Overpacked Living & Oversized Jacket

Overpacked Living & Oversized Jacket
Mother celebration month is officially here! When I think of the woman balancing motherhood alongside all her other responsibilities the first word that comes to mind is:

Pressure

This is probably not the word you wanted to see, but I am just being honest. There is always something that a Mother has to do!  Personally, I have this underlying pressure to fit everything in, to make sure everyone under my roof is pleased, and to make sure my individual identity remains in tact. It is a lot & that is before extending to the responsibilities and expectations outside of the home!!! Over the past few weeks I have reflected on this struggle and have determined that some of this pressure may be:

Continue reading “Overpacked Living & Oversized Jacket”

Kimono Robe, Jean Overalls, & Grilled Cheese

You ever have those wardrobe items that you just wear all the dang time!?! I certainly do & I am not ashamed at all. I am an aspiring minimalist who is proud to not have a personal closet overflowing with clothes. Every time that I am in my closet or folding laundry – I look to see if there is anything that I can sell or giveaway.

“Y’all We Need to Streamline”

That is the phrase I say non stop in my house. My husband just laughs at me and the kids simply stare at their mother. But for real, I’m not joking – I’d rather keep just a few items (pre-loved preferred) – treat them well – and then release them for someone else to enjoy!
I soooo appreciate the folks that were kind enough to part ways with this kimono robe and the jean overalls!

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The Kimono Robe was thrifted right before a trip to Morocco and believe it or not – has an actual map of Morocco on it! God wanted me to have this piece of art, I am sure of it! When I wear this beauty I truly feel like the daughter of a King!!! Straight majestic orange crush vibes!
When I found the overalls one of the button enclosures was missing – which is probably why it was kicked to the curb. :/ Welp – I snatched it up, grabbed a button enclosure set, and my son’s teacher installed it for me! These overalls have been getting worn to every dang thang since! I have worn them to picnics, work, church, – you name it!
These two very different closet staples had never been paired together & I must say this combo will be repeated time and time again! The gold drop earrings, accessories, and heels – keep the look elevated.

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Tory Burch “Marion” Quilted Lambskin Tote (thanks hubby).
Asus ZenWatch 3 (thanks again hubby)
DSW Shoes (clearance).

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The African Women, elephants, and zebra animal print – make me ooh and ahhhh like a little child. ❤ I just might need to see Black Panther again, wearing this exact same outfit – so I can pretend I am a Wakanda native! hmm……let me go check out the movie showtimes….. (I’ll be righhhhhhhhhhht back)
20180325_210441.jpg“Did my husband just say “cheese” as in smile or “grilled cheese” as in food…?
Yea, sooooo the movie mission was abruptly put on hold (womp womp) -> blame it on the food temptation! I mean…one cannot work on an empty stomach and risk getting hangry!
Thankfully my classy ensemble could transform to ” I’m ready to eat chic” in a blink of an eye – by simply removing the robe in a lady like manner (aka throw to the nearest chair)!
My husband made a delicious grilled cheese & tomato soup lunch! I took some photos and rough notes – so maybe one day I can get up off my tooshie to melt some cheese on some bread and warm up a soup box. You’ll probably beat me to it – recipe is below. 🙂

 

 

Fancy AF Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Ingredients

  • Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup (1 Box – feeds 4)

  • Brioche Bread Loaf Slices

  • Shredded Cheese of Choice (Monterrey Jack & Mexican Cheese – is what we used) – 1/4 cup per sandwich

  • Olive Oil (a little)

  • Butter (a little)

  • Parsley or Cilantro (to garnish and look real fancy)

 

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350

  2. Shred up your cheese of choice – if you want it really cheesy then shred up a mountain high pile. *sing ” Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” while you do this – it’s only right! 😀

  3.  Warm up your box of soup on the stove top, stir occasionally low heat

  4.  Warm your olive oil and butter in a skillet (we prefer cast iron) – lightly brown your brioche loaves on each side – medium heat

  5. Place the bread slices into the buttery skillet. Top half of the sandwich (one slice) with your cheese mixture and place the other slice on top – cover  the skillet with a lid to get the nice cheese melt.

  6. Uncover the skillet and for added swag – place in the oven for additional browning and melting – keep in for just a few mins, remove, and slice your sandwich

  7. Pour your soup into a bowl & garnish to liking, plate the slices, and BAM -> all done. 🙂

This quick and simple meal was a hit! Can you tell!?! 🙂
We will definitely be having this fancy grilled cheese & tomato soup combo again!

