Being Brickner : November 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 & Cyber Monday Picks

Hope you all had the most amazing Thanksgiving weekend with your loved ones!  I feel like I might say this with every holiday that comes & passes, but Thanksgiving really is one of my favorites of the year.  There's just so much excitement & anticipation in the air, I could relive it over, over, and over again!! :)

Sweet baby Avalon hadn't been feeling well all week, she was super congested & had the worst runny nose, we all felt so had for her.  Yet so very true to her, she mostly pushed right through it & was a trooper all day long.  We had a fun breakfast, turkey muffins and pumpkin pancakes cut into fall shapes, and took advantage of the most beautiful weather ever, with a walk around the neighborhood.  My brothers came over & helped entertain the girls while I got us all ready, we took some pictures, and then went to my grandparents for dinner.  

My Dress, Avalon's Dress, Waverly's Dress
Such a fun day with my little & extended family!  Life can get so chaotic sometimes, especially lately, days fly by and it's so easy to get caught up in everything else & forget to just slow down and be thankful.  I truly am.  For my health, my family, and for this wonderful life we are building together.

And lastly, happy CYBER MONDAY! :)  Are you all shopping online today?!  I thought I would share a couple of my favorite deals - (1), Asos is 30% off everything, love the prints on this dress & this one, and this suede swing dress would be so versatile to dress-up for some holiday parties!  (2), Anthropologie is 25% off everything, this mug is the perfect gift for anyone really, and I love these bowls as a gift for myself. :)  Lastly, both Old Navy & Gap are 40% off everything, no exclusions.  I always try to stock up on jams for the girls during sales like these since they are usually excluded, these are perfect for during the holidays or all year long!  Happy shopping! XO 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Eve & A Giveaway Winner

Aaah, we made it!!!  I wanted to stop in & wish you all the happiest holiday with your sweet families, plus share a few pictures from our week so far.  I have always been in the camp that waited until after Thanksgiving to bring out anything Christmas, and then this year happened.  I couldn't contain myself and put out our stockings last weekend (which I love, can't wait to share!).  In my defense though, our dining room is still dedicated only to Thanksgiving, it's all ready for a festive little breakfast with our family of four tomorrow! :)

Bar Cart - Similar
On a side note, I got that pumpkin beverage dispenser a couple of weeks ago on Halloween clearance (at Target, obviously).  I had my eye on it forever but couldn't justify $30 on another beverage dispenser, so I couldn't put it in my cart fast enough when I saw it for half off.  Then I was getting both girls our of the car when I got home, plus trying to carry everything in (always a circus), and I dropped it and watched it shatter all over the driveway.  So that's pumpkin beverage dispenser #2, and yes, it is worth the second drive back to get it.

We have leaves on top of leaves on top of leaves in our yard right now, my husband made a huge pile for the girls a couple weekends ago & they are loving it!  Jumping in leaf piles is one of my favorite fall memories from my childhood, I can't get enough of watching my girls love it as much as I used to.  As excited as I am for the holidays, I don't want all this fall fun to ever end!

Avalon's One-Piece (Similar) - Waverly's Duck Boots
.The biggest congratulations to Andrea Palmer for winning the Purple Laurel giveaway, look for an email from me to claim your prize.  And thanks to everyone who entered!

Lastly, in the true spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to thank you all of you for your constant support and kindness of my blog & family!  I say it often but I can't ever say it enough, you all are truly inspiring and such a positive community!  Enjoy every minute of this long holiday weekend, you all deserve it. :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Turkey Day Trends

Happy holiday week!  I know you all feel the same way I do, this Monday is a whole lot less painful than most, we are so excited for the next few days (or weeks, really!) ahead.  Just like every other year, we will not be traveling for Thanksgiving, we keep it pretty low-key with breakfast at our house, the Macy's parade, & then dinner with family.  I'm especially excited this year because my little brother moved to Colorado a little over a month ago and this will be his first trip back.  We are so happy for him but miss him so much already, I don't know how you all who don't live close to your hometown do it.  We definitely aren't used to this sort of thing!

