day date

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18 January 2017

Simon was out of town quite a bit last week for business and pleasure so in between trips we were able to steal a little time for an in-home lunch date.


We fed the kids early (so that they could go right down for naps while we ate) and got to work on my favorite Blue Apron meal of all time (and I've tried many many many of their meals!) ... the Sweet Potato and Green Chile Quesadillas with Arugula & Avocado Salad.

Over Thanksgiving when Simon's family was visiting my sister-in-law (married to Simon's younger brother) said that one thing Patton men excel at is their quesadillas so I went ahead and handed Simon the reins ...


the master and his craft.

Of course while we/he were getting everything ready we had plenty of "help" afoot ...



One of the things I love most about Blue Apron is that it gives me ideas for future meals to make and add to our embarrassingly predictable rotation. We are big fans of green chile in this house but would I have ever thought to throw them in a quesadilla with sweet potatoes? No. Never.


Simon told me to "act natural" while chopping ... couldn't do it. I wasn't cut out for the stage. And that's okay.

In the sad event that you've never heard of Blue Apron let me give you a quick rundown on what it is exactly!

+ Blue Apron is a wonderful service that delivers farm fresh ingredients right to your doorstep, in the correct portions, along with beautiful chef-designed recipes to create the most delicious meals
+ there are two plans: the 2-person plan and the family plan and everything arrives in a refrigerated box (it stayed impressively cool last summer on our porch in the Florida heat!)
+ They are currently working toward developing a sustainable food system and uses very high quality ingredients
+ Blue Apron has a huge selection of recipes and is always adding to their rotation every week
+ There's absolutely no commitment and you can skip or cancel at any time
+ All of their meals are between 500-800 calories per serving and take up to 40 minutes to prepare (usually less - in our experience!)
+ Blue Apron offers a recycling program that you can learn more about here!


Look out! Simon's getting artsy on us.

And the final product ...

I was most looking forward to those quesadillas but the salad proved to be a very dark horse with its warm shallot dressing that I want to eat with every meal for ever and ever. And ever.


Simon admitted that he was skeptical going into the meal because he's a self professed, "meat and sauce guy" (his words) of which there was none but said he was proven wrong because he agreed it was our best Blue Apron meal to date. He even went to store on his own accord yesterday and bought everything we needed to recreate the entire meal. And Diego who is partial to dog food, high chair droppings, and all meat - is looking at my plate longingly (stage right).

Want to try it out? You should! The first 50 readers to click and order through this link will get three meals for FREE.

And if you'd like to get inspired you can look through Blue Apron's amazing recipes (no charge, of course) right on over here.

Thank you for reading a big thanks to Blue Apron for sponsoring this post!

big man on camp{us}

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17 January 2017

Please excuse that terrible title. Or don't - you should be used to them by now, anyway.

Simon is going to tell me to take this down but I had to throw up a little post (complete with Christmas Cardesque photos) to commemorate the exciting fact that he passed his oral boards last week!!!


We just found out today but he flew out to Dallas last week, sat in front of some people (I'm going to assume doctors but what do I know? nothing) who asked him questions about OB/GYN for three (!!!!!!!!!!) straight hours and Simon prevailed. I never doubted that he'd pass on his first try but he reminded me nightly as he went upstairs to hole himself away to study for hours on end that, "three out of twenty DO people fail!!" -- noted. I still had total faith.

He passed his written boards a few days after we moved here and I neglected to get it up on the blog because of brand new baby Bosco and unpacked house of horrors but that was no small feat either.

I tried helping Simon study once by asking him questions like the panel might and could only pronounce a good 54% (that's generous) of the words - I don't know how you medical folks do it. But you do! And I'm forever grateful.

So, a big fat congratulations, Simon! We're so proud of you! And I know we make you proud too ;)


Let's celebrate by eating the run-of-the-mill dinner I had planned. I'll even do the dishes!

xoxo,

Grace

photos by Becca!

the lineup ...

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15 January 2017


... is about to go through a little change up ...


... and Bosco couldn't be more thrilled.

All the other Pattons are really excited though! Phoebe is dead set on the wildly original names, "Pink" for a girl and, "Blue" for a boy and her parents think she just might be onto something.

Also, my mom thinks we were lied to about Diego's age and I think she might be onto something too.

Happy Sunday (night)!


Friday the 13th

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13 January 2017


1. I keep thinking his shoe his untied but then I remember - velcro 4ever. Also, I gave the three boys haircuts last night (this was precut) and Bosco didn't even seem to notice that I was cutting his hair while Sebastian and Theo kept up the traditional, "are you amputating our ears?" shrieks and protests charade. Fiesta forever.

2. I used Framebridge (not sponsored - although I know they've worked with bloggers in the past!) to send a few Christmas gifts this year and just had to say how pleased I was with their products and delivery (handwritten notes!). The price felt fair considering how convenient it was compared to the alternative. I know there are other online framing services out there so let me know if you've had a good experience with others!!

