we're off to see the weekend ...

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26 May 2017

1. Monkey see, monkey do ...

... Too bad Bosco isn't as into hand holding as Theo is. Sorry Phoebe/monkey numero dos.

2. We are a week into summer break and I'm realizing that the ubiquitous summer "bucket list" I've been seeing on mom blogs for the past few years is just a euphemism for, "a list to help mom hold it together all summer" because we are going through a little bit of an adjustment period. We just need to settle into a routine and we will. Soon! I know it.

3. Fran (one of my most trusted literary connoisseurs - official title) gave Small Great Things two thumbs up so I'm on the library hold list (155th! So, any minute now) but I loved Crazy Rich Asians this week. I doubled up on reading and listening to the audio book when I couldn't be reading because I was enjoying it so much. Simon started it and so far has only said, "so many footnotes!" and, "it's never good when there's a family tree at the beginning" but I think he'll survive - and like it too.

4. These are both old internet news but I found myself nodding along with both as this is something I struggle with on the daily/hourly -- Just Do the Dishes and The Dishes Can Wait, and Other Lies.

5. Alright I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by The Bachelorette premier only because Nick's season was such a letdown so I didn't have my hopes set high. Rachel's got a lot of clowns on her hands (and whywhywhy on that first impression rose pick?!) but my favorites so far are Peter and DeMario plus she's such a class act and will be fun to watch.

6. Odds are GOOD you've heard allll about this big sale so I won't beat a dead Clydesdale but I always used to ignore the sale until I realized it's worth um, not ignoring. I live in workout clothes (minus the workout) postpartum so I was happy to see so many pieces marked down 40-50%. I'm also almost always wearing sneakers around the house and their selection of Nikes on sale is pretty extensive at the moment.

7. Others worth noting:

One of my favorite places to shop small (baby Bosco is wearing their sweats in the little Birth Novellas photo in my sidebar) is offering 25% off everything with the code: MEMORIAL25 (and they just came out with dresses - red dress dancing emoji).

I've mentioned these sandals on Facebook twice already but they are still 40% off so what's the harm in a third time? If in between sizes I highly recommend sizing down. Also, I never thought I'd feel compelled to blog about unmentionables but these underwear are both super comfortable and seamless and a great price for the quality.

And finally there's a 50% off ALL tees, tanks, shorts, and swimwear for the whole family sale over at Old Navy in case you're kids grew several inches since last summer ... it's worth checking out.

Okay, the girls just asked how to "pierce our own ears" so I better go supervise slash put a stop to the insanity.

Have a wonderful weekend!

budget friendly gallery wall tips and tricks

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24 May 2017

First things first (I'm the realist)  - this post is pretty much the equivalent of a blind man with a butcher knife teaching a hair cutting class because an expert I am not but has that ever stopped me before? Nope.

My main point is that you don't have to spend a lot of lettuce to put together a gallery wall and wanted to pass along a few no-brainers that have probably already occurred to you. I've also read on numerous decor blogs and sites that gallery walls are on their way out which would make sense because I'm forever behind the trend curve.

Alright. Just get to it, GP.

1. Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Or, so I say. Pinterest is a great source to glean inspiration from but I also love the (semi-new) feature on IG where you can just tap the little ribbon icon on a photo you like and it will be saved (if you're organized into collections) and easily accessible at any time on the app.

Screenshots are great but get lost in my camera roll after about 4 seconds. I tend to make my "arrangements" into boring rectangles so I try to look at walls that have branched outside "the box" literally and figuratively.

Wrapping these two "galleries" around a corner?

A big step for this creature of habit.

2. Second(hand) is the best. I've found the best frames at secondhand stores dedicated to furniture and home goods. It might take a little creativity to get the original art/photo out but the store wouldn't be selling it if it wasn't good quality and it's been my experience that these types of stores have frequent sales (sometimes weekly) and it's smart to get on their email list so that you don't miss one.

3. "DIY" mats - Simon worked at a frame shop in high school and is always telling me how key a good mat is when it comes to framing as I slip a scrap of old white poster board behind virtually all of my "art" that is too small for the intended frame. I know he's right and the things we have had professionally framed do look awesome but the poster board trick is a good and (super cheap) one.

4. the sky's the limit - I've framed super cheap wrapping paper, color copies from our favorite kids' books, old calendar pages, dried flowers, Instagrams (way too guilty there), kids' artwork, etc. I'm sure you have friends that sell their art or photos or prints on Etsy (or their own sites - you know what I mean) and I love supporting them before I buy something less personal or even print out our own photos.

