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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

Look Fab for Family Photos

It’s about that time, isn’t it? The leaves change, the temperatures cool...and moms everywhere plan our family photos. Fall is almost here, and the busy photo season has begun. Time to stock up on bribes for our kids, patience and coordinating outfits. And, while I can’t really help with bribes and patience, I can help with what to wear. So let’s get those gorgeous family pictures perfect with these six tips.

Coordinate—don’t match.

When considering outfits, think about choosing a couple of colors and use them to put your outfits together. Coordinating, rather than matching, creates more interesting photos. It also brings more individuality to your family photos.

family photo coordinate

Choose patterns wisely.

Patterns can be a distraction in photos, much like clothing with wording or logos. So, if one outfit has a pattern, work everyone else’s outfits using solid colors and neutrals. A pattern draws the eye, and it can also unify the colors in a photo. Don’t be afraid to put one person in a beautiful, subtle pattern.

Accessorize and layer.

This might be my favorite tip. Adding accessories like jewelry, a hat or scarf, adds visual interest. Layers also add depth to the image. Think about a blazer, vest, cardigan or jean jacket.

accessories

Use colorful accessories to unify a color scheme, and layer with scarves to add texture and interest.

Don’t forget your feet.

Your shoes will be in some of the photos, so be sure to put thought into those. No one wants family photos with rough, dirty looking tennis shoes.

Always plan ahead.

When figuring out what everyone will wear, try laying everything out on the floor and changing out pieces of clothing until you find a combination you like. This way, you can grab something new, if needed, and save frustration on picture day. And having a less stressful time the day of your photo session is always a good thing.

Color theme.

If you need a little inspiration for colors as a starting point for what to wear, try looking on Pinterest for color theme ideas. These groups of colors help narrow your choices and help define what colors appeal to you. Choosing your outfit first can also give you a direction to go. Be sure you choose something you feel beautiful in and love wearing.

family photo color theme

Hopefully these tips help you plan your family photos. Remember to put a little bit of personality into it, and your family will shine!

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From Summer to Fall: Transitioning with Natural Fibers

Have you ever approached a change in season and haven’t wanted to pack away or stop using a favorite item in your closet? I know I have.

What if I told you that you didn’t have to stop using it; you could transition it to the new season? Case in point being my beloved summer accessory, a straw bag — or really any natural fiber bag. They have my heart. Let’s look at a few ideas to bring natural fibers into fall because, after all, why should a change in season change your heart?

Pair it with fall colors.

Burgundy, forest green, dark blues, browns and even Fruit Dove (a Pantone warm dark pink) are all perfect ways to tie the two seasons together. Choose a top or jacket in one of these shades and grab your straw bag.

Jacket
Jacket by Simply Couture, Target bag, Wild Diva booties, BLANKNYC jeans.

Maxi dresses/skirts and layers.

I’m pretty sure there is nothing better to bridge the gap between season than a maxi dress/skirt and layers. So, why not take their transitioning prowess to the next level by adding a summery touch (straw bag) and a fall touch (open toe booties). Genius!

maxi dress
Max Jeans vest, Aqua maxi dress, Talbots bag.

Neutrals.

Pair your straw bag with a chambray-colored dress, or an outfit in all neutral colors (black, grey, tan, white, navy). Ditch the sandals for booties or a heel in a texture, like leopard print or snakeskin.

Booties

Faux leather.

I mean, why not? The contrast in textures adds interest. Try a faux leather pencil skirt or faux leather jacket.

faux leather
Karen Millen skirt, H&M jacket, t-shirt from Target, Talbots bag and Collin Stuart heels.

Add a lightweight scarf.

I have a few lightweight scarves for bridging the odd weather gap between summer and fall. Find a few scarves with a fall color scheme and tie one on over a solid tank and jeans. Add booties and a jacket or cardigan and you’re the perfect example of autumn style. Pumpkin spice latte anyone?

Sorry summer lovers, but fall will be here before you know it. If you want to hold on as long as possible, keep using that cute straw bag. Mother Nature won’t mind, and you’ll look fab throughout the Sumall (Summerfall. Get it?).

straw bag
Bag from Francesca's 

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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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The Table at St. George’s

The Table at St. George’s is a market-style food pantry serving the extended local community. Visitors are invited to select their own items from a variety of fresh food, including locally grown produce. The Table’s mission is to encourage healthy eating, build relationships with those in need, and blur the lines between those serving and those being served.

StGeorges

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