Monday, December 28, 2015

happy 3 months to my little love

I am having the hardest time believing that my James is already 3 months old! Each time I say it, I have to pause and count the months to make sure that's right, because he can't be 3 months already?! Time is so cruel sometimes, ha ha! Each day just gets better and better with this boy, but my momma heart is a little broken over the fact that we are officially out of the newborn phase!

This month was so crazy, and flew by so quickly, that I didn't record a single milestone in my notes to keep track like I normally do. Hopefully my mom brain can recall all the info (not likely, ha!)
- James is truly the happiest boy! We didn't think we'd get two happy babies in a row, but we were proved wrong! (Which means we are in for it when they are teenagers, I'm sure ;))
- He smiles so easily but it's still tough to get giggles out of him!
- James is seriously all eyes for his sister! It's hard to get him to look at anything else when Mia is around. They are starting to interact so much more and goodness, my heart can barely handle the cuteness! I love my kids!
- He is a talker! James has a lot to say these days and we can't get enough of his sweet voice!!
- At his 2 month check up last month, James weighed in at 12.5 pounds (!!) He is one chunky boy with rolls everywhere :) It's so cute and SO different than Mia! She was teeny tiny and never had one roll on her body. 
- I can count the number of times that he's only woken up once through the night to eat on one hand... he's still up twice in the night most nights to eat. I blame it on those chunky rolls... he's gotta maintain them somehow! 
- James has really mastered the bumbo this last week. It is so fun to have him sitting up while I'm working in the kitchen, sitting at the table, etc. He loves to be more apart of everything and it makes my heart skip a beat each time I look up and see his smiling face!
- He still hates tummy time. I have to place him on his belly right after he's eaten to have him play there in peace for a few minutes before the screaming starts, otherwise he screams the second I lay him on his belly. He used to flip over when he got sick of it but I suspect that he's too big to flip himself onto his back now, ha ha!
- I showed James one of his new Christmas books yesterday (December 26th) and he was SO interested in it! He inspected every inch of every page- it was SO cute! I was totally shocked over how interested he was at such a young age! He's so alert, I love it!
- James still sleeps a lot during the day which is nice! He sleeps more during the day than Mia did!
- We've pretty much got a routine down with James. I know what to expect from him each day which makes things a little easier while still adjusting to this mom of 2 thing :)
- He has finally started going longer between feedings during the day which is a relief! Instead of eating every 2 hours on the dot, he will go 3 hours, sometimes (maybe once a day) even 4 between a feeding!   
- James has outgrown his 0-3 month clothing and wears 3-6 month clothing! I guess that's a good thing since those are all winter clothing (and he won't need them after January here in Arizona) but I do wish he would slow down with the growth ;)
- He is in size 1 diapers but it's definitely time to size up to 2's!

We are obsessed with our happy baby boy!          

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December happenings

Oh December. This month feels like it has dragged on forever, but flew by in the blink of an eye all at the same time! Eric has worked every. single. day. (hence the dragging) but our babies are growing and only 2 more sleeps until Christmas (what?!) We've missed out on some of the festive fun due to Eric's crazy work schedule right now, but I've done my best to make the most of this month and I think Mia has been having the best time :)

We survived holiday shopping with a nursing newborn and newly potty trained Mia... that was an adventure every time we tackled the malls, ha ha! My best friend came and stayed with us for a few days and we had the best time! It was just what I needed! The kids played so well together and Mia talks about them every day!

We have done a couple festive things like our church Christmas party and a local "snow" day. They had snow (aka a big pile of ice) for the kids to play on, face painting (Mia was thrilled with her reindeer! I was expecting her to choose the Frozen snowflakes... I should have known better, ha ha!) food trucks, games for the little ones and Santa!!

