Weekend Getaway to Corolla, NC

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It’s like, in order to avoid letting me get a horse, my husband is being extraspecially gracious with activities that allow me to interact with horses but make it illegal to bring them home. This weekend he surprised me with a little getaway to Corolla, NC where they have wild horse. *Insert imaginary gif of me fangirling over them*

For someone who was surprised though, I sure used those hours in the car to neurotically plan our every waking moment. If you ever have the opportunity to head that way, especially if its in the winter, my brief but intense research will serve you well. If you are headed there in the summer best of luck because the tourist are ever.y.where. We tend to beach in the off season. It’s cool enough to wear the clothes that we actually like and we aren’t “sit on the beach” people. Plus, we getting the added bonus to having the town to ourselves.

Corolla itinerary

My husband chose to stay at the Sanderling resort which was a fantastic homebase for the weekend. I love a place that is thoughtful and from the smores kit included in our room to the mending kit, that I always seem to need and not have, every detail was accounted for. When we arrived they’d upgraded our room to a waterfront view which was stunning and we lucked into seeing a really gorgeous wedding ceremony play out on Saturday.

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We ended up at the Lifesaving Station, their onsite restaurant twice if we are being honest; our first night and breakfast the next morning. But you should definitely branch out and try neighboring restaurant Kimball’s which is a few short steps away.

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Both dinner and breakfast were amazing. If you are coming from a non-Southern state definitely have the chicken and waffles. Let them show you how they do it and for breakfast have anything. It all looked amazing.

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Another post to follow with out second and third day. I promise the horses deserve their own post.

XO Prepford Wife

National Museum of African American History and Culture

This weekend, Marcus and I met some family in DC to explore the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Marcus’ aunt snagged enough tickets to make it a true family outing and so we couldn’t resist going along for a day trip.

The museum is absolutely stunning. From the exterior through each and every one of eight floors, the museum tells the story of this nations black population. So much symbolism and effort went into the building’s design and structure, built in by architect, Philip Freelon.

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“From one perspective, the building’s architecture follows classical Greco-Roman form in its use of a base and shaft, topped by a capital or corona. For our Museum, the corona is inspired by the three-tiered crowns used in Yoruban art from West Africa. Moreover, the building’s main entrance is a welcoming porch, which has architectural roots in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora, especially the American South and Caribbean. Finally, by wrapping the entire building in an ornamental bronze-colored metal lattice, Adjaye pays  homage to the intricate ironwork crafted by enslaved African Americans in Louisiana, South Carolina, and elsewhere.” -The Shape

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“The enveloping lattice also opens the building to exterior daylight, which can be modulated according to the season. The openness to light is symbolic for a museum that seeks to stimulate open dialogue about race and help promote reconciliation and healing.” The Building

The building has a total of four levels and three addition levels underground. You start beneath the ground and work your way up working your way from the dark, slavery and civil rights, to the light with community and culture (like a said a lot of intent here).

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From the lower levels, while sad, was not as heavy handed for me. I found myself as the Prepford Wife, heavily focused on the family and marital attributes of slavery. The bit about the wedding rings tugged at my heart and made me hold my husband a little closer and my marriage a little dearer. I am so grateful to be born in the time that I am where I have not only the human right but also the legal right to my relationship.

After the concourse we were STARVING. Food and drink is prohibited in the building which turns out to be purposeful. The cafeteria, Sweet Home Cafe, is a veritable spread of culturally relevant cuisine. My husband went for Northern foods, Creole Coast’s Gulf Shrimp and Grits and North State’s Smoking Hot Caribbean Pepper Pot (oxtail with pepper pot gravy), while I stuck with what I knew, The Agricultural South.

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The floors I was most interested in were the up level floors four and five. So after the heaviness of the lower three levels, it was with great joy that I skipped my happy little butt through the top two floors. It seems I am who I am through and through. I was so excited to see the intersection of fashion and hair and religion and womanhood through the museum.

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My favorite exhibition turned out to be one titled “Power of Place“, which talked about the actual spaces and landscapes that black peoples inhabit. My favorite turned out to be about Oak Bluffs, an African American community in Martha’s Vineyard. #OGBlackPreps I don’t really think there are any words for seeing myself validated and present in that way. I can’t ever recall a time where I saw so much of me in any museum ever.

