late {spring} breaking

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20 April 2017

1. Greetings from the tail end of a wildly uneventful spring break. On Wednesday evening I took the kids to the playground and as Bosco did his little run/walk/fast arm swing onto the premises I noticed that he had a partially eaten Dum Dum stuck to the back of his shorts - which I think kind of sums the week up nicely. Next year I'm going to be proactive about planning something and might some of Simon's vacation time align nicely with the Spring Break 2k18? It just MIGHT :)

Anyway, overall it's been a nice break from the morning hustle and a little impetus to get my routine ducks in a row for the summer.

2. I'll tell you one Patton that has been l-o-v-i-n-g having everyone home ...

D-I-E-G-O and Diego was his name-o.

3. Simon keeps saying we should sign Julia up for art classes this summer and after rounding the corner today to find her making Diego sit for a portrait ... I guess he might have a bit of a point.

4. Thank you all for your wonderful and thoughtful suggestions on Kate's name post - I feel like our short list got quite a big longer which is a nice change from the first two trimesters.

5. I'm almost finished with America's First Daughter FINALLY. Longest I've ever taken to read a book? I believe so. I sort of cheated and started another Nancy Thayer book which I'm enjoying as kind of a vapid little breather.

6. As suspected - the maternity dress of my dreams went on sale (and the rest of the store is 40% off too! with the code: GETHAPPY) - glad I waited! Also, I wouldn't say I'm in the home stretch of this pregnancy but combine the heat (not a complaint - bring on the heat vs. the cold, always) with my rapidly growing persons and I'm looking to the skirt genre to keep me company from here on out and this non-maternity skirt has been a bit of a Godsend. Don't let the photo fool you because the model is tall - I'm 5'7'' and it hits just above my knee when worn under (not over!) el bump. And it will be perfect for postpartum/nursing - I think! I think.

7. I hate to keep cross posting from the Sale Rack BUT ... sometimes I can't help myself. These shorts have been a kid favorite around here for both the boys and the girls. They are marked down from $15 to $9 (and I'm sure they'll be discounted further eventually!). And pretty much the only time I let myself take a little look - when Anthropologie runs their 40% off clearance items sale and that time is now!

 ... Alright - that's that! We've got a birthday to prep for along with some family coming to town and I hope you have some fun plans on deck too!

Linking up with Kelly!

pretty in pink

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19 April 2017

Should I admit that I was v. v. v. tempted to title this, "piggies in pink?"


I won't. 

My love and admiration for all things pink/blush/champagne/dusty rose/shall I go on is still shining bright like a candle in the trendy wind and so after I caught myself bookmarking yet another pair of light pink footwear - I thought I'd share. 

1. Splendid Jody - I feel like I could call every pair my favorite but I do really love these. I have a couple pairs of espadrilles from this brand and can vouch for their comfort and quality. Phoebe says these are her favorite so that should count for something.

2. Bahamas Flats - okay I actually bought these but sent them back because they were a size too big (although now they would probably fit given the pregnancy swelling) but I LOVED them. They were super comfortable and cute with jeans/dresses etc. Maybe I'll gift myself a push present by the name of Bahama? Maybe I will. If you're not down with the plat/flatform here's a slightly sportier pair with a little more ventilation to boot (har har har, g$)

3. Minnetonka Marinas - Julia had the kids version of these last year and wore them every chance she got (a positive in my book because it means she can put them on herself and they are comfortable) I love the slight wedge but that they still look long-periods-of-time wearable. You know? I know you do.

4. Melenda Flats - maybe not super practical but you can't argue that aren't CUTE and a lot cheaper than a lot of similar styles I keep seeing popping up.

5. Asics - because I wear tennis shoes a good portion of every single day I always try to bridge the gap between practical and cute and I think these fit the bill. Right? Right.

6. Wedge Sandal - I might always be a sucker for a pretty wedge.

7. Coconuts cross strap platform - I have a pair very, very similar to this but the pink is just a lot more fun, I think.

8. suede espadrille - If'/when espadrilles go out of style will be a sad, sad day in Graceland because I love them. I'm still holding out hope that Target brings back my favorite pair from last summer but if not - these will be mighty tempting.

Of note! These pretty chucks are currently 40% off if you're looking for a fun twist on the traditional white that everyone seemed to be rocking the past few summers.

And I'll leave you with that! Julia has requested that I go hunt for some purple footwear so -- duty calls!



what's in a name?

17 April 2017

This is baby Bosco -- I'm still very much cooking the current Patton baby and have the boneless ankles to show for it.

Anyway, I'd hate to be irreverent and say that I've been looking forward to Easter Monday because of this post more than Easter Sunday but between you and me -- maybe I have. Kate oh SO generously offered to do a name consultation for this baby and I was so excited because I had so much fun reading and studying and rereading the one she did for Bosco that I knew she wouldn't disappoint this time around.


Dare I say she's outdone herself?

I dare.

She totally pegged a few names that Simon and I have since brought up and I always love her nickname suggestions too. I just love talking baby names in general.

Even if you're not Catholic or aren't into Catholic baby names - she's still a wizard (yes, I read all the other baby naming blogs/sites!) and I love all of her posts.

Alright - head over and tell me what you think! I'm closing comments here but I'd love to hear from you over there! I can't wait to present Simon with the post/comments/a beer or three tonight to hash them all out. Open-mouthed cackle.

Happy Monday!!!

Happy Easter!!!

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16 April 2017

I'm going above and beyond the ubiquitous call of duty here and in lieu of a cute family photo (all of which I love and heart/like with reckless abandon) on social media - I'm going to post a mediocre photo of my kids on my blog. Behind the curve? ALWAYS.

