And Got a Lecture in Return (The Atlantic)

Other Stuff:

Did you catch Euphoria on HBO? It’s the new show starring Zendaya, and McSteamy from Greys Anatomy is also in it. The first episode was trippy but I liked it. I really like seeing Zendaya step out of the Disney star role and do something much more edgy. I can’t all the way relate to the portrayal of teenagers or the drug use, but I dig what I saw so far and I’m interested in where they take it.

My friend Rachel was a guest on The Nod this week! It’s a really good episode, and you should just add The Nod to your regular podcast list.

Also Rachel mentioned this game in her weekly roundup and it is addictive, which means you should play it immediately.

I’m actually finding time to read a book! I’m currently reading The Signal and The Noise for work, a part of my role as a data analyst. I just started but I really like it and I’m fascinated by the storytelling.

Have a great weekend!

24. Party Girl

 
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Happy Friday everyone! We made it to the weekend!

Last weekend, I had a girl’s night out for the first time in…it’s been so long I don’t even remember. My line sister Amanda was in town, and she got together a group of her high school friends, her sister and me. I love her sister and it was nice to meet some new ladies - her high school friends were very nice and welcoming. Our night started with dinner, and then we hit not one, not two but THREE different night spots. I didn’t make it home until 2AM!

After my night out with the girls, I’m confident that I’m not missing anything out here in these streets, especially at the clubs/party spots. I loved doing that stuff when I was young and single, but I’ve gotten it all out of my system. I had a good time thanks to the company I was with, but I could have had an equally good time at a lounge spot, or just chilling at someone’s house. I’m past the days where I need to be seen at the latest spot - at this point I just want to be incognito and have a chill time.

One the plus side, I debuted a cute dress and I found a new chill spot for my next date night with William.

Also I was totally useless the next day, so I’m clearly too old for this staying out all night life.

Next weekend, when I’m knitting on my couch, I will have zero worries that I’m missing anything. I’m old and washed and that is ok.

Things I Read This Week:

Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk Have “Ideal” Marriage Where They Don’t Live Together (Vanity Fair)

Re-Parenting Yourself Is One of the Hardest (But Most Important) Things You’ll Ever Do (MEL Magazine)

Alabama allows rapists to share custody of resulting children. So does Minnesota. (City Pages)

Men Aren’t Quite Sure How to Be Abortion-Rights Activists (The Atlantic)

The Creator Of HBO's "Chernobyl" Would Love If You Stopped Taking Nuclear Disaster Selfies (Buzzfeed)

There’s Nothing Wrong With Posing for Photos at Chernobyl (The Atlantic)

No One Talks About Perimenopause—It’s Time to Change That (Glamour)

The Range: A Summer Sneaker (Capitol Hill Style)

Seniors were sold a risk-free retirement with reverse mortgages. Now they face foreclosure. (USA Today)

Re-Watch Your Favorite Movies With the Captions On (Lifehacker)

Drag Race Inc.: What’s Lost When a Subculture Goes Pop? (Vulture)

The scourge of millennial job-hopping is a myth (Quartz)(

Lesbians And Queer Women Do Not Exist For Your Entertainment (Role Reboot)

Are doulas the key to help save black mothers' lives? (Motherly)

The 25 Best Music Documentaries to Stream & Where to Watch Them (Highsnobiety)

24 Fashion Documentaries Every Highsnobiety Reader Should Watch (Highsnobiety)

Sick of traffic? Get cities to invest in bikes and mass transit, says report (Curbed)

Ava DuVernay vs. Linda Fairstein: Fact Checking 'When They See Us' (Pajiba)

The cast of Sesame Street offers the most heartwarming Tiny Desk concert ever (The AV Club)

15 Rare Photos of Black Rosie the Riveters (Stuff Mom Never Told You)

A Brief History of Doughnuts (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Other Stuff:

A few months ago I visited The Coven, a women’s social club and coworking space here in Minneapolis. I loved it but I couldn’t justify joining considering that i have an office to go to during the week. The Coven clearly heard my desire to join because they added a Social membership, and they ran a special discount for the Social membership over the summer! That was all I needed to take the plunge and I absolutely love being part of this community. The Social membership gets me 3 visits per month which is perfect for me - on my no meetings days I can work from there instead of my office or at home.

