required reading

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05 February 2016

It started to really feel like it should be Friday on Wednesday morning so ... happy fake Sunday (may the best team win!) or real Friday.

For career day at school a few weeks ago Julia was dead set on being a doctor and a mom but pulled a fast one on us when it came time for game day and decided she was better suited for the life of a ballerina (twin prop and all ) ...

... get it, twirlfriend.

And now for my next and only trick ... I'll throw a bunch of fun (that you've maybe already seen on Facebook) your way.

In a time where blogging seems to have been swallowed (not quite! but almost!) whole by social media ... it's so fun to find a new blog to devour. Julie's fit's that bill juuuuust fine.

I keep seeing this new makeup concept pop up and am super tempted to try them out. I just might. I'll let you know.

Forever knocking it out of the park, B. 

This was fun - what to give up during Lent based on your personality type (oh so shamelessly stolen from Jenna!)

Fran suggested this book to me and since she never steers me wrong I loved it and now there's a movie ... hoping they'll change the ending but I'm going to guess that's a big fat no. I'm going to have to read the sequel while twiddling my thumbs waiting for June.

Do you listen to podcasts? I generally don't BUT someone suggested this one yesterday and now .. I'm hooked. Let me know if you have a favorite. Pretty please?!

Phoebe's current staple (and sensible: leopard) shoes are on clearance right meow.
Okay, Sebastian just told me he needs a knife or "half a scissors" because he found a snake outside SO that's my cue to G-O.

Have a good one. 

bachelor, bachelor, bachelor!

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03 February 2016

If you don't watch the Bachelor, I'm really sorry. There's a long and wonderful list of better blogs down and to the right in the sidebar that you might want to dip into instead of clawing your eyes out while suffering through this post. Go! Enjoy!

Now, if you DO watch the Bachelor ... let's get down to business. If you've been a reader for more than seven minutes you'll know that I'm a terrible and pathetic Bachelor Nation Fanatic. I've watched all the seasons and read all the memoirs. Sean's was great but he kept things pretty G-rated while Courtney's was a true blue tell-all that left nothing to the imagination AND I may or may not have preordered Emily's. I should probably find a new hobby at some point in my life but now is not that time and I'm fairly to very certain my Bach watching friends are about to mute my incessant texts sending yet another link to another meme/recap/interview so ... I'm just going to let it all out right here. 

 You can't deny that Ten Ben is one of the most likeable bachelors yet, if not THEE most likeable ever. He's polished but genuine and seems truly grateful that all the ladies are there for him. I am a tiny bit worried because he keeps saying he's not going to say anything about the outcome soooo did it not work out? Did he pick no one? What's the deal, Higgins?

I've always enjoyed reading recaps but I play frequent favorites to a couple ...

Favorite Recaps:

Ashley Jones: her recaps are comedic platinum and even if you don't watch the Monday night journey to find love you'll still laugh out loud. I promise. She's also recently taken to snapping through the episodes which is equally hilarious (her snap name is: ashleyjonesy51)

I want to cut and paste her entire blog over here but then I'd wake the kids up with my cackling. So, I won't.  

Sharleen Joynt: contestant on Juan Pablo's season that writes with an insider's knowledge of what's probably going on behind the scenes. She's wise and thoughtful and I'm so happy she writes both over at Flare with her weekly favorites and over on her personal blog, All The Pretty Pandas. Read and love them both, you won't be sorry.


My favorite people to follow on Twitter for their live-tweets of the show are ... 

@nickpetersonTV (he also does post-episode Periscopes that are worth watching)

@AshleyJones (has she filed an e-restraining order yet?)

and there have to be more .. Twitter is not my strong suit.


I almost hate that I watched Unreal (a show on Lifetime that gives a behind the scenes look of the show "Everlasting" that is eerily um, identical to the Bachelor and written by a former producer) because while I knew that the producers had to get creative with editing, this show takes it to a whole new level. It made me question almost everything about the franchise (I know! I know! of course it's edited ... but I just didn't think it was edited beyond original recognition) but I read this interview over on the Possessionista (who often highlights the fashion on the show ... so good) and it made me a little less skeptical of everything. Just a little.