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And to think we almost left because of tired feet before I ever got to see that exhibit. Which by the way, did I mention, wear comfortable shoes?! I decided to wear my J. Crew Chelsea rainboots when I know with all my heart and all of my mighty that they pinch in the ankle. I even went as far as to bring a pair of comfy flats because of it. And then I still left them in the car because I was too lazy to carry my heavy boots if I changed and because they didn’t go with my outfit as well. *facepalm*

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Either way, the museum was an absolute joy and if you have the opportunity to get timed passes, DO IT! You owe it to yourself. The Founding Director, Lonnie Bunch said it best. “This Museum will tell the American story through the lens of African American history and culture. This is America’s Story and this museum is for all Americans.”

So what about you. Have you been to the museum? Do you have plans to go?

XO Prepford Wife

Cannonborough Collective

You know that thing where you have an idea about someone from online and then you meet them in person and they are totally different and it ruins the image in your head? This isn’t that. My husband and I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Mimi of the Tiny Tassel at her shop the Cannonborough Collective while we were in Charleston.

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I follow three schools of thought when I shop; shop small, shop local, shop black (women) and if at all possible do all three. Mimi checks off all the boxes with her little shop that she co-owns with Liz of the Charleston Weekender. I’d followed her on Instagram for a little while because women of color (particularly black women) in preppy spaces seem to be few and far between and I promised myself I would visit her shop if I had the chance because she seemed delightful. Plot spoiler she is! And the shop she co-runs is lovely as well!

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The little shop carries the only balloons in downtown, gifts, jewelry and clothes. Her mommy makes the adorable gingham items in her shops. (Take note, Mom. Hint hint.) While she herself makes the tassel earrings that gives The Tiny Tassel it’s name.

 

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If you ever have the chance to visit while in Charleston definitely do so, especially since the shop is right down from two other adorable shops Candy Corner and the instagrammable Sugar bake shop. Can’t find the other shops? Don’t worry they give out the cutest Charleston guide; so useful.

Go follow these ladies on instagram for an eye full of color and lovely.

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The Tiny Tassel

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Also how cute are our guys in their gingham bandanas? Even dogs deserve a souvenir.

XO Prepfordwife

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The PrepFords Pilgrammage

No Intro, Just facts. We went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The culmination of a dream come true. We had the opportunity to go before but passed for very complicated reasons. But as huge Harry Potter fans (see Harry Potter wedding) we had to go.

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Usually, I’m all about bypassing the t-shirts and going for girly dress but if I’m being very honest here, Harry Potter fashion is mostly ugly, or really really hot or ugly and hot and scratchy to boot. I should have done what my husband did and opted for custom gear but I didn’t think far enough ahead so I opted for this t-shirt from the mens section of Target. But honestly, look how cute he is and can you beat a man who looks at you like that when you’re not looking? The answer is no.

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Anyway, we spent two days in Universal Studios and here are the top ten tips that we came away with for best navigating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