I’ve watched 2 of the 3 episodes in the newest season of Black Mirror on Netflix - first of all, why are there only 3 episodes? That’s wack! I really liked the first episode “Striking Vipers” but I wasn’t a huge fan of the second episode “Smithereens”. I’ll probably finish it off this weekend.

And speaking of Netflix, you must watch The Black Godfather - it’s a documentary about Clarence Avant and his amazing life. I won’t spoil it for you, but I think you’ll be fascinated by his story and delighted by him. Go watch it and tell me what you think.

Also remember how I was on the hunt for some good ankle pants? I love the pair I got from Old Navy, so I’m going to get a few more. I also really love my NYDJ ankle pants.

This weekend is Father’s Day - do you have any special plans? William requested golf time and a home-cooked dinner, but I also got him a couple of things I think he will like.

Have an awesome weekend!

19. Things I Ponder - What Makes Certain Entertainment "Hold Up"?

 
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We made it to another weekend!

I love pop culture, especially stuff that I grew up, especially movies and TV shows. Lately I’ve been thinking about one specific question: what makes a movie or TV show “hold up”? For the unfamiliar, I think of “holding up” as being able to be enjoyed years later and still be in touch with current society. There are shows that I was still watch and love that definitely fit the criteria of holding up, and others that I watch solely for the nostalgia because they definitely do not hold up, for various reasons.

Take, for example, Golden Girls - a show that I think completely holds up 30 years later. It’s still so funny and the jokes still work in 2019. And their serious episodes all fall on the right side of history, whether it’s tackling gay & lesbian issues, interracial marriage, the AIDS epidemic, undocumented immigrants, etc. Similarly, I think Living Single holds up in the same way - the storylines were (mostly) realistic, the jokes are still funny and it’s still very relatable in 2019. Contrast that with a show like Sex and the City, which feels really dated even though it was a more recent show. I think it doesn’t hold up because the setup was so unbelievable, from Carrie’s designer habit to portraying a NYC with virtually no people of color. It’s also out of step with current cultural norms - for example, you can hear the term “tranny” on the show, which is a no-no. Another is Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, a movie which I loved as a kid, but as an adult I realize is so incredibly racist in its portrayal of India. There’s no way that movie would ever get greenlit in 2019.

I’m formulating a theory in my head around what makes a TV show or movie “hold up” but I’m curious what other people think - what would you highlight as a TV show or movie that still holds up in 2019?

Things I Read This Week:

Not all of West Side Story has aged gracefully, but its spectacular dancing sure has (A.V. Club)

Black Voters Get That Bernie Marched With MLK. They Want To Know What He’ll Do For Them Now. (Buzzfeed)

LOFT’s New Mommy-And-Me Collection is ADORABLE (The Mom Edit)

Lyft Says It’s ‘Not in the Transportation Business,’ So Disability Law Doesn't Apply (Gizmodo)

Seattle Times Journalist Suspended After Harassing Writer With Gross Twitter DMs (Jezebel)

The Midwest Isn't Just White People (Jezebel)

The True Road Warriors: How Men With Disabilities Travel the World (MEL Magazine)

Switching Political Parties (Design Mom)

Alexa has been eavesdropping on you this whole time (CT Post)

Tweak the Vote | Radiolab | WNYC Studios (Radiolab)

The Coming Generation War (The Atlantic)

Representation Matters: 35 Black Kids TV Shows You Can Watch Right Now (Mater Mea)

The politics of home (Curbed)

Other Stuff:

I took advantage of the Sephora VIB sale to restock on some of my favorite items: L’Occitane hand cream, a Benefit brow pencil, and Clarisonic replacement brush heads. I also picked up the Fenty Beauty Instant Warmth Bronzer in Caramel Cutie - I hope it looks good!

I haven’t been doing much reading lately - my free time is taken up by writing and knitting - but I picked up The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle because I couldn’t resist after reading a quick synopsis.

This weekend is Mother’s Day weekend! I won’t get to spend it with my mom but I did make sure to get her gift and cards in the mail so hopefully she gets both before Sunday. I’ll be spending the day with my little one. For all the moms out there, I hope you enjoy it in whatever way is good for you.

Enjoy your weekend!