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

DIY Mini Hunter Boots

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You’re welcome in advance for one of the cutest DIYs you’ve ever seen.Oriental Trading It’s not mine. It’s adapted from Devon over at Girl in Gingham (adorable name) who adapted it from Rachel from Something Delightful. Doesn’t this just feel like an old school game of Telephone or Whisper Down the Lane? Either way, you can consider this me whispering one of the best kept preppy diy secrets to you.

I picked these boots up from Oriental Trading just like the other girls. They come in a pack of six pairs (12 total boots) for a grand total of $19.99! That was the only item I needed as I had the other supplies at home already. Full disclosure, I ran out of the high gloss project paint and use valspar lacquer to finish the rest of the boots.

Supplies

Boots

Gloss Spray Paint

Gloss Top Coat

Acrylic Paint for Hunter logo (red, white, black)

Fine tip paint brush

Tarp (aka cardboard box to cover surfaces)

40BEC7D3-3C26-4722-9431-C0D85F8DB13EC0E47234-7E1A-4E29-8990-2D8CB4819129These boots can be made in a few easy steps. Spray paint with the color of your choosing. Wait at least one hour for the paint to dry and spray a second coat of color. I waited overnight (only because I got sleepy) for the color coats to dry before following up by painting the Hunter label. Seal with one or two coats of high gloss clear and your off to the races.

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I ended up making five of the six  pairs as you can see and saving the last pair for when I am sure of what color I’d like best. This little project would be fabulous for a nursery if you are having a little one. We sent a happy little blue set off to a friend for nursery bookends.

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They’d also be great as a happy little edition to a barcart or a table setting to hold something dry like these straws or artificial hydrangeas. I don’t recommend using these as real planters unless you intend to put holes in the bottoms as they have no form of drainage.

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And voila, you’ve got yourself an easy and cute DIY. Hardest part is the ship and dry time.

XO Prepford Wife

A Dog’s Tail (Tale?)

 

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I’m working from home today with my pups and I got to thinking about how I got to this point.  Before them, I never had a pet. My mother didn’t want another someone to take care of and  by the time I was old enough to have my own, I was entirely too fastidious and uptight to bring an animal indoors. So imagine my surprise when we became dog owners.

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February of 2012, I took up running. I had a lot going on in my life and I needed to relieve stress and really get serious about my health. I am an outside runner and have no desire to run on a treadmill or with a partner. If you are a Law and Order SVU watcher, you know this is the perfect recipe for me to end up in a gutter in Tennessee with all of my clothes ripped off and a star of some kind drawn on my forehead. So I decided I wanted a dog especially since my husband started working these crazy twelve hour shifts.

I spent MONTHS researching the breed of dog that I wanted. I found myself automatically drawn to the male giant schnauzer. I wanted a big black dog so I could name him Sirius Black and this breed is essentially my fiance as a dog. The only thing really stopping me from getting one was that I was intimidated by the idea of having my first dog being a giant schnauzer because they are notoriously stubborn if you don’t know what you are doing. They are also incredibly expensive. I also didn’t mind the idea of a standard poodle because of their temperament and how well one would go with all of my outfits. (Again, don’t judge) So I spent again MONTHS looking for a dog and what to my wondering eyes should appear while I am browsing the pets section of Craigslist but in March of 2013 but a male Giant Schnoodle. His name was Mateo and he was exactly a year old and he was previously training as a service dog for a girl who needed a fully trained service dog.  Big Black Dog? Check. Hypoallergenic? Check. Male? Check. Puppy but potty trained? Check. Local? Check. Rescue dog not buy? Check. We had to go see him.

 

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He. Was. Perfect.

Marcus was hesitant but when we met him, it was love at first sight on my end, even though looking back he was a strange looking fellow. We bought our baby boy home a week later and haven’t looked back. He was such a personality. Because I have never had a pet, I didn’t know that dogs had a personality. I mean I knew it conceptually, but I have never seen it for myself. This guy is us as a dog. Low key but alert. Bossy and intelligent. He doesn’t like dirt. He is obedient but with a mischievous streak and I can not help but love him.

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How did we end up with a second dog? Purely an accident. We went to the shelter to coo at puppies. While browsing the shelter website, we realized they had an Irish Wolfhound mix. The perfect Remus to our Sirius. We visited with him but decided to leave without him since we didn’t come to adopt a dog that day. He instantly put his little paw up on my leg and the rest is history.

