Halloween 2K16

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31 October 2016

We're from Kansas and we are super original in our costume choices ...

... the most ferocious cowardly lion and Glinda with the good brows (her request ... )

Here we have Dorothy toting a greying Toto ...

... and a solo Dorothy (who chose to wear absolutely nothing under her dress - which we discovered at the end of the night)

Scarecrow and co. ...

... might I add that those are pants that Simon regularly wore when we met. He hasn't lost weight or anything ... I guess he was just a lover of the Jnco? I don't know. He now wears glorified spandex, as he calls them. Sorry I'm not really sorry that you're tortured by pants that fit, Sime.

And the witches in character ...

If you're in the market for a highly skilled makeup artist specializing in stage/costume makeup -- I MIGHT know a mom. I just might.

Other than our resident Tinman throwing a huge fit about taking photos, Dorothy being petrified of any and all dogs encountered while out and trick-or-treating about (every house), and the kids eating themselves into sugar comas ... we had a great Halloween.

I always keep my expectations niiiiiiice and low on nights like tonight so that we're generally pleasantly surprised by the end result and tonight was no exception. Phoebe kept calling it, "Doraween" (marrying Dorothy and Halloween) and it never ceased to be funny because she was so serious and earnest about it. Simon had no costume but at the last minute stapled straw from a hula skirt and patches from an old shirt all over his outfit and his costume might've turned out the best of all the rest.

I'm deep enough into Whole30 (day 22, bb) that the candy didn't tempt me (fine! the Swedish fish - they didn't look awful) but like every time I do a Whole30 - I get really fixated on cheese which is odd because I'm not a big cheese lover normally. I'm sure you were curious about all of that.

I hope you all had a wonderful Hallo/Doraween!!


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30 October 2016

Sebastian turned five today which naturally blew my mind because really and truly - he was just born yesterday. I always say it because it's always true. He was my easiest labor and delivery which seems to mirror his temperament and personality (most days!). He's easy to please and always thrilled to run menial errands with me or Simon because he's a big lover of one-on-one time. I have to drag him out of bed like a sleepy teenager in the mornings for school and coach him through getting dressed ("when I come back from chugging my coffee please have at least one sock on, please!!??") but by the time drop off rolls around he jumps out without as much as a glance in my direction. Bosco gets an occasional goodbye head pat, if he's lucky. He loves his teachers and classmates and if we ask him who he plays with the most he always answers, "everyone!" like it's the most obvious answer in the world. We went and had lunch with him at school on Friday and brought ice cream sandwiches to his class (sorry teachers - we are the worst) and I'm not sure I've ever seen him so happy in his birthday crown wearing his big birthday sticker that got transferred to all subsequent outfits until it officially lost its stick.

He wanted a heart-shaped cake (which works out very well because that's our only cake pan ... ) with "alternating strawberry and blueberry smiley face" and so, I delivered. He's been very consistent in this request and I'm guessing he must be logging less time on Pinterest than previous years because in the past it's always been, "oh just a train and dump truck 89 layer cake" etc. Bless you, simple cake requests. We let the kids make their own pizzas (if putting cheese and toppings on mom-rolled/sauced dough circles counts ... ) for dinner. Simon took the three older kids to a movie this afternoon which felt more like a birthday present to me because I could whip up the boxed cake and wrap presents in perfect peace and quiet. A new tradition is born? Please.

He asked for a trash truck and a teddy bear (didn't deliver on the teddy because we are at max stuffed animal capacity around here and he already has one) and was thrilled with his trash truck and the Magnatiles I finally sprung for after hearing so many good things about them. He got to stay up a little later for his birthday so he took the time to practice writing, "happy birthday Sebastian" and when he got stuck on "birthday" he asked Simon how to spell, "Sebastian is having a sad birthday" due to said frustration. Made us laugh like the parents that we are.

A lot of people (including myself) say that Bosco is the spitting image of Bash and if he grows up to be anything like him - he'll be a lucky kid.

Happy birthday sweet Sebastian! We're so thankful for you.


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28 October 2016

I know Halloween isn't until Monday but how could I resist utilizing the most clever and creative post title of all time? I couldn't. 

1. Last year's costumes. We've got: Snow White, Dr. Bash, Superman, Salt, and a most enthusiastic pepper. Believe it or not I think this year will be even less impressive. Believe it or NOT.

2. Simon was out of town for one night this week and I was allll excited to rent and watch Bad Moms but then my bubble was burst because - it's not for rent yet. Oops. Did you see it? Love/hate/eh?

3. Speaking of screen time, Simon and I are still enjoying Poldark (or, "P. Diddy" as Simon's dubbed it) but I see a lot of ugly foreshadowing that is making me very nervous for what's to come. The nature of a good show, I suppose.

4. So, I've been pretty loyal to my gel topcoats (nail polish, not outerwear) but Jolie got me hooked on this fast drying topcoat and this basecoat. I'm going on 1.5 weeks, lots of bathing the kittens, and no chips. Fluke or favorite new polish combo? Time will tell but I'm thinking the latter.

5. Okay so on the book front - always exciting! Always. I listened to One True Loves and give it 4/5 stars - quick and easy and engrossing. I've moved onto the The Light Between Oceans (am I the last person to have read it?) and it's slow to start but not at all boring. Oh! I've kept my Audible membership to supplement Overdrive's occasionally lengthy waitlists and I'm a fan. Simon and I can share books and I can easily return books even if I listened to them all the way through and didn't like them.

