happy birthday, brooks!!!

I can not believe that one year ago we welcomed this happy boy!!

A photo posted by nicole brinson (@fashionablyniki) on

So, I thought it was only fitting to share the details of the day & his arrival!

It was a Thursday morning, and I had just been to the doctor the day before. Let me rewind....the week before was my last full week of work in the office. The week of Brooks' birth, Matt had assigned my mother to the task of "babysitting" me. He apparently was concerned of something happening....

Anyways, Wednesday (the day before Brooks was born) mom & I headed to IKEA to walk out the baby. Later that day I went to the doctor because stuff was starting to feel like "something was happening"....but alas, it was not. I was only 4cm (TMI???) and they advised I go home and "rest".

Side note: why the HADES do they tell you to "rest"??? Being 9 months pregnant with a toddler, there was no "resting". I was lucky to get a solid hour of sleep. 

So back to that Thursday....

Our pattern for this particular week was we drop off Beau at his preschool & then Matt drops me to my mom's house, afterwards he then heads in to the office. I was in a foul mood. I was hungry & nauseous...and so annoyed over yesterday's appointment & no progress. We ended up hitting McDonalds up for a breakfast sandwich....the infamous "last meal". We got to my mom's & my mood was going even further down hill - if that was even possible! This was about 8:30am.

Around 10am I am having killer back pains & have tried everything from going to the bathroom to laying on the couch, to try & relieve them. I took a few business phonecalls, fighting through this pain. I finally looked at my mom & said "let's just go to the doctor & see what's going on". On the way, remember I was in a foul mood, she was trying to carry on a conversation with me....I finally looked at her & said "mom, I love you, but don't talk please".

I love my mom.

10:30am We get to the doctor's....of course we have to wait....and of course I can not sit down. Too much pain to sit.

I get taken to the back & this proper British midwife they have is the one to check me. All the doctors are out. It's just her. And she's wearing Stella & Dot!!! I guess it was a sign.

She checks me....and then LEAVES THE ROOM.

And then a nurse walks in, saying "she told me to come in & sit with you".

Um, what?

So, the proper British midwife comes back and excitedly exclaims that I am 9cm and she has called me an ambulance.

Um, what!?

Actually my exact words were "SHUT UP!" followed by sobbing. Like bawling my eyes out. Scared & wanting drugs. So I did what any pregnant near delivery woman would do, asked for the drugs!

In her most proper British accent "No, I'm sorry. We don't have those."

Um, what!?

She then preceded to tell me again that she had called me an ambulance. Cue more crying.
"But why?? Mom can drive me!"

In her British accent "Do you really want your mum delivering baby on the side of the road?"

Cue the sirens.

So the fire rescue were the first to arrive. Oh yes, a fire truck AND an ambulance arrived at my doctor's office! Well if this isn't the royal treatment I don't know what is!

The EMT's from the fire truck came in, of course all men. So I asked the nice man for "the drugs" - - he said they don't carry those, but he'd be happy to get me ready for the IV. Oh, yay. He then said "don't worry, you're good!"

Oh I'm sorry, you had a baby when? (Pretty sure he got an earful of sheer sarcasm.)

He then let me know he would not be taking me....that I would need to go on the ambulance. I then asked if I could just walk on the ambulance...I mean do I really have to be hoisted up on the gurney? Yes, you do....it's protocol.

So now the nausea set in even more. They handed me a barf bag & my papers for the hospital & away I wheeled.

I never screamed. Not once. Even though the pain was utterly debilitating....I just clenched my jaw & told everyone to HUSH.

Like, literally....HUSH.

Mom followed the ambulance.
Moot point, I guess.

11:25am We get to the hospital, everyone moving at a snail's pace. "Do they not realize I need drugs! I'm nearing 10cm! This baby is coming now.....MOVE IT PEOPLE!"

Nope I bit my tongue....no lashing out. But why the heck people wanted to keep talking to me was BEYOND me.

We took TWO WRONG TURNS. Between the nurse man that met us at the ambulance drop area & the EMT from the ambulance...2 wrong turns later & an awkward elevator ride, we FINALLY ARRIVED to labor & delivery.

Oh yay, we can party now! DRUGS PLEASE!

Yes, I asked for drugs right away. While stripping in front of 5 nurses in to the hospital gown.
Is it awkward one of them complimented my bra?
I thought so too.

