Marching Forward

It’s been 10 months. Spring always has been one of my most favorite times of the year. We are stepping through the doors of a new season Zi is Turing 5 and I’m turning 48. Got to love Spring Birthday seasons and a Mother’s Day in between both.

So we come to pop in to say hello to all of our family here on YLF we went to our Local Conservatory in Chicago and visited the exhibit called “Knock Knock”. These beautiful doors were on display as well as the floral art displays. One of the most favorite places to go in Chicago.

The first day of spring had my daughter in her Isabella inspired dress from Encanto and her warrior inspired haircut from the movie Rya and the Last dragon. 5 has found little one growing up.

I’m finding my fashion way warrior mama is always on my mind as well as comfort and style. As a veteran camouflage will always make an appearance. It has been so busy this journey called life but I am always around reading admiring and cheering for everyone on our individual and collective journey.

Zi’Joy is still in Therapy  from her neurological disability Acute Flaccid Myelitis and and wonderful young lady is making a documentary about AFM .  Her therapist believe she has reached her zenith. So she is now attending boxing lessons to help increase her endurance and stamina.

It’s been officially 7 years but unofficially about 14 and I’ve loved the journey and evolution along the way.  I've included some pictures of home life.  We have also taken up cooking together



Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


April Showers are Bringing May Flowers

I love coming up with post titles I know I’m not the only one.

Hey family we finally got to get out and visit one of our old stomping grounds in Chicago and the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago is just so beautiful. This was the 1st place I ever took Zi’Joy as a baby and you should have seen how happy she was as we made our 1st return in over a year.

We were most certainly matchy matchy it coordinating but as usual I cannot complete with her style. The flowers were on full bloom inside and out and we had to social distance and keep on our last but well worth it.

I’m wearing my comfy extra wide calf rain boots from Walmart size 12 and extra wide calf. Some denim clam diggers love these a wrap stripped top and carting my denim up cycled bag. My new hair. I did a pandemic cut last year and have been wearing head wraps but loving my Afro in these pictures. My camouflage all weather coat it’s my love and a wardrobe favorite.

Zi’Joy light up rain unicorn rain boots. Denim leggings stripped and grey high low top. Her hello kitty rain coat and her birth gift a kids camera.

Lately I’ve been intentional about taking a break from socidd as l media and work. So we take Wednesday’s off to just be. We had a great time

Although we stopped for ice cream Zi was upset they put it in a bowl lol

Let’s me know what you think.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Pictures Summer Uniform/Epic Fail

See in my mind I saw something totally different.

Okay I’m gonna say it.

My summer uniform is a shapeless sack. I snapped a few pictures as my sister was in a fun mood. I look at them an 2 things stood out. Whew I’ve packed on the pounds and these dresses have no shape at all to them.

I love the colors I love the tiers but they are a tent like structure meaning none. Awe geeze well here’s the thing I still like them and I need to focus on my health and put down the carbs.

Wearing something just because I want to. Even though it’s unflattering is a new area for me. Maybe I should return them all. I probably won’t but maybe.

I could see bike shorts, peddle pushers or denim walk shorts underneath.

Honest comments are welcome. I already know. But your comments & feedback will All be appreciated.

Thanks in advance


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


FinallY, Moving day

We finally moved. Our home is a little tiny thing. I’ve not moved in 20 years and never with a toddler. We started over fresh. We had a moving sale. Then a moving giveaway. Finally donated and trashing what was left. Moving is no joke moving with a toddler and downsizing to a tiny home is a serious thing.

I had started downsizing a month prior to our move starting with our clothing then furniture and household items. I was patting myself on the back celebrating to early. Oh my WORD TO THE MOTHER!!!. Lol

Moving weekend:
Most certainly things went wrong. We reserved a small moving truck they gave us a truck almost the size of a 18 wheeler. My sister was scared I was not.  I used to drive trucks like that in the Army although it was 20+ years ago with no power steering. It was a smooth accident free drive and we got done before our rental time was up. They made a mistake and only charged us for the small truck. It was a win because we had a whole bunch of stuff to move that was greater than our expectations.