Mia got to see Santa twice this year! My best friend braved the mall with me (5 kids under age 5 is not for the weak, guys!) and we took the kids to visit Santa. Mia was SO excited... until it was her turn to talk to him. She quickly turned around and started walking away, ha ha! I held her the whole time she talked to him and barely got her to take a photo while sitting on my lap next to him. That warmed her up for our next Santa meeting I guess because she actually sat on his lap! And while she's obviously very weary of the situation, she didn't scream (like the past 2 years, and I adore those pictures, ha!) and even waved for the camera. No smiling though. Of course as we walked away she excitedly told me all about seeing Santa :) 

We celebrated Mia's THIRD birthday! I threw a simple birthday party for her at the park with cupcakes and she LOVED it! I just wasn't up to throwing a big party with Eric being gone and, you know, trying to survive each day with two kids ;) It was so nice to only have to "worry" about baking the cupcakes! I won't have an excuse as to why I need to keep it simple next year, but I'm definitely going to keep it simple for as many years as she lets me :) (I wish I was a party planner but it's just not my talent and ends up stressing me to the max!) On Mia's actual birthday we went to church (she was thrilled to see all of her friends on her actual birthday as well!) then Eric got home from work the same time we did! I can't even tell you how nice it was to have him home before bed time, definitely Mia's favorite thing about her big day! We ate pizza, opened gifts and played with every single one of them and dug into her princess cake that she'd been requesting for weeks. Eric made her dreams come true with a pretty awesome princess cake (which I forgot to take pictures of in good lighting, I'm so bummed!) and she has asked every day since if it's her birthday again and where is her princess cake? ha ha! Mia was so, so happy and even though it was such a simple celebration, it was everything she wanted it to be! My very favorite part was that we were all in bed an asleep before 8pm, HA! I love my little family so much!

I've had a hard time keeping up with the blog this past month but I don't hold back on Instagram ;), so be sure to find me, @courtbrink, if you want to keep up with our Christmas fun! Two more sleeps, guys. Two more sleeps!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

it's a start... {Senita Athletic Wear GIVEAWAY}

I was at my sweet friend Fatty's house the other day and she snapped some photos of me wearing my new Senita athletic outfit (which I loooooove, but more raving about that later!) I am extremely awkward in front of the camera by myself (fo real, yo!) and was telling Fatty that I feel so much more natural and confident (in front of the camera) with my kids in my arms. As I was saying this I was watching Mia run around and I couldn't resist telling her to come jump in the photos with me! I LOVE these adorable, candid photos with my girl but as I was scrolling through them, I'm ashamed to say that the FIRST thing I noticed was my back roll. But I did my best to quickly push those negative self image thoughts out of my head and own this picture of me playing with Mia... I did just have a baby less than 3 months ago for crying out loud! I don't know if the pressure comes from myself or from society, but my body is a work in progress, and will continue to be so once I hit my fitness goals. It's about being healthy and that's what matters most! So here I am, back rolls and all, showing off this incredible outfit from Senita!
 Tank and Capris c/o Senita
Senita just launched here in Scottsdale, Arizona (where are all my locals at?!) and they offer CUTE, affordable athletic wear for women! I don't really know where to begin when it comes to professing my love for these capris. They are so comfortable and have the most practical pockets that all workout bottoms need! These are my go to for working out.... and lounging around the house ;) Because workout clothes that can be worn on lazy days at home as well are a total win-win. Yoga pants got some competition ;) I highly recommend Senita for your next athletic wear purchase, because the first step is putting on the work out clothes and it's hard to resist exercise once you're wearing an outfit like this! I also highly recommend you head to my Instagram page this instant and get yourself entered to win a gift card to Senita... there are TWO winners, my friends!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Mia is THREE!

Our precious princess is three today, THREE!
Oh how we adore our Mia! 
Happy Birthday to the sweetest, silliest, smartest three year old! We are eternally grateful to be your parents!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Freshly Picked GIVEAWAY

Blanket c/o Shuga Bebe Couture
Onesie c/o Izzy and Isla
 Moccs c/o Freshly Picked
I will be the first to admit that I'm not a sock lover, which means my babies rarely wear socks. Poor Mia, my December baby, never had anything covering her feet (but she was always wrapped in a blanket!) until she started walking. We got our first pair of Freshly Picked moccs then and fell in love! She still loves to wear the last pair that still fits her! Freshly Picked sent a pair of newborn moccs (I die over the tiny cuteness!) to James and oh my goodness, I fell in love all over again! It's actually pretty chilly in Arizona (I know, I'm shocked too!) right now and I'm constantly wearing James while we are out running errands, instead of leaving him tucked snug in the car seat, so his precious toesies need to stay covered! His moccs go with everything, I never worry about them falling off his feet, people stop to compliment them all the time, and most importantly- his feet stay warm! I love that we will be able to pass these on to baby #3 (don't tell Eric I said that out loud... he says we are done ;) ha ha!)  because I'm seriously a huge fan of these darling moccs! The second best part of this post (because duh, biased mommy here, and I think his photos are the best part!) is that I've teamed up with Freshly Picked to give away a pair of moccs to one of YOU! Merry Christmas and good luck, my friends! xoxo