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We love our dogs equally but it’s actually Remus who changed the entire trajectory of our lives and I don’t mean that figuratively. I mean Remus literally changed out lives. Because we got a second dog, we had to move. Because our second dog was sizeable, we couldn’t find a rental in our neighborhood. Because we couldn’t find an affordable rental in our neighborhood, we moved to the suburbs. Because we moved to the suburbs, I had better access to a better job. Because I had a better job, we could afford to buy our home. Because we bought our home, I have a better quality of life. Remus changed my life.

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While I never in a million years would have thought that I would own not one, but two dogs, I can’t help but be thrilled with them 90% of the time. That other 10% of the time, they are a living breathing nightmare. No one ever talks about that part. They talk about it broadly sure but no one talks about cleaning poop from an 80 lb dog out of a white carpet at three in the morning. No one ever talks about buying a men’s large Ralph Lauren shirt and ruining it because you have to put it on your dog to stop him from tearing into his hotspots. No one ever talks about your dog trying to manipulate house guests, literally toe the line of the no kitchen rule or how pricey boarding would be for a week while you take the much coveted international vacation.

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And yet, I can’t help but love them and be constantly in awe of how grace brought them to us. That 10% is just that, 10%. Such a minimal amount when quietly and gently, our lives changed for the better because a small impulsive decision.

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XO Prepford Wife (& Sirius & Remus)

 

 

Another Day, Another Rain Boot

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Jacket | Shirt | Skirt | Boots

For Christmas I only requested rain gear for days such as today. I will happily pair my rain gear even with work clothes. Such is the fate of this happy little pair of purple rain boots.

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I think there is a way to be dressed professionally even when wearing rubber wellies. I start with a professional and darn near stern base. Queue layered tweed. Tweed skirt, tweed jacket and a dark blouse with a high and conservative neck like this black jewel studded collared shirt from vintage J. Crew. Make sure to wear leggings to leave very little skin exposed and to avoid a chill.

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I caution against this outfit if your workplace is formal or if you meet with different external conservative parties but otherwise, go for it. It’s perfect for a casual, and yet rainy, Friday. I use to wear these boots all the time when I worked in sales. My customers would get a kick out of a full suit, a striped tshirt, and a pair of Hunter boots. While it was stylish and cute, it was also just practical since I would be hoping in and out of the car all day in pouring rain. As with the red pair of boots from my last post, these boots have a wider calf. They’re the purple adjustable back boots to allow me more space to wear pants if I want to.

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So what about you? Are you into work clothes meets casual?

A Hint of Pink, I Think.

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“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” – Alfred Wainwright

I’ve lived my life by this quote for so long. Bad weather is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate personal style. With the creation of colorful willies. There is never a time where I dress for rain or snow where I don’t get the best compliments. Because even in this weather my own style is apparent.

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Today it rained and I could. not. wait. to leave the house because finally, finally I could use this umbrella I got for Christmas (thank you sister in law who listens when I speak), these rain boots (thank you husband who also listens) and this Stutterheim x Madewell jacket that I scored for the low, low price of $20 at a J. Crew warehouse sale.

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I love this jacket because while I have a full dress under it, I didn’t have to. I will probably just pair it with boots for rainy days where I want to go to the grocery store dressed like a hermit. Honestly that’s why I own a lot of the long coats I own, even though we live in North Carolina where the weather is mostly temperate. It even has a deep hood to fit my bun, a crucial measure for what jacket makes the cut. I love it even more since its pink which has been my favorite color to wear for some time now. It just adds to my “girlish charm” even though I’m a grown woman now.

 

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Even though I have several pairs of Hunter boots at this point. I always come back to the red ones. These are the Huntress model which has a wider calf diameter which I need if I’m going to wear them with pants. It’s also slightly short which works out nicely since I am a munchkin. I usually pair these the same way with black and white for a pop of color or with all monochrome of a color like here. The Hunter boots are totally worth the cost. I have yet to have any sort of damage to mine *knock on wood*. As long as you get the buffer spray to maintain the shiny gloss, you should be good to go. I would caution you though, these are definitely rain boots and not all weather boots. I don’t care what other blogger say, adding those boots socks does not a winter boot make. Still, totally my favorite weather shoe.