  1. Get the two day park to park pass. If you can afford it and have the time, spend one day doing all things Harry Potter and the other doing everything else that Universal has to offer. The HP things are split between two parks Universal Studios and Island of Adventuress and are connected by the ride, Hogwarts Express.
  2. Get the app. We had the app and still allowed ourselves to get lost. The app has not just a map of the park which can guide you from ride to ride but it also has tickets, real time waits for the lines, and the wifi is free in the park so you are killing your battery searching of signal all day.
  3. Get there for park opening. No not 10 am not 9:30 am. NINE AM. We got to the park our second day a little before ten and it was a mistake mistake mistake. Oh the difference an extra hour makes. We had the park all to ourselves the first hour of the first day and we were able to figure our way to the the Wizarding section of the park without fretting over crowds and managed to ride a few rides before people flooded the park.
  4. Walk to the back of the park. It takes a lot of energy to get there sure but by skipping stuff at the front of the park, you can ride the rides at the back since no one will be there and then do stuff at the front of the park on your way out. Souvenirs and such will still be there and you can ypass everyone taking introductory photos together. We applied this to both Disney Magic Kingdom and Universal and we were not disappointed in the slightest.
  5. Start the day with Gringotts bank. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is a beautiful, beautiful ride and the lines get long fast and you want to be able to experience it before they do get long. You have to get a locker which is right across from the ride. Put EVERYTHING in it. They’re free for the first hour or so and the attendants will send you back if you haven’t put everything in the locker so do it the first time.
  6. Regardless of how many children you have, buy ONE interactive wand. Whether you have one child or five, the best bet is to buy one interactive wand from Ollivander’s. Hubby and I made the mistake of buying two and then spent the better part of the day together so we didn’t even get the chance to use them both. If your little ones all demand a wand, get them the non-interactive one and buy the interactive one for yourself so that they can share it. Keep your eyes open for golden medallion on the ground near shops because this is where the interactive wands can be used.
  7. Buy the butterbeer. It’s overpriced and tastes very similar to cream soda but for $7.50 it’s worth it to satiate your curiosity about what it taste like. And in a park that gets to be 100 degrees, it quickly becomes worth the money. If you have little ones, get the courtesy cups and split it. I had to share mine with hubby because it was just way too much sugar. We passed on the souvenir cup because we didn’t feel like carrying anything else.
  8. If a ride has a short wait time, take it! The Hogwarts Express had a ten minute wait, so we took it. The Dragon Challenge ride had a ten minute wait so we took it. The wait for those lines was even shorter than the fast pass so it helped to act while we were paying attention.
  9. Be assertive without being rude. There are people all over the place many of whom stop in the middle of the sidewalk and the streets and the walkways. If you spend all day waiting around for people to scoot over, you will never see everything. By the end of the trip we were experts at the human version of Nokia’s snake and bobbing and weaving while saying politely “excuse me, honey”.
  10. Don’t rush. This sounds counter-intuitive to all the advice I’ve given so far but it pays to take it slowly and meander. You don’t want to get burn out. Our favorite places to take it easy were the shops and food areas.They are all so gorgeous and detailed and pictures can never do it justice especially if you’re a die hard fan.

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What are some suggestions you have for the Wizarding World?

XO Prepfordwife

DIY Wire Minnie Mouse Ears

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Today’s post is finally a DIY tutorial from the wire ears I made for meeting my shero, Minnie Mouse. You can see that post here. I saw a similar pair somewhere online and quickly whipped up a pair. Emphasis on quickly.

I made the first pair with the red ribbon in our hotel room at 2am and the second pair with the yellow flowers in five minutes before we had to run out of the room to the park. I feel like it’s safe to consider this a five minute diy.

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Here are the quick steps for the floral crown ears seen above.

Supplies

Scissors/Wire Cutter

24 gauge Gold Jewelry Wire

Ribbon close to your hair color

Hot glue gun

Floral wreath

Cup

ear supplies

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1. Wrap jewelry wire around glass or other cylindrical container to form ears. Choose one that’s the size you ideally want your ears to be. I chose a larger glass because I wanted my ears to be able to be taller than my large hair if I decided to wear it out which didn’t happen because…humidity.

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2. Make sure to leave enough wire to be able to wrap around your headband.

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3. I chose headbands that were close to my hair color so that they would just blend in but you are welcome to choose a color that stands out or matches your color theme.

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4. Cut off a piece of the floral wreath to fit in between your ears. Make sure to cut a piece that is visually interesting to you. For the park, I cut out the yellow piece since that’s the color I was more interested in wearing that day.

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5. Place your headband and wreath together to make sure the fit is right then hot glue your headband to the part of the wreath you cut. Then wrap a piece of the ribbon that you bought around the headband weaving in and out of your wreath to tighten it. Since Florida is so hot, you could have loose hot glue. The ribbon fortifies it and also provides cushion so the wire ears don’t stab you.

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And Voila you have yourself a pair of ears. I won’t do a tutorial for the ribbon ears but you do make them the same way. Just sub out the wreath with really big bow.

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Now go out into the Disney World and hear all the things with your new shiny ears.

Love,

Prepfordwife

Minnie Mouse and Polka Dots

For our first day in the actual Disney Parks, we had to go to Magic Kingdom. I had a date with destiny and I couldn’t be late; I had to see Minnie Mouse.