6. Did you see that Kayla came out of blogging retirement? If only for one post - it still made my whole entire week. And I've been considering reading Outlander but now I think I gotta.

7. If you haven't already -- don't forget to enter the Rack Room + Lily Jade giveaways. They're good ones.

Have a great weekend and best of last minute costuming luck if you're anything like yours truly. 

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!

Thanks for reading + playing, as always!

Win the Lily Jade of your Choice!

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."

all things in moderation (moderation included)

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18 October 2016

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again but I really was a truly wonderful mom before I had kids. Simon and I were actually great parents! We had it all figured out before our firstborn came on the scene. Our kitchen would be stocked with only the healthiest foods that the kids would love, obedience would never be an issue because how difficult could navigating the raising of tiny humans really be? And! Screen time? That's fine for other people but won't be for us, thank you very much.

And of course then the kids came along and the reality is that our youngest child would live off fruit snacks if we let him, we are constantly adjusting behavior/incentive charts for all the different temperaments under our roof, and we've found a happy balance with screens in our home. 

While we spend tons of time outside and go on walks as a family almost every night ...

... we've learned that sometimes a little supervised screen time is good for all parties involved.

However! I do have to admit that as the kids' tastes mature and they want to watch shows beyond the typical toddler favorites - Simon and I have a long and growing list of shows we won't allow for various reasons (bratty character behavior is a big one) which is why we were excited to try Toca TV.

The kids love and still play with their Sago Mini (Toca Boca's sister studio!) play set because it does such a great job of fostering imaginative play and I knew the creators of Toca TV would come up with exciting content that encourages learning and engagement. And they did!

Can you find Bosco?

There are kid-hosted shows, DIY crafts and recipes (right up Julia's alley) ...

"We're going to make that chocolate cake, Bash" ...

... silly songs (Phoebe's favorite), and tons more.

I love that the app doesn't rely on an algorithm to curate the content but uses a score card and a member of their team watches every single show to make sure it's right for kids. There's never any third party advertising or sponsored content and the app has been tested by hundreds of kids globally to ensure that all kids will love Toca TV.

You can try it for three free sessions by downloading the app here, subscriptions cost $4.99 a month and are easy to cancel at any point in time.

Toca TV was created for kids ages 5-9 (Sebastian will be 5 in two weeks!) so while I let the younger kids take a gander at the fun, the app is used predominately during the little kids' naps after the older kids' homework is done. I was excited to show them the recording and silly filter functions because if there's one thing my kids love it's recording long documentaries on my phone's video camera.

I know there are plenty of other preconceived parenting notions that we'll have to negotiate and adjust as the kids get older but it's nice to have a found a happy medium on the screen front for the time being.

Now if only we could convince Phoebe sitting back in the stroller is much more fun than bolting from her family on our nightly walks. If only.

A big thank you to Toca TV for sponsoring this post and to my brother, Andrew, for taking the photos!

Happy Tuesday!

Uncle(s) Awesome

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17 October 2016

I was tempted to title this: the funcles but, I didn't. I still told you though so - it sort of counts.

Phoebe is still going through, "an-chew" (Andrew) withdrawal.

I mentioned that my brothers came in town for the weekend last week and now I'm going to expound by way of a post and you were warned! You were warned.

Since Simon and I are both the oldest in our families and got married first and had kids first - sometimes we get kind of antsy for the kids to have cousins (although! they do have one that we are finally getting to meet at Thanksgiving - we cannot wait! She's so SO cute and getting off track - back to now) but we are the lucky recipients of lots of visits from their aunts and uncles - which is so much fun for everyone.

Bosco REALLY wanted to go into the bounce house (Phoebe would've gladly given him her spot - bounce houses are her hell) at the Oktoberfest we hit up over the weekend but he was too little so Uncle Dan let him bounce on the outside like the renegade Macgyver that he is ...


And here we have Uncle Andrew baby wearing, beer drinking, and bounce house supervising. He's a triple threat, eligible ladies of the world.

Andrew also managed to snag a ton of great photos of the kids - I love that he managed to snap a photo of Theo getting the football in the net the one time that he got the football in the net (ten tries in ... )

Before Bosco realized that he can easily climb up on the couch but getting down is a whole different ballgame ...

I think I might have to frame this one ...

She called him, "Paul Paul" (a different one of my brothers) the entire time but details, details.

It always catches me off guard when people ask if Phoebe and Theo are twins but this photo makes it seem a lot more plausible ...

she'll be towering over him in no time. Maybe.

And another keeper of Theo ...
... but my favorite part is that Phoebe is probably casually cutting up my driver's license or taking a sharpie to Julia's homework ... probably slash definitely. Also: Theo's nails.

You know you can't visit the Pattons without us dragging you out the beach ...

Andrew got to carry Bosco while Daniel got roped into pulling the wagon that most definitely tipped over once he hit the sand. Sorry, D. 

The best way to stop Bosco from eating sand?

Let him have is paci at at the beach. He keeps an iron grip on that sucker (punny) so don't start asking me what happens if it falls in the sand because - he makes sure it doesn't.

And for the grand finale ... a photo of everyone smiling wide.

thanks Patton boys.

The older two were also treated to a trip to the aquarium while the younger three napped and I'm not quite sure the house has ever been so gloriously quiet.

Come back soon, Andrew and PaulPaul Daniel. Everyone misses you already!


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