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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

Summer Lovin’ in Denim Skirts

I’m pretty sure there isn’t anything more American than denim, at least not in the style world. Our love of denim has transformed it from a utilitarian necessity for American miners to a world-wide wardrobe staple. Thanks to Levi Strauss, we have denim in every possible form for all of our fashion whims — from denim jumpsuits to denim shoes. If it can be made from denim, then there’s a designer who has tried. But for those of us who love the more classic styles, let’s take a look at a few ways to style denim skirts for summer.

Crisp white.

I have a bit of obsession with light denim skirts and crisp white tops. It just feels fresh. And that’s what we need in the dead heat of summer, fresh and light. Look for denim skirts with a button fly for an on-trend look.

White shirt
Victoria Secret Sport top, American Eagle denim skirt, Mix No. 6 sandals from DSW.

Button down.

Speaking of buttons, try a button down top. Tuck it in fully, half tuck it or tie it up...any way you like it, a button down shirt is the perfect structured piece to wear with denim skirts.

ButtonDown
American Eagle top and denim skirt, bag from Target, and Vince Camuto heels.

Edgy.

Just because a denim skirt seems a little traditional doesn’t mean it can’t have attitude. Try a band tee and leather jacket and watch your edge level rise. Heels optional.

Band T
T-shirt from Zulilly, American Eagle skirt, sunglasses from Target,  BlankNYC faux leather jacket, and Steve Madden heels.

Shirts tucked in.

What I especially love about denim skirts is that they are the best at hiding the bumps and lines you get from a tucked in shirt. How’s that for a girl’s best friend? Body suits are also perfect with denim skirts.

Tucked in
Violet and Claire top, American Eagle skirt, Enzo Angiolini heels.

Grab that outer layer.

Yes, a lightweight outer layer looks great with denim skirts. However, if the back of your denim skirt is a tad too short or is not so flattering, grab a duster cardigan! It will be long enough to hide your rear, and the flow of it makes a great contrast to the structure of denim.

Duster
GGaze bodysuit, 7 For All Mankind skirt, H by Halston cardigan, Vince Camuto heels.

Tip: Are you daring? Try wearing a chambray top with a denim skirt, but be sure the two denim colors are different. A light wash chambray top with a dark wash denim skirt takes the outfit away from Canadian tuxedo and into fierce fashionista.

Chambray
Buffalo by David Bitt top, American Eagle skirt

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Beach Chic for Less

Sunny summer days are here again! Are you ready to soak up some rays? If you need inspiration for beach or pool-side gear, you’ve come to the right spot. I’ve scoped out the mothership (Target) for a few pieces that will have you looking beach chic for less.

 

everything from target
Everything is from Target!

Swimsuits.

Target has lots of different styles and they are mostly mix and match. I prefer bikinis, and I love to be able to mix and match them to find my best fit. If bikinis aren’t your style, or you prefer to have a bit more coverage, try their bikini bottom with a high waist! Target has cute one piece swimsuits, too. I like to look for ones that have a little something extra to them...like cutouts, or interesting straps or ties. Do you like to have a little lift in the top? Look for suits with padding or added volume (like ruffles). It will give the visual effect of more oomph right where you want it.

red one piece

Cover Ups.

I love a good cover up, especially if it can double as a kimono to wear with shorts and a tank top for off the beach. Look for breezy light weight ones like this pretty floral one at Target.

cover ups
This kimono style cover up is one of many that you can find at Target. I love the tropical print!
Grab your dollar center sun hat (it’s actually $5) and your swimsuit and you are beach chic...and you paid less.

Bags.

Yes, we all know the joys of the straw bag; they are big enough to tote beach supplies to and fro. But why not try a backpack? I found this cheery yellow striped one at Target for $29.99. If you’re like me, you’ll need more than one bag...which makes a backpack a good choice. That’s one less thing to hold.

striped bag

Sunglasses.

One thing I miss about not being able to wear contacts is the sunglasses options! Target has a huge variety, and even though I might not be able to see really well when wearing these...they are too cute to pass up. Inexpensive too at around $14.99.

sunglasses

Flip Flops.

Are you like me and have feet that look like Hobbit’s feet when wearing traditional flip flops? No? Oh, well either way, you can certainly find inexpensive flip flops at Target. I prefer ones with straps across my foot to make them more beach ready and less Hobbit heavy.

flip flops

And don’t forget your sunscreen. We all love the sun, but we love healthy, beautiful skin more.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go hit the beach. I’ll stay on the shore though; sharks are in the ocean, which means I’m not.

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When Women Try to Wound

I’ve been quiet on this blog. There are quite a few reasons why, but I won’t bore you with them right now. Because, right now, I’ve come out of my burrow to meet something head on, and I’m hoping I can get this out in a meaningful way.

