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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

You Ask I Answer... A Style Q & A

So I thought that I would start something new this week. You know, new year, new you ... or just a new piece in this blogging puzzle. I get asked a lot of questions, so I thought that I would start writing a few posts here and there that answer the most frequently asked questions. Have a question? Ask away! Just make sure I have had my coffee first ... or you might not like the answer.  

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The most frequently asked question is "Why are you always dressed up? Do you work?" While this a valid question, I would be lying if I said it's one that doesn't bother me. It bothers me. But I guess that's what the best questions do, in a way - they cut right to it, am I right? Nevertheless, I will answer.

 

Why do I always look dressed up? It is my belief, that in order for me to be able to face the day and to put my best foot forward, I must be dressed and ready to do so. I shower in the evening. Every morning I get up before my kids, I get dressed, I put makeup on and do my hair. This little bit of time that I set aside for myself, is necessary to my mental health. That might sound crazy, but I can't function without feeling like I look my best. No, I never leave the house in my pajamas...I don't leave the house without at least a little bit of makeup on. Maybe it stems from my childhood. I remember my mom being the same way, she would always be dressed and ready for the day no matter what we were doing. It makes me feel like "super mom"... I can do anything! 

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I know that, as a parent, we usually put ourselves last. The kicker of it is, that when we actually put ourselves first, the guilt takes over. However, I have come to terms with the fact that I can't always come last. To be the best mom that I can be, I have to start the day feeling my best. It's just the way that I am. I also must have time in the evenings, after my kids are in bed, to do my workout. It's my stress relief for the day. Saving time for me, is best for everyone.  

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 LOL...that should also say..."and put on a cute outfit". So, how do I manage being "dressed up" all the time? I plan my outfits ahead of time. Currently, I have two weeks worth of outfits hanging in my closet. I used to label them for each day, but I gave up doing that. Now I just look through them, and pick one to wear. This allows me to have an easier time getting ready, and it also helps me diversify what I wear. Wearing jeans every day is boring to me, so I try to vary my outfits between jeans, dresses, and skirts. Gotta keep 'em guessing. Plus it makes me happy to try different combinations.

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And then there's the reason why this question bothers me. The question implies that for a woman to be dressed and ready for the day she must be going to work. Why though? At what point did looking our best become a product of working? I look my best for me. Plain and simple.  

 

-xo 

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When Letting Go Sets You Free

Hey everyone. I’m back again this week, and I am going to step away from style talk again. Writing for me is cathartic, as is photography and basically all art. It’s my way of letting go.

You see, there’s a saying, let it go, and no, I am not talking about Frozen here. I tell it to my kids when they are struggling with a negative emotion like anger and sadness. Imagine emotion as a balloon that you are holding. In order to be free of it, you must let it go, let it float away...realize that it’s lighter than you thought. Light enough to float away. You’re not holding onto it, and it's not attached to you anymore.

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In a way, it's about freeing yourself from a shadow that's been cast. And sometimes, it’s hard to see that. You see, I have come to realize that, even though I am by no means a large scale blogger, or have a huge social media presence, I still have to deal with a lot of what comes with it. So, what do I mean by that?

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I have talked openly about my struggles with mean spirited people who send me weird and mean comments, mostly through Instagram. I wrote a blog about that, here. I’ve also talked candidly about my decision to keep my kids’ presence on my Instagram account to a minimum. That post is here. If you have a minute, give each of those a read.

What I haven’t spoken about yet, is the very real fact that I lose friends...and I do not mean solely online friends. Real life friends, people that know me personally, people who have shared my time. I assume this happens to a lot of bloggers; maybe if it has happened to you, you could help me understand why. Because I don’t get it.

I don’t understand why, doing what I do, trying my hardest to do the best that I can, trying to reach goals, and also to balance my mom life means that I am not a good friend. That I am not worthy of grace, patience or a helping hand. That somehow, I don't fit in the circle. If I were to say that it doesn't hurt, I would be lying. What I do know, what I can plainly and clearly see, is that there is a correlation between my current life as a blogger, mom, photographer, and fitness enthusiast and losing friends.

