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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

Tulle Skirts: Not Just For Ballerinas

This week I would love to talk about a new obsession of mine, tulle skirts...aka tutus! Yes, I love them; yes you can wear one too. No pointe shoes required. Unless, you can walk all day en pointe...then do that, because that would be amazing!

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I just got this black one and have been dying to wear it. And so I did, a few weekends ago. I took advantage of it being Mother's Day and had my husband do a little photo shoot. It was so fun to wear and, honestly, I now want one in every color.

 

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This black one came from ThredUP. It's by Aqua. Bloomingdales carries that brand, but I haven't found the exact skirt. Amazon has a really cute one, that I might just order in more colors, here.  I've also seen them at places like Charlotte Russe.

A few things to look for in a tulle skirt. For me, the length is important. I'm short, and at 5’2” a midi length skirt (hits mid calf) is just too long. In general, I like my skirts to hit slightly above or at my knee. It makes my legs look longer. Another consideration is the waist band. The one that I have by Aqua, has a finished looking waistband, meaning it's not just elastic. It has a ribbon or fabric waist. I feel like this type of waist band makes it look more polished when you tuck your shirt in, and helps the tulle skirt look less like my daughter's tutu.  Also, something to keep in mind. This one that I am wearing is kind of sheer, so be prepared to need a slip underneath.  With this one, I am wearing a short black slip, because no one needs to see my underwear...let's keep it classy. 

 

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Styling is also important. There are actually a lot of ways to style a tulle skirt. The way I did it here is my favorite so far...

 

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However, my next idea is to try it with a crop top.  I like the sliver of skin showing. But ptobably with different shoes.

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Or a graphic tee, although this can be tricky.  The graphic on the shirt needs be high enough so it won't get cut off when you tie the shirt or tuck it in.  Here, I tied this shirt up on the side, so it would hit at my waist, but I could've tucked it in too.  The tighter fitting the sirt, the better, so it doesnt throw off your body proportions. 

 

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Try it with a tank top...here I tried a floral and a camo one, showing you a softer look and one that's more edgy,

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Perhaps what I am looking forward to the most, is replacing the chambray shirt with a plaid one, for fall. I'm thinking that a red plaid shirt would also look great. Add booties and mix patterns by carrying a leopard clutch like this, which, oh, by the way...is my favorite clutch right now and I got it from Express.  They don't have that one anymore, but keep an eye out for leopard accessories.  They go with more than you think.

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So, what do you think, are you ready to try a tulle skirt and pretend you are a ballerina for the day?  You can go ahead and do a few ballet moves. It's fine, I won't judge.

 

Head on over to www.raininstyle.com  for more ballet inspired style fun.

-xo

 

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Get Moving with Active Wear

Ladies, today I'd like to share with you some info about active wear! This is not my best area. In fact I'd venture to say that I know very little about active wear. So, I asked my trainer (and friend) Shannon to help me out with this. She's had to help me navigate not only the workouts and equipment, but she's had to guide me with what the heck I should be wearing while working out. Shannon is arguably the best trainer ever. Check her out on her facebook page, here. I trust her knowledge on the subject.

We've been training together for about a year and half now, and I've come a long way! Top left photo is from maybe three years ago, at my heaviest, and the rest are progressive shots over the last year. The last two are most recent. It's hard work, but it's worth it.

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Workout gear is all relatively new to me and as an example of my complete naivety on this subject, I had to ask Shannon what one does about underwear and the dreaded panty lines. Workout pants are tight! Am I right? And whenever I wear something that's tight I immediately worry about everyone seeing my panty lines... I know, first world problems... but the struggle is real! So, I asked Shannon (thanking God that she was a woman and I could ask it without being embarrassed). Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “So I got new workout pants, like you suggested, but what on earth does one do about underwear?”

Shannon: “What do you mean?”

Me: "Well, I mean about seeing panty lines! Do people wear a thong? Or do people just not care and wear whatever?”

Shannon: “No underwear! Underwear is so uncomfortable when working out!”