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I’ve been blessed with, and am truly grateful for, this blog. I often find it cathartic to write about what is in my head...or just to write about what I love. Here, in this space, I’m able to be me. You’ve seen me stand my ground on important issues, you’ve seen me defend against judgment and stand for confidence. However, there are things that start happening when other women see you succeeding, when they see you not following but leading. And, no, I don’t mean ALL women, I mean the certain groups of women that seem dead set on taking down any threat they perceive.  

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I’ve seen this, I’ve dealt with it, repeatedly. In recent months, it has increased. Is it a coincidence that over this time frame, I’ve started to see huge progress in my fitness level, and was given my style column? Doubtful. It seems to have made the haters come out in droves. Honestly, it's disheartening, sometimes it makes me want to quit and go back to when I was accepted more and judged less. I am sure there are a lot of women that can relate, so let's sit and chat. You can sit at my table.

At 39 years old, I have had quite enough of the mean girl attitude...of the clicks, of the fair weather friends. The closer I get to 40, the less patience I have for women who want nothing more than to see you fail. Narrowing my circle has helped, and I am blessed to have several true and kind-hearted friends, to them I am forever grateful. But there will always be, and this is something that I have learned the hard way, those that group together waiting to pounce. Like lemmings and sheep...following without leading, banning together afraid to break the group, they are weak alone.

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So what exactly brought on this post? Quite a few things that I have been through personally, and that I have seen happening to others. And, while I would love to discuss them here, I will refrain. Because, here in my space, the spotlight will never be put on mean spirited women. What I will say is this, I find it increasingly difficult to find belonging in a large group of women. Especially since what I have seen has left me to believe that all some women want to do is take down the threat; when you are marked, they pounce. When the “follow or be left behind” mentality creates a cluster of “all of us against you”. These women that jump in to wound, to misunderstand, to judge and not listen, for the sole purpose of throwing daggers meant to cut, words meant to wound. All while proclaiming to support women and value friendships. However, hiding behind falsehoods, hypocritical statements, and mean words doesn’t make you a woman who values anything other than hurt, and it especially doesn’t mean you value other women. What it does make you is a woman threatened, a woman cornered, a woman grasping. Where is the value in that?

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When all is said and done, I am happy to have seen the true colors of those around me. Well, to be fair, both happy and sad. It is sad to see women who you once loved and trusted, spiral downwards into judging and hate. It's sad that when one stands up, the others try to push her down. That’s the way it feels, intentional or not, when women make snide remarks, snap judgments, and outright call me names. It feels like being quelled. I have always understood that in a group the one who doesn’t fit stands out, but standing out and being different isn’t something to hate and mock, its something to celebrate.

You would think it would be like a puzzle, with all the pieces working together, while still having their individuality and necessary place within the whole. Maybe one day it will be, when more women understand that each of us are beautiful and worthy in our own way. When more women can stand up even if it means they stand alone. When more women feel accepted and not rejected. When more women see that being a part of a click isn’t necessary. When women can look at each other as equals and not as competition. Until then, I thank God for the friends that support me, the family that stands with me, and the future before me.

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So what happens next? I know there are a lot of women who have been bullied and have been victims of mean girls. I’m not sure the best way to handle them, but I do know these things. Social media makes cowards feel powerful, words typed are easier than words said. Jealousy usually fuels mean girls; they want something that you have. Don’t bow, don’t give in, don’t break. Know that those who live to break others, are those that are broken themselves.

It’s all easily said, isn’t it? Harder to set in place, and harder still to stay on the high road and not react. I get it. But, maybe we can use these mean girls’ negativity and make it something better. Let’s use it to fuel us to be better, be stronger, shine brighter...because that’s what they dislike the most. For the beauty in you to shine even brighter than before .

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I also know this: when my kids overhear conversations and they come to me saying “I’m sorry you are being bullied mama” it tells me that I have successfully raised them to acknowledge and condemn the mean behavior and it also tell me that I have been given an opportunity. I have the opportunity to show my daughter and son how to face mean girls. And that’s exactly what I plan on doing. So thank you, mean girls, for the learning experience for my kids. Thank you for showing them what mean girls really look like and what they really are inside. I will use your negativity for better purposes. Besides, it’s like I always say, bad karma ages you, it diminishes your light. What you put out into the world comes back, ten fold. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather inspire than dishearten.

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Mom’s New Look: A Beauty Product Rundown

Moms. We have the hardest, most rewarding job ever, am I right? So, it’s only fitting we give ourselves a little special attention. After all, we grew and birthed these tiny humans. Let’s take a side step from style this month and talk about beauty and skincare with a rundown of what I use and love. And since we all like to have options (hello, shoe collection), I'll list both high and low price point products for you to try.

