Being Brickner

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Apple Picking

I have been wanting to take our crew apple picking for as long as I can remember, and last weekend, all my dreams came true when we went on a family day trip to the most beautiful apple orchard in Charlottesville.  I knew the girls would love this, we go strawberry and peach picking each year, and it's always one of our favorite traditions.  Adding apples this time around was just the best, all four of us love apples (including Avalon, which says a lot since she usually doesn't like any foods aren't ice cream or lollipops).

The drive was a little over three hours, which honestly wasn't bad at all, we drove up early Saturday morning and were back in time for dinner (and Alabama football!) by late that afternoon.  The orchard was just incredible, every corner we turned had another gorgeous view and there was just so much to do.  After picking for apples, we got a few drinks and let the girls run around barefeet and play with tons of kids activities they had out, which was just the kind of relaxing we needed after a couple of chaotic weeks of back to school.  Waverly said "this is my favorite day ever", and Avalon hasn't stopped talking about the apple donuts and apple smoothies.  It really was the perfect way to kick off all the fall fun!


If you have an apple orchard near you, we definitely recommend it!!!  It would even be a really fun day date or place for a birthday party or shower (there were tons there that day & it was the cutest!). Also, Waverly's dress can be found here, I love it so much to wear all fall long!  Happy Thursday, friends!  XO

Friday, September 15, 2017

Waverly's Little Corner

One of my goals for the start of the school year was to give Waverly's closet and dresser a much needed clean-out and update.  She had a ton of clothes in there that she had outgrown, along with a lot of summer stuff that I knew wouldn't be appropriate for school -- and that I also knew she would try to wear, so I was basically just avoiding some wardrobe battles and saving some of my sanity.  So far it's going really well, and I love this new corner of her room!

We decided to replace a huge armoire we previously had in her room with a smaller dresser, because it just seemed more functional and it allowed for more space in the middle of the room to her to play.  This room always seems to be where the girls want to spend most of their time, and we also plan to move Avalon in here when we move her out of her crib and into a big girl bed.  You know, when she is eight. ;)

We were going to buy a new dresser, then changed our minds and were going to buy an old one and refinish it, and then changed our minds again when we decided to use my husband's sister's dresser from when she was little, and refinished that.  The dresser was originally white, so after sanding it my husband painted it grey (and actually just used old paint we had left from painting Avalon's nursery a few years ago), then replaced the knobs with pink ones we found at Hobby Lobby.  I actually love the final product so much more than if we had bought a new one, it has history and meaning behind it, and brings some sweet character to her room.

      Rug - Bookcase - Madeline Book -- The Wonderful Things You Will Be -- Flora The Flamingo -- Wolfie The Bunny -- Gaston -- Florabelle -- Alice in Wonderland -- I Had A Favorite Dress -- Emma

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

School Survival Tips & A Giveaway

We are officially one week into the new school year over here and are slowly settling into a routine, so I thought I would share some of the things that have made our day to day just a little bit easier!  We are no experts at all, and I know so many of you have many years (and kids!) on me when it comes to this, but it's our first year with all three of us girls in school so surviving week one with mostly all smiles seems nothing short of a pretty big win.

1.  For us, consistency is key.  We thrive on routine, as do our girls, and returning to a good routine was honestly one of the things I was looking forward to most about fall.  We have tried to move our bedtimes up some, because we can with it getting dark earlier, but also because Waverly really needs some extra rest with full day kindergarten.  Also it takes at least thirty minutes for our kids to fall asleep once they are in their room at night, so there's that too.

2.  All hands on deck.  I think it's so important to have everyone involved, and since I work full-time, there's no doubt I couldn't do it without the help of my husband.  He usually makes all three of us breakfast while I pack Waverly's lunch and get us ready, and I take care of all the paperwork/packing their bags and he cleans up after dinner at night.  Waverly loves to have all four of us all walk her out to the bus stop in the morning, and with it being such a big year for her, we are going to try and make that work as often as possible.

3.  Just say no. ;)  I am the worst when it comes to this, but I am really trying to be selective about what we commit to, especially during the week, because before long it just gets so overwhelming.  Waverly will be doing dance once a week again this year, it's one of her favorite things, and I am going back & forth about putting both girls in gymnastics.  I really love our lazy late afternoons catching up after busy school days, they are what keep me going during the week!

4.  A "school corner".  I have two hooks for the girls backpacks (found here) and they really do help when it comes to organization.  I'm trying to teach them to hang them when they walk in at the end of the day, and especially to get Waverly in the habit of putting her papers from school in a little drawer next to it so they don't get lost in the chaos.