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Feed me again please and I will bring a side of thrifted style, same outfit swag.
There is nothing wrong with wearing the same outift and repeating a yummy meal! 😉

 

Peace & Blessings,
Lo Johnson

Love Series: Pearls of Wisdom

My whole life I have been surrounded by incredibly strong women!
In fact, the Lord blessed me with the honor of having 5 grandmothers during my lifetime!!! 3 greats and 2 grands – to be exact!
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Photo taken in my Great Grandma Pearl’s formal living room – wearing my favorite thrifted overalls.  Isn’t this red throne & dreamy artwork – gorgeous!?! 😍😍😍
Over the past 4 years, three of them have passed away and my heart will never be the same. I am forever grateful for all they taught me and miss them dearly. Thankfully I will see them on the other side – in eternity with our maker.

We All Are Passing Through

My Great Grandma Pearl is the last Great I have left on this Earth and she just celebrated a birthday on love day. ❤ To be 94 years old and still living in your own home – in your right mind – giving the Lord all the glory – #goals on #goals on #goals!!! 🤗
To celebrate this blessing of continued life I road-tripped to her house with my kiddies and siblings! We took her out to dinner and commenced to have a sleepover! She had us cracking up with all of her stories and life lessons! Listen –  it was midnight and she showed no signs of wanting to sleep! At 94, she was trying to have a stay up all night over!!!!!  Welp, her great grands couldn’t stay up and hang! 😂😂😂 We tapped out at midnight – don’t judge us.
In between giggling and cackling I  managed to jot down a few of my Grandma Pearl’s knowledge drops. Check out these:

Pearls of Wisdom

  • Be Thankful & Grateful
    •  Everything about her spirit exudes this. She is thankful that the Lord has provided for her and that she has lived to see generations of her family.
  • Live Spirit Led
    • She described a time where she wanted to fuss about something and the Lord told her no good would come from it – so she obeyed. She raised her kids to know the Lord and got them in Sunday School. To this day she looks forward to going to Sunday School at her church.
  • Prioritize Family
    • She raised 6 kids and was a working mother.  Being with her children was her top priority and she was not one to go out partying.  It her belief that leaving them alone and not being present – can cause kids to go astray. There was a time where her and my Great Granddad worked the same shift – she talked to her boss and asked him to switch her – so one of them could be home with the kids and not a sitter.
  • Choose Balance
    • In her younger years – an older woman and her doctor told her to “not do it all”! They told her if she continued working all day, come home cleaning & scrubbing, then cooking, getting the kids down, and polishing shoes – with no real rest – that her kids would have no mama. She definitely did not like the idea of  leaving young kids behind – so she let some things go and introduced balance. She chose to let her husband pick up some things – like cook dinner from time to time.
  • Nothing is “Free”
    • There is always a catch or some fine print – sooner or later. Ask up front and don’t fall for the tricks!
  • Get an Education
    • Just having a high school degree means the world to her! Getting a college degree is HUGE! Attending our graduations was always at the top of her list and made her so very proud. On this last visit, she made it a point to speak over my 5 year old and tell him he is smart!
  • Men: Treat your Ladies Right
    • I overheard her telling my brothers this. That as a man you may think you are getting away with mistreating your lady – but it will catch up to you. This goes for us all and is bible. “Love your neighbor as yourself” – read the verse here. Loving God and others – are the greatest commandments
I picked up on these nuggets and more during our conversations. Plus we got to make  more memories and just love on each other! That is what family is all about.

Spend Time with your Elderly Loved Ones

They have sooo much wisdom and you might just get a six-pack from non stop laughter! Okay maybe a 2 pack, but you get my point. 😂 In all seriousness, they have been there done that! Get those pearls of wisdom and family history  – written down.

Pass it to the Next Generation

On this last trip I did just that and snapped lots of photos – my favorite being a 4 generation family picture. Tripods sure do come in handy – so no one gets left out! 🙂
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My Great Grandma Pearl, Granddaddy Young, siblings, and kids. I am wearing a groovy thrifted Anthropologie top – available for purchase – here.