My picks:

1. Lauren B (he looks at her and turns into an actual heart eye emoji)
2. Jojo (they seem the most natural together)
3. Caila (she was my original favorite but I'm scared he's going to friendzone her ... maybe not)
4. Becca (love her but the chemistry just doesn't seem like it's there? right? no?)

Oh, Olivia

Before watching Unreal I would say that she's said some pretty awful things and been pretty ick in general but they can get VERY!!! clever with the editing. She's definitely getting the villain edit and  Sharleen actually had a clip of what Olivia had to say about the cankles convo and while she obviously said it ... I still think it was heavily edited and cut to look well, like it did which was real bad. Sharleen was later asked by the show's producers to take the conversation down.  Anyway, with all of that SAID ... I hope she leaves soon and very soon. 

Let's wrap this up, Crazy G .... do you watch? do you judge me for watching?

And without spoiling anything (pretty please!) let me hear your thoughts/favorite recaps/anything! I don't discriminate and will probably love it ALL. For the right reasons, of course. 

Okay, I promise not to mention it again. Maybe. 

I'll try.


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01 February 2016

I almost want to apologize for throwing a weekend recap at you right out of the gate but I could've posted about my opinions on all things Bachelor or even (shudder) a round-up of my favorite leggings. Count your blessings, tolerant reader.


Before we even moved here we heard all about Gasparilla Pirate Fest. The tradition is named after pirate Jose Gaspar who is known for terrorizing the West Florida coast way back in the 18th & 19th centuries - your fun history fact for the day and maybe ever here at the Camp. There's a real live pirate ship decked with 750+ pirates that "invades" Tampa Bay and then once ashore, there's a massive parade which is where things get crazy, from what I understand. We were warned that it is not a place to take a small children because apparently it's about as rowdy as a real live New Orleans Mardi Gras. There's an annual a kids' parade that took place the previous weekend but we were busy painting a bathroom (fun-parents-r-us) so we took part in some of the Gasparilla fun without dipping down into the actual eye of the debauchery storm.

We kicked the day off by joining friends at a local park where the pirates board the ship. The kids got an up close and personal look at the swashbucklers and oh, wait ... Julia, is that you?

Your scary stamped hands threw me.

The boys were mostly wide-eyed in amazement/wtf-is-this-ness and the only reason Theo would abandon his death grip on my hand was if he knew there was a chance he'd score some beads ...

Phoebe was her usual happy-go-lucky self ...

No surprise there.

Next year we will be bringing ear plugs because the noise (cannons? guns? the apocalypse?) was really loud and scared the kids once we got up close and personal with the ship although ... it lulled little B right to sleep thanks to my trusty kangaroo pouch.

I thought 750+ pirates sounded like a liiiiiitle bit of an exaggeration but ...

... they made use of every square inch ...

Next year, I'm totally dressing up and sneaking on.

The Party Pattons continued onward and upward over to a little island (still away from the chaos) to meet up with some other friends (we are very popular and that is very much a joke) who had a beer tent (complete with tented port-o-potty that they brought themselves - Gasparilla veterans) set up to watch the flotilla because we thought they'd love nothing more than a little buzz-kill-o-kids. No, they were great and I kept expecting the kids to get crazy and we'd have to make a beeline for the Odyssey but it turns out watching boats float by with handfuls of beads is sort of the Patton kids' jam ...

... except for Phoebe ...

"have fun, suckers. I'll just be here with the snacks and beer."

We lured her out temporarily with the promise that she'd get to don the biggest beads ...

but once she tossed ALL the beads back in the water much to the chagrin of the other bead hoarders .... back in the wagon she went.

Even our little Joey had a decent time ...

... decent at best.

I know deep down that I'm a pessimist at heart but I like to pretend I'm just a sensible realist and I had visions of the day going down a lot differently because things can take a turn for the worse when we're out and about for an extended period of time {diaper failure, fatigue induced meltdowns, bead shortages, etc ... you never KNOW) but much like our tailgating adventure, I was pleasantly surprised.

Fancy that.