Alas, in walks mom...proclaiming she had called Matt on the way here.
"Oh good! He should be here, huh? He did get me in to this mess, huh?"
Apparently sarcasm is my spiritual gift.

The sweet nurses then go through their MILLION questions. Now I'm hooked up to the contractions monitor & the sweet gal is now watching it & still wanting to ask me about the placenta...and then abruptly stops & says "Oh, I'll let you get through this contraction".....hey thanks, pumpkin!

In walks a doctor. One I have not seen before from my doctor's group.
Oh yay, a new doctor? It surely is my lucky day!

She then tells me I am 10cm and that she can go ahead & break my water & get this baby out!

Um, what?!

No thanks! I'd like drugs please :)

It felt like an eternity but in walks Mr. Anesthesiologist with the liquid gold.

Oh & in walks Matt at 12:20pm
Thanks for showing up!

Now, Mister Liquid Gold man is getting my back prepped....and has started to "do what needs to be done"....uh oh, bad contraction.....just bear down, BREATHE....bury your head in to Matt's chest since he is standing in front of you telling you "it's okay"....annnnnnnddddd


My water ruptured all over Matt.

Like Coneheads style. It was a true seen out of a movie.

And then my foul mood changed.

I apologized at least 10 times for that happening to him.
I was apologizing to my husband during delivery!

By this point, Mister Liquid Gold man had bolted out of the room & left paper on my back. He didn't even finish the job!

They spun me around, no stir ups, just a one, two, and out pops Brooks!

Immediate relief!

And then the liquid gold kicked in.

So I got comfortable for the next 3 hours....to let the drugs I had to have wear off.

Lots of cuddling commenced. Matt got to change his clothes. And we got to enjoy Brooks.

Mom eventually left to go pick up Beau from preschool.

Brooks' delivery was easy, but dramatic. Super fast, but super alarming. Matt was able to arrive in time & everything happened while Beau was at school. Timing was perfect.

We have been blessed with the happiest baby! He loves to smile, he is super affectionate....and loves to EAT!

have a happy fall with sweetworks! (GIVEAWAY!)

This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me by Sweetworks. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic.

What is fall without SWEETWORKS!?!?!

A bleak one, that's for sure!

So in honor of fall's arrival, here are some fun fall FOODIE crafts to do with your toddler and of course my fabulous fall display.

Be sure to read through to the end to enter to win a Sweetworks giveaway!

I love the Sweetworks gumballs! I especially love their pearlized colors. So pretty!

Of course, I set up a Halloween display and a fall display:

Giveaway Time!!!!
25 bloggers are offering $50 giveways from Sweetworks!!! This candy giveaway includes celebration pearls, sixlets, chocolates, & gumballs. (Subsititutions are possible) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

barre clothes.....can a girl ever have too many?

You may have seen this post yesterday on my Instagram....and it is TRUE.

I found Emily Hsu Designs via an Instagram rabbit hole. Don't you just love those? A "quick look" at Instagram turns into an hour because some how you went from looking at one feed, one hashtag to 50 million.

Back to Emily Hsu and these super cute workout pants. I am always so skeptical of ordering workout gear online. I like to feel them before purchasing! Thickness totally matters when you're bending over, lifting your leg up, & doing splits!

When I received the pants, I knew right away I was going to love them! They are thicker than some of the more popular brands that I've seen (& own)....like brands that rhyme with Sneaky & Ponzy. If I had to compare them....they are a slicker fabric version of the Splits59 for Pure Barre pants that I love. They don't feel like they are just going to roll down or slide off....they hold tight without the negative effects in front or back ;)

Styled it with just a basic black workout top, layered with a white tank

My Pure Barre studio has this gorgeous mirror leaning up against a wall in the back area. Yes - total narcissistic moment.....

You can totally plie' with these

 Here are some other fun prints that I am totally loving:

Go check out this fun brand & tell them I sent you!

All opinions are mine. While I would have loved compensation in the form of workout pants (because really, you can never have too many) - I forked over my own hard earned dinero & bought myself a pair. And I'm happy I did!

too cool for drool

It's time for a giveaway hop!!!!
The TOO COOL FOR DROOL hop is hosted by

Be sure to check out all the other blogs in the hop! You'll see that super fun linky at the bottom of the post ;)

This loop of giveaways is all about preschool kiddos & their moms!!!

