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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

Vintage Love

Do you all know that I have a very special love affair with pretty much all things vintage and retro? I do. I love retro, vintage, antique... if it's old, well loved, filled with character and beautiful in its uniqueness, I probably would love it and have to have it. Which is weird because my husband is younger than me, and yet I still love him. LOL

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No but seriously. Our house is filled with vintage pieces - things that aren't necessarily brand new from the factory (although we do have those things too). I've tried to incorporate a mix of old pieces, vintage pieces and new pieces. The eclectic mix makes my artsy side happy. Hunting for antiques and vintage things takes us to a lot of neat stores and places, which my kids HATE. Now I know how my parents felt when I was little. They used to drag us into every antique store, which I hated, and I'm sure I let my feelings be known. My siblings and I had to suffer through it until one day I got smart and when my parents asked if a store looked open or if I could read the sign... I'd say “nope it's closed, sorry!” It wasn't closed. LOL.

Paybacks, I guess. Because now my kids do the same to me. Here they are, at an antique store downtown, pretending to be a type of Pokemon that needs to lay in the sun to survive. Apparently, they were unable to move or they risked not surviving.  Well played, kids...well played.

 

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Anyway, while on vacation in Lancaster, PA, recently (if you missed my post about it, catch that here) I found lots of new treasures. But this...this vintage 1970’s bag (they called it a cosmetic case) is my favorite.

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When I first saw it, I stood in the booth at the antique mall we were in, ignored the protests from my kids, and stared at it for awhile. It was cute, unique and in good condition. But, as with anything, I had to have an idea of how I would use it in an outfit or be able to repurpose it. So I debated for a long time. Eventually, though, I knew if I didn't get it, I'd regret it. So now it's mine and I adore it.

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And because I'm Style Obsessed, I set about figuring out how to style an outfit around this bag. I decided on this black romper (from Francesca's) and my black bootie sandal things (from Target). Keeping everything one color, and jewelry to a minimum (I am wearing big gold earrings) allows the focus to be kept on my adorable vintage bag.

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It's also a great way to demostrate picking a statement piece and making a statement with it. This bag is bright, bold and colorful, it has a unique shape and material.  Pieces like this need to be center stage and made the focus of your outfit.  I also loved pairing it with a simple white dress. This one is from H&M and it gets a lot of use.  I no longer see it online, though, so if you see it in store, buy it!

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While this bag is a welcome addition to my closet, it already has me searching for more! My love for vintage pieces also extends to jewelry.  Most of what I have has come from my mom and grandma.  I love it when your accessories...or even household stuff, holds memories and stories.  These pieces are dear to my heart..

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The diamond ring, was, I believe, my great grandma's engagement ring? Help me out here, mom.  LOL.  The shape of it is so unique and beautiful.  Do you have any special vintage peices? Or just vintage things that you have found while exploring antique stores?  I'd love to see them!

 

As always, don't forget to follow me over at my blog www.raininstyle.com

 

-xo 

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Summer's Calling...Let's Talk About Swim Suits

Ahhh summer. Right? The sun's out... the pool is calling. But, if you're like me, when the pool or beach calls, you hang up. Because when they call, that means it's swimsuit season. Leave a message, summer...I'm not swimsuit ready. However, I had to go shopping for a new swimsuit this year, and it's almost as bad as going jeans shopping, am I right?

But why? Why is shopping for swimsuits so very bad? While on our vacation, I was doing my usual people watching (because who doesn't love people watching), and I noticed something. I only saw a few women walking around in only a swimsuit. Only one or two were wearing a two piece, and the rest were always wearing some sort of cover-up, or was wearing something else entirely and no swimsuit. Meanwhile, men were walking around in their swim trunks without a care in the world. No shirt, no problem!!!! Didn't matter what shape they were in. Being at the pool meant wearing a swimsuit. Seems simple.

