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Lorraine is a style obsessed mama to two young kids, a wife to a supportive husband and a family photographer. Lorraine graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2006, with a degree in advertising photography. She enjoys quiet moments, silly kids, clothes, shoes, coffee and a little wine too. Can't get enough of her here on FredParent? Check out her personal blog: Rain in Style.

 

Rain in Style

A Word of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I know most of us are busy with holiday preparations, so thanks for stopping by to hang out for a minute. Whether you are traveling or staying at home, I hope you are enjoying the time spent with family and friends.  I thought for this week's post, I would just talk briefly about what I am thankful for.  Yes it might be a little cliché, but it's Thanksgiving, after all, and what better time then now to show gratitude and thankfulness.

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So, first, I am thankful for my little family of four.  My husband of almost ten years is my rock. We have weathered quite a few storms, and always manage to come out stronger than before. There isn't a better co-pilot than he. My kids, are the light of my world. They are little versions of my husband and me, and what a blessing it is to be their mom. I know I struggle with mommyhood quite often...but I always know, that much like weathering storms in marriage, I can weather storms in parenting and come out stronger. Above all, I am thankful that we are all here together.

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Second, I am thankful for my extended family, both my side and my husband's side. I don't have a picture of all of my husband's family together - I'll have to fix that! This is my family, and I am grateful for all of them. Especially for my parents, who not only brought me into this world, but made sure I made it through some difficult years.  

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Third, I am thankful for my friends.  I don't really keep a large group of friends; I find comfort in a smaller, tighter circle.  Each and every one of my friends holds an important place in my heart.    

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I am also thankful for my jobs. Yes, both my photography job and my blogging job are blessings. I love my photography clients; I love seeing their families and watching their kids grow through my lens. It's an amazing gift that I have, to be able to capture moments that will stay with families and be cherished forever. I am often called "the baby whisperer" because my tiniest clients love my shooooshing sounds, and that brings me so much joy. Writing for this blog is also a blessing. Being able to give women confidence and style help is something that I greatly enjoy. 

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I am thankful for my fitness journey and for my trainer who keeps me in line. It has proven to be exactly what I needed to find myself again. However, it's not only beneficial to me, it has also inspired my kids to "work out". They try to do the things that I do, and that is possibly the biggest blessing of them all. For my kids to know the value of having healthy habits and seeing me as strong, not skinny.  

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I am also thankful for every new day, for every sunrise, for every new beginning. For laughter, smiles, kindness and love. I'm thankful for having a house to call home, warm water and food at the ready. Things that often get taken for granted. Often, when I am having one of those rough days (or weeks, or months..), I look at this saying that hangs in my house...There is always something to be thankful for.  

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And that is so very true. Even if there doesn't seem to be much in your life at the moment to be thankful for...there is always something. If nothing else, be thankful that you are here to grace the Earth, that you are here to share your light. I am thankful for that, I am thankful for you. 

 

So cheers, everyone. Enjoy each other, laugh together, eat, drink and be thankful.

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-xo 

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Style Confidence

Hi everyone! Welcome back to my little corner of the world. There has been a topic that I have wanted to write about for awhile now, so I thought I would take a moment this week and talk about it. Confidence. Yes, confidence in your style choices, but also about finding confidence in yourself when the world seems to be a dreary weary place (bonus points if you know the children’s book I’m referencing).

Why do I feel the need to talk about having confidence? Well, what a lot of you probably don’t know about me is that I was a troubled teenager, I struggled with self confidence and I always felt like I never fit in. I was different, I was rough... and I was unsure. This photo sums up my path to self confidence.. me in high school, to about a year after my youngest was born, to a few months ago.  Notice the fake smile in the first two.

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As much as I was teased back in high school, it didn’t break me. It hardened me, in a way, and I dealt with it in very unhealthy ways. Back then we didn’t have social media, and I am actually thankful for that. I feel for kids these days, with access to a big, crazy and often scary digital world of anonymity. For me, being in the social media world, I have learned VERY quickly that I have to have even tougher skin than before and I have to remain confident in myself no matter what others say...and trust me people have lots to say. Not always the nicest things either. It used to hurt me. It has broken me...But not anymore.

