quick + dealy

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27 November 2017

as always, crushing the post title competition.

Photo unrelated but I keep going through to delete photos from my camera roll and I just can't delete this one. SO, it shall live in infamy here.

I don't know about you but the insanity of Cyber Week has me feeling like I'm missing out on a million deals and questioning some gifts I bought earlier this year and then rolling my eyes at myself because ... if this is my stress than my life is PRETTY darn great. So, I gave myself a few quick minutes to put my focused cap on and round up some deals that might pertain to you because they pertain to me and mine. If not, there's a zillion other roundups floating around!!

Lots of this years popular toys along with some old school classics are 50% off (some even more) today. Baby Alive anyone? No, just Phoebe?

30% off everything at ASOS. Whenever anyone asks me my go-to place for fancier dresses (regular and maternity AND nursing-friendly) I always point them in the direction of ASOS. They send the return label IN the box which is worth a lot to me and makes returns so easy breezy.

Love them or hate them ... Uggs is offering some super rare markdowns on their site. I'm an unapologetic lover of the shorter style boots ... just not in Florida. Usually.

A few colors of the Micro Mini Kick Scooter are marked WAY down. These things get rave reviews and Bosco was able to ride one shortly before he turned two.

Both the Vitamix and Blendtec are marked down to record low prices on Amazon. Woo to the HOO.

J.Crew is still going strong with their huge sale and this dress caught my eye.

A lot of the Mini Boden markdowns end today. These are my favorite shirts for the boys because you can leave them untouched in the dryer for days and still ... no wrinkles. the BEST. (In better stock on their site)

Super low prices on Zella gear which is great for the gym, house lounging, or going out in public if you're me.

If you're not a Sale Rack member ... you should be! Lots of great sales and hard-to-find toys along with reviews and recommendations galore. We'd love to have you.

Happy Monday!

early bird

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23 November 2017

1. Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you had a good one! Ours was super low key and ended with a fun night with friends, some fellow "pilgrims" in a foreign Floridian land. Sometimes I get tempted to throw a teeeeeeny pity party around holidays that we aren't with our families but then I think back to residency and snap out of that nonsense RILL QUICK.

2. I took no photos today but here's a photo of a little family nature walk we took this past weekend ...

... Julia is reading the placard about the Great Blue "Hair - ON" (her consistent and confident pronunciation) to her siblings who could not care less :).

3. I know I might be the last person to still be watching but did anyone else watch the fall finale of Grey's Anatomy? Was anyone else as shocked as I was? Simon semi-watches with me and was even super surprised and not so thrilled that we have to wait until January to see what happens. Simon and I did start watching Julian Fellowes' new series and while it's no Downton ... we're giving it a shot.

4. I kind of feel like I'm fumbling around trying to set up a MySpace page (the blurry photo for starters) as a grown woman but I have a new Amazon Influencer (is influencer not the worst word to come out of 2k17? it IS) page if you wanna take a click and look around. If not, I'll only be ever so slightly offended. Winky face. You see? MySpace.

5. Simon and the kids saw people pitching tents outside Best Buy today at 2pm (they were on a mission to find some evaporated milk - planners-r-us) ... I don't know why it surprised me but there must be some crazy deals to be had in person????? Right?!

6. I was excited to see almost alllll of the coats in my coat post are on serious sale but I will not be venturing out at all hours to see them in person slash pitching any sort of tent. I did order this one after it was discounted an additional 20% off the sale price. I have unrealistically high hopes but I realize I originally wanted navy or black so I'm already anticipating returning it and going for my original pick. Or this one.

7. Any big sales/scores you care to share? I'll go first.

the deep discounts over yonder caught my eye. I don't need a new cardigan but if I did - this is one of my very favorite brands and the colors! They can't be beat!

Half off EVERYTHING here made me do a double take.

+ 40% off the entire store (including another coat contender) + free shipping almost seems too good to be true.

+ Kindles 4 everyone at killer deals. The 8 qt. Instant Pot at a record low Amazon price.

+ 50% off my favorite workout leggings.

I'll add more as I find them or tack them onto my IG story like the wannabe Millennial that I am.