I thought it would be fun to round up some looks that would be good for all the Thanksgiving festivities, we take any excuse to have fun with fashion & turkey day is certainly a good one!  Like most other days of the year, I tend to stick to neutrals and then make it fun with fun shoes or accessories.  I usually get the girls a new headband and you could do the same for little boys with hats (like this one, too, too cute!).

Camel Sweater - Brown Booties - Weekender Bag - Cream Knit Dress - Plaid Leggings - Fringe Boots - Cream Tutu Dress - Fur Vest - Grey One-Piece - Southwestern Sweater 
Waverly has that cream sweater dress from Gap and it's one of our favorites, really well-made and so versatile.  It's a little long on her and kind of looks like a maxi dress, but still super cute & I know she will get lots of wear out of it for the next two fall/winter seasons! I definitely recommend it:)

And a few pictures from our weekend!  Starting with my girls in matching, head-to-toe outfits.  I didn't think I would ever take it quite that far yet, I did.  That's all I can say.

And in exciting news, our Avalon Elle is officially sitting!!  We started with the bumbo & then slowly transitioned her without it, and it's so freaking adorable.  She has never been a big fan of laying down so this is totally a game-changer for us, one of my favorite milestones for sure!

Wishing you the happiest SHORT week!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Breastfeeding Round Two & A Giveaway

I am five months into exclusively breastfeeding miss Avalon Elle & lasted almost right at a year with Waverly Maye, which means I have been breastfeeding babies for 17 months of my life.  Crazy!  I thought I would share a little bit about my experience with both girls, with a focus on how it's been going the second time around.  I am definitely no expert, but through trial & error have learned some along the way, I hope this is helpful to someone or that you can find a way to relate. :)

I blogged about my experience with Waverly on Julie's blog here.  Long story short, all is well that ends well, but the first few months were very much a struggle.  During my pregnancy I had every intention to breastfeed, but was completely naive in thinking that it would come naturally.  The pain and overall emotional struggle of the entire experience during those first few weeks were a total shock to me.  I certainly don't want to scare anyone who hasn't been through it, but I will never forget how unprepared I felt.  The issues I had with engorgement, with getting her to latch on, and with keeping up my supply were all things I really hadn't even heard of and my best advice will always be to research and even take a class during your first pregnancy.  With that being said, I am forever grateful for that time I had with her and that I pushed through!  We lasted until right before Waverly's first birthday and I really consider that an accomplishment, especially since I was working full-time.

So this time!  For us, breastfeeding is definitely one of those cases where the second time was the charm.  Avalon latched on with no problem pretty much at birth & with the exception of some engorgement when my milk came in (which really does hurt like hell!), we really haven't had issues since.  She loves to eat straight from the source, as much as I love her to, she will take a bottle but absolutely prefers to nurse and is so comforted by it.  I absolutely love those moments with her, cuddling her, listening to her breathe, and just memorizing every little part of her body.  My supply seems to be bigger this time, I am in no way one of those people who makes a lot of milk and has a freezer full of it, but we have quite a few back-up bags compared to living day to day like we did round one.  I am sure my confidence & just overall better idea of the situation is what has made the biggest difference on a more positive experience all-around.

Of course I have my days where I feel over it.  Being someone else's sole source of nourishment is so empowering & wonderful, but also can be overwhelming.  There are nights that I wish I wasn't tied to the bed feeding & instead could go read Waverly a book.  There are days that it would be SO much easier to let Avalon hold a bottle in the car seat rather than take twenty more minutes to leave because I had to sit down to feed.  And with only a few back-up bags and still working every other day, most of the time I would rather stay at home and feed Avalon than ever leave her or have more than a beer while she is awake.  It's just not worth the hassle or the worry, which is totally lame but true.  It would definitely be nice to have a little more freedom at times, but I know that is is just a season & that all the good far outweigh all the bad.  With all of that being said, can I get a big "amen!" from all you working mamas who would like to join me in a bonfire to burn our pumps?!  Because I hate that thing.