Skin Care

I use Rodan & Fields' UNBLEMISH and REDEFINE lines. I've used it for over four years and it’s the only product I tried that got rid of my adult acne. It's pricey, but worth it. I have also heard great things about Plexus’ Joyōme. For lower price points, try L'Oréal Age Perfect. I also love Perfectly Posh products, especially their hand lotions.

RF

Priming and Setting Sprays

Y’all, I swear by these sprays from Urban Decay. You can find them at Ulta. Use both and pray the Southern humidity doesn’t win. You can also try NYX brand, a decent option at a lower price. Look for it—and NYX’s setting powder, which I also like—at Target.

UrbanDecay sprays NYX first base

Foundation

I'm a big fan of the IT cosmetics line, so naturally I use their Your Skin But Better foundation. I love that it's lightweight but covers well. For a lower priced option, try L’Oréal or Revlon's foundations.

CC cream

Under Eye Concealer

Again, I go with IT Cosmetics' Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer. I have found it covers the best for my tired mom eyes. Don’t be alarmed by the tiny tube it comes in—a little bit goes a long way. You can also try Tarte Shape Tape, which is also a bit of under eye magic. Both are well worth the money. If I were to buy only one higher end makeup product, it would be an excellent under eye concealer.

byebyeundereye tart shape

Eye Shadow and Liner

I am still on the Maybelline and Revlon train for eye shadow. I love Maybelline’s The Rock Nudes palette. I also love Wet n Wild’s liquid eye liner. However, for a higher end option, check out Urban Decay or Bare Minerals for a natural choice.

eye shadow

Mascara

I recently switched over to a higher end formula from IT Cosmetics and I love it! I like to think it helps me look like I actually have eyelashes. Other lower priced options are Almay and Revlon. Almay is great for sensitive eyes.

mascara

Lip Gloss

I love lip gloss. Bare Minerals has great choices for a higher quality product. Wet n Wild and NYX are my go-to for lower end lip color.

lip glosses

IT Cosmetics, Tarte, NYX and Urban Decay are all cruelty-free brands. For more information and a more detailed listing of cruelty-free brands, go to Crueltyfreekitty.com.

Pro Tip: If you want to try products from a variety of brands to see which works for you, look into getting a subscription service for makeup like IPSY (ipsy.com) or Birchbox (birchbox.com).

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Hello Yellow

Do you have a color that you just don't wear? I do...actually I have several. Yellow and purple are at the top of the list. However, i've come to appreciate yellow for all of its cheeriness and sunny vibe. Besides, yellow is a hit trendy color for spring/summer, so it must be good, right? Well, that's not always true, but I feel like it just might be a great time to give the color another try. If you look at any trendy clothing store and search for yellow, you will surely find quite a few options. Take Francescas, for instance, simply search for "yellow"...

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            (all images from www.francescas.com

 

 The first thing to consider is the shade of yellow. Just like with any other color, yellow has a lot of variations. Some say that us pale girls should wear mustard yellow and pale yellow, but I'm more of a rule breaker. I say, go with a shade that looks good on you, that you like on you. I do not like pale yellow on me. It might be because of my very dark hair, but I feel like it washes me out. I prefer sunny yellow and mustard.

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Styling your little bit of yellow joy is easier than you think. Of course, yellow can be worn with denim (try white denim for a fresh look!) If you want to spice it up some (because yasss) try using your accessories to contrast it with other colors, like I did in the outfit above. But what colors can you wear with yellow? Well, for a bit of color theory, take a look at the color wheel below...

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Personally, I only like yellow with one of the shades from the primary color scheme. That means any of the shades in the blue-green to blue violet range or red violet to red orange range. So, consider your shade of yellow though when trying to contrast with it. A bright sunny yellow might look best with blue green or red violet. Mustard yellow would look great with a plum color.

FEBE3B60 077C 456F A1A5 41B15998B82C(Don't forget to search secondhand stores for yellow! This entire outfit is from www.thredup.com.  The images are from there too.)

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Not into that much color? No worries, try yellow with pretty much any neutral color. White, grey, black, and navy all look great with yellow.  

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(Images and clothing from www.thredup.com

 

So are you ready to give this sunny, trendy color a try? I say yes! Go and grab some yellow and rock the heck out of that. Who knows, maybe it's just that little bit of cheer that you need for the day.  After all, yellow does evoke positive vibes.  

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-xo

 

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Cooking Autism, Inc. is driven to help children with neurological disorders (including autism) learn how to cook. Participants are encouraged to pick up critical communication skills, learn how to work as a team and be more independent. They can build skills in math, reading, and science, and learn about cooking-related topics such as health and nutrition. 

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