Being Brickner

Friday, June 24, 2016

Fashion Friday & Beach Days

Hello, Friday!!!  Tomorrow marks five whole years of marriage with the love of my life, we are so excited to celebrate all day long!  The grandparents will be taking care of our girls, no huge plans, just a day of relaxing kid-free on the beach and then dinner for two.

Speaking of the beach, we have been trying to make our way there at least once a week to burn off some energy and enjoy some sunshine.  Going to the beach with kids (especially when you are on your own & outnumbered), is hardly relaxing but it's definitely one of our favorite activities in the summer.  Little sissy already loves it just as much as we do, if only we could get her to not eat her weight in sand - we would be golden. ;)

Avalon is wearing the sweetest dress ever from She's So Precious, I absolutely adore it!  White is my favorite color to wear hands-down, for both me & the girls, even though it's super risky for all of us, since it always ends up dirty.  Well worth the cuteness, though!  The dress has the most beautiful embroidery and the tie on the back is just precious!  I love how classic it is, I can see this being passed down to my grandkids one day (whaaaaat?!!), I will definitely keep this one forever.

A special shout-out to my mother-in-law who handmade Avalon's bonnet (in fifteen minutes!), another piece I will cherish forever and ever, without a doubt!

And before I sign off for the weekend, if you follow us on IG, you may have seen the circus that is a beach day for me with two kids.  We got this beach cart at the end of last summer and though it took forever & a day to load it, it was amazing and we definitely won't do a beach day without it ever again.  The wheels go perfectly on the sand, and obviously, you can fit a lot on it.  I'm happy to report that I got all three of us and the cart down to the beach and back, though I'm sure the site wasn't too pretty at all.

Beach Cart - Float - Girls Suits - Beach Bag
Wishing you all the most glorious weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Best is Yet To Come

I love that the girls have birthdays that are close together, I love that they are both summer babes & I have real visions of them having joint best girlfriend parties later in life (dreams really do come true!).  But these back to back birthdays can also can all kinds of emotional. I mean, how is it even possible that I have a one and (almost!) four year old?  Is is real life that Avalon Elle is a toddler and that Waverly Maye is a year & a half from being in kindergarten?  Yep.  Somehow it sure as hell is.

Motherhood is such a mind trip.  Like so many mamas, I have all the feels over time passing by in what feels like lightning speed.  One look at a picture of Avalon in her first days, or even worse, Waverly in hers, can put one giant lump in my throat and almost bring me to my knees.  But!  New moms, hear me out!!  There's good news too.  More often than not, seconds after an emotional moment like that, I glance at my two daughters, both who are growing into these beautiful little ladies that I can't even believe are mine - and think about how much better it gets.  Sure, baby snuggles & first smiles are everything, but so is your three year old telling you (possibly 100 times in a row) how much she loves you.  Or your one year old coming in for open mouth kisses.  I've been thinking about this for a while now, especially lately with Waverly, and thought I would round up some other things that just makes babies growing up pretty damn great.

1 - The things they say.  I know I mention this all the time, but it seriously is the best.  Starting with the first "maaaaaa maaaaas" that Avalon repeats on the daily (she really knows who I am!), to Waverly's never-ending stories & comments all day long that literally make me laugh out loud.  Today she said "mom, I suppose I should go to my room and relax for a bit because that's what children do".  Where the hell does she get this stuff from?  THE BEST.

2 - They learn to wipe their own ass.  Need I say more?!!!!  We aren't quite there yet, but pretty close and you guys, it's a total game changer.

3 - Another game changer - buckling their own car seat!  Waverly loves to do this, and even though it just takes seconds, it makes the biggest difference when out for a day of errands.  Like to Target.  And back to Target.  Also along with this, your kid likes the car seat more as they grow.  Both my little ladies hated driving when little but came around to it as they grew.  Now it's Waverly's favorite, she loves going on "adventures" all day long!

4 - You don't have to pack the house.  At least for the older kid.  We are at the point with Waverly that I just bring some snacks & a sippy cup, and she is good.  Of course she brings 1267 things in her "purse", including lip gloss & her own three babies, but you take what you can get, right?!

5 - They are easier to rationalize with - MOST of the time.  We definitely still have our moments, but the closer we get to four, the more I feel like I can talk Waverly off the ledge.  Toddler moms, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I can see it! :)

6 - They are just so much fun.  I really love hanging with Waverly these days, she's my little bestie & I love that we can paint our nails together, talk about her best friends at school, and every once in a while, we go on a date just the two of us and it's my favorite.  It makes me think about when the girls (and hopefully another Brickner babe or two!) are older and making all the memories, just like the ones we are now, but different.

