25. Learning Something New

 
Photo by  Debby Hudson  on  Unsplash
 

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

 
Photo by  Nick Fewings  on  Unsplash
 

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"?

 
Photo by  Guilherme Almeida  from  Pexels
 

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!

18. It's Never Too Late To Start Over

 
Photo courtesy of Pixistock

Photo courtesy of Pixistock

 

Yay, it’s the weekend! How’d your week go?

If you go back into my archives, you see they stop at 2015. That’s because this week I deleted everything that was published prior to mid-2015. When I originally set up JTM Writes, I imported all the posts from my previous blog, which went all the way back to 2007! In those 8 years, a lot of life happened to me - I moved, I changed careers, I met my husband and got married. Those old posts were part journal, part time capsule, but I felt them like a weight around my neck. I wanted to be free of that history and embrace the future, not be bogged down with the past. And so after a quick Google search on “how to mass delete blog posts in Squarespace”, I deleted all my old posts.

Sometimes it can be hard to let go of things that you worked on for so long, but its also freeing to just drop everything and start over. Most of us get caught up in the fallacy of sunken costs, and it holds us hostage to situations that aren’t serving us, because we feel we “wasted” the time we spent already. I choose to look at life as a continuous learning opportunity, and therefore none of my time is ever wasted, because I’m always learning. My early blogging years gave me the confidence to apply for a writing fellowship and to become a freelance writer, and I’m forever grateful. And now its time to retire that part of my journey.

I’m also reminding myself that it’s not too late to start over as I embark on my third career, starting a consulting firm. Learn about how you can work with me at JareesaTuckerMcClure.com.

Things I Read This Week:

The best $16 I ever spent: Old Navy pajamas after my husband left (Vox)

Why is framing a picture so expensive? (Vox)

Reviewers Wanted (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books)

Twitter Could Ban the Nazis Whenever It Wants, but It'd Rather Blow Trump All Day, Everyday (Pajiba)

How In Living Color Tricked Fox’s Censors to Get Jokes on Air (Vanity Fair)

The Underlying Messages That Screen-Time Recommendations Send Parents (The Atlantic)

When Did Celebrities Get So Bad At Taking Criticism? (Buzzfeed)

How to Find Band-Aids That Match Your Skin Tone (Lifehacker)

Halima Aden Is The First To Model A Burkini In Sports Illustrated (Refinery 29)

How to Help a Friend Facing Infertility (A Cup of Jo)

The Best Money-Saving Beauty Dupes (The Everygirl)

From Defendant to Defender: Theo Shaw, Once Almost Railroaded by the Justice System as One of the Jena 6, Is Now Officially a Lawyer (The Root)

In Defense of Fashion Criticism (Pajiba)

'We Would Not Have All Been White': Cynthia Nixon Reflects on Sex and the City's White Feminism Problem (The Root)

People on Twitter Are Sharing Their Fake Cookbook Names and It's Hilarious (The Kitchn)

More than 100 LuLaRoe sellers have filed for bankruptcy (Vox)

Two HIV Cases Linked to Spa That Gave Trendy 'Vampire Facials' (Jezebel)

The Conversation We Need to Have About Mental Health and Women of Color (The Everygirl)

Avengers: Endgame's Women Deserved More (Gizmodo)

She was the “queen of the mommy bloggers.” Then her life fell apart. (Vox)

What It's Like to Pay 50% of Your Income in Taxes (Lifehacker)

Other Stuff:

It’s wedding season! This weekend I’m attending the wedding of a dear friend, and I’m legit extremely excited. I know it’s going to be an epic party and I’m also really excited to celebrate their union. Plus I just love weddings!

I haven’t baked in awhile - I just haven’t felt the urge - but I want to try this olive oil cake recipe.

For the past month or so, I’ve been taking the time to do my face in the morning, and I’m actually enjoying it. It takes 5-10 minutes in the morning and my routine is pretty simple: foundation, fill in brows, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush and lip gloss. I’m also skipping setting powder and using setting spray instead, because of my dry skin. I’ve gotten several compliments (yay!) and it makes me feel more put together.

Have a great weekend!

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!