Me: “Excuse me what?”

I was shocked! No underwear!!?!?!?!? Say what? Apparently, there's a liner in workout pants so you don't need underwear? This had me completely confused. And, while I trust what she said, I haven't made the commitment of going sans underwear just yet. For now, I'm sticking with a longer shirt and thin underwear. Panty lines > no underwear.

 

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Shannon did offer me some advice on what brands that she likes for athletic wear. And I will share what she said with you, but I will leave the underwear choice up to you.

She recommends, and favors Athleta, because their pants (she calls them tights, but tights to me are what you wear under dresses when it's cold, so I'm going with pants) are durable and breathable. Their tank tops come in a lot of varieties. Look for sales, as they can be pricey. Lululemon is also good. She likes the variety of pants and shorts. Really comfortable and flattering, too. However, their tanks seem to fall apart and fade easily. She also recommends Old Navy’s workout line, which is what I currently have. I like their pants and tops, and the price point is good. They often have sales, so that's a plus. Shannon mentioned Target’s line of Champion workout gear, and I have a few of their things. I like their tanks and zippered hoodies.

Since we are headed into warmer months, I am really loving workout shorts, but I'm particular about what I want in a short. Because, you know, squats and stuff.. I don't want to be flashing anyone, but I also don't like the really tight tight shorts! I like shorts that have two layers. The underneath one is tight, and then on top is a looser fitting layer. It combines a tight fit (to prevent flashing) and a looser fit top for those of us that are self conscious about that area, and you know, I can still wear underwear without seeeing major panty lines.  I have found a few great ones at T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. The brand is RBX or Reebok. Amazon has them too, here. Those are a different brand, but same concept.  

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I also have gotten all of my sports bras from T.J. Maxx or Marshalls. I like ones with a fun back. Because if I'm going to have to wear a sports bra, I want it to be pretty and interesting. But that's the stylish person in me coming out and I'm not always practical.  

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And let's be honest, when I workout at home, I only wear a sports bra and shorts. I just get too sweaty and shirts annoy me when I am that sweaty. I end up looking like this anyway, so why not? #sweatyhairdontcare

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But don't you all worry. I work out like a mad woman sometimes, but I still get to have my mandatory glass of wine (sometimes two) and I even occasionally, take my wine outside to the basketball court/playground so that my kids can get excerise too.  I know what you are thinking, but the play area is right behind our house, so no worries.  Next time, I will bring you a glass too, but you'd have to give me 50 push ups first. Spiderman style earns you two glasses.  But seriously, there is a chin up station right there too. Just watch my amazing chin up skills after having a glass of wine... LOL.

 

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 What do you like to wear while working out?  What are your favorite brands?  Do you drink wine at the basketball court too?  

 

As usual, bring your beautiful selves over to my blog at www.raininstyle.com for more style fun. No deadlifts or burpees required.

-xo

 

 

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Have a Happy (and Stylish) Mother's Day

Hey fellow moms, our “holiday” is coming up this week. Usually when I talk to other moms about Mother's Day, there are two groups...those that love Mother's Day, and those that don't. Growing up, my mom never really liked Mother's Day, and she still doesn't. Back then I didn't really understand why she didn't like “her” holiday, but now, after having kids of my own, I do. It's not so much that I dislike having a day to honor moms, it's that as a mom, it's not really a day off. It feels just like any other day. I still need to do all the things that I do every single day. Although, receiving the kids’ handmade cards and extra hugs and kisses is a bonus that I don't necessarily get all the time. So there's that. But someone should make a rule that there is to be no fighting or whining on Mother's Day, and that all moms get an endless supply of chocolate and wine. That would be a true holiday. Just hold the chocolate and give me extra wine.

