Fashion Break: She’s just a little bit different…and it’s all good


It’s been a very long time since I wrote a post about my daughter, Tatiana on this blog or on the blog I maintain just about her, Designer Diva: Handcrafted by God and I’ve got the genes to prove it. It is very difficult maintaining one blog never mind multiple ones but that is not the main reason I stopped writing, truthfully I found that after her toddler years, there wasn’t much to say about her and her development that was revolutionary. There still isn’t really but I was reading a blog about another little girl with Down syndrome and the challenges her mother faces raising her. It brought tears to my eyes when I read the story of her losing her daughter for a few moments. I know the terror she faced when she realized her precious child was gone because I have felt it as well.

For those who don’t know, let me bring you up to speed. I have a 6 year old daughter who was born with Down syndrome. She is the joy of my life! She is a typical child in respect to other children… she is happy, intelligent, curious, demanding, all the things that most children are. But she also has developmental delays that are significant, namely in her verbal skills. She does not have the vocabulary of a typical 6 year old. She can make her wants and needs known however it is not because of her speech. Tatiana is extremely strong willed and will find a way to make herself clear about what she wants…AT. ALL. COSTS!. Overall she is healthy but has overcome a few challenges with her health such as being born with a hole in her heart which required surgical closure as well as several surgeries over the past 6 years to remove or correct some type of defect.


My girl has made great strides and we look forward to seeing even greater however there is one area that remains to be a “thorn in my side”, her desire to be free which takes form in the shape of being what is known as a “runner’. Whenever Tatiana is given any opportunity to be outside, not restrained by either someone holding her hand or her being wheeled around in a wagon, she bolts as if someone is chasing her and her life depends on getting away. I’m not talking about a little trot, we are talking about Olympic track star running, the girl is going for the gold. It is frustrating (putting it mildly) that her sprinting skills rival that of a professional. I have learned that heels are never an option when we are out unless I have someone with me who can help (and by help I mean run), NEVER and I mean never let go of her hand for a second and find the nearest place that has a cart, stroller, buggy that she can be safely buckled into.

Last Saturday I violated my own rules by deciding to stop at Walmart for a quick run in for some candles. I figured even though I had a small heel on, we could make it in and out without incident. How wrong was I? I tried to grab a box of candles so I let go of her hand for a second to pick them up and before I could grab it back, she took off running. At first I called out to her to stop running from me thinking I could lure her back by threatening her. But when it became obvious that she was not in the mood to care as well as she picked up speed and I could not match it, I did what any parent under the circumstances would do. I yelled for help! I saw a man who was walking by with a young girl so I screamed to them to please catch her. Thankfully the young girl ran after her and caught her, she had turned a corner and I could not see her any longer. Talk about frightening. I was dying inside. I didn’t want to waste time trying to unstrap my shoes so I kept chasing her but the gap between us was growing wider and I had to do something. Yes I looked and sounded crazy but who cares, I needed help and closed mouths do not get fed. Once I had her back in my possession I held her tightly then I attempted once again to explain to her how dangerous that is for her to do. As usual she felt ashamed and refused to look me in the eyes. I don’t want to shame her, I want her to understand how precious she is to me and I am terrified of losing her.

The blog post I was reading told a tale of a similar incident with her daughter which has prompted me to begin writing again about the joys and yes the disappointments of raising a child with Down syndrome. I have always been a bit hesitant to write about the not so fun stuff of dealing with a child who has special needs but today I realized that to not share the good and the bad does a disservice to those who truly need to know the truth. So I will be resuming Tatiana’s blog effective today but it will be integrated with this one as a separate tab. I think it will be easier for me to maintain this way.

Black Butterfly


My weekends are usually dressed down affairs of jeans, cut off shorts, tank and flowy tops. Other than church on Sunday, I don’t do dressed up especially on Saturdays except this Saturday. This past Saturday I took my angel baby to her very first ballet recital. It was wonderful to witness the children show off what they have been taught and my Tatiana loved it so much! She loves music and dance, I think it’s time to put her in dance class.


