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!

Bosco {and all the other kids} at 3 months

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15 September 2015

I suppose the requisite, "I can't believe he's already three months old!" with a crying face emoji would be appropriate but the truth is, just as Simon predicted, that it's tough to imagine life before Bosco (bb) so ... I won't say it.

I know I'm going to jinx his behavior by typing this but the geriatric little man is totally making up for his first several fussy weeks. He's suddenly so pleasant and downright delightful ...

I catch him smiling at strangers all the time and is always fishing for attention which I'll gladly give (I was so engrossed in a super sappy + syrupy coo fest last week that I totally didn't hear the oven timer and managed to burn hard boiled eggs ... maybe I shouldn't admit that) whenever I can.

He knows exactly when all the other kids have gone down to bed and is up and ready to party with his parental units.

And we love it.

He's still on a sort of "sleep when I want" not-schedule during the day and the old Grace-mom of Patton babies past would be going crazy with the lack of regimentation in our day but suddenly the energy required of watching a baby seems so easy breezy compared to the energy and vigilance required to watch the older kids so I don't mind at all. But, I should nip the cat naps at some point. Soon!

He wakes up once or twice at night and goes down fairly easily with the exception of last night when Simon and I were both staring at each other like it was the first night at home with Julia and we just didn't know quite how to deal with a screaming baby. Luckily, it was short-lived.

He still loves being swaddled (favorite super stretchy blankets) and will happily take a pacifier (these and these are his plugs of choice), he's a big fan of being worn, and he might be our best car baby which is SO VERY APPRECIATED. Thank you, sweet baby Bosco.

And now, because siblinghood is a competitive sport, let's take a look back at the others at the three month mark.

I think Bosco looks MOST like present-day Sebastian but after looking through these I think he looks NOTHING like baby Bash and most like baby Julia ... let's take a gander, shall we?

Julia at three months.

Sebastian at three months.

Theo at (you guessed it!) three months.

And our petite Phoebe ...

We had to get strategic about getting those thighs out of there. Also, I really hope Julia is detangling that mop of hair.

Anyway, happy 1/4 of a year Bosco! We're {still!} so glad you're here.

a new normal

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14 September 2015

We're almost three months into living la vida Florida and I have to admit that it feels like quite a bit longer because it's taken us NO time at all to happily acclimate to having Simon around a whole lot more. The weeks filled with the dread for the weekend-o-work that bled into another long week are long gone and we find ourselves asking each other, "sooo what should we do this weekend?!" quite a bit. It's like a whole new world.

This past weekend lent itself to the tiniest bit of adventuring on Friday night when we decided to drive and park a mile from a playground downtown, walk to said playground, have a picnic, and walk to to the car and drive home. Yes, a grand adventure.

We parked, loaded our caravan (three kids in the jogger, two kids in the beach wagon), encountered flights of stairs, rerouted ourselves, got almost to our destination when we noticed that one of the jogger tires was on the verge of exploding (because of the heat? not sure) and then suddenly it was flat so .... it made for a fun walk back.

At the playground. Plotting exactly how many kids he could fit in his pockets.

The kids hated the fountains (misters? technical term?)

Phoebe required not one but TWO swim shirts on her person.

And this would be such a great picture if only Theo wasn't pre-tantrum, Bosco was magically frolicking about, and Phoebe wasn't about to pick up that random Chick-Fil-A cup ...

If only.

(I grabbed the cup before she did ... feline like sprinting and reflexes)

On the s-l-o-w walk back Julia gave Theo an elocution lesson on all the important words in life, "Theo say 'JU-LEE-UH'" ... "Theo say, 'Par-KING LAWT'" ... "Theo say, 'POOP'" ... etc.  Which had Theo like ...


Onward to Saturday when I got bit by the baking bug not once but twice. The kids had never had monkey bread and we had some biscuits on the verge of expiring in the fridge and so ... the shoe fit.

Unfortunately, I started the tiniest bit of an oven fire. Simon might not call it tiny but he handled it and the bread went unscathed. And since that had been such a success I decided to jump on the pumpkin ship that everyone is hopping and make some pumpkin bread.