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But it isn’t so simple. And that got me thinking, why do women care so much about having to wear a swimsuit and men just go with whatever? Yes, I understand that there's a lot more attention placed on women's bodies, and often, we are harder on ourselves about our bodies then we should be. I understand how difficult it can be to feel confident in a swim suit, when seemingly, the world wants women to look like swim suit models. Real women wear swimsuits, not just models in magazines. I struggled with this post, to be honest.  While typing it, I thought maybe I should add something about choosing the right swimsuit for your body...but a quick search on google left me kind of disheartened.  Yes, you want a suit that flatters, but I drew a line when I started reading articles about suits for "a big butt", "small chest", "thick thighs", "back fat", "sporty body","large arms", "lots of cleavage".  I'd had enough.  Fact of the matter is, when I read those articles, I felt like they were saying..."hey girl with the big butt, here's the suit for you!" and I'm not cool with that. Where are the articles about swimsuits for men with beer bellies, short legs, or hairy backs? I don't want this post to feel like that. I want to empower you to wear whatever suit that you like. If you feel great in a tankini, wear it.  If you love to show skin, do it. I don't care what the articles say about your best bet for swimsuits. 

There was a time, back in my college days, that I would jump at any opportunity to put on my barely there bikini and hang out by the pool, the lake or the beach. But then my kids came along, and I was no longer comfortable with how my body had changed. Looking back through some photos, I found these and I remember distinctively, that I did not even own a swimsuit then, because why would I, if I was never ever putting one on ever again. Ever.

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Somewhere along the way, my attitude changed. My perspective grew and evolved into having a better understanding of who I am now as opposed to who I once was. Yes, I started working out to gain confidence and muscle tone, but, more importantly, I quickly realized that I had two sets of young eyes on me. Both my son and my daughter needed to see me loving who I am and they both needed to see that I have a positive body image and confidence to be myself. So, I went out and I bought not one, but three swimsuits, all two pieces.

Do I still have areas that I am self conscious about? Absolutely. It’s that stubborn lower stomach area, that I affectionately call “mama flub”, because I earned that growing two humans. So, to help me over that hurdle, I went for a two piece suit that has a high waist bottom. That way I could cover the area that I dislike, and still show off everything else.  A note about high waist bottoms, you might hear that they look like diapers. But, I disagree. I chose some that have cutouts on the side because I think that they look more like a swimsuit and less like a diaper. I also like that they are higher in the back.  These all came from Target. I only kept the two in the first image, and the striped top from the bottom set.  Although, I regret not keeping the polka dot bottoms. Again, I decided that the cutout sides looked less diapery, but actually, they are all cute.

 

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I have one swimsuit bottom that isn’t a high waist, and I had ignored it, up until I decided to write this post. It goes back to being self conscious about my lower stomach area. But, here it is, and admittedly I don’t hate it as much as I used to.

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Will I ever go for the skimpy string bikinis again? Maybe. The truth is, women have the most amazing choices for swim wear. Tons of options for cut, style, fit, pattern, color... etc, so why wouldn’t we want to wear as many styles as we like? Men don’t necessarily have as many options. It’s similar to shoes! I am going to set a goal for myself. Next year, my goal is to care less and be fierce more. To buy a skimpy bikini and wear it, proudly. No matter if I still have the mama flub or not. If I like it, i'm going to wear it, and I challenge you to do the same. 

 

As always, head on over to www.raininstyle.com to read up on more style fun.  

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Rain In Style...Vacation Style

Every year my family takes a vacation up in the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside. We love to go to Lancaster, PA, and the small towns up that way. We usually spend five days up there, enjoying confined living space, 24 hour togetherness and one bathroom....I'm kidding...sort of. This year we stayed at the Eden Resort, and it was an awesome place to stay as a family. Our favorite part was the outdoor splash area and kiddie pools. Our kids were able to do that and the large playground nearby, all while Matt and I chilled in the shade sipping our drinks (which they delivered poolside). Good times. Trust me, after so much togetherness, we needed adult time with adult beverages.