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When I was trying to think of what I wanted to write about for this post, I couldn't come up with something style related and Mother's Day related that I was happy with. In my first post here, I talked about how I pulled myself out of my mommy style rut, so I didn't want to write about that again. Then I thought, maybe I should write about my kids ( I laughed at this, because isn't that a typical mom thing to think? Always about the kids). I mean, why not write about my kids on my “holiday”... they are what made this a holiday for me anyway. Without them, I'm not a mama. There are some things that I want to teach my kids, my daughter especially, not just about clothing, but about confidence. And, undoubtedly, there are some things that both of my kids have taught me. I will save my lessons for my kids for another post, and list some of the funnier things that they have “taught” me.

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Style tips from my kids:

• Accessories are only worthy of an outfit if you wear ALL OF THEM. The more glitter and sparkle you have on, the better. Shine on, girl...blind them with your beauty.

• If you add a superhero cape to any outfit you immediately turn into a superhero with super strength. It's the power of the cape. Don't question it.

• While wearing a crown, people will of course assume you are a princess; therefore it's perfectly fine to insist they call you Princess Beautiful.

• If you are out shopping somewhere that you hate and find it to be dreadfully boring, be sure to hide in the clothing racks and be very quiet. Only come out when the person you are with starts panicking and threatening to call 911 because you are lost.

• When in doubt, go monochrome, head to toe all one color (preferably blue). Unless camo is an option, then go camo all the way.

• If a tutu is available, wear it, and wear it everyday, everywhere, always.

• When you need to get ready but can't decide what to wear, just put on all the clothes. All of them. Indecisiveness has nothing on you.

• Pattern mixing has no rules when you’re a kid... all patterns go together, in fact, it's a good idea to wear as many patterns as possible just to make it interesting.

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I will say, that while my kids can be rather hilarious with their style choices, there is one thing that I hope I'm teaching them.  I want them to have a positive body image, to love themselves, and have confidence in who they are. They want to walk in our shoes, so we need to be mindful of our own body image... keep it positive. My kids don't see a negative version of me. To them, I'm always beautiful. That’s the nature of kids. They see beauty even when us older folk don't, and, when it comes to body image, I don't want them learning negativity. I've had to be careful many times, to not use the word “fat” or “ugly” when referring to myself, or how I feel. My daughter wants to be just like me; I see this more and more everyday . She has even started crossing her legs when I take her picture, just like I do.

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I often find her in my closet trying on my shoes. Sometimes I even hear her clunking around upstairs, wearing my shoes and trying to walk in them. I hope, for both of my kids, that while they want to fill our shoes...that they know they need to stand tall in their own shoes first.  That's a good Mother's Day gift, somehow getting validation that what we want most for our kids, will come to be. That they will grow in confidence and be able to stand tall and walk on in grace, beauty and love.  

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What do you have planned for Mother's Day? We usually go strawberry picking, and of course it will be done stylishly. Head on over to www.raininstyle.com for more stylish mama talk.

-xo

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A Stylish Weekend Away

Who wants to play a guessing game called "how many suitcases do I really need?"

Apparently, the answer to that question is four. Yes, I had four suitcases for a 3 day trip. That's almost a suitcase a day! To be fair, not all were filled with clothes; one was shoes and half of another was bags... LOL. But, what can I say, we all know that I am a style addict, so did you expect anything less? 

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Seriously though. My husband and I enjoyed a three day weekend away, without our kids. It was long overdue. We went to Kennett Square, PA, which is probably best known for Longwood Gardens, and that was our first stop! I had big plans of wearing a cute dress and sandals, but the weather changed without conferring with me first, and it was too cold. Weather is funny that way. I swear it doesn't matter how many times I check the weather, it's rarely accurate! I had to go with jeans and a jacket, but ya’ll my new bag (from Target! quick go there and get one!!) made its glorious appearance front and center! My shoes are Jessica Simpson brand from DSW.  Good thing that I packed a lot of different options as far as outfits go, but most of my choices revolved around using this bag. 

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I used to go to Longwood Gardens a lot when I lived in Maryland.  It's surprising that a place so beautiful is only a few hours away! If you've never been to Longwood Gardens, you should go. It's a beautiful place. It's also huge, so bring shoes made for walking. Mine probably weren't the best choice, but you know me... style before practicality. Plan on staying a while; we were there for at least three hours. And I'm thinking we didn't see everything! Take time to stop and smell the roses, literally! I know I'm not funny.

