mini facelift for the bathroom

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23 August 2016

You know those room makeovers that leave the before looking completely unrecognizable after the transformation has been revealed? Well, this is not one of those makeovers. This was just a non-surgical facelift. You might even like the before better than the after, to be honest.

So, here we go with the before ...



duh.

It wasn't terrible. It was (is still) a pretty standard bathroom.

You know that my biggest beef was the beige (only because the entire house was/is still sort of beige) on the walls, the tiles (floor and shower) and that they obviously used a different type/color of paint to touch up the window frame than it had originally been painted and looked as though they'd hired Phoebe to touch/blotch it up. All fixable! We're just not fixing all of it. We (and by we I mean mostly Simon) painted the walls white, repainted the window frame with a glossier white that they'd left behind and painted the vanity.

And the (keep your expectations LOW) after ...


Better? Slightly? I hope so.

Would I love to throw up some subway tile and replace the flooring and that countertop? YES. But, prudence, patience, and um ... maybe later. Not now.

I really, really wanted to paint the vanity a pretty pinkish coral to kind of detract from the dark countertop but Simon said it wouldn't be smart if/when we try to sell (I guess he has a point) so we went with navy and I painted the girls' dresser pink to get my fix (more on that soon, of course! of course.)

We sanded the vanity (we have this bad boy and it is worth EVERY PENNY and more!!) and bought paint with primer and gave it three coats of "true navy" by Behr, I believe it was - I know you were wondering.

I found these pulls which made quite a bit of difference and bought a $30 light fixture from Home Depot along with a new shower curtain (would anyone like to come iron it? thanks) and rug and dipped into my collection of fake plants to help things along.


and the corner where the hamper had been ...


... I need to put the hamper back and straighten the turtle but you get the general idea.

And I'll spare you the little room where the toilet and only the toilet is BUT Simon did build these shelves that I've styled to perfection in said room ...


Pin away.

So, that's that. Since this bathroom is upstairs and we rarely use it - it wasn't a huge priority to spruce up but since we fixed up the guest room we figured we might as WELL.

Onto other more pressing projects. Stay tuned!


a little Sunday scroll

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21 August 2016

linking up with Kelly!

1. We'll start with the most riveting and work our way down ...

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B is cutting some serious teeth of the molar or even wisdom variety so it was nice to catch him looking remotely happy yesterday. I've said it before and I'll say it again, teething is no biggie (didn't we breeze right through that? polite chuckle) until it happens and then you remember and it's not fun for anyone. I think he'll make it through though. I hope and PRAY.

2. I don't think I typed about it last night so I'm going to make up for it this week - apologies in advance. Bachelor in Paradise! I feel like now that Chad is gone it's been a pretty entertaining season. It was fun hearing Caila's take on things with Jared and Ashley I on the Here To Make Friends podcast this week. Nick's tough love talk with Ashley was so great and he tore up the airwaves this week both on Afterbuzz and Juliet Litman's podcast (he was the most candid on this one, in my opinion). I'm hopeful that Luke is the next Bachelor BUT I really wouldn't mind a dark horse Nick pick (never gonna happen but, I wouldn't mind!). Okay, that's it - until next week!

3. Has anyone ever asked you if you could hire cooking or cleaning help which would you choose? I don't know why but it seems to be a question I hear a lot. I would HANDS DOWN say cleaning help every day of the week even though I'm not exactly killing it in the kitchen but I got Shay's cookbook in the mail yesterday and everything looks so good and feasible that I might have to change my answer if she were to offer to be the Patton's personal chef. Only the deepest and most important thoughts does my mind ponder day in and day out ... obviously.

4. & 5. Okay so I'm SURE you noticed posts were a little scarce last week (joke alert) but it was for good reason. I'm putting my money (and time, so much time) where my mouth is and tacking the little decor projects I've been wanting to do for quite some time. Nothing crazy - and you know I'll dedicate a post or twelve to showcase all my work sometime soon but next up is the wall behind the piano.