So I am giving away a $15 gift card to TARGET
an engravable charm from Stella & Dot!!!!

With the rate my 3 year old is growing, I know how frequently I have to buy new clothes for him....needless to say, SHOES! And Target has such cute & affordable gear!

Stella & Dot, with their cute engravables, is such a chic & stylish way to wear your "heart on your neck" or wrist....or whatever ;)

So the winner will have their choice of our engravable circle charm or ID tag, engraved with whatever they want! 
(There are some character limitations, please be advised)

Here are some ideas:

Contest ends on September 15th

Winner will have the choice of our ID tag in silver or gold, OR our engravable disc charm in silver or gold. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LEGAL Stuff: 18 years of age or older to enter. US Only! Read Instructions carefully because rules vary from contest to contest. Make sure to provide a correct email address so we can reach you if you win. You have 48 hours to respond once contacted. Giveaway bloggers are not responsible for sponsors/bloggers that do not fulfill their prizes or for any product failure or harm caused thereby.In most cases, shipping of prizes is the responsibility of the the sponsors who will be sending prizes to you directly. Your prize should arrive within 30 days, let us know if it doesn’t and we will TRY TO HELP OUT! The writer of this giveaway received a sample for this review. Compensation was not provided. Opinions expressed are the blog’s own. This Giveaway is not affiliated with, associated with or promoted by Facebook. Happy Entering!

Linky Code:

runner's choice - - - a review & giveaway!

If you've been reading the blog lately, you know my focus has shifted from detailing runs & races....to detailing barre workouts. But the love for fashion has not changed.

So when Kevin over at Trusted Health Products asked me to review their Runner's Choice serum.....I was like "wellllllll" - - - but then quickly obliged ;)

The cool thing I discovered? It's not just for runners!!!!

I have used this for so many scenarios:
  • attending Pure Barre
  • all day cleaning & laundry 
  • running
  • walking our local theme park
So it should really be called "Runners/Walkers/Barre-ers/Everydayer's Choice"!!! 

Some things to note:

The Power to Excel The Runner’s Choice is scientifically formulated with 100% natural botanical oils of almond, eucalyptus, eucalytol, wintergreen, peppermint, and spearmint. Unlike many commercial creams and lotions, the botanical oils in The Runner’s Choice are very easily received through the pores in the skin, with simple topical application, and no rubbing.(Info taken from manufacturer)

See all those oils listed? You smell them upon application....and unless you're going barefoot, you quit smelling them when you put on your socks & kicks.

Contrary to what I thought....I was not "slipping & sliding" after application!

Unlike many commercial creams and lotions, which require rubbing in, the botanical oils in The Runner’s Choice are most effective with gentle topical application, and no rubbing. The body recognizes the natural properties of these botanicals, and receives them very well as they gently soak through the pore openings in the outer layer (epidermis) of the skin. 

So of course, the company wants YOU to try it out!!! Check out the Rafflecopter below!
Giveaway ends 9/4/15 and there are THREE WINNERS!!!! (US & Canada only!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Incase you don't win the giveaway.....
For a limited time, the manufacturer is willing to offer my readers one FREE bottle. They said they would love to have our readers try out The Runner’s Choice and agreed to send one bottle FREE if our readers would pay a minimal shipping and handling charge. This is a one-time only offer! Click here to get your FREE bottle now!

tuesday's weekly want!

Time for another Weekly Want!

This week, it's our Chiara Pendant Necklace!

Genuine leather backed, pendant with embroidered neutral sparkle detail, vintage silver accents and soft fringe. 
  • Vintage silver plating. 
  • 30" with 2" extender. 
  • Lobster clasp closure.

weekly want - - because it's tuesday

I dropped the ball last week - but I'm BACK!

Here's your Weekly Want!

The Mosaic Necklace.

Your best neutral statement piece. Seriously, a no brainer.....it goes with everything.

The bottom portion completely detaches! You can put that bad boy on any other chain you may have, or pick up our 30" link chain while you're there.

sunday style

Sunday style! We have some sunshine & warm weather....no rain! 

Paige Denim Jeans
Booties (not available anymore)

 Just another awkward "not looking at the camera" picture.