 

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After the gardens we made a pit stop at our hotel, changed and freshened up and then headed down to the historic downtown area. I let my husband choose my dress, and he went for red. I think he chose it because it matches the tulips that we saw at the gardens. LOL. In fact, I bet if I had worn this dress to the gardens and sat amoungst the red tulips, I'd be camouflaged. Except they probably frown upon hiding in the flower beds.    

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Let me just tell you, where we ended up eating and drinking, was the coolest place. Kennett Brewing Company will not disappoint. Their hamburger... the one with beer cheese... it's the thing dreams are made of. I'm not joking. Awesome beer and cider too! But back to the beer cheese... have you ever had beer cheese?!?!?

 

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We loved that place so much we bought shirts, and even went back the next night for more hamburgers and beer. And beer cheese. Always the beer cheese.

 

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Saturday, was spent shopping antique stores and winery hopping. It was rainy and cold so we only made it to two wineries, Chadds Ford Winery and Galer Winery. Both were nice. I wore one of my new Stitch Fix (if you missed my post about Stitch Fix, find it here) tops and braved the chilly weather. Because...style>practical. The window in the picture below is at Galer Winery. It's spectacular. The whole building and grounds are just spectacular.  We also loved the people and atmosphere at Chadds Ford, which also has beautiful grounds.  Both are must sees!

 

 

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That evening we headed out to downtown again. And yup, went back to Kennett Square Brewing Company for more hamburgers with beer cheese and drinks! I went with my faux leather pants outfit, because it was cold! Thank goodness I packed a million outfits and back up outfits!!! It's hard to see in the pictures, but my top is fringed. I like fringe; it added a bit of interest to this all black outfit. And of course my spiky shoes came along! I should mention that this entire outfit from head to toe is second hand! All from Thredup, and if you don't know about my love affair with ThredUp, you can read my post about it here.

 

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Sunday, we slept in and eventually worked up the energy to pack up and head home. But not before we stopped at Potomac Mills for a little light cardio...shopping=cardio am I right?!?! No seriously... I mean, it felt like cardio - that mall is huge.

This is what I wore for Sunday. The top is Daniel Rainn and it's one of my favorites that I've gotten from Stitch Fix. The back is lace. The color is beautiful. Love! My shoes are again from Thredup!

 

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I really enjoyed walking around Potomac Mills with my husband and yes, the shopping was fun too. I helped him pick out a few things, and he gave me his opinion on a few things. As a matter of fact, I will be writing a post about men's fashion soon, probably around Father's Day! Plus, we were able to look at our favorite stores without fussing with and entertaining the kids! If you are wondering what our favorite stores at Potomac Mills are: Lucky, Banana Republic, H&M, JCrew, and TJMaxx. The best part was when my husband said “let's go in TJMaxx... it'll take 5 minutes!” He's so funny... it didn't take 5 minutes. It took many more minutes...

 

We both agreed that this trip was long overdue and so very fun. Often in the craziness of life with kids, your partner and your connection gets lost in the shuffle. It was great just having to worry about ourselves. It might sound selfish, but sometimes it's ok to be selfish, necessary even.  That weekend away together reminded me of how blessed I am.  Our next time to be out of state and away from our kids will be in December for our 10 year anniversary!  We are planning on heading to Charleston, SC, and my outfit ideas are already brewing. I hope they have hamburgers with beer cheese.   

 

Don't forget to check me out over at www.raininstyle.com for more style fun.

 

-xo

 

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Say Hello to Stitch Fix

How many of you beautiful ladies know about Stitch Fix? I hadn't heard of it until around this time last year. Stitch Fix is a subscription box service that delivers clothes to you that have been picked for you by your stylist. Sounds great right? No more trying to squeeze into a dressing room with rowdy kids who tend to yell embarrassing things, no more saying “don't lick that mirror!... get off the floor... don't open the door!!!!!” Hey, I’ve been there.