(the vast, vast majority of the stuff on the wall will come down permanently) 

As mentioned last week I'm going to try my hand at this removable wall paper ... I'm having a terrible time narrowing my choices down and finding prints that Simon doesn't hate but here are my final four, I think ...


    a. Muted Floral

    b. Tom Buchanan
  
    c. Michaelis

    d. Sketch Floral

What's your vote? Or something different entirely?

6. I won't spoil the surprise (yes I will) but I may or may not have finally bitten the overall bullet this weekend. Stay tuned and your vigilance shall be rewarded.

7. Have a great rest of your Sunday!

livin' la vida Fitbit

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18 August 2016

At the risk of sounding like a total crazyhorse (too late because hello this entire blog) I'm going to outline why I love (love LOVE) my Fitbit. Fitbit has no idea who I am and this isn't sponsored in any way shape or form, yada drone yada.

Okay, let's get down to the nitty gritty. I wanted to wait to write about it until I knew it wasn't a short-lived phase and I've had it for almost 8 months now so - maybe it's a phase but at least it's a long one.

Simon got me a Charge HR for Christmas - completely surprising me. I had said in passing that I'd be interested in getting one and had done very minimal research but it didn't feel like a high priority at the time but he remembered - and delivered.

I have to admit that I strapped it on thinking I would easily get to the recommended 10,000 steps a day because hello! I walk around the house all day! I chase kids to change diapers and walk lots of diapers out to the trash and do I even NEED a Fitbit to tell me what I already knew? I AM ACTIVE!!!


"you're so lucky you have an active mom, B"

Welllllll, I was wrong. The kids were sick over New Years and Bosco got hit especially hard so I chalked it up to having to rock him during the day quite a bit but I was getting 4,000, 5,000 maybe, 6,000 steps in a day with all my child chasing and diaper running and active living.

hmmmm.

So, I made a more concerted effort to takes walks with the kids and use our gym membership and was happy when I hit 10,000 steps during the day. I loved (still do) utilizing the calories burned feature to figure out which gym classes gave me the most bang for my buck and often (also still do) dragged the whole family out for walks in the evening to reach my goals.


swing pit stop on one of our walks. Please note Phoebe's recent interest in all things fashun.

This isn't meant to be a post about weight loss but I will say that, chalk it up to my age or my poor pregnancy food choices - I had thee hardest time losing the baby weight after Bosco's pregnancy. I always have to work at it but even with what I felt like doing what I'd done in the past (sensible eating, moderate exercise, and limited sugar) ... I still had a teeny tiny sliver of clothing in my closet that fit and after 7-8 months ... it was starting to get a little bit old and I was sick of hating putting on a swimsuit whenever we went to the beach. Anyway, surprise SURPRISE ... the more active I was with my walks and gym trips ... the weight finally started to budge and eventually come all the way off. Do I give full credit to the Fitbit? Not entirely but I do think it was a great catalyst to get me over the plateau that I'd hit. And do I think and advocate that anyone needs to be in a hurry to lose baby weight? Or lose baby weight at all? NO no no. Not at all. Just telling you my thoughts, feelings, and experiences like the sharebear that I am.

So, like I typed - I had the Charge HR and really loved it but wanted something that completely replaced my watch (the Charge HR has a watch built in but Grace Vapid Patton) in the looks department and loved the idea of the Blaze. So, I gave Simon my Charge HR and used a gift card burning a hole in my Amazon account for the Blaze. And I loved it even more than I thought I would.

It totally looks like a wannabe Apple Watch and people kind of look at it funny and ask ... is that an older version of the Apple Watch? Oh well.

I ordered this band (because the one that Fitbit sells is really pricey) and it's held up great. I do have this fancier band that sometimes I'll wear to church and subsequent donut drive-thrus ...


... it's a magnet and if I flip it around it sort of just looks like a bracelet? But, I usually just stick with my leather strap because who cares.

Okay! quick likes/dislikes and then I'll be DONE.

