Being Brickner : December 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas 2015

We will forever remember this Christmas as one of our best yet.  The combination of Waverly being able to really "get it" (which was so, so fun!), & it being sweet Avalon's first just made everything extra special.  We also were able to spend lots of family time which I cherish more than ever these days, since my brother moved to Colorado a few months back.  And also, on a side note, it was our hottest Christmas yet, a record 80 degrees!  We complained about it being too hot to feel like Christmas all day, but it was actually nice that it was warm enough for the babes to be able to play with their new toys outside.

Christmas Eve, we spent most of the day wrapping last-minute gifts & grocery shopping, then went to my grandparents house for dinner.  The girls were a little crazier than normal - Avalon got her first tooth for Christmas & was fighting a cold, and Waverly was overtired from too much excitement to nap, and you know, she's three - but we made the most of it!  I have been going to my grandparents for Christmas Eve since I was little and I love that I can bring my own daughters now.

My Dress - On Sale!
First thing Christmas morning, I heard Waverly moving around in her room and then her little, high-pitched voice say "did Santa come?".  Best ever.  We brought them both down and I'm convinced there is nothing quite as magical as Christmas morning with your kids, they were so cute & excited, I wish we could relive it over, over and over again.

We hosted both sides of our family for dinner, which is always so much fun.  Waverly loved having all of our family there & showing off all of her new toys.  Her favorite gift so far has been a set of princess dolls my mom got for her, they haven't left her sight since! :)  We played games and relaxed, and when it was time to go to bed, couldn't believe Christmas was over.  It always goes too fast, doesn't it?!

Waverly's Dress
Hope you all had the most amazing, special, fun-filled holiday with your loved ones.

PS - The napkins I used at our dinner table are from a tutorial that can be found here, so easy & cute!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Dinner Planning

We will be hosting Christmas dinner at our house for the third year in a row Friday night, both sides of our family, a total of about 18 people!!  It's always crazy & a bit chaotic, yet isn't that what Christmas is all about?!  We love it and know having so many of the girls' favorite people at our own home makes the day that much more special for them.

You know me, I don't claim to be a good cook ever, and definitely not in a situation like this.  My husband is making a tenderloin & everyone is bringing sides to share, thankfully!  Yet the decor, I'm totally on it. :)  I looooove making a fun and festive table, and there's no better time for that than Christmas Day!

Waverly's really excited to have her own little kids table this year with her cousin, Jack, they are precious together & I know they will love having a little place all of their own!  I plan to put some fun little snacks for them, as well as their own plates & sippy cups.  I came across this fun kids fabric and think it would be so cute to add their own little napkins as well! :)

The majority of our family will be sitting at our reclaimed wood dining room table that my husband made a couple years ago, we honestly don't eat at it much other than special occasions or holidays, so it's always fun to put it to use!  I usually start with our gold chargers and then add fun pops of color with place cards, signs, or little food flags.  I recently came across Minted's line of party decor and am in love with it all, there's so many cute options that would be perfect for this!  The treats sign I used above is one of many, in addition to this adorable menu, how fun would it be to actually have a print-out of your menu at a holiday dinner?!  The tablerunner and food flags are also from their fun party decor line & that fabric I mentioned earlier ... Minted!!!  Did you guys know they had fabric?  There are pages upon pages to choose from and I absolutely love the idea of using one of them as the inspiration to a fun party or event.

It's not too late to order from Minted for the holidays, they are currently offering FREE expedited shipping!!!    This would be perfect if you are hosting New Years, or you could even look ahead (like me!) to a certain ONE-year old birthday I have to plan in June. ;)  Happy shopping!

Before I signed off for Christmas, I wanted to (1), announce the winner to the GoTo Giveaway, Katie Roberts, please email me to receive your prize!  And (2), wish you all the HAPPIEST holidays with your sweet families!  Enjoy this special time!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Cards

Oh, Christmas cards!!!!  They are one of my absolute favorite traditions of the season, I love going to the mail this time of year & I love, LOVE the wall we have covered with all the cards we have gotten so far.  We sent ours out last week, so I'm excited to finally share it here, please consider this our holiday wish to you & yours! :)

These are our first cards with Avalon Elle officially in the picture, and they make me so unbelievably happy!  The girls' little faces in matching floral headbands just melt my heart, but even more so, I just feel so lucky to call them ours.  They keep us on our toes & life is crazy as ever, but so, so full!  Thank you once again to my sweet friend Brooke for capturing these moments, I have many more pictures from this shoot to share, but thought I would wait until after the holiday when things have slowed down a bit.  I'll warn you (and apologize now), there will be a picture overload, she totally rocked it!