5.  School Work Folders.  I am in the process of creating one of these for both girls, I love the idea of this SO much!!  We already have so many papers from just part-time preschool, so I think this will be a great way to keep some special pieces and keep them organized -- without having papers everywhere.

6.  And lastly, daily outfits.  Probably our biggest challenge when it comes to getting out of the house.  If you know Waverly, you know she is extremely opinionated when it comes to her wardrobe, especially when it comes to something she is going to wear to school.  We ALWAYS set out all our clothes the night before, and especially make sure that both Waverly & Avalon's outfits are comfy enough to run around in.  We teamed up with Keen shoes on a pair of shoes for each little lady, and my girls are big fans!!!!   They have already worn them to school a few times over the past week and the fact that they are bright purple (and easy to move in), it pretty much just blew their little minds.  We recently tested them out before school started with a girls ice cream date, one of our favorite things to do!


Keen shoes is giving back to you all this school season, TEN lucky winners will each recieve a pair of free shoes each (you must choose from new arrivals).  To enter, scroll to the bottom of this post and click the link.  Good luck!  Also be sure to check out the other bloggers I have teamed up with on this, they also have great back to school tips on their blogs today!  Enjoy, friends! XO

The Chirping Moms -- Wanderlust Crew -- Simple, Like Love -- Suburban Wife, City Life -- Marino Bambinos -- The Love Designed Life -- Momfessionals -- Munchkins and Moms -- Thrifty Nifty Mommy


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Friday, September 8, 2017

First Day of School 2017

Well friends, we made it! :)  Both our girls had huge milestones this week, Waverly Maye on her first day of kindergarten and little Avalon Elle on her first day of preschool!  I still can hardly believe it, overall they both did SO WELL and we really couldn't be any prouder.  I spent the weekend before pretty nervous about how things would go (and am honestly pretty relieved that the chaos of the first day is behind us), but their smiles that afternoon made everything so much easier on my mama heart.


Waverly was the first to wake up Tuesday morning, she loves getting all dressed up for the day more than anything (as long as it's something she wants to wear!), so she was completely ready before she even came into my room.  All four of us went to wait at her bus step together, where she just held my hand and patiently waited for the bus to get there.  It pulled up and she gave us a hug & walked right to the steps, without even looking back, and got right on.  I thought I would be able to keep it together until that moment, I will never forget the sight of her little five-year old self walking towards the big yellow school bus with her backpack on, it was the sweetest thing and also the saddest thing all at once.  So I did want any sane mama would do - drove right behind her bus all the way to the school, and watched from the window while she walked into the building in a single-file line like SUCH a brave little girl.  The day felt like it lasted a million years, but when she finally came home, she was beyond excited -- her favorite subject was PE and she loved the lunch I packed for her.  That night when I put her to bed, she said, "mom seriously, I bet you are really going to cry when I turn 40".

My husband took Avalon to her preschool since I had to be at work, where it did not go as well. ;)  There were lots of tears and clinging and "daddy, DON'T LEAVE", pretty much the same thing that happened when we dropped off Waverly to her first day of preschool a couple years ago.  The good news though, my mom picked her up and she was happy as ever, the teachers said that she told them a million stories while she was there and that singing at chapel was her favorite part.  Which is SO her!!  She only goes for a few hours a couple days a week, so she has only been back once, but she seems to be getting (a little) better about drop-off and was still happy at pick-up, so we are counting the positives on that.  It's also pretty damn cute when she says later, "mommy, I cried today to go to school".  We know.


Hope everyone else's babies had the best transition back to school!!!  I'm excited to celebrate making it through with some much-needed downtime (and extra sissy snuggles!) this weekend.  Wishing the same for you!  XO

PS - The girls shoes can be found here, we love them so much and they are perfect for when you need to gets kids ready quickly in the morning!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!!  This week was a really busy one, it was the first week back for teachers, my birthday, and both the girls had their open houses at school!  They are both so excited for next week, but also a little nervous.  Avalon shocked me the other day when she said (out of nowhere) "mama, I'm a little scared for pee-school", and Waverly keeps trying to figure out how she will do the monkey bars without me there to help her.  Umm, how do moms survive this?! ;)  Luckily though, they both loved their teachers and Avalon actually got upset when the open house was over & she had to leave, so it gave me just the encouragement I needed to be the strong mama bear on Tuesday.  Also, on a side note, if your kids haven't gone back yet and you are looking for some fun things to do for the first back back, this article I came across has so many cute ideas!

I thought I would kick off the three-day weekend with some of the things I am loving right now.  Fall is such a fun time of year for ALL THE THINGS! :)

I just ordered these loafers for school and can't wait for them to get here.  They will go with everything and most of the reviews on them are so good (I am obsessed with reading all the reviews)!  These leopard ones are equally as amazing, I had such a hard time deciding!

