Sitting Room Refresh

A65761D6-FEF3-47DE-975A-987E499F07FDYou’ve definitely seen this room before from the post about the sitting room. I spent the majority of the weekend giving this little room a refresh. We’ve been popping in and out of town for the month of June and this is where everything lands between and during trips. So most of the changes are unseen organizational like the complete re-working of the closet which I will space you. Most of the other changes are small especially to people who don’t live here but they made a huge difference to the usability of the room. The major change in this room is that I decided to mount the tv. I put this task off because I wasn’t committed to the room’s layout and I was pretty sure I wanted to pay a professional for this. This weekend, I just decided to go for it and can I tell you it was just one of the simplest task ever. By doing so, I freed up so much desk space.

9F08CDD8-A208-472A-A5D1-A1491221CEA527559060-72BF-48E2-810F-3E8DB72BBF32Mounting the tv meant dangling cords though. I tucked most of the cords behind this paintable cord track. I didn’t run it all the way to the floor because I needed to hide the Apple TV in this drawer. The drawer is directly across from and eye level to the sofa so it’s a great hiding spot. I also brought this Kate Spade lamp from somewhere else in the house because the other one was too tall.

EFF6E9FD-4D27-42D0-AC90-0404565626B2My favorite change is the presence of a new ceiling fan. We tried this room without one for a while and it just doesn’t work. It’s the highest point in our house and gets a ton of light (these photos were taken at like 8pm) so it gets warm and because of its size, it gets stifling. We decided on this low profile, minimally invasive fan and we love it. It does the job with very little noise and a very low profile remote which I mounted to the wall because I can definitely see it growing legs and walking off.

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Other that that, the room got a few simple styling changes, mostly by shuffling things around the house and from the closets. 10BAF294-ECD5-4FA8-9D7A-DE4443AA3DD179256D90-01DE-47D4-84FB-767B8328DA33Very happy with the simple functional changes here. Thanks for following along,

Prepfordwife

Nantucket Guide from First Timers

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This isn’t an exhaustive guide to Nantucket. I wouldn’t even really call it a guide. Mostly this is what we did while we were there on our five day excursion. My favorite part is that we started with an idea of what we wanted to do in mind and then we let our instagram family who is familiar with the island guide our days based on recommendations. It quickly turned into a really fun and interactive trip with you guys and most of your recommendations were FANTASTIC. So here is the run down of what we did in our five days. If this schedule seems light on activities and high on the food, it is. Most of your recommendations revolved around food and we spent a lot of time just walking around the island meandering and chatting with shop keepers and the locals. The remainder of that time was spent with me tele-working. If you saw my last post, you know I couldn’t relax enough to stop. If these pictures look familiar to you, it’s because a lot of them appeared on instastories.

Day One:

  • Check in at the Robert House Collection
  • Lunch at Charlie Nobles- I got the fish tacos. I have zero regrets. That’s a bit of a theme to this post
  • Wander around town- Stopped into Murray’s Toggery Shop, the ultimate purveyor of Nantucket Reds
  • Stop by Town Pool- Wasn’t open while we were in town but they have an adorable mini golf course that looks like fun for a rainy day. We did however meet the shop owner, Sean, who gave us an excellent town tour and added to our list of things to do.
  • Dinner at Rose and Crown- The burgers are fantastic.
  • Juice Bar- Opted for the Pistachio Ice cream but the real dream was the waffle cone which you can smell all the way down the street.
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Day Two:

  • Black Eye Susan’s for Breakfast
  • Wandered around the Wharf- Went into the little shops including Skinny Dip Nantucket which is a favorite of ours. Also stop into Current Vintage which has wine, cheese, and Vintage Lilly. This wasn’t an offering from you guys but it’s truly a preppy dream.
  • Take the Wave to Sconset, the local shuttle which is only $3.
  • Stop at the Sconset Market for cookies and then take said cookies to the Sconset Bluff walk.
  • Continue to walk from the end of the Bluff to the Sankaty Lighthouse.
  • Return to town and have Claudette’s for lunch if it’s not too late in the day.36257AD0-24DA-4209-BB60-771DB4DBE443
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Day Three:

