48 Hours in Raleigh, NC

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This past weekend we went exploring around what is technically our hometown, Raleigh, NC. As North Carolina transplants, we’ve lived here since college. But as humbly self proclaimed homebodies, we admittedly know very little about the area. We are the people who you could ask for lunch and dinner recommendations and we would just end up shrugging out shoulders.

We’d like to change that though and have been slowly but surely been adventuring out. After careful consideration and much ado about nothing, here are the hotspot if you only have 48 hours, two days, a weekend etc in Raleigh.

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Weekend Trip To Raleigh Must Dos

COFFEE- The Morning Times

BEAUTIFUL HOMES- Historic Oakwood Neighborhood

ANTIQUEING- Raleigh Flea Market or Cheshire Cat

DINNER- Pooles Diner (Diner food), Bida Manda (Laotion food) and The Remedy (Vegan food)

OUTDOOR SPACE- William B Umstead State Park for a hike, The Art Museum (surprisingly has beautiful green space

MUSEUM- Marble Museum if you’ve got kiddos or North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for anyone

If you pick one from everyone of these categories, you are more than good to go. As we flush our more details, I will more than likely expand on this post.

From the Raleigh area? What’d I miss?

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Pets in Paris (and other places)

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When we travel, we tend to take our dogs with us. It’s a combination platter of boarding being expensive in our area for dogs as large as ours and us just being mistrustful of the care of others. Could you imagine us with our future kids? Yikes.

All this to say, we have to be expert strategists when we take our pals with us. Traveling with pups, or just traveling in general honestly, can be hard work and stressful especially around holiday times. Making sure you are prepare before even leaving, gives you the best chance of success with your pups. Take this as an opportunity to get your pet microchipped and get a brand spanking new identification tag if they need it. Also take this as a chance to stock up on their favorite things; food, snacks, that special toy brand that they love.

Also, if you are staying at a hotel, find out the pet policy in advance. There can be additional fees, per night, per night per pet, per night per pet per pound. You get the drift. Costs can add up. Once you find out the pet policy and have the all clear, let them know you are bringing your little boogers so they can choose a room that makes the most sense for you. Ideally you want to be on the ground floor so your possibly overzealous pets aren’t stomping on someone’s head and away from an elevator so they are not spooked by every sound.

Here are a few more tips we stick to when traveling with our doggy friends.

  1. Evening arrival. We try to arrive in our location in the evening so we can give our pooches a chance to acclimate to their new surroundings. We put blankets or towels that belong to the dogs inside their crates. We also make sure to put something for them to gnaw on and then hunker down for the evening. Staying in helps them to adjust to this new and foreign place. So whether you are staying in a hotel or with an aunt you don’t see often, giving your fur baby the night to adjust can be crucial.
  2. Crate. We never ever EVER ever EVER travel without the dogs’ crates. We tried before when we only had Sirius and it was a nightmare. He was anxious and loud and skittish. Talk about a man barking at his own shadow. We more than learned our lesson.  Now we always take the crates but if your dog is not one for the crate, bring their bed or blanket with. We cover the crates with an article that distinctly smells like us (read: me. Husband doesn’t really sooth the dogs). Our most recent trip, I used a sweater that I wore during the car ride and a bath towel that I packed. Crates also lessen the chance of being separated from your dog in the event that the door is opened for any reason and they run out. We also use a “do not disturb sign” so that they don’t run out if housekeeping were to come in.
  3. Check and recheck. When we exit the hotel for the first time on our second day, we leave the dogs in the room and then stand at the door for a few seconds to make sure we hear no sounds. Then we walk down the hall and press the elevator button and don’t get on. We stand and we wait for the sounds. If we hear cries or yelps, we go back and reassure the dogs. We then start all over again until we hear nothing. Our first stop of the day is usually downstairs or to a quick breakfast spot, no more than 15 minutes. We then go back to the room to double check for sounds before starting our day.
  4. Pet friendly outings If you can take them, do take them. They don’t want to be left alone in this strange place when they aren’t exactly sure you will come back. If you can start your day out with breakfast at an outdoor café or are having Thanksgiving dinner with family friends who don’t mind a dog in their huge fenced yard, bring them.
  5. White noise. If you are staying in a hotel, leave the tv or your laptop running with a classical station or dog friendly music that will both ease anxiety and muffle any additional noise they’ll make. Whenever we leave the dogs in our home for long hours we usually place PBS Kids and let the dogs enjoy Sesame Street and Arthur for hours on end. This can be especially useful in hotels, an industry that often uses your pet fees to reimburse disgruntle fellow guest who hear your dogs woes while you are away.
  6. Dog sitter. If possible, you can have a dog sitter come and stay with your dog for the day. They’re an easy option and many dog friendly hotels have a hook up with local dog sitters who they’ve worked with before.

What are some tips you stick to when traveling with your puppy pals?

