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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

The F Word... It's Not What You Think

Y’all I’m going to drop the F word... fitness! Haha, yeah you thought I would say the other F word. Well, I do drop that one, but I’ll spare you that here. Funny story, when my daughter was little, she would see a frog and try to say “frog” but it came out as the F word. It was made to be even more fun when she would see a “big green frog”, and yell it out in the middle of Home Goods. Those frogs...

Seriously though, fitness. That’s what I want to talk about today. Why? Because like style, fitness is something that I love...it's something that I find motivation and inspiration in, something that I enjoy.  But it hasn't always been that way. Let me back up and tell you a little bit about my fitness journey. This is me, three-ish years ago...

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 Yeah, I know, crazy right? I was at my heaviest weight (not including pregnancies).  I was unhappy and unmotivated to make any changes...how could I? I had two little kids that demanded a lot of my time.  There wasn't time for me...or at least that's what I told myself.  Truth was, I didn't want to find the time, I wanted to make excuses.  That was July of 2015.  In October of that year, once my kids were both in preschool, I ventured out and tried a bootcamp put on by my now trainer.  Y'all it didn't go well, I think I almost died.  That was the moment that I knew that I had to do something, being that much out of shape was not fun..it wasn't where I wanted to be and it certainly wasn't the example I wanted to set for my kids. So, I hired Shannon as my trainer, find her facebook page here. We've been training together for three years now.

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 Finally I felt like I was on the right track, although at first I wasn't that dedicated.  In the beginning I was only working out maybe 2-3 times a week, and while I started to see changes...it wasn't until I upped the anty to 6 days of workouts with one rest day that I really started noticing changes.  Well that and changing what I ate. Currently, I see Shannon once a week, I workout at home 4 days a week, and on Sundays we do bootcamp, put on by my trainer, Shannon, and another personal trainer, Nicole. You can find Nicole's page, here. Notice I said "we", yes my husband goes too and he also does the same home workouts.  Our kids come as well, it's been really good for them to see thier parents dedicated and disciplined doing something together that they love.  If you are looking for a place to start, a place to find your way...I strongly reccomend thier bootcamps. Every Sunday at 9am, Pratt Park, $10... yup, only $10! It's usually posted on Facebook so everyone can RSVP...all levels...you don't have to be a fitness junkie to attend.  It's a great way to get yourself motivated, to try different equipment, different routines... it's a great way to boost your confidence, because you CAN do it. We all know that you can. The most important thing is that you come out and try and then do it again and again until NOT doing it seems wrong. 

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 So what makes me excited to workout and keeps me motivated? Honestly, it's the results, I won't even lie about that. But it also helps to find a type of workout that you enjoy doing.  For me that's mostly strength and conditioning work, HIIT style workouts...I hate running, so I don't run. And that's ok, you don't have to do all the things, but you have to do something.  Because, I will be honest, if you sit around and have a bunch of excuses as to why you can't...then you won't. You won't get that booty you want and you won't get rid of the extra inches.  Get up, get moving...come see me at bootcamp! Everyone starts somewhere, and this, my friend, is where you start. 

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(Changes can take time...first two images are 2 years ago, last three are current)

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(booty gains...first image is last year on my birthday, then progressive until current at the far right)

 

Find your motivation and use it to get to work.  Find your why. And then, once you start, DON'T STOP.  I am sure we have all started something with the best intentions and then we stop.  Remember, fitness is a commitment...it requires dedication, but I would rather be dedicated to being healthy than be dedicated to my excuses.  

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So, what do you say, are you ready to do this thing? Then what are you waiting for? No excuses.

 

-xo 

 

 

    

 

 

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Allow Me To Introduce Myself...

Haha, the title makes me laugh. Why? Well, I have been blogging here for over a year now! And, y'all probably think it's a little late to introduce myself. I mean I have, in previous posts, talked about where I am in this mommy gig, and the journey back to define me aside from being a mom. In fact, that's kind of how this style blog thing began. Take a look at my very first post for Fredericksburg Parent, here, and you will see what I mean. This week, I thought I would share a little bit more about myself.

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For instance, did you know that I was a terrible student in high school? Yes, I was a trouble maker, shocking I know. It takes a bit of talent to get into the amount of trouble that I did, and I don't regret any of it.It's like I tell my kids...I learned in my own ways, however distant or troubled those ways might have seemed. The twisted road that I took taught me a lot about life...and it also brought me to the exact place that I was meant to be. Would a different path have led me to where I am now? I don't believe so and here's why...

IMG 1789 (me in highschool...go ahead and laugh)

 There were a few events that brought me out of my tornado of destruction. The first was photography. In my junior and senior year in high school, I found a voice through a camera lens. It helped focus my energy and I believe it saved my life. I had an amazing photo teacher that helped to fuel my interest in the art. He gave me the responsibility to tend to the school's darkroom, so long as my grades stayed up. And they did - this C & D student was doing a heck of a lot better. Even then, the hole that I had dug for myself was hard to escape. No one really thought that I would amount to much.

