nursery before and afters

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06 December 2016

As always, put your underwhelmed caps on because - this is not impressive. I feel like it's an improvement but I could be wrong!

A history of Bosco's room (switch to your excited caps for just ONE sec) ...

When I first looked at the house, the owner had this room set up as an office (although because it has a closet I think it can still technically be called a bedroom). It's right next to the master bedroom and I knew it would make the perfect nursery because of the location but ALSO it has one lonely window that is easily blacked out and makes a great napping room. Phoebe slept here for a long time with the thought that she would eventually share with Julia (which she does, now) and Bosco would take over (which he did). But, I guess I hid behind the "these aren't the official arrangements YET so this room can just be a disaster for now" excuse for WAY too long because it really was a total catchall room for bedding and extra blankets etc etc forever. It doesn't really matter because we don't hang out in the room but enough was enough so we made a few minor changes that have made a big difference - to me. 

Here's the before (not a true before because it really was a mess but here's what I snapped before we painted ... )

I loved that rug but unfortunately, it fell victim to some hurricane rain flooding (the back half of our house is kind of a split level and so this room is sort of basement-y but Simon has since repaired the deck and so! no more flooding and the new rug SHOULD be safe) but I was really over the changing table/dresser. I mean, I love it but wanted to freshen it up. My sister-in-law suggested new hardware which made all the difference and along with a thorough sanding and three coats of grey/blue paint ...

... here's what we've got. I was going to paint the dresser dark green but then found those prints and decided to go with blue. I still love the idea of green though! Next time, dear dresser.

Simon kindly painted the room white (it was beige - like the rest of the house was when we moved in) and we moved the glider in from the living room because it was getting destroyed out there and sometimes Bosco will let me rock him if we talk about trucks the entire time.

Phoebe wanted to help model - and who was I to shatter her dreams?

I want to figure out a safe way to repaint the crib because Phoebe chewed on it and it's looking rough around the edges but - one project at a time!

I bought the rug on super clearance from - a place I'd never thought to look for rugs and was pleasantly surprised by the quality for the price.

And a little trifecta of: St. John Bosco (a gift from a thoughtful friend!), newborn photo of Bosco (thanks to Janel!), and a prayer shawl (or so Simon ALWAYS calls them - har har har)

The fake tree has seen better days but it works in here for now.

Tour complete! If you're wanting to consult me for my impeccable eye for design -- I'd understand and oblige.

J to the K.

Happy Tuesday!!

Personalized Puzzle Present a la Patton (say that five times fast)

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05 December 2016

The other day Simon and I told the kids to gather round because we had a surprise for them. This is always a risky move because I fear they'll expect some bizarre avalanche of non-birthday birthday presents, a new puppy, or a surprise visit from grandparents - you know some colossal-sized surprise. But, I hedged my bets and went the surprise route because I knew they'd love what I was about to show them.

I tried to distract Bosczilla in the other room with food but - nope. Here he comes!

The non-puppy surprise was a genius Names and Faces Puzzle from Pinhole Press. I almost wish I could magically erase the kids' memories and regift it on Christmas morning because they loved it so much and it felt almost too special to gift on a non-holiday. Hopefully my kids aren't the only ones that love anything with their picture/name on it ...

The Names and Faces Puzzle comes with nine heavy duty pairs of cards in a durable and personalized box so I did our immediate family and Simon's parents - thinking we'd pull it out over Thanksgiving but I fully intend on making a few more sets with my parents and all of the aunts and uncles. The cards are heavy duty despite using a lot of phone photos - the photos are all crisp and clear.

Here we have Bosco thinking every single person is a, "truck!!!" and Theo worried that I'd forgotten him (I didn't).

Sebastian is learning to read sight words so the picture hints were a super helpful and fun way to practice recognizing our names.

Phoebe was appalled that I'd chosen yellow (or "lellow") as her card color since pink is her favorite color but please note that shirt she'd chosen for herself mere minutes earlier ...

Irony, says Alanis.

I know I'll look back at these photos in the years to come and marvel at how little the kids were but looking at them now it's hard not to say, "when did these kids get so big?!"

Alright, I had to act quick to get a snap of the whole set together with their puzzle partners ...

I love that the backs match too so that Phoebe (who, at 2.5, is nowhere near reading) can still "play" the game by putting the colors together ...

bingo. Not touching the lellow though.