7 -  Activities.  I'm not sure there's anything cuter than watching your kid in a dance recital, gymnastics, or soccer.  It's just precious, and might make you feel like the proudest parent on the planet.

8 - You start to see that they have been watching every single thing you do and it's (mostly) adorable.  Especially since we had Avalon, I have noticed that 85% of what Waverly says is something I have said (the other 15% is what Ben & Holly or Peppa Pig say).  She takes care of her babies and says the exact same things that I say to Avalon.  I smile every single time I hear Waverly say to Avalon, "sweetie girl, I just love you so much and am going to take care of you forever".

8 - They tell you they love you.  They give you hugs.  And then come back for one more.  They show up in your bed in the morning with the sweetest cuddles and tell you that they missed you.  They are becoming the most wonderful little people and it's the best reassurance in the world that you are doing something right.  So very right.

Do you have a favorite part of your babe growing?!  Please share, I would love to hear! :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day Weekend

This weekend was such a good one, finally a couple of days to relax after all we've had going on the last few weeks.  We needed it!  The weather was perfect, no rain & lots of sunshine, the girls just love being outside every second lately so we take full advantage.

We got this bike trailer when Waverly was little & are so excited that Avalon is big enough to use it now, we put both girls in for the first time Saturday and rode around our neighborhood and to the park.  They both loved it, of course Avalon got tired & fussy, Waverly kept trying to feed her yogurt bites to keep her happy and when it wasn't working she said "Goodness gracious, sweetie girl, I just very can't take this anymore, you are stressing me out".  The things she says are my favorite.

We were so excited to celebrate Father's Day, we had donuts in bed, daddy went for a golfing trip while we stayed around & cleaned the house, and then went to my grandparents for a cookout.  I can't say enough about my husband, who is raising two little girls who are going to grow up adoring their daddy, just like I did.  It's still surreal to me that this is our life, that we are old enough to have two kids and that they are healthy, happy, and just so beautiful inside & out, which is undoubtedly a testament to the kind of father he is.  He is selfless, hard-working, and exactly the kind of man I hope my girls find one day.

Also, he's mastered an Elsa braid like a boss.  We just love him. 

Lastly, two things!  One, I finally took the plunge on Hanna Anderson jams (that the girls are wearing above) after hearing so many things, and let me just say that they are AMAZING!  Worth every bit of the money.  They are so soft and only have gotten better with each washing.  I know they will last which makes the biggest difference when it comes to kids clothes.

And most importantly, has anyone used the online grocery store ordering service?  I ordered groceries on my computer while the girls played yesterday, they called me a few hours later to let me know that they were ready, so we literally pulled in & someone brought out our bags and even put them in the car for me.  I didn't even get out of my car.  It was amazing and quite possibly the best thing that happened to moms in the history of ever.

Hope you had the best weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Finn & Emma: Muslin Swaddle Review

Happy Thursday!  I'm super excited to stop in with a fun review of the most adorable muslin swaddle blankets, our friends at Finn & Emma sent these over and we couldn't wait to try them.  We are big fans of a good blanket over here, obviously for those first weeks of a baby's life, but also for well beyond.  Both our girls still use muslin swaddles daily, most often to cuddle with during naps.  Especially during the warmer months, we love the lightweight feel of the muslin!

Waverly also loves to choose one (or a few!) during the day to cuddle up with when we try to have some downtime, she piles them up with some of her favorite books & babies.  Which of course includes her most well-loved baby, her little sister. :)

The Finn & Emma muslin swaddles come in a set, we chose the more feminine version but there is also one for boys.  We love the print of the peach one and also how versatile the hot pink one is.  They are both so soft and only get better after each wash, one of my favorite features of muslin swaddle blankets!  I know these will be used and loved for years to come.

You can find both sets of muslin swaddles here.  There are also so many more adorable options on the site, and we love the fact that everything is 100% organic.  Happy shopping!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Avalon's First Birthday Garden Party

We celebrated miss Avalon Elle over the weekend with a garden party, a theme I decided on when she was around six months old because it just seemed to fit her so well.  Anyone who knows Avalon knows how sweet she is, there really is no better word to describe her, so a sweet garden party with some of our family & close friends was truly perfect.  I know she won't remember it, but I hope she looks back on these pictures one day & knows how much love was put into such a special day all for her.

I decided on a food table inside, with a few fun decorations and some pictures of Avalon hung into a garland, and then a dessert table outside.  The board was a labor of love, the biggest thanks to Michelle from Design with Elegance for the beautiful flowers & Hooray Everyday for the felt garland. I am definitely keeping them to possibly use in the girls playroom or Avalon's room as a fun memory.