Monday, December 14, 2015

my reality {life with 2 kids}

...annnnnnnnd I'm back! I think. Maybe. I better take it day by day ;) I apologize for sudden absence (mom and dad... probably the only one's who missed me in blogland ;)) from this blog! Life has been crazy, in the best way, but totally crazy for me and something had to go (hence my absence). Let me explain...

James is such a dream baby! I really didn't think we'd ever be lucky enough to have two good babies in a row, but sweet James is the happiest, most easy going (except when he's hangry hungry- he gets that from both mom AND dad) little man and we absolutely love having him around! (Obviously this means their teenage years will be a nightmare ;)) He's the perfect addition to our family! The past few days he's even only been waking up once in the night, but let's pretend I didn't just say that out loud because I would hate to jinx this, because I need sleep!
Mia is the best big sister EVER! On Saturday we went to a birthday party and a few people asked Mia what her name was. Her response? "Big sister!!" ha ha! She loves James (but not too much... I rarely have to tell her to keep her distance from him. It's just the perfect amount of loving!) and we really haven't had to deal with a transition period with her. It's a dream, I tell ya! I love being their mom!!
Eric, super dad, loving husband, my right hand (aka best support and helper EVER!) has been working every. single. day. And he works long hours. It's been hard and I try not to complain, but it makes for very long single parenting days (I complain, but Eric hustles at work each day to get these huge projects finished, then gets home and helps me for the few minutes he has before he crashes and does it all again the next day. All the while he's missing his family while working these crazy hours. He is super man!) I don't get to look forward to having an extra set of hands helping with the kids in the evenings or weekends with Eric's crazy schedule right now. This isn't me complaining, we knew it would be like this (but of course I wasn't expecting it so soon after James was born, and I was expecting him to have 1 day off a week) I'm just trying to paint a picture of how busy life has been for our little family. I have definitely gone into survival mode and won't come out of it until February. (Pray for us.)
I was getting very little sleep between James waking up twice in the night to feed, taking forever to fall asleep between the first and second feeding, Eric's alarm waking me, then Mia waking up just after I finished feeding James for the second time. I was only getting 2-3 hours sleep the first stretch of the night (and I was going to bed as soon as I finished feeding James around 9pm) and I don't think I ever got a full hour of sleep after that, except on rare occasions. I tried to get through the days without a nap but we quickly discovered that once these huge projects started at work and I no longer had Eric home on the weekends, that I was not a very nice mommy by the end of the day. My family deserved better than that, so the kids nap time has become my nap time. To top it off, I've been sick the past 2 weeks. UGH! With all the craziness, business and sleep deprivation we've been experiencing... something had to go. I used to blog in the early mornings before Mia woke for the day when I was pregnant, then I took advantage of nap time to blog once James was here, but now that I must sleep the times that both kids are sleeping to survive the long days, I lost motivation to find another time to blog... again, hence my absence.

I can't even tell you how good it felt to let go of the stats, the pressure I felt to bust out some posts, etc. My unplanned blogging break was just what I needed! I still felt connected to everyone through Instagram (although I've been blocked from leaving comments on photos and captions with my own photos for a week... maybe that's what pushed me to start blogging again. I need adult interaction somehow... just kidding. My life isn't that pathetic... most of the time ;) Be sure to follow me @courtbrink in case it takes me awhile to get back into the swing of blogging regularly!) but it feels good to be back! I probably won't post every day like I did before, at least not until the craziness settles and Eric is back to a normal work schedule, but I've got a million posts to share and I can't wait to plaster my corner of the internet with my babies faces again :) I have lots of reviews and giveaways to share as well, so I hope you'll stick with me through this crazy time in my life! The days are long but the years are short, right?! I just can't wait to have Eric around more to enjoy our precious babies and make fun memories with! And now I'll leave you with a peek of my precious Christmas babies...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