5. If it ain't broke - I know people love command strips and maybe one day I will too but for now I just go the old fashioned nail and hammer route and reenforce with my putty. It works well and Simon loves filling in and painting the old holes in his spare time.

6. Texture! I started noticing that I was drawn to walls that had a little something more than just frames hanging up so I've hung hats, I love this shelf and I think it's seen almost every wall in the house at this point, and these planters too. Simon calls them prayer shawls and I know they are trendy mctrenderson at the moment (or were? I never know) but I love woven wall hangings. Also, I've hung my tiny collection of hats which is a pretty and practical storage solution - so says Pinterest.

7. Take a note from Nike - and just do it. I know some people like to use this method but I'm always working under time constraints and am just an impatient human in general so I just lay things out on the ground how I think they'd look best (this is sometimes the most time consuming part) and start from the middle and go from there. Usually there's an older kid around to hold up the lighter things so I can make sure it won't look terrible and if it does? Rehang - no problemo. For the record, I have done the paper cut out thing but didn't find that it made a big difference when it came to the end result.

8. It's not an ironclad permanent commitment so don't stress if you don't love the look right away. I remember seeing on a Kardashian episode (sue me) when someone (Rob?) moved into a new place and wasn't sure about his new furniture arrangement and Kourtney told him to give it time to breathe. LOL - but it's true.

An example of a wall I let breathe and then killed it because -- I didn't like it. It happens.

Just give it a few days before making any rash redo decisions (although I do that all the time).

9. Spacing! There might be official rules on this but trusting your eye on this seems to be the best route. Uniform spacing between frames might be tempting and sometimes might look the the best but isn't necessary, I don't think.

10. A note on printing prints and photos! It's worth taking the time to research different options and quickly Google discount codes for sites you might want to use. I wish there was one site that was consistently the best price for the quality but I've found some sizes are cheaper to print on some sites than others. There are lots of apps that will print your first 25 (or more or fewer) Instagrams for free if you cover shipping (the most recent one being here using code: RUCFEQ). I've also been pleasantly surprised by Costco's quality and have been really happy with Framebridge too.

Alright, I think I've drained my vast well of wall knowledge for now. Happy to field any advice you might have for me!

(a huge thank you to Becca for the vast majority of these pictures!)

bullies, books, and the Bachelor

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19 May 2017

1. Bosco is becoming a little bit of a no-remorse bully. Simon declared that if he had to awkwardly steer him away from harassing yet another toddler at the playground - no more playground for Bully B. One of Simon's mom's friends swears that even the youngest of kids can sense when a new baby is about to come on the scene so maybe he's acting out but - homeboy has gone from mostly innocent baby boy to terrifying toddler almost overnight.

A phase, always a phase. I hope and pray.

2. I've come to know and accept the fact that photography is not and will never be one of my God-given talents - ever. SOooOoOoOo ... I was so excited when Becca started a photography for beginners series over on her blog. We've had the same camera since right before Sebastian was born but I don't feel like we deserve or need a new one until I step up my game -- Becca to the rescue, I hope -- because I'm pretty hopeless.

3. Alright, has anyone read Crazy Rich Asians? I finished Belonging (which the first Nancy Thayer book I've read that dragged on for about five too many chapters) and dove into CRA - so far, so good!

4. Did you see that the Bachelor is getting (yet another) spinoff show? I'll never be too good for a spinoff but I would appreciate if it would air during the drought of the fall when nothing is airing. Year round franchise, Fleiss. Thanks.

5. Simon and I (and some friends) got to go see The Head and the Heart on Tuesday night thanks to Queen B. It was SO fun. And hot. I had cups of ice to keep my company (not anemic just hot). If you ever get a chance to see them live - do it do it do it.

6. Today was Julia and Sebastian's last day of school and Julia Planner Patton has already asked me the itinerary for the entire summer (day specific, please). I better get cracking on that but I'm thinking some beach trips with an interior baby might be a little more fun than with a fresh new baby so - look at me and my planning go.

7. You'll never believe it but J.Crew Factory is running one of their 40% off clearance styles sales. Just use code: EXTRA40. Aaaand the sale section at Loft is 40% off (no code needed) - both sales have tons of summer styles in case you're in the thick of the upper 90s too!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Samily: Official Wedding Photos

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18 May 2017

You already got the cellular photo version but it's time to feast your eyes on the real deal taken by Becca who completely outdid herself. Have I spent more time scrolling through these than I have my own wedding photos? I'll never tell.