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Now, instead of reacting to hurtful words, instead of letting anyone try to take me down a notch, I smile back and walk away. The way I see it, only people who, for whatever reason, see themselves as less than you will try to bring you down to their level. It’s a problem within themselves, not a problem within you. If you let them tear you down, they win. Don’t let them win.

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Now, that’s all very easy to say, however, how do you find that confidence? How do you find a way to tune out negativity and just be you? Start by understanding that you are YOU, and no one needs to give you their approval to look whatever way you want. I have bright pink hair, and I love it...it suits me. Others don’t like it (trust me, I know). I wear heels all the time, get dressed up for everything, I wear quirky shirts and tight clothing...plenty of people have made ther distaste for my outfit choices known. Before, I would have questioned my choices, but now...I own them. Because now, I understand that it’s ok for someone to not like your style choices, and it’s even more ok for you to smile and walk away.  Laughing as you go.

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So, I want to beg you to not find your confidence in conformity, but to be the bright spot in a grey world. We need more rainbows, more confidence and self love. Know that you are beautiful, you are unique and the world needs your brightness. Don’t ever let anyone steal that from you. As a style blogger, I want to be someone that helps refine you but doesn’t define you.

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I hope that I can inspire you with my style advice, to go out there in the world with confidence...to be a knock out.  But I also want you to remain your unique and beautiful self.  

 

 

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Over the Moon for Over the Knee Boots

Oh, I know that title is kind of cheesy, but it's also pretty accurate.  I am indeed over the moon for over the knee boots (or OTK in style lingo). I thought that this week, I would chat a little bit about how to style them and give you some outfit ideas. Grab a coffee (pumpkin spice is optional) and let's talk about OTK boots.

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 I have two pairs of OTK's, one black pair and one tan pair.  I got the black ones last fall, and admittedly, I didn't wear them often. Partly because I didn't know how to style them, and partly because I just wasn't confident enough to wear them. They do take a little bit of getting used to, but I encourage you to try them.  Both of mine came from DSW. They are Unisa brand, and you can find them here.  You know me and heels, so of course mine have heels, I have seen some OTK's that are flat or have a lower heel, if you prefer. That's a presonal preference.  I like the Unisa ones because of the ties at the top that hold the boots up. However, when I wear mine with a dress and no tights, they don't stay up well.  I'm considering using tape...I'm not joking.  

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The ties at the top are adjustable, so it makes it easier to adjust it for bare legs vs jeans.  I tried on a pair of cute ones at T.J.Maxx a week ago which had elastic at the top.  Be careful with that style! When I put them on, they squeezed my thighs so it looked like my thighs were overflowing my boots. Like a muffin top, but on my legs. They were uncomfortably tight at the top.  I am sure that they'd stay up without worry, but I won't sacrifice blood circulation for OTK's that stay up.

 

Once you find a pair that you like, the fun really begins!  Here are a few styling ideas to help get some ideas going. First, a general "rule" about wearing OTK's: they need to be balanced. These boots make a statement, so to balance that, keep other areas covered. Don't wear a tank top, or strapless dress with OTK's. Generally speaking, you want to keep arms covered, with long sleeves, or layer over a tank top with a cardigan. 

  • Mix Textures- my OTK's are faux suede and one of my favorite ways to wear them is with my black faux leather leggings, like this... It's also a great way to break up and add interest to an all black outfit. Black leggings would also work well; wear with a tunic and a long necklace or scarf and you are all set.

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  • Add Layers- I like to add layers when I wear my OTK's.  It helps to balance the outfit.  Try adding a blanket scarf, a vest, jacket or cardigan.  IMG 4693
  • Try them with dresses- admittedly, this can be difficult.  There are some people that think OTK's with a dress reminds them of a Pretty Woman situation.  I am not one of those people.  I like to pair mine with flowy dresses, and sweater dresses, like these two, because the bulk and volume of them balance the boots.  Add a jacket, vest or scarf to create more balance and interest.

