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.
https://youlookfab.com/welookf.....of-america

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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
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By the numbers

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

Mom/Casual/ Outings:
Bottoms:
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

Tops
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

dresses
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
Total
12 pieces

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

Underwear
All new standard cotton all functional
4 sports bras

Shoes
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)

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

Coats:
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

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

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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

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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.

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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.

What a YEAR THIS HAS BEEN.

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Christmas Containment style

For we need a little Christmas right this very minute...

I wanted these perfect photos for Christmas 2020.

We decorated our tree and filled our stockings.

Every year we take photos in a beautiful location.

2020 as we all know has been very different

Then I thought I want our photos to reflect our real life. The real life of being a Pre Schooler who’s greatest joy is jumping and running ‍♀️. A Midlife Mama who is sometimes at her wits end. In our king size Co-sleeper so this mama can get a few extra . Most of all at the center of it all is Love ❤️ & Laughter

So here we are with our 2020 Christmas Photos . Imperfect but,
Full of Chaos, Love, Laughter, Family & Faith. Thank you for being part of our Family and part of our village.

I kept it simple for the both of us at the top. Maroon top for me and gingerbread Christmas leggings and for Zi’Joy a pink top and Unicorn Christmas Leggings and Christmas socks.

Have a win Christmas Family.

Have you put up your Christmas decorations yet?

Forgot to include our table top tree

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Sometimes we have to learn how to be still.

Have you ever needed to give a motivational speech?

Not to a large group or even a small group. I’m talking about to someone who depends on you for everything. The one who looks at you to make it right. The one you have to be better for because failure and giving up is not an option.

Zi’Joy has come through the fire she has been in her young life more than some will ever have to go through. I’ve met so many children and parents that have just been warriors this year.

I’ve given so much that my cup has been empty. My friend took these photos of Zi’Joy and I and she sent them to me. If a photo was worth a 1,000 words what would each one of these say?

Zi’Joy asked why her legs stop working.

I had run out of words and we had sat there for a long time alone just sitting quietly. The lesson I had to learn was that I cannot fix everything and that it is okay to let her just be sad.

After a bit she said Donna I’m okay. I’m not sad and I told her it was perfectly okay to feel that way and sadness is just how people feel sometimes even grownups. After that she crawled into my arms and I said her favorite word of the moment POOP AND SHE JUST GIGGLED.

These 2 photos described 2020 for me as it comes to a close.

As always thank you for following our journey and giving me room to share.

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Pause In the Midst of Chaos

America is Breathing and I came to see how my Family is doing?

Me an Zi well we have been so busy. I wish I could post videos here because it is easier. We rolled right from her being paralyzed to gaining back 90% mobility through her hard work and intestinal fortitude.

Then here comes Covid or as we call it the Rona. I swear. 2020 just wanted to make me scream but as we weathered that storm then here comes The horrific events of the past few weeks.

My heart is so heavy yet I understand that underneath it all we have more in common than people are willing to realize. My greatest dream was to purchase an RV or camper van and travel with my 3 year old when I retired also to tour state parks and go camping but I am so scared to do that and that is what it feels like to live in fear.

Fear is not this big bad bold thing. It is what keeps you in line it is why I have to someday have “the talk” with my beautiful toddler. About how to behave when police approach. I wish life could be like YLF and the MidLife. I was never fearful in the Army I stood proud with other men and women of all backgrounds.

My heart is heavy to admit that now I experience a great fear because I am black and now at 46 this extends to my child. Yes all lives matter but #blacklivesmatter when we live in fear and others don’t.

I cried when I opened up YLF to read Angies words. I recently returned to work just 2 weeks ago and it is a ghost town in Chicago under Military rule and Police patrols. I was fearful before now, I’m scared.

Yet we find a way to live and we find a way to laugh and we find a way to celebrate. I hope you all are breathing deep because this too shall pass.

Love y’all family
Donna

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Putting myself Together...

Very long

Almost 2 weeks ago I posted about having a craptastic wardrobe.

From that moment until this I’ve given myself a make over for our new journey and my return to work. Many know my daughter was diagnosed with one of the rarest viruses in the world AFM Acute (suddenly and immediate) Flaccid (limp body and internal organs) Myelitis (swelling in the back and spine) on January 20,2020. Zi’Joy lost control and function of her body from the waist down.

My priority has only been for my rainbow baby who is almost 3 and her healing and all of her Drs/Physical/Occupational therapy and counseling appointments. My craptastic mom wardrobe was severely lacking and I was showing signs of just not caring about myself. As one YLF Family said you are experiencing an emotional trauma.