For some reason I stupidly thought putting together and ordering the game might be time consuming and complicated but it was SUPER easy, I could crop the photos on their site and the whole thing took me less than ten minutes. If you want to surprise your kids or anyone at all! with a personalized Names and Faces Puzzle of your own click here and use code PATTON to get 20% off any Pinhole Press purchase until 12/14/16.

Pinhole Press makes seven different personalized gifts that are geared towards kids and you can peruse them all here! For Christmas delivery order your personalized gifts by December 14th and all other holiday products by December 15th.

Thanks for reading and a big thanks to the brilliant folks at Pinhole Press for sponsoring this post!

parents' night out

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04 December 2016

this might be a new low in blog photo quality (which is already low) but it's for the best cause - to tell you all about our night last night.

Don't go.

I know you want to.

On Friday night Simon was studying and I was halfheartedly doing a workout when Queen B texted wondering if we wanted to go to The Head and the Heart concert the next night (her brother, Kenny, is in! the! band!) I don't think it would've mattered what kind of plans our Saturday night held (although they were shaping up to look a lot like Friday night's) we would've rudely cancelled on anyone or anything to GO.

And go we did (not before leaving the kids with a sitter, worry not).

We rolled up to Will Call where Blythe said our tickets would be waiting and when they couldn't find any tickets with our names on them I started panicking and mentally preparing to ask them to maybe triple check when ah HA! We didn't have tickets - we had sparkly laminated necklace, "artist guest" passes.

WE FANCY.  (we parked our 2004 Odyssey and her five car seats way out in the boondocks as we know it's always v. v. appealing to potential car thieves)

Closer, in case you doubt me + Simon is always dying to document everything via photo all the time. I appease him, usually.

Our necklaces got us great spots in, "the pit" which smelled strongly of Acqua di Gioia, feet, and copius amounts of weed. We brought the median audience age up about a decade and enjoyed some GOOD people watching (the speed and frequency at which teens can Snapchat is truly mind blowing and makes me feel like a creaky old dinosaur and it also explains why so many of them had their phones hooked up to portable chargers tucked safely in their back pockets) while trying in loud and wave-happy vain to get Kenny's attention while he did a sound check (didn't work; didn't care). 

It wasn't long before The Head and the Heart came on and they were SO GOOD. They are one of those bands that even if you've never heard any of their songs - you'd still love their shows. They were in the middle of a grueling tour schedule but were so energetic and having so much fun despite being undoubtedly exhausted (do I sound like a creepy groupie? so be it).

Kenny on keyboard ...
 I just wish this photo showed off his awesome glittery socks. I'm sorry.

Their set flew by and felt too fast and maybe it was the liquid double rum and diet courage giving us wings but we decided to try to get backstage to say hi to Kenny - whether he wanted to say hi or NOT.

We played it cool walking up to backstage security and were granted access but told to stay off the actual stage (um, duh - don't worry) and found Kenny where he humored us with a little chat and a photo ...

.. he's exhausted and I'm excited.

And that was that! We stuck around for the next and last band (The 1975) who had bras flung at them onstage and had quite the presence (the lead singer enjoyed a glass of red wine throughout their set which made me automatically like them despite never having heard of them).

We told our sitter that we would probably be back, "really late - like past 11" but we waltzed into the house at a reckless 11:04pm. Shattering minivan driving parental stereotypes since ... foreva eva.

And totally cool with it.

Big shout out to B. Fike for the hookup and Kenny for making our 2016 about 99% more exciting at the very last minute - you're both the BEST.

over and out,

(shockingly not hungover) GP

seven on the second

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02 December 2016

1. This photo was shamelessly stolen from Becca. We took Simon's family out to the beach when they were here - I thought it was going to be freezing but it was actually - really nice. HOWEVER! our kids all had meltdowns at the exact same time on the way back to the car - for alllllll the beach goers to see and hear. They couldn't be blame and that's what I get for deviating from my usual nap nazi routine and thinking we could get away with it, "just this once" lololol 4ever - no.

2. Okay MAYBE it's just me but I thought this email written by a student recovering from getting her wisdom teeth pulled (and on pain meds) to her philosophy professor was hysterical. Even Simon laughed out loud - so maybe it's just me and Simon.

3. ONE month until the Bachelor premieres, are you ready? I am. If you need some good Bachelor franchise fodder in the interim, this IG account is gold. (Thanks to my sister-in-law Mary for sharing it with me!)

4. Alright, I'm sure you've been anxiously biting your nail down to nubs waiting for me to reveal the "train" (more of a play) table I put together for the boys. Here's the before:

(side note - if anyone local wants that bouncy in the background - it's allll yours!)