It’s so hot outside right now, not complaining but we are in the midst of a heat wave…100 plus temps are the norm. I need to dress as cool, comfortable and cute as possible. Insert this most fabulous flowy top ever by Charlotte Russe…it’s cropped with these beautiful sleeves that remind me of a butterfly! And you know I was sold when I saw it was black and white tie dye. I paired it with my white high waisted skirt, a pair of black and white sandals with a cute snakeskin clutch that has a hint of red for that pop of color.


My girl had on her favorite maxi dress, she breaks out into the biggest smile when she puts this dress on. It makes my heart happy to see her embrace her pretty! I thought I had pics of her but apparently I deleted them. Oops! I make sure you see her next time1

Weekends are made for adventure



I’ve had just the best weekend! In fact I’ve been having some really great weekends lately and I can guarantee that they will only get better as the summer rolls in. This weekend I hung out mostly at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival which is held annually. It was such a cool event, I’ve gone before but this year I spent more time there than in the past. I’m thinking next year, God willing I will do VIP and spend all three days there.



I was blessed to hear so many awesome jazz artists but the highlights for me were Peabo Bryson on Friday night and Lisa McClendon on Sunday afternoon. I even got to take a pic with Lisa McClendon, she was ridiculously cool, down to earth and oh so talented!



I also partook of a little late night jazz at the Downtown Cigar Lounge, they were one of the clubs that are a part of the Jazz After Dark event. I must have had a really great time because this woman was out waay past her bedtime, I mean I haven’t stayed out that late in years!




My youngest grandson also turned one this week and we celebrated his 1st birthday with a party on Saturday afternoon. Jayden is such a force to be reckoned with, most days he doesn’t want to be bothered so I take him as he comes, when he comes, LOL!


No event is complete for me without getting my look right and I went all in with “festival wear”. On Sunday I broke out the denim flares with a white crop top bell sleeved crochet blouse. It was fabulous if I do say so myself. Here’s the proof of my wonderful weekend. It’s kinda pic heavy so forgive me in advance!


The elusive white jean: GOT’EEM


wpid-20150522_203744.jpg I have a few items that I consider wardrobe staples and then a few that the style gurus have suggested. What items falls on both lists are the white jean. It’s oh so clean, crisp and elegant but the right pair has eluded me for years…until yesterday! I was minding my own business when I turned around and they just about fell into my hands. I wasn’t looking for white jeans, I was trying on shorts when I found these babies!


Pure white, a petite skinny jean…oh my heavens! I almost walked away but then I thought what’s the chance that I find another perfect pair like this, so I went back into the dressing room to try them on. After one look there was no way they weren’t coming home with me, the right length, the right fit…YESSS! I scored without even looking for a score! Oh and did I mention that I found them at Walmart for $14.99? The clothes don’t make me, I make the clothes, remember that the next time you turn your nose up at Walmart!



I styled these simply, white jeans, black lace tank, camisole, slides, huge hoop earring and a skinny leopard print belt…the stars have aligned. This is my evening jazz festival look, The 2015 Jacksonville Jazz Festival has arrived and this girl will be there! Yes I dared to wear white jeans to a festival. I’m a risk taker, you didn’t know? I may take the evening into the night so I’ll add some gold heeled sandals if I act really grown up and go to one of the many clubs that are offering Jazz After Dark this weekend.



I’ve been looking forward to this weekend to soak up jazz and hang out with cool people, what are your weekend plans?


Sis stole my look (but I was the one doing the stealing)


Don’t you just love when you see a fantastic outfit on someone and instantly you know you are going to recreate it for yourself because a.) you have all the piece needed to do it b.) it really is a fantastic look and c.) you crush on their style in a major way! Well Shea has earned her crushworthy status on this one. It was something I do often with my skirts, even thought about doing it with this one but said nah, only to see it done so beautifully that I had to do it.


