All Wrapped Up

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Patchwork Cardigan: Hinge via Nordstrom (now on sale!) / Denim: Paige / Top: J. Crew / Boots: Target / Sunnies: Vintage / Lip: MAC Up the Amp

Hey there!  Sorry, it’s been awhile.  Last week was a crazy one.  The temps have been cold around here calling for lots of layers and bundles!  I received this patchwork cardigan from mi madre for Christmas, and it’s so cozy comfy (not to mention, warm) that I haven’t been able to take it off since!  Speaking of bundling, we are experiencing a snowfall currently, and the rumor is we will get over a foot!  Hoping the hubby will get a day off tomorrow, and we can have a family snow day.  I’m eager to break out Nico’s new snowsuit (courtesy of his Bubbe) and see what he thinks of the cold white stuff.  Last year we tried, but I think he was too little too really enjoy or understand it.

We had a nice weekend visiting friends in Philly, and now we are hunkered down for this snowstorm.  Bring on the hot chocolate please!

What are your favorite things to do on a snow day?

XO,

Gina

What a Treat

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Hey everyone!  Head on over to the lovely blog at Treat, where I am guest blogging for the day, and you can hear more about this crazy Italian family of mine ;-)  Oh how I love them dearly.  By the way, the credit on this photo goes to my amazing cousin, Marisa of MisaMe Photography, and we couldn’t have captured this magic moment without her.

Speaking of family, my sister Angie, her boyfriend Adam, and my cousin Nick are on their way to Brooklyn RIGHT NOW to spend the weekend with us, and we couldn’t be more excited!  We even have a babysitter for tonight.  Whoo-hoo!  Just a little excited, can you tell?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend as well!

XO,

Gina

{30} Lately…

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*Just a note on this photo.  My boys spent the day together at the grocery store on Sunday so I could get some work done.  I received this text message while they were gone!  Nothing better than knowing my baby is happy and smiling while he is away from me :-)  Okay, now onto the rest of the post…

Lately I’ve been…

reading  The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.  Great for any entrepreneur or entrepreneur in the making.

writing  Down my goals for 2015.  1) Get fit and stay healthy.  2) Start a successful business as a Beachbody Fitness Coach.  What’s this, you ask?  We basically motivate and help others achieve their fitness goals.  Happy to share more information with whoever is interested.  Please feel free to e-mail or message me!  3) Travel more.  So far I have been keeping up with my workouts and doing my best to motivate the challengers I have in my groups thus far.  I also have a trip to Tulum, Mexico on the books, so here we go 2015!  Bring it on!

listening  I’m still singing Christmas music in my head.  Is that weird?

thinking  As I sit here in my neighborhood cafe working, I have run into three moms I know, and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful community here.

smelling  Not much right now.  It seems my cold has returned and I’m currently stuffy and drinking loads of hot tea.

watching  Maleficent.  As an avid Disney fan, this was a must see for me!  I was very much impressed with the animation and graphics, and I enjoyed the switch on the storyline from the traditional Sleeping Beauty!  It reminded me of the show Wicked in that regard.

wishing  Upon a star.  

hoping  For warmer weather.  Oh wait, it’s only January…sigh.

wearing  My new Panda sweater.  Unfortunately this one is sold out, but this vintage sweater from the 80’s is pretty darn amazing.  I’m also wearing a heavy scarf, because this coffee shop I’m in is FREEZING.

loving  My new snow boots from my mother-in-law.  Thank God for them, because I have already needed to wear them twice this year.

laughing  At these doorbell notes from Moms.  I can’t believe I haven’t resorted to one of these notes yet!  This is real life!

wanting  A massage.  These workouts are no joke!

needing  To go through photos from Nico’s first year and pull out his monthly chair photos to put in a frame.  This has been on my to-do list since he turned 1 (he’s now 16.5 months old), and I still haven’t gotten to it.  This week is the week!

feeling  Sick at the moment.  And a bit tired.  But happy I still got my workout in this morning.

craving  Caffeine.

clicking  Through photos of Tulum, Mexico and dreaming of our paradise vacation that is only 43 days away.  

*

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

Tying the Knot in Tucson

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Tucson.  Beautiful Tucson.  The boys and I flew out to Arizona back in November to celebrate the wedding of my pen pal (yes you heard that right), Angela to her sweetheart, Leon.  We visited them in May 2013 while I was pregnant, back before they were even engaged, and we had the most amazing time out there exploring and meeting her family.  We were so happy to return as a family of three and celebrate their wonderful union together.