Happy Friday that feels like a Sunday eve!!



traveling on planes with children

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21 November 2017

The usual and massive disclaimer that I'm not an expert and greater travel veterans have gone and written more helpful posts before me - of that I am certain. Take this all with a grain of the pink Himalayan variety.

about to hop on a flight that took off right as our kids should've been going to bed. Don't do that - if at all avoidable. 

Over the course of the past three months we've been on twelve flights with our kids. Some with all of the kids and some with only one or two but kids in tow nonetheless. We've busted out our dinosaur of an iPad one time on one flight and that's not because I'm a screen nazi by any stretch of the imagination. If we were ever to do any sort of transatlantic flying you better believe I'd be investing in a few more screens but we've found a few ways to make the flights as pleasant as possible for the kids, their parents, and their fellow passengers.

Remember! Salt, folks.

1. I don't need to tell you that flying with kids is pricey and living where we live (and have lived) makes it difficult to drive to see our families without tacking on a couple of days on the front and back end of the trips so we finally got a credit card that will earn us miles at the suggestion of my airline miles savvy brother. We've earned enough miles since signing up that we've only paid $60 for all seven us (Abe is still a lap child, praise the good and gracious Lord) to fly a couple of times. We earned a ton of miles by just signing up for the credit card which helped immensely too. Will I ever forgive myself for not signing up for an airline mile happy credit card many moons ago? I don't know.

2. Backpacks - I've found that making a big deal over every kid (yes, even Bosco (2) cares) having their own bag helps make the trip feel more special (and therefore elicits decent behavior) for the kids. The older kids bring their school bags and I found a few of these on eBay but had I seen these first I probably would've gone that route for the younger kids. I'll be honest and admit that sometimes I take full and obnoxious control of what is packed in those bags and sometimes I have NO idea what they pack. It's sweet to see Sebastian pull out a random truck he thought to pack for Bosco and not so sweet to see that Phoebe packed herself a rather large ziplock of semi-sweets while flying through the air but I don't think it makes a HUGE difference either way.

Abe loves flying. So much.

3. Art without the mess - My kids now associate flying with these mess-free drawing pads and they are worth every single penny. All five of the older kids love them and sometimes I think I should stock up in the tragic event that they are discontinued.

4. Snacks - since we often fly on airlines that offer no food or drink without a fee I'm always sure to pack plenty of our own. I try to deviate from our usual snacks a bit so it feels special and exciting but again - I'm not always on top of my game and they get the usual fare they find in their lunches and are just fine with that stuff too.

5. Boarding Last - unless we're flying Southwest where you'd get a random assortment of middle seats smattered throughout the cabin if you wait till the last minute to hop on the flight - we wait to board until the bitter end. The kids are mostly fine on the flights but they're still kids and it's much easier to get someone to the bathroom at the gate than when everyone is boarding and you've been buckled up for ten minutes and counting ...

6. Stroller - Bring one! I mean unless your kids are way beyond the stroller stage they are always useful to pile high with bags, let the slow walkers ride, and gives babies a place to nap. We always bring a carrier as well (SO much easier to go through security wearing a baby than trying to juggle the shoe removal etc while holding a baby) but it's nice to have both options handy.

7. Changes of clothes - We learned this the VERY HARD WAY a few years ago when Theo got really sick on a flight and everything was in our checked luggage. I have two pairs of pants (one for the older set of kids, one for the younger) that will fit various sizes and a couple shirts stashed in my diaper bag in a ziplock JUST in case. If you have them - nothing will happen. Murphy said so.

Not sure if my favorite part of this pic is that her headphones are plugged into nothing or that she somehow snuck and painted her nails right before our trip and did a decentish job.

7. packing cubes  - I was skeptical but I kept reading how much people loves them to put inside suitcases and so I took the plunge and am an official devotee. You can organize them by day (all the outfits for Monday in one pod etc) or by person (the route I go - and treat them like mini dressers on our trip) or by category (pajamas in this one, pants in this one etc) and we've been able to fit alllll of our clothes and shoes into one checked bag and one carry-on because the cubes really do help compact everything. I can't sing their praises enough.

