Being Brickner : October 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween Weekend!

TGIF!  I know you all are just excited as I am that Halloween weekend is officially here. Something about it being on a Saturday this year just makes it that much more fun, right?!  Also, I just realized that we are gaining an extra hour of sleep on Saturday night.  Sign me up ASAP & please give both my girls the memo. :)

 I wanted to share a few more photos from our week, we've been having so much fun celebrating with our most festive outfits and favorite snacks.  Waverly has been full of herself and performing even more than usual (I blame all the extra sugar), and sweet little Avalon Elle is just happy to be a part of all the fun.  We also had Waverly's class party which was just about the cutest thing ever, I walked in and she was sitting there (sitting!) eating her snack at her little table. I could just tell that she was about to burst from excitement over Avalon & I being there, she was so proud to show her little sister off to all of her friends.

Waverly & Avalon's Black/White Headbands
The picture of Waverly & her classmates lining up outside after their party cracks me up, it was clearly the end of the day and everyone had definitely had their fair share of fun.  Ms. Heather, you are a saint.  I really am proud of how far Waverly has come there over the past few weeks, even though she won't tell me much about it when I ask, I pick up a lot just by listening to her play school.  The other day I walked into the room and she had all of Avalon's headbands lined up and when I tried putting a few back, she yelled "mommy pig (my current name, her favorite show is Peppa Pig), those are my STUDENTS!".

Lastly, since we are in celebration mode, I thought it would be the perfect time to mention Rachel's new company, Ceremony & Fuss!  I love the idea of this, ready-made boxes for all of life's fun occasions.  I am all about giving gifts, and making them look extra special, so I really couldn't love this more. :)


Wishing you all the HAPPIEST Halloween weekend!
XO

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween-Inspired Fashions

Happy halfway through the week!  First, the biggest thank you for all your feedback on Avalon's current sleep situation.  I read all of your comments & suggestions, used them, and ... guess who took TWO hour & a half naps in her crib yesterday?! :) I actually had a sleep sack from when Waverly was younger (it was sitting in the drawer in Avalon's room!), in the fog of my sleep deprivation, I never even thought to use it.  It really made such a difference, Avalon seemed so much cozier yet not too cozy like she had been in the rock-n-play.  I have been a parent long enough to know that this definitely doesn't mean we won't ever have nap issues again, but baby steps.  We are headed in the right direction!

And in other news, some fun fashions!!  I thought I would celebrate Halloween week with a few styles inspired by the holiday, looks that could work this week but also could take you (or your little ones!) into the months to come.

White Shirt - Black Flats - Black Sunglasses - Sleeveless Top - Mustard Sweater - Trapper Hat - Black Flats - Black & White Checkered Dress - Black Dress
I know that the toddler sweater is not exactly orange, but it just screams fall to me.  I love it so much & want three, one for me and both the girls, if only it came in all our sizes!

Also, a few pictures from our week so far.  We are getting so excited for the holiday, it's been too much fun celebrating with two little ladies this year, especially since Waverly understands so much now!  We have her first holiday party at school tomorrow, and she is beyond excited (like counting down the minutes) until Avalon & I get to come hang out with her there.  I'm so thankful it fell on a day that I didn't have to work. :)

Waverly's Hunter Boots
Hope you are having a wonderful holiday week!
XO

Monday, October 26, 2015

Boo Zoo & Our Weekend

We woke up early Saturday morning to take the girls to the boo zoo, which is basically a fun celebration of all things Halloween at our local zoo.  They have lots of cute decorations to look at, bounce houses, tables with candy for the kids to trick or treat from, and obviously, the animals!  This was easily Waverly's favorite fall activity we have done so far, she loves animals so much & could have just stared at them all day, plus all of the candy really sealed the deal for her.  We have gone each year since she turned one but this year was definitely the most fun, especially since we got to bring her little sister along this time, I can't believe they will both be running around there together next year! :) 

Girls Hats (Similar) - Waverly's Boots - Waverly's Dress - My Jeans (Similar, On-Sale!) - My Hat
We spent the rest of our weekend watching some football, carving pumpkins, & decorating the outside of the house for next weekend.  This time of year is truly the best, I don't want it to end!