Getting settled:
My sister is an amazing organizational wiz with and a financial guru. She was settled and unpacked and cleaning in 3 days time. Me on the other hand I was scouting Amazon & FB market place to find our new home furniture. I only unpacked enough to have clothes for the week. It will take me time to get settled I am a hot mess In a good way. Completely unorganized.

Our new normal:
Whew. I was so happy I love our time schedule. I pack nutritious car snacks for Zi’Joy and get her ready while she is sleeping for her learning center. She has been nervous exhausted and exciting maybe a bit confused. I’m Am working to get her space setup. I want her to feel comfortable and at home. That is my priority right now. She has her toys that she paired down as well I got her a few things like a play kitchen and an Art Easel. And for me I found a brand new Ashley Stewart Recliner that is amazing and can fit all of my curvy self.

Overall we are adjusting it only has been 4 days but it has been a blessing in many ways. I also had a chance to trade in and upgrade my sporty car to a family dependable SUV with the same car note as my sporty car (Note:  I got my 2 door sporty care 3 months before I found out I was pregnant.)  . Now that’s a blessing and made me smile.

Oh and I love my closet It makes my heart happy. I may get a chaise to put in that sucker. Thank you for reading and our commenting.

I call my chair the Mama Bear Chair and my daughter’s the Baby Bear chair she has a blue recline,

For ZiJoy needed a bigger space because we do Physical Therapy Strength Training and  Yoga from home.  So even though our home footprint is tiny she has plenty of  room to grow in.  Our drive way is long enough for her to run in and for me to exercise as well. I'm grateful for the possibles for her further recovery from her spinal cord injury AFM Acute Flaccid Myelitis

All I could thing of when we were moving is that we are like the Golden Girls, 227, Mama's Family comedy shows.  I kept singing Sisters are doing it for themselves.   Standing on our own two feet and ring our bells.  I feel so proud after valley moments and difficult times. I finally see the clearing and the mountain tops.  I can finally breathe.  With our old home sold this has been a game changer.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Rocking our Pearls @Home Vs work/school

Today is the day that HerStory (HISTORY) will be made.

Today in America Jan 20,2021

The 1st Woman Vice President will be sworn into the 2nd Highest office in the land.
The 1st Asian American Vice President will be sworn into the 2nd highest office in the land.
The 1st African American Vice President will be sworn into the 2n highest office in the land . ( By the 1st Latina Supreme Court Justice The Honorable Judge Sonia SotoMayor)
The 1st , 2nd Husband. Will be right at her side.

So many GLASS CEILINGS are being Shattered.

So make sure you have the proper walking gear. Timbs & Chucks always stylish and practical.

Let us stand in fashionable solidarity for HISTORY is being made. Jan 20,2021.

I wanted to post early so if you have a photo you would like to share that would be awesome.

At Home;
Socks & Leggings
At Work/School
Pearls in the ponytail for Zi’Joy and Timbs. For me Jeans and cons

Here is the original link to the 1st post.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Consolidated & Cohesive Wardrobe

I usually pair down my wardrobe on a regular basis 2x a year. Last year I missed doing that I wanted to walk into 2021 with a purpose and that started with my Armor my Wardrobe.

Keeping My descriptors in mind when it comes to to my personal style has not changed much. Futuristic Afro Warrior & Mama which was the recently added.

I saw these beautiful velvet hangers on sale and thought I really need to tackle my wardrobe. With a few days off from work I started the heavy lifting. Throwing everything on the bed from around the house except for shoes I got started.

Thought process:
1)Did I wear it in the past 2 years?
2)Is it ripped stained or stretched out?
3)What category does it fall into in my current life?

Most things in my wardrobe now comfortably go together without much thought. I am content borderline happy with my wardrobe. I feel lighter and more like my descriptive words.