8. Chill Out - I've come to the realization that you can pack backpacks to snack and distraction perfection, time the diaper changes and bathroom breaks just right, and sit across the aisle from the kindest grandmother under the sun but something could/will still go wrong. Flight delays (on the tarmac - anything worse? Yes, but barely), suddenly sick kids, diaper failures, etc etc etc. I know you know that kids can sense your stress and while I'm not one to not stress in stressful situations it helps to know that there's not much to be done and if the lady in front of you turns to glare because your baby is fussy or your threenager kicks their seat - it's fine. She'll forget the inconvenience the second she's off the flight. And if she doesn't - she'll live!

9. Caveat - Right before our 12 hour drive up to Mississippi I do have to share that I bought two of these because I got nervous. We really held them over the kids' heads (after lunch and after a quiet time etc etc) so they felt like a big treat once they got them. Simon and I loaded them up the night before with shows they'd never seen and one movie on each and while they didn't even come close to plowing through all of that - it was nice to have when Bosco was about to lose it at the tail end of our return trip. I much prefer them to our iPad but our iPad is super old and we'll only use them for travel and they fit that bill perfectly.

Alright. Godspeed! 


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17 November 2017

1. With Halloween sandwiched between Paul's wedding and Sebastian's birthday - halloween2k17 didn't get any blog love so here's a framer before we blink and it's 2018 ...

... the whole crew too.

2. I always loved this blogger/author but this particular story gave me a real good and literal L O L.

3. Do you still need a turkey for Thanksgiving? Did you see this deal? I hadn't -- until just NOW.

4. Speaking of food - Simon's sister made this breakfast bake (casserole?) for us last week and I made it as soon as I got home and I've been eating it for breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/snack/dinner. Make it! Love it!

5. I don't have any new books to report but I will shamelessly admit that I pre-ordered this book. Oh SO shamelessly.

6. Thank you for your coat input both here and on Instagram! It seemed like this was the clear winner so I'll let you know if/when I pull the trigger. While scouring my usual e-haunts I came across this dress that I think would be super cute with tights and ankle boots - I think. We'll see.

7. Finally and most importantly this deserves a WHOLE lot more than a "take" but I'm scared if/when I start a post I won't stop so for now - a take it is. I wanted to ask if you could spare a prayer for Simon's mom as she approaches the end of her battle with breast cancer. It's easy for me to say she's a special soul as she's my mother-in-law but if you know Ann you know that she really is one of a kind in all of the most wonderful ways. She is on hospice care and Simon and I were able to go up last week to see her and let Abe kick around next to her - moments I will cherish forever.

from our visit to Wichita back in September. We would all live that special week over and over again if we could.

Simon has had some extended time with his four younger siblings and his parents and we'll all head up again soon. Thank you to those of you that have reached out - Simon and I are so touched and appreciative.

I don't care how much of a cliché it is but life is certainly precious, isn't it?

I'll leave you here but I hope you have a wonderful weekend heading into Thanksgiving.

decisions, decisions ...

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16 November 2017

I know I mentioned a few posts back that I'm in the market for a new winter coat (as opposed to a summer coat). While my current coat hasn't gotten a ton of wear since we moved to Florida it's 10+ years of wear are showing and if I sew the top button back on one more time I think it might revolt and run away forever. Maybe. As a terrible creature of habit I'm looking for a coat almost identical but perhaps a little bit higher quality than my current situation. I'm committed to the funnel neck (also called a "stand collar" I recently discovered) but can't decide between navy or black. Here's what I've been perseverating over for the past few days ... 

Will I likely let it go for one more year and chew my nails down to nubs because decisions like this are just TOO MUCH? Yes. But it's still fun to lay out all the options. Funnish.

1. Wool Blend Coat - If this one came in black or navy I wouldn't be writing this post because it would already be safe and sound in my closet. I LOVE it but don't love the color. Not sure why I included it ... maybe I'll have a change of heart?

2. Pressed Bouclé Coat - This might be my top choice - maybe. It's on sale and it doesn't look cheap but it wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

3. Stand Collar Coat - Actually maybe this one is my favorite. I love the sleeve detail and that it's a trustworthy brand. And on sale.

4. Wool Blend Topper - this is a close second (technically third?) but I can't decide if I like the hidden buttons or not?

5. Funnel Neck Wool Blend Coat - If I got this one I think I'd want to replace the buttons to the ones on the green version which I know I'd procrastinate for a very long time.

