Wednesday, December 31, 2014

movin' on

I just finished reading my last post of 2013 and can't help but think it's kinda funny how different I feel this year! Last year I was so sad to see 2013 come to an end... but after seeing how great 2014 was with my little family, I'm welcoming 2015 with open arms and a huge smile!
Overall, 2014 has been an amazing year for us! Sure... we experienced tough trials, unhappy moments, an unexpected job change, etc... but we also experienced the happiest moments, we made the silliest memories, we learned a lot about ourselves (Eric and I individually) as well as our relationship, we grew stronger as a family, we traveled and went on many adventures together, Mia's personality really came out and she has us wrapped around her fingers more than we ever could have thought possible. We made new friends and welcomed more people into the family. We got to spend lots of time with our families with is a total blessing! We are happy and we are in love. What more could you ask for at the end of each year?!
I am super excited to see what 2015 has in store for us! I feel some changes coming on... or at least I hope some changes are coming our way! I pray that we continue to grow closer as a family, build stronger relationships, that Mia continues to grow into the fun, happy, smart, active little girl that she is! I really hope that we take anything the new year throws at us with grace and really excerise the knowledge we have gained from the trials and experiences we learned from this last year (and previous years!) I think I'm rambling now but you guys get the point, right?! Thank you for a great year, 2014! Cheers to 2015! xoxo

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

CHRISTmas 2014 {pt 2}

Of course there's a part 2 to our Christmas celebration that I had to share :) It was Christmas with my side of the family this year so Mia and I planned to go down on Christmas Eve, spend the night, do Christmas morning, then go to Eric's work for the afternoon to spend time with him and take a Christmas meal. Unfortunately the weather had it in for us.... everyone was blessed with a white Christmas (except my parents town, good ol' sunny southern Utah!) which meant that there was no way Eric was going to let me drive up and see him. I was so bummed we didn't get to spend any time with him on Christmas Day, but it made for a good visit with my family!
Santa brought each family a bag and Mia loved emptying ours :)
Mia has hit the Mickey Mouse obsession phase (and I think it's adorable!) so imagine her joy when she opened this Mini Mouse gift from Grandma and Grandad C!
She new just what to do with her Mia-sized mop! Toddlers are weird, man! She would hate getting a cleaning set if she were a teenager, ha ha!
Nothing about this doll is life-sized except the eyes... so naturally Mia had to try poking them :) My mom knew what a hot commodity this talking, singing, Spanish speaking and light up Elsa doll would be when she ordered in early summer!
We started our celebrations by going out for breakfast, a Christmas Eve tradition! The rest of the day was pretty much spent lounging around, but I wasn't complaining! After enjoying a delicious Christmas dinner, my family headed out for one last visit to the Temple to listen to the Nativity story. Mia listened to the whole thing... and then she decided to run wild with her uncles while we walked around and looked at the lights :)
Christmas morning was so fun! Once again, Mia was spoiled rotten and she loved all of her gifts (including a few gifts that weren't even hers, ha ha!) We spent the day lounging again but I was so grateful to be with my family, instead of home alone, all while missing Eric like crazy. It was a wonderful week of celebrating Mia's birthday, the birth of Christ and soaking up family time. December is definitely my favorite month of the year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