these hidden gems {GIVEAWAY}

I'm so excited to be featuring These Hidden Gems: a nursing cover that can also be used on a car seat and shopping cart (or as a blanket, spit up rag, etc. You momma's know how handy multi use items are ;))
It took months (at least 6) before I became confident enough to nurse in public with a cover. I used to hide in my car to feed Mia, or just not leave my house if it was getting close to feeding time. Part of my issue was that nursing is difficult to get used to. I felt like I needed 10 extra hands to make it easier, ha ha! But once nursing felt more natural and Mia was big enough to make it easier on both of us, she was also very mobile and curious. It took practice to nurse her covered, without having her rip the blanket (that's all I used) off. When I found out I was pregnant with James I noticed these nursing covers that gave 360 coverage and I knew I had to get one because 1- I didn't want to be confined to my house or car to feed my baby and 2- I am always on the go and always have someone climbing all over me thanks to a certain toddler... I don't have time to find the perfect nursing corner to keep my back covered since a blanket only covers the front.
James was only 2 weeks old when we made our first family outing to a pumpkin patch when James needed to eat. It was windy out and I was so grateful to have my cover from These Hidden Gems to keep James protected, plus I didn't have to worry about my cover blowing away! Fast forward to my Disneyland vacation a couple weeks ago... my cover became a lifesaver! I can't tell you how many times I nursed James standing up, but it happens quite frequently there (all the bare belly's/back's were a dead giveaway, ha ha!) Everyone knows how precious your spot in line is while waiting for a ride, so instead of missing out, I fed James in line, while watching shows (standing of course) and while walking to our next destination. Kudos to the momma's who are brave enough to nurse uncovered, but that's just not my cup of tea. I like to be covered from all angles. Plus it was COLD so James and I both had a little extra coverage thanks to These Hidden Gems!
Nursing Cover c/o These Hidden Gems

If you haven't figured it out by now, I am in love with my nursing cover and highly recommend every mom has one, whether you're nursing or not! As I mentioned above, you can use this cover for so many different things, it's a staple in my diaper bag! These also make the BEST baby gift if you know someone who is expecting ;) These Hidden Gems is offering 15% off your purchase with the code "BRINK15"... PLUS there is a giveaway to win a cover of your choice on my Instagram, hurry and enter!! Happy shopping!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


We have been planning on taking Mia to Disneyland since the beginning of 2015! We wanted to take her in December to see the park at Christmas time, but before Mia's birthday so that we didn't have to pay for her (ha ha!) Once we found out we were pregnant, that sealed the deal for our December date! Of course work threw a wrench in our plans and we had to change the date to November. I was only 7 weeks postpartum and really nervous as to how I would hold up being on the go with a newborn, but it all worked out! AND we still got to see the park decked out for Christmas! My parents came as well which was a huge help with the kids (plus Eric and I got to sneak in some alone time and ride rides!) It was such a fun and exhausting vacation ;)
I'll be recapping each day as there are so many little moments I don't want to forget about the trip! Day 1 was Disneyland and we were SO excited to see Mia's reaction!! It was a cold day (We never took our jackets off, and I was actually wishing I had a second jacket to layer with, especially once the sun went down!) but that didn't stop us from playing all day! When we first entered the park, we spotted Snow White so while I fed James, Eric took Mia to meet her. She was so excited to get her autograph and picture taken! After that we found Pluto, Goofy and Minnie Mouse. By the time we got to Minnie, Mia only wanted her autograph and no pictures. She was over it and wanted to play! The pictures are hilariously awkward from that meet and greet, ha ha!
Finally we headed for the rides! We took Mia through Sleeping Beauty's castle on the way and while she LOVED the castle from the outside, she wasn't a fan of being inside even though she was with Eric and me. I was surprised by how nervous Mia got with certain rides and any dark place... she's definitely hit the :scared of the dark" phase! Anyway, we rode the carousel first, then went on the Dumbo right next. That's the first ride we took Mia on when she was 6 months old. Sweet memories :) Next up was the tea cups. Eric loves the tea cups and has fond memories of riding that kind of ride with his mom, and he loved talking to Mia about it so she had been waiting for weeks to do the tea cups with daddy! Then we finally took James on his first ride, a little boat ride :) That took up our whole morning (I forgot how long it takes to get through the lines at Disneyland!)
After a quick lunch I was hoping Mia would nap in the stroller while we walked around to get fast passes for the big kid rides ;) No such luck- that girl wasn't going to miss out on the party! We spent the rest of the day eating junk and riding rides! We were banking on a slower week at the park since it was the week before Thanksgiving, but no such luck! We just happened to be there the opening day of Star Wars stuff in Tomorrowland so it was insanely packed! It was fun to experience the new graphics during the Space Mountain ride though. We ended the night with the Buzz Lightyear ride and ended up scaring the crap out of Mia. It didn't occur to me that our over stimulated and exhausted toddler would get scared of the little alien/robots throughout the ride, I just thought she would be so excited to shoot the gun. As we were strapping her in the stroller after the ride she started panicking and said, "they're coming to get me!" Parenting fail, ha ha! Eric held her and she fell asleep on his shoulder within minutes! We were so tired that we left the park a little early (sometime after 8pm) instead of staying for the parade and firework show. Doing Disneyland with a newborn (who doesn't sleep through the night) is no joke, but James did so amazing! The days only got better and more exciting for us as we figured out how to make the most of our time, and soak up the things that Mia was really excited about!