Our Easter morning began around 12:05am when one Phoebe Patton took it upon herself to pop out of bed, rearrange the Easter baskets so that she got two Easter baskets, Julia's bike helmet, and the lion's share of candy. I stumbled out to find her happily admiring her handiwork and promptly steered her back to her bottom bunk where she mercifully stayed for the next seven hours.

Other highlights include but are not limited to:

+ a well-balanced breakfast of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls & Asparagus Benedict & Reese's Eggs

+ the kids having lots of questions about the Easter Bunny since some nosy kids had spotted their baskets in our closet

+ Diego QUICKLY learning how to open plastic eggs and attempt to devour the contents (no chocolate + I'm quicker, luckily)

+ Bosco sneaking enough jelly beans to last him until Easter of 2k18 - not napping and happily going to bed at 6:18pm.

+ after Jessie pointed out that this non-maternity dress works really well as maternity (even third trimester maternity) and me realizing that I had it hanging in my closet (what are the odds?!) so that I didn't have to wear a dress one shade lighter than black on Easter morning.

+ hearing one of the best homilies in recent or even distant memory at Mass. If a recording or transcript becomes available - I'll be sure to let you all know! Like it or not :)

+ Only one kid practically gagging at dinner which was understandable because it wasn't awesome. I tried, I tried!

+ Julia loving and quickly finishing the Princess in Black book she got (thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions last week - who knew Junie B. Jones was such a polarizing gal? Not I!)

+ Simon asking if I was going for a von Trapp look for the boys once he saw them decked in their Easter finery ...

Anyone recognize Julia's dress from her Glinda costume?

I didn't think so (she was worried ... )

And I think that about does it! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!!

the beach, burning questions, and books galore

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08 April 2017

1. Simon's brother and his wife (they have names: Andrew and Becca) came to visit last weekend and we had such a fun time. They brought their dog Truman so we decided to take the dogs with us to a dog-friendly beach ...

... Diego loves baths and if a shower door is left open he does NOT hesitate to waltz right in but I don't think he was quite prepared for the ocean water he leapt into with reckless abandon. Luckily, Andrew was right there to help him doggy paddle to shore (he stayed out of the water for the rest of the trip) but I can't look at this photo without letting out a cackle because I just hear his internal, "wtf wtf wtf wtf" like the crazy furmom that I think I am.

Moscow muling it up on the porch with Truman ...

Phoebe and Sebastian didn't understand why they couldn't have "just a little" vodka to call their own. On Saturday morning Simon and Andrew took all the kids on a bike ride (4 kids split among two trailers and Bosco in a bike seat and the older kids bikes strapped to the trailers for trail riding later) and rode to a park downtown. Will Simon always be the fun parent? ALWAYS.

Now you can rest easy knowing the nitty gritty of our weekend.

2. I'm still reading America's First Daughter and am really, really enjoying it. I've (very happily) taken to napping when the little kids nap in the early afternoons so my reading time has taken a big hit but I've been staying up a little bit later than I should to read, "just one more chapter" - you know how that goes. Also! The Magic of Motherhood came in the mail this week and it's such a good one to have around/gift to all your mom friends etc. I love that it's hardcover and has a built in bookmark - so smart, those moms!

3. You all always have the best book recs and have to ask since this is new territory for me but was hoping you could steer me in the direction of chapter books for Julia. Bonus if they hold the attention of any of the other kids because she prefers to read them out loud to anyone that will listen.

4. I've spent too much time thinking and Googling up a storm about this but our four bar stools (ours are turquoise) in the kitchen are super crowded and don't totally fit because of a curve in the counter which always leave one kid sitting at an odd angle so I'm hoping to find a slimmer design (smaller than 17 inches wide) and so far it looks like these are my best bet or these wooden ones and I love the idea of these but know that the practicality level of those is pretty much zero - maybe less. Maybe you've found these magical stools? Nothing that swivels is pretty much the only other requirement.

5. I have no idea if baseball tees are past their prime (or on their way back? I definitely rocked one for yearS in high school and thinking the 3/4 length sleeves were so edgy like the coolia that I was) but these are more than 1/2 off and I kind of love the lavender.

6. 50% off sale styles right on over here. I wish this dress was included but I know it will go on super sale eventually - that's just how LOFT rolls. I know you know. It's a good time to take advantage of the Gap/Old Navy site wide (no exclusions) 40% off sale because a lot of things are already on sale so you can double dip and you score some Old Navy/Gap cash in the process. Win/win/win. I'm curious to know how these flares compare to my favorite Madewell pair.

7. And finally - crossposted from the Sale Rack but Target's shoes are buy one get one 50% off for the whole family at the moment. I got these for Theo at the last minute for Emily's wedding when I realized his dress shoes were too small and was pleasantly surprised that they slip on and he can put them on himself. Also - these wedges are super cute and I can walk in them and they are on clearance (clearance items are included in the promo :)).

As Theo would say with a sigh, "alRIGHT ... " have a great remainder of your weekend!

Linking up with Kelly!

Easter Outfit Ideas: kids edition

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05 April 2017

I don't know about YOU but despite the smoke signals and blaring flares that is the 40 days and 40 nights of oh I don't know - LENT ... Easter always seems to sneak up on me. Or maybe it's just Easter morning and the mad dash to leave early enough to get a seated spot at church with everyone wearing something a little nicer than our usual Sunday garb. I have vivid memories of donning a white hat and white patent leather shoes as a girl and while I haven't passed along that fashionable tradition to my girls (yet!!) it's fun to try and find pretty but practical outfits that they'll wear throughout the summer too. I tried to make sure the dresses weren't too summery because we've gone to many an Easter morning mass having to wear tights and (cringe) boots thanks to some unspring-like storms.

