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



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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.


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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.


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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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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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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
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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The Princess and the Queen In Wonderland

When my daughter woke up and said Donna I want to wear my princess dress and crown. I knew exactly what she had in mind.

So we began our simple transformation into The Princess and the Queen at Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory. It’s 183 acres of indoor green house and outdoor beauty. The perfect backdrop to our impromptu holiday photoshoot.

Not long after that we visited Clod Gate (aka the Bean) in downtown Chicago.

I look back at this year and think I’ve only made 3 post. Only 3!!!!

Whew this year has wiped me out for real. We have still been about town Day Tripping and will be turning our day trips into road trips for 2020. I look forward to new and amazing adventures and sharing more with you all.

When I say that motherhood in my Midlife has completely changed who I am. That is most certainly true. Women are WARRIORS IN THE FLESH.

The person that took our pictures said we were giving them “Alice In Wonderland” vibes hence the title.

Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Happy Kwanzaa
& Happy New Year
Zi’Joy & MaMa Donna


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Do you want to build a snow man

Who else loves Frozen?

I know I cannot be the only adult who does. Well we went to Go see Frozen this weekend and it was EPIC. I’m so glad there were parts for adults as well as kids. I went with a 71 year old a 45 year old(me) a 17 year old and my 2 year old and we all enjoyed it.

After we went there I took my toddler to the Glorious Lake Front of Chicago and Navy Pier which my daughter thought was the beloved home of Anna & Elssa of Erindale. We wandered all over looking for them. Glad I brought the stroller. Oh my I must have walked about 4 miles if not more.

Hence the the title. Anyway. We had to bundle up because it was so could I thrifted my daughters outfit snow pants and Anna and Elsa hat and rolled up the snow pants when she played in the water. I brought her a change of clothing and boots just in case. I did not need them. In total we spent 5 hours downtown but it was so lovely.

I had my camo coat which I love it is water proof and unique and extra wide calf rainboots I bought from Walmart of all places. I will keep them forever. We had such a good weekend. Navy Pier in Chicago is amazing and I’m hoping to travel the US with my daughter next year. The last time I went anywhere was my solo trip to New Orleans a few years back before surprise baby.

I hope you all have a great weekend If you celebrate the Holiday Happy thanksgiving . As always I’m still viewing YLF not really commenting but love you guys


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A little Apocalyptic...

Sometimes everything goes boom in a good way.

We have been still out here getting our life. Today was filled with so many great things. I’m learning how to take more selfies so I think I may be able to post a bit more. Anyway today we went thrift shopping at our local Fleek Market and was gifted these great hula hoops we then went to the park and played for about 3HOURS.

This evening at our local park we met a group of women. A club called 40+ Double Dutch Club simply amazing. Zi’Joy heard the skipping of the rope and wanted to go over. These women ranged in age from 41. To 53. They are most certainly the bomb. I wished I could post video

We played:
Double Dutch
Chinese Rope
(Jump in jump out jump side to side jump on jump in jump out)
Hula Hoops

And had the best 2 hours. They are out there every Saturday. Brought back great memories. We also took some great selfies. My daughter found this tree branch and we used it as a walking stick and prop for our photo shoot. We are on fb if you would like to follow us MidLife Melanin MaMa

Thank you for reading.


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It’s a nice day for a white wedding...

It was a surprise wedding and oh boy it was so much fun. Our friend invited us to a beautiful brunch and my little one was included. The only request was to wear something white. I wore this white mesh top with little silver balls attached harem denim joggers and silver white sequins tennis shoes. Hey, my 2 year old is a distance Olympic runner. I need to be ready.

My daughter wore a lace dress silver beaded necklaces a fascinator made of lace and flowers. It was so cute. Sorry I did not get a picture of us standing to show my full outfit but trust it was cute.
I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying the fashionable journey.

Miss you all so much Family!!!



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