I only forgot the sugar and accidentally more than doubled the baking soda so not even the whipped (whiffed - as Julia calls it, where's her pronunciation skill set NOW?) cream topping could save the seasonal delight. I don't know how I do it either.

After polling the Facebook page for show/movie recs Simon and I decided to start The Americans (I only had to close my eyes ~5 times ... not bad!) and I watched Catastrophe while Simon went to a Notre Dame game watch. Both winners, so far!

We continued working on getting Julia's people's arms out of their ears ...

work in progress.

And I capped the weekend off last night by taking the trash outside and immediately feeling something wiggle underneath my foot and oh, just a SNAKE. A gross black snake that is apparently common around here. I did what any rational human would do and I shrieked, watch it dance + coil about, and then ran inside to do some Googling ...

Solidarity J ALLMON. Solidarity. {I believe it was a black racer snake and I don't care how harmless they are ... or how hot it is outside ... steel toed boots from here on out}

Anyway, I know it's tough to top but at the very least I hope your weekend was just as magical. (Minus the reptilian horror show.)

creature of habit

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10 September 2015

tunic c/o White Plum
bag c/o Lily Jade
watch c/o Jord
hair c/o needs to be cut

tunic c/o White Plum

tunic - c/o White Plum

I'll never forget reading an interview with Jennifer Aniston many years ago that talked about her favorite things to eat on the set of Friends and she revealed that she ate a Cobb salad every single day because she was a creature of habit. Only the heady things I read really stick with me through the years but as a fellow creature of habit that is happy to eat/wear/do the same things almost every day I could relate. Can you hear her care? Me too. My latest daily easy breezy wear is the (hopefully!) timeless tunic {and clogs - but that's a whole different post or three}. I believe the two top "tunics" are actually dresses but I felt a little more public/playground/mom appropriate wearing them with jeans. 

I relied on White Plum tunics so much for the last weeks of my pregnancy that I had to get strategic about when I wore which one lest Julia and Sebastian's preschool teachers thought I only fit into two tops (which was, um - the truth) and they've been great for the postpartum period as well. 

I know there's a lot of "leggings aren't pants" debates raging all over the internet but the White Plum tunics definitely keep things covered enough so that you can rock the leggings in place of pants and not feel like you're making some scandalous fashion faux pas (I don't care either way ... you do/wear what you want!). 

I will admit that I wear leggings as pants allllll the time around the house and nothing beats the soft feel and fun patterns of White Plum's inventory. Julia has a few pairs that have retained their stretch and bright colors even after a couple of years of lots of wash and lots of wear. 

September is the new December, especially in Florida. 

I've blogged about White Plum several times before because they never let me down no matter what season of life I'm in (pregnant, postpartum, notpregnant, notpartum) with their happy selection of trendy but sensible pieces. 

Every time I do a post and they give a discount code for the Camp's readers I always end up using it myself because I'm a such a sucker for their stuff. I found the best dress for Phoebe's baptism last year and can't wait to fit into my scalloped shorts from last summer either.

If you're so inclined, Camp Patton readers can get 25% off their entire order until 9/18 with code: 25OFFCP and White Plum is giving away a $150 credit to a lucky Camp Patton reader. Rafflecopter your hearts out and have a wonderful day! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 Day Fix {my results, tips, and tricks}

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09 September 2015

The first time I saw something about the 21 Day Fix I was deep in the throes of a glutinous pregnancy with Bosco and was intrigued but not intrigued enough to put down my glazed donut and look into it any further. I'd like to blame the move and having the house on the market for a taxing (joke alert, folks) three weeks but for whatever reason (excuses for trimesters) I just really ate whatever I/"the baby" fancied with Bosco. It was fine and really fun and my saint of an OB never said anything about the double digit gains between appointments but then came the baby and I felt like crap. I did two Whole30s at the beginning of my pregnancy which really helped to curb my morning sickness but I think I sort of made up for lost carby time in the latter half of the gestational period.