I know there's a whole bunch of cute boys' clothing out there these days but I've never been awesome at finding it. I did my best but I'd love to hear if you've found any winners for your mini men. floral romper - for the lady babies. Something slightly off the beaten pink/white dress path (see below though). I always feel bad putting my crawlers in dresses because it's nearly impossible to crawl in a dress so I love to idea of a romper paired with a cardigan and tights for cooler climates. 

2. romper with tassels - same as above with a little bit of flare.

3. baby/toddler outfit with suspenders - I had great, great luck with finding cute boys' stuff for my sister's wedding at H&M (and they include the return label in the package which I REALLY appreciate) that washes and wears really well. It runs a little big but I was excited when I found this for Bosco.

4. baby boy romper - can't beat the quality of Mini Boden and this is about as sweet as it gets.

5. embroidered yoke dress (also comes in pink) - I've already dedicated a whole post to my love for embroidery and while a lot of people would argue that white is a dumb color/way to dress kids - I've found it's the easiest to keep clean with the help of bleach pens and bleach.

6. toddler tutu dress - both of my girls love tutu dresses and would wear them daily if they could.

7. skinny khakis - I've found that these fit well without looking like leggings and look find cuffed if they are a little long. Also - they come in a million colors.

8. shirt + bowtie set - sets can be a little cheesy looking but I thought this was one was cute.

9. gingham shirt + bowtie set - and then I saw this one and thought it was even cuter.

10. pink lace baby doll dress - believe it or not I've found some really cute dresses as Forever 21 for Julia - they passed the "wash and dry and didn't shrink up to crop tops" test too. Win/win.

11. girl's floral collared dress - a dress that I imagine would get passed down for years to come because of the quality and timeless nature of the pattern. Or maybe I'm imagining wrong - there's a first time for everything.

12. boy's chambray shirt - I did a post with Boden a few years ago and Simon still wears his shirt almost weekly for work and it still looks brand new. I love their boys button-ups because they can be left in the dryer for days and still not look like the wrinkled mess that they should.

13. boy's stretch khakis - for the older boys - love that these have a little stretch.

All she wrote. I've found very little on the maternity dress front in the way of floral/pastel/remotely cute so I'll probably wear my go-to with fun jewelry because I know it's been keeping you up at night.

Happy Wednesday, party people.

out like a lamb

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30 March 2017

1. After Bosco gave Diego one of Phoebe's prized My Little Ponies to gnaw on. Proud? Very. Camp Crazy? Always. 

2. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the price of this romper and even though I'm really feeling baby boy vibes I couldn't resist - it came today and isn't cheaply made at all and I just saw the brand makes a whole bunch of super cute summer rompers -- in case you have a baby girl or are having one or know one or or OR.

3. I'm in the middle of reading My Not So Perfect Life which I'm liking (but expected to love! I guess there's still time) but snagged Everything We Keep for free on Amazon (Kindle edition - I just use the free phone app) and stayed up way too late to finish it so I guess it's safe to say I enjoyed it. Next up is America's First Daughter. There are a ton of great suggestions over on my Facebook page too.

4. One of my good friends just opened the sweetest shop in time for Easter! Her prices are some of the lowest I've seen and I asked her if I could share here and she said sure! And is giving readers a 10% discount with code: CAMPPATTON. Yay and bigger yay :)

5. Someone left a comment asking about my favorite mom blogs and I do have a list of blogs I frequent down a bit in my sidebar but it's in dire need of an update so if you've got a favorite mom (or other) blog - or if YOU have a blog that you post on with some regularity -- I'm all eyes!!!

6. Did you see this clip of Nick and Vanessa (Vanick?) playing a drinking game on Ellen? They don't agree on much but I'm still holding out hope that they live happily ever after like the hopeless idiot that I am ...

7. I posted about this in the Sale Rack group but there's an extra 50% off clearance sale (code: ALLMINE) going on at one of my favorite places to shop for Simon and the kids. They often run 40% off clearance but 50%? Yee haw. These tops are $8.50 and the girls wore the long sleeve version all fall/winter - so happy they came out with a warm weather style. 

Hope you've got some fun weekend plans in the works!!

Linking up with Kelly!

if you like pineapple salsa ...

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29 March 2017

I know I've said it before and I know I'll say it again but I am a classic and predictable creature of habit - in almost all aspects of life. I thrive on routine, I like to make and stick to plans, and am admittedly not awesome about deviating from our norm. I'm working on it but - I've also accepted that it's just how I work best. Fortunately or unfortunately - depending on who you ask - this mentality seeps into my cooking and meal planning week after week after week. I cook what I know because it feels easiest at the moment but I've come to realize that a little bit of experimentation can go a long way in the food department.

enjoying a little in-home lunch date after putting the kids down for naps like the thoughtful parents that we are. 

I've blogged several times about our love for Blue Apron and this particular recipe wasn't something I'd ever think to put together but turned out to be a big hit. Presenting ... 

Pork and Cabbage Tacos with Pineapple and Pickled Jalapeño Salsa. 

Without fail, every single time I tell Simon what the Blue Apron dish du jour is going to be he kind of wrinkles his brow and says, "that should be interesting ... " and without fail, every single time when we sit down and eat he says, "oh, this is actually REALLY good ... we need to make this a regular meal ... "

the skeptic at expressive work.