I would love to hear your feedback, anything you can relate to or that you have learned from your own experience.  Above all else, I do know that each situation is unique, and we are all just trying our best to do what works for our little ones, whatever that may be!  I'm so excited to offer all you mamas a fun giveaway to make your life a little bit easier, a $50 credit to Purple Laurel.  Whether you are expecting or post-partum, this shop has so many amazing options, including postpartum belly wraps, nursing tops & hands-free pumping bras (I use mine every single day!).  Enter the giveaway at the very bottom of this post, good luck!  The winner will be announced next Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve! :)

And because this post wasn't long enough, I realized that I never shared these pictures from Avalon's newborn shoot, better late than never, right?!

Pictures By - Brooke Tucker Photography

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Holiday Cards with Tiny Prints

Christmas cards are my jam.  They are definitely one of my absolute favorite traditions during the holidays, I love the entire process of doing ours & I love, love getting fun mail from everyone else!  I have an entire box of cards from others that I have kept over the years and always look forward to pulling out our own old ones to display each holiday season.

This year's card will be our fifth together.  Our first we were newlyweds, our second Waverly Maye was just a few months old, our third we were at the park in the neighborhood where we bought our first house, and last year was right after we announced we were expecting baby number two!  So many special memories, I know I will love looking back on these forever. :)

  We will be working with Tiny Prints for the third time this holiday, which I am so excited about!  I can't say enough about this company, they are the absolute best year after year.  Their cards are such high-quality and their designs are always so beautiful & innovative, without being too crazy.  We are having our family pictures done in a couple weeks for our cards, which I am both excited for and nervous about at the same time (I'm sure other moms can relate!).  In the meantime, I thought I would narrow down some options, here are a few that I am loving!

I usually stick to more neutrals, in fashion & home decor too, but kind of love the idea of adding some pops of color this year.  I'm also loving Tiny Print's new line of cards that actually double as ornaments, I'm just not sure I'm ready to be done with the classic card just yet.  What do you think?  Which design is your favorite?!  I can't wait to share the final card with you!  Happy holiday card shopping!

And on a completed unrelated note, these girls.  Because what post is complete without both their sweet faces.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Watch Review

Happy Monday, friends!!  Hope you all had a fabulous weekend, the weather here was absolutely beautiful & we got a jump-start on some holiday shopping.  I don't think I have ever been as excited for a holiday season as I am for this one, so much fun coming up over the weeks to come! :)

I'm really excited to share a review with you all today, I don't always focus that much of what I get for myself on here (more the girls!), but this opportunity was too good to pass up.  Jord contacted me to try out a watch & I immediately knew that this is was the perfect fit for me.  Their watches are made of wood and have a total rustic, natural feel, which is my favorite, favorite!!  I chose the fieldcrest series, made of zebrawood & maple wood.  There are some other amazing options, but I felt like this was the most practical for me & my (mom!) lifestyle.

I typically don't wear a whole lot of jewelry & instead stick to a couple of pieces that work with most things that I wear, I have a gold bar necklace with the girls' names on it that I literally wear every single day.  I really needed something to pair with it, and this watch ended up being the perfect fit!  It goes with everything that I wear, whether I am at work a little more dressed up, at home with the girls, or the rare occasion that we are out at night.  Which, for the record, has maybe happened once over the last few months. ;)

The company was great to work with, they offer free shipping worldwide & will fit your watch for you.  I just love their overall vibe, it fits with where fashion is at right now and where I think it will be for years to come, and I just know that this watch will be a timeless piece that I will get tons of use out of.

You can choose your own watch here, the biggest thank you to Jord for working with me on this fun opportunity!  And wishing you all the happiest week ahead!

*Jord Watches gave me this watch to review, but did not compensate me for this post.  All thoughts & opinions are my own!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Things

Oh Friday, we are so very happy to see you! :)  It's just been one of those weeks our way, the kind where you feel like the universe just has to be against you.  The kind where every single time you sit down to breastfeed your five-month old, your toddler is screaming bloody murder that she needs you to wipe her because she's pooped for the third time that day.  The kind where you pack both girls up to take them to lunch just to get out of the house and then watch the older one spill two huge glasses of water within twenty minutes of each other.  The kind where your baby refuses to nap so you give up & go to Target, but come home with a bunch of random stuff and not even close to what you went for.