6. Wool Blend Stadium Coat - this reminds me so much of the much pricier J.Crew version but I feel like this is something I would've worn in high school? Which actually isn't necessarily a bad thing ...

7. Charcoal Wool Blend Coat - I have a few things from this brand that I love so I included it but wish it came in black or navy.

8. L.L. Bean Boiled Wool Coat - went off the beaten path a bit and found this - I'm guessing it's the warmest of the bunch but it also doesn't scream, "quality coat" -- does it?

Anyway, so there we have it. Do you have a favorite? Purchase a coat recently that you'd recommend with a funnel neck? Please - do share!!!

baptism and MORE

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13 November 2017

1. Much to the chagrin of many a blog reader I used to do a meticulous job of recording any noteworthy (and not) events on this here blog. Now, I'm posting a photo from Abe's baptism that happened back in September.

With no Abe. (Thanks to Simon's brother's sweet girlfriend Marquel for this photo!!) 

2. On a culinary note - my mom made the best zucchini bread growing up and so I decided to make some in muffin form the other morning before the kids woke up as a nice change of pace from the, "grab a granola bar or string cheese" as everyone tears out the door for school. So, I did. Long story short? I accidentally used turmeric instead of nutmeg and they tasted awful. Unfortunate story unfortunater? The three big kids and Simon still gobbled them up while tearing out said door. Yum. I also royally screwed up the world's easiest and most delicious pb+chocolate delicacy around tonight so maybe I should just call it good on 2k17: kitchen edition. 

3. I was hoping to get this up by Friday but now it's Monday and I'm wondering if I should just pretend I'm REALLY on the ball for this upcoming Friday? Probably. But, we all know the truth.

4. THANK YOU for all of your wonderful book recommendations! My hold list at the library is a million (give or take) miles long all thanks to you! I'll admit that I dove right into a lighthearted romance (I can't help myself!!!) and am a big fan thus far. 

5. On Riverdale - we happily forged ahead but I'll admit it was killing me (pun alert) and I totally Googled, "who killed Jason???" -- ha. I surprised myself because I hate spoilers; I don't know what came over me. 

6. Abe, Simon, and I went up to Wichita this past weekend and while it wasn't COLD cold it was coldish and I'll admit that I stopped to admire a pair of these pretties (ugglies?) this morning at Nordstrom Rack (got sidetracked looking for dress shoes for the girls - as one DOES) and then I saw that they're having an online flash sale this week. Fortuitous? Perhaps! Perhaps. 

7. Maybe I just haven't noticed in past years but doesn't it seem like a lot of retailers are jumping the Black Friday gun this year? I'm not complaining - merely noting. Any sales in particular that've caught your eye? I'm pretty skilled at dragging my feet until the week before Christmas but in an effort to be more fully present during Advent (yes, we've all heard that phrase a zillion times but it doesn't make it any less true, right? right) I really want to pick out thoughtful gifts prior to December. We recently discovered these at Simon's sisters house and they are an easy stocking stuffer no-brainer since the kids love them + they're useful. I'd like to get Simon some interview trail accessories and aside from scouring this fall sale ... that's about as far as I've gotten.

Anyway, that's THAT.

Hope your week is off to an above average start :)

the SNOO: a review

08 November 2017

I don't get many people sliding into my DMs but when they do it's often to ask my thoughts on the relatively new SNOO they see in the occasional story a la Instagram. Does it "work"??!! Is it as amazing as it seems?! Where did you get that bassinet?!

Well, I'm here to report back that yep, it's pretty amazing. It works. I really, really wish I'd had it for the other kids. Abe is our best sleeper (10-12 hours at night!) despite being constantly woken up for school runs and several trips that messed with his schedule the first few months of his little life and I just don't think it's a coincidence.

Happiest Baby rocking my happiest baby.

It's such a genius concept: combine the safety + security of a swaddle + a very slight rocking motion + just the right amount of white noise = magic. If you've read this blog for any amount of time you know what a big sound machine/white noise fan I am and I love that this has it built right in.

Let's break it all down, starting with the swaddle. The swaddle is removable and machine washable and comes in different sizes (Abe is currently in a medium) and is made out of stretchy but breathable material. Step one involves the straps that come together with velcro ...

