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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.

 

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Rain in Style

A Stylish Day Trip and What Not To Wear

Hi everyone!  I am back again with another tale of discovery, adventure and....style, of course.  Recently, my little family and I took a day trip to Luray Caverns. I've gotten a lot of questions from friends about the trip and wanting tips for visiting, so naturally, I thought I'd just write a post about it. And, yes, I will discuss what I wore and what maybe not to wear.

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First, let me say that it is 100 percent worth the trip. I was skeptical at first, and I admit, I was a little scared. I am not a fan of dark, tight spaces (unless it's my closet where I go to hide from my kids and eat chocolate), so the thought of actually being underground in caves terrifies me. Have you seen that movie about the explorers that get stuck in the cave?? I can't remember the name of it, but it kept running through my head. Luckily though, it was all for naught. Luray is well lit, rather open and spacious, and the ground is paved with bricks. I didn't feel the least bit terrifed, and that's always a good thing.  

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I struggled with what I should wear on this trip. Essentially, you are dressing for two different climates. Outside it might be 85 degrees, but down in the caves, it's probably 25 degrees cooler. I had no idea what to expect the terrain to be, but luckily for me it was well paved and smooth. We brought jackets, but only the kids really needed them. I wore this long sleeved romper (from ThredUp) and my favorite and most comfortable booties (from Target). I was totally fine walking and temperature wise. There are a lot of steps, and it is a lot of walking. So go with what's comfortable for you. We did see a lady wearing very short shorts; they might as well have been underwear. I'm not opposed to short, but I'm not sure how she managed to climb the stairs without having a wardrobe malfunction. So maybe don't wear anything short enough that could double as underwear.

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We arrived at Luray right when they opened, 9am, and we did the Garden Maze first,  partly because we wanted to do a self guided tour of the caverns which didn't start until 10:30. You could choose to do the guided tours, but I really didn't want to force my kids to be patient and quiet enough to listen to speeches about rocks. Or maybe I just wasn't sure I could be calm enough (given my fear of dark spaces) to stand and listen. I felt better about going at my own pace. The tour takes probably 45 minutes to an hour depending on how fast you go. We did it in about 40 minutes, mostly because my kids went way too fast and didn't really take time to look and appreciate the beauty around them. But they loved it anyway, and had a grand ole time. We even made a little friend. Well, I did...she wanted to be my helper and help me reign in my kids...she was maybe seven and so very sweet. My kids shared their pennies with her for the wishing pool. 

 

If you plan on doing the Garden Maze, and if you get there early, do that first. It is fun, and the kids loved it. I could see it getting hot in there, so maybe don't wait until later in the day to do it. Plan on going to their little frontier town too. That's where you can go gem slushing, which is very fun. Also over that way is the winery. Yes, my fellow winos, they have a winery! Can I get an Amen?!  And, I'll be honest, there's a reason that they put in a winery...after all the craziness of the day, you will want and need a drink. Trust me. Eat lunch there at the winery, it's better then the little cafe next to the caves. 

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We spent all day at Luray. I would have loved to stay at the winery all day; the views and atmosphere were beautiful. I think we left around 2:30 becasue we were all exhausted and my husband remembered seeing a brewery on our way in...need I say more?? We found it in Sperryville, It's called Hopkins Ordinary and it's in the basement of a beautfiul bed and breakfast. Stop there and hang out. They have a little rock area outside that you can sit and chill. The kids were able to entertain themselves in the "coolest chairs ever", while we sampled beer and had a glass. I also fed them a lot of cookies, and I'm not sorry. We are even thinking about coming back at some point to stay at the Bed and Breakfast, without our kids. 

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 I think it's safe to say that the entire family had an awesome time, and it's so close close to home too! Next time, we will visit the Luray Zoo and a few of the other attractions up that way. I know there are more wineries and breweries that must be visited as well. Fun for EVERYONE. And I will bring extra cookies, because when the troops get cranky and bored...cookies are almost always the answer.  