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Getting here was a struggle, mostly because we have a small car, and when one person (who shall remain nameless.... Oh, ok me) in the family has enough bags to go on a 5 month vacation, not just 5 days, packing the car is tricky. But, more on that in another post. For now... here's how this stylin' vacation played out.

We got to our hotel on Sunday and pretty much stayed there all day. Traveling is exhausting. Having the outdoor splash area and other outdoor activities like mini golf, pool table, ping pong, basketball, two pools, etc.. made it easy to just hang out and not be bored.

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Monday we went to Hershey. My kids love Chocolate World. They have a ride inside that shows you how they make chocolate... and beware, the entire place smells like fresh chocolate. See this mural...when I go to Chocloate World, I'm like the little girl.  No need for silverware, just give me all the chocolate and I will shovel it in my mouth with my hands...she's my hero.  

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Of course, there's Hershey Park up that way too but we haven't tried that yet. I feel like it's a park more geared towards older kids. We usually do the trolley tour of the town of Hershey, which is fun and you get free chocolate, but this year we went to Zoo America instead, which is attached to Hershey Park. It was so much fun. The highlights from the zoo were the bald eagles, and this massive snapping turtle (in the collage picture below).  I swear the thing was as big as our car. Imagine getting snapped by that thing. Yikes. Also nearby is Troegs brewery which is also really neat. We ate lunch there and had really good beer. I reccomend it highly. I chose to wear one of my Lularoe Cassie skirts, because they are comfortable and easy to pair with comfortable-ish shoes. Lol. Seriously, though, if you don't have any Lualroe Cassie skirts, you need some.  This one is the perfect, maybe odd, mate to my glitter skull shirt. It's the perfect metaphor for me...I am soft yet hard, I like pretty things and dark things.  And most importantly, glitter makes everything better, including skulls.  

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Tuesday we went to Dutch Wonderland. If you have young kids, you need to go to this amusement park. It's the highlight of our trip. My kids love it, and Matt and I love it too. The entire park is geared toward younger kids and families. They even have a large water play area. It's an all around great time. I wore this shorts outfit and brought a change of shoes... which I had to change into a few hours into the day. Hey, I never said practicallity was my strong suit. I ended up in flip flops, which was fine, I felt short though. LOL. They still let me on the rides, so I guess i'm not THAT short. 

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Wednesday was spent exploring and shopping at a few antique stores around town. With town names like Paradise, Intercourse and Bird-In-Hand, how can you not go see what's there? It's all so fascinating. We also went to Strasburg, which is a really cute, historic train town. Tons of trains to look at and explore - it's where Thomas the Train visits occasionally. If you go to Strasburg, you MUST stop at Allegro wine shop there and get a wine slushie. You can thank me later. For dinner, we went back to Lancaster and ate at the Lancaster Brewing Company. You MUST eat here. It's really good food and really good beers. Hands down, it was our favorite place to eat and drink. I wore the maxi skirt outfit for the day and then changed to the blue dress for dinner. All of these pieces came from ThredUP, but the blue dress is my favorite style from H&M. It's part of their basics line, which I can't find online, only in store.  Notice my colorful jewelry...if you missed my blog post about that, find it here.

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By the time Thursday came around, we were all getting a bit tired of the close living quarters. LOL. We spent the day up in Adamstown, which is also called the Antique Capital... aka heaven.  I love antique stores.  In fact, while looking around in one, I found a vintage treasure and it inspired me to write an entire blog post about it...so stay tuned for that. I don't want to ruin the surprise.  I also found the most beautful wall to take my outfit picture against.  My top is from ThredUP, and I love that it reminds me of good ol' CBGB (which if you think about it, CBGB is like the antique of the punk rock world). And, yes, it's another Lularoe Cassie skirt and again with my bright bold jewelry.  These skirts are great when you are in the car for long periods, or trying to hide the bloat from all the amazing beer and fried food you've been enjoying. They are stretchy with no zippers. I need not say any more.  

