Scootin’ Around, Stokke Style!

With spring peeking out from behind winter’s cold days, we have been going on lots of neighborhood walks in the evening. Elem has always liked the stroller, and we used to drive a Baby Jogger City Mini. It was a great stroller with not too many complaints. It served it’s purpose and I was happy with it until I started looking around at other strollers on the market. I noticed that most strollers kept kids so low to the ground and I really loved what some companies were doing to get kids higher up so that they could see the world and interact easier. Stokke is a forerunner in this field offering a “higher is better” approach. They have 3 different stroller models with the Stokke Scoot coming in as their most compact version.

This is Elem’s new ride!

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At the zoo!

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Showing Dad the silverback gorillas!

She loves it (me too)! Besides being easy on the eyes with it’s gorgeous Norwegian design, it’s also ergonomic.  I love the grey mélange textile and it’s so easy to wipe up toddler messes! The basket is easy to access and holds all the things we need for a long day at the zoo. The Scoot really shines at the zoo, finally placing Elem high enough that she could see the animals! She loved pointing at the orangutan’s from the comfort of her stroller.

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Hands down my favorite feature of the Scoot is the ability to quickly lift up the seat and change Elem from forward-facing to rear-facing. Brilliant. This is how we like to ride for most of our walks so that we can talk and interact. At the zoo we quickly clicked the seat facing out and were ready to see some animals.

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I adore this stroller. It drives great, looks even better, and most of all it is safe and comfortable for Elem. I hadn’t thought that a stroller purchase was that important until I drove the Scoot!

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Meet Wee Liam

I guess I should explain why things have been quiet on my side of the blog for a while… I had a baby! As I try and type this little man is grunting at me to feed him and thus, I must do it now or suffer the consequences of some pretty extreme screaming.

Phew. I’m back. On January 13, 2014 at 11:38pm we welcomed our first son into this world. William Alexander Bruckner or “Liam” as we will call him arrived weighing in at 7lbs 7oz and 20 3/4 ” long. It was a long and tough delivery but I’ll spare the details and just say that even though neither of my two epidurals worked, we are still really glad he is here and are enjoying every moment with him (even party-pants at 3am).

Life with a newborn has been quite eye-opening, both literally and figuratively. We are now 5 weeks in and I can say that it does get easier and things feel more normal or as Ben says “the new normal.” We are getting out of the house more and seeing friends that we have neglected this past month. Those first weeks seem like a blur of not sleeping, crying (from everyone), family, milk, confusion, and casseroles. Tonight we are actually cooking dinner (salads count right?) and going to bed at 9:00 to try and squeeze 8 hours of combined sleep before 7am.

As far as Liam goes, he doesn’t really have much style yet, but I think he enjoys colorful socks, festive pajamas, not hats, and roomy pants. We have to wait and see with this whole red hair thing, it looks red sometimes, and not others, so I might need to coach him on what his “colors” are.

In the coming weeks while I’m on maternity leave I’ll be posting about the nursery, his first toys and how to deal with the onslaught of baby stuff in your kitchen.

Anywho, here are the pictures!

Our New Family

Our New Family

What curly hair looks like after 30 hours of being at the hospital

What curly hair looks like after 30 hours of being at the hospital

Our sweet boy

Our sweet boy

A Celestial Baby Shower

This past weekend I had the pleasure of having another amazing baby shower hosted by close friends. These are some extremely crafty and creative ladies who put on an AWESOME celestial themed baby shower for Baby Bruckner! It was an intimate gathering of people that have at one point worked with me and it was really special. We have great women that come through our doors and I was honored to spend my Sunday with them. Now on to the shower! (Photos by Sara Faris – Hostess)

Carrie, Me, Sara (the hostesses!)

Carrie, Me, Sara (the hostesses!)

{DRINKS} – To loosen up the crowd they served delicious (I heard) Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, & Lime Punch

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Bloody Mary Bar!

Bloody Mary Bar!

{SNACKS} – Brunch-time is my favorite time and these tasty snacks did not disappoint. Carrie even made some adorable labels for the food!

Awesome cupcakes by Sweets to the Sweet

Awesome cupcakes by Sweets to the Sweet

Stars!

Stars!

The Spread

The Spread

Labels!

Labels!

Moon Pies

Moon Pies

{ACTIVITY} – I guess word got out that I didn’t have many burp cloths and thus, they provided the guests (who are all creative types) with some sharpies and got them to work on some “Alien” burp cloths for BBB. (Baby Boy Bruckner)

Game / Craft

Game / Craft

A work in progress

A work in progress

Finished Creations

Finished Creations

Finished Creations

Finished Creations

I had an amazing time and BBB got some wonderful gifts. Thank you all for this experience!

