16. April Showers

 
spring-flowers-birds.jpg
 

Happy Friday friends!

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

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

Things I read this week:

The Underrated Link Between Success and Humility (Man Repeller)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is your pregnancy app sharing your data? (Motherly)

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

Things I loved this week:

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

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

Enjoy your weekend friends!

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!


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!

Weekly Rewind Vol. 1

Courtesy of flickr user DaPuglet

Courtesy of flickr user DaPuglet

Hey all! I'm trying out something new, a quick recap of the previous week. Let's see how consistent I can be with this thing. 

High of the week: #BabyPi's birthday! We had a small party for her which was a lot of fun. As I expected, my child was NOT into the smash cake, or cake at all, but she enjoyed everything else. Thanks to all who celebrated with us, or just wished my baby girl a happy birthday.

I can't believe I have a one year old! Just when I got the hang of parenting a baby, now I have a toddler and it's a whole new world. Currently taking all your toddler parenting tips - thanks!

Low of the week: Unfortunately my mom wasn't able to make it for Phi's birthday. I did and do understand, but I was still slightly bummed. But on the plus side, she'll be here in a few days for a belated celebration!

Bae of the week: LM! Besides being a great dad, he was the party photographer and got some great shots. And last week was #J5 so he can get some extra love this week :-)

Best stuff I read this week:

Goals for next week:

  1. Journal at least 3x in the week - not a bullet journal but just getting my thoughts out
  2. Complete some financial paperwork 
  3. Figure out what fun stuff we're going to do during my mom's visit