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( A circle that I will always fit into)

I’d love to know why. There’s always a part of me that wonders what did I do? Even though, I know...rather I should know... that I haven’t done anything at all. I will never apologize for trying to get a leg up in this crazy style world, nor will I ever apologize for dedicating a lot of time to fitness and to my family. These things are non negotiable.

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(progress shots from two years ago, to last year, to recent...as I said fitness is non-negotiable)

I also know that God sends people into our lives for a reason. And, although we might not know what that reason is, nothing is random. Every person, every place, every trial and mistake are all meant to teach us something. Maybe, in this case, it’s supposed to teach me to keep my head up. To know who matters and to keep them close. My closest friends know this about me... in my circle, we support each other, we help each other, we guide each other, we challenge each other. We never ever just give up.

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Whatever the reason is, whether it's frustration, a huge mistake I unknowingly made, or jealousy, know that I will not carry the burden of an unwanted friendship. I will not hold any grudges. I will let that balloon go...its shadow no longer casts on me.  As that balloon rises, so do I.  Because, you see, I am not going anywhere but up.

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Oh, and, please don't think that this blogging gig is a burden, it's quite the opposite. I have met so many amazing people. So many women have come forward asking not only for my style help, but for my fitness advice as well. This is why I do it...this is my why. I know there is more good to come out of this. God sent me this oppourtunity for a reason, and I am going to rise, work hard, and continue to just be me. What do you say? Care to join me? Let's let go, rise up, and win. I got you, boo. 

 

-xo 

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Trends to Try (or not) for Spring

There are a few things that I am just not that into... cold weather and following trendy fashion. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some trends that I do like...but I don't necessarily wear them just because they are on trend. And, I most certainly do NOT stop wearing them when they aren't that trendy anymore. I wear what I like and what looks good on me...life is too short to do otherwise. This spring isn't short on trends, there are plenty to choose from...now only if it worked that way for the weather. With the weather it's more like...you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. LOL. Let's take a quick look at some of the trends for spring 2018.  

 

First up, sequins. Hallelujah!! I love sequins - the sparklier the better. This is a trend that I can fully get behind, and now I have an excuse as to why I wear them all the time. It's on TREND.  But here's the thing, I will continue to wear them even AFTER they aren't on trend anymore. Sequins are fun...I'm fun...it's a match made in heaven. But really, how do you say no to sequins?!?

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Pastels are big for spring too (shocking I know) with a strong emphasis on lavender. But again, I wouldn't consider this "trendy". It's spring...pastels are normal for spring. I, however, am not huge into pastels, so I won't be wearing them often...with the exception of these... that's enough pastel-ish for me.  

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 We will still be seeing a lot of feathers, fringe and fuffles.... errrr, ruffles. Again, I am not a huge fan of any of these things. But if you are, then go for it! Maybe you can inspire me to step out of my box and try them. I do have a bell sleeve top, which I am going to call ruffled. Because it kind of counts. I found it recently at T.J.Maxx.  

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Now here is a trend for spring that is definitely not for me...plastic and transparent. Unless it's in a raincoat form, I won't be wearing plastic. Although, remember those plastic jelly shoes when you were little? Maybe those in adult form. Do they come with a heel? I need at least 4 inches. Seriously though, if you get this trend to work for you, let me know. I am really curious.  

 

In other exciting trend news: Punk's not dead! LOL. Leopard print, plaid and even fishnets!!! Oh my heart. I've been wearing leopard print and plaids forever, so this is a current and upcoming trend that I will wear, and continue to wear. I'm sure the punk community loves being so trendy... probably not. But then again, I wouldn't consider these outfits "punk". I am simply taking pieces from the trend (leopard print and plaid) and making them work for me.