CHRISTmas 2014

Santa brought Mia a golf set! He also brought Mia a kitchen but her rotten parents have decided to wait a few months to put that baby together. We'll wait until she gets sick of her birthday and Christmas toys ;) ha!!
Mia instantly smiled and patted the face when she opened her "pincess! pincess!" my niece picked out for her!
Mia was all about opening every present... even the ones that didn't have her name on them ;)
Playing with her gift from Grandma and Papa B. She asked to play with it allllll day long, ha ha!
Sometimes being an adult is the best thing ever... and the lamest thing ever! The anticipation of seeing Mia with her new gifts nearly kept me awake the whole night before our Christmas, ha ha! But my little family celebrated Christmas on Tuesday because Eric had to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day :( We definitely made the best of our time together and had a great day!
It was Christmas with my family this year and since Eric had to work, we spent the day with them on Monday. We went out for lunch, Eric and I ran some errands together while Mia napped (do you call that a date?? ha!), we watched Muppet Christmas Carol and ate treats, saw some Christmas lights and went to dinner. I was so glad my parents got a little "holiday" with Eric since he couldn't be there for the actual day. 
Tuesday morning was such an exciting one as Mia came down the stairs to see that Santa came! It was so adorable to watch her discover each gift and play with it for a bit before moving on to the next one. Mia seriously loves every gift and we looooove watching her play with them (and her birthday gifts! Such a fun week for Mia!) After playing all morning we went out to eat for a late breakfast. Eric went to the gym and I cooked while Mia napped. When she woke up we watched the newest Planes movie that Mia got in her stocking while eating all sorts of junk. A cheese ball and crackers, peppermint puppy chow, eggnog, etc. Mia was in heaven :) We fit dinner in there somewhere and once bedtime arrived, Mia was out cold! It was the best day of perfect gifts, playing and family time! 
It's kind of hard to believe this was our third Christmas with Mia... what?! She was just 5 days new for her first! These memories we get to make with her are absolutely priceless... definitely the best Christmas gift we've received since Christ's birth :) So thankful for this special holiday!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I can't help but throw it back to our precious newborn Mia. She is, and always will be, our sweetest Christmas gift. Oh she makes life so much happier :)

We hope you all have the Merriest Christmas and feel loved whether you're able to be near family and friends, or not. Just remember that the Brinkerhoff's love ya ;)
P.S. From now until New Years, purchase any ad at half price! Just go to my sponsor page and use the code "christmas" to receive 50% off any size! Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mia's 2nd Birthday bash!

Saturday, December 20th we went to lunch with Eric's family. I was explaining Mia's age to the cashier when I said, "She's o... um, two years old?" Ah! I have a 2 year old now! I'm still having the hardest time wrapping my head around that fact! But we had a perfect day partying and celebrating all day Saturday!
garland c/o Her Joyful Studio
Her face, ha ha! She is so annoyed that she can't just dig in to her cupcake already! 
When we brought Mia downstairs the morning of her birthday, she was so surprised to find a slide and a pool full of balls that was just for her! She would have skipped breakfast and played all morning if we let her... pure joy! We were going to make her a fun breakfast until I realized how much junk she would be eating the rest of the day... so eggs with spinach, blueberries and raspberries it was! Luckily dad saved the day and made her birthday breakfast super special by adding whipped cream to the berries! She kept saying, "Oh nummy! Mo' cook-ies?!" ha!
When Eric's family got into town we ate lunch at Cafe Rio. Mia was so excited to have grandma and poppa AND her cousins here! We attempted a nap after lunch and I have to give Mia credit for laying in bed long enough for me to think she went to sleep. But all the excitement kept her from taking a real nap so we let her open her gift from grandma and poppa. A CAR!! Mia loves it so much that she jumped in the bucket seat as soon as it was out of the box and hardly got out for Eric to put it together, ha ha! She talks about the car non stop!
Once my family arrived we sang Happy Birthday to Mia, she (and Eric) blew out the candles then dug in! A little side note on the decor and refreshments... I wanted to keep it super simple this year so I didn't do much with decor, mainly because I'm not crafty and Mia really doesn't care, but luckily Her Joyful Studio saved the day and sent us that gorgeous garland! Bet you didn't know she makes garlands/banners aside from pretty hair accessories ;) Anyway, Eric and I hung the garland and tissue poms (they have blue sparkles!) that I made the night before her birthday and when Mia walked into the kitchen Saturday morning she instantly stopped, pointed and said," Ooooh, pwetty!" Success :) We had a hot chocolate bar complete with flavored creamers, marshmallows and whipped cream, cupcakes, and peppermint puppy chow. Everyone, including Mia, really seemed to love it (unless they were just being really nice, ha!) so I plan on keeping it simple like this each year :) Party planning just ain't my thang!
Mia loved all the attention she got as friends stopped by to celebrate with us! She knew just what to do with the presents and seriously LOVED everything she got! Mia was spoiled so good! Eric and I can't get enough of watching her play with all her new toys. One of my favorite things she has been doing all weekend is playing "run" with her new baby and stroller my parents got her. Yesterday morning she picked up her baby, looked at me and asked, "run?" I smiled and nodded then watched as she threw her baby in the stroller, grabbed the tiny blanket and put it on her, then took her for a "run" around the house! She does it every time she sees the stroller now and it cracks me up! All of my hard effort to live a healthy lifestyle is sure paying off when I get to watch my daughter do the same thing with her baby that I do with mine ;) Anyway, we seriously had so much fun celebrating Mia... I kind of wish it could be her birthday every month (except for the aging part, of course! I wouldn't mind if she'd stop growing so fast!)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