Mia was so stinking excited- she was constantly grabbing our necks and squeezing so hard :)
Goofy is one of her favorites! This is actually the closest she got to any of the characters that morning!
The carousal is the first ride she wanted to go on, of course. She loves those!
And here's James on his first ride! It's a little boat ride.
Chip N Dale stopped to love on James then ended up smothering me in hugs and kisses, ha ha!
Mia got to meet Snow White when we first got to the park while I fed James. If you look closely, you can spot me sitting down turning to look (looking like a creeper, ha ha!)
My parents took the kids for a bit so Eric and I could go play and what did we do? We bought ears and had them personalized for the kids, ha! Mia picked hers out the night before and she was SO excited when we gave them to her!

Monday, November 30, 2015

two little turkeys {Thanksgiving 2015}

Is it just me or is Thanksgiving not nearly as relaxing as I remember it? I didn't even spend the day in the kitchen yet I felt like I ran a marathon by the end of the day, ha ha! This year was kind of a bummer since Eric had to work on Thanksgiving (we will celebrate with our own special meal in the coming days!) but my sweet cousins invited us over for the day so the kids and I weren't alone! We enjoyed good food (so much good food!) and good company! If I remember right, Mia had 4 cherry tomatoes, an apple slice or two and one bite of pumpkin pie for her big feast, HA! I didn't even try and fight her though. She wanted to play with her cousin so I just let her :) They jumped for hours and hours on the trampoline (we gotta get one of those! Burns so. much. energy.) while I juggled nursing James, eating and talking for hours and hours... I don't think I stopped eating, ha! I took a few pictures (when I say a few, we really know I mean 200 and you better believe I can't bring myself to delete more than 5 of them, ha!) of the kids first thing in the morning, thank goodness, because I neglected to take any more photos the rest of the day. Oops! But these little turkeys are all anyone wants to see anyway, right?! ;)
 James' Outfit c/o L'ovedbaby
This was our eighth Thanksgiving Eric and I have celebrated since being married... and the first time we haven't spent the day with our parents. The first of many holidays to come, I'm sure, since we moved away from Utah, and that is a totally weird feeling. I'm not sure I like the idea of it since we have kids and these holidays are all about bringing the family together! But we will definitely learn to make the most of it and come up with our own family traditions to make the holidays special and something for our kids to look forward to in the coming years! What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions?!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

happy 2 months to my little love

I can't believe my sweet James is already 2 months old! These have been the fastest 2 months ever, but in some ways they have also been the longest. Life with two kids is just the sweetest, but it obviously comes with it's challenges! James is a dream baby and he really only truly cries when he's hungry (I believe the word that best describes it is hangry ;) he inherited that from both mom and dad, ha ha!) or super tired. He is the smiliest baby the rest of the time and is constantly melting our hearts! I am feeling the effects more than ever of being short on sleep and stretched thin (emphasize on thin) between sharing my attention with 2 kids, cooking the meals, cleaning the house and keeping us all alive and sane while Eric is working the craziest work schedule. This is when it's hardest to live so far from our family and my dearest friends who I could ask for help on the days that I just can't keep it together. I thought we would be out of survival mode by now, but it actually feels like we've only just entered this phase. I wouldn't trade the craziness for anything in the world! I love my family!