But y'all I did! In my own time. After high school graduation, I moved out of my parents' home and I lived on my own or with friends for many years. I supported myself...gained responsibility, but I still lacked direction. After a year of floundering, I enrolled in the local community college. It offered me the opportunity to earn academic achievements and to prove that I COULD do it. I enrolled in every single art, history, photography and writing courses that they offered. Taking only a few classes a semester was slow going, but after four-ish years of straight A's and a spot in the honor society... I decided to take my chances and apply to a four year college.  

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(some of my portfolio work from my RIT years)

To my surprise...possibly to a lot of peoples' surprise...I was accepted into Rochester Institute of Technology's photography program. Y'all that was big...it is the best photo school on the East coast, and they wanted me. And, while I could have done without the horrifyingly cold winters...the snow up there is no joke... I still worked hard, rarely missed a class. While there, I met some of the best people in my life, I had the honor of learning from some of the best minds in photography, I met my husband, and I found myself. I wasn't the girl who almost flunked out of high school, I wasn't the girl who was nearly expelled...

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I was the girl who kept all of that with her, used it to fuel her, earning her degree in Advertising Photography...and graduating from RIT, Summa Cum Laude...highest honors. I still have the yellow ropes that I wore at graduation. With all of that, and a decent portfolio, everyone thought that I'd move to New York City and work in the advertising photography world. But, I knew that was not what I was intended to do. I chose Virginia instead...that's where my husband was. For 5 years, I worked and learned from an amazing photographer, Scott K. Brown, down in Richmond. After my son was born, my life changed again and I was a stay at home mom. And, yes, again I became lost in that definition of me.  

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(my second baby)

Slowly I came back to my love for photography. Currently, I am a family photographer and I adore it. In college, I swore I would never do portraiture, I only wanted to shoot products and still lifes for ads. Eventually I realized that love for product photography hadn't left me...and now look. LOL. Here I am shooting images of shoes and bags and jewelry for my blog and column, just like I did in college. Funny how that twisted road came about, funny and amazing.

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I'd like to encourage all of you to hold on to your passions.  Find a way to incorporate them into your current life.  We have this one life...let's fill our time here with the best versions of ourselves. This life has changes, it has twisted paths and probably a bit of turbulence too. Don't get lost. There is a light in all of us that this world needs; mine dimmed for awhile, but the flame is rekindled and it's on the way to bonfire status. Be bright...you never know when your light might be the one to start an other's fire.

 

-xo 

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Down with Denim Jackets – 5 Ways to Wear Them

Transitions. September is full of them. School is in session, football is back, summer is ending and in comes fall. We are nearing the time when our weather becomes something of a guessing game to which most of us have no idea of the answer. Will it be chilly? Will it be hot? Maybe both? Add in some rain...possibly hail too. Stylishly transitioning seasons can be tricky, but there is one item that can save your wardrobe and your sanity—the denim jacket. It’s perfectly versatile, easy to style and a layer worth having in your closet.

With dresses or skirts

Whether they are knee-length or full length (maxi dresses), denim jackets are the perfect way to make almost any dress seasonably appropriate. Make sure yours is fitted and not too bulky. My favorite one at the moment is from H&M.

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Toni maxi dress, H&M denim jacket, Aldo clutch, and Vince Camuto heels are all from ThredUP.

With leggings

Do you love leggings? Want to take your athleisure up a notch? Add a denim jacket to your outfit! It will take your athleisure outfit from the gym to the streets, zero push-ups required.

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Denim jackets and athleisure are a perfect pair. Leggings are 90 Degrees. Jacket, top and clutch from ThredUP.

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Ah but wait, not the same color denim. Try a denim jacket with colored skinny jeans, like olive, black or white...or really any color. Just stay away from all one color of denim from head to toe—unless you like the “Canadian tuxedo” look.

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Denim jacket and white jeans=yes! H&M jacket, Brand jeans and Betsey Johnson bag all from ThredUP. Tank and booties from Zulilly.

With leopard print

Probably my favorite way to style denim jackets. I love them paired with all the leopard-print things. Dresses, skirts, shoes...something about the contrast in texture brings me (and your outfit) life.

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H&M dress, clutch, and Lucky Brand wedges all from ThredUP. Earrings are Nickel and Suede. 

With stripes

Another fail-proof pairing: denim jacket and stripes. It just feels right together. Try it with a striped dress, skirt or striped T-shirt.

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Denim and stripes and everything nice. H&M jacket, forever 21 dress and H by Hilfiger clutch all from ThredUP. Mix No. 6 booties from DSW.