It was a magical night in the Tucson desert.  The sunset was absolutely unreal out there.  The flowers were stunning of course, as Angela and her sister are both floral designers.  I loved the artistic touches Angela included, especially the four wedding dresses she pulled from the parents and grandparents of her and Leon.  These dresses were hung from trees that lined her walk down the aisle.  Sigh.

Aside from the beautiful decor and scenery, the wedding was full of fantastic people.  Coming from across the country, we didn’t know many of the guests but both Angela and Leon’s family and friends were so completely welcoming and friendly.  They were also lots of fun, and we joined them on the dance floor for much of the night.  Kids were able to run around in the outdoor space, and I think our little Nico actually learned how to really walk here.

It was a beautiful night, and I am so happy for Angela and Leon.  Thanks for letting us be a part of your celebration.  Love you both!

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Beautiful, huh?

Fast forward to present day: Yesterday marked the first Day of P90X for me.  As you can probably imagine, I am in an incredible amount of pain!  But no pain, no gain right?  Day 2 (today) I woke up early to do plyometrics.  I was actually enjoying the workout, but started to feel sick and queasy about half way in.  Now, I know I’m not pregnant, so I guess this is a sign I am out of shape!  I started having flashbacks of high school basketball tryouts where there were trashcans lined up around the gym “just in  case.”  Yikes.  I decided to listen to my body, and stop the workout at the moment.  It’s only Day 2, and I have a long journey.  I do plan on completing the second half of the workout later today when I have a bit more energy.  Oh the curveballs!

Other than that, we have SNOW today up in the Big Apple!  Unfortunately, since Nico and I have been sick, I think we will be enjoying the snow through the window today, but at least it’s pretty!

Hope you are all having a great week and a great start to the new year!

XO,

Gina

Happy New Year!

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The past year has been a bit of a roller coaster.  My family has suffered a lot of loss, but we have also shared in a lot of joy.  There have been changes in my career, trips across the country, exciting wedding celebrations, babies born, and interesting adventures.  Watching my son grow this past year has been the most amazing part.  He turned one in August with a nautical birthday party, and he has been soaking up knowledge like a sponge.  He amazes me every day with the way he communicates and how much he can remember.  He is sweet as pie and shows so much love and affection.  I feel incredibly blessed and lucky.

I also feel extremely lucky to have so much love and support from all of you.  Thanks for sticking by me this past year through the good times and the bad.  There were moments when it was tough to find the time or energy to continuing blogging and creating, but this is always a place I love to come back to, and I appreciate you all coming back here as well.  Some of your favorite posts from this past year included the beautiful fairytale wedding of Melissa and John, some creative ideas for engagement gifts, and when I tried out these fabulous new hair extensions.  I also heard from a lot of you about how I survived the first year of motherhood and the gear that got me through.  As always, please let me know what types of posts you would love to see more or less of in the coming year.

I can definitely say I am excited for what 2015 has to offer.  I’m going to jump into a P90X program starting TOMORROW, and I am so excited to get back into shape again.  I have always been athletic having played soccer and basketball my entire life through college and beyond.  After having my child, I have struggled to find the time and the energy to get into a regular workout routine.  When I was working outside of the home, I quite frankly hated to spend my free time away from my son.  Now that I am home most days, it’s tough to even have free time!  I received the P90X DVD program a couple years ago as a Christmas gift.  It was on my wish list and also on my bucket list as something I wanted to complete as a challenge to myself.  Although the program is still in the shrink wrap, it’s something I have not been able to let go.  I despise the feeling of not being in shape anymore, and although I have lost all of my baby weight, I do not feel like my healthy, energetic self anymore.  I plan on joining an online challenge group to keep myself motivated on this journey, and I am looking forward to feeling good again and setting a good example for my son.  If you are also interested in joining me in my fitness journey, please let me know and I would love to give you more information about the group.

Aside from getting fit and healthy, I am setting my sights on a family vacation to Tulum, Mexico!  I have never visited, but I have heard so many amazing things.  Our itinerary is completely open, so if you have any ideas or suggestions on where to stay or what to do while we are there, please share!

The photo above is from New Year’s Eve on my friend’s rooftop in Baltimore, MD.  We had a blast on our trip, although we are now trying to recover from the yucky sickness we managed to catch while away.  Poor lil guy has the croup plus a fever!  We have finally unpacked all of our Christmas goodies from the car, took down our tree, and put away all the decorations for the season.  I’m always sad when Christmas is over, but I am excited for a fresh start in 2015.

Hope you all had a wonderful year, and I am wishing you all the best for a happy, healthy new year in 2015!