So, fast forward to about a month ago when I got an email from a resident's wife (hi Chelsea!) who has four very small children and a husband who not only works crazy hours but works those hours at an AWAY rotation. Like ... out of the town. For weeks at a time. Which made me feel like I was a real infant in the face of Simon's residency hours because at the very least he would get to come home at the end of his shifts. She wasn't pitchy at all but told me about the 21 Day Fix and how much she loved it and I figured if she could hack it while essentially single parenting ... my excuse well was dry. So, I did it.

I'm not going to explain it all in detail but the general gist (and you can read more here!) is that you eat a set amount of different food groups each day which sounds terrible and tedious and who has the time? Luckily, many had gone before me so I scoured Pinterest for meal plans and tailored them to my preferences and soon was able to just eyeball the portions and it really wasn't tedious or terrible at ALL.

Loosely the containers stand for:
Green (largest) - veggies
Purple (next size down) - fruit
Red (next size down) - protein
Yellow (next size down) - healthy carbs
Blue (next size - you get it) - healthy fats (cheese, avocado, nuts)
Orange - dressings, oil, and seeds

Also, there are daily workouts (30 minutes each) that accompany the food plan and while I'm slowly coming out of my SUPER-out-of-shape slump ... I could handle them just fine.

So, I have to confess that I probably did more of an elementary edition of the 21 Day Fix but it was really doable and I was never ever counting the days until I was finished nor was I wishing I hadn't committed.

If you're wanting to follow in my footsteps ... here's what I recommend for maximum success

Simon's hands. And Simon's meal that he made. Grace food photography skills are getting better by the day.

1. do a whole30 first ... kidding. mostly! But, if you've done a Whole30 then you'll find the meal plan to be really easy because there's the glorious "yellow container" which gives a little complex carb wiggle room (think: beans, brown rice, quinoa, wine, whole wheat tortillas, etc) and really helped me to not even be tempted to cheat because I already felt like the yellow container WAS cheating. But, no - you don't need to do a Whole30 first but do enjoy that yellow container!

2. it's okay to eat frozen ... a lot of people might disagree with me here but I'm guilty of chowing down on (formerly) frozen veggies because I'm not a fresh veggie connoisseur and while in a perfect world I'd have the correct produce at my fingertips every hour of every day ... sometimes it doesn't happen. I get a big thing of spinach or kale from Costco and divide it up and freeze it and toss it into my Shakeology too.

3. drink dinner ... while Shakeology isn't a must of the program it was really key for me because I made it for my dinner which filled me up and I was good with water for the rest of the night.

(this is about 1/4 of a shake - Julia likes to have one of her own for dessert) Chelsea told me she loved Chocolate Vegan and I did too (although - not vegan, no plans to be one)

I know the morning might be the best time for a lot of people to have a quick and filling meal on hand especially if you work out of the house and need something super snappy but I usually make a grip of soft boiled eggs for me and the kids that don't hate eggs and I'm good.

brown rice/quinoa mix (the microwaveable bag kind hashtag judge me), soft boiled egg, and sugar snap peas for an afternoon snack.

4. double dip during the workouts ... this might technically be frowned upon but I was WAY more motivated to get my workout in if I watched something on my laptop at the same time. I don't want put anyone in a situation where they might be tempted to sin BUT ...

... I understand if your jelly radars are going wild right about now with that big screen. Anyway, Bachelor in Paradise was my poison of choice.

On the days I went to barre class I sometimes skipped especially if Bosco was having a super fussy evening and there were a couple days that I opted to push the kids a few miles in the triple jogger just to get out of the house ... I don't advocate skipping but life happens. I'm still nursing Bosco (although not exclusively - I wish! and yes, I've tried allll the tricks, thanks) and didn't find that my supply dipped at all and as pathetic as you might think it is - this is the longest I've ever been able to nurse one of the kids which is a supply feat for bad cow Grace. I can't say if your supply will suffer if you're exclusively nursing - because I'm not you or an expert.

frozen kale, frozen fruit, plain greek yogurt, hidden non-frozen banana, and water ... party in a pitcher