Another thank you to our friends at Tiny Prints who have done our cards for three years now (seen here & here).  I seriously cannot say enough about how great this company is, in addition to their beautiful and innovative designs, they just have the best customer service ever.  Our cards arrived at our front door within a couple days or ordering them & just like every other year, I was blown away with how high-quality they were.  And if you still want to order some cards, it's not too late!  Everything is currently 25% off using code MIN, and if you order now, your cards will arrive by Christmas Eve.  The design I chose can be found here, it's simple but perfect if you have a photo that you want to stand out!

Merry Christmas week, friends! XO

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Holiday Weekending

Merry Christmas week, friends!!  Hope you all had the most wonderful holiday weekend, we had a good mix of fun & getting some last-minute to-do's checked off the list.  I think I am FINALLY done and ready, though I'm sure I'll think of at least a few things in the next hour.  And then probably some more after that.  Isn't that the way it always works?!  Christmas was so much easier when I was a kid.

We went ice-skating, Waverly had been soooooo excited to do this & so was I, we've never been with her and I think the last time I went I was probably in middle school.  It almost turned into the biggest fail ever, as soon as we got out on the ice I realized that I really had no idea what the hell I was doing and could barely leave the side (much less hold a toddler), which turned into Waverly freaking out.  Like the tears, kicking & screaming kind of freak-out.  Then daddy came from work & saved the day (don't they always?), he pulled her all around the ice and I'll never forget how proud her little face was.  It was so much fun, this will definitely become a yearly tradition!

Waverly's Dress, Avalon's Bonnet. My Hat
Avalon's little face in that baby bonnet is just my favorite, I have the biggest obsession with bonnets & she just might be getting another in her stocking.  I know she is dying for one! :)

Other highlights, we did lots of wrapping, lots of baking, drove around and looked at Christmas lights, & even snuck-out for an adults-only day date to get some stocking stuffers for the girls.  Also, Waverly's dance class had a small performance to "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and it was pretty much the funniest thing ever.  Not one girl in the class did more than five moves & never consecutively with anyone else, but they did all grab hands and circle around each other in the most impressive of ways!  I have about 500 more pictures but loved the one of an embarrassed Waverly when we walked in and her sassy hands on the hips (which really was the only time she did a move) the very most.

Girls Pajamas
They have some work to do before the big performance in June, but regardless, there's not much cuter than girls in tutus.  On the way home Waverly said, "Mom. I was fantastic".  Of course.

Wishing you the merriest week!  XO

Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Projects with Staples

I wanted to stop in & share a few fun products I recently created with Staples, you all know how I feel about about a good paper product (especially one with a photo!), so these are some of my favorites of the season!  First, I created a canvas of one of the pictures of the girls when they first met at the hospital.  I absolutely love this image and am so excited to give it to my mom for Christmas, I definitely think that personalized gifts like these are the most special to give and the most cherished!

Photo Cred:  Brooke Tucker Photography
Making the canvas was super easy, I just uploaded the photo & it was ready to go within seconds!  The final product is really high-quality, it's super thick and the image is wrapped around the sides which will make it perfect for hanging.  

In addition to the canvases, Staples also offers other photo gifts, both which would make the perfect last-minute gift, or even year-round!  Right now, you can receive 20% off using the code HOLIDAY20 through the 26th!