XO,

Gina

Dyker Heights Lights

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Before skipping town for the holidays, we made our way to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn to check out their stunning Christmas Lights display.  We found a spot to park and had a fantastic night walking around the blocks to check out the all festive houses.  They were completely decked out with strings of lights, humongous wreaths, multiple blow up characters, reindeer, and toy soldiers.  We saw nativity scenes, dancing ballerinas, a giant Santa Claus, and even two carousels!  One house was selling hot chocolate for charity, and that ended our night with a sweet twist.  Dyker Heights has the most stunning display of lights I have ever seen in one neighborhood.  I definitely plan on returning for future holiday seasons, and I would love to bring some out-of-town visitors here to check out the scene.

We had a lovely time on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family and the day after Christmas with my husband’s family.  It was so much fun to see Nico get excited about opening his gifts this year.  He was very much into the wrapping paper, and wanted to play with every single toy or book he opened right away.  Simply magical!

We are spending another week in Maryland catching up with more family and friends.  Last night we went out to celebrate a friend’s 30th Birthday, and we are planning on spending New Year’s Eve in Baltimore.  It’s kind of nice to have free babysitting! ;-)  Not to mention, we love that Nico is getting so much quality time with his grandparents and family.

Hope you all had a great holiday, and wishing you the best for the new year!

XO,

Gina

Santa Success

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I consider seeing Santa without crying this year a “GREAT SUCCESS!”  (in a Borat voice).  I was anticipating some possible tears due to the sheer fact of toddlerhood, but we tried to prep him with little Santa videos, talks about what we were going to do and just acting straight up excited about the experience.  Of course, the toddler right in front of us started screaming bloody murder as soon as he got anywhere close to Santa, so I sensed Nico getting a little scared/nervous about what was going to happen.  We ended up just easing our way up toward Santa slowly, chatting with him and giving him high fives, before we actually did the lap sitting.  Luckily, the staff at Bloomingdale’s was incredibly patient.  They did not rush us at all, and I love that you can also take your own photos there.  Nico gave Santa a few sideways glances and seemed a little unsure about the whole thing, but eventually he cracked a slight smile…enough to capture on camera.  And like I said previously, no tears this year equals success in my book!

We are now down in Maryland with family preparing for the holidays.  I went shopping with the mama last night and braved the crazy crowds.  I have also spent most of this week wrapping presents for family and friends.  We are getting excited for our Seven Fishes Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow night!

Happy Holidays to you all!

XO,

Gina

Plaid + (Faux) Fur

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(Faux) Chinchilla Fur Jacket: Express (a couple years old, but similar here) / Plaid Button Up: Target (on sale!) / Denim: Rag & Bone / Booties: Target (on sale!) / Sunglasses: ModCloth / Bracelets: Tory Burch (similar), Stella & Sparkle / Watch: Michael Kors / Lip: Lancome Luxe

Call me crazy, but I absolutely adore the mix of plaid & fur right now!  To me, it’s a perfect fall or winter look.  I was gifted this amazing jacket for Christmas a couple years ago, and I recently scored this bright button up at Target.  Mixed the two together, and boom.  I all the sudden look a lot more put together than I really am. ;-)

I wore this on a little trip to downtown Annapolis when we were visiting family and friends for the holidays.  We started at Miss Shirley’s for breakfast.  Let me tell you, if you are a Maryland local, and you have not yet been to Miss Shirley’s, you need to go there…like immediately.  They have the best southern comfort food you could ever imagine.  Proof here.  From there, we headed down to walk around the gorgeous harbor, the historical homes, and popped into the amazing consignment shop, Navette.  I found this shop through Instagram, ordered from them over the phone, and even met one of their amazing owners for coffee in NYC, yet I still hadn’t visited their store front until this day!  I was very excited and delighted to see a bustling shop full of fantastic treasures and happy customers.  Unfortunately, due to a toddler naptime meltdown, I had to cut my trip there short, but I didn’t leave without scoring this fabulous Jonathan Adler clutch.

I’m looking forward to returning to Maryland again for Christmas, but until then, I am enjoying the holiday spirit up here in NYC.  Our tree is up, and we took Nico to see Santa last weekend.  Much to my surprise, there were no tears!  Yay!  I love New York City at Christmastime.  If you missed yesterday’s post about things to do in December, check it out here.

This week I have been working on my holiday cards (which is pretty difficult with a bum thumb), online shopping for gifts, and listening to Christmas music non-stop.  Tonight, I am getting out of the house to go to a holiday party with a friend, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Hope you are all enjoying the season!