 

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Do you have Hunter boots? If so, what color did you snag? *Asking for a friend who is me*

XO PrepFord Wife

Openness and Accountability

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I tend to think of myself as a bit of a loner. While I am talkative and bubbly and easy to get to know, I hold my true feelings close to my chest and say very little of substance unless prodded for the truth. But I do a really good job of pretending. What that looks like in execution is that I am everyone’s best friend. I am literally the best friend you will ever have. I tend to go above the call of duty because my assumption is that if I do everything right and never fall short that will make people love me. And it does. It’s worked for years. From a strictly unbiased perspective this has been my life.

But a year ago, I started to think about who was my best friend; who would I call if I had a flat tire or a rough day or whose sofa would I crash on if I got into a fight with my husband. And I drew a blank. But then I thought of the number of people who would call me if any of the above happened to them and instantly I had a list of over 20 people. And you know what, some of that is my own fault.

I make it my mission in life to put my best foot forward, to only let people see me at my best, to only show my face when I am happy. As a woman in this world, particularly as a black woman, we don’t exactly have a lot of space to emote. There is no prize for vulnerability. To be less than graceful and gracious is a sin, and god forbid you express negative emotions like anger and grief. So I stored those emotions away even from those closest to me. People who I knew like the back of my own hand but knew nothing about me.

I was the no must, no fuss bride. The “it’s okay you forgot my birthday” friend. The you-don’t-need-to-call-me-regularly daughter. I was hiding parts (read: gaping geysers) of myself from people and in turn, could not hold people accountable for how I wanted to be treated because they didn’t know how I wanted to be treated.

So this year, the goal was “openness”. Every year, I  chose a word, a part of my personality that I want to be working on. This year was openness. I would work on being vulnerable, exposing myself a little more to family, to the friends who have known me for twenty years, to my husband but to work friends and even to myself.

There is something to be said about vulnerability and letting people learn you after so much time. That sort of exposure has been difficult and muddy and hard to navigate through especially in the face of not explaining to people why they are suddenly getting a lot more information about me than they’re use to. But I want to be known. I want the people in my life to know my heart as well as I know theirs. I want to be able to hold people accountable for how they love me and that starts with holding myself accountable for letting them. So my word for 2018 is not just openness but accountability.

Kate Spade Gena Pump DIY

The Kate Spade Gena pump was love at first sight. I am crazy for a black shoe with a twist. But seeing it made me think of the graveyard of black pumps that I own that get no love. So instead of buying them, I pulled out this little pump that I’ve had in my closet primed for this DIY. 2D642F61-C872-4B59-9D3B-4420C3238AB1

It’s so simple that you barely need an instructional guide from me but here it is anyway. In addition to wanting to make this shoe, I had a pearl bracelet break recently. It was an inexpensive one that you give to little girls but I’d gotten it as a Christmas present in high school from a friend I at one time held very dear and I wanted to preserve it. Instead of fixing the bracelet that I stopped wearing regularly, I decided to incorporate it into the shoes. I used three of the little pearls on each of the straps to make this happen. I supplemented those little pearls with suede cord that I found in the ribbon aisle at Joann Fabrics.

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I sewed small tabs to the back of the shoes  I hot glued the tab closed first that wove it into the back of the shoe. The shoes lining is leather so I made sure to use a thicker quilting needle. Then I sewed the little pearls to the ends of my suede string and tied them through this loop.

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I am sure you could make magic happen with this shoe in any color with any heel height. I could even see you getting crazy and making this happen with a red ribbon substituted in for the suede strap. Let me know. Do you have a pair of pumps you need to convert to get more love out of them?

XO Prepford Wife

 

Gift Guide for Your Sister in Law

This is my favorite gift guide so far and I almost didn’t finish in time. Tomorrow is the last day for most businesses to get items to you by Christmas so this is actually perfect timing.

My husband and I have been together for almost a decade and in that time, I’ve picked every single gift for every member of his family since the very first holiday. (I like to gift buy and sometimes you need an objective view.) Aside for him, I do the most gift buying for his sister. We spend a decent amount of time together and throughout the year, I find myself picking up tidbits of things for her here and there. We have pretty similar taste, hers just has a bit more edge to it while I tend to air on the side of “honey, I’m home”.