In other news, I also used Staples for our holiday party invites, which came out so cute!  They had tons of options but I went with the plaid, I love how the design is classic but also has a fun twist. To make our invites a little more personal, I added some address labels with a photo of the girls.  Because you know I had one! ;)

You can use the same code (HOLIDAY20) to pick up some fun New Years invites or even gift yourself with a new calendar for 2016!  The company was so great to work with & we were so happy with all three final products.  Happy shopping & happy, HAPPY holiday weekend! XO

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Ten Thoughts & A Giveaway

One week until Christmas!  So freaking crazy, I can't believe it.  My brain is in total overdrive trying to get everything done, I'm convinced that no matter how early I try to start my shopping, I'm just always going to be going until the very last-minute.  It's truly the most wonderful time of the year, & also the busiest. I'm almost looking forward to life slowing down a little bit in the new year.  Almost.

So how about some random thoughts for a Friday morning?!  And don't forget to scroll to the end of this post for a second giveaway from Phoenix Baby and the winner of the first one! :)

1.  I couldn't live without Amazon Prime.  Like seriously, what did I do before it?   I sometimes think about how many boxes that are used because of crazy Amazon shoppers like me.  I mean, sooooooo many, right?!  And is there a problem that my daughter says "oh man, no packages today?!" when we drive up to the house & our porch is empty?

2.  Holidays are infinitely better with kids.  Waverly is at the BEST age for all of the magic this year and it just makes me that much more excited for all the future holidays with our family.  We did gingerbread houses this week & her little mind was blown just by all by the candy I set out.  I cannot wait to see her face Christmas morning!

3.  I love holiday decor so much and am already getting sad about it going away.  I feel like I just got it the way I want it, how is it possible that I already have to take it down in a couple weeks?

4.  I finally got out cards out this week!  Brooke totally nailed our pictures again, I am so in love with how they turned out & can't wait to share soon!  In the meantime, a little sneak peek of miss Waverly Maye.

Photo Cred - Brooke Tucker Photography
5.  Waverly is going through a weird phase where she shows up in our bed every.single.night.  It's made for some rough nights, especially since I'm still getting up at least once to feed Avalon.  Thankfully my husband's gotten up with the girls a few times a let me sleep in, he is a saint (kind of like Kim K's baby name .... crazy!).

6.  How many times in one week is it socially acceptable to go to Target?  Or how many times over the course of one day (because that totally happened this week)?  I'm really embarrassed that the sales associates know both my daughter's names.

7.  I have finally found a food that Avalon loves.  Puffs.  She is obsessed, like her hands go crazy & she starts kicking her feet when she sees the package and it's the cutest thing.  Sometimes I really think I could eat her.

8.  I might go insane if Waverly pulls one more ornament off the tree.  Or unwraps one more ribbon I already tied on a present.  I hardly had enough time to do it the first time.

9.  This weather is cray.  I hate to complain about it being warm enough to be outside for hours with the girls, and I'm sure I will be wishing for it back once we are homebound & stir-crazy because it's so cold outside, but it just doesn't feel like Christmas.

10.  Waverly's new name is "Bella" and I can't stop laughing about it. The other day I was dropping her off at preschool and one of the other moms told me she loved my daughter's name.  Bella.  When I told her that her name was actually Waverly she said that when she asked her what her name was the week before Waverly told her Bella.  Girlfriend straight up lied!

And congratulations to Heather Sebastian for winning the GoTo Infant Car Seat Station, look for an email from me to claim your prize!  I'm so excited to giveaway another product from Phoenix Baby, the GoTo 2-in-1 infant car seat station and high chair.

We also tried this out over the weekend and Avalon loooooooved it so much, it was the perfect place for her to be perched up while we hung out & did some yard work outside.  The idea of this is great, in addition to using it in your own home, it's a perfect alternative to the high chairs in restaurants or to use on the go on vacations!  It's safe, can grow with your baby, and has a great carry-case to make a mama's life that much easier!  We love it and can't wait to use it more.

To win a GoTo Car Seat Station of your own, enter below!  This will run until next Tuesday and the winner will be announced next Wednesday, Christmas Eve, Eve!  Good luck!  XO

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmastown Magic

We took the girls to Christmastown at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg over the weekend.  It was our third holiday season that we've been, we first went when Waverly was just a couple months old and then again when she was just over a year, & absolutely loved it both times! We missed last year because I was pregnant and super nauseous (#pregnantpeopleproblems), so I was looking forward to this year more than ever, especially because we got to bring both the girls this time.

