stepping out of my comfort zone {+ $100 giveaway!}

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26 October 2016

As someone that sticks with what she likes and knows and rarely leaves her comfort zone, I was extremely pleasantly surprised by a couple of booties I recently tried from Rack Room Shoes. First up! These Steve Madden Nelmas in a shoe color and heel height I normally avoid. My unspoken rule of clothes/shoe buying thumb is: could I wear this to Costco? because most weeks - that's as fancy as things are going to get. Of course there are exceptions for church and nicer occasions but if it's not comfortable enough to wear to my favorite warehouse - odds are that I won't wear it at all. 

But these fit the comfort bill and help elevate my most basic outfits. I'm pretty loyal to my wedges but never took into account that chunkier heels might be much easier to walk in than traditional heels and wouldn't you know? They ARE.

I love the cutouts on the side that make for getting them on and off easily but the back of the shoe is nice and sturdy and won't let your foot slide out when waltzing through the produce aisle. I had actually had these in my cart for a couple of weeks because they are such a great price for a quality brand but I was going with predictable brown - I'm so glad to have them in black though. Rebel Grace 4ever.

Next! I've talked about how I've come around to the ankle boot but again, a heeled ankle boot seemed like a silly staple to employ in my closet for reasons of practicality and comfort. Until I met the Franco Fortini Lexi ...

and was blown away by how comfortable they are. They are lined with Nylex which feels like it should be a euphemism for, "cloud" because they compete with my cozy slippers in the soft department but magically manage to wick away moisture which is greatly appreciated during Florida's summer-like fall temperatures.

They feature real suede, a real wood heel, are exclusive to Rack Room Shoes and come in the following earth tones: olive, wine, taupe, and grey. I'm wearing taupe - which I'm sure you deduced.

I love wearing them with denim but they'll be great to pair with dresses/skirts and tights when the time comes.

In my never ending shopping indecision, I've tried on loads of shoes and boots included and can say that these are a phenomenal price point for the quality and the style feels classic enough to stick around for years to come so they are a great investment.

As the seasons change, shoe sizes in our household shift, and trends evolve - Rack Room Shoes is our go-to spot to find affordable footwear for the entire Camp. Rack Room Shoes has recently launched a brand new app that offers exclusive, app-only savings and makes it super easy to browse and purchase brand name shoes for men, women, and children.

The Rack Room Rewards program offers extensive discounts, coupons, and $15 in rewards for every $200 spent.

Rack Room Shoes is generously giving away a $100 gift card to one of you fine readers. Follow the Rafflecopter instructions to enter by simple visiting Rack Room's site, leave a comment back here with your favorite pair or pairs of shoes, and be sure to register your comment with Rafflecopter.

Thank you so much for playing and many thanks to Rack Room Shoes for sponsoring this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

turkey + green chile meatballs

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25 October 2016

Listen, a food blogger/photographer/nutritionist I am not. And will never be! And I make up/fiddle with a lot of recipes and they turn out pretty terrible and we've got the freezer full of backup frozen pizza to show for it but these are GOOD and are especially amazing if you're trying to eat Paleo or do a Whole30.

I've found the key to my Whole30 (relative - I'm not the poster child) success is having a variety of ready-to-eat protein in my fridge but I don't like to dedicate a ton of time to food prep because well, I just don't and it's tough to do when all the kids are awake etc etc etc. So! My compromise is making batches of things like these here meatballs or the aforementioned salmon cakes when I find a little pocket of time in the morning before the kids get up or after a few kids have gone to bed and things have quieted to a dull roar. Also, I'm not great about eating vegetables so whenever I can add some in to my protein - bonus!

Here we GO.


1 pound of ground turkey
1/2 cup almond flour
1 small can of green chile (drained)
2 generous handfuls of fresh spinach (chopped)
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped or shredded yellow onion (I use a whole one but that might be a bit much for some)
seasoning of choice (I just use the everyday seasoning from Trader Joe's)
salt + pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. mix everything together (but not too much - just till combined) and let cool in fridge for 10 minutes

3. line cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with coconut oil (or whatever you want)

4. roll into one inch balls and bake for 15 minutes

5. flip meatballs over and bake for 5 more minutes (our oven seems to run pretty hot - so double check that they are cooked through)

I like to eat them with eggs over easy and sautéed veggies topped with ketchup or ranch but the meatball sky is the limit. We have a little cooler I can stick them in and they taste great plain + cold if I know I'm going to be out long enough to warrant a snack. I know these are pictured with spaghetti squash but it's not my preferred method of eating/serving.

Anyway, enjoy!!

hi! bye!

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22 October 2016

1. I have this teeny tiny sliver of time where Julia and Bosco are playing happily and everyone else is asleep so I'm going to try to pound these out. Super SUPER quick. We'll start with my omnipresent shadow (redundant much, Patton?) ...

... she went through a mercifully brief phase of acting as though her eyes were on fire if she wasn't wearing sunglasses - upside down - when we went outside. Phase over, for now.

She's surprised me the most during my Whole30 and devours almost all the veggies I make for myself. But we allll know that if I made the exact spread for her she'd spew, "too gross" ... and not touch it. Kids these days.

2. Moving onto to something super sexy: the weather. Today is the first day that I felt truly justified in pulling out the cardigans and sweatshirts and the kids still complained they were freezing in the Target parking garage this morning so I checked the temp: 68. We are officially wimps. The wimpiest.