  • Started the day at Fog Island for breakfast
  • Went into a few more shops- Be sure to stop into Res Ipsa for one of a kind tapestry loafers, since it’s right across the street, and U of Nantucket for the classic red Nantucket sweatshirt.
  • Pop into vintage shop on the way to Brant Point lighthouse.
  • Snag a bike and then head to Brant Point Light house. Mosey around the beach.
  • Have lunch at Brant Point Grill at the White Elephant Hotel
  • Bike around the houses on the island
  • Brotherhood of Thieves for Dinner
  • Stop in the bookstore next door
  • We went to Juice bar again cuz ice cream0D974DD0-7C6E-4577-BF8A-3DEF05B286B738DB041D-A49E-4DDC-B647-B6F22BE8CBC8B90DC57D-18E6-47DF-93A1-7DE81C22D5F6

9DB5B942-913B-4C29-B411-987A046BCBCFDay Four:

  • Breakfast- Downy Flakes for a donut- We were really unimpressed but we live near Duck Donuts in North Carolina which is amazing so we didn’t think very much of it.
  • Lola Burger for lunch
  • Down to Madaket beach on the Wave Shuttle from in front of the Whaling museum
  • Millie’s for dinner- I obviously got the fish tacos yet again.
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Day Five

  • Ran errands around souvenirs
  • Threw a penny into the wharf for a returned trip to the island.
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37E98017-A055-4629-A7D6-AB40887E2F3CTell me what we missed, I will add it to the list for next time. Thank you so much again for all your love and recommendations.

 

XO Prepfords

 

 

 

Sail to Sable Dress

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Dress // Thrifted head scarf // older purse (similar)// J. Crew factory denim jacket

 

Sail to Sable makes an out of this world shift dress. I wore this navy and white sun blocked shift dress around town yesterday and loved it. Though it’s shorter and tighter than I would ordinary choose, I’m a sucker for a sharp and flattering neckline and a classic color palette so this will definitely live on in my closet for a years to come. I paired it with some of my favorite J. Crew pieces, a denim jacket and a basket clutch and some nude Talbots sandals for a comfortable, no muss preppy look. Perfect for the island.

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Work Life Balance: Detaching during vacation

 

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We are spending the week on Nantucket, a trip we’ve had planned since January. It’s an amazing trip and once in a lifetime for us because I’m not going to allow us to be one of those gorgeous couples who summer in the same place every year. So hubby you better soak up all the Nantuckety goodness you can.

But I digress. This post is less about vacation and more about the precarious and ever unatainable work-life balance. Because we planned this trip so early, I put it on my calendar incredibly early in the year for the awareness of my counterparts but I am starting a new position this week (literally Friday, eek!) with a promotion and new and more demanding responsibilities. It’s a position that I am incredibly excited about but in the build up, all I can feel is crushing and almost debilitating anxiety.

It’s a type of situationally induced anxiety that I’ve dealt with before. Every time I start something new that requires me to engage in new responsibilities, particularly if it involves strangers. I get this deep seeded panic; this elephant on my chest, heart racing, eye watering, tightness in my body. I haven’t felt it in quite some time, since I first went to college, or started my first retail job or began “grown up” job hunting. But this week it has vehemently reared it’s ugly head at a time when I should be relaxing.

There’s a healthy number of things that I can rattle off that lead to this feeling of pressure -how young I am at work, being childless as though a vacation can only be taken if you have children, the optics of taking a vacation when starting a new role, important deadlines coming this week that I must meet in spite of my absence, etc etc. I know there are a lot of bloggers who have this #girlboss #bossbabe mantra going on but in the interest of full transparency, I don’t got that going on.