Christmastown is pretty much the most magical place on earth, there are trees, lights & more holiday decor than you could ever dream of.  There's Christmas music playing (& even carolers, dressed up ones, singing them!), animals, and way too much delicious food, all perfect for the season.  It's basically everything your festive little heart could ever want.  And more.  The girls looooved it and we loved experiencing it with them.

My Dress, Avalon's Shorts, Waverly's Dress
Both their little eyes were just wide open taking everything in.  Waverly, who is just so curious about everything right now, especially the holidays, & Avalon, whose little face was just blown away by it all.  It was absolutely magical, this is definitely a tradition that we will keep every year, hopefully no matter how old our children get they will still want to go with us!

And with all that being said, I know other mamas (and dads!) can relate, trips like these are so very worth it, but also hard work.  We chose to go that day because of the unseasonably warm weather, yet obviously, so did the rest of the state.  It was packed, ridiculously packed, and trying to get two different strollers through the park was pretty much the biggest pain ever.  Almost as much as waiting in long lines with a toddler & a baby.  One of which was TWO HOURS, to see Santa, and of course once we made it Waverly was so exhausted and over it, she refused to sit. 

At least Avalon was entertained. ;)

So we were feeling very thankful.  For Glamma, for my little brother, and (maybe mostly?!), for the ten dollar beers.  And most of all, for the sweet memories that we wouldn't trade for the world.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Little Girls Gift Guide

We are less than two weeks away from Christmas (whaaaat?!!), & I am finally getting around to sharing what the girls will be getting under the tree this year.  While finding things to buy for them is never an issue, it took a lot of time for me to come up with a good, solid list of gifts that I thought were really perfect.  I always try to find things that are realistic and that they will actually use, but also that will bring a little (or a lot!) of sparkle to their eye come Christmas morning. 

I really tried to think of a big joint gift, but with their age difference there really wasn't too much that we thought would be useful.  We already have a kitchen (this one, we love it!), and got Waverly a tee-pee last year, so both of those are things that I think Avalon will grow to love too & (hopefully!), they will end up playing with them together.  A couple small things that I did come up with for them both, one, these PRECIOUS dolls from the sweetest Etsy shop Oh Little Dandy.  Both girls adore stuffed animals and I can't get over how cute these are!  I also ordered them these donuts & a few other felt food sets to add to our kitchen collection.

Waverly Maye's only wish is for Paw Patrol.  That's it, that's all she says every single time we ask her, so I'm assuming she would just like the entire production to show up under the tree Christmas morning?!  I ordered her a DVD, but went ahead & chose a few other things too. :)  I think her favorite gift is going to be this dollhouse, her imagination is bigger than ever these days and she loves dressing up her dolls, so I know she is going to be all about it.  I also got her a solly dolly wrap, which I had been thinking about getting her forever, and then officially decided it was a must when she stuffed her baby in her shirt while telling her that her boobie was in there the other week. ;)  And lastly, I always get her books, I ordered this one & this one, both look too cute!

We all know Avalon Elle will be perfectly content with all the scraps of wrapping paper that I'm sure will be all over the house, but we did come up with some things that I am super excited about!  We can never get enough teethers and I am in love with these from Little Bird Tuscan.  These kind have always been the girls' favorite and the prints on these are so precious, you must check out her shop!  I also stocked up on some jammies to wrap just so she can have fun opening them up.

And lastly, her big gift, this amaaaazing swing from Rock-A-Bye Colbie.  I went ahead and let her try out her gift a little early (don't tell Santa!), and she loves it!

This shop was the absolute best to work with, she even designed a custom swing just for us.  I requested a neutral fabric and couldn't be happier with what she came up with!  The swing is so well-made and high quality.  I know Avalon will get lots of use out of it and it's just so cute hanging in our family room, so it's truly the gift that keeps on giving!

Stay tuned for reviews of the dolls for the girls and the teethers!  The biggest thank you to the Etsy shops that worked with me on this, I am all about shopping small & supporting these amazing shops, mostly who are owned by fellow mamas!

Happy Tuesday! XO