 

 

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Group Hug!
Peace & Blessings,
Lonisa

Love Series: The Black Woman

Love Series: The Black Woman
Dear Black Woman – This one is For Us By Us.
If you are reading this and are not Black – that is okay! I love you too! As Tina Lawson, the mother of the dynamic daughters Beyoncé and Solange, said on the “Tina Taught Me” interlude:

“ It’s such beauty in Black people, and it really saddens me when we’re not allowed to express that pride in being Black; and that if you do then it’s considered anti-white. No! You just pro-Black. And that’s okay. The two don’t go together. Because you celebrate Black culture does not mean that you don’t like white culture; or that you putting it down. It’s just taking pride”

Please take “A Seat at the Table” and grab you a nice fresh glass of “Lemonade”.
To be a Black Woman is an honor. I love being Black and part of a beautiful dynamic race of people. Every single shade of our spectrum oozes with melanin magic! A magic that has overcome obstacles of every kind. A magic that can not and will not ever be contained.
As much as society tries to replicate us they just cannot pull it off.

Our Swag is Non-Transferable.

Every time I am dealing with my coily kinky curls – despite the toil – I sure do love its versatility! I can rock a fro. I can wear braids. I can do flexi rod sets. I can wear it straight! Shoot –

Our Crown Can Conquer it All!

There is nothing it cannot do! Our hair is an outward reflection of our inner strength!
The world can press us, throw water on us, cut us, try to get us to curl up and lay flat – BUT

We are Resilient!

If I could choose a celebrity ‘Galentineine that represents this well – it would be our very own:

Tracee Ellis Ross

What a breath of fresh air! Seeing a Black Woman that advocates for all women yet never forgetting her own. A woman that is hilarious and highly intelligent. & doing it with a STYLE that is out of this world!
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Credit: Official traceeellisross Instagram
She holds us down in real life and on her latest show, Black-ish, – as the driven Dr. Rainbow “Bow” Johnson! In 2017, Tracee won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Comedy or Musical. When receiving her award, she said:

“This is for all of the women of color and colorful people whose stories, ideas and thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important”

May we all embody that mindset daily never forgetting to help the sistah behind us and the ones walking beside us.
These days I don’t watch many shows – but you best believe I stay on top of my “Black-ish”. One of my favorite scenes is from the Season 4 Episode “Working Girl” – the dialogue plays out like this:

Bow: For so long I have worked so hard to prove myself and I have always asked myself the same question. Can I do it all?

Dre: Of course, you can.

Bow: Yes, obviously I can do it all Dre! I can do everything. I’m great!!!

Pause – on all the dag nab levels! Her Black husband affirmed her greatness and she let it be known that she never forgot!!! Yassssssssss!

Thank you to our Black King’s that support us and lift us up.

We appreciate you, honor you, and pray for your protection daily.
Dear Black Woman, Keep showering the universe with all that magical Black fairy dust!

You are my Galentine– forever and always. 💋💄💋

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Inspired by Tracee Ellis Ross. Wearing French Connection (Size 6) – available in my Poshmark Closet
Peace & Blessings,
Lo Johnson

Super Bowl Sunday Swag

Football season brings flashbacks to my childhood – the traveling, tape watching, and all the fancy perks of being immersed in the world of the National Football League.

Now, as an adult, there are three triggers that bring out my inner football fan :

  • The release of Hard Knocks on HBO – to get hype!
  • My husband’s fantasy league draft – to talk trash!
  • Super Bowl Sunday – to eat snacks! 😀

To celebrate the big game I pulled out some official NFL swag – the leather jacket that my Queenie Mommaz used to rock! 🙂

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I absolutely loved wearing this memory jacket and pairing it with my thrift finds. The items pictured below cost me a total of $10 and they are designer brands!!!

I saw the polka dot top and then saw the Michael Kors brand! Instant snatch up! Long live the polka dot and the pinterest board dedicated to it’s greatness!!!

The purse was buried in a clutch pile, I tried it on, and knew it was something of quality. I did a quick google search right in the store and confirmed that Halston Heritage was a designer brand! I bought the bag for $4 dollars and have no plans of letting it go soon! That chain was made into a heart for good reason – plus it’s love month ! 🙂

These two classy chic finds and the jacket made for the perfect combo!

20180204_231102.jpgTo be honest the jacket is a combo all by itself. The combination of the simple truths that make me proud of both my parents.