XO,

Gina

 

December in the City

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Since I moved to New York City in the summer of 2007, I am constantly asked for advice from hometown visitors on places to go and eat, things to do and see, and of course, where to shop. Since December is one of the busiest tourist seasons here due to the holidays, I decided to put together a little list of “non-obvious” (obvious being Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes) things to do on your New York City visit this year. Maybe, I will even surprise some of you locals with and idea or two as well.

 

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

Located in the Bronx from November 15 – January 19, the Holiday Train Show has been around for 23 years.  The twinkling Haught Conservatory has been transformed into a miniature version of the city with recreations of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and Rockefeller Center all made out of tree bark, leaves, and other natural materials.  The model trains zip past as you walk through this tiny wonderland.

 

Holiday Market Shopping

There is nothing more exciting scoring adorable handmade gifts at the outdoor holiday markets during Christmastime.  Vendors boast hand knit hats, stunning jewelry, tree ornaments, clever tee shirts, artwork, soaps, and so much more.  Not to mention, who doesn’t love an apple cider donut or a hot chocolate while walking around from booth to booth?  My favorite market remains the one at Union Square, but you can also find fabulous goodies at Bryant Park, Columbus Circle, Grand Central (indoors), and Brooklyn Winter Flea (also indoors).

 

Ice Skating

Of course, we all know about the famous ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center.  While it’s completely iconic, it’s also completely overrun, small, and a bit stressful for my liking.  I prefer Wollman Rink in Central Park for it’s quintessential view and also because it doesn’t get much better than Central Park for me in New York City.  Bryant Park also has a skating rink that is less crowded.  If you don’t particularly care about views or shopping, you can also skate at the Lasker Rink in the northern part of Central Park or the brand new Lakeside in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.  There are a few other indoor rinks as well, but I tend to lean toward the outdoor rinks during the holidays (and always actually).

 

Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

If you have some time to spend in NYC, consider making the trek out to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn to see their stunning Christmas Lights display.  These lights are like nothing you have ever seen before.  Houses are decked out and over the top.  Some are even decorated by professionals and neighbors are constantly trying to “out-do” each other, so it gets crazier and crazier each year.  The lights will be on display from Thanksgiving – the New  Year starting from around dusk and staying on late, maybe even past midnight.  It’s best to drive and street park to walk around, or take the bus in (subway is a bit of a hike).  This is totally worth seeing!

 

Winter Solstice Celebration

If music and performance is your thing, check out this concert at the gorgeous Cathedral of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  The event features Paul Winter’s ensemble complete with dancers, drummers, and a contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals.  Puerto Rican singer, Danny Rivera will also bring a new twist to the event this year.  If you’ve done Radio City and the Nutcracker, this is a fantastic holiday alternative to add to your list of shows.

 

Gingerbread Lane

Head to the New York Hall of Science in Queens from November 14 – January 11 to check out the stunning display of handmade gingerbread houses.  Created by chef Jon Lovitch, all the houses are made of edible ingredients, and last year’s display was named the largest gingerbread village in the world by the 2014 Guinness Book of World Records.  There are also certain dates set aside where visitors can create their own gingerbread houses under the guidance of Lovitch.

 

Bronx Zoo

If you have children, the Bronx Zoo could be a fun trip during the holiday season.  Children can meet the reindeer herd or take a ride on the horse-drawn wagon.  You can also watch the ice sculptors create beautiful animals in front of your eyes.  The zoo’s theatre will be playing A Mammoth Christmas in 4-D throughout the holiday season, and from December 26 – 31 there will also be a Tropics on Ice playground complete with an ice slide, treehouse, and ice throne.

 

MOMA

This last place on the list isn’t holiday specific, but if you enjoy art, you should definitely visit the MOMA to check out the Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibit that will be on display from October 12, 2014 – February 8, 2015.  The exhibition consists of over 100 cut-outs composed of painted paper cut and pieced together in a most unique way.  It has gotten rave reviews, and I cannot wait to make it over there myself to check it out.

 

I had a lot of fun putting this list of things to do in NYC this December.  Since I am so often asked my opinion on what to do in this big, bad city, I may incorporate a few more NYC-based posts in the upcoming year.  Would love to hear your thoughts, dear readers!  Would this be something of interest to you?  Places to eat, shop, visit, things to do in different months of the year, etc?  Let me know if this is something you think I should continue for the new year.

I have been busy recovering from my thumb surgery that I had last week, so I’m sorry for the lack of posting, but it’s been a bit difficult to type, text, write, and basically use my right hand in general.  Try changing a diaper with one hand people!  It’s not easy!  I will hopefully be getting my stitches out on Friday and see how things are healing.  Looking forward to getting back to normal soon!

Hope you are all having a great week!

XO,

Gina