 

Remember to head on over to www.raininstyle.com for more style fun!

 

-xo 

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I'm Spilling Secrets, Style Secrets

Oh, but do I have a very important post this week. It’s about a little secret, regarding dresses in summer. If you’re like me, dresses and skirts are a summer staple. However, for me, that wasn’t always the case. I used to hate wearing dresses in the summer, because of one thing...thigh rub. Yes, the dreaded, and often not discussed, thigh rub. 

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. Most of us get annoying thigh rub when we walk in dresses and skirts. During the winter it’s not noticeable, because we are probably wearing tights...at least I do. But what do you do during the hotter months, when you don’t have the buffer of tights? There is a little known miracle worker...and it will change your life. They are called Skimmies, and they are made by Jockey. Find them on Amazon, or I buy mine at Kohls. I wear them under every dress and skirt.

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Ok, I know what you are probably thinking, that these are like Spanx, and will suck you in, squish and mold you into a shape that may or may not be comfortable. Spanx are great for molding and holding stuff in. But, these Skimmies, they are better at offering a little support and being the buffer between your thighs so they don’t rub, without being uncomfortable. They are stretchy and soft, and surprisingly breathable.  

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Ok, so they might not be the sexiest things ever. But they work! Skimmies come in different fabrics, colors and lengths. All of mine are nude, because I feel like that is the most versatile. I also prefer the wicking fabic, and the ones that have a wider band at the top. I feel like the wider band is better at concealing my mama flub. I have both the mid length, and short length. If you have to decide on which length to get, I would go with midlength. You can always pull the legs up a bit.

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Now, there are two kinds of Skimmie wearing women: those that treat them like they are underwear and wear only them, and those that still wear underwear underneath. I am the latter. Either way is OK, I guess, but to me, I have way more underwear then I do these Skimmie things. Wearing underwear underneath mine, means I have to wash the Skimmies less, which is always a plus! I also enjoy wearing my nice underwear, and I have no intentions of replacing nice underwear with these. I think my husband thanks me for that. LOL.

But, you are probably wondering about lines showing, both from the Skimmies and the underwear (if you are going to be wearing them). I find that the Skimmies do a great job at blending and smoothing the lines from both.  As I said before, I wear them under every dress and skirt. Ya'll know that I am no stranger to form fitted clothing, and I don't usually have an isssue with lines showing.  If I ever do, I change underwear and pull the legs and waist of the Skimmies up a bit and that usually solves the problem.

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The shorter ones are ideal for shorter dresses and skirts.  I find though, that my shorter ones tend to roll more at the legs than my longer ones. Regardless, Skimmies are a must have for your undergarment collection.  As soon as I discovered these amazing little things, they have been a requirement for every dress and skirt outfit.  I would shout it from the rooftops if I could. Maybe the church steeple in this photo would work... "hear ye, hear ye..."

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Do you love wearing dresses and skirts as much as me but dread the thigh rub in the summer? Give these a try, and let me know what you think.  If you love them as much as me, then I will make room for you in the church steeple if you want to shout it from the rooftops too.  Try these and say no to the thigh rub, LOL.

 

As always, head on over to www.raininstyle.com and follow along with me there.  What secret should I spill next??

 

-xo 

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Pulling an Outfit Together- The Rule of Three

Hi again, stylish friends. How’s your summer going? Do you feel like it’s flying by, or like it’s a movie in slow motion? I’m feeling a little bit of both. I’ve been trying to prep my youngest for Kindergarten; she’s excited, but I feel like she needs to start doing more things on her own, to be better prepared. Things like getting dressed and choosing her own clothes...and making dinner... you know the usual. Seeing her outfit choices makes me smile, and it also gave me the idea for this weeks post. She almost always wears layers; even on the hottest summer day, she will come down in a skirt, top and coat or cardigan. This morning she fussed at me because I wouldn’t let her wear her “panda” coat... ya’ll it’s a faux fur coat, and it’s close to 90 degrees. Meanest mom ever. 