I have spent the better part of three days OBSESSIVELY checking and responding to emails every single time I get a notification because God forbid anyone think I’m inaccessible when I am in fact inaccessible right now. So here are some ways that I am forcibly calming myself

 

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Creating work life balance for myself (and possibly yourself if you are anything like me) during vacation:

  1. Set an auto reply message. People now know you are out of office and do not expect a quick response. Leave number where you can be reached in case its urgent. Rarely will people use this number if they are courteous but you can be found should someone genuinely need you.
  2. Relegate email checking to certain times.  I made those times 9am, 12pm and 4pm for myself. That way I am not obsessively checking but will see anything that needs my immediate response.
  3. Put important must do task on the apple calendar with an alarm so they can be followed through. Nothing makes me more anxious than the possibility of missing my responsibilities. If I can just make sure that the important tasks are addressed then, it goes a long way to soothing me.
  4. Spend 15 min at night answering any non-urgent messages and setting next day alarms. I may be checking emails during the day but nine times out of ten, I’m not responding unless it’s urgent. Responding to email quickly before bed allows me to decompress without spending all night doing endless tasks.
  5. Calm down. This is truly the most important one. I have this amazing conversation with a VP of my company sometime ago and he said something that really stuck with me. “This company ran before you and it can exist without you for a week. Enjoy your vacations because when you get back, it will still be standing.” He’s right. The entire company will still be there when I get back.

So what about you? Do you struggle when leaving on vacation on is it very simple for you to detach?

 

Kate Spade Inspired Bridal Shower

ECD0E5C5-0114-43C2-8647-EACA1192D724One of my best gals in the entire world is getting married and I took point on the bridal shower as her joint matron of honor. We had the actual party in a restaurant where I took very few picture both for the privacy of the guests and because I wanted to actually enjoy the shower and not stress about shooting for the blog. So I redressed the party right at home on my deck as a “what to do for a small backyard Kate Spade inspired bridal shower”.

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I went for simple crafts that could travel well. This welcome sign, poster board layered in polka dot wrapping paper, which doubled as table runner at the actual event. I layered it on top of a scalloped pink disposable table cloth and at the end of the party, we just rolled the entire table up in a big ball and threw it away. Not good for the planet but good for timing. Here since my deck table set is pink (hubby’s idea), I just brought out the pink table runner from the house as well as these striped outdoor Serena and Lily pillows, the Kate Spade library pillow from our bed and the polka dot pillows.

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I collected these bottles of varying sizing and dressed them as centerpieces. Removed any labeling and adhesive (shout out to hubby for the tip that vinegar followed by warm soapy water dissolves adhesive) and then styled them. Since the actual party was bigger than my backyard table, I used the polka dot cups here as extra vases. I chose these Gerber daisies because they were simple, whimsical and the bride loves them. Plus you can snag them the morning of at Trader Joe’s. Couldn’t pick up anything before the day of; y’all know my thumb is black.01B38E85-B2DB-4E1B-9936-517752ED3BBA406C3E93-CFD9-48D2-B048-D700E970C35EThese little nail polishes with tags that say “Mani-thanks” were used as party favors. First of all, no one is more excited about a good pun than I am. Initially, I planned on wiping a store out of Sally Hansen’s “Pink Cadillaquer” because my bride sells Mary Kay but I couldn’t find enough of them so these neutral pinks had to do.

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The straws are either Target or Homegoods, who knows after all of the shopping around I did, but the tags are from a word template. There were two options for tags “Soon to Be Mrs B” and “Heeeeeey Mrs Parker” with a Bee on the other side since she’s queen B.

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I think most wedding games are incredibly cheesy. Who cares if the bride said I love you first or if the groom asked her out? Honestly, no one. Instead I corralled games from Pinterest that actually looked fun and would break the ice. “Find the guest” and “what’s in your phone/purse” are some of my favorites because everyone can enjoy them and they don’t  pry too much into the bride and grooms lives if they are a more private couple.

A53DE8B9-19CA-4A86-A0DA-D3175E4E13C7The pom under the umbrella are made from all of the pink/white/gold tissue paper I had lying around the house. This diy is actually one I learned from my mother many moons ago. At the party, my co-matron of honor asked if I used a pom kit for these and I said “THERE’S A KIT?!” Could’ve saved myself some time.3BB3D562-BDDC-4A66-947E-CE098D42157B

For the actual party, I made a large ombré pink cake and placed it on this stand but none of it made its way home to me (for which I am eternally grateful). Because of that you get to see these little trifle beautifies, also a diy courtesy of my mom. You simply layer frosting/whipped cream, fruit and cake. This is funfetti cake with almond cream cheese frosting, a call back to family dinners with Brooke in our undergrad years.3DB484BB-C274-4CA2-B6A9-7EE509DE9878

Last but not least what’s a party without a selfie frame? In 2018 with millennials? Nothing, that’s what it is. So there you have it. A quick and easy Kate Spade party. Sure, I had to vacuum my deck from glitter but it was totally worth it. Hope you guys enjoyed this post and that it sparks some idea for a future something you may be throwing.

