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!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

eeny meeny miny moe

I'm totally that mom... that mom that takes a hundred photos (in 5 seconds) of her kid and even though each photo is basically the same as the last, I can't delete a single one!! And when I can only get away with posting so many of these photos on Instagram, I turn to the blog, HA! In all seriousness though, how cute is James?! And this outfit from Olive The Things that makes him look like a handsome little man? I just can't get enough!!

Hoodie and Pants c/o Olive The Things

Olive The Things seriously has the cutest clothes for boys and girls! Want to win a hoodie of your choice? Click over to my Instagram (@courtbrink) and get yourself entered today before the giveaway ends!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

James' newborn photos {pt 3}

I suppose this will be the end of James' newborn posts ;) I have to stop myself at some point, ha! I just adore my family SO much! James is the perfect addition and we thank God for him (and Mia) every day!

Friday, November 13, 2015


 I am so excited to share my newest obsession with you all today... custom iPhone cases! I seriously don't think I'll ever purchase a pre-designed phone case ever again!

Phone Cases c/o CaseApp
CaseApp offers custom laptop skins and phone cases for the iPhone and Samsung brands... but watch out, it's addicting designing your own case! I have a million ideas for my phone now and I'm about to own more cases than any person should have for one phone ;)
CaseApp also offers some of their own designs (you can customize their design to make it original for you!) and if you know me and my love for pink and sparkles, you know why I couldn't resist using their design! My blog used to be decked out with pink/sparkles so it's a no brainer that my phone carry on the look, ha ha! And if you know me and my obsession with my family, then it's obvious that I HAD to design another case showing what I love most! The best part is that these cases are actually quite sturdy and will protect my phone while lookin' good :)

 Mia is as obsessed as I am... "Look at my new phone!!" ...because everything is hers, of course!

If you love the idea of making your own skin/case as much as I do, CaseApp is offering 20% off your purchase using the code "BARBIE20" (code is good for one week!) They are also offering a FREE custom phone case or laptop skin to one of YOU! Enter below and happy designing ;) xoxo

Thursday, November 12, 2015

never a dull moment

Mia and I have been feeling isolated and cooped up these past couple of weeks so I set up a zoo day with friends this week! Of course the night before was the night that Mia decided to not sleep through the night for the first time in months, which means I got very little sleep between both kids waking up. But I knew we needed to get out of the house and socialize so off we went! It was a beautiful, overcast morning and actually kind of chilly (I didn't know that it could get cold in Arizona ;) ha ha!) We got there early, I fed James and we were ready to meet our friends on time... I was feeling like super woman!
... And then the crazy began, ha ha! Mia was miss independent and kept running off to do her own thing. Pair that with her selective hearing and I was ditching the stroller with James in it to chase Mia down constantly, BAH! I was quite flustered as I quickly realized I forgot snacks for Mia (and myself), a jacket for Mia, etc. But once we were home later that afternoon and I looked through all the pictures that were taken that day, I couldn't stop laughing! Mia had a blast running around, exploring and playing with friends! I've got the most laid back friends who put up with my crazy and we kept an eye on each others kids. I'm still new at this mom of 2 thing and apparently it's still easy for me to get overwhelmed (I honestly started to think that Mia and I should just move into the zoo, ha ha!) but days like this where I can look back with a smile on my face and only think of the good? That's when I know I'm doing something right. I'm thankful for these crazy days and friends who help me survive them ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


One of my favorite photos from our first days having James home!

I love documenting when Eric dresses Mia, so you know I'll be doing the same when he dresses James! The first time I put Eric in charge of dressing him... how was he ever that small?!

Halloween crafting with my best girl (thanks to grandma!) This totally woeks for Thanksgiving, too, right?!

Matching Halloween pj's because I'm that mom, and proud of it!