*tiny housekeeping note: I'm trying to restore my bloglovin' feed and I'll put the link over on FB as soon as it's up. Here it is! Thanks so much for your patience and once again, thanks for your insanely generous welcome back! Heart emojis galore.

so many post titles, so little time

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27 January 2016

For starters (or for the more refined reader - hors d'oeuvres)

(a bellowing) hello from the other side

the phantom returns (cue joke about not knowing the title of the newest Star Wars flick and then cue meme from Star Wars fans about not caring that my Star Wars knowledge is terrible at best .... MAYBE I should get off FB?)

or the always timeless Marshall Mathers with a little: guess who's back?

If those song lyrics mean nothing to you ... get on my cultured level. And if they do: high five.

Anyway, but really -- where did you scamper off to, Phantom Patton?

Nowhere, really. I felt that sprinting off the blogging grid was the right thing to do at the time (no regrets! some regrets! maybe!) but after lots of encouragement from Simon and close (dare I say bosom? yes, I dare) friends ... here we are.

My typing and writing muscles have atrophied to sad and flabby states so bear with Stella while she searches in vain for something resembling a groove.

To say I'm excited to be back in blogging action might be a bit of an understatement and it's all thanks to you and your kind and wonderful e-communications over these past few months. I owe you. Big. Here! A photo of my offspring to illustrate my enthusiasm ...

I can't wait to fill you in on livin' la vida Florida and I'm sure you can't either but couldn't wait to to show you that we're getting scarily good at taking photos with the kids ...

best out of 38.

Sebastian is routinely mistaken for a snowbird in the above uniform from which he rarely, rarely deviates. Phoebe has grown to know and love and obsess over all of Julia's shoes (so much so that Big Foot's been known to trot out to the van in a pair before her parents can catch her - see above). Theo and Julia have perfected their peaceful picture protest pouts. Bosco has been working tirelessly on his smolder and Grace is thoroughly enjoying the winter weather that has dared to dip into the 40's. Once.

God bless Florida.

And that's a wrap on the rusty return for now.

Thank you for reading, you have no idea how much it means to me!

a blog {post} about clogs

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17 September 2015

You can't deny it. Clogs are so hot right now. Or maybe they're not and my finger is on the pulse of alllll the wrong trends but I've had very teeny tiny handful of readers ask me to do a clog roundup ... so twist my people-pleasing arm.


 1. / 2. / 3. / 4. / 5. / 6. / 7. / 8.

I hope you read-sang that to the tune of a musical masterpiece by the master himself: Sisqo. If not -- can you share your class act with the rest of us? thanks.


I started wearing clogs in earnest during Phoebe's pregnancy, I believe? And have only let weather extremities stop me and my happy habit since then. I wear them with pants, leggings, dresses, sans or with socks ... basically the sky is the limit with the clog.

Yeah, Grace. You are SooooOOooOoOO crazy. Pants, pants ... AND pants!!

I know. Anyway, here's what I found ...

Dansko Madison - You can't deny the crazy comfort factor of the Dansko and lately they seem to be branching out beyond their standard professional clog (which I love too - despite not being a professional of any sort).

Dansko Marisol - again with the comfort and aesthetics. Win and win.

Dansko Professional  - love them. wear them all the time. don't care. And here's a fancier, more fun version too.

Lotta Aubergine high clogs (also on Amazon) - these are my ALL time favorites. The only reason I might wish for a slight dip in temperatures is so that I can throw these bad boys on. They look pretty high but they are super comfortable, promise.

Lotta low clog - added these to my collection because I saw someone wearing them and they looked GOOD. copycat forever.

Sandgren peep toes - I found a pair of Sandgrens on eBay last year (not this particular pair - the camel pair in two of the photos - but I do love them) and while I don't think my particular pair are as comfortable as my others ... I still wore them all the time when I was pregnant and it wasn't blazing hot outside.

Sandgren Rio Grande - Maybe I'm breaking a fashion rule here but I would totally wear these with tights.

Sandgren Lisbon - these too.

My ultimate ultimate clog thrift/eBay find would be to happen upon a pair of these because most ridiculous price ever. You never know, but I'll keep on dreaming.

Anyway, I know I'm missing a whole grip of other, better styles. Lay it on me ... if you care.

Thanks in advance!


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