I decided to do a major overhaul of my wardrobe and it helped that we are moving so I decided to see what works for my life now and work life when I return from UnPaid FMLA. My body is not what it used to be and I’ve put on some weight that has come with stress eating.

I bagged up 5 large trash bags for donation things that I did not love or were not used in my life . 2 bags went to the trash can the others to my local donation center. I went through all of my footwear and did the same.

Next I made a list of what I needed what would serve me and moving forward what our days are like . Sitting waiting bending standing riding in long car rides for appointments meetings etc etc i did the same for work.

I set my budget lord sometimes you have to treat yourself. The good news for me is I’m a multiples person. If I see something and it looks good I buy in 2 or 5 different colors. Cause it’s easier.

I went to Walmart, Citi Trends, Rainbow and The local Thrift store because I did not have to think to hard or go to other stores with list in hand.

*Walmart
(These were all serviceable items)

1) 5 parirs of jeggings (different colors)

2)6 pairs of jeans for work
(the seat and thighs wear out over time)

3) 4 pairs of athletic bottoms 2 calf length and 2 floor length (for OT & PT)

4) foundational garments
4 sports bras
2 regular bras
20 new pairs of socks

*Rainbow and Citi trends
(My fun Flair)

1) 2 sweat tops (zip up red and yellow)

2) 3 Afrocentric tops (graphic tee shirts)

3) 5 dresses ( all cute and seasonless)

4). 1 skirt and 1 top with flair.
(Would have bought multiple but they were sold out in my size)

*Thrift Shopping
(My Frugal Style)

1) 2 sweater dresses (multiple different colors)

2) Wool sweater coat (So warm perfect for car rides and travel transitions to car parking lots and hospital visits when lugging a toddler around.

3) a pair of new boots from jambo. An excellent line of footwear my size. Looking for more retail $140 paid $12.99
(Score-gasim)

I carry a military style backpack that I’ve had sense Zi’Joy was born and it serves me very well I can be hands free to hold little ones hands.

This is my form of Athlisure Style and part updated Grunge look that I rocked in the 90s. I threw away all of my pregnancy leggings except for one pair I wear around the house.

We got some great news about Zi’Joy she will never be fully rid of AFM she is 1 of 900 cases world wide and 1 in a million she is a medical Miracle and her leading Neurologist in this Field says she is the the top 5% of recovery. The best she has ever seen. Shriners Children's Hospital is on Wednesday so hoping they will take our case.

This was a fun post and thank you for reading

Mama Donna.

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My Incredibly Craptastic Wardrobe

This has been my look and probably why I really don’t post much anymore.

I debated on if I should Post this picture or not.

Today was the 1st time I looked in the mirror. I mean really looked.
I saw me for the 1st time
I used to be so fashionable.
I realized slowly but surely my wardrobe had become leggings, Ill fitting T-shirt, and white socks and cheap Walmart gym shoes.

I actually had more Ill fitting clothes in my hand to purchase to just do the job of covering me up.

Almost 3 years into motherhood I’ve had 2 self care moments and both were with my daughter with me.

She is back in daycare 2 hours a day 3 days a week. When not in daycare we are at Drs appointments and Physical and Occupational Therapy. I use that time to run errands and make phone calls and appointments.

I put what I had in my hand back on the rack. My body has changed so much and time is precious when solo parenting a sick child but if I am completely honest I was headed this way long before AFM Acute Flaccid Myelitis interrupted my daughter’s life on January 10,2020.

Tonight I’m taking a few hours to go through my things and purge keeping only what looks good and makes me happy and is serviceable. There are moments where I see who I used to be. I realize that no matter how hard I try to hold onto that person.

She is no longer me.

So today I said goodbye to her because I’m evolving into something new. I know I am a Queen and a Warrior but even They rest. Right now I’m treading water but I want to build a strong and sturdy ship that will last. AFM will not Win but it has certainly been a fight.

Someone asked me today why are you not bubbly anymore. I said because I’m finding my way in our new normal. With an outline of what I thought our life was going to be like vs the reality & odyssey we are currently on. I think Year one will be the hardest until we find our rhythm and I’m only in month 1.

Zi’Joy will be 3 years old in 60 days
and
I will be 46 years old in 90 days

I choose to put the clothes back that I had in hand after someone laughed at how I was dressed. She seems like that kind of person that would make fun of you and post a craptastic photo of you on social media with an horrific title.

I just wanted to tell her I was a tired solo parent who’s toddler in the midst of a battle after being completely paralyzed from the waist down at the beginning of the year of 2020 and I’m doing the best I can to keep it together each day. Instead I just put back those I’ll fitting cheap clothes and walked out of the store.

Bruised but NOT DEFEATED
MaMa Donna

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