Futuristic Afro Warrior Mama

Many many things that were previously loved have been donated to a women’s and children’s shelter. I did the same for my daughter. There are a few pictures here from before baby after and current life.

Thank you for reading
By the numbers

Lifestyle Categories:
2) Lounge Wear
3)Walking/Workout/Thearpy /Outdoor Gear
4) Work

Mom/Casual/ Outings:
2 pair of denim walking shorts
1 pair denim custom made Overalls
1 African Print Denim Skirt
1 WideLeg African WideLeg Denim Pant
3 pair of jeggings
3 pair of leggings
Total 11

6 graphic T-shirts
1 denim button up
1 summer crochet festival top
3 mommy and me matching tops
1 velvet long sleeve
4 unique high low about town tops
Total 15

2 plaid

Lounge Wear(at home)
2 House Dresses
2 Pair of leggings and matching tops
Total 4

Walking/Workout/Thearpy/Outdoor Gear:
3 Capri/spandex
2 full length workout pants
7 tops tank/full sleeve
12 pieces

Work Uniform
5 pairs of Jeans dark black
7 work tops
2 pair of work boots

All new standard cotton all functional
4 sports bras

5 new to my wardrobe

Wild Cards pictures 8/9/10
1) A print Poncho. If I don’t wear it this year I will donate it. (New)
2) a vintage beaded shawl collar thrifted.. (5 years old)

12,14,16 cross body
13 clutch hand painted (6 years old)
15 backpack

1 leather jacket (thrifted)
1Camo All weather coat
1 wrap shawl
1 denim jackets
1 African print crop jacket
1 outerwear hoodie
2 denim trench coats
Total 8

2 summer
2 spring/fall
2 winter
2 head wraps
Total 8


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


2021 Evolution in Sections (part 2)

the great Chapeau

Don’t mind me. I’m just growing through a Midlife Style Evolution my whole wardrobe has been assessed, purged, donated and rejuvenated.

I have have had a long love affair with a great Chapeau. Wearing them seeing them reading about the multiple ways to wear them. So I had 15 great headwear that I no longer felt any affinity for whatsoever. They did not make me smile. I did not take pictures of them head wraps one of a kind special pieces etc etc. I donated them so they could make someone else smile.

I kept 4 in picture 2 a large brimmed camo hat and a denim mesh hat love these 2. 2 sun visor hats in metallic gold and silver.

Picture 3. 4 new to my collection 2 vibrant head wraps and 2 faux Fur perfect pick me ups for winter/fall dreary days.

So my sidekick/model decided she wanted to take one. (She gets it from her mama lol)

Let me know your thoughts,

Next post will be about my bag collection.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


2021 Evolution in Sections

Shoes Style/comfort/Practicality & Realization
My Reality of which I have just come to accept very recently is that I have big feet. Big and wide and fussy feet. That I am learning to love. My feet are the foundation of who I am. They have carried me through 46 years of mountaintop in the valley experiences. Although I cried when I had to donate my US size 11 shoe wardrobe after realizing that I would now be a size 12 after my daughter was born and my feet were not going to revert back.

I know I literally went through the seven stages of grief from denial to acceptance. It was most certainly a journey that took time. I only have one pair of shoes that I kept from before the time my daughter was born. The shoes I love so much they are a pair of patent heels that I purchased from Payless Christian Siriano size 12 and so comfortable I can run in them like Carrie Bradshaw from SEX IN THE CITY.

(They are actually doing a reboot of the show on HBO)

I borrowed heavily from Angie for the 5 pair of shoes from Burlington something clicked in me when she wrote about wearing fashion sneakers. Accepting that this is my life and I’m moving more away from heels and booties and going into things that I can keep up with my toddler with. I’m also learning that for me and my feet i find men’s shoes are more comfortable and I can find stylish & comfortable ones even at a US size 12 women’s. I did go over to the women’s section but they only went up to a size 11. I also went to Nordstrom‘s on one of the days that I had off but I just didn’t like the price points for the ones that I could afford and I always kept looking at the men’s section so this is my current life and I’m very happy with my purchases and what was added to my shoe wardrobe.