When daddy goes with us to the store... he's the fun parent, obvi ;)

...and to think that I thought I would miss pink when we found out we were having a boy, ha ha! I hope James likes pink, because he's got a lot of pink hand me downs :)

Leave it to big sister to get the BIGGEST smile we've ever seen out of him, without even trying!! Apparently he just wanted to sit up like a big boy because the second she held his head up, he busted these smiles out and then my heart nearly burst out of my chest! They already have the sweetest, most understanding relationship and the cuteness just might kill me :)

I blame Chatbooks and two beautiful children for my overgramming these days ;) Yes, I'm totally biased, but if you agree and don't want to miss out on our daily highlights, be sure to follow along @courtbrink :) Happy 'grammin'!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


This grainy photo describes life perfectly right now. No make up, bags under my eyes, out on a walk/bike ride to stay sane ;) But I love and cherish these days with my little people!
Pacifier Clip c/o Loved By Sohpia Claire Beanie c/o KB Cute Designs

Loving: all of the fun features/giveaways I have been able to share and get to continue to share! We've got some good stuff coming up! I absolutely love collaborating with shops, big and small, and am so grateful for all the amazing opportunities we've been given to try some amazing products!
Aside from collaborations, I also offer sponsorship on my blog! I haven't mentioned anything about it for quite a few months because I didn't know where I would stand with my blog once James was born. But I've made it a point to devote time to blog posts, etc. so I want to offer a special promo code to anyone looking to promote their blog or shop... please use the code "thanks60" to receive 60% off any size ad!
I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of my readers friends who stick around to support me and love my family! There has been a lot of "hate" towards social media and the fakeness of it, but I am incredibly grateful for it! Without it, I wouldn't be blessed with the amazing friendships you all offer! As I said before, I've got some great giveaways coming up... it's one way I can say thank you and I love you all :)

Reading/Watching: Someday I'll actually read a book again... My goal is to start a new series now that I'm nursing. Lots of down time ;)
I'm playing catch up with my Netflix queue! I just finished Pretty Little Liars (dying to see the season that is airing now!) and have moved on to Vampire Diaries. I can't wait for Revenge to be updated! P.S. I'm always hearing how Netflix is a nursing mom's best friend... how do you mom's watch it when you have a toddler running around, too? I wish I could watch my shows every time I sit down to nurse, but could you imagine Mia's reaction to Vampire Diaries? Yeah... ha ha!

Trying to: find some fun, simple crafts to do with Mia for Thanksgiving. I keep trying to teach her that Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for everything we have, and each time I try to explain it to her she replies with a, "whaaaaaaaaaaat?!" ha ha! Plus she and I could use some fun one on one time to occupy some time until we are able to get back into a routine in the coming months as James grow! What are some fun ideas you've seen or done with kids?! (I need simple because I'm lazy... and am still stuck in the newborn phase of craziness, ha ha!)

Wishing: that time would slow down and I could soak in these precious newborn moments that James is quickly growing out of! I'll be honest, the last few days have been ROUGH. The hardest parenting days to date (as in, since Mia was born) and I've gone to bed each night feeling major mom guilt. Eric is currently on day 9 of working 11 days in a row where he is gone 14 hours each day. The sleep deprivation, lack of our old routine, no endorphins (I miss working out but I'm dreading getting back into it, ha ha), isolation (Mia and I are very social and we miss getting out all the time!) and Eric's crazy schedule completely overwhelmed me and I finally had the break downs that people told me I would experience during the transition of having a second child. It was not pretty. After a couple days of wallowing I realized that I need to let my list of expectations go and just enjoy my babies! I have been putting too much pressure on myself to be able to handle everything seamlessly the way I did before I had James and that's just unrealistic at this point. Right now I should be sitting around nursing my baby (each time I am wishing that I could be cleaning and nursing at the same time, ha ha!), and being intentional with my time with Mia when James is sleeping, cuddling my babes, etc. The days are long but the years are short... so I'm going to do my best to soak up every moment, instead of feeling the pressure (that I, alone, put on myself) to have a spotless home and look impeccable... I have a 6 week old and a toddler for crying out loud, and time won't be slowing down any time soon.

Excited for: a special vacation with my people. I am so excited for the fun that we have planned! Eric needs a break from his crazy work schedule and time to just enjoy being with me and the kids, and I need a break from the expectations I put on myself at home. During vacation the only thing I will have to worry about is feeding James and having FUN! I have a feeling that I'm going to fall in love with my little family all over again... vacation is good for the soul!