We are big taco fans and don't limit ourselves to just taco Tuesdays around here so the twist was a fun and almost necessary changeup from our usual go-to recipe. I've had mango salsa before but the pineapple tasted lighter and complemented the crisp cabbage well. Yes, I watch and memorize lines from cooking show critics in my spare time. 

In the highly unlikely event that you aren't familiar with Blue Apron, allow me to educate the masses:

Blue Apron is a wonderful service that delivers farm fresh ingredients right to your doorstep, perfectly portioned, along with beautiful chef-designed recipes to create the most delicious meals
+ there are two plans: the 2-person plan and the family plan and everything arrives in a refrigerated box (it stays impressively cool on our porch in the Florida heat!)
+ They are currently working toward developing a sustainable food system and use very high quality ingredients - you can check out their vision page here!
Blue Apron has a huge selection of recipes and is always adding to their rotation every week
+ There's absolutely no commitment and you can skip or cancel at any time
+ All of their meals are between 500-800 calories per serving and take up to 40 minutes to prepare (usually less - in our experience!)
Blue Apron offers a recycling program that you can learn more about here!

One of my favorite parts about Blue Apron is how well it incorporates unique (to me) produce into it's recipes. I'm not sure I would've ever realized how much better fresh ginger tastes than the powdered stuff or how much I love cooking with Bok Choy if it weren't for Blue Apron.

lime zest, cabbage, and limes - a portrait.

I also learned how to easily and perfectly warm tortillas (wrapped in foil, in a heated oven, duh) with this recipe vs. my time consuming method of individually heating them in a frying pan on the stove. 

plating the almost finished product ... 

finishing touches by the master herself ...

and done!

ready to devour. 

If you want to try it out the first 25 readers will get their first three meals for free right HERE!

Thank you to Becca (regular Blue Apron user!) for the photos and to Blue Apron for sponsoring this here post!


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28 March 2017

Do I have my finger all up on the pulse of the hottest trends? No. So, don't listen to me because I'm probably a season or three behind but I have noticed quite a bit of embroidered pieces gracing the fashion blogs I frequent and the online retailers I occasionally peruse and so ... it must be true. Embroidery is back for another summer, ladies. And - gentlemen that might be reading. Gentleman (Simon?) ...

(I know, I know - my other option was: Embroidery: It's Amore so I think I picked the lesser of the two evils)

I love when we get a couple of years out of a fun trend because then the more affordable stores are a lot more likely to carry cute pieces (I'm looking at you) at a price point I can appreciate. While I think it's smart to buy and wear classic pieces that will stand the test of time - it's still fun to add a little flare here and there, right? RIGHT.

Simon was out of town this weekend and as always! I had ambitious goals in mind (think big closet clean-outs, laundry room deep clean, etc etc) but as always! I quickly parked myself right on into survival mode and considered the fact that we ordered pizza one time and not multiple times - a great success. I rented and watched some movies that Simon could live without seeing and hunted and gathered the embroidered pieces pictured above. So, basically the same as a sparkling clean laundry room, in the end. 

Anyway - here's what we're working with. I might have to do a round two because I'm sure the best is yet to come as the temperatures rise and summer welcomes us with open arms.

1. Roolee Top - I'm not one to play favorites (lie) but this might just be it. I almost hate clicking over to their site because I inevitably fall in love with almost everything. Every time.

2. Madewell Blouse - I'm going to hold out hope that this doesn't sell out, and then goes on clearance and then goes on super clearance so that it magically becomes a feasible and responsible purchase.

3. Forever 21 blouse (also comes in red) - I like that this is a little looser and I tell myself it would be a smart investment to wear over a nursing tank this summer. Maybe? I'll let you know.

4. smoking slipper - for all the smoking on my upcoming docket. I'm eying these like a hawk in the hopes that they go on random sale because I've had great luck with that brand of footwear before. The year is young - I have faith.

5. tunic  - I have the shirt version of this tunic and love it. This would make a great pool/beach coverup but I would also totally wear it to church. With my smoking slippers. 

6. Old Navy shift - I knew they'd pull through. This will inevitably go on super sale - multiple times. I just hope it doesn't sell out before then.

7. long sleeve blouse - I don't know why but I love flowier long sleeve blouses with shorts in the summer. I know, I know - it's too hot for long sleeves but if I have a day of errands planned I always wear long sleeves because I know the a/c will be bumping at an uncomfortable level of cold in allllll of the stores. Preparedness and cold-blooded are not my middle names but perhaps they should be.

8. tassel top - this might be my second favorite find. It just might.

9. tassel tank - no profundity here - I just think its cute.

10. AE tank - also comes in grey which I might prefer over the white? I don't know.

let me know if you've seen any others out in the retail wild - I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Happy (last 13 minutes of) Tuesday!

Friday Favorites

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24 March 2017

1. Never say never because I never thought I'd be one to enjoy playing a game on my phone (Practical Patton reporting for duty) but Simon and I have gotten completely sucked into the new puzzle game: Best Fiends. It's simple (think puzzle adventure essentially matching same-colored characters to defeat the slugs - just TRUST ME) but addicting and FREE. I'm on level 21 so if you download and play - let me know if you beat me.

You can play Best Fiends without wi-fi so it's perfect for travel or the back half of our house where the wi-fi always has serious issues. I've been having to put my feet up as much as possible this pregnancy (doctor's orders) and it's been a fun way to pass the time and let my competitive flag fly freely. Best Fiends is sponsoring this post and giving the first 100 readers to download the game $4.99 in gold and diamonds for free once you reach level 10 which I'm not sure will help you catch me - but please feel free to try ;) There are tons of in-game events and challenges in the game too!