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  • Try them with jeans- I love OTK's with jeans, but it only works with skinny jeans.  Again, I try to balance my top half with a flowier shirt or a jacket or long cardigan.IMG 4709
  • Add Drama to basics- OTK's are a great way to add interest to a simple outfit.  This dress is sleeveless, so I added a cardigan to balance the boots (like my first "rule" above) Also, notice here that My cardigan is chunky and long enough to touch my boots; that's a great way to balance a fitted dress and the boots.  Without the cardigan, this outfit would not work.IMG 3864

 

 Try them with shorts- I have yet to take this look for a trial run, because... see my face here? I'm not quite sure yet if I like the look, but in theory it works.  I might try it with a chunkier cardigan (like the one above) and a different scarf.  It's edgy and bold... two things that I love...so there's that. IMG 9553

So, what do you think? Are you ready to give over the knee boots a chance? I say go for it... Let me know how you style them! I always need new ideas.

 

Stay tuned next week for more style talk.

-xo

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What to Wear for Family Photos

'Tis the season...the leaves are changing, the pumpkins are being picked and carved, there is a crispness in the air...and that my friends, probably means you are getting family photos done.  I know this because, not only am I a style blogger, but I am also a family photographer here in Fredericksburg (find me on Facebook- Lorraine Serbinski Photography, or on my webpage, here ).  I thought that I would take a moment to talk about what to wear for your family photo sessions. I recently took my own family photos, and the struggle with what everyone should wear is real!! In fact, I have to bribe my son to wear actual pants and not those athletic running style pants... and shoes...that's a whole THING. A shirt with BUTTONS?!? The terror!!!!!!! 

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Anyway, so as both a photographer and a mom, I get that coordinating everyone for your photos can be a task.  So, I will give you a few suggestions that hopefully will make it a little easier, but the bribing...that's all you. This year, for my family photos (yes I took them myself) I wanted to wear a tutu skirt...and that is a statement piece, so I had to work everyone else's outfits around my tutu. I chose white, because I knew that the couch I would use was red, and the color scheme I wanted was white, teal, red with grey thrown in as a neutral. You can find this tutu skirt in every color imaginable, on Amazon, here.  

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So that brings me to my suggestions:

  • Start with a color scheme in mind-  You can search pinterest or google and find a lot of interesting color combinations.  Everyone in the photo should be wearing the colors in your chosen scheme.  They don't all have to wear every color at once.  Use neutral colors too to create balance and rest, and by "rest" I mean neutrals give your eye a rest from a lot of color. 
  • Choose a statement piece or a pattern- be careful with patterns.  Stay away from loud patterns, and use it sparingly, for example, don't put everyone in plaid, one person in plaid and the others in cooridinating solid colors.  Whoever is wearing the pattern, will stand out. However, I broke that "rule" in the photo above...LOL. My son is in plaid and I have a polka dot cardigan.  It works though because both are understated.
  • If in doubt, layer-  Layers add interest to an outfit.  With my family photos, I probably should have put my husband in a jacket, that way he would have had an extra layer.  
  • Think about your entire outfit- From head to toe, everything matters.  So, don't wear holey socks, or beat up shoes.
  • Accesorize-  yes yes yes.  Accessories are a great way to put personality into your photos. They are also a great way to bring in different textures. Scarves, jewelry...etc  
  • Ask your photographer- I know a few photographers that have strong feelings about certain colors, or clothing styles, so ask thier opinion.  However, always always be true to your likes and what you love to wear.  We are here to help, but if you don't love what you are in, the pictures will reflect that.
  • Lay it out- I find it easiest to lay everything out on the floor, so you can see all outfits together.  I am a visual person, so it helps me see how it will all come together and if I need to change anything.

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 And, my most important suggestion...get your family photos done every year.  I am still amazed at how fast both my family and my clients' families change and grow.  Here is one of my family photos from last year.  Color scheme for this one was neutral colors.  And oh my how we have changed! Looking back at this now, I should have had blue earrings instead of the neutral colored ones.  It would have helped to draw the blue across.    