... this is when Abe gets excited (think Pavlov's dog) because he is that bizarrely happy kid but I tell myself it's because he knows the value of a good nap.

Next and final step is to zip him up ... and say goodnight ...

The SNOO can sense/hear if the baby starts to fuss or cry and rocks slightly faster and the white noise gets louder in an effort to soothe him or her to sleep. These can also be controlled from across the house via the SNOO's handy dandy app. As the baby gets older and you'd rather they not be rocked throughout their naps or through the night you can set the SNOO to  the "weaning" setting to wean them off the rocking/noise.

First baby able to consistently nap in a light room without blackout shades. It's the little things.

I'm wondering if they'd design one for adults? Weird? No.

One of my favorite things about the SNOO is that if (heaven forbid) Abe is woken up by a wandering toddler or curious Phoebe - he can easily fall right back to sleep. The SNOO is the safest baby bed on the market because it keeps the baby on his/her back all night long. The swaddle wings that attach to the clips on the sides of the mattress prevent any accidental rolling.

Abe doesn't need them but if you're child needs to sleep on a slight incline - they recently came out with little risers to put under the bassinet pad. They've thought of everything.

Want to win one? Of course you do. Well, it's your lucky day because Happiest Baby is generously giving one away to one Camp Patton reader over on Instagram.

Best of luck!!

Happiest Baby provided the above SNOO for review but as always - all opinions are mine and mine alone :)

first festive things first ...

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07 November 2017

Maybe I'm alone here but all of a sudden my Instagram feed is chock full of decked halls, decorated trees, and holiday spirit galore. I'm more of a, "wait for advent" kind of gal but I can see the appeal of getting started early if you're a Christmas fanatic and want to enjoy the aesthetic finery for more than just December + the 12 days of Christmas. Full disclosure: we won't be in town for Christmas and I'm leaning heavily toward not putting up our tree. Grinch Patton? Perhaps. Perhaps! If the kids show signs of future Christmas Treeless PTSD from 2k17 then maybe I'll relent. However, is it too soon to scour the web for wearable finery for the little ladies in our lives? Of course not. Hypocrisy is my strong suit.

I won't subscribe to the cliché that it's more fun to dress girls than it is to dress boys but I have to admit that it often feels like there's a lot more variety in the girls' departments - especially around the holidays. I love the idea of having a 'special' dress for Thanksgiving and Christmas that doesn't have to be relegated to just November and December but can be worn into the new year as well. I also love the idea of said dress being affordable, comfortable, and play-friendly.

Here's what I dug up:

1. fit and flare gold - Julia loves anything that sparkles and I think this could be dressed up with black tights and gold shoes or dressed down with white tights and boots.

2. black and white jersey - I have to admit that this is my very favorite of the bunch. For Christmas it would be so fun with dark green or cranberry tights. Right? Right.

3. lace dress - I love the subtle bell sleeves and lace detail. Predictable as ever.

4. glittery sweatshirt dress - Both of my girls are big fans of anything involving glitter and I love how comfortable this looks.

5. asymmetrical wrap dress - Just festive enough but also just versatile enough to wear year round.

6. long-sleeved jersey dress - Ruffles and jersey! Best of both worlds.

7. green ruffles - This is my second favorite, I think. Twirl friendly and a brand I've grown to love and trust.

8. flutter dress - Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and Valentines Day all rolled into this pretty frock.

I wish I'd thought to add this adorable number because it looks extra comfy but a link will have to suffice. I'm also loving Pink Chicken's line for Target if you're wanting something with a bit of a truly festive kick.

Do you have a favorite? (#2, right?!)

Okay, that's all! For now :)

yee haw

05 November 2017

I'm tempted to type out the super catchy, "we did it!" anthem a la Dora but I'll spare us all and .... not.

But, you did it (hit the 10k mark on Facebook) and for that I thank you. On one hand I think it's kind of silly to care about followers/fans/likes and that's that - it is silly. But on a little portion of the other hand it's fun to know that people are reading (skimming, ahem) what you put out into the e-universe. So, a little giveaway to celebrate a silly (but fun!) milestone I never thought the Camp would reach.

Here's what we've got ...