Havana (just a portion of the pendant)

Snakeskin from KEEP Collective
(added KEEP keys to leather band)
Artisan Stretch (set of 3)

tuesday's weekly want: FREYA!

Weekly Want: The Freya Fringe Necklace
Way too gorgeous once you try it on. This statement necklace is comprised of mixed metal featherlight fringe that catches the light and moves along with you!
Check it out HERE

Tell me in the comments, what's your weekly want?

100th PB class

If you've been reading the blog lately, or following me on Instagram, you know I'm an avid Pure Barre-er.....today, I hit the mother load.

I hit the 100 class mark!

When I purchased the Pure Barre Groupon back in September of 2014, while pregnant with Brooks....getting my pre-baby body back was on the forefront of my mind. (Seriously, what is wrong with me!? Why wouldn't I be wondering about the getting baby out part, or lack of sleep, etc....). I had dabbled with barre workouts before...even have a barre at my house; but there was a certain allure to physically attending a barre class, rather than working out to dvd's at home.

Once the baby arrived in October, I had some time to re-evaluate my purchase. I tried working out at home...especially since I have all the tools I need....but it wasn't as successful as I had hoped. I had been through this before, so I thought that working off the baby weight from the second baby would be a walk in the park. I didn't stop to consider that I would now have TWO children to tend with: a toddler & a newborn. So in December, I figured I would use this Groupon that was almost near expiration & see what the big difference is between dvd's at home & attending a class.

I will never forget my first class. I rocked an oversized tee from Victoria's Secret PINK and some yoga pants....trying to mask the 2 month post baby belly. I went in with a mixture of fear & confidence....knowing the moves were not totally unfamiliar, yet having so much doubt in myself that I could bounce back to prebaby size, needless to say even do this workout in a studio with people watching. From the moment class started until class ended, I was dripping in sweat, cursing my thighs, and yet wanting MORE. It was the week of Christmas, so the classes were not full since most people were travelling / gearing up for the holidays. (Not that the 5:30am class is ever jam packed.) I went 3 times that week and knew I had developed an addiction to something other than shopping.

My husband didn't understand at first when I told him how I wanted to jump in with a membership when my Groupon expired. He has always supported my fitness endeavors....especially when I would run ridiculous amounts on my treadmill & be the worst grump if I didn't hit my mileage for the week. And even buying me my own barre for home use 2 years ago when I first fell in love with barre workouts. But this endeavor he didn't understand since I "have what I need at home to workout". While I do have the equipment I don't have the push, the drive, or the escape that the studio provides. (MattyB fully supports me & my health, in case you are wondering. You can read about his support HERE when he took the Bring On the Men class!)

The 5:30am class has been an absolute joy these past 7 months. The encouragement, push, & kudos during class are what I need at this point in my life. I need to leave my house for a workout in order to get it done! I love my boys, but the time away allows me 55 minutes to focus on just me. No distractions, no phones, no demanding toddlers, just me. No, I don't enjoy waking up at 4:40am. There is nothing cute about 4:40am...I have never been a morning person! But I do it for the love of the workout & how it jump starts my day...plus it's the only time of day that works for my family & I without disruptions. (Unless Brooks is wanting to party at 2am....then it becomes a matter of dragging myself to class!).

So today was a HUGE mile marker in my Pure Barre journey. I completed 100 classes and go to sign THE bar. The bar that I see every time I'm at the studio...with the sign "100 club".

As my husband would say: "So what does that mean???"

It means I got to sign THE bar:

It means I have lift, toned, & burned 100 times.....and lived to tell about it.

It means I have lost 11 pounds since I started in December.

It means I have lost 13 inches combined from my waist, hips, & chest.

It means I can hold a plank for 90 seconds.

It means I now have this elite gear to add to my workout wardrobe:

It means I have developed some awesome friendships with some ladies I would have otherwise not met. 

It means that I have come to realize I need to be healthy in order to raise healthy boys. 

It means I have developed an obsession for barre gear (sticky socks, leggings, and cute tops saying something like "see you at the barre").

It means that I have overcome lots of self doubt & tried something new.

It means I have realized the number on the scale is not how strong I am, how good of a mother / wife I am, or what to base my value on. 

To anyone on the fence about trying out Pure Barre, do it!
Be sure to check out my intro post to Pure Barre!

LTB! On to 250!
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