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Art insired prints are showing up, too. At least on the runways. Take an Andy Warhol piece, make a print of it, and wear it as pants or a jacket... voila. You are a walking museum. I would reccommend knowing a little bit about the artist before plastering them over your body. You know, like don't wear a band shirt when you aren't familiar with the music. Back in high school, in the 90's, I had a pair of Doc Martin's that had art inspired images all over them...maybe I should have kept them! 

 

Last up, is bolder florals, 1960's inspired to be specific. Remember this vintage bag that I found antiquing? If not, read that post, here.  I can use it this spring/summer and be on trend! Even though I bought it last year, thinking it was a little cray. But, I adore it, and when you love it wear it... trendy or not.  

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Whether or not you try any of these trends this season, wear what you love. Unless it involves see through plastic...then maybe don't wear that. Hopefully the spring weather will be here soon and we can all rejoice in our pastel, sequined, punk rock outfits. Oh, just me? Ok, then, back to the drawing board :)  

In the meantime, while we sit and wait out winter, I am going to try to be a little more bold in my outfits, bold in my outlook, and bold in spirit. Just not bold in plastic.  

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-xo  

 

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When Life Hands You Lemons

You make lemonade. Or so that's how the saying goes. Sometimes life has a way about it...handing you things that you didn't ever really want. I know this is a style blog, and I often run off on these little tangents, but sometimes I like to speak from the heart. Not that my heart isn't in style, because it most definitely is. But, switching it up a little bit every now and then is good for the soul. Someone should tell my kids that...so they will get off the chicken nugget train. 

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These past few weeks have brought all of us here in Virginia a bit of winter weather. Which is great if you are a kid, not so much as an adult. If life handed out lemons in the form of snow....I suppose we all could build a fort to hide in until it's sunny again. You know, because a snow fort is awesome - mine would come complete with a wine bar. I'd need the wine, because snow and I...we don't get along. If you don't already know, I am not a fan of snow. LOL. When it snows, I swear I see the snowflakes as lemons. Having my kids here at home for weeks at a time is tough. I won't hide the fact that I struggle with so much togetherness. Often it leaves me feeling claustrophobic and anxious. It just so happened that this recent winter weather came right after winter break, so the kids were in school all of one day in 20 days or so... but who's counting??  

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Sometimes, life has a lot lof lemons to give away. They come in all different sizes, strengths, and weights. Some are easy to handle...easy to create something better with. Others are solid and heavy, those are the ones that are more likely to weigh you down. Sometimes, it feels like that is all life has for you...the heavy lemons, the ones that are too hard to carry.  A bit of winter weather that messes up work days and has everyone sick with cabin fever, isn't a heavy lemon. Sometimes, it takes something bigger to make us see that. Or maybe just to make me see that.  

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I have both types of lemons. We probably all do. What I want to encourage everyone to do, is not to let the heavy ones drag you down but let the lighter ones lift you up. Use those light lemons as a stepping stone..use them to make the best lemonade that you can. So when the heavy ones come along, and you are struggling to hold them, that lemonade will remind you that you CAN. You can choose to make the best ever paperweight out of the heavy ones, or use them as weights on your olympic bar to make yourself stronger.   

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But whatever you do, don't confuse the two. I need a reminder of this myself. Don't confuse the light lemons for heavy ones. There is always something heavier. Remind yourself, as I will remind myself, that what seems heavy right now...might be a light lemon. Try to make the best of the moment. Snow might be a light lemon for me, so I tried to use it for a bit of good. My shoes look good against the snow! 

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As for my heavy lemons, I will keep those to myself, for now. I've already turned a few of them into a wicked gin and tonic :) The others will soon be left on my gym floor.

 

-xo 

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A Love Affair with Charleston, SC

Hi everyone! Welcome back. A few weeks ago I mentioned our little road trip to visit Charleston, SC. And, y'all, not only is it a beautiful city, but I found my people!