 It's definitely been one of my hardest parenting weeks to date & I totally deserve a bottle of wine after it.  Yet I'm choosing to focus on the positive, that even with all of the frustrating moments, there was so, so much good.  Waverly talking ALL of the time about her "best friend" at school, her name is Sara and their title as besties became official this week.  Avalon getting so close to sitting up, one of my favorite milestones!, and belly laughing during peekaboo.   Waverly using our carry-me-potty in the parking lot (yep, the parking lot) during errands the other day & asking me how to flush it.  And the one that always sticks with me the most, the two older ladies sitting next to us at lunch just watching our three-ring circus with the biggest smiles on their faces.  Clearly wishing they could go back in time to when their kids were that little.
   The days are long but the years are short.

Avalon's Burgundy Onesie & Hat (Similar)

I wanted to share a few of the things I have my eye on right now, this time of year is the worst for sucking me in & making me want everything!  One, these flats from Old Navy.  So cute for the price & so versatile!  Two, this dress for the littles, I love maroon for the holidays and love it even more with the velvet.  And my favorite, this advent calendar for the holidays, we have one but I definitely want to switch it out for this!  LOVE!

Happy, happy weekend!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Avalon Elle: Five Months

Avalon Elle officially turned FIVE months old last week!  Crazytown.  Time is flying & we are loving every single minute with this sweet little thing, we just adore everything about her.

I remember 5 & 6 months being some of my favorite ages for Waverly, and I can definitely say that we that are moving into that same fun stage with Avalon.  She is just so much more interactive lately, grabbing at our faces, using her voice, giggling here and there, and just getting more into her toys in general.  She has found her feet (and loves them!), and still puts everything in her mouth, all the time.  She loves the jumparoo, the bumbo, and just this past week has been sitting in her high chair (which she is all about since she can be on eye level with us).  She will tolerate laying on the floor for a little bit, and has rolled over from both sides, though only a couple of times.  She is starting to like the car seat a little bit better, most of the time, and still loves being outside and bath time, which are definitely two of her favorite times of day!  She LOVES stuffed animals and will cuddle them with her entire little body, which is hands down one of the cutest things I have ever seen in my life.  Ever.

So far, miss Avalon is a mama's girl which totally makes my heart all kinds of full.  We've had a couple times when I was at work that she couldn't be calmed down, but as soon as I got home & grabbed her, she was 100% fine.  She is honestly such a happy baby, she doesn't cry unless (1) it's nap time, (2) the car seat, or (3) we leave her in a room by herself for even one milli-second. ;)  She LOVES to be around people & will sit on your hip or in the solly all day long just as content as can be.  Girlfriend goes with the flow like it's her job, and it's made the transition to two so much easier than I thought it would be.

We got the go-ahead on rice cereal or oatmeal at her four month appointment but she hated both, which really didn't surprise me since Waverly did, too.  We are able to try fruits & veggies this week and I am much more optimistic about that, since I think it will help with her sleep some.  She is still exclusively on my breast milk, which is going really well, as long as I am home.  The days I am at work she tends to eat less from the bottle and then sleep less at night.  Her nap schedule could definitely be better (on good days we get an hour in the morning & an hour in the afternoon), yet she is (finally!) in the crib with the halo sleep sack so I consider that progress. :)  Nights are hit or miss, we had a string of rough nights about a week ago but we seem to have turned a corner.  She sleeps in the rock-n-play and most of the time wakes up once, sometimes twice.

Things I never want to forget, how smiley she is!  Avalon is seriously smiling all of the time, if you just make eye contact with her she breaks into the biggest smile, it will absolutely melt your heart.  She is little (4th for height & 30th for weight), but so, so strong!  She can put all of her weight on those little legs with us only holding one hand, it's crazy.  I really don't think it will be long before she is sitting!  She has this signature little move, she gets so excited and kicks her little legs and moves her arms, she looks like she just might burst from excitement & you can't help but be happy right along with her.  And maybe the sweetest, she adores Waverly, she follows her with her eyes all of the time & so far, her biggest belly laughs have come from big sister.

I still feel like it's surreal that she is here, healthy, happy & so perfect.  Happy, happy five months, sweet Avalon Elle!

Happy Tuesday!