Outside, we had a table with the most beautiful & delicious cake (made by Rachel Bakes, if you are in the area!), as well as macaroons and little pots of dirt cake.  We used the same high chair that we found at a garage sale & painted white for Waverly's first birthday, and around it was the most gorgeous felt garland by Erin from The Grey Rose.  We also had the biggest balloon of all time (not pictured, but seriously, it was huge!), hung with ivy as the string.

Avalon has a major sweet tooth, so I was so excited to see her smash into her cake!  She loved it & probably even loved the strawberries more, I have about 500 more pictures of her just melting us all with those blue eyes while sitting in her chair.  She could have sat there forever!  Afterwards, we changed her and let her open a few presents, by the end of the day she was completely exhausted but still hanging on just as sweet as can be.  The biggest thank you to our family & friends who came out to celebrate such a special day for our baby girl, and to my brother who face-timed in from across the country since he knew how sad I was for him to miss it.  We are so thankful that our girls are surrounded by people who love them just as much as we do!

See a full list of links below, happiest birthday to our littlest lady, you bring us so much joy and we love you so incredibly much!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Keeping A Clean Home with Kids

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PowerfulFusionClean #CollectiveBias

I'm kicking the new week off with a little cleaning talk, which seems about right for a Monday, don't you think?!  I recently posted on some cleaning tips for the working mom here, and thought I would also share a cleaning schedule we have been using on & off for a few years now.  When it works (and I stay on it!), it makes the biggest difference for us when it comes to keeping a clean house with two little ones running around.  Like everyone else, our biggest issue is time, so by breaking everything up into days, it makes it way less overwhelming and easier to do during naps or random magical moments when the girls are playing quietly together on the floor. :)  This image is downloadable, so feel free to click on it & save it to your own computer for reference.

I try to do one big thing a day, and typically like to save the vacuuming & sheets, as well as the outdoor stuff for the weekends when my husband is home.  I also try to pick one big chore every week (cleaning out the fridge or going through the girls closets, which is never ending), and tackle it when I have time.

As far as everyday stuff, the first thing I try to do every morning is make the beds and then throw a load of laundry in.  I am convinced that if I miss one day, I will be drowning in clothes forever, Waverly likes to change her outfit every hour now & Avalon gets messy so quickly she has too. I wipe the kitchen counters about 400 times throughout the day, and do at least one load of dishes.  This is something Waeverly loves to help me with, incorporating her in the chores that she can do has been great for us, I love teaching her to keep things clean & it's also something we can do together that only "big kids can do, not babies".

We have been using the new Palmolive® Fusion Clean™ dish liquid, it combines baking soda & the fresh scents of lime or grapefruit which gives you a modern twist on cleaning!  This dish liquid uses trusted ingredients and is specially formulated for tough cleaning challenges.  It is available in Baking Soda & Lime and Baking Soda & Grapefruit!

You can get the new Palmolive® Fusion Clean™ at Kroger stores, thank you for Colgate-Palmolive for teaming up with us on this post!  Use this coupon through June 25th for 50 cents off any 22 oz. bottle plus, and also starting July 24th for 25 cents off!

Do you have any cleaning tips to share?!  I would love to hear below.  And happiest week ahead, friends!  XO

Friday, June 10, 2016

Avalon's Birthday Week

Happy Friday!  We have had quite the last couple of weeks over here, lots going on & not much time to pause to take a breath, but making sweet memories, just the way we like it.  Last weekend, my husband and I took a little overnight trip a few hours away for one of my best friend's weddings.  This trip was much-needed, and worth every bit of the day it took to pack enough for us to get the girls to my in-laws to make it happen. ;)  Everything was breathtakingly beautiful, especially the bride!  We ate & drank way too much, and had a little extra excitement when we were caught in a flash flood on the charter bus on the way home with some of our best friends- for over four hours, until four am, a night we definitely won't ever forget!

And Avalon's birthday week!  My littlest is officially one, we greeted her on her birthday by busting in her room singing "happy birthday", Waverly was no doubt the most excited of us all.  She picked out Avalon a little present the day before, some cars, Avalon is obsessed with all things with wheels (which makes daddy very proud!).  We had birthday pancakes, Waverly & I made cupcakes while Avalon napped, I took the girls to the waterpark, then we had dinner followed by a little cake for our one-year old.  Exhausting but so, so much fun, celebrations are our favorite and there's no one worth celebrating more than my little ladies!

We are so excited to end the week with a garden party for miss Avalon Elle tomorrow.  Can't wait to share pictures soon, in the meantime, a complete picture overload of Waverly & Avalon kicking the party off a little early last weekend, these are some of my favorite photos ever!  These girls, they make my heart burst.

I've been posting at really weird times this week (just trying to get it done when I could!) - but here is a little birthday post for Avalon Elle & a last day of school post for Waverly Maye, in case you missed either.

Wishing you all the happiest weekend!