Likes:

- it sends little reminders to my phone (and I normally hate reminders/notifications but these aren't annoying to me) such as: just 2,000 steps to go to reach your goal OR head out for a walk to catch up to so and so (in a challenge - more on those in a minute)

- has ability to send call and text notifications to your FitBit, you can also control your music on your phone if you strap your phone to your arm to work out

- has ability to track calories (I tried keeping track of what I ate for two days -- not my thing lol) and water consumed

- with a little flick of your wrist or if you raise your wrist up the time flashes up on the screen along with whatever data you choose (I choose steps but you could do calories burned, floors climbed, date, heart rate, or miles covered) - there are three other display options with a digital clock etc but I prefer this one


- tracks sleep which can be depressing depending on how great your kids slept that night

- challenges: there are a few different types of challenges you can do with your Fitbit friends and they're just fun! I'm always blown away by how active some people are but it's fun to TRY to keep up with them.

- the Blaze has a feature that guides you through a separate warmup, 7 minute workout, and 10 minute abs. It seemed gimmicky to me initially but it's great when the kids are bathing and I can do a little workout while watching them and the older kids love to join me when the little kids are napping ...


... taking a totally not awkward photo during a wall squat hold as part of the 7 minute workout - I did it for you, folks. I did it for you!

Dislikes:

- in my experience it doesn't track steps very accurately when I'm pushing a stroller. I just strap it to my shoe lace which I don't mind at all but I'm sure it would bug some people!

- the distance is generally off when I run/walk (usualllllly walk, let's be honest) on the treadmill. Or maybe the treadmill is wrong but they are always a little bit off. It doesn't bug me but just something to note!

- I've seen people complain that you have to take it out of the band to charge it - again, doesn't bug me but I guess I can see why that would be annoying? I don't know. It does give me plenty of warning before I need to charge it and I usually charge it in the evening if I'm just sitting around anyway.

- it's not waterproof. Well, I have accidentally showered with it on and have worn it into the ocean/pool while wading around holding one of the kids but say if Phoebe had succeeded in pushing me and Bosco into the pool here ...


... RIP forever Fitbit. I've seen ads for this waterproof activity tracker but the reviews are all over the board so ... maybe Michael Phelps can come up with something better with all his free time these days.

- again, it's big!


A few of my friends have the Alta which is way, way slimmer and has the cute bands but I don't think it does heart rate? I'm not sure ...

My sister-in-law just got one and I asked how she liked it and she said that she loves it because she does well with concrete goals which is exactly the way I feel. I love looking at charts and graphs and comparing last week to this week and setting little hourly goals etc.



Here we have the is the app's interface - you can obviously look at things a lot more in depth by clicking on each category. It's fun to compare this week with last week and try to beat yesterday's active minutes etc. Or maybe that's just ME.

Bottom line: I sort of feel tricked into exercising and being active but it works - for me! I like seeing the numbers go up during the day and um, if that doesn't sell you I don't know what will.

I know it's not for everyone and not all exercise is adequately measured in steps (going to a barre class gets me almost no steps but no one can argue it isn't a great work out - same with lifting weights or my favorite workout DVDs etc) but I love it and didn't think I'd love it as much as I do.

I can't imagine you'd have any questions for the Fitbit expert after she threw down a dissertation on Fitbits ... but if you do I will enthusiastically answer them asap.

Anyway, do you have one? I've heard that Fitbit's customer service is awesome and great about replacing broken or lost Fitbits but I can't attest to that - yet. I did call them once during precious oh, so precious naps because my steps weren't being accurately counted in a challenge which marked a real low in my life, I know. I KNOW. They didn't laugh at me though SO ... many points for them.

Okay, I'm really done.

BYE.

first week of school y mas

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13 August 2016

1. wellll, first half week.


... and so far, so great! Sebastian woke up this morning very upset to learn that that there's no school on Saturday and when asked what his favorite part of school is he answered, "all of it." Fingers crossed the enthusiasm isn't short-lived. One of the biggest things I anticipated missing about St. Louis was the kids' preschool but we really love their school here and I imagine if Simon gets a big kid job somewhere other in Tampa we will have a really hard time leaving because of the great school situation. Anyway, hopefully if you started school this week things went as smoothly as possible for you and yours.

2. Theo was pretty upset initially when he realized that his ride or die would be gone with Julia during the day but soon realized that he's now the daytime king of the Patton castle and is just fine.