- James found his voice when he turned 1 month old on September 28th. His coos are the sweetest sound! We love when he has a lot to say ;)
- Eric got the first giggle out of James (he did with Mia as well!) at 6 weeks on November 13th.
- And I got his first blow out, ha ha! We've only had a couple little blow outs, not bad! I know it will get worse as he grows though :) (Side note- did you know that the sun bleaches breast milk poop stains? If it doesn't come out in the wash, just lay in the sun to dry and it's gone!)
- Nicknames: buddy, chunky monkey, baby brother, handsome. We like to keep things real original around these parts ;) ha ha!
- James has been in the bumbo twice now! He's real proud of himself and flashes the biggest smiles when we sit him in it, but he doesn't last more than a minute or two. That head is just so heavy to hold up, ha ha!  
- He is obsessed with ceiling fans!
- Last month he wasn't a fan of baths or diaper changes... now he loves them! He will cry until you start to undo his diaper, then he is all smiles because he knows he's getting a clean one! 
- He loves, loves, loves the Christmas tree lights! He could stare and talk to them all day!   
- This boy is all eyes for his family! Anytime Mia is around he follows her with his eyes and smiles the whole time! When I'm holding James and he hears Eric's voice he instantly searches the room until he finds him. And when Eric holds James and I'm in the room he follows me around with his eyes and smiles when I acknowledge him. He makes us all feel SO loved!!
- We find out his stats next week. He was born at 6 lbs 14 oz and weighed almost 10.5 pounds at his 1 month check up! CRAZY! I'm curious to see if his weight has shot up again in the last month. His rolls have definitely doubled ;)
- James blew through his newborn clothes this last month! 0-3 month fits him perfectly (some are even getting too small) and I'm pulling out his 3 month sized clothing. AH! Stop growing so fast, baby boy! 
- He's wearing size 1 diapers. 
 Moccs c/o Freshly Picked
We love our happy boy SO MUCH!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Mia's Bracelets c/o Poppy Lane and Co James' Pants c/o Olive The Things Moccs c/o Freshly Picked

The quality of these photos is pretty much the worst, but the thoughts and emotions I experienced while snapping these yesterday are priceless! I was busy doing hair all day (oh how I've missed doing hair!) and as I thought about these pictures I took on my phone real quick before starting my busy day, my heart was bursting with gratitude! I can't help but share just a few of the things that crossed my mind as I worked yesterday that I'm thankful for!

My sweet babies! They are the perfect addition to our family and Eric and I could not be more grateful to be Mia and James' parents!

That loyal, fun, handy, loving, witty (sometimes annoying and infuriating) husband of mine! Eric and I have been married 7 1/2 years now and in some ways I can't believe how quickly the time has flown (can't we be newly weds forever?!) and in other ways it feels like we've been married forever! We've experienced many highs and lows plus everything in between (and have much more to experience together) through the years and there's no one I'd rather experience life with!

Clothing. Food. Our vehicles. Air conditioning. My bed. The roof over our heads. Showers.

Naps. Hugs and kisses. Cuddles. Bed time.

Eric's job. The opportunity that I have to stay home with our kids. My talent as a hairstylist. Oh how I miss my salon, my girls and my clients! I miss it everyday and the outlet it provided (creatively and socially)... but I'm grateful I can call it my hobby for now (until I put a salon in our future home) and have something to fall back on should the need ever arise.

Earth. Mountains. Fresh air. Changing leaves. Flowers. Lakes. The ocean.

Friends. Friends that love and accept Eric and I just the way we are (or should I say friends that can handle Eric and I just the way we are ;) ha ha!) Friends who love my babies like their own.

Family. Near and far, immediate and extended.

Our health.

Christ's atonement. The love our Heavenly Father has for us... A love that I only understand a fraction of, even with being a parent myself.

