Random Impulse buy: Fruit Roll-ups, Fruit by the Foot, and Fruit Gushers

Picked up a box of these sticky fruity candies the other day and these shits don’t hit like they used to. They’re not nasty; they’re just not amazing. The Fruit roll-up and Footlong, my favorites back in the day, are a lot thinner than I remember too. The Gushers are my favorite right now, which is interesting because I usually don’t like things with jelly filling.

A screenshot of the Character Daryl Dixon from the show, "The Walking Dead."

‘The Walking Dead’ Season 11, Episode 10

This episode gave me serious déjà vu to when our crew first arrived to Alexandria and we got the famous “Who’s Deanna?” line. The people at the Common Wealth (CW), just like Alexandria’s original community, are very adamant about upholding a social hierarchy. That’s so annoying because bitch, y’all are in a whole apocalypse. I know a sense of normalcy is important but it’s been like 10 years now and all of y’all have literally been living in the trenches. Where do you find the nerve to separate by class? That’s the only thing (so far) that I don’t like about the CW.

Anyways, I’d say this episode was all about Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus). We got to see how seemingly well he’s adjusting to the new environment, his struggle with the CW’s army, and we even got to see how he’s embraced his role as Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) and Rick Grimes Jr.’s (Antony Azor) guardian. One thing that surprised me about this episode was how happy and genuinely interested in the CW Daryl seemed. It took him a while to take Alexandria and the community’s way of life serious, so to see him indulging in a walker-themed haunted house and submit to Mercer (Michael James Shaw) felt odd. I fully expected Daryl to push back at Mercer but he didn’t. I wonder if he believes in what the CW is doing or if he’s just being strategic and keeping his head down for the time being.

Lastly, I hope the show runners show us what happened when Daryl and the gang first arrived; I’m a little annoyed that we didn’t get to see that. It’s not super important but I think it would be helpful because seeing our crew fall in line at the CW just doesn’t feel real without context. I need to see what happened.

A screenshot of the Character Father Gabriel from the show, The Walking Dead."

‘The Walking Dead’ Season 11, Episode 9

When Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) took over the Reaper’s sniper and replied “Call me Gabriel” in that walkie talkie, I was like “Yes, bitch!” I knew he was going to come through somehow but I wasn’t sure how or when.

You know, Father Gabriel is probably the most improved character of “The Walking Dead’s” entire series — I’m surprised he lasted long enough to be one of our core characters. He went from a scared priest who let his congregation die while he hoarded food and supplies, to a badass machete wielding threat. We used to be unable to trust him with the most mundane tasks like, (I don’t know) go find food. Now, this man is saving people?! Wow.

Anyways, the theme of this episode seemed to be: we stressed the fuck out. Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) and Gracie (Anabelle Holloway) were about to drown and get eaten by walkers, Aaron (Ross Marquand) was literally holding on for dare life, the Reaper’s were whooping their asses, AND it was pouring rain outside. I really didn’t know how this episode was going to end, but the Common Wealth’s soldiers knocking on their door with raggedy ass Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) in tow seemed fitting. I can’t stand Eugene; he’s just so damn gullible.

Oh, and Daryl Dixon’s (Norman Reedus) dumbass should not have let his lil girlfriend live. Has he learned nothing from the Dwight situation?! Bruh. Also, I know the flash forward clip at the end was supposed to make us think that the people who stayed with Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) and the people who left with Daryl are at odds but I ain’t buying that. There’s some sort of plan going on and I’m excited to see it unfold throughout the season.

A picture of books about sewing.

Learning How to Create Patterns Is Discouraging

I haven’t sewed or attempted to create a pattern in four months. Why? No idea. Well, no, that’s not true. I spent hours crafting my first pattern from scratch and the damn thing didn’t fit. I don’t know what I did wrong but I didn’t feel like figuring it out. I’m pretty sure that experience left me feeling a little discouraged.

I’m ready to crack open my books — “Reader’s Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing” and “Pattern Making for Fashion Design” — and commit to doing the work. I really want to make my own clothes, this year, so this is my accountability post. I will redo my first pattern and post about it on Saturday.