she's TWO!

Goodness, I still remember announcing "She's here!" and the shortest years later we are announcing that Mia is two!

Happy Birthday Mia!
bow c/o Her Joyful Studio
We love you with our whole hearts for your whole life!

Friday, December 19, 2014

happy 24 months to my love bug

I am totally posting this a day early... can you believe Mia will be 2 TOMORROW?! Fastest two years of our life! Also the happiest, silliest, craziest and love-filled two years of our life... all thanks to Mia!
- I say this every month but Mia's vocabulary has totally exploded! A week ago she started spitting out sentences. Whaaaat?! We were walking up to a restaurant when I sang a silly made up song, then Eric repeated the song. Mia started laughing and said, "I like dat song!" About an hour later we took her to see some bunnies and she was ecstatic! She kept squealing over the "bunnnnies!" As we were leaving Mia looked at us with a huge smile on her face and said "I love bunnies!"
She also says, "I need help", "I want one", "Let's do it again", "I want to pway" (play), "Where did it go?"
- She mimics almost every word that comes out of our mouths, but here are the ones she has learned that I remembered to write down: "rock", "dirdy" (dirty), "catch", "doll", "chicken", "watch", "'gurt" (yogurt), "church", "Missy Mouse" (Mickey Mouse), "moccs", "smew" (smell), "Danta!" (Santa), "boots", "ho ho ho", "candy cane", "pncake" (pancake), "roll", "all better!", "socks", "babies Jes-us" (baby Jesus), "Memmy Chs" (Merry Christmas), "star".
- Mia perfect the somersault all by herself on November 20th (so the day she turned 23 months)!
- She loves to make animal noises! Her favorites are the horse, dog, cat, cow and owl. She thinks it's especially hilarious if Eric and I make the noises with her.
- One super exciting milestone was when she peed on the potty for the first time on November 29th! She did it twice that day! She usually pees each night before the tub now, but that's about it. We're okay with it though... we just got rid of her binky a month ago so we aren't in a hurry to push her into another major change. Yet ;)
- I think we've seen the last of her hour naps. For the past couple weeks or so, Mia has been waking up at the 2 hour nap. Oh how I miss that last hour of "me" time ;) ha ha!
- Mia can open our pantry door. It's the only door in the house she can open, and probably the one door I wish she couldn't open, ha ha! She loves to play in the pantry but she's really awesome at putting everything back and not getting into anything she's not supposed to!
- One day I told Mia, "let's get dressed!" so she ran into her room and came back with a dress. HA! I thought that was adorable!
- Mia and I were sitting on the couch one night when I had to scold her about something. She gave me some major attitude as she chewed me out in gibberish then she said, "Be nice! Okay?! Be nice!!" with the head shake attitude and all, HA! And so it begins.... (Also, I'm dying over the fact that she was probably copying exactly how I talk to her, ah!)
- She still wears size 12 month-24 month clothing and fits in size 5 shoes.
- I found a pack of size 4 diapers we never used so she wears 4 and 5 size diapers :)

Mia girl, you are SO much fun! We love watching your personality grow each day! Just when we think you've reached the max on the fun scale, you shock us the next day with all the fun and silliness you bring to our family! I wish you weren't growing so fast but Eric and I will tell you this for the rest of your life... "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be!" We can't wait to celebrate your birthday tomorrow, love bug!        