2. Please tell me at least one of you can relate to this article on rage cleaning? Or lie to make me feel better. The Jenga trash description spoke to a special place in my heart.

3. I know this is REALLY premature but I feel like I fail at Father's Day gifts every single year but these maps (I found every city we've lived in) framed and wrapped might be winners this year. I hope.

4. Simon packed a picnic and organized a family bike ride on a nearby trail the other night (thanks to a couple newly acquired bikes from the Lobodas!) and I'd be lying if I said I thought it was going to be anything but a disaster. I even caught Sebastian stuffing band-aids in his backpack as we walked out the door - which was actually very smart on his part. But! It was actually pretty fun. I rode with Phoebe in a seat on the back of my bike (after Bosco bit her in the trailer and Theo "got" to take her spot), the two big kids rode their own bikes, and Simon pulled Theo and Bosco in a trailer. We only saw one medium-sized snake, Bosco only cried about 14% of the time, and again - we only had one biting incident so - success all around.

5. If you need a good GOOD laugh - might I recommend the GIF responses to this tweet? I might.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

maternity basics: on a budget

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23 March 2017

Alright. As always I have to preface with the fact that I'm not an expert but I have strong opinions and high standards when it comes to quality and comfort a la maternity clothing. While I'm certainly not opposed to investing in pieces that will last several pregnancies and make you feel good - I've found that lots of retailers are coming out with maternity clothing that washes and wears really well AND won't cost a fortune. I used to overlook Gap but they've recently stepped up their maternity game and since they seem to run a weekly 40% sale and keep things in relatively decent stock - I'm a converted fan.

1. Jeans - I've tried designer maternity jeans and I do love them but was surprised to find that this new pair of Gap denim is every bit is great at a fraction of the price. The blue is sold out at the moment but if/when they bring them back I'll update the post and let you know. These will inevitably go on sale for 40% off (or more!) so exercise everyone's favorite virtue when contemplating a purchase.

2. shorts - I've been mostly opposed to maternity shorts and gotten away with dresses and skirts but the Florida weather has me singing a different tune and I'm really impressed with Gap's denim shorts and their twill shorts too. They stay put and don't make me feel like a frump muffin (technical term). Again, they WILL go on sale - don't pay full price!

3. support cami - I still love and wear my Blanqis and will probably start wearing them full time during the third trimester but for everyday wear during the latter half of my first trimester and the bulk of my second trimester I've been loving these Gap support camis. They are lightweight, stretchy, and don't pill in the wash. Another friendly reminder that they'll go on sale ... and soon.

4. linen pants - A nice alternative to shorts and cute with tank tops (or so I tell myself). I washed and dried these and was pleasantly surprised that they didn't shrink up to culottes. Also - SUPER comfortable which is key. I found these on super duper (88% off) sale on Amazon too - so worth checking Amazon on occasion!!

5. H & M striped jersey top with 3/4 length sleeves - There are very few maternity shirts with ruched sides that I like but this one? I love. I was wearing it in yesterday's post and ordered the next size up for the third trimester.

6. leggings - these aren't maternity but any of their high waisted styles have been my best friend (they fit kind of like a demi panel or you can roll them down - I don't love full paneled anything so I'm not help there) this entire pregnancy. I love how soft Zella leggings are but if you are in the market for support and leggings that won't sag, fall down, or lose their shape - I'm all about Fabletics. I DO have a pair of thick/dressier leggings from Loft (currently not in stock) that I like a lot and wear with tunics on occasion and if they come back in stock I'll let you know! Also, lots of my friends love their Blanqi leggings and maybe one of these days I'll hop on the full panel train ...

7. tanks - I've been a fan of these ever since Sebastian's pregnancy and still wear a couple that are 5+ years old. They've held up really well and sometimes I even wear them when I'm not pregnant because I love how stretchy they are.

8. basic tee - this "sleep top" is my favorite everything/every day top. It's super soft, long but not tunic length, and doesn't stretch out like some maternity t-shirts tend to do. I've washed and dried it over two (three?) dozen times and it still looks like I just bought it. I keep hoping it will come out in different colors but beggars can't be choosers. 

9. dresses - my favorite place to buy dresses for special occasions is ASOS (and they also have a great outlet inventory) because they make returns super easy (return label IN the box) - I have the navy version of this black dress and have gotten a ton of wear out of it. A lot of them are nursing friendly too. I do have to say that while not exactly budget-friendly this wrap dress is one of my favorite maternity dresses I've ever worn.

honorable (not pictured) mentions:

shapewear - I've found this generic/less expensive version to be every bit as great as the pricey one. Maybe even better? (I also found a great $8 pair at Target on clearance that's not online at the moment)

cardigan - not maternity but these often go on clearance (often as low as $6.99 in store) and look great with dresses and tunics.

That's all (lol) for now but I would LOVE to hear your favorites (especially in the swimsuit department!!!) if you've got them!

date night tradition

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22 March 2017

Simon and I don't (and will never) have it all figured out when it comes to our marriage but one thing we've found is important to prioritize are dedicated date nights out of the house and away from the kids. Uninterrupted conversation when we aren't exhausted or distracted at the end of the night is invaluable to both of our temperaments and even throughout the rigors of residency we made it a point to find trustworthy sitters and hit the road for a few hours of quality time together.

Since being in Florida we've started a little unofficial tradition to go on walks in fun or scenic areas before we scout out some food. It sort of feels like we are on our own mini vacation with so many picturesque paths to choose from. Whether it's along a path by the Bay, the Riverwalk downtown, or even a cool neighborhood of historic homes we've loved that the temperate winters have allowed us to keep the walking tradition alive year round.

