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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

That 70's Style

Hey everyone! Is it still winter?? I think these cold days have taken a bit of my will power...winter just seems to be dragging, and in turn, I drag too.  But, the groundhog said spring is on its way, and he is never wrong... just let me believe that. Anyways, I thought for this week I would talk a little bit about the 70's inspired trend that is coming back...It has always been one of my favorite eras.  

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If you have stepped into Target recently, you probably noticed there are more and more 70's inspired clothing on the racks. This top, and bag for example, just came from Target. They both had me at hello. I am seeing rainbow graphics, and 'groovy" sayings on a lot of items. The top is out of stock online, here, but check your local Target.  

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Jumpsuits have been back for a while now too, and they are certainly part of the 70's inspiration. Plunging necklines and wide legs, yes please! I am also seeing a lot of denim jumpsuits...about which I am not exactly sure how I feel. I think i need to try one and see how I feel about it. I always seem to say "nope,  I will never wear that.." but then once I try it, I end up loving it...so the verdict is still out.  

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Flare leg pants. Keep an eye out for my next column in the March issue of Fredericksburg Parent Magazine, it is devoted to the loves of my life...flare leg jeans. Ok well maybe not THE loves of my life, but like a close sixth. Ya know, after my husband, kids and our kitties. But, seriously, don't be like me and say "nope" until you try them. Be sure to grab the March issue of the magazine and read my styling tips for them.  I think you might find that flares are fun! And, who doesn't like fun? No one.    

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(these clothing pictures from Thredup, but that skirt y'all...is coming to me soon)

Denim skirts and corduroy ...both beautiful take aways from the 70's, and they are back. Skirts with buttons down the front...similar to this one... will be popping up in stores soon. I have seen several at American Eagle already. Find one that you love and rock it with wedges, booties, flats or heels!  

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So, who is ready to be groovy with me? Grab your flares, your peace signs, and bring your good vibes...we meet at dawn. :)

 

-xo

 

 

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Mommy Judging

Recently I came across an article from the Today Show's parenting team.... It was entitled “If you’ve never showed up to school pick up looking like a truck driver, we can’t be friends.” Find it here. And y’all this got me worked up. I’d like to reply to this author, and to others who hold the same beliefs. Allow me to explain why this mom has never shown up looking like as a truck driver and why that’s ok.

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First, I don’t, nor have I ever, really understood this mommy judging that is so rampant these days.  I often find myself surrounded by women who would sooner judge me based on my appearance than actually judge me based on my character. Yes, I show up to events, to school drop off and pick up fully dressed and ready for my day. How does that make me less of a worthwhile friend? I would simply never look at another woman and say “gee she’s dressed too ho-hum to be MY friend, so bye! Go find other ho-hums to be friends with.” It's silly to me to even entertain this thought. Is this how shallow we have become?

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Second, I wasn’t aware that doing something for myself that makes me feel ready for the day, could be a characteristic of an unworthy friend. Look, I get up everyday, I make my bed, I do my hair and makeup, I get dressed...I do this everyday. Not because I am fake or trying to cover up that I’m a struggling mom. I AM A STRUGGLING MOM. Here’s the secret, I do these things BECAUSE I’m struggling. Being dressed and having my hair and makeup done is what helps me start my day, it’s self care that I need to feel my best, period. I do it for me. That does not mean, I don’t struggle just as hard as the moms coming to drop off in PJs. Where is the rule book that states how a woman should handle and manage the stress of parenthood? Where does it say that to be accepted, one must do exactly as I do and present themselves everyday just as I do. Somewhere in that book there must also be a chapter on the acceptable amount of laundry in your pile and whether or not it's ok to make your bed.  

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Third. What ever happened to simply talking to each other and asking questions...real questions about motherhood. I will say right now, I am not shy about talking about my struggles with motherhood, marriage life, pet owner life... whatever. I’m here for it. I love nothing more than dealing out REAL talk. So then tell me exactly how does the way I fix myself up everyday make that any less honest? Let's grab that coffee, girl, and chat...I will accept you any way you feel comfortable, no strings attached. I might come in heels, you might come in tennis shoes...what I care about is being together, talking, laughing, even crying if need be. I accept you for the person you are, wholly and without reservations or requirements.  

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“Realness” shouldn’t be judged by how a woman is dressed or how much makeup she wears, period. How much we struggle with motherhood, or life in general, should not be gauged on our level of dressiness. Let’s not make a qualification for the struggle bus based on whether or not we come to drop off or pick up in PJs. It’s simply not that surface level and skin deep. A friendship based on that level of judgment, isn’t a friendship that I would want. I’m ok with you not liking me.