3. Alright, I bit the Kate Morton bullet and I went with one of her earlier books and um, it's dragging. I normally love getting in bed at night to read but find myself looking for other distractions (face mask! make a dent in the laundry folding! etc!) instead. Maybe I'll pick up one of her more recent books and go from there? Or maybe I can just grow up and power through. Also, Erin's book came in the mail this week (I pre-ordered it in May - I've waited long enough!) and I have to admit that she's been my guilty nap time pleasure and that isn't helping matters either.

4. Needless to say this week's episode of the Bachelor was a huge disappointment for a whole slew of reasons (the least of which was - it's TOO early for "to be continued" episodes - ABC - too early!) Luckily, Ashley and Sharleen saved the recap day but I've got high hopes for this coming week to make up for last week's train wreck. It was interesting hearing Jade's take on Liz on one of my favorite podcasts. I really hope that don't drag that storyline out this week but they probably will, won't they?

5. In the same vein, Brissa did her first Bach Bash on YouTube and I can only hope and pray she'll continue. She did say it was weekly so I think the odds are in my favor. Also! Julie is doing an impressive and phenomenal 30 day New Year: Best You! series. It is well worth your time and she's so kind to put it on for FREE!

6. On the sale front ... Loft's 60% off clearance (and 40% off everything else) is still going strong and they added a bunch of new styles. Almost makes me wish it stayed cold here for an extended period of time -- almost!! The sizes are super limited but I love this funnel neck coat and on the other end of the spectrum - they have one of the cutest and most inexpensive collections of sunglasses around.

7. Alright, now that Simon is finished with his oral boards (party emojis GALORE) I'm going to see if I can talk him into a little Poldark or The Crown action. Wish me luck.

Happy Freakin' Weekend. 

things I'm loving these days: tangible and not

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12 January 2017

I'm really resisting linking to La Bouche's "Be My Lover" as a fitting but inappropriate accompaniment to this post. I'm sorry and you're welcome for even mentioning it.

Onward and most definitely upward.

I'm always catching myself wanting to text all of my friends about this or that but sometimes catch myself and think - let's just blog that, Patton. Save yourself the thumb energy. So, here we are - for better or worse.


+ we'll start with the big guns or singular gun. I hemmed and hawed about getting a Nespresso but Amazon's deal put me over the edge and I used some Christmas money to get one shortly after Christmas. It's amazing. I'm resisting throwing that in all caps but it really is that great. Keep in mind - I'm not a coffee snob (I'm more of a sugary creamer glutton) and I don't even need coffee every day but I love the Nespresso we got. I especially love that I've been able to put canned coconut milk (just make sure it's not a SOLID block) in the milk frother and it still froths beautifully. The only problem is that my kids love it too so I have to drink it fast or fasten my mug to the top of my head if I don't want to share.

+ this isn't something I'm loving but I know eventually I will. It's embarrassing how much of a life disrupting shift it's been too. I decided to move the little kids' naps to before school pickup vs. after. I KNOW. MY LIFE!! How do you keep up? The pros are that the little kids go to bed much earlier (Bosco is completely falling apart at 6:30) but the cons are that sometimes Phoebe and Theo don't nap (they just aren't tired at noon and I don't blame them) so my little sliver of quiet/cleaning/blogging time gets eaten into (yesterday Theo completely dismantled his and Sebastian's beds and Phoebe emptied the girls' dresser - drawers on the floor and all and I couldn't really be mad because they were both happy and quiet but putting their rooms back together? not fun) but ultimately - earlier bedtimes make for happier and more productive parents at night. Previously, the kids would nap till 5:30 (or 6 or later if I let them) and it was okay but bedtime got blurred and dicey and late for the nappers. How am I still typing about this? I could dedicate a whole series of posts to the subject so count your blessings, dear reader.

+ I got this hair oil in one of these boxes and was expecting the usual meh results that I get from all other hair oils (yes, all of them) but this stuff is different for some reason. I have really oily hair but get frizzy fly aways in the cooler weather and this takes care of them without weighing my hair down and it smells so good. If they bottled it up and solid it as a perfume - I would be first in line to purchase.

+ Like the rest of everyone, I'm trying to eat better in the new year and while I've browsed her site before I'm just now realizing how incredible virtually ALL of Against All Grain's recipes are. I might even have to spring for one of her books. I don't want to admit how many days in a row I've made her Asparagus Benedict. I've even got Simon and Phoebe and (believe it or not!!) Bosco hooked.

+ this article about sweet Joy. Have your tissues ready!!

+ all of your comments on Tuesday's post - some of them were so genius (making a loaf of pb+js ahead of time and freeze to thaw one or more at a time as needed) and I want to cross stitch them all and hang them on my wall. Thank you all very kindly.

+ Diego! This is a given but he's been such a fun and great addition to our family and I might be having anxiety about how he is going to do when we go to my sister's wedding (he'll be fine! I'm just crazy!) and I'll have to write a little updated post on his adjustment period but the kids are all still completely smitten and he seems happy to be a permanent Camper.

+ uno mas! And the most glamorous one of all. Diego has been pretty good about his housebroken status but there have been a few accidents and when they happen on our rugs (but look! alllll this wood and laminate flooring, D!) I've been super impressed with this stuff. Also very effective with toddler accidents - not that we know anything about those over here. Nada.

And I'll leave you on that most pleasant note. I always love hearing what you're loving too!

xoxo,

GP

 

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