I have to admit that one of our favorite walking paths is the Riverwalk (probably because it leads to one of my favorite Tampa restaurants) so we often head that way. As tempting as it is to wear walking friendly tennis shoes when we're date bound - I generally opt for comfortable enough but outfit appropriate footwear until I discovered these Børn beauties that fit both comfort and style bills ...

Børn Shoes kindly sent me a pair of their hand sewn Malenas in Saddle and Simon was the lucky recipient of a pair of Allans in Natural and both pairs have quickly become closet staples for both of us. Simon wore is on the flights to and from New Mexico, to my sister's wedding (and reported no back pain the next day which is a common complaint of his after a night out in dressier shoes) and is loving them for his longer days in clinic when he rarely gets a chance to sit down.
I expected there to be a little "breaking in" period with my Malenas but the buttery soft leather and handcrafted design has proven me oh so wrong because they've been nothing but super comfortable from hour one of wear.

While I'm kind of a sucker for trends, I love the classic and timeless style of both the Malenas and the Allans. The Malenas come in all sort of fun colors to and keep clicking over to look at the pink pair because they look so fun. As I lean more and more on the comfort of leggings as my pregnancy progresses I've been so happy to have the Malenas to wear to dress them up lest I always look gym bound.

A big thank you to Becca for taking these photos, Børn for sponsoring this post and helping us enjoy our little "datecations" in both comfort and style.


girls' room makeover

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20 March 2017

We've been in our house for almost two years and have slowly (so slowly) been tackling each room and giving it a little love, paint, sweat, and no tears that I can recall but other than a couple of beige hallways - I think we are pretty much done. For the moment. I wished I'd just started with the girls' room because it felt like the biggest eyesore every time I walked in but that also meant that it felt like it was going to be the most work and procrastination is a strong suit of mine. We discovered after we bought the house that the carpet in their room was covered in pet stains (covered by a large area rug - sneaky, sneaky) so we did our best with area rugs of our own but finally priced factory grade carpet (that was already in the boys' room but also stained - albeit much less noticeably because it was darker) and found it surprisingly reasonable so we had new carpet put in their room and the boys' room and it made a WORLD of difference. The salesman kept telling us that we didn't want such cheap carpet but we assured him that we did and I just wished we'd done it MUCH SOONER.

Oh well.

(Simon told me not to cover it with an area rug but I couldn't help myself ... it's just a little area rug, in my defense)

I've never really thought the girls looked very much alike until Becca sent me this photo ...

(and um, all the photos - her skills will forever amaze me)

Their room is small but not super small and it fit Julia's twin bed, Phoebe crib, and a dresser pretty comfortably and we definitely didn't need to put bunkbeds up but looking longterm I think Bosco, Theo, and Sebastian will eventually share this room with a set of bunkbeds and a toddler bed and the girls will get the boys current (smaller room) soooo why not jump the gun?

Okay here's the only before I could find (anyone else delete pictures way too rashly?) ...

No shot of the old carpet which is in everyone's best interest, honestly.

Phoebe has been climbing out of her crib for over a year and has been napping in Julia's twin bed for months so we thought she could handle a bunk bed and we could save some space in the process. We got the IKEA Kura bed (not technically a bunk bed but a twin mattress conveniently fits on the floor and so - a bunkbed it is!) and they've been happy campers with the new arrangement. We put a six inch mattress on the top bunk just to make it safer but I don't think it was absolutely necessary. I think Julia feels like she has a bit of her own space (although I'm 98% sure Phoebe sneaks up there to nap) to hide her treasures and arrange and rearrange her colony of stuffed animals and dolls.

I found this yellow velvet chair on Craigslist and thought it was a fun addition to make a little reading nook with the help of a black lamp and white cube shelves (technical name) and baskets that we moved out of the playroom.

Julia is either really good at reading or memorizing books ... I'm not sure which ... but the younger kids don't seem to care ...

The chair is in decent shape but might need a little trim on the bottom - oops.

I can't seem to quit the Instagram clips ... old habits die real hard.

Initially I was looking for neutral colored bedding but the girls are both BIG fans of pink and so I thought these sheets were a good compromise between super neutral and Phoebe's preferred Disney Princess bedding. I did go with white/beige comforters because boring mom.

but also practical mom because I know they can be bleached and the boys can use them if we want to shake things up like the crazy cats that we are.

A little peek at the little area rug ...

... and Becca's dog, Truman. His adorable underbite kills me. Despite being 1/3 (1/4?) Diego's size I think it's safe to safe they established that Truman was the alpha male of the house during his visit.

You know I can't help myself when it comes to gallery walls and the girls' room is/was no exception ...

I used mostly things we had on hand, framed a picture Julia drew of her and Phoebe and added these ubiquitous animal heads (Phoebe REALLY wanted the panda -- I REALLY feel like it's staring at me every time I walk in - personally, I was a fan of the flamingo but - maybe Simon would like one in our room?).

Katrina very, very sweetly painted this for me after we lost Felipe - a quote from St. Felipe de Neri and I love it so much ...

girls' got serious talent. I thought the floral design went best in the girls' room but I may or may not have the same quote (same artist) hanging up in the living room too. I like what I like.

We found this dresser at a thrift store ...

to replace the IKEA dresser we'd found on Craigslist in St. Louis that Simon had repaired over a dozen times and is now living in our storage room and filled with tools etc. I painted it this coral(ish?) color and I think it could use some bigger handles but we had these on hand so they work for now!

I spray painted the wooden mirror that I've had since college ...

... and added some faux greenery to liven up the sound machine decor.