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A friendship that starts off with judging how I’m dressed in an effort to further judge my level of struggle...isn’t one that I’m interested in keeping. You might find that it’s far easier to get to know someone, if you speak to them with honest intentions... that’s the friendships that I want. Ask me my worst mom moments...I will happily tell you every gritty detail. Ask me how I’m handling life...marriage... whatever... I will tell you. But don’t stand there and judge me as an unworthy friend or a fake woman because I come to drop off in heels and makeup. That's a problem within you, not a problem with me.  

 

 

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The Rule of Three

 

Let’s chat about the rule of three and what it means regarding style. It’s something to keep in mind when thinking about your fashion goals for the rest of the year.

The rule of three means your outfit contains three elements to create a more interesting and visually pleasing outfit. Easy, right? Top, pants and shoes. Done. But no, shoes don’t count! I know, it’s words I never thought I’d say...I mean shoes always count for me! The third piece must be a jacket, cardigan, blazer or other statement accessory (e.g., a hat, scarf, jewelry, belt or bag). Here’s what you can do with them:

Throw on a jacket.

Simple, right? It’s winter, so we all wear jackets and coats. However, take it a step up with a fitted faux leather or suede jacket. Moto (short for motorcycle) jackets are a great way to add edge and interest with their eye-catching buckles, zippers, and snaps.

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Of course you can apply the rule of three to athleisure too! Jacket is Abercrombie and Fitch, Acemi top, 90 Degrees Reflex leggings, Aldo clutch and Adidas shoes.

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Michael Kors jacket from TJMaxx, Wayf top from Nordstrom, J brand jeans, Mix No. 6 booties from DSW

Try a blazer.

These aren’t just for work. Try one over a camisole, tank top, or a t-shirt for a structured look. Slide on your favorite jeans and you are rocking “the three.”

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Make a jumpsuit work for the rule of three, add a jacket, fabulous clutch and bold earrings.

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Studio M jacket, American Eagle jeans, Emory Park top from Stitch Fix, booties and scarf from Zulilly. Bag is by Miss Sixty.

Grab a cardigan.

Chunky knits and long length cardigans are in this season. Throw one on over a top. If your top isn’t fitted, try adding a knot on the side, or doing a half tuck.

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Cardigan by Luna Ivy from Marshalls, Truly Madly Deeply top, Lularoe leggings, Mix no. 6 booties and Grace and Lace Scarf.

Add a statement piece.

Try a scarf! It’s my favorite way to make that rule of three work. Hats or jewelry count, too. My favorite jewelry pieces are big earrings—hello, Nickel & Suede. Belting a dress or skirt is another great way to use accessories to get that third piece in.

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Tart leggings, BP sweater from Nordstrom, Scarf from Zulilly, Inisa boots.

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Seeing as February tends to be dreary, finding an upside to the frigid air can be tough. But, fear not, there’s hope! It’s a lot easier to create outfits using this rule of three now than during the summer when it’s as hot as the surface of the sun. Am I right? So, let’s all throw that third piece on and rock the heck out of winter.

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Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

Hey everyone, welcome back to my corner of the interwebs. As I type this we are having a bit of snow and winter weather. Surely the kids will be out of school for the majority of the week—good thing that I stocked up on wine! Just me? As I sit here with my coffee and my long socks...see my post about my favorite cold weather accessory, here, I am thinking about the complexity of creating a capsule wardrobe. Why did I say complexity? Well, because to me it is a complex idea...maybe it’s not supposed to be, but let’s take a look at what having a capsule wardrobe means, shall we?

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Basically a capsule wardrobe means that for every season, you have on average 35 pieces of clothing in your closet. The pieces are versatile enough that they can be mixed and matched to create a number of different outfits. Y’all this includes shoes. And that’s the part that has me like...nope. Now, the number of items can vary for each person, because we are all different and have unique needs. For instance, I don’t have an office job, so my capsule wouldn’t include any office wear. You could also decide that workout clothes don’t count, but then they have to be used for working out only and not sneak their way into your daily attire. Set a basic guideline for yourself...you can always change it a little bit as you get more used to the idea.

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(one of the outfits that I put together based on my capsule choices)

 

So, I decided to challenge myself to put together a capsule wardrobe based on things that I love and would wear. Do you think I succeeded? Well, It was tough, and I spent a long time on it...and I only made it down to 41 pieces. Some people say that you should include jewelry, handbags and all accessories, but y’all I can’t handle that. So here is what I came up with, all images are from the Cladwell app (I will talk about that another time).  They are similar to pieces that I own. In reality though, you are supposed to dump your closet out and only put back what you will be including in your capsule for that season. I will be honest, I simply can't do that—it would literally take me YEARS. And, since I am over here dreaming of spring, this sample capsule is made with spring in mind. 