Bryant’s First Birthday Party!

Birthday Boy and his mama!

This past weekend my family and I celebrated my youngest nephew Bryant’s first birthday! We had an intimate gathering of family and it was probably a good thing considering how excited the birthday boy was to turn one. I think he may have sensed this was the beginning of getting older. There are some things going on with his brother right now, and the only way  I knew I could help out was to make some decorations and cakes / cupcakes. It took maaaybe an hour to assemble the decor and the cakes were even easier. Side note – if anyone wants a birthday kit in any theme, I can make you one for $30 (cakes not included as that really isn’t my specialty).

Let’s start with the cakes because really, that’s the best part.

{CAKE} – Bryant is majorly allergic to many things (eggs, peanuts, chicken, hugging, staying still, etc.) For his cake I used this recipe with the same frosting I used for the cupcakes (see below).  I just added some food coloring for his. Honestly, his cake was about 100 times better in my opinion than the cupcakes. It came out super moist and flavorful. I read online to wrap it and freeze it while it’s still warm from the oven. Worked great! Guess who didn’t agree?

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Bryant doesn't love frosting

Bryant doesn’t love frosting

{CUPCAKES} – For the guests we were able to have eggs in the cupcakes so I went with a homemade funfetti. In hindsight I should have gotten the boxed kind or chosen a different recipe. Live and learn!  They came out super dry and a bit too fluffy. I’m not sure what happened, but here is the recipe anyways.  The frosting that this recipe made was good but WAAAY SWEET.

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{DECOR} – For the decor I cheated and used some of the artwork I made for Jordan’s shower a year ago. It worked and I already had it ready to edit, so win-win. I made a personalized banner for the birthday boy, some cupcake flags, and tee-tiny bunting for the cake.  I printed and then cut out the flags, glued them onto some flat toothpicks and we were in business. Also on hand were some popcorn containers that we used for cheese puffs since a lot of popcorn is made with peanut oil and we can’t risk that.

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Older brother Jack

tee-tiny bunting

Decor

Birthday Boy and his daddy!

Birthday Boy and his daddy!

Bryant and Granddaddy

Guess who gets a smile? Granddaddy!

Sister Squeeze

Sister Squeeze on Bryant! (pregnant people need to stay hydrated!)

At the end of the day Bryant decided that he would in fact eat something but only inside where he could make a mess and only when no one was looking. I caught this photo as evidence.

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Katie’s Baby Shower!

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This past Saturday was the big day…Katie’s Baby Shower!  It was so fun!  At 2 o’clock we all convened at my house to celebrate Katie and her baby boy.  Our friend Allison threw the shower with me and we are both so excited to meet Baby B!

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First up, let’s talk about the cake.  This ‘beaut was tasty too!  How adorable is it?  When Allison and I were planning the shower I did a quick sketch of a possible cake idea and the cake lady actually used it!  She matched the colors and prints of the invites so perfectly.  Everyone knows a gray cake can go wrong (um, Steel Magnolias) but this one is just lovely.  I’m pretty sure Katie loved it too!  If you’re in the Atlanta area, the cake was made by Heather of Sweets to the Sweet Bakery.  Allison has had her do numerous cakes (including my baby shower cake!) and she always does gorgeous and delicious cakes for a reasonable price.
Find her on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/Sweets2thesweet 

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For decor I made another crepe paper ‘b’ for Katie in a fun stripe that’s not too boyish and fun paper decorations.  I just cut out fun paper designs and then ran them through my sewing machine to make various garlands.  I used coordinating (ish) colors to the invites and in the end it all came together!

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Time for presents!
Baby B is super loved already!  Just look at all those fun and useful gifts!

We also asked that everyone bring a book for Nugget instead of a card so that Katie will have a nice start on his book collection!  To round out the afternoon, we had typical southern snacks…sweet tea, lemonade, pimento cheese, chicken salad, meatballs (cause why not?!) and of course a cheese ball.  It’s not a party without a cheese ball.  YUM.

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We had so much fun celebrating our good friend Katie!  We are approaching the final countdown on Baby B’s arrival in early January….we can’t wait to meet him!

Maybe we can get Katie to write a follow up post on some of her favorite shower gifts?!

{Elem’s} Eclectic Nursery

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My friend, Jodi Kendall,  is a wonderful writer who lives in NYC with her husband and their adorable son Townes.  A while back she asked to feature Elem’s nursery as a ‘Room Tour’ on her blog, where she shares everything from writing tips to baby product reviews.  Of course I said yes, and the story ran on her blog back in July.