Anyway, so the legs had been a lot taller but Simon swapped them out with shorter legs from an old side table. I couldn't find my trusty sander so I had to do it by hand - woe is me. But, it was pretty quick and easy. I painted it my favorite Midnight Blue (normally by Behr but I tried Glidden which is fine for furniture but I like the name brand better for walls) and BELIEVE it or not did a lot of measuring and used painter's tape and thought I was being super precise and unGrace like in my careful prep but here's the final product ...

Laugh, laugh.

But! I find the boys playing with it all the time - even Bosco will sneak into the older boys' room and go to town with the trains and trucks. I know Sebastian is going to see one of the real deal train tables at Costco or somewhere and know that the grass is greener on the non-mommade side BUT for now, it works. I think.

5. Oh, and Theo got into that black paint while I was gone one evening and Simon made the mistake of sitting down to watch a few minutes of a Notre Dame game. I still can't believe how well he covered the chair. The best part of that story was the next morning at 6:40 Simon was woken up by the sound of our front door opening and assumed we were being robbed (I would've assumed we were about to be murdered in cold blood but that's just the temperament God gave me) so Simon walked out to the living room and found Theo carrying his newly black chair in from the porch where it was drying because he told Simon, "I missed a few spots" -- touché, Picasso.

6. I'm not sure I've ever done any Christmas shopping before December 1st (I know there are those of you that get it done before Advent even starts - you're amazing and I bow down) but thanks to Amazon's Cyber Monday Deals Week - I actually got a lot of it knocked out (and thank you for all of your toy suggestions, btw - super helpful!). I keep coming back to comb through Oprah's Favorite Things and also wondering if Simon might appreciate a Nespresso for his birthday (December 28th) despite that fact that he drinks coffee about twice a year? It might change his(my) life. It just might.

7. Alright, I skipped a couple days of folding laundry and have the exploding baskets to prove it so off I begrudgingly trot.

Happy Weekend. Linking up with Kelly!

memories living in {quilted} infamy + a giveaway!

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30 November 2016

There are a lot of ways in which Simon and I are really similar (which I sometimes attribute to the fact that we are both the oldest kids in our family? maybe that's a bad theory) but even seven years into our marriage I find myself surprised by ways in which we are most definitely different. Simon is a lot more laid back than I am which is why I found it funny when I realized he is definitely more of a save-everything-always-and-forever person while I'm forever on the purge and donate rampage. He saves extra nuts, bolt, and oddly shaped screws just in case they might come in handy for a project (which, admittedly - they sometimes have) all his old t-shirts from high school and college while most of mine are all long gone. It's become a mostly funny point of contention between us but recently - we found the happiest compromise to finally sort through and use said saved shirts. I'm sure you've heard of the concept of t-shirt quilts as a useful way to make special memories tangible instead of keeping them boxed away for years and years (and years!). Well, Project Repat is the most trusted and popular brand that preserves t-shirt memories with quilts and they recently made a lap quilt out of some of our t-shirts and I can attest to the quick service and impeccable quality.

Exactly, Bosco.

Everything is made in the USA and the fleece on the back of the Project Repat quilts is made from recycled plastic bottles and is incredibly soft. We thought it would be fun to do a mashup of shirts we both hung onto (and then Simon would finally get rid of the rest of his) that held meaning to us as a couple and a few individual memories. I use an old family reunion shirt, the race shirt from my first marathon, and a college shirt while Simon had lots of Notre Dame and KU shirts. Probably my favorites are the shirts Simon had made after we were engaged and I was still living in DC and he was in Kansas City. He had matching shirts made for us commemorating the day I was moving to Kansas City to a shoebox apartment a few blocks away from his palatial attic apartment and we could finally stop talking on our stupid phones for hours on end ...

the front. that graphic though ...

and the back ...

definitely a very happy day!

Anyway, the kids have found many uses for the quilt ...

whether it's taking a call on their landline ...

or crashing an intense game of Uno with their micro mullet ...

... or ruining said game of Uno ...

ahem, Phoebe.

Project Repat was founded in 2012 and Inc. Magazine recently named them one of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in the country - for good reason! They also make stroller blankets (maybe a fun one to do out of your toddler's old shirts?).

There's still time to order one for Christmas if you choose rush shipping at check out!

Click HERE to get 25% off any order and use code CAMP and Project Repat is generously giving away a twin size quilt to one lucky reader. Just click here to enter!

Thanks for reading and many thanks to Project Repat for sponsoring this post! 


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