Simply make your maxi skirt into a midi dress by pulling it up a few inches north until it becomes a strapless dress. Didn’t I tell you it’s genius? I’ve done is before here and trust, I will do it again!

I work in a professional environment where it is appropriate to have my arms covered when it is as bare as this look is, so all I did is add my salmon pink blazer, belted my waist so I don’t look like I’m wearing a tent then threw on nude heels!



I love vests! They are a great layering piece when a blazer is doing too much but you need just a little something extra to finish a look off. Right now it’s in the 90’s easily here so a blazer is not in the cards but I can manage a pretty little vest like this one.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news but DOTS once again is going out of business however you can benefit from their loss but hitting the stores up before all the goodies are gone!


This baby has a boho vibe that I made more work appropriate with my hard working Old Navy striped pencil skirt and simple white tee. I already have several ways I plan to wear it and for $7 bucks it has already given me my money’s worth.


We won’t talk about my black and white combos again but at least I broke it up with a pop of peach on my feet. My sister, Kerissa who blogs over at A Diva Mom’s Journey sent me these sexy strappy heels….aren’t they lovely??? Love you Kerissa!


Mother’s Day the beach way


I’ve had pretty non traditional Mother’s Day the past two years. Last year I spent it alone, wandering the mall eating garlic Parmesan french fries and this one was spent at the beach. Very different mood than last year though. I was sad last year, first year spending Mother’s Day divorced…it was all I could do to keep from crying. This year, I’m good!, I was happy and I felt it in my entire being. I’m kinda loving the whole not doing dinner at an over crowded restaurant thing. I may keep this non tradition up, LOL.



The day actually took on a different turn than what it was supposed to be. I had planned on meeting Monique to go beaching with her and her daughter but when we finally arrived at the park, they had closed the entrance due to high tide and over capacity….BOO!!! I was so disappointed but decided to make lemons into lemonade and headed over to Jacksonville Beach. This was my grandson’s long anticipated trip to the beach; he’s never been (city kid from New Jersey) and I didn’t want to disappoint him.



The beach was surprisingly crowded but we found a spot, unpacked and settling in for an afternoon of fun in the sun. My grandson loved the beach so much! He was rolling in the sand and massaging it into his skin, it was funny but I loved seeing him so happy.



It was such a perfect day, blue skies, warm sun and even a breeze came through to keep us cool. God smiled on this Mother’s Day really hard! I hope you all had a wonderful day doing what you wanted with whom you wanted to be with!



These two can sleep anywhere

These two can sleep anywhere

Lazy Saturdays


So it seems like all I did this weekend is eat and hang out…yes that is exactly right! This was my weekend as in Mommy’s Day weekend and I did exactly what I wanted to do. Saturday afternoon I met up with my girl Monique for tacos at Burrito Gallery. I love this place so much! she took me there last year and I haven’t stopped thinking about the shrimp tacos ever since.  I was well over due for a visit and hanging out with Monique. It was such a lazy day sipping cocktails, munching on tacos and catching up on each other’s lives.




We also were up to our usual shenanigans complete with a photo op and this time our server helped us act plain foolish, LOL! she brought us the DOS Equis Man so we dressed him in my kimono and got him into the act.


In between all the silliness I ate and ate well, the shrimp tacos here are fantastic! i’m so stuck on them I can’t seem to venture out into eating anything else.


I didn’t want to fussy just cute and comfortable so my Mom’s borrowed now mine kimono came to the rescue. Can you believe this kimono is over 30 years old and came from Japan? It was gifted to my mom and she’s the type to save things for a special occasion. Ever day is a special occasion so I wear it often.


Since the kimono was doing all the work in this outfit, I kept the rest simple with light weas jeggings and a white tank. I let my cobalt blue fringe shoes come out to play for a while and the look was complete!


And doesn’t Monique look fantastic! I love her boho glam easy style.