And lastly, in other news, I've been researching my little mama heart out on this one, but thought I would ask here, this community is always the best on things like this!  Little miss Avalon Elle (our rockstar sleeper!), has hit a bit of a wall when it comes to rest.  At first it was just naptime, which was a struggle, but pretty manageable since she was still sleeping so well at night, just like she always has.  And then it hit our nights -  and I totally understood where the "gamechanger" part of having two was. ;)  We are slowly working through it, she has been doing much better, but I think the major problem is that she is still in a rock-n-play.  She just seems to get easily uncomfortable in there, but when we try to move her to the crib, she rolls around, really confused & acts like it is way too much room for her (my pediatrician has advised us against a swaddle at this age).  I've tried transitioning to naps first, we've had a couple successful (shorter) ones, but most of the time I end up putting her in the rock-n-play because I would rather her have some good rest than anything else.  Which I know that I am going to be kicking myself for in a few months when she is still in the rock-n-play.  I'm actually starting to have images of her hanging out of it but still sleeping in it at age seven.  #help

And with all of that being said, this has been one of those things that 1 - humbles you as a second-time parent, we really don't know everything & never will, and 2 - makes you appreciate that you are a second-time parent, because you know this is one of lots of challenges that you will overcome & look back on laughing.  This precious face, more than worth it, I am thankful everyday for her.


And take this as proof that she does sleep. :)

Happy week, friends!
XO

Friday, October 23, 2015

Our Week & Favorites

So, we went to the pumpkin patch again.  I promised the hubs this was our last trip, we've kind of been on a pumpkin tour of the city the past few weeks & I'm pretty sure if I throw one more fun-filled, family fall day at the patch in front of him he might just lose it. ;)  In my defense, the babes love it, Waverly gets to run free in a field & Avalon is an outdoor girl just like the rest of us.

Avalon's One-Piece (Similar) - Avalon's Shoes - Waverly's Outfit
Also, apparently dance is really paying off big, miss Waverly Maye wanted nothing more than to stand on top of the hay and perform for everyone.  We thought it was cute, the long line of people waiting for their turn to get a picture perfect photo-op however, were less than impressed. :)


And some favorites!  One, I'm so excited that Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, the past few years I was working so I have never gotten to spend a full day at home to celebrate with my babies.  That calls for a fun breakfast, I love the idea of these fruit cups paired with some pancakes made into some holiday shapes!

We are yet to own Hannah Anderson pajamas, but I have heard all of the amazing things about them and would love to get them for the girls for Christmas!  I have a hard time justifying spending how much they are normally, but these are currently on sale!  So cute & fun for December.

And speaking of December, Gap's holiday line is out and there is so, so much cuteness.  I love these leggings for the toddler girls, along with this beanie (fair isle on kids = amazing!).  And boy mamas, this hat, I can't even! :)

Wishing you all the happiest of weekends!
XO 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Midweek Randoms

Happy halfway through the week, hope you are having a great one!  It's a Tuesday/Thursday work week for me, which are my favorite, this whole working part-time thing has me all kinds of happy & just a little bit all over the place at the same time.  I'm just waiting for the day I show up to work when I don't really have to be there, or the other way around, I can't decide which would be worse. ;)

So some random thoughts.  One, the sweetest company (you can read their story here) recently sent the girls this handmade elephant & we absolutely adore it!  It is so well-made and beautiful in person, I love the way that it looks in Avalon's room next to our collection of other plush dolls.  We kind of have an obsession with pieces like this, I think that they are a great way to accessorize a room & hope that the girls can pass them down to their own kids one day!  Also a win, Waverly loves to play "school" with them (she is the teacher) and Avalon loves to snuggle them.  The cutest.


Two, post-partum hair loss is no joke.  I didn't get it with Waverly at all (either that or I was too much in a new mom fog to notice it), but this time, it is crazytown!  I have really thick hair & didn't think I would mind losing a little bit, but I am so ready to stop finding hair in the sink and shower.  Mamas, what month were your babies when your hair stopped falling out?!

Three, just a couple pictures brought to you by a few Monday errands with my sister girls.  For the record, they were cute and cozy in their grey sweatshirt dresses and I was still in my pajamas, hair a disaster, because, priorities.

Bows
And lastly, I am doing my (small) part to spread the word on a family who is currently in need.  My heart breaks for this mom, her daughter Abigail was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in April & she is currently in treatment that will last until 2017.  I just can't even imagine what their entire family is going through, please take a look at @sweetabbysauction to give them your support.

Enjoy your day!  XO

Monday, October 19, 2015

Family Photo Fashion Tips

Styling outfits is definitely one of my very favorite things to do, I was a fashion major in college and if I had actually been brave enough to move to a big city, being a stylist definitely would have ranked high as one of my dream jobs.  Of course being a wife & mom in my hometown, surrounded by our families, is pretty amazing too, plus I still get to have fun with fashion for my babies and the hubs, when he lets me. :)

With the holiday season right around the corner and lots of families taking pictures for their Christmas cards, I thought I would share some tips that I try to go by when choosing looks for own family photos!  Of course like anything else these are just suggestions & you have to make them work for your own style, one of the many things I love about fashion is that there really is no right or wrong and your own style really should be unique to you.

Hat - Cream Sweater - Booties - Denim Button Down - Grey Beanie - Emerald Dress - Plaid Dress - Mustard Vest - Sweater - Mustard Bow
1 - Choose one look/piece first & then build everything else around it.  I typically will come across one piece I love and use that as an inspiration for everyone else's looks.  It's kind of like decorating a room to me, my mom always taught me to find one piece & then look back at that before you buy anything else - that's exactly what I do when choosing looks for our entire family.  That way everyone is cohesive.

2 - Coordinate, don't match.  I hope I'm not offending anyone here when I say that the days of "everyone wear a white shirt & jeans" are long gone.  Nothing drives me crazier!  Instead, pick a few colors that you like together and choose everyone's looks around that.  Once you have that color palette, pick a piece (or two) with a print and add solids as well.

3 - Pair neutral looks with fun accessories to add dimension & make it fun!  I am all about cream, white or tan pieces (as dangerous as they are, especially with kids), but I think they make the prettiest backdrop to accessories and also are so versatile.  Obviously the girls' looks are easy to accessorize - super cute bows! - but the same can be done for boys, just using scarves, hats, vests, or even a cool pair of shoes.

4 - Stick with looks & styles that you would actually wear in real life.  I feel like this is a no-brainer, but I have had to learn the hard way with my husband.  While I am all about trying new trends, that is definitely not his thing so after a few years of bringing pieces home & getting laughed at, I focus on classic looks only for him. ;)  There is obviously no point in spending money on clothes you won't wear again, yet just as important, you want to feel comfortable and like YOU!  Especially since you will be looking back on these photos for years to come. 

I've had a few people email me with questions on looks for their own families (which I take as a huge compliment!), I wanted to put it out there that I am open to doing this for others.  It takes me some time, especially since we can't meet in person, I wish we could! - but we could work it out on a case by case basis.  And if you are in the Hampton Roads area & are interested in styling, please email me at abrickner1@gmail.com.

And I can't resist a couple photos of our weekend, love these little girls of mine!

Hope you all had the best weekend!
XO

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Things

Happy Friday, & as crazy as it is, happy HALFWAY through October! I guess it's true what they say, time flies when you are having fun.  Also, I would like to add when you have kids, because seriously, where has this year gone?!  I can't even believe that we will be decking the halls in just a handful of weeks.

Exciting news for both our girls the past few days, one, Waverly made it into school without crying yesterday!  It was our first tear free drop-off since the first week of school & I was so very proud of her.  We celebrated with lollipops and a trip to buy a new baby doll, both of which were promises (bribes) we made the night before. :)  And Avalon Elle had her four month check-up, she is still our little peanut at only 13 pounds - 4th percentile for height & 35th for weight - but all news was good!  I wish I could have celebrated with candy & gifts for her too, instead she got shots.  With lots of love from mama and sister afterwards.

My Overalls & Avalon's Headband

And little miss decided to roll over (from belly to back) this week!  Such a big-time girl now, I'm convinced next up is driving to school & going to prom.

A few of my favorite finds, starting with these Halloween jams that I picked up for the girls after they went on sale this week.  I always like to stock up the year before on things like that, and now that I have to buy two pairs, it's more important than ever!  And this white tutu dress is about the sweetest thing ever for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, or both.  So versatile & so, so cute!

Lastly, I am part of two giveaways on my Instagram this week!  The first lasts until tomorrow & is maybe the biggest giveaway ever, a Burberry scarf, Hunter boots and $50 gift cards to four amazing shops.  The biggest thank you to Sara for organizing this, you can enter on my IG account here (ashleywbrickner).

And for the girl mamas, Sweet Baby Paige has some of my absolute favorite bows for the girls, I love to get the larger size bows for Waverly and a matching headband for Avalon.  While they let me.  To celebrate the owner's birthday today (happy birthday Stefani!), her entire shop is 16% off and she is offering one lucky winner a $50 credit!  You can enter here at some point later today, good luck!

Waverly's Cardigan Avalon's Bloomers - On Sale!
Happy Friday, friends!
XO

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall Weekend Vibes

This past weekend was the first seasonable weather we have had yet (plus it didn't rain!), so we got into all sorts of fun fall stuff.  We took a cousin trip to the pumpkin patch, had Avalon's first & second hayride, visited a farm to pet baby pigs and run through a corn maze, and ate pumpkin pancakes made by daddy.  We stayed up too late watching Alabama football, yet thankfully won!, and paid for it when Avalon had a record-breaking night of restless sleep.  We made this soup - so good, try it! - and took a little day trip to an outdoor art show for some inspiration (the hubs, trying to get him to enter!) and face-painting action for the toddler girl.

Waverly's Pink Cardigan - Waverly's Black Boots - Avalon's Cream Sweater Dress - Waverly's Green Dress - Waverly's Brown & Black Boots - Waverly's Pink Printed Dress

And now, Tuesday.  It's my week to pick up & take Waverly Maye to school, #sendhelp.  She has her first field trip today and I'm hoping that the excitement from that will help cut down at least half the dramatic show of tears we usually get on the way in.  Seriously, I think she could win an academy award for her performance, especially during the last moments when she grabs my face and kisses me with the bucket tears & snot running down hers, then turns to do the same to Avalon and says "Just ONE last kiss", like she is going on the Titanic and we will never reunite again.  For the record, she does the same thing at both dance and preschool lately and BOTH of her teachers say that the minute I turn my head and we walk out, she is 100% fine, smiling & laughing with her little friends. :)

Hope you all had the most lovely weekend!
XO

PS - For those who asked about the sticker chart we are using for Waverly, it is this one.  We love Melissa & Doug toys in general, so this seemed like a great option, I thought about making one but you know, time.  It has standard chores on it, some of which we use, but we really love the behaviors, especially listening, no yelling, and picking up toys.  Three of the things we are really focusing on right now as they aren't always strengths for our sweet girl. ;)  I wasn't sure how much she would really care about it, but she has really taken ownership and loves to look at it each night.  Plus sometimes, during miracle moments, she will be in full meltdown mode & will come out of it just by us mentioning her losing a sticker.  I am the farthest thing from a discipline expert, we have lots of trial & error, yet we just try our best and hope we are raising our girls right!  I would love to hear other tips if you have them!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Our Week & Favorites

I've been on quite the blogging roll this week, four out of five days, that has to be some kind of personal record for me!  If not of all-time, definitely since becoming a mom of two, time just seems harder to come by these days. ;)  We have really had such a great week that I can't help but share (because if I didn't, then it didn't really happen, right?!).

So all four of us are finally healthy AND the rain stayed has away for a while, so that in itself has been amaaaazing!  It's crazy how much energy you have after being sick for a while.  I was totally in survival mode & hanging by a thread last week, so after that, it's nice to remember that I actually do (sort of) have this mom of two thing figured out and obviously, that life with these two little ladies is just so, so good.

Waverly's Boots
In other good news, Waverly Maye.  She went through a rough patch a few weeks ago - #threenager, we thought about giving her away to the gypsies - but finally, she seems to be turning a corner and it's pretty much the best feeling ever.  We've started a sticker chart that we go though each night, I'm not sure if that's what caused the change, or that she just figured out that life is so much better when you are good rather than a pain in the a--.  Either way, we are thrilled!  She has just been so much fun to be around lately, so sweet & so incredibly funny.  Last night she told us she just wouldn't be able to clean up her toys because it would be "too difficult" (nice try!), that her (imaginary) best friend Gold has flown away on a helicopter, he is now replaced with "Goddie", and my personal favorite, that all the boys in her class at school are "so gross".

The girls & I went to pick up some pumpkins for the front porch this week, finally!  I took a million pictures because little kid and pumpkin pictures may just be my favorite thing ever, so please forgive me if this is the first set of many. :)  We had so much fun!


Before I sign off for the weekend, I wanted to share some favorite finds from this week!  I recently ordered this water bottle after reading about it on Erin's blog, I have a weird collection of water bottles because I am ALWAYS trying to drink more water and it never happens.  This one is amazing, totally worth the money & I will never turn back!  Also, this duvet cover.  Obsessed!  I have wanted a new comforter for our bed and the tassels on this one are just perfection.

And lastly, just to prove that girlfriend is still very much a threenager.

Bows & Waverly's Boots
Happy Friday!
XO