29. Lazy Summer Days

 
Photo by   Ylanite Koppens   from   Pexels
 

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

 
cap-celebration-ceremony-262485.jpg
 

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!

27. Another Year Around The Sun

 
happy-birthday-flatlay.jpg
 

Happy Friday friends!

Tomorrow is a great day, because it’s my birthday! I’m one of those people who loves their birthday, because it’s the one day that you truly get to feel special. As a kid, I didn’t have many parties but my parents always made my birthday special and fun. In my 20s, I was really into doing it big for my birthday with trips & stuff, but now in my (late) 30s I’m more chill about my birthday. Honestly, I just feel blessed to have made it another year and to get the opportunity to do better and be better.

This year I turn 37 and I’m really chill about it all. Life is legit great - I have a beautiful family (both immediate & extended), good friends, a good job with lots of perks, and the ability to indulge my passions. The only thing that I’m less than happy about is my weight/body size, but I’m working on loving myself as I am and sustaining the motivation to get myself where I want to be. It’s a process and I continue to remind myself to give myself grace through it all.

A lot of people do New Year’s resolutions but I like to do them on my birthday - I prefer to think about what I want to accomplish or experience in the next year of my life. This year I’m thinking about what I want to start, stop and continue.

i want to start and maintain a regular yoga practice; making regular time for necessary self-care; actively advertising for clients.

I want to stop devaluing my skills and experience; bombarding myself with negative thoughts; letting fear stop me from pursuing the things I want in life.

I want to continue growing my businesses; sharing my story on JTM Writes; deepening my relationships with family and friends; being a good wife and mother.

I’ll be celebrating my birthday tomorrow with friends, my family and food - all my favorite things!

Here’s hoping that this next year will be just as excellent as the last one.

Things I Read This Week:

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

The Photographer Who Captured 20th-Century Queer Life (The Atlantic)

22 Perfect Dresses for All Your Summer Invites (Shondaland)

Female sports journalists still face rampant sexism on the job (Quartz)

These Donors Helped Give Beto O'Rourke A Historic Start. They're Disappointed With What Happened Next. (Buzzfeed)

Where to Find Petite Clothes Over Size 10 (Wardrobe Oxygen)

Here’s what a good LGBTQ ally looks like (Vox)

The Hidden Cost of GoFundMe Health Care (The New Yorker)

The Worst Question You Get Asked When Applying For A Job (And What To Do Instead Of Answering) (Chief Mom Officer)

The Problem With Diversity in Computing (The Atlantic)

The Boomers Ruined Everything (The Atlantic)

10 Women Talk About HOW to Learn From Failure (Design*Sponge)

How to Find Better Podcasts (Lifehacker)

For all the mamas who need it: A thread of only happy viral videos 😍 (Motherly)

Alanis Morissette's "four boundaries" are so good (Just Good Shit)

Why Those Plus-Size Model Mannequins Matter (Glamour)

Search And Destroy: How Google Search Results Are Being Manipulated By Shady Online Reputation Consultants (Buzzfeed)

When Fandom Is the Problem (The AV Club)

Ghost networks of psychiatrists hinder patients' access to care (STAT)

Other Stuff:

My staycation is coming to an end, but its been a glorious week at home! I really enjoyed the time off.

This week I started knitting new items for my Etsy shop! If you wear knits during the colder months, I’d love to know what kinds of things you wear! Right now I’m making scarfs, hats, mittens and maybe some earwarmer headbands.

Have an awesome week!

26. Halfway There

 
boardwalk-bridge-close-up-421759.jpg
 

Hi friends, happy Friday!

It’s the end of June which means we’re halfway through 2019! Doesn’t it feel like the year just started?

I started 2019 by doing the things that I’ve been wanting to do, but was afraid to try - starting my Etsy shop, completing 1K1Day, and starting my consulting firm. I also made a commitment to myself to stick to a regular content schedule and I’m proud to say that I’ve followed through with that. It has not always been easy, but as I continue to push myself to write, I find more ideas coming to me, and it easier to write posts. I’ve been toying with the idea of increasing my post schedule to three days a week but I think that might be too much pressure, so i’ll stick with my Tuesday & Friday schedule for now, with an occasional extra post thrown in when I feel compelled to say something.

I tackled a lot of big stuff in the first part of the year, so for the second half I plan to stay focused on my commitments and and continue to grow my businesses. It’s summer but I need to start creating inventory for my shop, and also work on marketing plans for JTM Consulting. Beyond that, I’m going to enjoy this beautiful summer with my little family and enjoy some time at the pool.

Things I Read This Week:

Elaine Welteroth shares the highs and lows of her time as a Black editor in chief in ZORA Magazine

Did you know that hundreds of police officers in the US belong to racist Facebook groups?

If you're drowning in emails, Man Repeller has an email organization hack for you

Design Mom dug into the link between Alzheimers and menopause

A couple live streamed their "surprise" proposal...but turns out there was more to it

I learned how one of my favorite memes ("Homer Simpson Backs Into The Bushes") came to be

The Cut did a deep dive profile on the rise and fall of Babe.net

Glamour says we need to make double proposals a thing

Before Stonewall, there was the Compton's Cafeteria Riot

Reddit users shared a list of underrated women from history and I learned about some amazing women

This week's #lifetips: how to wash dry clean only clothes at home, and yummy 30 minute dinner ideas

Do you have what it takes to be Beyonce's assistant? Spoiler alert: I totally got fired :-(

For your next trip, why not try a surprise vacation?

Congrats Connecticut, you got a new paid leave law!

The Atlantic declares "The Boomers Ruined Everything"

Other Stuff:

Next week I’m taking a much needed staycation! Originally I was going to just take Friday off, since it’s going to be a quiet week I decided to take the whole week for myself. I’m going to tackle a couple of projects around the house, sleep and start knitting stock for JTM Knits.

Also my birthday is next Saturday! I’m turning 37 so I’m going to just have a chill, relaxed birthday lunch with my family, and then hang out with some friends in the evening.

I really want to get back into reading. I stopped reading because it became my knitting time, and I can’t read and knit at the same time. I was considering trying out Audible, and yesterday I learned they are doing a great promotion, and that was all the enticement I needed to sign up. The promo is 3 months for $5/mo (normally it’s $15/mo) so you’re getting 2 months free!

Enjoy your weekend!

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!