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Friday was the day we left to come home. We had planned on driving out to Longwood Gardens, but the traffic forced us to change our minds. In the future we will stay until Saturday, because the traffic coming home was terrible.  As soon as we neared Virginia, it was more like parking than driving. We decided to detour and found our way to Warrenton, VA.  I've never been there and I am so glad that we stopped!  It's a cute small town, not that far away from Fredericksburg, and we want to return to it on a less hectic day.  We ate lunch at The Black Bear Bistro. It was delicious, and then walked over to visit the Old Jail Museum, which was fascinating. The building was beautiful, for a jail, and the lady inside was really knowledgeable. My kids liked "the scary upstairs", which wasn't all that scary...they probably could have stayed there all day.  LOL.  Can you imagine... "I let my kids hang out at the jail all day, for fun! Not to worry, the guards took good care of them and gave them the nice cells." I'd win the parenting award, for sure.  

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We finally made it home, safe and sound...tired but happy.  We are already thinking ahead to next year's trip...at least my kids are already asking when will we go back. Are you planning a vacation this year? Where will it take you? Do you know of other small towns that are fun to explore? I haven't yet finished unpacking, so if you think about it, I'm all ready for our next adventure. When you have packed 5 months worth of outfits, you might as well just keep adventuring until you run out of clean clothes....am I right? And no, i'm not just being lazy and looking for excuses ;) 

Stay tuned for blog posts coming up about, swim suits, vintage style, crop tops...and so much more.  As always, don't forget to join me over at www.raininstyle.com  for more style love.

-xo  

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Beat the Heat with Colorful Jewelry

Here in Virginia, we are no strangers to humidity. It seems the summer humidity has settled in and it's here to stay. Now, I don't know about you, but humidity is the enemy to my hair. I often find myself frustrated that I can't control the frizziness, like kids on a sugar high...just uncontrollable and slightly crazy.

So how to do you beat the heat AND the humidity? I've just come to accept it and I try to distract from my crazy hair. That's where fun, bright accessories come into play; they provide the perfect distraction. Like, let me blind you with my super bright accessories so you no longer see my frizzy hair. And, no, i'm not wearing my hair in a ponytail because it's got a mind of its own. I'm doing it to show off my amazing earrings!

So, for part two of my fun in the sun series, I'd like to talk about jewelry and using it to add color and fun to your summer style. For me, summer jewelry should be bold and bright. It's the time to break out the fun accents. Remember in my last post, how I showed you my two favorite bags for summer, both having pom poms and rainbow colors? If not, read it here. That kind of fun shouldn't be reserved for bags! 

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For most of this post, I'm going to talk about earrings, simply because I'm finding that I often choose bigger, bolder earrings these days, instead of necklaces. I know that there's an old fashioned rule about not wearing big, bold earrings with a necklace. Am I a stickler for that rule? No. I'm not even sure it's still a thing. I just sort of go with what I like. With bold earrings like these...

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I find that they are enough and there's no need for more, with the exception of a bracelet. All of the earrings in the photo above came from Target. And the ones on the left side are Baublebar’s line for Target called Sugar Fix. Find it here. Can I tell you, Baublebar is my favorite source right now for fun jewelry. I love that Target has some of their stuff, but it sells out fast. You can find Baublebar online, here, and you might as well just hand them your entire wallet. Their jewelry just makes you happy! And it pairs well with summer outfits.

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The other Baublebar pair that I have are also a tuquoise color, but they have tassels! I love contrasting the colors in an outfit with those in accessories.  Like in this outfit, I could have gone with matching colors for my accessories ... but what fun is that? The turquoise/teal color makes the colors in the top pop and vice versa.  

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The other two pairs of earrings in that collage image are also from Target, but they aren't the Baublebar line. Both are lightweight and pretty versatile. I also wore the beaded bracelet (also from Target) with the green dress outfit. 