Phoebe is starting to talk in incomplete sentences vs. monosyllabic shouts and I can see the beginnings of a beautiful friendship forming. No, that's a stretch -- but I know they'll buddy up just like Sebastian and Theo did during the last school year. At least, that's my hope.

3. So now that I have three kids at home during the day I am feeling p-r-e-t-t-y footloose and fancy-free. I'm taking advantage before the newness of the feeling fades and am in, "tackle a million home decor projects" mode - Simon is thrilled. I see a lot of chalk paint and this genius removable wallpaper in my future and I cannot wait.

4. Unrelated to anything but I'm forever on the hunt for good running (ahem, walking) music and I've been loving this song. I have terrible taste in music though so - be warned. Also - I didn't watch the video once I saw the snake (top on my tier of fears) so I have no idea if it's appropriate -- be warned again.

5. I finally finished The Hypnotist's Love Story and would give it a solid 3.5 It wasn't my favorite Liane Moriarty book (I think this one's still my favorite) but I didn't finish it feeling let down or like she'd just phoned in the ending like I've been feeling about a lot of books lately. Most of you were pretty positive about The Night Circus and thus far - I agree! My reading has slowed a bit since Simon has been insisting that we binge watch Unreal at night. That is only half true. But we are watching it and WE don't hate it.

6. I thrifted a top allllmost identical to this one yesterday and was so excited. I thought the bell sleeve trend was a bit much but -- like always! I've come around. I'm sure bell sleeves around the globe are thrilled to have me on board.

6.5 In a somewhat similar vein I just saw that Old Navy is having one of their 40% off everything sales (they happen a lot, I know I KNOW) but was thrilled to see I could replace Phoebe's power sweater. I'm loving that Refinery29 has their favorite Old Navy picks set aside and their selection of embroidered tops is impressive (this is my favorite). Okay - done, done DONE.

7. Speaking of thrilled - I can't tell you how happy I am that Fran is back to blogging. Bring all the blogs back, please and thank you.

Alright, Everlasting awaits.

adios.

Go see Kelly for more!

my very first blog crush and my very favorite skirt

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11 August 2016

Way, way, WAY back when I was pregnant with Julia and I had just finished my first and last year of teaching I don't remember how but I stumbled upon Kayla's blog. I didn't know there was such a thing as blog analytics and now that I do I cringe at how she must've scratched her head over how many times a Wichita, Kansas creeper visited her blog. I couldn't help but comb her archives and hope and pray she'd put up a new post that day. I blame my nearly sinful amounts of free time but it was also my first real look at the fascinating world blogging and I was totally hooked. I would be lying if I said my blog wasn't pathetically fashioned after hers in the early days. If then Grace had known that now Grace would be friends (well, I consider us friends - she might consider me a charity case) with Kayla ... she would never have believed it. Ever.

Anyway, I'm not sure that's enough back story. I can go on! I won't - but I could. The bottom line is that I've been a huge Kayla fan for a long time. Some of my favorite posts she did were her sewing projects (and if you've read far back enough you know that I predictably copied that hobby of hers as well) because she's really talented and has a unique eye for liveable but on trend fashion.

So, you can imagine my excitement when she told me she was starting a skirt company because I knew that she'd design some really great skirts ... which SHE DID.

Allow me to show you ...

photos by Laura!

Lark Skirt's first collection is so fun and pretty and well thought out because all of the skirts have nice deep pockets (hello phone/key storage), are lightweight but not see through (this is huge), and are a really great length.


The back of the waistband is elastic so it's really comfortable while the front has a nice clean and tailored look. 


While of course anyone can wear a Lark Skirt, Kayla is a mom and she designed the skirt with moms in mind: prints that hide grubby hand prints, a play-friendly length, and all breathable cotton that is comfortable even in the most hot and humid of climates.

I'm wearing the blue buffalo check but I think my close second favorite would be the green floral.


All of her skirts are handmade and have the option of either patch or inset pockets (mine are inset - if that isn't obvious) and they are all (I don't use this word often or lightly) fabulous.

Kayla is VERY generously giving a skirt of your choice away to one lucky reader ... just follow the Rafflecopter instructions and I'll bide you farewell and best of LUCK!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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