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Dress| Sneakers |Cole Haan sunglasses| Diy Ears

This is probably not the first, nor the last, time that I will gush about Minnie Mouse on this blog (see this post). She’s been my first love since I was young. We talked to my mom on the car ride down and she reminded me of my first birthday, Minnie themed of course, where I got a Minnie Mouse doll the size of my little body. I still have her even today. Consider it the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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I spent the week leading up to this trip picking an outfit to meet Minnie Mouse in. I wanted her to like it. Eyeroll yes but this is who I am as a person. Better you find out now than later. Queue my favorite polka dot dress which I’ve worn before on the blog. It’s a favorite of mine even among other polka dot dresses that I own. Needless to say, Minnie loved it.

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After Minnie, we moseyed around and did the usual Magic Kingdom things. We arrived at opening and took the ferry so we had plenty of time to see and do everything. It was hot (isn’t it always in Orlando?) which made this dress a success for me. I’m a proponent of looking like myself in all facets of life and that includes in amusement parks. I feel like they invite you to do otherwise on account of the sweating and the water rides and the general disarray but this dress was breathable, comfortable and had the added bonus of hiding any kind of sweat with the dark fabric and the print.

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This dress fit right in on Main Street and people seemed generally surprised to see something Minnie Mouse outside of the usual t-shirt and cap with ears.

Speaking of ears, these ears were a 2am DIY that got quite a few compliments. They were super simple and lightweight since I need a no muss no fuss accessory. I may end up doing a quick DIY post.

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What do you usually wear to amusement parks?

XO Prepfordwife

 

Outdoor Explore with Air Boats

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Shirt| Jeans| Purse |Belt| Sneakers (sold out| Similar)| Sunglasses (Old Cole Haan C718 25| Similar for less | Similar)

We decided to take a last minute small family vacation to Orlando for a week. Usually, I skip summer vacation in favor of something in the fall for our anniversary but this year, my job has been wearing me a little thin. I was rapidly approaching burn out so a little get away was a must. My sister in law came with and she asked for one thing, to go airboating. That quickly became priority number one for us since it could be tackled in just one afternoon.

I like to feel like and look like myself on vacation and a striped shirt with a white pair of jeans is my standard fare uniform. Although we were on a boat with the possibility of getting soaked in swamp water *yuck*, this was still what I opted for. Not only does it fit for most casual scenarios, but by wearing long pants and sleeves I could keep my skin safe from the roasting sun and the biting mosquitos at the same time. It was just the wrong scenario to have naked skin.

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I’m all about comfort when it comes to vacationing. From the top of my head down, this outfit was perfect for that. The material from the shirt is surprisingly thick so I didn’t spend all day wondering if I was going to sweat through it or if my bra was visible. The pants have the PERFECT amount of stretch to them so much so that reaching of this branch was no biggie. Also, little hint, I own three pair of this exact pair of white jeans which is why I was willing to risk it all. I scored them at an end of the season sale last year and decided to put one pair through the ringer on this trip. The inseam is the perfect length for my larger hips and short frame plus the pocket is finally deep enough for an iPhone! A trait that is worth its weight in gold in women’s pants.

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I feel like I am constantly raving about this Madewell Crossbody Transport Tote but its because its that wonderful. I snagged it by accident because it was on a horrendously good sale but it turns out its one of my most practical purchases ever. I can fit an umbrella, my Nikon, a GoPro, my iphone7, a bottle of water, a pack of tissues and a package of face wipes in this little bag if I play my cards right. It literally hold all the necessities without looking ugly or weighing down my shoulders. It’s a total win.

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All in all, the air boating was an awesome idea. We had so So so much fun although the middle of the day during the middle of the summer isn’t exactly prime crocodile spotting season. We went with Boggy Creek Airboats which was pretty close to Orlando. It was well priced for a day outing. Our tour guide was the absolute sweetest. He made sure that if he spotted something interesting, he pointed it out for us and as the resident biology nerds on the boat, hubby and I appreciated that. We got to see some great native birds which are also native to our neck of the woods but still great to see. I would definitely recommend one of the air boat tours especially if you go late in the evening when its cooler. Either way it was a fun little adventure and a great way to kick off our week. Stay tuned for more from our little trip.