So if you have a college aged sister, one or two of these goodies may work for a last minute gift for her. As per usual, quite a few of these items are small business items like the lapel pin (which is sold out but my sister in law would LOOOOOVE it and Effie’s paper has so many other items though they will not reach you by Christmas necessarily), the women’s march pillow,  earrings and escape bag. SIL gift guide.jpg

Coat // Lapel pin // Elephant earrings // Rain boot // Pillow // Roll up //Tote //Watch band //Escape Weekender

Bonus: Here’s a quick gift guide if your sister in law is a bride to be. Mine isn’t but I couldn’t resist a few of these goodies.

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Forever bag // Ring holder // Feyonce shirt //  Always glasses // Blue Shoe // Forever

Cute Apple Watch Bands

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This post is long over do. Every time I post an apple watch band, I get quite a few questions about it. Yesterday was no exception. I wore this beautiful pink confetti band on Instastory that I purchased right after I got the watch because I knew it would be a hit for Christmas and it was one several people asked about. Some I’m compiling a list of my favorite apple watch bands that are both utilitarian and discreet. The one I wear most often is the double tour band modeled after the Hermes band that I simply refused to pay for. I grabbed a few on Amazon for less than $20 each and I juggle between the red, the blush and the classic brown leather. More often than not, the one you will see me wearing is the red. I also get excellent wear from the Apple Sport band (which isn’t included here) because I can swim in it without it getting a strange smell like the leather will after some time if you dab perfumes or oils on your wrist.

 

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Also keep in mind, if you end up purchasing a double tour band of your own that you have to wear in it in just the right spot so that the Apple Watch is still close enough to read your heart rate and activity.

Applewatchbands1// 2 // 3 //4 //5 // 6 // 7 // 8 //9

 

So there you are. A round up of my favorite Apple Watch Bands as promised.

XO PrepFord Wife

 

 

What’s in a name, Prepford?

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I finally caved and bought the rights to Prepfordwife.com (it’s how you got here today unless you followed the link in the bio). My social media presence has been Prepford Wife every since my husband thought up the puny little name six years ago for my tumblr account. We were engaged at the time and eventually would marry and so why not incorporate that name into my account early.

With a simple click and a complicated password and, eventually the purchased of my domain name (two days ago! Woohoo!), I was easily Prepford Wife. In my real life? Not so simple. I have been married over three years as of last fall and still wrestle with the concept of changing my last name.

I love my husband and I love his name but I just can’t seem to shake the feeling that it’s a problem to change it. While I am of the “feminist, hear me roar persuasions” it has less to do with the idea of ownership, since my current last name belongs to my father and my new last would belong to my husband (honestly down with the patriarchy. I belong to no one). But also to do with emotional labor as it pertains to women, why should I have to do all the work on the name front? Why are women responsible for sitting in the social security office and changing their names.  I didn’t marry myself, I feel like my husband should have to do some of the work as well.

But it also has to do with the importance of names and naming in my life. I am someone who remembers everyone’s name, first and last, if you tell it to me. I remember instagram handles and their spelling.  I will remember your name if we have only met once ten years ago. I have names picked out for children I may never have based on meanings because I think what you name someone is important and determines a lot of their path in this world. My name is Victoria and my husband’s name is Marcus and together our names mean “Victorious” “Warrior”. Yikes. That’s a recipe for intense arguments if I’ve ever seen one.

But I digress, when you first meet someone, even if they are insignificant in your life and you may only see them once, all you have of them is their name. We place a lot of emphasis on them from how people of color with unique names are judged in interviews to how trendy moms keep  changing the spelling of “Aiden”, all you know about this person is their name. It’s their entire being. That’s a concept that’s so important to me and I carry it with me. And I feel the same about myself.

All I am is this person that I was for the first twenty four years of my life and because I married a man who is apart of my life, but not a part of me, I should change this very defining characteristic about me. I just have a very hard time wrapping my mind around the concept. And I love him and I want us to share a name and be a family. One unit. But he is not the one who will have to change his very being to make it happen. He is not the one who has considered changing his very being to make it happen (because tradition? idk). Are we not partners in this thing called life?

I am not sure that I ever reached a conclusion about what to do but for now, the PrepFord Wife is still just the PrepMaiden Wife. In real life I’ll continue to use my maiden name and on the internets and in monograms, Happy Wife Life. Until checks start rolling in with Ford then I might consider. LOL.

Tell me, what did you do? What do you plan to do? Do you even take stock in names meaning things?

XOXO PrepFord Wife Sorta