3. Thank you so much for all your feedback on my ankle boot conundrum! I think it was pretty much split (between the zippers and the cutouts) but I got some um - what are the cushiony pads you can stick on the heel of your shoe? Heel pads? Well, I got those and that significantly helped the comfort issue with the cut-outs so I kept those. But THEN I saw that the ultimate compromise boots boots are back in stock and on sale. The comfort of Lucky and the fun of the cutout. Of course. Of course!

4. I'm sure you all read Jessica's blog but I had to link to the great minivan post she wrote - she let me contribute a little blip because she's the best. Head on over if you haven't already!

5. After reading about everyone under the sun being obsessed with Poldark, Simon and I started it on Thursday night and are only two episodes in and so far? So good. Simon's only said, "so ... people ... like this?" a couple of times but I can see myself getting hooked. The horse racing along the water's edge montages seem a little frequent and I thought it was funny that the girl he took in went from looking quite non-descript to a gorgeous young woman after a mere hair wash but -- details, DETAILS. We'll keep on watching.

6. I know I already put it on Instagram but I went with my friend Kristin to Emily Ley's book signing on Thursday night and it was so fun. We both entered a raffle to win a Kate Spade bag (because it was at a Kate Spade store) and they just called to tell me that I won. Party emoji central. I feel so fancy already and I haven't even touched the bag.

7. I admitted temporary defeat on Truly Madly Guilty because even listening at double speed I still have 10+ hours to go and it feels like I'm watching molasses drip into a bowl of .... more molasses. I listened to The Singles Game to give myself a breather and it was a lot zippier and I had no expectations and really enjoyed. I'm going to trudge on and find out what on earth went down at the damn barbeque if it kills me.

Off to iron some letters onto some shirts - Simon and I are going as the lamest couples costume ever to a costume party tonight --- maybe I'll show you and maybe I won't. Costume creativity is just not one of our strong suits.

Happy Saturday!

Linking up with Kelly!

the dreamiest diaper bag of them all ...

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21 October 2016

photos by Laura Foote

I'm fairly to very certain that I've written more posts about my beloved Lily Jade diaper bags than any other brand because I'm that much of a super fan of the bags, the company, and their mission. I've had the pleasure of meeting the owners in person and they are some of the kindest, most salt-of-the-earth folks I've ever met and are fully committed to making beautiful and functional diaper bags that have long exceeded my diaper bag expectations. I've been using Lily Jade bags exclusively since early on in Phoebe's pregnancy and one of the most frequent emails I get is to ask, "which Lily Jade should I get?!" ...

... to which I always say: you can't go wrong with any of them (although I'm always happy to try to narrow down which one would best suit your daily needs!). We did get to test drive the gorgeous new grey Elizabeth (with jade lining!!) recently ...

and it is just as stunning if not more so in person than in pictures and I found myself asking, "should I be putting diapers and wipes, an emergency snack stash, and the rest of my usual purse inhabitants in here?!" because it just feels too pretty to use on a daily basis. Time and experience tell me that even with repeated wear and tear over the course of inevitable yearS, the bag will maintain its beautiful shape and yes! Fill her up - she can handle it. Over and over again.

Meggan Wood, Lily Jade owner and cofounder, has spent the last two years gathering feedback from customers and has added to and improved upon the original Lily Jade. The following changes have been made:

+ all brandy and charcoal bags now come with a jade lining
+ EVERY Lily Jade diaper bag can now be converted into a backpack (including the super popular and my personal favorite: the Rosie)
+ the Elizabeth (pictured above and below), the Madeline, the Meggan, and the Rosie all come in grey (and are all available for preorder and it is not uncommon for Lily Jade bags to sell out during the preorder period - just as a warning!)
+ Every bag now has more structure, a longer and wider crossbody/backpack strap for extra comfort, and a Lily Jade tassel with natural stone beads, PLUS the baby bag inserts now have more structure, better pockets, and handles

If you're not familiar with the baby bag insert - it can be filled up and moved from bag to bag without the unpleasant task of emptying and restocking your purse. It also makes for super easy organizing, is a dream to clean, and a fun pop of color to the bag's interior.

To celebrate the release of their new bag colors and all of the upgrades, Lily Jade is giving a bag away to one lucky Camp Patton reader (winner's choice!) Entering is super, duper easy and you'll be on your merry e-way in no time at all!

And! If you have any questions about the bags - hop on over to my Instagram at noon EST (10/21) and Lily Jade will be ready and waiting to answer!!!

Thanks for reading + playing, as always!

Camp Patton + Lily Jade Giveaway!

Simon Says

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20 October 2016

Making applesauce pancakes for dinner while wearing a (diapered! I promise) fusspot baby so his wife could put a teeeeeny tiny dent in their Vesuvius of a laundry pile. And take this photo. Also - that clock is wrong and battery-less.

Every single time I pull out my phone Simon says, "please don't put this on Snapchat."

After he caught Phoebe squeezing honey allllllll over the kitchen floor Simon said, "am I misremembering? or were all the kids this insane?"

While I was in freak-out-clean-the-house mode before we had company for dinner, Simon very calmly said, "no one's pinning this .... I think we can relax."

After Julia lost her first tooth and I wanted to make sure he'd put it somewhere she wouldn't find it he showed his sentimental colors by answering, "oh, I hid it. In the trash."

While on a walk with all the kids and trying to get some of the more verbal and yell-happy children to keep the noise to a minimum Simon seriously said, "kids, please learn to modulate your voices."

After I told him that the car next to mine in the gym parking lot had been broken into (smashed window and all) and that we were lucky they hadn't touched the van, Simon said, "of course they didn't, we have the best security system in the world - a minivan with five car seats."

One night after dinner Simon said, "I'm telling you this so you can hold me accountable: I took Instagram off my phone. I was spending too much time looking at memes."


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