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First up, dresses and skirts. I pretty much live in them as soon as it's warm enough. If my capsule wardrobe didn't have a good selection of dresses and skirts...I don't think I'd ever leave the house. I'm not joking. Notice that I included different cuts and patterns as well as solids. Probably would need to make adjustments, but you get the idea. Of course, I cannot forget about shorts and jeans. Especially since spring can offer up some crazy mixed up weather. Pictured below, I chose a few skinny jeans, my beloved (and on trend) flare leg jeans, and a pair of shorts.

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Ok now here is where it gets a little dicey. Tops. I need to rework this a little bit...but I think the basic idea is here. Different cuts and styles, mixing both patterns and solids and one or two on trend pieces (polka dots and tie dye). Remember that you can always tie up shirts or side tuck them if they are too loose for your outfit.  

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Next up...outer layers. Again this part was hard, because around here, spring can be Sprummer,  Sprall or even Sprinter.  Haha, get it? I tried to include different textures with the denim jacket and faux leather, as well as incorporating longer cardigans and trench coats. Do I need more than one trench coat? Probably not. But here we are, with two.  

Untitled 3Lastly, shoes. This was difficult, because I believe that shoes make an outfit, and I am not about to give up the majority of my shoes, that's a no from me. However, I gave it my best effort to narrow it down to a few choice styles. Notice I didn't include flats...that's because I never wear them. I'd have a pair of converse in my workout wear...so I'd cheat on my capsule and wear those with an outfit if I had to. Rules are made to be broken right?!? And, truthfully, these few wouldn't be enough for me. I'd probably have to include at least 25 more pairs. 

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So, now you need to make sure you can create enough outfits for the season....so that's 3 months...with the pieces that you have selected. It might be a good idea to photograph them, so you have a "look book" so to speak, of all the outfits. If you find that you are struggling with your choices, try changing it for something else, nothing is set in stone! Below I put together a few outfits using the pieces that I chose, and it was actually a lot of fun to do! Maybe I could just work up outfits for OTHER peoples capsules, because while I do see the benefits to capsules (ease of making outfits, less stuff, less expense), it is not something that I will do in my own closet.  

 

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Even without doing a capsule wardrobe, I am still using these outfits as inspiration come spring.  They have me wanting to pretend it's warmer outside and dress for spring.  Will you be creating a capsule wardrobe? 

 

-xo  

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The Weight of Parenting

As parents, I am sure we all can relate to what I am about to say...Parenting isn’t easy and it isn’t always fun. Now, I know that I could spin this a positive way and talk about the amazingness that is parenting, but not today. No, today I want to let y’all in on my current mom situation. Because sometimes, it’s reassuring to hear that we all struggle, that we all feel like jugglers without balance, like dancers without grace. Or in my current situation, like a tree with too many branches.

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A few months back, at my daughters six year routine doctors visit, I was told that there could be a problem. She hadn’t grown or gained any weight in an entire year. If you have ever been in a room when a doctor tells you there might be a problem with your child, and hear the laundry list of things that it could be... you’ll understand what I say next. It’s like a punch to the gut that hurts so bad you are left stunned and kind of gasping for any kind of air... and yet there’s no air in the room. Tears welled up in my eyes as fear took over, words like cancer were in the air...hanging there like anvils waiting to drop and crush you. Worry, terror, confusion, and fight jump to your face creating a flurry of emotion that I would never wish on anyone. In a matter of seconds, my world stopped.

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We were sent off for numerous blood tests, we even got an x-ray of her hand to check bone age. Waiting for those tests results, took every once of strength that I have. For over a week that familiar parenting weight we all carry became five times heavier. Thankfully, all of those tests came back normal, but over the course of another month...trying to get her to put on weight...there was no improvement. Next stop was to see specialists, a GI doctor and an endocrinologist. This was back in October.

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And we just now, on January 2, saw one of the doctors. That wait time was excruciating. Even with all the tests that were done before, we still don’t have answers, and the GI doctor wants to run a few more tests, possibly retest others. The endocrine doctor will see us toward the end of this month. More waiting...more worry...more weight.

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A tree with too many branches. That’s me. At first glance, I look sturdy and capable of holding the weight of a million branches. But what you don’t see, is the ever growing bend in my trunk, pulled down by the weight that I hold. And yet I’m still standing and growing, pushing through it all to find the light. Parenting doesn’t always look like a beautifully pruned rose bush. Sometimes it looks like the gnarled and bent tree.

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Sometimes we carry more weight than we think we can handle...with each and every set back adding to the pile. As parents, there will always be weight on our shoulders. And in those times when it’s all just too much...look up.

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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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