My cell phone... that I use to snap photos of my babes on the daily... that I use to connect with all of you... that I use to keep track of my calendar (and basically everything else you can think of that I need to get me through each day!) I'm grateful that I have it and all the conveniences it offers, and I'm grateful that I can put it away and focus on what's right in front of me, what truly matters.

Thanksgiving, and any holiday that causes us to stop and reflect on the beautiful lives we live. I am blessed... we are blessed! Despite the trials that surely come our way, we are blessed!

P.S. Just in case you needed one more thing to add to your black Friday shopping list... this is it! Poppy Lane and Co is offering all of you 20% off your purchase using the code "BLACKFRIDAY20" at check out on Friday! Plusssss a free Swarovski charm of choice with purchase. Need I say more?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

plaid, florals, a GIVEAWAY... oh my!

I am so excited to be featuring Pink Blush, a women's online boutique, as well as partnering up with a giveaway at the bottom of this post! Time to get our shop on ;)

Top c/o Pink Blush
Dress c/o Pink Blush
Top c/o Pink Blush

I will be the first to admit that I LOVE plaid... on everyone else. I haven't been able to find any plaid clothing that is flattering on me, or maybe I'm just completely intimidated by the bold print when I see it on myself? Either way, I was thrilled to find the perfect top to introduce my wardrobe to plaid! It's the perfect amount of accent (and opens up in the back the same way my floral top does!) and I feel so cute in it! Yay for finally joining the plaid band wagon ;) Speaking of that floral top... need I say more?! I'm seriously in love with the flowy, but flattering clothes with fun pops of accent/details that Pink Blush has to offer!
I love to shop Pink Blush when I need a dress because they offer so many cute dresses for women that can be worn casually or dressed up with heels and jewelry! I'm all about the dresses since moving to Arizona because less is more when it comes to clothing and layering in this hot climate! I especially love this dress because the wrap detail makes it nursing friendly, holla! Yep, I'm totally nursing James in that photo above! I don't have many nursing friendly clothes and it gets exhausting always pulling my tops up and making sure I'm covered in all directions! I was chasing Mia down and didn't have to worry about my back being exposed, etc. This dress will be my best friend during these nursing months, and since it's not technically a nursing dress, it will just be my favorite wrap dress when we're done nursing! 
I couldn't be more happy with my Pink Blush items and I'm even happier to be giving away a $25 Pink Blush gift card to one of YOU! Good luck, my friends! xoxo

Monday, November 23, 2015

weekend highlights

Happy Monday! It's very happy for us because Eric is home! We are soaking up his last day (of being home for 11 glorious days!) until he starts up a crazy work schedule for the next couple of months! We have been up to lots of fun during his time off but today I'm sharing our Saturday fun.

Mia's Bow c/o Balakin & Co Dress c/o Arden Store

Our good friends moved to Arizona and I can't tell you how excited we are to have them here! We met up with them on Saturday and they introduced us to Snooze (an A.M. eatery) and I haven't stopped thinking about it since! We ordered 10 entrees between 4 adults (and Mia, ha!) and polished our plates clean in probably 5 minutes, ha ha! So much food, and I still don't feel an ounce of guilt over indulging ;) Next, we decided to take Mia bowling for what I thought was her first time, but Eric reminded me that we bowled with her last summer, ha! It was so stinkin' fun to watch her get into it! She pulled the funniest faces (so did Eric... you know he would never pose for these photos, ha ha! He's such a good dad and made bowling so fun for Mia!) as she pushed her ball down the ramp and watched it hit the pins! I won't tell you scores but I will say that even with the bumpers, I still couldn't break 100! And Mia didn't come in last... ha ha! 
It felt so good to spend the day just playing and enjoying each others company! We've been really homesick for old friendships, so we are looking forward to exploring this city with our friends!

Friday, November 20, 2015

nom nom nom {Oat Mama}

You know how there's just something irresistible about baby toes that makes you want to munch on their little feetsies?! I can't be the only one with that sickness ;) Well I'm discovering the same thing with baby rolls (check out that roll on James' thigh!!!) I just kind of want to nibble on James all day long, ha ha! You see, Mia was long, lean and just plain tiny. She never ever had rolls, not even where her wrist meets her hand. James was born just a couple ounces smaller than Mia was, so we were expecting to have another small baby. He is definitely proving us wrong as he's turning into a chunky little man with all sorts of new rolls appearing weekly. The latest is a roll crease right where his biceps will be... his rolls are seriously blowing my mind!