If you want a little backstory - their How We Met story is right over HERE!

Here we go ... heavy on the Pattons because it's my blog. I'm sorry. Sort of.

All the ladies gazing adoringly at the groom, naturally. I was sort of on the fence about my velcro ankle strap shoes with the block heels but you know what? They didn't sink in the sand so - WIN.

The whole family (well, the bride's immediate family along with our maternal grandma and my brother Paul's lovely fiancée, Annie). Complete with Julia's infectious smile.

Theodore and his distaste for the limelight.

Simon and his brigade of bizarrely relatively behaved offspring (had I walked down with them? pandemonium - guaranteed)

I spent way too much time trying to decide which ones to post because there were SO many good ones of the happy couple but here we go ...

My Aunt Rebecca set up a balloon animal/hat/crown making table and the Patton kids were her biggest patrons ...

And Bettina (my mom) getting DOWN.

maybe you caught this in action on my IG story - how very millennial of me ...

the CFRs doing some of the best break dancing/popping I've ever seen and putting the entire dance floor to shame.

the shamed.

I could keep sharing and sharing and sharing but considering the fact that it's not even my wedding - I'll stop here. I guess.

But, my brother Paul is getting married in October so the glut of wedding goodness will be back up and running in NO time.

You're NEXT.

Happy Thursday!

a lengthy litany of likes

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16 May 2017

These past few weeks have been clouded with an ugly array of bizarrely (but not life threatening or anything TOO too serious) awful situations? Occurrences? Simon keeps saying, "oh you HAVE to blog about that" and I will eventually but I gotta get a little more distance before I find the humor in any of them - you feel me? Or as many would say, "you fill me?"

You do. I know it. And everything is totally fine. More than fine.

So! I thought I'd throw down a little list of happy in lieu of a little litany of complaints alright? Alright.

1. Did you see that Freshly Picked came out with sandals (today! right this second!)? We love their moccasins and when they offered to send Julia, Theo, Phoebe, and Bosco a pair I was probably more ecstatic than I should've been (Sebastian's feet are too big, sadly - as they only go up to size 12). They have this amazing new buckle that easy to "snap" and take off, are super waterproof (Susan, owner and founder of Freshly Picked let a pair soak in salt water for two days and they still look good as new - I can attest to that too as the kids have worn them to the beach and - allll good) and they come in fun colors. Anyway, they sent the sandals with no strings attached but I had to mention them because I have strong feelings about kids' footwear and these are GOOD.

2. I mentioned that I placed an order with Primary a few weeks ago and I'm happy to report that I was really impressed with the quality/fit etc for the price. Everything has washed well and fits true to size and I'm thrilled to have a source for plain colored rash guards (they can be hard to find sometimes, believe it or not) and t-shirts at the very least. Again, they have no idea who I am but wish I'd known about them a couple summers ago (although I believe their swim stuff is pretty new).

3. These two.

Whenever I tell them to hold hands out in public as a safety precaution they say, "okay! we are all buckled up" and it cracks me up like the mom that I am. Bosco and the new baby will be the furthest apart age wise but second place goes to Theo and Phoebe but they are called twins every single time we are out in public because Theo only has about an inch on Phoebe (if that) and as much as they fight they are pretty much inseparable throughout the day. I couldn't imagine Theo and Phoebe being as close as Bash and Theo were before Bash went off to preschool but - it happened! And I can't imagine Bosco and Phoebe as close as Theo and Phoebe this coming year when Theo goes to preschool but watch my imagination be proved wrong! We shall see.

4. On a non-kid related note (they do exist on this blog, believe it or not) -- I've been loving Reality Steve's podcast. That might change once Rachel's season starts because he might discuss spoilers but he's had some awesome and old school guests/contestants on and it's so fun hearing the behind the scenes from their season, what they are up to now etc. I don't read his site during or leading up to the season because I like to remain spoiler-free but I'm a fangirl of the podcast. Also - RIP Ben and Lauren. Do you think either of them will make an appearance on BIP? I'm going to guess no but who knows.

5. Speaking of Rachel - her season starts this coming Monday. As Simon says, "you'll have a reason to live, once again" which -- that's a stretch (and a joke, calm down) BUT -- I'm excited.

6. Miley's new song. I can't help it.

7. If you're in any sort of summertime panic - might I recommend Spot It for your kids to play? Don't let the 7+ age rec scare you off because even Phoebe can play and keep up with the other kids which is nice because she's a little young for UNO - their other obsession.