One last shot because I think it captures their personalities oh so perfectly ...

... before we move onto the boys' room ... (not this post, don't worry)

... and our newly organized hall closet ;).

Thanks again to Becca for the photos (and Simon for assembling the bed which I know was a big fat pain in the neck - to put it politely).

And some other house before and afters if you're feeling clicky ...

guest bathroom
guest room
boys' room (updated dresser)
master bedroom

luck of the Friday

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17 March 2017

1. My lovely sister-in-law, Becca, was in town this week (not to be confused with my Aunt Rebecca who was in town last week so Phoebe resorted to calling this week's Becca, "the new Aunt Becca") and gave us some invaluable photography tips which Simon put to use with this photo ...

... I thought it was fitting today for March Madness and those super duper festive nod to St. Patrick's Day pants. B likes to go sit in this chair in the girls room and just wait for Phoebe to come in and freak. If you'd like me to dedicate a post to peaceful sibling relationships - just say the word.

2. What did you think of the Bachelor finale (if you watched)? I know Nick and Vanessa are getting a lot of criticism for looking miserable on After the Final Rose but I loved Sharleen's take (surprise, surprise) since she's a good friend of Nick's. Simon was Team Raven all the way and I just thought that they chose to show the more serious side of Vanessa or maybe I'm just an optimist and hopeless romantic but I do hope they make it. And I'm counting down to Rachel's season (guy number 4 was my favorite from Monday night) like the fanatic that I am. Also! I hope Luke breaks up with Danielle L and dates Raven - one can HOPE.

3. After reading and enjoying Nantucket Sisters I couldn't help but notice that a bunch of Nancy Thayer titles were ready and available at the library so I plowed through The Island House and just started Summer Breeze. I'll just blame the pregnancy for my sophisticated literary taste du jour. Sudio Sweden recently sent me a pair of their wireless earbuds which have all but revolutionized my audiobook/podcasting experience (dishwasher unloading! putting away laundry!) and if you'd like to snag a pair for yourself you can use code: CampPatton for 15% off your order :)

4. Kate gives a much better and more succinct explanation but in short! She, Bridget, and I started a little Facebook group to share online deals we might otherwise miss (like these $6 dresses today and today only!) and it's been a lot of fun. The group is closed but just ask to join and I'll add you lickety split.

5. Joy and her family have been in town this past week and it's been just as miraculous as you might imagine to see her doing so well in person. I just wanted to thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers for her incredible recovery!

6. All sale styles at LOFT are currently an additional 40% off (I have and love and almost live in this cardigan) which isn't HUGE news but it's always nice news, right?

7. Big St. Patrick's Day plans? Was your diocese granted a dispensation today? My kids didn't even get Lucky Charms for breakfast - I'm not sure how they're surviving childhoods dripping with such sad depravity (but the day is young, I guess).

Have a good one!!

collage & captions

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13 March 2017

because as much as I know that you'd love for me dedicated an entire blog post to every single square -- I'll keep it brief-ish.

uno! I've yet to leave Ikea with kids in tow without thinking, "never ever again!" but I always always go back. This past time I went right as they were opening, put Phoebe and Theo in the kid area, sped through and grabbed what I needed with Bosco and was back home in time for lunch and naps ... success. For once.

dos! Diego got quite the haircut and when the kids saw him in a tie they very seriously asked if he was headed out to a wedding. Yes, in fact - he was.

tres! My Aunt Rebecca was in town for a few days and she is THE balloon animal wizard which made for a herd of very happy Patton kids.

quatro! Bosco demolished his first ice cream cone that Simon gave him a couple of weeks ago. He can also put a post-Mass donut away faster than alllll the rest of us can and has our weekly grocery bill giving him a petrified side eye.

cinco! I would say, "doesn't the backpack age him?!" but his backpack contains his diapers and wipes so, no.

six! speaking of Bosco and groceries - we enjoyed our first ER trip ever several weeks ago after Phoebe and Theo (accidentally! they're just used to wide Costco carts, I guess) pulled a shopping cart over with Bosco strapped in. Bosco was fine but slammed his head pretty hard on the cement floor and seemed to be drowsy (a sign of a brain bleed) afterward so in he went. After four hours of (no sleep, no food, no fun) observation he was released with a concussion and my gratitude that he was going to be fine. Costco forever from here on out.

seven! 26 weeks! I felt so terrible after we got back from our trip - breathing was painful, everything ached, and I could've sworn the baby gained 5 pounds overnight. I'm convinced that getting back to my geriatric walks has turned things around and I'm also convinced that the baby was all up in my ribcage but has seemed to settle into a more comfortable position - someway/ somehow. I'm also convinced that I'm a board certified MD. Anyway, I'm feeling a million times better and three more months of pregnancy feels a lot more doable than it did last week.

eight! I say a little prayer every night that the streets in our neighborhood are forever in need of repair because I think Bosco would go through a very serious and sad period of mourning if he didn't get a good dose of truck watching/obsessing on the daily.

nine! post-trip to the Children's museum. Simon only lost track of Bosco once and Phoebe only sprinted up the stairs and away from me twice, so all in all? A real good time.

Happy Monday!


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09 March 2017

when you're at the, "wear and break my glasses - anything you want!!!" portion of the evening.

1. SO! Since we'll soon outgrow our beloved Odyssey and Simon's Volvo was requiring a jump to start almost every morning and evening -- we bought a (very old) Suburban to replace the van. I like it! But, I still love our van with the peeling hood and will drive it right up until we buckle that new baby into the Suburban. Sliding doors 4 life. Or at least for the next 3.5 months.