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I found myself needing accessories to match a recent addition to my clutch collection. This watermelon clutch, from Francesca's, was screaming for pink earrings. And I had none!! So, more research for me. I do have several pink pairs from the Sugar Fix line in my Target.com cart, like these, but I needed them pronto. I found some at Kohls. They have a line there called Color, and it's approriately named - it has almost all the colors! This bracelet, here, and the earrings (I couldn't find a link to buy them online).  

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So, my fashionable friends, don't let the heat get you down. Put on your happiest jewelry and show it who's boss. Or, be like my shirt here, and live on a prayer that the humidity lifts soon... whichever. (Shout out to all of my fellow Bon Jovi fans). By the way, my yellow neckalce in this outfit is also from Kohls - find it here.  

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Stay tuned next week, when I talk about our family vacation and all the stylish things associated with it.  

-xo 

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Summer Style, Bring Out the Color.

It's finally here. Summer. Remember in the dead of winter when we all wished summer would hurry up? Well... it's now 90 + degrees and humid...wish granted. No worries though, because with summer comes fun and colorful style choices, and bathing suits, but I'll save that topic for a braver blog post. Today let's talk about fun summer accessories. I was going to talk about all accessories in one post, but I think I will make this a two part series. Because, honestly, there's just so much I love about summer accessories. So, for today's post, let's take a look at summer bags and clutches.  

Summer is hot, but it's also the best time to bring out fun, maybe even a little quirky pieces. I'm talking color and joy and rainbows! Ok maybe not rainbows exactly, but rainbow colors. Summer is a great time to break out the color. I've been searching for cute, versatile summer pieces ever since that first snowflake fell. You know, to lift the dreary wearies (that's a kid's book reference - bonus points if you know which one). I have started collecting colorful, fun clutches, and my favorite ones have... wait for it.... Pom poms!!!! I know, right? Me, the girl that tends to live on the dark side, loving rainbow colored pom poms... but look, how can you not?

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 This clutch came from Francesca's, here, and you need one! I don't want to alarm you, but their website says it's almost sold out.  I found mine in the store, so go get one, ASAP.  It's the perfect bit of happy to add to almost any outfit. It's navy, so it's a neutral. I've paired it with blue, black, white... with all the things really. It's versatile and fun.

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Now, if you add embroidery to a clutch that also has pom poms and beads... it's a glorious trifecta of happiness. This clutch came from T.J. Maxx, and it's by Steve Madden. I haven't been able to track another one down, but if you ever see it, buy it!

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I use this clutch all the time; it's just so happy! And look at all the colors.  I know you're probably as shocked as I am that I love this so much.  It pairs nicely with a lot of different outfits...

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Who doesn't love happy? My favorite place to find the happiness is probably Francesca's. I made the mistake of looking at their website again last night, and you guys...this clutch, it has to be mine! The tassles! The colors! The happy! Find it here.  I also love the fringed bags, like these. So cute. I just got this one today. It's on clearance!  So bright and happy. Find it here. I particularly love this watermelon one, because it's also very versatile. Here it is with a white and a black dress

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I also really love bright solid colored bags for the summer, like this cobalt blue one, which came from Zulilly.  And the yellow one which is also from Francesca's.

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This yellow bag, it's my secret love.  LOL. It was the perfect complement to this bright and colorful summer outfit.  This skirt is a Cassie skirt by LulaRoe and the shirt came from Zulilly. If you are a Bon Jovi fan like me, you need this shirt.  Watch for it to come back on Zulilly. I see it periodically. 

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This solid color teal bag is also one of my favs.  It came from T.J. Maxx, and again, I love to add it to an outfit to create a cute summer look. These earrings? I'm saving them for part two of the summer series.

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Now, that's not to say that these bright solid colored bags are only for summer; they are good year round. I feel like bags that are made of a woven material, like straw, are definitely more summer feeling, but colorful ones can be used year round. It would be fun in the grey dark winter to punch it up with color.  

 

Next week I will be continuing this topic but I will be talking about fun, colorful summer jewelry.  Because what's a fun summer outfit, without fun summer jewelry??

 

As always, head on over to www.raininstyle.com for more summer fun.

 

-xo 

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