XO Prepfordwife

PS. Enjoy this little snap with lovey for the road. 😉

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Come Pack with me

img_4515Call this a guide to squeezing an entire business weeks worth of clothes into a carryon. I’ve flown a lot in my short time on earth and what I’ve discovered is that for some reason I have a very high mistrust for the airline. I fear that my luggage will miss the lay over or that it will be seriously damaged or it will just flat out go missing. So if I travel for less than I two weeks at a time, I always bring a carry on instead of a checked bag.

I have a business trip coming up and here’s how I shoved a week plus worth of clothes into the cutest rolling carryon ever.

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Sweater| Jeans | Button Down| Purse |Carry-on| Shoes

 

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I am a button down kind of girl so I snagged enough of them to make it through the week. I’m wearing a plain white one and then packed my three most basic and yet special button downs. Throughout the week, I’ll layer then and mix and match them under the sweaters and the dress in the top left. Each article of clothing is good for any climate and can be mixed and matched for casual and business. Not featured is a standard fair black blazer and my favorite J. Crew lady day coat. When packing for a week, pick the clothing you feel best in.  There will never be a day on this trip where I won’t love what I have.

I also threw in clothes for more casual wear like my favorite pair of mom jeans, two tshirts and some work out clothes. I stacked the items up by genre, all the tops together, all the bottoms and the all the casual clothes.

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Shoes go in the pouch beneath the logo. In the main case I layered the stacks and tucked the underwear at the bottom of the case.

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It takes a bit to smooch them in but it truly is enough clothing for the week.

This Coat Deserved a Home

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Coat | Shirt |Pants |Shoes |Bag

I purchased this peach coat on a whim. Even though all of my coats seem to live in this color family, it was just calling my name. Loudly. It didn’t help that I met some of the nicest shopping pals humanly possible who told me “yes, you need that”.

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So long story short, this coat has a home. I wore it on a short pre-Christmas trip to Biltmore Estate and when I tell you that I got a compliment literally every single place we went. It could have paid for itself in under an hour if each compliment were worth a dollar. It was right at home in the gardens where every floral was coral. I found my place in the world.

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This coat is aesthetically pleasing and with its thinsulate lining, I’m warm without ever requiring bundling, which is perfect for someone who lives in the south and often forgets to even wear a coat. It also does pretty well in warm environments. I wore it through most of Biltmore’s Gardens in spite of the 80 degree plus temperature.

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The gardens themselves were stunning. Once upon a time, I masqueraded as a green house keeper so being amongst so many beautiful blooms felt both flamiliar and exotic. Each aisle contained more beautiful florals than the last.

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The greenhouse itself was massive but still only take a half hour for the quick explorer. It was my favorite part of the visit so it took us well over two hours. When visiting Biltmore, they make it very clear to wear comfortable shoes. I took the memo a step further and assumed comfortable clothing as well. I paired the coat with my uniform of choice, white shirt, black pants. I made sure to glitz it up a bit with this embellished oxford and a crystal necklace. For bottoms, I reached for the J. Crew Minnie pant which breathes like a legging but makes me feel like a “grown up” and a pair of flats with a bow.

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Biltmore’s Gardens were absolutely magically but we couldn’t stay all day despite my best intentions. We took a brisk walk from the gardens around the grounds and up to the house itself. The home was absolutely stunning and we had plenty of time to see it during our night time tour.

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More about the actual house in a part two.

XOXO Prepford Wife

 

 

Old Salem Harvest Festival

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While wedding venue scouting some years ago, I ran across the Old Salem district in Winston Salem, North Carolina, a town created to mimic the eighteenth century Moravian version of the town. It has some of the most gorgeous and rustic areas to hold weddings. I surprised my husband with a weekend trip during their fall festival years ago and now it’s become a bit of a tradition for us.

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The festival features hands on activities and awesome demonstrations and it’s truly one of our favorite places. Even if you aren’t into fall festival activities, it’s super scenic and the little district blocks are perfect for a fall stroll.

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As usual, tons of walking means trusty dusty Nikes and a cross body bag so that I could eat have my hands free for activities.

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Old Salem is just a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. They also have great activities all through fall and the Christmas holidays so definitely stop by and visit if your in the area.

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Sweater | Shirt (Similar) | Jeans | Nikes (Sold out) | Purse (Similar)

Hope you enjoyed. XO Prepford Wife