But regardless, it brings me to a very general, pretty well known rule in the fashion world. The rule of three. Basically, you want three pieces to an outfit to make it more interesting. Top, bottom, and then a completer piece (shoes don’t count, nice try). A completer piece could be, a blazer, cardigan, scarf, hat, jewelry, bag, belt...etc. Well, that’s fantastic for cooler weather (dreaming of fall, yet?), but what in the world do you do when it’s so humid outside you sweat sitting still? And, more importantly, does a coffee cup count as a third piece?? Because, let's face it, it's a permanent piece of my outfit every morning.  LOL.

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Here’s where light weight kimonos, hats, bags and statement jewelry come to the rescue. This summer, I have been into big bold earrings, so I haven’t worn my statement necklaces much. But you can swap earrings for necklaces. With this outfit, the dress counts as one piece, so I added a clutch, earrings and bracelet. That makes more than three pieces, but, rules are meant to be broken, right? I could have also added a jean jacket (if it weren’t 500 degrees in the shade). This dress is a LuLaRoe Adeline dress. It’s actually a kid's dress in the largest size. LOVE. If you missed my post about LuLaRoe, find it here. I might even have to write another post about my love affair with their dresses, soon.

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I have a few light weight kimonos. The blue floral one is on Amazon; it comes in a lot of colors - find it here. It is oversized, but it’s meant to be that way. I’m wearing a small, but if they made it in XS I would have gotten that. If you order it, and when it comes you put it on and it lays funny, wash it. I found the fabric on mine relaxed a little bit after washing and it lays better.

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This pink/blush colored one is my Mimi Chica and I found it on thredUP. Either this one or the blue one look great paired with shorts or jeans. Make sure you wear a tighter fitting tank underneath to equal the proportions out. As a rule, I generally only wear one flowy piece per outfit.

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Also, vests are a great way to meet the rule of three.  I have a variety of vests in different materials.  But really the only ones that I can wear right now...and only on days that it's not unbearably hot...are these two. The olive one is from T.J.Maxx and the denim one is Ci Sono from thredUP.  

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Now, there have been days that are so hot that even the thought of a light weight kimono makes me sweat. On those days, I go with jewelry (earrings and bracelet) and a cute clutch or bag to hopefully make the rule of three. Sometimes, though, that’s all you need. Take these red shoes. I got them a few weeks ago at DSW, here, and they make enough of a statement that I think they should be considered part of the rule of three. You know, they stand out on their own, so it’s only fair. And by the way, this dress is a LuLaRoe Julia dress, see, I have a huge addiction to LuLaRoe dresses. I feel another post coming about just that. Because, since I last wrote about LuLaRoe, here, my collection has grown, and might be taking over my closet. Don’t tell my husband.

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Today, as I am typing this post, I realized that I am wearing these same shoes, except with jeans.  This morning, while getting dressed, I realized that this is also a great example of the rule of three.  I was struggling with what to wear with this, either big earrings and a bracelet, or a necklace and bracelet.  I ultimately decided on a necklace and smaller earrings. While, all these choices work, the necklace adds a bit more interest and breaks up the black shirt.  And I met the rule of three. Jeans, top, necklace...and a bracelet and clutch for bonus points.  LOL

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What other ways can you incorporate the rule of three in the summer?  I'd love to have more inspiration.  Show me what you got!

 

As always, follow me over at www.raininstyle.com for more style fun. 

 

-Xo  

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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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This month Pouches learned about a very important resource for families who have lost loved ones to sudden tragedy, an organization called LLOST.

keepsake box

The foundation has helped 44 hospitals in 22 states through their Treasured Memories program. The program sends nurses to bereavement training, and provides or supplements the $55 memory boxes that include clothes, booties, handknot blankets, pictures, foot prints, hand prints, clipped hair and other mementos.

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