  • My Dad – He played football at the highest level for 12 years!
  • My Mother – She equipped her 5 children to get touchdowns in life!

To the one whose name is written in this jacket – thank you for being the ultimate pro. & for doing it with style & grace. 🙂

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Peace & Blessings,

Lonisa

 

Sweets & Shoe Soles

Sweets & Shoe Soles

There is nothing like the adrenaline rush of visiting a new thrift spot! While visiting family in St. Louis – I explored three thrift stores. One of them was the Goodwill located in Brentwood, Mo. This spot only ended up on my radar after doing some Instagram stalking and hearing folks talk up this location! The FOMO syndrome started to kick in and before you knew it….the whole family was getting buckled in the car! 🙂

To make sure we were fully equipped for this adventure – the first order of business was to stop at:

Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe

I have been dragging my husband to Jilly’s  since before the kids were even thought of  – so it is always on my list of things to do when in St. Louis.  We had actually tried going a couple days prior – but they were all out of the cupcake I wanted. 😦 The second attempt was a SUCCESS!

Finally, the “Beautiful Unicorn Cupcake” was in my possession!!! C’mon who doesn’t want to be magical?!?

 

After demolishing the cupcakes in epic fashion – it was time to thrift!

I grabbed my cart and started to do my thang! But of course –  my sugared up kids wanted to get into everything. Sourcing and parenting was becoming a difficult task – then suddenly it hit me – where the heck was my beloved husband?!? Seriously…….

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Yep, he was straight chillin in the furniture section reading a $1 book he grabbed. Y’all he was living his best life and had me thinking “Umm is this my trip or your get away” ? 🙂

Well it must have been meant to be because right in front of him was the shoe rack. This peaked my interest and saved him from my wifey wrath! 🙂 Usually this section is avoided. I only thrift things that I could see myself wearing and pre-loved shoes are not my thing – nevertheless I started to browse.

To my surprise – I found not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 brand new pairs of shoes!!!! You read correctly:

Brand New, Never Worn, Thrifted Shoes

I was so stoked to have landed this score!

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Top: Thrifted BCBG , Purse: Poshmark Purchase!

Here are some closeups of the shoes I snagged for my Poshmark Closet!

 

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Life Lesson:

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

You never know – there might be some pretty sweet shoe soles on the other side. 😉 

Are any of you hesitating to venture into the unknown?

Do any of you thrift shoes and have tips? 

Let’s chat about it! 🙂

Peace & Blessings,
Lonisa

Money: January No Spend Challenge

I have officially completed day one of the No Spend Week Challenge!

A week ago, I had $354 of “play” money left for the month and I knew that I would be spending a nice chunk of that celebrating the birth of my husband. I gifted him some new basketball shoes so he can pretend to be LeBron in his work league. 🙂 We also had some time together without our dependents (YAY)!

My sister watched the kids and we got to catch up with some friends from our Alma Mater! Then later we went out for a yummy Sushi Dinner!

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       The Yellow Crotchet Top is Thrifted – cost $4! Brand: Free People

Every time my card was swiped I keyed the amount into my Simple Budget App.

After the birthday celebration, I had about $110 left. I used some of that the next day to ice my family with some Dunkin Donuts and fill up my car tank.

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I now have an Adulting Allowance of:

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I have no reason to spend that money in the next week and would like to carry over some funds into February. Based on what that month is looking like – the coins will be needed!

So I have challenged myself to spend no money between January 22nd – January 28th. Having a full tank of gas and bringing my breakfast/lunch from home – should cover all of my personal spending needs. There is nothing that I absolutely must buy and I have no planned hangouts.

Just because you have money does not mean that it must be spent!

Every month I try to pick a week or a few days to spend no money. There is nothing like challenging your inner self and it forces you to get creative! In all honesty, it is a jolt to the system that shakes off that “gotta have it” mentality!

The days that I have successfully spent no money are the days where I have:

  • Prepared
  • Practiced Self Control
  • Prayed (Temptation is Real!)

Fingers crossed that I can keep it going the next 6 days!  I absolutely love that on Instagram there is a community of everyday people sharing their journey of saving and getting out of debt! Lots of people have incorporated no spend days! I encourage you all to check out the #debtfreecommunity and #financialfreedom hashtags.

Do any of you have designated no spend days? 

Peace & Blessings,

Lonisa