OK so I’m gonna break this down let’s start with what I already had my wardrobe.

Pic2). Payless Patent Shoes Designer line

Pic3) Walmart Extended wide calf rainboots 11Wide (Surprisingly comfortable)

Pic 4-7 ) THRIFTED.
4) Jambu absolutely amazing to ware and unique
5)Payless DexFlex so dang comfortable bought new from thrift when Payless closed.
6)Sorel Winter Tundra Boots $140 retail paid $40 for them from the Thrift Store when we had a Blizzard here in the Chi that closed down our Lake Shore Drive 10 years ago.

7. Men’s Duck boots so comfy and waterproof.

8/9 random cheaply no names but color was needed in my wardrobe both have worn well are comfortable.

10) Walmart Time and Tru line. Surprising Comfortable but will slip indoors but grip out doors

11) Walmart - George men’s section. I just love these so much.

Fashion Sneakers
Recent Purchase Burlington coat factory 5 pair

12/13 Polo High Tops Leather. Love these so much and fits my style and my wide feet.

14/15 Clark’s well this is a well know comfort walking brand leather/suede

16/17 Fila Retro Classic style it’s different colorful shoe strings this Will most likely be my go to pair.

18/19 Levi 501 denim & leather so comfortable

20/21 Uncommon Foot. Leather Walking Shoe.

22) Fila I needed more color and this is more of stylish representation for me as a Black Woman.

23/24 Walmart George men’s line. walking/work shoes. Very comfortable and reasonably priced at $20 each


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


Proper Planning & Preparation...

Prevents Piss Poor Performance. The 7 Ps are normally referred to as "the 7 Ps"

Here I sit with a calendar in hand on the 1st days of the new year planning. I’ve decided to take a social media break so that I can figure out our year. Although I cannot plan for life. It is time to figure out how to LIVE DURING A PANDEMIC VS SURVIVING ONE.

All of 2020 was mostly getting my sea legs on so many levels. I know we have not been the only ones. In pockets of rare moments we have found absolute joy in the midst of Chaos. Only to have the things I used to enjoy shut down systematically.

One of my goals is to experience the great outdoors more that is one thing that cannot be shut down. So you may start to see more rustic photos and locations to include urban outdoor areas.

Lucky that Zi’Joy is easy to please and bribe with her favorites chocolate M&Ms. Athleisure Wear will come in handy this year. That and the great outdoors is great for my daughter’s recovery and strength building and my peace of mind.

This year will be about Proaction instead of Reaction.

A reaction forces us to consider what has happened to determine a solution. A proaction forces us to consider what will happen to determine a plan.

Cheers to a balanced new year.


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


2020 A YEAR!

What a Year it has been.

The old song playing on repeat in my head is WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES...

10 days into 2020 Zi’Joy was paralyzed with a little know virus that affects the Spinal Column called AFM Acute Flaccid Myelitis only affecting new born babies to teens worldwide. She is 1 in 1,000,000 that is still shaping her journey.

Then Covid hit Then Work from home restrictions. The civil unrest the hospital visits and OT & PT therapy sessions. The Shutting down of my beloved city Chicago then the world. The fight for equality and Black Lives matter the protest. The closing of Theaters.

It was all so heavy.

Then the personal victories

Being able to move her legs then lift them then stand then walk then run. The birthdays that are just a few weeks apart 3 & 46 . The celebrations of milestones Drs never thought possible. Appearing on the Dr. Oz show to Advocate for Children of AFM. The smiling the unity the faith hope and love that is inherent in all 3 year olds. Teaching her mama to see miracles daily and to fight and find courage in the daily journey. Finding my style and becoming a minimalist.



Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →