Being Brickner : September 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Purchasing A Car / Cars.com

This post is a sponsored post in partnership with cars.com.  All thoughts & opinions are my own.

I'm talking way out of my comfort zone today, about cars.  Even though I have one and spend a whole lot of time in it, I will be the first to admit that it's something I pretty much know nothing about.  Thank goodness for my husband, his oil-changing skills and the fact that he knew the right questions to ask when we went to buy our new car last year.  Because had I been alone, I would have been the car salesman's dream with my only qualifications for my new car of -- white, bluetooth, and enough room for these two little ladies.



We decided to upgrade our family car about a year ago, we previously had a Honda Pilot and liked it, but wanted something newer and that we could eventually grow in.  I originally was 100% on team mini van, for all the practical reasons, but after test-driving one I just couldn't do it (though I am forever jealous of all you mamas with automatic sliding doors, I am sure they are LIFE-changing).  We ended up going with a brand new Mazda CX-9, my favorite car I ever had (pre-kids) was a Mazda and my sister also ended up getting one the same day so we got a good deal.  I love it, it's roomy enough for what we need but also still feels like me.  It does have three rows, but for now, most of the time we keep the third down to have room for the double stroller and whatever else we need in the back.  We did end up going with white and a black interior, which has done pretty well with all the messes from the kids -- of course the first few weeks I didn't let them eat in there but now, there are goldfish and gummy snack piles for daaaaaays. ;)

After driving it for the past year I still love it as much as ever, but am pretty sure we will end up going with a bigger SUV in the future, one that has three rows and still enough room to store things in the back.  I recently teamed up with cars.com to look into their site and love the idea as using this as a resource the next time around.  It's super informative, both for buyers and sellers, and one of my favorite parts is the reviews section since I love reading reviews for anything.  There's also a place to compare cars, which I think would be super useful!  If you are the market, it's definitely worth looking into -- and if you are anything like me and love to find a reason to shop for just about anything, it's fun to look into either way!!!  Happy Thursday, friends!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fall Bucket List

We are just about one week into fall and though our weather has not gotten the memo, we are super excited for all the things that this season has in store.  Last weekend we brought out all our fall decor, along with some Halloween books for the girls, and that just always puts me in the mood so much!  Waverly is extra excited this year, she even "helped" me decorate the downstairs by putting our wreath with leaves on it wrapped around one of our houseplants and about 15 glitter pumpkins lined up across the wall.  Sharing our fall bucket list today, this is my favorite time of year for family activities and I can't wait to check them all off the list!

1.  Smores and a bonfire in the backyard.
2.  Make caramel apples and deliver to family.
3.  Soup Sundays.  We love soup so much and cannot wait to start this again.
4.  Leaf piles for the girls (one of my favorite memories at my grandparents as a child!).
5.  Make a Halloween Gingerbread house.  I actually picked one of these up at Trader Joe's last week to put away until closer to Halloween, and the girls found it and were determined to do it.  It ended up being a disaster and I couldn't figure out how to build it (anyone else try it?!!!), so I am going to order a PRE-MADE one this time.
6.  Visit the pumpkin patch.  (Probably at least 3 times!).
7.  Pumpkin carving night with friends.
8.  Adults Only Alabama Football Game.  I went to Tuscaloosa with my family last year for my first Alabama football game, and we are planning on round two next month!  Can't wait!
9.  Boo Zoo and Trunk or Treat Tradition.
10.  Make pumpkin bread and deliver to neighbors.  We actually ended up delivering apples to our neighbors after our trip to the apple orchard a couple of weeks ago, and the girls loved it so much that they keep asking to do it again.  It really was the sweetest thing, Waverly wrote their names on each bag and we took them to each house (including a boy in her class that she insisted on!), both of them were so proud and so excited to share what they had picked.  I am pretty sure we ended up taking at least a few apples with a bite out of them thanks to little Avalon Elle, but you know, it's the thought that counts.


Happiest fall to you!!!!  Hope it is off to the best start.
XO  

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