Stitch Fix is a great service. When you sign up, you will answer some questions so they can get to know your style. Your stylist chooses 5 items for you to try. They charge a $20 styling fee per box, which goes toward whatever you decide to keep. What you don't want, you simply put back in the prepaid mailing envelope and send it back. If you keep all five items, you get a discount! So that's a bonus. They also include a styling card for each piece, where they show you how to put an outfit together. It’s not really a subscription service, meaning, that you can decide how often you get a box and you can cancel at any time with no penalty. For starters: both of these outfits are from Stitch Fix, the black pair of pants and tops.  I can't even begin to tell you how comfortable the pants are. They are Liverpool brand, and they are my life! This all came in the same box, and it was love at first sight.

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This is also an entire outfit from Stitch Fix, The top has pretty lace sleeves, and the jeans are my favorite.  Mavi brand jeans are so soft and comfy. Stitch Fix has them and you will LOVE them.  Mavi even has men's jeans that I got my hubby hooked on.

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That being said, it's not perfect. You will sometimes be like, “what IS this?!?!?” Case in point...

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I mean...what is this? At the time, I hated the idea of cold shoulder tops, and this one, this one was the actual worst. This fix was maybe my third? And it's the only one to date that actually made me cry. It was just so bad. Don't expect every box to be a winner, especially your first few. It takes time for your stylist to get to know what you like and what you hate. Be patient and try not to take it as bad as I did when you get a less then stellar box.

 

I recently asked for another box to come on my birthday. I was very excited. Unfortunately, nothing in that box really worked. It was all too flowy and big for me. This top was the only thing I considered keeping and look! It's another cold shoulder top! I ultimately decided to send it back, because I just didn't love it enough. And, at this point, my closet only has room for pieces that I love. And of course now, looking back at this photo, I have send back remorse, I mean it is cute... oh well.

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Now, please don't think that all I've gotten are duds. Because that's not true. Actually Stitch Fix has the best jeans. Seriously! They also have some really beautiful dresses and tops. I've gotten quite a few amazing pieces. Here are some of my favorite Stitch Fix pieces.

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It's also a great way to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone. My recent box, that I just got a few weeks ago, did just that. This striped top was in there, purple romper, polka dot top, a grey dress and white jeans.  I've never found a romper that I really liked and I cringed when I saw the striped top. But here's the lesson that I learned (well I already knew this lesson, but I forget, sometimes to follow it): don't knock it until you try it.  I am totally guilty of judging something before I try it on, and this time...this time I was wrong! I actually love the striped top! It is totally different then anything in my wardrobe, it fits my edgy style, and I have pieces to go with it already (like my distressed black jeans and studded heels).  

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Don't let me face here fool you, I actually do LOVE both the purple romper and polka dot shirt.  But again, they are totally different then anything in my wardrobe.   And that, my stylish friends, is what Stitch Fix is for.  To help you get out of your box, to open you up to new styles.  If my stylist is reading this, I'd llike to say thanks for doing just that.  The stylists at Stitch Fix are good at what they do.  

With this most recent box, I ended up buying all 5 pieces because it was cheaper to do that and get the discount. The white jeans didn't fit me, but they fit a friend of mine like a glove, so she bought them from me. This dress, while I don't love it, was essentially free becasue of the buy 5 discount.  I think I might be able to make it work by adding a vest and some awesome booties.  

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So, what do you think? Do you want to give Stitch Fix a try? Let me know if you do! And if you are the same size as me and don't love something in your box...maybe I will and you can send it my way.  Like, you know, my closet needs ALL the clothes.  LOL.

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Look out for my next post about my hubby and I's weekend trip away, sans kids.  Can't wait to share with you my packing mania, and all the shenanigans we get into...stylish shenanigans of course.

As always, don't forget to get your style fix over at www.raininstyle.com  

 -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.

ChildrensHomeSociety

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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