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 It's about a seven hour drive from Fredericksburg, and well worth it. I recommend staying downtown at one of the many cozy inns. For five days we called the Elliott House Inn home. It was nice, within walking distance of almost everything and had parking close by. It was also right next to three AMAZING restaurants, 82 Queen, Husk, and Poogans Porch. The Elliott House Inn is currently undergoing renovations, so soon it will be even better! The day we arrived we ate dinner at Husk, but at their bar and grille, not the full restaurant. Best burger I have ever had! 

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 The first picture is in front of Husk restaurant. If you want to eat there and not at their bar and grille, you have to have advanced reservations. The food is that good. As far as what I wore, every single outfit from this trip is either entirely or partly second hand. This outfit is all from ThredUP, except my scarf which is from Grace and Lace. Second picture is the courtyard at the Elliott House Inn, pre-renovations.   

 

When in Charleston, you must try as many restaurants as possible! You won't find a bad restaurant there. We ate at Husk bar and grille, Kitchen 208, Craftsmen Kitchen, Magnolias, Pearlz, Eli's Kitchen... however, I think our favorite was Fleet Landing. They are the only restaurant right on the water, they had the BEST seafood dishes, AND there is a beer there that is hands down AMAZING. The Legal Remedy Mocha Blonde Stout, locally brewed and on draft....it tastes like a cookie.. you can thank me later. We ate there twice, because...it's just that good.  My outfit for one of the evenings there was probably my favorite of our trip. All second hand from ThredUP.  

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Charleston is definetely a foode city, but it's also full of fun things to do. It is the home of the South Carolina Aquarium, a must see. When we were there, they had aquarium creatures made from Legos! Don't miss the albino alligator...he's real (not a Lego). Really very cool. I even found my Prince Charming!

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King Street is full of shops, and, trust me, we went in all of them. Don't miss the Savannah Bee store - it's all things honey and bee made. You even get to taste honey! We only had one day that was above 50 degrees, so on that beautifully warm day we tried to fit in as many of the all outside attractions that we could. First up was Patriot's Point, where three retired military ships are docked: The USS Yorktown, the USS Laffey, and the USS Clamagore. We got on board the first and last of the three. USS Yorktown is an aircraft carrier; you can visit all of the decks and on the top deck there are planes. The USS Clamagore is a submarine...and that is not something to get on if you are claustrophobic! Very tight quarters and small openings to squeeze through. Both are fascinating.

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Another must see place is Magnolia Gardens. You really need a whole day there. We only spent a few hours there and definitely didn't see everything. I've heard it's beautiful there when the azaleas are in bloom! My favorite thing about the south is seeing all of the big trees with Spanish moss, and Magnolia Plantation is full of them.  

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And, if the wonders of nature are your thing too, do NOT miss seeing the Angel Oak Tree. It's on John's Island, only a short drive from Charleston. Magnificent doesn't seem grand enough to descibe it. It is estimated to be anywhere from 400-500 years old, but some say it could be as old as 1500 years old. And that fact alone makes me feel very young! It holds the title of one of the oldest living things in the country.  Just beware of the guardian of the tree... she did NOT like me standing anywhere near the tree in my heels. As if I'd let my babies sink into the dirt...I was on tip toe!  

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Like I said above, I literally outfitted my entire trip in second hand clothing! (except for the tutu outfit) This one below, was one of my favorite outfits. I absolutely love mixing plaid with sequins! The second set of photos is when I started to get lazy. By the last day,  I just changed my pants and shoes for our dinner date. Previously, I would have changed my entire outfit. Plus it was very cold...and we walked on regardless.     

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All in all, even with the cold weather, we had a great time. I cannot wait to return, and I even entertain the idea of retiring there one day. I may have just the house in mind. Although, the heat of summer might change my mind. LOL. Charleston, you make me happy when skies are grey...and I can't wait to see you again.

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-xo

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