All About Hair

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As most of you know, I recently got my hair cut by the amazing, Tim Dueñas, at Arrojo Studio.  Having recently celebrated my 30th Birthday, I decided to treat myself to a fancy hair cut, and I am so glad I did.  Tim asked about my lifestyle and my daily routine, and without even needing me to show him a photo, he knew exactly what I needed in a hair cut.  Long enough to still put up in a pony and go (mom life doesn’t give me much time for styling), but plenty of layers and shape if I do find a moment to wear it down.  I am incredibly happy with how it turned out.

That being said…Irresistible Me sent over their fantastic extensions, and I couldn’t wait to try them on!  Now, let me be straight with you.  I know ladies have been rocking extensions for awhile now, but I never jumped on board.  To be honest, as much as I wanted to try them out, it was extremely intimidating to me.  I am not the best stylist when it comes to hair, and even when I received the box, I took one look, and e-mailed my contact there freaking out about how I was supposed to apply these things!  She sent me a video tutorial, and I have to say, I am completely surprised at how easy it was to clip them in.  While, I love my fresh new cut, it’s exciting to know that if I am craving a longer, fuller look for a date night or event, I can now achieve that without spending a fortune at the salon.

I have posted Before and After shots, and you can really see how natural they turned out.  A lot of other extensions I have seen have the potential to appear mullet-like, showing a clear separation between the real hair and the “fake” hair.  These flowed beautifully with my natural hair.  Speaking of natural…Irresistible Me boasts 100% natural hair in all their clips.

So what do you all think of extensions?  Have you tried them before?  Which look do you like better?

Before:

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After:

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*** I apologize for the blurriness in some of these photos.  We are trying out a new lens, and my husband was also taking these with a baby strapped to him, so there was some shake-age.  Haha.***

Hair Extensions: c/o Irresistible Me / Top: Necessary Clothing / Scalloped Shorts: Necessary Clothing / Shoes: ALDO (similar) / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Shades: Vintage / Earrings: c/o Stella & Dot (now on sale!) / Bracelets: Henri Bendel, Baublebar, Stella & Sparkle / Watch: Michael Kors / Lip: MAC Impassioned

And can you believe my outfit is actually a top and shorts set?  I wore them together, but apart, I think they would be just as cute styled in a different way.  I went on a sets kick this past shopping trip.  I don’t know what it was, but I was alone for once and excited, and I kept seeing adorable sets, so there you go.  The one I’m wearing is sold out online, but if you live in NYC, you may still be able to catch it in-store.  I also purchased this adorable two-piece top and skirt set, and I hope I can find the perfect occasion to break it out.

We spent the weekend in Brooklyn with our nieces, celebrated Nico’s 1st Birthday with a slice of rainbow cake (the big celebration is coming up this Saturday), and reminisced back to last year’s Labor Day Weekend when I was actually in labor.  My how much has changed since then.

Hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend as well!

XO,

Gina

Happy 1st Birthday Nico

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Dear Nico,

Wow.  ONE whole year.  I cannot even begin to explain the emotions I am feeling today.  I will do my best to put it into words.  I am tearing up as I write this, but I’m not exactly sure why.  When I brought you home from the hospital one year ago, I couldn’t believe they were actually going to let me take you home.  Aside from babysitting my cousins and neighbors in my teen years, what did I know about raising a baby?  Especially a 5lb baby who had come two weeks early.  It was a strange feeling after carrying you around inside me for 9 months to then have you right there next to me or in my arms, outside of the womb.  To actually see the little face I could only imagine for so long.  You were so tiny.  So delicate.  I felt as if I might break you.  I was scared to put your clothes on, to swaddle you, to wipe your little tush too hard, or seal your diaper too tight.  Breastfeeding was a bitch.  I’m not going to lie.  It was hard.  You didn’t want to latch.  And I pumped for months, because I was bound and determined to make sure things panned out the way I had planned.  Although, of course things never turn out exactly how you think they will.  But we made it work.  And we eventually came to have a fantastic nursing relationship.

People said this year would fly by.  They said to make sure to enjoy it.  I believed them, but when you’re up around the clock with only a few hours sleep and you can’t tell the difference between night and day as you are in those beginning weeks, sometimes I admit it was tough to enjoy things.  Those weeks were hard.  But sometimes I wish I could rewind and see you that tiny again…before you wanted to squirm away from me after a quick hug.  When you would just lie on my chest for a three hour nap completely content.  Those days we cannot get back.  I look back at those photos from those first couple months, and I barely recognize that little baby anymore.  You have grown and changed so much in what feels like such a short amount of time.