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

Pumpkin Pickin’ and Stuff

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This past weekend, husband and I adventured to The Lazy 5 Ranch. It’s a bit like the North Carolinian version of a safari where you sit in your car and drive about, all the while feeding the animals. They also have a fall festival this time of year. There is nothing I love more than the combination of exotic animals and a fall festival.

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The animals were so sweet and curious. Because cars are driving through all the time, they walk right up to them! When you enter the park, you can pay for feed buckets and if they see a bucket in your car, they know you have snacks. My kind of animals.

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These animals are my wildest dreams come true. In addition to the animals we had to go to the fall festival. Anything that requires the word festival is right up my alley. We somehow scored a really quiet time during the day so aside from us, there were only a few school groups there.

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These field boots have been dying to come out to play for fall and this day only felt totally appropriate for their arrival.

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Fall is my favorite season ever and you have no clue how sad it makes me to not be getting enough of it due to North Carolina and just, you know, global warming. Either way, this day called for fall colored clothing and pumpkin picking. I know every blogger is pumpkin picking but duh! It’s fall.

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In the interest of full disclosure, I am totes eating one of those Cowtail candies in this last picture. Growing up, whenever my mom and I did fall activities, this was our candy of choice for some reason. Shout out to small traditions.

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What fall activities are you going to get in to?

XO Prepford Wife

Shirt | Vest (Plus, Similar)  | Jeans | Boots (Sold outsimilar) | Bag (Similar, Has a bow)

PS. Bonus with hubby

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Wander Lust

It’s the very end of  vacation season and I, unfortunately have gone nowhere exciting this season. Fear not though. I’m saving all of my vacation for some wonderful trips later on this year. Definitely keep an eye out for more about those as we get closer.

To quell my #FOMO (fear of missing out) at other’s travel photos, I keep an eye on this little corner in our room that is travel focused.

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The little pictures in the corner are from Ikea and the little map pillow was a Home Goods impulse buy that I have zero regrets about. Either way, the little corner helps ground me and remind me that our day is coming.

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Here are some other cutie pie travel paraphernalia that falls along the same vein as the pillow, and with the world wide release of Harry Potter in the Cursed Child -all hail J. K.Rowling- I’ve got Europe (read: London) goodies on the brain.

London

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

What are some of your favorite travel knick knacks or décor?

Tanzania; a juicy contradiction

My people perish from a lack of knowledge.Hosea 4:6 Today marks day 5 of being back in the United States from a 3.5 week trip to Tanzania. From March 15-June 7, I along with 8 other students, traveled half way around the globe for the cultural experience of a life time. We stayed for one week in Shirati, shadowing in multiple rural clinics and district hospitals. We then spent the remainder of our stay in Ntagatcha in the City of Hope orphanage when we ran a mini health clinic for the children of the orphanage and did village visits to survey the everyman in order to find out a little more about their culture, particularly medically. What I gained from the experience was more than a missions trip, more than a class, more than a study abroad. What I gained was so real its almost tangible. So intimate was the experience that I am forever changed by it. Tanzania is the ultimate contradiction. Impoverished Masai mothers masquerading their desperation and intelligence in order to con visiting Americans out of a dollar. Children who shout “jumbo” and welcome visitors while being sassy behind their hands in hushed tones. Safaris that average $3k for visitors while natives families struggle to avoid doctors visit to avoid paying $4. Farmers who grow enough food to provide for a family of seven. A mother with ten pregnancies but only four children who welcomes unexpected American guest,dropping her daily to-do to answer invasive questions about those deceased children, mosquito nets and her knowledge of HIV, the whispered disease. Bucket showers and no electricity in a home but still a wealth of entertainment. Masai herders armed only with sticks two hundred yards from a pack of lions. Africa is a disturbing contradiction to me for all of those reasons and more. How can a country so beautiful and with such a wealth of resources fail to conquer the world, for a lack of better phrase. What it always comes back to me is Hosea 4:6. For my masters degree, my research is on the behavior behind HIV transmission and while I was in Tanzania, I had the opportunity to ask an abundance of uncomfortable questions in the name of my research. One of my questions was “Who do you think is more at risk of STD, men or women?”. And an educated young man explained to me that it was men because he was promiscuous. When I explained to him if a man is promiscuous he has the propensity to infect multiple women, meaning women are more at risk, he understood! People, often Americans and Europeans, have handicapped Africa. We give give give give to them; give them everything but knowledge. People are so ready to shove their religion down Africans throats in their haste to share their personal opinions that people fail to realize that they are in need of so much more than your faith. I have experienced their churches. Their faith is more real than ours could ever be. Each day they rise trusting in God’s provision for each and every one of their needs. So instead of sharing our religion, lets share with them our education, our knowledge of medicine, our lack of corruption in our government, the idea of a freaking supermarket! (I had to explain a supermarket as “a warehouse of food. like your markets but much. much. much. bigger”)I just think our focus should be different but enough of my soap box. Look at God’s grace!These are God’s people and the work of his hands.