A picture of Shanté smiling with glasses sitting on her forehead.

Felt Cute, Might Delete Later…

Why do people caption photos “Felt cute, might delete later”? They know damn well they ain’t about to delete that photo. 😂 Anyways, this is probably the first photo that I’ve taken of myself this month. I’m trying to get back into photographing myself (and others, honestly), so a cute photo of me as today’s post it is!

P.S. Don’t talk about my peach fuzz. I’ll wax it when I’m good and ready. 😜

An illustration of a Black person sitting with their legs crossed and the following text, "30-Day Yoga Challenge."

30-Day Yoga Challenge | Weekly Check-in

I’m challenging myself to be consistent and practice yoga all throughout 2022. Ya with me? It would be overkill to post about it every day like I did in January, so I’m checking in every Sunday to let you know how I’m doing. Currently, my only goals are to have fun and be consistent. I’m not going to hold myself too accountable to 30 days but I’d be lying if I said I weren’t aiming for that. We’ll see. I’m just going to take this one day at a time. Also, I got a little crafty and created several graphics to accompany the posts — juu liiike it? The illustration is based off of lerarelart’s on 123rf.com.

I intended to kick this month off right (whatever that means) by practicing yoga every day, however, life had other plans. Instead, I practiced on Feb. 1 and wasted a ton of time binge-watching shows that I can’t recall now. I did manage to squeeze in some reading between all of that binging, so that’s a plus. I think I need to put myself on some type of schedule because I really don’t want to waste the extra time that I have now that I’m working part-time.

I recently told my dad that, in the midst of adjusting to the new schedule, I found myself feeling guilty about having so much free time. I’m so used to working every single day that I feel out of place now that I have time to take care of myself and pursue my desires. I’m a little caught off guard by this feeling because I didn’t experience it to this degree when I quick my job in August and was funemployed for four months. I guess that was different because I told myself that it was a break. Maybe I need to have a conversation with myself about how I want to approach this new work style. I’ll keep you posted.

I Negotiated My Pay for the First Time!

I wrote this about two months ago but forgot to post it. Woops!

I negotiated my pay rate for a new job last week and I’m hyped! I feel like I’m too old to be saying that but it’s true. I’ve, honestly, never even considered pushing back on a job offer before because I was too afraid of “messing up my chances” of securing the position. Ugh! I hate how America makes you feel like shit for asking for more than the bare minimum.

You know, this reminds me of the time a person in need asked me for money to get something to eat. I handed them about three pounds (I was studying abroad in London, at the time) and as I turned to retrieve my meal they said, “Do you think you could give me enough for a meal?” Initially, I thought, Excuse you?! But then I thought, Oh, shit, I would want enough for a meal too. We’re so programmed to be grateful for whatever we’re offered that when we ask for what we need, it feels like (or is interpreted as) disrespect. 

ION know about y’all, but I’m done being overly accommodating and hyper-aware of an employer’s feelings when my needs are at stake. Those people have money; ask for it. My future employer, for example, offered me the 2019 base rate and increased it up to the 2021 rate when I asked for more. This is so slick because it gives the impression that they’re working with me and giving me a better deal, even though the are just giving me the bare minimum of what they should be offering me. It doesn’t matter how uniquely qualified I am for the position or how genuinely excited they seem to be about my arrival, they still tried to lowball me. Why? Because they have the company’s best interest in mind. 

We — those of use who are allowed to navigate within this type of freedom when pursuing jobs — should keep in mind the fact that these employers don’t give a fuck about us. The next time you want a raise or a bigger starting salary, just ask. There is no harm in asking.

January ’22 SMART Goals Update

I decided to try something new, this year, and set my intentions for the month with six attainable SMART goals. I learned about SMART goals — which is an acronym for: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based — five or seven years ago. I don’t recall how I learned about it but I do recall experiencing a light bulb moment when I did. I always set these huge year-long goals for myself, so why not set a few attainable goals to help me reach the larger goals? Makes sense to me.

Anyways, here’s a rundown of how I did in January. (Also, I made a GIF for the first time!)

Comment a goal you’re working to fulfill this month!