Lactation Granola Bars c/o Oat Mama
Anyway, back to irresistible snacking... these lactation granola bars from Oat Mama are absolutely delicious! I first learned about Oat Mama from a giveaway I won on Instagram but have since turned into a loyal customer. Yes, I received bars in return for this blog post, but I've purchased bars in the past, and I don't know how I'll stop as long as I'm nursing. I mean, have you seen their sneak peek for their upcoming release of the new holiday bar?! Yum!
These granola bars are filled with all sorts of healthy ingredients that are good for mom and baby! They go a long way as I tend to eat a third or half the bar (depending on if he's having a growth spurt... or if I can stop myself at just a third of the bar, ha ha!) every night. I always have one packed in the diaper bag in case I find myself out and about with no food on hand. I would rather snack on this than grab some fast food to satisfy my hunger until I can get home to healthy food! The only problem I have with these is that Mia has discovered how good they are, so now I have to hide my bars so that she doesn't eat them all, ha!
I highly recommend these bars to any nursing momma, or really anyone who is on the hunt for a healthy, satisfying snack! Oat Mama is offering you 10% off anything in the shop... it's the perfect excuse to try these out ;) Just use the code "brinkmama10" at check out!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

GIVEAWAY {Nordstrom gift card}

For the next week, I am teaming up with Pamela from Sequins & Sea Breezes and 20 other fab bloggers to give away a $325 Nordstrom Gift Card to celebrate Pamela’s two year blogiversary! This giveaway is just in time for the holidays, so you have the chance to give yourself {or someone else} a little treat for the holidays! The more ways you enter, the better your chances are! The giveaway ends on Friday, November 27th, at midnight and the winner will be announced on Monday, November 30th. Good luck and be sure to check out all of these fabulous blogs!

Hosted By:

The Gorgeous Co-hosts:

$325 Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway

I am SO excited to team up with some of my favorite bloggers to bring this amazing giveaway to all of my favorite readers (that's YOU!) I'm definitely crossing my fingers that one of you win! Thanks for being the sweetest friends and so supportive and loving to my family! You all are the BEST! Keep an eye out for more fun giveaways to show my appreciation for all of you! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I can't believe I'm saying this... but this is Mia's last monthly update in her second year of life! She's turning three NEXT MONTH! I know I say it all the time, but time seriously FLIES! Mia is sassier than ever, but she's also the sweetest girl, the BEST big sister and such a tease! Our lives are better because she's in it! We love her SO much!

Momma Mia!
- Mia's imagination has really picked up! She is so into make believe and role play with her toys, especially dolls, and it's so fun to listen to her! Right now her favorite is "princess 'fia" (Sofia) doll and a make believe "Stistoph" (Kristoff), ha ha!
- She is quite the artist and loves to draw and color, but painting is her favorite! 
- Every night before bed she loves to watch a little clip on an animal or insect (she picks a new one each night). She loves learning about animals! 
- Mia has become obsessed with dancing and I love it! Every day she has to "dance for baby brudder!" I can't wait to get her in a dance class!
- We've hit the nudist stage with Mia... she is not a fan of leaving clothes on when we are at home. It started with running around pantless, but lately she just strips from head to toe! 
- She's developed a pickiness with her socks (that drives me crazy!) where the seam over the toes has to be just right or else she screams "ouch" and rips them off if I don't get it just right. Eric finally figured out to just turn the socks wrong side out so that she can't feel the seam, but she likes a lot of her socks because of their design! The things that girl is OCD about, it's the weirdest thing!  
- Mia is SO excited for "Missmas"! We already set up our Christmas tree (no ornaments yet, but we can't resist the lights. Plus the season is just too short, and with our warm weather in Arizona, we needed to get started even earlier with the decor to get the feel of Christmas in the air ;)) and she adores it! She knows that her birthday and Christmas are both in December, it's such a special month for us! 
- She mainly wears 2T and 3T clothing. She can wear size 6 sandals but we bumped her up to size 8 closed toe shoes.
- We had her in size 6 diapers all the time, but that drove me nuts so we are back to size 5 during the day and 6 at night. We start potty training in just a few days though so wish us luck!!