Anyway, were there days that I didn't get all my vegetables in? Yes. Did I probably go over my fruit intake on occasion? Yep. Did I eat that slice of Dominos pizza because I didn't want to be the weirdo in the crowd that politely declined? Of course. Did I count iceberg lettuce as a vegetable? Totally. Did I do EVERY single modification the workouts offered? Y-E-S. And I'm sure there are some venials I'm forgetting but overall I stuck with it and refused to obsess over results but ultimately I lost seven pounds and seven inches and am out of all but one pair of my maternity jeans. I'm going for another round starting on September 14th and was part of an awesome Facebook group that was so encouraging and offered great tips because everyone is in the same busy + overwhelmed boat these days. You can get the whole package here and unless you know a coach personally and want to go with them ... I know Chelsea would appreciate if you kept her id# (646894) checked so that she can be your drill sergeant of a coach. Joke. She really is the best and answered all my annoying email questions really fast. Lightning fast. She's not paying me to say this ... I'm just a big fan of the program. I need structure and rules to jolt me out of my sedentary state and bad habits and this was perfect because it didn't feel impossible.

I might slip in my before and after photos when the post isn't at the top of the blog because I'm a chicken. We'll see!

Okay, I won't say happy hump day because apparently a lot of people hate that but happy plain old Wednesday to you instead.

click clack

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07 September 2015

Happy Labor Day!

We celebrated over here with pancakes (I made these! while Simon made the traditional Bisquick variety for the rest of the crew) and closet purges which makes for an almost perfect day in Graceland. I usually hate 3 day weekends because it always feels like Simon is working extra long hours (not always but glass half empty forever) but not this weekend and so, my heart has softened. For now. Simon took the three older kids to see the Minions ("worst kids movie I've ever seen ... and I'll watch anything" was his glowing review) while I stayed home and explained to Phoebe over and and over again that you can only fit one shoe on one foot ... that mathematical logic just doesn't want to sink in.

Anyway. Onward and outward to the wilds of the internet.

I've never paid much attention to the Labor Day sales but ever since I bought this jacket last year I regretted not getting it in blue because it's such a great fit and has a hood that zips out of the collar so it's perfect for all the rain down here. I just saw that it's back and on sale so ... I paid attention this year.

Fine, and after seeing almost every e-person under the sun wearing various versions of this shirt ... I'm tempted to snag that too.

And since I'm always and forever on the search for t-shirts for Simon that he doesn't deem too tight/short/long/low cut (?????) ... I might have to try one of these. We'll see!

I'm so, so, so, SO excited about this!

In honor of the day's namesake ... I can't resist linking to all the Patton birth stories along with the link-up that now has 350+ (!!!!) stories to peruse. And if that's not enough ... Jenny's is a new favorite of mine. Mama can WRITE.

If there were a way to copy + paste an entire Pinterest board onto my own ... the first board I'd thieve would be this one.

I'm guessing you've seen it but this Instagram account is on fleek. Or funny .. if you speak boring adult like I do.

I won't make you suffer through an entire beach post (but there's always NEXT Monday ... ) but we took my brother to the world's largest sound machine on Saturday. The girls couldn't wait to try out their new suits ...

that the kind folks at Swimzip sent them ...

and Phoebe wanted to reign high and mighty on her beach blanket.

Aaaand I'd have more photos but both Phoebe and Bosco were in super rare SUPER high needs form and my hands were (you guessed it!) full. Next time, kids! Next time.

Have a happy rest of your day.

around the casa

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04 September 2015

I know I've told you this story before but I'll never forget when I was little (but old enough to remember, obviously) that my mom came home with a really short haircut and told us kids that she'd kindly let a blind man cut her hair with a butcher knife.

Cue horror and speechless gawking from her gullible little angels.

Eventually she cracked and told us the truth but the moral of the tangent is that I feel exactly like that imaginary blind man hacking away at the house with a butcher knife because my eye for design is all but blind. I'm always trying to find a super happy medium between needing the house to be kid friendly and wanting it to feel more like a home and less like a toy/laundry/food/laundry/toy prison

Luckily, I employed the help of my design savvy sister-in-law, Mary, to help me pick out a few house-to-home helpers from Lulu & Georgia. Although, the truth is that it's virtually impossible to go wrong with their inventory because it's all pretty stellar.