Whichever way you choose to style it, a denim jacket is an easy way to pull an outfit together with little effort. Make sure you have one, or more (I have a few in different washes) in your closet. I hope to see you all rocking your denim jackets in the school drop-off line, or, you know, to all the things everywhere.

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How To Wear It: The Trench Coat

Hey everyone! Welcome back to my little corner of the interwebs. I saved you a seat and a cup of coffee. This week I thought I would show you how to take one item of clothing and style it a few different ways...for fall of course. What? It's totally legit to talk about fall...the pumpkin spice lattes are already out.  

For this post, I want to talk about styling a trench coat, which just so happens to be on trend for fall. I have a few in my closet from previous years, but I just picked up this Carolina Belle trench coat from TJMaxx and I think it's a better example for how to style a trench coat. But don't be fooled by the outfit photos, this trench is actually tan, not grey, with checked pattern of teal, dark red, and brown, like in the photo below. So, let's get to it...you ready to trench it? LOL

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First, of course you can style it with skinny jeans and a top. These are JBrand Jeans in dark wash, a black long sleeved top by Aqua, and rust colored Vince Camuto heels. Do you see what I mean about the color changing in my bathroom lighting? It's weird. These Nickel and Suede earrings match the blue in the jacket almost perfectly! You all know that I love these leather earrings, find them here.

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A trench coat also looks super chic with leather leggings and over the knee boots.  

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And, use the same over the knee boots, but pair it with a dress...perfection! The length of the coat and the height of the boots creates a nice balance, and you get that extra bit of fantastic with the sliver of leg showing. I'd probably grab my teal clutch to match the earrings and the color in the coat.  

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Don't love over the knee boots? No problem, pair a dress with booties and the trench..it still works.

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For the outfits above, I have the belt to this coat tied behind me, which is a great way to create a more fitted look. However, tying the belt in the front gives the trench coat a whole new look, especially when you wear it over a dress. Also try adding pops of red with accessories. Red is a big color for fall. I added red booties and a red buffalo plaid bag.

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Lastly, try your trench coat with a skirt and top! It is a great option to change the look of an outfit.  

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So, what do you think? Ready to jump on the trench train with me? I hope so, Trenching is always more fun with friends. 

 

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-xo

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My Must Have Summer Accessory

Summer time... yeah ok it's already August, but I just found my latest obsession and I had to share. This week I want to talk about my must have summer accessory. Although, of course sunscreen is the must have accessory, because no one wants to risk skin cancer. But, after that, comes a seriously cute accessory...

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Carl's ice cream!!! Ok...that IS a great summer accessory, but I was talking about my bag. I have noticed a lot of bloggers carrying these round straw bags, and I also love them...but I didn't love the price tag. So, I waited...I thought that I'd either buy one off season, or strike second hand gold and find it on ThredUP. Lo and behold, I found a Talbots one on ThredUP for a decent price. It was new with tags. The Talbots price was $108, ThredUp had it for $50, and even then I struggled with whether or not I needed it THAT bad. Eventually, though, I bought it and I am so glad that I did.

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 It seriously goes with everything. Rompers, dresses, jumpsuits, shorts...all the things. It makes an outfit look instantly very summer ready. I love that this one has navy accents and that it had a removable cross body strap. I don't usually wear cross body bags, so I took that strap off and the handles are perfect for carrying.  

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Since ThredUP rarely has the same exact pieces, I decided to search the interwebs and find you all some similar style bags. First stop, Amazon. They have quite a few; this one below is my favorite. I love the red pom poms on this one, and it has a great light neutral color. Find it, here. I favor arm straps, not cross body, so this one is great if you prefer them too.

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(Photo credit: Amazon)

 

Another version that I found on Amazon is this one, here...LOVE the version with dark handles. The leather handles might be more comfortable to carry. This one also comes with tassels, however, you could probably remove the original dark tassels and use colorful ones. I might actually order this one, from Amazon, for my bag.  Find it here.    

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(Photo credit: Amazon

 

Last but not least, is this one that I found at an online store calle Moos, find it here. It is definetly larger than mine, but I know us moms sometimes need a larger bag...because kids. This one already has tassels in neutral colors so it would go with a lot of things.

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(Photo credit: Moos

 

Are you officially obsessed with these bags as I am?? How about we all meet at Carl's with our straw bags and eat an ice cream.  We will be the epitome of summer...minus the beach. 

 

Oh and don't forget to use your discount code for ThredUP that I talked about in last week's post, here.  Use this special discount code, parents25, and get 25% off for the first 300 new ThredUP customers. It expires August 26th. Go. Shop. Now!!! (The discount only applies to items under $50)

 

-xo 

 

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Aneurysm Awareness Walk and Book Signing for Cancer Support

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This month, Pouches highlights 2 community events which both aim to bring awareness to medical issues. The first is a walk to raise awareness about brain aneurysms, and the second is a book signing for a new book designed to help parents talk to young children about the death of an older sibling.

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