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

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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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.

Grand Master Pack

Sometimes during holiday season I internally refer to myself and Grand Master Pack (which is clearly a play on Grand Master Flex). Unlike a lot of people, I get a serious kick out of packing. I have moved around a lot what with college and going back and forth from NC to PA, so I have had to unique experience of having to pack only small amounts of stuff at a time. I have to say that out of all the packing I do, holiday season packing is my favorite for 3 reasons 1) It’s a personal challenge to only pack what I need for 3 weeks 2) I fly home so I can have a maximum of 50lbs of stuff including toiletries 3) I have to have enough room for my stuff plus these HUGE Christmas gifts that I have to bring home for both my family and Marcus’ as well.

This year, my personal challenge for packing is to only bring home a carry on’s worth of stuff and I have done it effortlessly for some reasons. Here is all that I intend to bring with me and is really all that you need. This is the easiest way to pack only what is crucial for a trip home.

Start with the basics and the bulkiest.

1) Shoes: Chocolate mocassins, black low top chuck taylors, black ankle boot heels.
2) Under garments: Week’s worth of underwear inside of chucks, bras inside of mocassins, sandwich bag of jewelry inside of heels plus bobby pins and hair ties/bands.

These are really the only shoes necessary for me. Everything I own goes with one of these. I can make a dress casual with chucks and jeans dressy with the ankle boots. Once your shoes are packed you can start on outfits. Because it’s home, there are plenty of clothes there so you don’t need to bring every thing.

1) Bottoms: Dark wash bootcut & dark wash straight leg jeans, navy wide leg trousers, 2 pair of gray sweats. I don’t need much more. I usually take home a bunch of pants and only wear a few.

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*Fold in along crotch crease and roll length of pants. Place on top of filled shoes forming one layer. 

2)Tops: 4 tees for sleeping/gym (2 long sleeved), 3 tanks (neutral, navy, purple), boyfriend navy cardigan, striped breton cardigan, Ralph Lauren oxford shirt and rugby shirt (both long sleeved)
*Fold tshirts like they do at the Gap or Express. Make sure to place on top of rolled jeans to maximize space.

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3) Outer wear: Thick pull over hoodie and zip up hoodie, North Face Denali fleece

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*Lay on top of the previously folded shirts. I’ll wear my peacoat onto the plane for multiple reasons. It maximizes space in my bags. it’s tasteful for all occasions, and I have no clue what the weather will be like in Philly. 

4) Extras: Little black dress, sheer black tights, cotton scarf, suede tan belt and jewelry that I can’t live without.

Helpful hints: 
  • Know what you wear and use on a regular basis. There is no point in bringing home stuff that you do not need. I know that I view navy blue the way that most people view black. It is my standard go to color so why would I bring home anything black when I know I prefer blue?
  • Be sure to snag the last minute things that you do not necessarily wear but are crucial. Tooth brush, camera, usb stick, phone, ipod, retainer, etc.
  • Double and triple check for your wallet! Every time I travel (literally every single time) I forget my wallet which includes money, id, cash, and plane confirmation number. SO CRITICAL!
  • Carefully pack a toiletries bag. If you know you have doubles of shampoo/conditioner, lotion and perfume at home, why bother bringing them?

As of tonight I officially have a suitcase chock full of gifts, a well packed carry on, plus bookbag.