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December happenings

December has been such a good month full of so much fun! I figured I would just do a little update on our happenings with a post full of mismatched sized photos (with crappy quality, yikes! Time for a new phone cause my camera gets fuzzier by the day!) :)

The very beginning of December we went to our Church Christmas party where Mia met Santa (for the first time in 2014).... she didn't love him. HA!

My salon had a Christmas party last week and it was soooo fun! It was my first girl's night in forever and I loved spending time with my girls! We went out for hibachi and our chef was convinced I'm still in high school... maybe I need to get out more to learn how to act my age?! ;)

Did I mention that I got two girl's nights in a row?! I was so spoiled last week (because then I got a date night with Eric on the 3rd night!) I went to the funnest little "fiesta" in a local (and adorable) shop where I met the sweetest new friends! There are never any events in my sleepy town so I couldn't resist my sequin pants for a night on the town, ha ha!

Eric and I have been packing in as much Christmas fun as possible with Mia! I love viewing this season through her eyes... pure magic!

I warned ya! Crappy photos of mismatched sizes ;) But I've been having so much fun, I had to share!
P.S. Don't forget about the giveaways on my Instagram each night this week... so much cute stuff!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

new year - new YOU {Sephora giveaway}

I don't know about you, but I'm still in denial that 2014 is coming to an end. Time is not slowin' down the older I get (not that I'm aging or anything... HA!) but what better way to ring in the new year with a pretty sweet gift card to Sephora?! You can enter 2015 with a bang by changing the normal routine up with a new look.... OR if you're like me and rarely change a thing about your appearance, you can ring in 2015 with a good supply of your normal make up ;) I teamed up with some amazing ladies to bring you this sweet gift so be sure to check them out and soak up the rest of 2014... it will be over before we know it! Good luck, my friends! xoxo

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

picture perfect {pt1}

We got family/Mia's 2 year pictures done and you guys, I'm in love! I was kind of terrified for how pictures would go considering Mia is a very stubborn, opinionated monster... but the cutest monster at that ;)... and she was an angel! Eric and Mia both cooperated so well and the pictures? Well, I'll just let them speak for themselves!
Dancing queen :)
Gotta love the awkward family hug... silly Mia! ha ha!

Home. We had these pictures taken in my hometown. The town where Eric and I met, dated then married in! The town that holds some of my fondest memories with my little family. But in the end... home is where the heart is. And that is with my two favorite people- Eric & Mia! I'm so glad we had our pictures taken here, but thank heavens I feel at home wherever we are in the world as long as I'm with them!
P.S. Be sure to check my Instagram (starting last night) for a fun giveaway each night to celebrate Mia's birthday week!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

weekend miracles

Gosh, this weekend was a good one! I can't even describe the love and appreciation I have for Eric and Mia... we try so hard to make the best of our time together and it totally paid off this weekend! I am feeling so rejuvenated and my heart is SO full! Here's some of our highlights:
Not the best picture of us and you can't really see my stinkin' cute outfit (if I say so myself) but I even pulled out the heels for this rare date night :)
  • Friday night was kind of a Christmas miracle... we got a babysitter (and her hubs, ha!) to watch Mia while Eric and I went out to dinner AND a movie! Say whaaaaa?! We haven't done that since Mia was born! Eric and I stuffed our faces with pizza then we finally watched Mocking Jay. We had such a good time and it was the best feeling coming home to a sleeping Mia!
  • Saturday morning was a busy one while we got our workouts in (piyo was a killer... it doesn't help that I haven't been in over a month) then Mia and I went to a birthday party. It was a fun, busy morning for Mia!
  • Mia caught a short nap in the car while we drove south to go shopping! It was kind of a mad house everywhere we went but I had so much fun! Eric and Mia really are the best to shop with (Eric often out shops me!) and I got so much crossed off my Christmas to-do list! What a relief!
  • We met up with my younger brother and went to see the Christmas lights at the Temple and listen to the nativity! It was a beautiful night but unfortunately I don't know how to work my camera to get a really good picture of the lights... someone sign me up for a class or photography tutor, ha!