I love this rug so much, as a fun accent over a rug you already have placed or in any space really.  We have another jute rug and it doesn't show dirt from kids, so that's a plus as well.

We are ALMOST done with the girls bathroom remodel and I can't wait to share it soon.  My husband gutted the entire thing and did it all himself, it has been a huge project and I just can't even explain how good it feels to be able to give the girls a bath again.  Now that most of the big work is done, we are in the decorating phase -- I got these stools and love them for any room in the house.

I am having such a hard time finding the girls good shoes for school.  They both (especially Waverly) would rather wear some sort of high heeled dress-up shoes than the kind of easy-to-walk in shoes I know teachers want them to wear.  I just got them each a pair of Mini Melissa's (so cute for little girls!) and also think a pair of these would be so easy for the mornings.

Anyone who knows me knows I have a sweet tooth.  And both my girls have inherited it as well, most days we are lucky to get Avalon to eat anything but sweets!  Halo Top recently sent us some coupons to get some of their ice cream, it is SO GOOD, and good for you!  Our favorite kind was cookies & cream, there are a ton more to choose from as well.

And lastly, a few pictures from our week.  My brother who lives in Colorado surprised the girls by sending them an Elsa kite to our house -- sweetest thing ever -- so we took advantage of the cooler weather, and also a picture with the girls for my birthday.  Don't ask me how old I am, mainly because I swear I can't keep up my actual age anymore.


Wishing you a very happy weekend and also sending our love to all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. XO

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Farewell, Summer.

This morning I go back to school for my teacher in-service before the kids come the following week, which means officially, our carefree, no schedule summer days are over.  This will be the fifth time I have returned to school after summer break as a mom, and I am convinced more than ever, the transition just never gets easier. I am so incredibly grateful for my summers at home with my kids, it's one of the reasons I decided to return to teaching, but it's also so bittersweet and one huge emotional roller coaster once a year.  It always gets easier, and we make it work just fine, but I know any working mom can relate.  It's pretty much the same feeling I felt that time I started bawling crying in front of the ziplock bags (I was getting to pack my lunch the next day) at the grocery store the afternoon before I was returning to school after maternity leave with baby Waverly. ;)

I am at a new school (which I am super excited about!) and will have a new schedule this year, basically going in a little later and finishing a little later in the afternoon as well.  This means that I will get to spend the mornings with the girls, help them get ready and put Waverly on the bus, but also that I will not be able to get her off the bus each afternoon.  This was hard for me, especially since it's such a big year for her, but I am counting the positives, and am super thankful I get to see her off each day and that we have family & close friends who are able to be with her for the little bit until I get there.  With that being said, I am preparing myself for a crazy day the first day of school, I am not quite sure how I will ever logistically -- and emotionally -- get all three of us girls ready, get Avalon to her preschool (for the first time ever!), get Waverly on the bus (for the first time ever!), and then get myself to my own new school and not one big hot mess.  I know I will make it work though, because I am a mom, and isn't that what we do?  And then I know it will take time, but we will find our way right back into a routine and all too quickly, another year will have passed and it will be summer break once again.

Sharing some more summer pictures, it's been lots of barefeet and bathing suits and ice cream and late bedtimes and allll the summer things.  These truly are the days, the exhausting, long, beautiful and magical days, and I never want to forget them.


I hope that all of you (whether working, full or part time, or staying at home with your babies), are having a good transition this time of year.  I forever support us all! XO

Friday, August 18, 2017

Peach Picking

Happy Friday, hope you had the most wonderful week!!  We are making every effort to soak in these last days of summer over here, one more week until I am back to school and the girls have one more after that.  It's really been such a fun few months, it turns out ages 5 & 2 are much more able to do all the things than when the girls were younger (which is so much fun), but also, they can - and want - to do all the things.  I attempted to have a chill day at home the other day and about twenty minutes in, I walked into Waverly painting Avalon's toes and having a tea party with actual water all over the playroom.  The chill day at home wasn't so chill. 

With that being said, for what I think is the first time ever, we have actually crossed off our entire bucket list!  When we originally wrote our list back at the end of spring, we each got to contribute one thing that we wanted to do and mine (hands down!) was peach picking.  My love for watching my babies run through a field runs deep and the fact that we get to come home afterwards with bags of fresh fruit always makes it that much better.  We did this last year as well (post is here), but this year we went to a different place and we liked it even more.  They were SO many peaches and the entire place was just so beautiful, plus we got to have the best homemade ice cream after we picked.  If you are local, we went here and I am pretty sure they still have peaches left to pick!


Wishing you a very happy weekend!
XO