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 This one is from maybe two years ago (maybe three)... and it brings back so many memories!  Don't let their happy faces fool you, they were NOT HAPPY.  My kids have something called "photographers kid syndrome". It's a terrible thing that affects their capability to listen to direction as soon as their mom picks up the camera.  It's this strange affliction that turns them into little demanding divas who act like wild hyenas. 

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Regardless, I hope you all are getting your photos done, or maybe you are ahead of the game and already did. Either way, go on and get them done.  Capture the moments, all of them, because pretty soon they won't want to sit this close to each other, or bribing them to do it will involve something bigger than Smarties. But most importantly, let it be FUN. Let them do thier goofy shots, the goofy poses... you'll get the images you want faster.  

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Stay tuned next week when I talk about how to style over the knee boots, another fall favorite.  

 

-xo 

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Let's Talk About Scarves

Hi everyone, I’m back this week with one of my fall (and winter) favorite things... scarves. I have a love, verging on obsession, for scarves that I cannot and will not ever deny. It’s like a necklace that keeps you warm and cozy. Although, unlike jewelry, I know that they can be difficult to style, especially those “is this a blanket or a scarf” ones... conveniently and accurately called blanket scarves. They can be tough to handle, but don’t fear, I have made a video to show you how I wrangle those beasts. I’ll get to that later.

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I own quite a few scarves, but the ones I wear the most are plaid. Do you remember my post a few weeks ago, about being obsessed with plaid? The majority of my scarves are plaid, and most are either infinity style or blanket scarves. Why? Because plaid mixes well with a lot of patterns, which I talked about in my plaid post, here.  My favorite pattern mixing is plaid and leopard print.  Close second is plaid and polka dots.

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Infinity scarves are pretty simple - they are the ones that are just a circle, that you wrap around twice (or at least that’s the only way I do them). I do have a few Infinity style scarves that I love, like this one, that I got at Nordstroms last year. With the infinity style scarves, they are usually shorter and less bulky then blanket scarves and I like that you can wear a long necklace underneath and it peeks out the bottom

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Rectangular scarves can be styled probably a million different ways, but I really only wear mine one way. I made a video to show you how I tie the traditional rectangle scarf, and while I don’t wear them as often as the other two styles, I do have a few that make the cut. In this video, I also show you how to tie blanket scarves.

See? Super easy. Hands down my favorite style of scarf is blanket scarves. I wear them a lot, and learning to tie them so they aren’t bulky is a process. Last year, I went a little cray cray and cut a lot of my blanket scarves in half. Yes, this is an actual thing. Cutting them on the diagonal helps to make them not as bulky, however, I wish now, that I hadn’t done it. I feel like I miss the warmth of the full scarf. For example, these two are some of the ones that I cut...

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Compared to these that are not cut...

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Some blanket scarves are more rectangular in shape, so it makes cutting them a bit tricky. That blue one is a prime example, because it is not long enough for the ends to wrap around, I had to tie it in the back, which leaves me with a large knot at the back of my neck. It's kind of annoying, and I am currently searching for a replacement (which I won't cut). I am always searching my favorite scarf places...try Grace and Lace, Zulilly, Nordstroms and TJ Maxx or Marshalls, for new scarves.  I have just enough space in my closet for like, 3 more.  

 

Ready to give them a try? Let me know if the video helps you wrangle the blanket scarf beast.  Next week I will be back to talk about my next fall/winter obsession...over the knee boots. 

-xo

 

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Pouches' Community Corner

Adoptive parents in Fredericksburg now have a new partner on their journey to a healthy family. In 2016, Children’s Home Society was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Social Services to extend their Richmond area post-adoptive services to the Fredericksburg area.

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Now CHS is looking to find adoptive families in the area who need support before they hit a crisis point. “It doesn’t matter which agency they adopted from, or when that happened,” said Buckheit. “We want to offer a lifetime of support to adoptive families in the Fredericksburg area, especially those who haven’t been aware of our services in the past.”

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