I thought I’d share a little more here about the process of deciding how to decorate our nursery (when we didn’t know if we’d be having a boy or a girl) and how we pulled it all together to make the perfect home for sweet Elem.Mid-Mod Nursery

I started by making a general mood board with the Ikea crib and dresser we had already picked out.  The room actually ended up being pretty true to the original mood board, keeping our minty green wall color and adding pops of yellow throughout.  We wanted this room (this tiny room, the smallest of our 3 already small bedrooms) to have a lot of character and color without making it look cluttered and small.  My husband actually picked out the gray color for the crib (I almost fought for the natural one at Ikea, turns out, he was right…you know, just this one time) and then we thought the dresser was a nice mix of modern and kid-friendly (read: easy to clean and soft shut drawers).  We ended up getting all our big furniture at Ikea, the crib, dresser, rug, and floor lamp.  Now we had to make it not look like an Ikea catalogue in there…so we brought in some of our favorite vintage collections and some quirky small furniture.

Here are a few images of the room as it was coming together.  (At that precise moment of not knowing if it will ever, in fact, come together and yet knowing that a baby is going to live here in like two months…thank goodness for nesting.)
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This started the final phase of getting the nursery ready:  wall art placement and wall decor and my big plans for making my own roller shade.  Once the wall art was placed and we started “merchandising” the room (my favorite part, always and forever) I knew whether our baby was a boy or a girl, this was their room.  Turns out, it fits Elem’s personality pretty perfectly!  Here are more pictures of the finished room >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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A year later and Elem still loves her room!  It is small, fun, and packed with personality…just like my Bean!
{Check out the story on Jodi’s blog to see some sources for furniture and decor!}

Right Now {Elem’s} Loving…

Here are some things Elem and I are currently loving!  She is a mere 6 days away from being one (WHAT?!), so she’s a pretty busy lady…her days are filled with climbing, eating reading books, pushing anything around, dancing, and taking her first steps.

Elem at 12 months

We’re loving:

*Finger Foods!  Elem is obsessed with feeding herself.  Her favorites are chicken, turkey, pasta with marinara sauce, lima beans, peas, carrots, beets and watermelon.  She is going to be devastated when she finds out watermelon season is over, the poor thing…luckily she has just discovered beets and is OBSESSED!

*Anything With Wheels!  Anything she can push around, she’s there!  She loves her wood wagon walker (a thrift store score for $3 with a ton of blocks included), and her Ladybug Wheelybug (these are so fun! they roll smoothly and although later she can ride on it she loves pushing it around right now).  {IKEA has an adorable modern wagon pictured above for around $20}

*Aden & Anais Blankets!  Elem loves these soft muslin single layer blankets.  I let her sleep with hers because they are breathable.  I tie hers into knots so that she can’t get it wrapped around her neck at night, and she loves to snuggle with that knotted up thing.  (Doubles as a nose-wiper during the night if-you-know-what-i-mean…ha, so we wash often and have extras!)
{I have only bought these on sale since they are pricey for the set, around $50…look for price changes on Amazon and good deals on Diapers.com for these!}

*Colorful Wooden Blocks!  The girl loves to carry a block or two around with her.  She’s really into multitasking!
{IKEA has a great affordable selection of colorful wood toys!}

*Jellycat Plush Toys!  These soft plush toys, especially their “Cordy-roy” series, are among Elem’s favorites.  She just can’t get enough of her Dino-Roar (dinosaur) or George Jones (lion) or Cleo the Cat!  A British brand, Jellycat is known for it’s quality and softness and they won’t break the bank!  They’re available in small, medium, and large sizes…with the medium being the perfect stuffed animal size and the small ideal for tiny hands in the car seat!
{Amazon and Diapers.com are both great for these, they run around $24 for the medium size!}

*BlaBla Knit Dolls!  I have to say, these are my favorite, but Elem loves them too!  She especially loves Willie Nelson, her bunny…and doesn’t go on a trip without him (he’s been to Cincinnati, Jekyll Island, Epcot, the zoo…you name it and Willie was there)!  These are quite pricey, but I view them as more of an heirloom toy.  To boot, they are also all sustainably handknit in Peru.  They are knit from cotton and have so much personality!  I love picking these out for Elem and they make a wonderful baby gift!  {BlaBla runs sales through their Instagram, so be sure to follow them there!  Sign up for their mailing list too so you’ll know when they have a warehouse sale or special promo…this is the best way to get a great deal on amazing dolls! www.blablakids.com }

DISCLAIMER:  These are not sponsored posts!  These are things that Elem truly loves and that we use on a daily basis in our household…we own a version of everything listed in the photo and they are all wonderful products!