Stendig Wall Calendar - this thing is huge and I love it (and the kids love coloring the months as they get torn down)

Balm dot com trio - love this stuff. A lot. 

Puffin in Bloom Collection - Julia wouldn't appreciate this quite yet so instead of gifting it to myself - next best thing -- shipping it off to one of YOU. 

3 Tier Cake Stand - Useful and aesthetically pleasing and perfect for holiday gatherings involving food. 

Rose Gold Wall Clock - love the simplicity of this. 

Pink & Gold Fitbit Alta - you know how I feel about Fitbits and this one is SO pretty. 

Okay, head over to Facebook to enter! Super simple and easy!

And thank you!!!!

hey hey you you

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03 November 2017

I don't like your ... no. I'm sure I'd love your girlfriend -- just wanted to pop back into blogging with a splash - hence that super splashy post title.


1. We've been traveling like well, travelers lately and it's really salted my blogging game because as anyone that has um traveled knows - laundry seems to multiply by the zillion when traveling and how many times can I work the word, "travel" into this run-on? Not many. Anyway, I'd love to dedicate a post to each and every one of our trips but luck is on your side and we've got even more trips on the immediate horizon and realism has always been a favorite of mine so here, have a photo I snapped right before my little brother's wedding.

The five oldest kids were in the wedding and about 3 hours into our 12 hour drive up to Mississippi where said wedding would take place I made the horrifying realization that I had left all of their wedding garb in the closet where I'd put it so, "we wouldn't forget it" -- thankfully a friend was able to overnight it for a small/large fortune but my heart is recovering from the nearattack it suffered.

2. What else ... what else? This kid.

I probably think this with every child and have blogged it several times before but I really think he's one of the happiest babies ever. For now, at least. Phoebe is obsessed with him and I spend a lot of my days pulling her off/away from him for fear she'll smother him with her aggressive affection.

3. Moving right along. Because Simon is in his third and final (!!!!!!!!) year of fellowship he's started interviewing for real live attending jobs. He's officially finished at the end of June, takes yet another round of boards, and then off we trot to our yet to be determined new location. We'd love to stay here but there just aren't any jobs in his field (something might pop up, but it's not likely - sadly) so it looks like we'll be headed north and hopefully closer to family in the midwest. The kids are thrilled (they really want to see snow - the apples fall VERY far from the mother tree on the weather front) and Simon and I are excited to start "real life" (I mean - you know) and be done with the eternal training aspect of medicine. I'll keep you posted - as you know I always do.

4. Let's talk shows of the tv variety! A few people have told me that they thought I'd love Riverdale but then a few other people said it was awful so I started watching it. And I don't hate it. Simon even indulged in an episode with me last night and aside from his need to Google up a storm about the original comic - he didn't say he didn't enjoy it. I'm waiting patiently for the Bachelor and while I wish Peter were the bachelor - I'll still be ready and waiting with bells on come January 1st. Any new shows you're loving? Oh! We've been watching The Good Doctor and really enjoying it. I know I'm the worst but while I like This is Us - I'm not a fanatic (ducks to avoid rotten eggs) and haven't kept up this season.

5. I've been reading mediocre book after mediocre book and am officially in a book RUT. Any recommendations are welcome with open and admittedly picky arms. One book I AM very much looking forward to is Jen Fulwiler's new one coming out next year. I'm happy to wait, if impatiently so. She was in town last month and we got to hit the town for dinner and drinks and now I'm feeling like I already blogged about this but it was a blast and we stayed out way too late (no regrets, ever).

6. Can I be rill annoying (please tell me you listen to Kaitlyn's podcast and love her "ken you not?!" segment?) and ask for your Facebook like/appreciation? I guess I can and I am. I'm planning a fun and worthwhile giveaway if/when the Camp reaches 10k fans (likes?) ... woo to the HOO.

7. Alright, since we are in for a bit of a colder November and December on the travel front I've been eying some colder weather friendly duds. Wading through the dozens of cute ankle boot options - I think I like these best but haven't pulled the trigger, yet. I did buy two of these for layering/wearing on the daily and highly recommend them.

And that's that! It's overwhelming thinking of all the things I could and would love to blog about and I'll do my best to put fingertips to keyboard asap. Occasional Blogger's Honor.

Linking up with Kelly!


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