8. SLEEP. I'm going to jinx it but generally by this point of pregnancy (35.5 weeks - yes the .5 must be noted) sleep is kind of touch and go, "preparing you for what's to come!" well meaning people like to say with a laugh. But! I have to say that I'm sleeping really, really well and I attribute it to giving in and getting one of those absurdly huge pregnancy pillows. I'm guessing they are all created equalish but mine has been great. Simon says the pillow and I take up about 90% of the bed to which I say: saints have suffered, Simone Pattone.

9. I'm sure I'm the last one to discover this Instagram account but I just adore it. And I rarely to never use the word adore.

10. My due date is one month from tomorrow (and yes, of course it could be many days after that) but it still makes me super happy. A few people have taken one look at me and asked, "overdue???" which doesn't even kind of offend me because I look it. 110%. You're never truly ready ready for a new baby but we feel pretty ready. Bring on the terrible sleep, bb.

Happy Tuesday.

¡hello weekend!

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12 May 2017

1. I had the brilliant idea to take Sebastian and Bosco on a walk sans stroller last night (Sebastian isn't a stroller patron so he wasn't the problem) ...

It started out great and very fun and free range and I'm worried Bosco will forever turn his nose up at the walking wheels from here on out ...

... but quickly turned into an odyssey of not fun. He's a little too young for the whole, "okay - we'll see you later!" and they follow trick - or he just doesn't care but I'm glad that mistake is behind me. Parenting is just one big fat continuing education class, isn't it?

2. Speaking of parenting - I hope you've all seen this Mother's Day post/clip because it's so wonderful and needed around this time of year (and always - but I'd imagine especially right now). I also loved this post that I stumbled on via FB a few days ago. One to reread every now and again.

3. Did you see Kate's recent post on Damien? Damien is Simon's top boy name (I like it more than he likes my top boy name so --- it's def a tippy top contender) and I guess I've been living under a rock but had never ever associated the name with The Omen (I'd also never heard of the movies) but I appreciated her thoughts on the matter! I also thoroughly enjoyed her post for Jenna because I have serious baby name fever and just want to get some names set in stone. Simon takes a more, "we'll know once they're here!" approach which I pretend to be cool with as I scour my multitude of name lists on my phone.

4. I think I need to get off of my Nancy Thayer kick - her books are great but a change would be good (also, I think I've read almost all of them at this point because there is never a wait for them at the library). I'm in the middle of Belonging and enjoying it but I promised myself to switch it up next week. I finished The Futures last week and was unpleasantly surprised by the "interpret as you will" ending but it was still a good book.

5. If you're in the market for new tennis shoes - Nike just threw a whole bunch on sale (Converse included!) and until 5/16 is offering an additional 20% off their clearance section with the code: BONUS20. Overkill to get Simon a pair for his birthday in December? Prepared Patton at your service. For once.

6. The entire kid's home section at Target is 30% off through the end of today (furniture, bedding, rugs, lamps, the works!) -- I'm partial to this brand but lots of brands are on sale!

7. Alright, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Mother's Day! I'm going to give chalk paint (not chalkboard - although that's tempting too!) a try for the first time -- I've got my hopes set unfairly high and you know I'll keep you posted!

Linking up with Kelly!

the boys' room

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11 May 2017

Yikes - I've been been meaning to get this up for almost two months but I've got a very full plate of napping when the kids are napping, reading vapid beach reads when the kids are napping, and keeping my young fed. Busy! Busy! But, here we are - finally.

Unlike the girls' room - the boys' room didn't make me cringe every time I walked in mostly because their carpet was actually in decent shape and NOT littered with stains galore and I'd put a little more effort into it previously but Sebastian was getting a little tall for his toddler bed so we figured it was time to make the jump to bunks ...

All photos taken by Becca - one day I'll take photos 1/4 as lovely as hers - I hope. 

I was determined to find an IKEA Kura bed on Craigslist (or similar secondhand site) which proved to be a lot more difficult than anticipated because apparently the secondhand Kura market is a hot one. The beds were always claimed even five minutes after they were listed but f-i-n-a-l-l-y after over a month of persistent scouring - I found one. Simon went to go pick it up and when he got there it was partially assembled so he took the rest apart and brought it home. I was also (stupidly) determined to paint it light grey with paint leftover from painting our room despite the fact that there were 2934829038490283490238423948 pieces to paint. It took over a week of nap times and late nights but I got it done - with Simon's eventual and generous help.

Aren't you glad I'm telling you this story? Anyway, we went to put it together and realized that it was actually missing 18 screws.