XO Prepfordwife

P.S. I may add sources for everything later on today.

Personal Branding

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I’ve been working really hard to guide this space towards matching my “real life”. Simultaneously, I’m rebranding my work life to be a reflection of real life as well. I spend way too many hours of my day at work to spend them being a fake version of me. I’ve got to admit, the adjustment has been a rather grueling process. Not so much on the online front but more IRL.

See, I know who I am here. I’m the Prepford Wife and I have been for a very long time. I’ve also been the Prepford Wife in the real world for just as long; it’s how this blog got its name after all. My husband and I have known each other since our third day of college and you would be hard pressed to find someone who knew us then and didn’t see us as a duo. We do a really good job of presenting a united front with clear cut goals and one view of the world. But the truth of the matter is that in doing that, I am forever part of a whole instead of a single individual. This left me with a gap in how to define myself during the work day when Marcus isn’t there.

Being apart of a pair also left me with this thought that I am forgettable when alone. I constantly reintroduce myself to people I met not long ago, assuming that they forgot my name. What I found out is that while that is courteous and helpful, I’ve sold myself short and assumed that my personal brand wasn’t strong enough to do the work of making me memorable. For someone who prides them self on self awareness, this process has been a headache and I can’t believe I let it go on for so long.

So lately I’ve been doing the work. Doing the hard emotional labor of really finding out who I am and how I want to present myself to world. I always see posts about personal branding and those post are talking strictly about online/social media presence. But this is not just that. I’m a 9-5er hoping to solidify my brand not just here but in my work life.  Hopefully by doing it here, in a safe and transparent space, it frees you to do the work as well. And best of all, it’s never too early or too late for this exercise.

I started with three jumping off points based on conversations I’ve had about branding and worked to fit them authentically to me.

1) Start with what you’re known for and what you’d like to be known for

Known for:

The girl with the nice shoes: Shoes break down barriers. I use to be in sales and it was one of the easiest ways to get people to talk to me. They would look down at my feet and gasp and it would break the ice to start a conversation. As an introvert, this is important to me because shoes are easy. They’re a thing that people like about me and makes people want to talk and relate.

Smile when I talk I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I smile when I talk. Its a way of disarming people and encouraging them to be on my side. Human beings mirror each other, its part of why smiling is infectious. Aside from that, smiling is apart of my personal brand which is warm. Every single person who leaves a conversation with me should feel like it was worth their time and it was like a conversational hug (not a literal one, respect for personal boundaries is also apart of my brand). I even apply this to email where I write almost exactly how I speak. Obviously not every single email I send, especially not to higher ups or strangers. But if you email me here, you can bet on getting the same kind of warmth that you’d get from me in person.

Want to be known for:

Authenticity I tend to be someone who marches to the beat of my own drum. I wear what I want, I say what I mean (within reason) and I yam, who I yam. Part of it is that, I can’t maintain lies for long. I start to trip up and forget the lie but then another part of it is a sense of integrity. Whether you meet me in the grocery store, work, on the blog, I never want you to feel like you are interfacing with a whole new person. Now do I have boundaries? Absolutely. You will never know me as well as my husband and sisters but may you never feel like you are dealing with a whole new person. And I want that to be clear to people.

Get it done We had this feedback fest at work and a friend who knows me from outside of work gave me the feedback that “there will never be a deadline that you won’t meet”. If you give me a task, a date, a deadline. I got you. I am old reliable. You can trust me to do the things. I want that to be something that is visible to others. When you set me to something, I will make sure it gets done, no matter how big or small.

2) What do you offer that is a niche no one else seems to fill

Black Prep In this space, I offer who I am and that is a black prepster. There are a few black prepsters but none that I’ve seen who are go-tos for consistent preppy lifestyle content. (Should you know some, point me in their direction).

