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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 39th Year

Hey everyone, I’ve been MIA for awhile, ya know just hiding in my burrow until spring. March has come in like a cranky toddler, am I right? I know that old saying, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb...and maybe that’s true. But why does it have to be a cold lion? Couldn’t it be a lion that’s warmly temperamental?

Anyways, March may be a crazy month for weather, but it’s also my birthday month. That’s a bit of foreshadowing...😂 Y’all I’m turning 39 at the end of the month. This is my last year of my 30’s and I can’t help but reflect on the years and decades that have flown by. Sometimes, I really wonder how I managed to get here. 

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It might be a surprise to you, but there was a time in my teenage years when quite a few people thought that I wouldn’t see 21. I was a troubled kid. I’ve talked about it in another post, you can find that here. Quite frankly, even I wasn’t sure I’d make it out of high school. I was suspended a few times for various reasons. Once, I was suspended because I refused to tell the names of the kids that were out back smoking. The administrators caught me leaving the spot, I yelled to everyone else still back there to run. When questioned, and even offered a pass if I gave them their names, I refused and was suspended.

Then there was the time at a brand new school, on the very first day of school...before classes even started... I was caught smoking, again. They took me to the office where I waited for my parents to be called and to be handed my sentence. Unfortunately, no one realized that it was a bad idea to leave me in a room unattended. I made a run for it, straight out the front door. I ran out of that school building faster than you can say "run, Forest, RUN". No one in that office expected me to do that, but there I was, running away, and there was everyone else hollering after me to come back.  Where did I go? I had the genius idea (this is sarcasm...leaving school grounds was a terrible idea) to run all the way up the road and into the woods. I stayed in those woods like a fugitive all day. Friends, this was back in ’96... there were no cell phones. I didn’t even have a watch to tell time... I basically just sat there in the woods and thought about my predicament. Just a troubled girl, her packed lunch, and her thoughts. These woods happened to be next to a school for “bad kids” and that irony was not lost on me

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I know you’re wondering what my plan was to get out of the woods. Somehow I managed to guess the time of day by the position of the sun... I kid you not. I straight up turned into Miss Wilderness Survivalist. I guess Girl Scouts, and all of those Macgyver episodes I watched paid off...I actually learned something. So, when I thought it was about the time for the buses to be at the school, ya know solely based on the suns position, I ran myself back over, and I was actually right! The buses were there, I got on...I went home... and all hell broke loose.

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Yes, I knew I’d be in trouble (that’s an understatement). Everyone had been out looking for me, the cops were looking, my family, the administrators. I remember my brother saying to me when I walked into the house “where the hell have you been? You’re in a lot of trouble”. And I was in a lot of trouble, I was nearly expelled. Somehow, I escaped being expelled and was suspended instead, for a week..before I had ever even stepped foot in a classroom that year. But, the track coach wanted me to sign up to run track...he saw me run out of the school like a bat out of hell, and thought I would be perfect for the track team, so there’s that. I didn’t do it though, track wasn’t my thing. Maybe that’s why I hate running now... running is for running from something, like expulsion and bad ideas.

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So, there I was...another suspension. One of quite a few. But what, does this have to do with anything, right? Well, I spent a lot of my teenage years being expressive. Y'all that’s the PC word for being dumb. Drugs, alcohol, and a whole lot of fierce crazy, that was high school for me. That’s my March. I came into adulthood like a lion...but I’m not necessarily going out like a lamb.

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Even at 39 years old, I’m still quite fierce, I am unabashedly me. Every bit of everyday of every year has formed who I am now, and, while I may not be leaving a lamb anytime soon, the lion has a better temperament and appetite now...usually. March might be a temperamental month, but those born in it are some amazing and fierce people (I’m not biased ;) ). 39 is set to be an amazing lion year, no lamb yet.

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-xo

 

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Spring Flare

These head-turning denim favorites are back. Let’s dress ‘em up and wear ‘em out.

Can it be that skinny jeans have competition now? Yes! Flare leg jeans are back! But don’t worry, skinny jean lovers, flares aren’t taking the place of our favorite denim. They’re simply giving us a little spice and variety. And, hey, that’s nice to have with the arrival of spring. So, let’s take a look at a few ways to style these retro joys.

Choose a Graphic Tee.

What better way to add a little flare to your flares than with a graphic tee? Be careful of the fit though. Try knotting it on the side if it is too loose and baggy; proportions matter, especially with flare leg jeans.

 graphicTJacket by Jack, Adriano Goldschmied flare leg jeans, Brash Heels, clutch from Francescas.

Keep It Simple.

Choose a basic, solid-colored or striped tank or t-shirt. Add interest by trying a side or front tuck. Target has affordable options in different necklines.

simpleAdriano Goldschmied flare leg jeans, Acemi top, Sam Edelman booties, BCBGMaxazria bag.

Wear a Structured Shirt.

A white button-down looks great tucked into flares, but also try patterned tops. The structure of a button-down shirt sets off the structure of a flare leg jean. You can tuck them in or knot them up! Bonus points if you grab a belt to show off.

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Adriano Goldschmied flare leg jeans, Dolce Vita heels, Style Envy top, clutch from Francescas.

Add Layers.

I love long-length cardigans, and they look great when paired with flare leg jeans. Try a fitted jacket or a blazer—perfect for getting that “Rule of Three.”

layers2Adriano Goldschmied flare leg jeans, Cardigan by H By Halston, Mossimo heels, Topshop top

layers3Adriano Goldschmied flare leg jeans, Acemi top, Huoduoyi jacket, Sam Edelman booties, BCBGMaxazria bag.

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Hudson flare leg jeans, Free People jacket, top from Target, Dolce Vita heels.

Unique Top.

Be it a cold shoulder top or something with interesting details, bring your flares to life. Be careful not to go overboard with the interest. A little goes a long way when paired with pants that are already a bit “extra.”

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American Eagle top, Dylan George jeans, H by Halston heels, BCBGMaxazria bag

Ready to show me your flare? If your closet lacks flare, check brick-and-mortar or online second-hand stores. Fashion is cyclical, so second-hand is a great way to find pieces out of style pieces that have recently made a comeback. If you don’t have luck finding them second-hand, try American Eagle. I LOVE their jeans!

Bonus Shoe Tip:

Wear heels or wedges with flares. Pointy toe heels make your legs appear longer. Be sure your flares come down to the ground. I have a few of my flares hemmed to different lengths to accommodate different heel heights.

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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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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.

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