2. I don't really know how it happened but all of a sudden my IG feed is FILLED with Goldendoodles because apparently I've become an avid follower of Doodle accounts? I'm not saying it's a bad thing and I'm not saying Diego is going to get his own dedicated account but I just might need to check myself because I see a wreck coming just around the riverbend.

3. After the 91092381092381092338th night of building the perfect pillow fortress to procure a mediocre night of sleep - I polled my lovely blog Facebook page about pregnancy pillows and took the plunge with this one. I got it two days ago and of course it could be some wild and crazy coincidence but I've slept through the night (x2!!) and woke up ready to speed walk around the block as opposed to sleep for six more hours. Again, it could be a coincidence but I'm not complaining and I might be wondering why I didn't buy one six years ago.

4. I got my first gel manicure (a la nail salon) before my sister's wedding and while I do love it (although I noticed a few days later that the polish I picked had tiny flecks of glitter in it - cool) I still think the homemade version (base coat, polish, top coat) is a pretty darn good substitute. And quite a bit cheaper.

5. I'm almost scared to type this because I know that this brand is kind of the preferred creme de la creme of workout gear and leggings and so I tried a couple of different pairs and loved them initially but was sad to see how quickly they stretched out, lost their shape, and slid down (as in a couple of hours). I should've known not to stray from my tried and true very favorites. Never again!

6. It's Thursday and I still haven't finished Monday's marathon episode of the Bachelor. Even super duper fans have their drama limits.

7. The last thing I need is a peplum tank because of my current gestational state and I have one too many but I have to admit that my heart goes pitter patter when I see them on super sale with all sizes stocked (even talls! which I prefer). I'm resisting though - I promise. (I posted this over in the My Sale Rack group so I'm sorry if this is a repeat offender for you).

I said I'd be done cleaning the kitchen by 1:30 and it's 1:35 and so I'd better scoot before crazy Grace comes after lazy Grace.



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07 March 2017

I, Grace Patton, solemnly swear not to recap anything for at least 24 hours after this post. My apologies - our travels are just too exciting not to type type type about, you know? You do. YOU DO.

When the older kids were really little and we'd go on trips I had my expectations set nice and stupidly high. Obviously getting out of the house was going to be a vacation from any and all responsibility, right? Ha. Ha. Now I look back on one trip with Julia in particular and wish I had just chilled the bleep out about naps and bedtimes and enjoyed the bliss that was a vacation with one child in tow but that's always how it goes, right? Eerily accurate 20/20 hindsight.

Anyway, NOW - I go into trips with the (depressing? perhaps) mindset that it's going to be a lot more work than our usual day-to-day, that everything is going to go wrong, and that everyone is going to be a melty puddle of fatigue by the time we get home. And - my expectations are always exceeded because things are never that bad and we generally have a great time but I can't go into "vacations" thinking it's going to be poolside umbrella clad drinks then I'd be sorely disappointed. I know you follow.

So - with that said! Our flights down to New Mexico ... the first flight to Houston was fine-ish. Phoebe only spilled one full drink on Simon's lap, Bosco's crying was minimal (and understandable since he'd usually been asleep for hours by then), and the older kids were basking in the glow of the reading lights, in-flight magazines, and honey roasted peanuts.

Then came the second flight.

I'll take one skull emoji for $500, Alex.

 Or maybe just one Sebastian. I feel you, bud.

Our connection was tight but we really needed to make the obligatory bathroom stop to change Bosco's diaper, and let/make everyone use the bathroom (where Phoebe dropped my phone into an unflushed toilet but! least of our worries at that point) then hoofed it over to our gate where we boarded and were informed that there were only middle seats left. The flight attendants just shrugged at us and while I'm normally a pretty passive people pleaser I think even Simon was surprised (not in a good way - oops) at how I dug my heels in and said the kids weren't sitting alone in middle seats without us. People did eventually move with a little "free drink ticket" bribery from the intercom but the three oldest had to share a row (I was right behind them with Bosco and Simon was several rows back with Phoebe) which wasn't super ideal BUT better than the former alternative. Technically it was our fault for missing family boarding but did the punishment fit the crime? I don't know. Maybe!

With the help of the the iPad, one of my smartest purchases to date, and headphones x 3 the kids were relatively well-behaved, Simon magically got Bosco to sleep and I had to pretend like Phoebe was my giant of a lap child which was totally fine.

By the time we got everyone to sleep at our friend's house it was 3am Florida time which didn't set the best sleep tone for the rest of the trip but c'est la valuable lesson learned on the flight scheduling front vie. I suppose.

Julia teaching Simon how to play ... a very complicated game (this may have been on the way home, actually)

You all remember Posey? Welllll she's back! She delivered fairy-sized Kisses (chocolate chips wrapped in foil) to Julia's seat at the wedding along with several notes + gifts throughout the weekend. She even moved into Nana's house complete with fairy house (clothing - including unmentionables - you won't believe the detail) .. a post for another time.

One of the big trip highlights was getting to see my grandma and so we had to get a photo of the four generations! My grandma, mom, me, and some kids ...

Phoebe is oh so moved.

I obviously did a thorough and impressive of photojournaling our trip but sometimes it's best to just bask in the moment - or so I'm telling myself. Overall - we really did have a wonderful time and Phoebe about lost her mind when we pulled up at our house after hours of flying last week. I guess she thought we were just doing all of that traveling to pull right back up at Nana and Grandpa's? I guess.

The flights home weren't awesome (but we survived! and didn't miss family boarding!) and as soon as we all got in the car at the Tampa airport Simon asked, "and when can I look forward to flying with all of you again?" August, Simone.

Buckle up.


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