Complex problem solver I have the ability to see a problem and solve it without even knowing it. You can spot this in yourself if you find yourself saying “Why haven’t we been doing it X way? Well if we just do Y”. I see a big problem and instantly start thinking of a response to it even if I don’t voice it aloud.

3) What’s your brand statement based on those things?

Formula: My name is X and I do Y by Z

Work: My name is Victoria and I assist teams by solving complex problems through quiet observation and rational yet creative reactions.

Blog: My name is Victoria. I’m the Prepfordwife and I run a preppy lifestyle blog devoted to sharing the consistent and authentic viewpoint of an African American prepster.

So there you have it. Simple branding statements that I will use as my guiding light both here and in my work environment. Like a life thesis statement of sorts. Tell me, do you have a brand statement for yourself and if so, what does it look like? And then what have I overlooked?

XO Prepford Wife

 

National Stripes Day

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Kate Spade Dress (old | similar|similar)  | Kate Spade Purse (old) | Bracelet| Sunnies | Watch Band

I hear it’s national stripes day. My favorite of all the made up holidays, naturally. We went to Charleston earlier this month and imagine my glee when I went outside and saw this striped set up. Watch me camouflage.

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I’m such a fan of mixing old with new, resale with just freshly bought and this outfit allowed me to do the best version of that. The dress is a little Kate Spade number that Marcus snapped up for me as a “heard you were having a sucky” week present. The little whale was a find from Plato’s closet, of all places that I heavily weighed not getting. For some odd reason, I thought maybe I had too many critter clothing items and purses. Like that could ever happen.

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One of my favorite parts of this outfit is the little bracelet. It’s from a local shop owner in Charleston called The Tiny Tassel run by shop owner, Mimi who I’ve talked about before on the blog. Marcus and I went to hang out with her and a bunch of other ladies that weekend and I could not resist purchasing a few goodies while I was in the shop. You should check out her spring line; it’s the most adorable one yet. (Was not paid to say that. In fact I paid for the bracelet. It allows me to stay refreshingly honest and object lol).

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A6D44E75-28FD-4DDF-B7D9-881009FAF5ABI think I may have talked about these shoes on the blog before but I almost always get questions about them. They’re a J. Crew hack from some years ago where I swapped out whatever tie they came with for a louder, more exuberant ribbon that I picked up for $2 at a craft store. #makeitwork

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And last but not least my trusty, sometimes dusty, Ray Ban clubmasters. Marcus bought these as a gift for me the summer when we first started dating and he said “these are classics and you’lll wear them for years to come”. A decade later and they are still going strong.

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Are you celebrating national stripes day?

XO PrepFord Wife

Denim Rose Shirt Dress

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Dress| Pom Pom LoafersRattan Clutch | Sunnies |Watch Band

It’s been some time since I’ve really bought a piece that I love and this Kate Spade Denim Rose Shirt Dress is definitely a love piece. The denim is really sturdy and heavy and no picture I’ve seen does it enough justice. It’s absolutely high quality. The only thing is the rose is darn near a decal so it feels like the adult version of a screen printed tee. So far so good on durability since it hasn’t cracked yet.

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I wore it for a trip to Charleston recently and it was a total win. I blend right in with the magnolias. #camoflauge Because of the thick material, it makes a good transition piece since I don’t technically have to wear a sweater.  I’ve been pairing it with my oldie but goody J. Crew shiny oxfords and a pair of festive printed leggings (usually polka dot). A note about the shoes, I wear those oxfords at least once a week and they are one of the most comfortable shoes I own. While they are no longer available at J.Crew, they are all over the resell sites like poshmark (possibly because people didn’t quite know what to do with them?)