Luckily, our local IKEA had said screws (not usually the case, apparently) and only charged us 50 cents for all of them. But, while Simon was there buying the screws he went ahead and just bought the girls a new Kura bunk and Grace went ahead and did not paint that set.

Even after all my painting - I still totally missed one side of one visible piece. C'est la vie.

We did replace the boys' carpet because we bought super inexpensive factory grade carpet and to buy and install it was right around $100 and it felt worth it in the likely event that we'll be moving and have to list and sell our house in about a year.

It seems fitting that Humpty Dumpty would be a little crooked. I guess. The secret to keeping everything else in place is this museum putty although I'm pretty sure Sebastian has since switched the shark and the panda. I guess there's a bit of an unofficial and unintended animal theme only because I hung up what we already had on hand.

The boys are loving having their own little areas and I knew we'd like the bunkbeds but we REALLY love them and I almost wish we'd made the switch sooner. Well, I don't love changing and washing the sheets especially in the second half of the third trimester BUT - it's not that bad. I think I mentioned in the girls' room post that when it's time for Bosco to move in with the boys we'll move the boys to the girls' room because it's a little bigger and there will be room for a toddler bed (or crib - he still LOVES his crib and I'm not going to upset that relationship) in there.

Dresser complete with drawer not totally pushed in - we'll all survive. I'm probably a little overzealous about constantly going through the kids' clothes and weeding out what doesn't fit, or they never wear, or is torn/stained beyond repair so that we don't have clothespacolpyse all over the place ALL the time (it's still that way some of the time - especially in the girls' room because one of them changes her outfit 78 times a day). Sometimes I'm tempted to look for bigger dressers for the kids but that just means more clothes and more mess and more laundry so - we're good for now.

Am I counting down the days until the kids are out of school for the summer for the sole reason that I can empty their uniform drawer to store away in a closet and free up some drawer space for swimsuits? I am. Do I have a problem? I might.

Also, yes I do such a wonderful job of combing through the kids clothing as Phoebe showcases her favorite dress-missing-a-button.

I love the boys' sheets because they bleach well, haven't faded, are soft but not super thin and almost want to get a set for the master bedroom - I still might. They also have extra thick pieces of elastic on the corners which makes them SO much easier to put on than regular fitted sheets which normally frustrate me to no end. Bravo, sheets.

I don't know why but I normally end up changing Bosco's diaper on the top bunk (I don't climb up there - it's just the perfect height for me to stand) and he's endlessly entertained by that shark head so it works out well.

faux succulents (fau-cculents? no, Grace) forever.

And that's it! I admit that I thought the room would magically stay cleanish with the new setup but that's not even kind of the case and I'm constantly baffled at the speed of which they're able to trash it real good but - such is life with humans - big and small.

Happy Thursday!

Oh! Here's a look at the before bunk arrangement!

cuatro de mayo

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04 May 2017

back to back quakes. sue me good.

1. There's a long list of instructions/rules I have to recite to Phoebe before her daily "nap" but the biggest one is that she not empty/rifle through the dresser drawers and closet to put together her 78th, 79th, and 80th outfits of the day before noon.

Yesterday she came traipsing out in this get-up. Obedience is a strong suit of hers. Even Diego has had it with her shenanigans. Quiet is quiet, says the resigned mom.

2. This made me LOL. Even though - I do heart my hearse.

3. I've been reading The Futures this week and really enjoying it despite finding it super depressing - riddle me that. It's one of those books that I think would make a good movie and I've already mentally cast Channing Tatum as Evan, Johanna Brady as Julia, and Scott Porter as Adam. No, I do not need a hobby and I don't know why you would ever, ever ask.

4. Speaking of depressing - I know everyone seemed to love the screen adaptation of Big Little Lies but Simon and I found it to be um yes, depressing. I read and loved the book. We are only two episodes in so maybe we need to press on?

5. Something that is not depressing - a fun giveaway with Minnetonka over on my Instagram -- CHECK IT.

And don't all beg me for self tanner product recs at once. A lady has to hold onto some of her beauty secrets.

6. One upping last week - we've got 50% off sale styles to feast our clicks on this week. I love these studs and this navy tank.

7. Just your annual reminder (as it seems like graduation/teacher/Father's Day/Mother's Day gift buying ramps up) that if you haven't already - get on the eBates train - well worth the couple of clicks for that cash back!

I hope you've got some wild and crazy Cinco de Mayo plans in the works - why do margaritas (extra salt) always sound SO good during pregnancy? Drink a few for me!!!

¡hasta la vista!


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