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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

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 guidline for yourself...you can always change it a little bit as you get more used to the idea.

outfit 1

(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 ap (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 with 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 can not 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.  

 

outfit 2a

outfit 2b

outfit 2c

outfit 2d 

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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In the New Year

2019. It’s here, and it feels pretty good. I don’t know about you but I always enjoy the start of the new year...except for our cold January weather; I could do without that. Not to worry, warmer weather is on the horizon. I’m hoping for an early spring. Where’s that groundhog? Someone make sure he gets the memo.

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What will this new year bring for you? Any big goals in mind? Any big changes? My goals are pretty simple and low key. As far as style goes, I have a goal I’ve set for myself in regards to my closet. And that’s to let go of the unloved pieces and only replace with things that I absolutely love and will wear often. We all probably have quite a few things in our closets that aren’t serving us well...the unloved space taker uppers. I know I do. Don’t even ask me about my dresser drawers! LOL. I have come into my own style preferences, and things that I used to love, or thought that I’d wear forever, just aren’t doing it for me anymore and they should be donated. Yeah, that’s all fine and good, until they get snatched out of the giveaway pile for fear I might someday want to wear it and I’ll forever miss it if I give it away. Just me?

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Seriously though, I’m determined to get a better handle on my closet. Keeping only what I love. I’m also committed to keeping with my mostly second hand shopping. I say mostly, because I know that one of my favorite stores like American Eagle or Nordstrom will have sales that lure me in. And, let’s not forget that TJMaxx and Marshall’s are also loves of my life, so I can’t just quit them. It wouldn’t be fair.

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And of course, if you follow me on Instagram, you are sure to see that I have a bit of an obsession with fitness. My goals for the new year in that arena are to be stronger and to be better at becoming stronger. What do I mean by that? Well, sometimes I’m not the most coordinated or the best with proper form. In fact sometimes I feel like a straight up brick. So practice makes perfect...or just less brick like. I also tend to stay in my lane as far as home workouts go and this year I want to push myself out of that box and try new routines. I have a goal to lift over 300 lbs...and I won’t get there if I take the easy route. Challenging myself means changing myself, and that's exactly what I want this year to be about. Challenging, changing and surpassing.

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That's not to say that fitness is the only place that I feel like I need to challenge myself. Keeping that challenge mindset, I have also set a goal to put myself out there more, grabbing opportunities as they present themselves. Whether that means entering more art shows, or writing more for different outlets, or simply being social more ( I tend to be a homebody)...I plan to do them all and then some. So bring it on 2019. Let's see what you got.

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2019. It's here...where will it take you?

-xo

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Birthdays and Holidays and Bears...Oh My

Ok, so maybe not literally bears... but allow me to explain. I thought for this week I’d reminisce a little bit. About what, you ask? Well...my son. You see his birthday is the day after Christmas. I know what you’re thinking, that that’s rough having a birthday close to Christmas...and you’re right. We try to separate it a bit, by having his party in the beginning of December. So far it seems to work. And really, it’s kind of magical and special having a birthday during the holidays. There are a lot of festivities, lights, decorations.... and in Owen’s case... there’s a little bit more to the cheer. I wrote about this in a post last year, find that here. It’s a post dedicated to my very special guy. I hope you give it a read, it's one of my favorite posts.  

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This year Owen is turning eight! We had his party a few weeks ago and it was a blast. I have always thrown my kids' parties here at home...usually making the majority of decorations and games myself. That's what my mom did for my siblings and I growing up...and here I am doing the same. Funny how that works. My favorite theme was a few years ago when he wanted a Pokemon birthday, followed closely by his Mario Bros party.  While planning his Pokemon Birthday,  I came up with the idea to do a scavenger hunt type of game, where the kids would have to search the house and find all the Pokemon that were hiding. Once they found, or "captured" all of the Pokemon, they got a prize. It turned out to be, not only the easiest thing to create, but the most fun. I have continued that game every year, for both him and my daughter, but with different themes. This year for Owen, we did Ninjas. And those Ninjas were hidden very well...it took the kids a good 45 minutes to find them all. Winning!

 

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 Even with separating his birthday party from Christmas, I still wonder if he will eventually feel overshadowed a bit.  Sometimes, people will question me if it was intentional or if we regret having him so close to Christmas. I wish I could point each and everyone of them to my blog post about our journey to have Owen. Because to me, there is no better time for us to have had him...he is a miracle, and Christmas is about just that.  

Miracles...joy...hope...love..faith...the gift of life.  

 

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So with all that said, what pray tell do I mean by bears? LOL. Well, to be honest, I was going to relate it to this teddy bear fleece coat that I got as an early christmas gift from Nordstrom. I talked about it in my Christmas Wish list post, here.  Why?

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Simply because it's warm and cuddly. And that, my friends, is something that I wish for you at the holidays. Whether that means that you are wrapped in warmth from a coat, a blanket or a hug... or wrapped in warmth from the love of friends and family...or even all of the above. I wish for all of you whatever joy that makes your heart full. For me... it's remembering that Christmas eight years ago when we finally had our little bear (we used to call him Owen Bear when he was a baby) and the warmth and love that both of my kids have brought into our home.  

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-xo

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6 Sizzling Hot Ways to Wear a Bralette in Winter

Lorraine and kids

Oh, Winter. You’re here! I guess that means it’s sweater weather. I admit, winter is not my favorite season—bless its heart—but it does offer cute and cozy outfit ideas. I’m talking about pairing sweaters and bralettes.

What’s a bralette, you ask?

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Well, it’s sort of like combining a crop top and a bra ... like a bra with lacy straps or a fancy back that’s meant to be seen. So, no more worrying about if your straps are showing, you actually want them to! Bralettes can add the perfect delicate touch to your outfit. Here are a few tips and styling ideas when trying this trend.

1. Look for bralettes that have support or padding. Or, do like I do, and wear them over your normal bra (just make sure the straps on each line up).

2. Keep in mind that lace on the cups might show if you are wearing it with a thinner fabric. Thicker fabrics usually work better.

3. When wearing them with a sweater or sweatshirt, make sure the neck of the top is wide enough so the straps are seen. Better yet, go with a sweater that can be worn one shoulder style. I’ve been known to cut the neck wider on a few sweatshirts from Target to achieve this look.

off the shoulder sweater

undersweater

4. Wear them as you would a crop top. Try it with a maxi skirt, high-waisted jeans or a pencil skirt. Tie on a plaid shirt or other button down for a cute layered look.

under plaid shirt

5. Be unique and pair a bralette with a tutu skirt for a fun outfit for a holiday party. Too much skin? Just add a fitted jacket or tie a short length cardigan over top. Leave the buttons open so you still see the bralette.

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white tutu skirt

6. Take your lounge wear up a notch by wearing a bralette under a long sweater with long socks, or under a button-up shirt with leggings.

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Ready to give them a try? Awesome! Let’s hit the stores and pair some outfits! Target and Aerie (in Spotsylvania Towne Centre) have cute options! I’ll meet you there with coffee and cozy, warm vibes.

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