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As we get closer to summer, I’m shucking the tights and pairing with these fun little pom pom loafers. I’m sharing this outfit and the dress particularly today because it’s included in this month’s Kate Spade Surprise Sale which means it on super duper sale. At $129, it’s a pretty good price for what you’re getting. What I love about Kate Spade Surprise Sales is that if you have the patient and the shopping deities are on your side, you can snag little gems like this for 90% off sometimes. I love this dress and almost wish I waited but if I’m honest, I’ve gotten so many wears out of it since I first purchased it, I have zero regrets. I think it’ll be a classic piece for me that makes it through several seasons so I am excited to see it for such a good deal. 5FE2C6A3-43FE-4172-88DA-A3EBF4A1A635

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XO PrepfordWife

Our Sitting Room

FFA597FA-7366-4B4E-B070-869583EA0674This room is on the second floor, right across from the guest bedroom that we claimed as the master. This room has given us the ability to sprawl out and essentially turn our entire floor into one master suite. We use it for everything from relaxing to working  from home and telecommuting, hence the tv. We almost passed on the tv and got the biggest iMac but decided the tv would give us the most bang for our buck. I can just hook it up to an HDMI cable for days where I need an extra screen for data mining.

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Half of the time, it gets used for work from home and marathons of One Tree Hill. I play it in the background the way people Spotify; something I can listen to but not watch because I’ve seen it so many times.  Another pro-tip from a constant work from home-er; wear real clothes. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked to add video to a call, I could pay for the decor in this room. Anyway, this desk is one hubby snagged in our last home that’s followed us here. Mostly it gets used by Remus Lupin who loves having a covering over his head (No one was more thrilled than him when we got a bedskirt in our room since it gave him somewhere to hide).  I mostly just work from the couch.

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The other half of the time, this is a guest room. The couch is yet another World Market win. You know I live and die by the World Market sword. It’s a fantastic couch and one day, I’ll do a full review of it but it’s a fold out sleeper which helps this room double as an extra guest room on nights where we have multiple groups of guest. It’s super firm and great on the back and even better, it’s super easy to fold out.

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Out of all of the rooms in our house, this one is most authentically us. It includes so many pieces of our life and our relationship; the Harry Potter books gifted to us over the years by respective family and friends, the book ends from my father in law who had a chuckle at the two black dogs, the globe that doubled as a guest book at our wedding, the quirky book clock gifted by my best friend when I went to college, the first drawing of me from April Heather over on instagram, a map of our town that we found in a thrift store long before we ever moved here and went back to get years later and the woman who owned the shop remembered us. This room is a sign of a life well lived and well loved.

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This room is a small one, but it’s home. I’ve sourced as many things as I can below but honestly so much of the things in here are one of a kind, vintage, gifted or thrifted that I’ve just had to post similars. Thank you for reading!

Shelves: World Market Etagere

Sleeper sofa: World Market Nolee

Geometric Painting: Hubby, Similar from Crate and Barrel

Wicker: Nate Berkus for Target Turtle Shell

Pug Book ends: Similar

White pots: Ikea

Wicker baskets: TjMaxx, similar

Desk: Josephine Desk from World Market

Lamp: Kate Spade from Homegoods, Similar

Custom Fashion print: April Heather Art

Poufs: Target Outdoor Pouf

Rug: World Market, similar

Dog Beds: TjMaxx, similar

Book Clock: Sold-out 

Bumble bee figure: target, also comes in beetle and dragonfly

Colorblock blanket: sold out

Ampersand Pillow: DIY, Similar

Curtains: TjMaxx, similar 

Chair: Thrifted with DIY seat, Similar

Agate Tray: Sold out, Similar

New York Times Square Print: Old Ikea, Similar

XO Prepfordwife

Grail items

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I’ve been doing less shopping than I use to. Some because I’m running out of closet room and some because I seem to hate everything. Instead, I’ve been tracking down grail items -the ones that got away- and little unique pieces that would fit right at home in my closet from resell sites like Poshmark and eBay.

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My husband has been in love with this dress from the very second they released it in. But I’m morally opposed to spending that much money on a possible one time wear and I passed on it until it popped up on eBay in my size. When he loves something, I at least try to track it down.

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4F702E91-7038-4B81-A9AA-6347FAA92403This purse and coat were no brainers for me. The purse was a grail item because isn’t it just deliciously on brand for me? It’s just a little bit of fun add to this outfit. The coat which is going to be the perfect addition to my wardrobe into spring was actually a $5 local thrift shop. It’s the perfect transitional piece as we get just a touch of spring weather and I love it paired with other green prints.

XO PrepfordWife