First up!

No, not our wedding photo or my fake little tree but the Sweet Daisy Pillow adorning the chair. I'd put one in every room of the house if I could because it's so cheery.

Next! This was actually Simon's pick ...

This fun whale print in the dining room. Sorry for the double tree appearance ... I change my mind about its living quarters on the daily.

We've got two living areas in the house and a few days after moving in I made the executive decision to make the smaller space a playroom of sorts. Or just a playroom - no sorts. The kids have a few books and their special stuffed animals and dolls in their rooms but that's it. All toys in here, please and thank you. It's worked out well thus far. So, if you turn directly around from where I snapped the whale print photo there's a couple stairs leading down into the play area (plarea?) ...

Initially I had a HUGE area rug with an admittedly (sort of!) ugly southwestern print in here that Simon found to be less than aesthetically acceptable so off to the Craigslist listings it went and in with this more neutral and size appropriate Adams Reversible Rug in Sky. Much, much better.

Also, as much as I'd love to get rid of our pleather sofa, it's a dream for when (not if!) the kids spill forbidden food + drink all over it so I spruced it up a bit with these Mint Lyrica Pillows ...

And one of the kids favorite things to do is build elaborate pillow beds for themselves or their stuffed animal kingdoms so I feel like somewhat of a Cruella getting rid of all of our pillows or throwing them in a closet so practical solution by way of this mint wire basket ...


I love having a rocker/glider in the living room to rock Bosco but it's pretty much the first thing you see when you walk in the front door so I put this Trina Turk Arcata Embroidered Pillow on it ...

... and it serves the dual purpose of: lumbar support and pop-o-rocker-color.

And lastly, I never ever would've picked this Adana Pink Lemonade Pillow out on my own but Mary pointed it out to me and I'm so glad I took her advice because it brightens up our room and white bedding a bit ...

... aside from, you know - the bright turquoise dresser. Mary thought it would look great on a couch too so the pleather might get a facelift and we might steal the mint pillows if/when we're feeling wild and spontaneous. Pattons be crazy, on occasion.

Simon says our house feels our decor style is "dorm room" but I think we're slowly and surely traipsing away from college chic. Many thanks to Lulu & Georgia and Mary's expert e-opinion!

Lulu & Georgia is giving away a $250 credit to a lucky Camp reader ... you know the rafflecopter road by now, I hope!

Good luck and happy, happy weekend!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a few more shades of Lily Jade ...

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01 September 2015

shoes & shades - Amazon
Bosco's getup - c/o June & January

Is that enough Grace for you? Well, Grace + Bosco with a dollop of Phoebe. Phoebe who is following in Sebastian's renegade footsteps and refusing to hold my hand ever ever EVER which makes for interesting outings but, always digressing around here.

If you've lent your reading eyes to the Camp for any amount of time you probably know what a huge superfan I am when it comes to Lily Jade diaper bags. Whenever someone asks about my "purse" and I have to admit that it's technically a diaper bag -- they are always amazed.

I was so excited when I heard they were rolling out new bag styles and was even more excited that I get to test drive a couple of them. They really listened to their customers wants (gold hardware!) and needs (bigger bags!) and debuted their biggest bag yet (bottom two photos: the Meggan) along with my new favorite (top photos) the Rosie and the Shaley (not pictured). 

Both the Meggan and the Shaley have the backpack option and the Meggan has a ton of space ... more than any of their other bags and comes in both black and brandy (pictured).

The Rosie is great for everyday running around and I've caught Phoebe wearing it around the house a number of times because I think she senses it's my personal favorite. I like to think I'm a light diaper bag packer but I know I'm not ... and it's plenty roomy for me! I love the camel color but it comes in brandy too!

All of the new bags come with their signature baby bag that has pockets galore along with a changing pad and is washing machine safe, thankfully!

ALL of their bags are on sale for a limited time right now and not that I'm an expert but I'm happy to answer any questions you might have about any of their bags.

And for the cherry on top ... I'm hosting a giveaway over on Instagram for the bag of your choice AND a bag for a friend so click on over if you'd like. 

Merry Tuesday to you and yours. 


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