  • After church on Sunday my parents stopped by for a visit. Even though Mia got out of taking a nap the whole day, we had fun together!
  • Sunday night we went to our church building where they had a beautiful display of nativities from around the world... I was so excited to show Mia the different baby Jesus' until we saw the line to get in. With it being so close to Mia's bed time (and Eric's, ha!) I knew there was no way that she would make it through the line, especially since she skipped a nap. I'm sad we didn't get to see it, but when we got home Eric popped some popcorn and we watched a few minutes of a Christmas movie together and the night ended up being great!
I am feeling so spoiled to have enjoyed the best date night with my man, and then turn around and have the BEST family day with my people! Miracles, I tell ya! The sweetest miracles I could as for :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

the perfect Holiday skirt {eShakti}

 skirt c/o eShakti
Let me just start with a little disclaimer- These aren't the best pictures in the world (I will definitely be updating this post with more photos as I wear this skirt, because I will be wearing it a lot!) because my ornery husband AND daughter were making life a little stressful... but I can't even describe how much I love this skirt, how pretty it makes me feel when I wear it, and how many compliments I received at church (the only outing we made that day) on this beautiful skirt. So the pictures suck, but the skirt doesn't ;)
Can I just say that I was so excited when eShakti contacted me asking if I would review a piece from their new Holiday Collection?! I truly adore eShakti for the fact that you really can order a "one of a kind" because of all their customizing options. You can add more fabric to a skirt, take away sleeves from a dress, etc. The possibilities are endless when it comes making an item yours :)
I fell in love with my skirt the second I saw it on the website... it's so perfect for this holiday season! eShakti has really been on point with their skirts this last year! Anyway, I snatched this up asap and now I can't wait to wear it down to it's last few threads :) I love having a piece in my closet that is flattering and makes me feel beautiful the instant I put it on!
eShakti is giving all of my readers an exclusive 10% off promo code that can be stacked on top of the awesome sales they are already offering... score! Sorry 'bout the mouthful, but enter "barbieandkenbrinkerhoff" at checkout to receive your extra 10% off ;)

I can't resist... here's a couple outtakes in my outfit. Real life with one very strong willed little human ;)
Look at that determined little monster, HA! She was not going to wait until we finished pictures... girlfriend was making a run for the swings at the park!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

moccs c/o Freshly Picked
I couldn't resist sharing our Christmas decor this year knowing that we are in a rental and obviously won't be here forever. Because we have yet to buy a home, our Christmas decorations are pretty simple (but I can't wait to buy and craft more when we are finally settled in a home and I know exactly what space I'll have to decorate with!) Each Christmas with Mia just gets better and better- this year is no exception! Mia LOVES the decorations and she's always asking me to plug in the lights on the tree. She has one candy cane ornament that she is allowed to play with (which she always sticks on the same branch when she's done with it, ha!) and leaves everything else alone, such a good girl! Of course my favorite is the nativity scene I have set up on our entertainment center, the perfect reminder of why we celebrate CHRISTmas! There is something so peaceful and cozy about Christmas decorations and the lights! It's going to be a sad day when it's time to put everything away. We love this magical season!
Linking up with Courtney, Jenny & Beth.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

gingerbread trains {it's the little things!}

Tongue is out and girlfriend is ready to eat the icing, ha!
She literally landed a bite into every single piece, HA!
Cheesing it up with daddy!
headwrap c/o Her Joyful Studio
Over the weekend Grandma B had Mia pick out a gingerbread activity and she chose a train! It doesn't surprise me because Mia is obsessed with cars, trucks, helicopters and airplanes... why not throw trains into the obsession? Anyway, we had the best night together decorating the train! Well.... there was way more eating than decorating going on, ha ha! But hey, that's what Mia wanted so that's what Mia got! We got a kick out of her getting more and more animated as she told us how "nummy NUMMY!" each piece of the train was! There was hardly any stopping her with the candy but she did spare a few to decorate a little bit :) Gosh, she makes life so fun (and nummy)!!
Linking up with Jess.