When you gave me that first smile, I just about melted.  As hard as motherhood can be sometimes, it’s all worth it for every little smile, belly laugh, hug, and kiss you have given me.  Anytime you accomplished something new in the past year…it was such a complete joy to watch.  To know that maybe hours before you didn’t know how to roll over, but now you could…I felt such a sense of accomplishment for you.  You were so frustrated when you couldn’t crawl.  You would flail your arms and legs about like a flying fish, and spin in circles trying to make your move.  But that day you learned to army crawl, you were so excited.  You slid around the entire living room.  And once you could really crawl, you took off to explore the entire apartment.  Your sense of adventure and exploration reminds me of your Papa, and I love that you inherited that trait from him.

You are so curious.  You have always loved to see what is going on around you.  You really pay attention and focus on things, especially the alphabet, animals, and people playing music.  I am shocked at the amount of focus you have sometimes to sit and entertain yourself with a toy or a book for a long time.  You love to be outside whether it’s at the park, walking along the city streets, playing in the sand at the beach, or in the water at the pool.  You have flown in airplanes with us, hiked mountains with us, and rode on endless car trips.  You have made so many friends in the neighborhood, and you have attracted attention from admirers wherever we go.  You are definitely a people person, (which I like to think you have inherited from me) and you are incredibly sweet and lovable to all of your stuffed animals.

I am feeling such a mix of emotions.  I’m sad that you are growing up and moving from baby to toddler.  I’m happy that you have accomplished so much in this past year.  I’m excited for all the new adventures we will have in year two.  I’m nervous about the new changes we have coming our way.  I’m sentimental that we will never get back some of those amazing moments from when you were small.  All of those old firsts are now taken for granted.  However, I am anticipating all of the new firsts you will take on.  I am proud of the person you are thus far, and I’m hopeful that your father and I will continue to guide you in the “right” direction…whatever that means.  Most of all, I feel such an intense sense of love for you that grows by the minute.  Every day I think it is impossible to love you that much more, and every day my love still grows and grows.  The more time I spend with you, the less I want to be away from you.  You make my heart full and it’s hard to imagine what life was like before you came into the picture.

You are my Little Monkey, my Nico Bonzo, my Booski, my Boo Boo, my Stinky Butt, my Bubba, my Babycakes, my world.

Thank you for making me a mother.  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for the constant light and joy you bring to our family every day.

I love you like crazy.

Happy 1st Birthday, Nico.

Love,

Mama

*First photo by Justin Goldberg.  The rest, my own.*

{27} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading Finished beachy read,  Another Piece of My Heart, by Jane Green.  Nothing groundbreaking, but a decent vacation read.

writing  A deposition for a court date.  I’m a witness!  Don’t get too excited, it’s just traffic court…

listening  To lots of upbeat music, because Friday I returned to the gym after a 20 month hiatus.  And I actually went again on Monday, and went for a run this morning.  Hoping to keep this momentum going, because I’m already feeling more energized (apart from my sore limbs).

thinking  That we had a really great time last Sunday at the Industry City Dance Party in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  Zack was eager to go, and I was a little worried that we would be “those people” bringing a baby into an entirely inappropriate situation, but I was happy to find all sorts of kids and babies rockin’ out on the dance floor with the best of them.  It was definitely a party.  And not a kid’s party.  But the fact that kids were welcomed and deemed appropriate there was pretty cool.  Nico (not surprisingly) loved it, and our little fam had a really great time getting our dance on.

smelling  My fav scent, Light Blue.

watching  All the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos.  I was a little annoyed by them at first…people dousing themselves so they didn’t have to donate…didn’t make a lot of sense to me.  But after reading this blog post, I have a new perspective.

wishing  Nico an early Happy 1st Birthday!  He is turning ONE on Friday.  I just can’t believe it.

hoping  That I can get my act together this week for a party planning extravaganza.  And by extravaganza, I mean myself, a glass of wine, my living room, and some DIY crafting.

wearing  In the photo above I’m wearing my new ModCloth dress that I got at their 70% off sale!  It’s sold out, but check out some of their other sale dresses here.  Did I mention I was able to go shopping this weekend…ALONE?  It was kind of amazing.

loving  My new haircut (also seen in photo above) from the amazing Tim Dueñas.  Feels so much lighter and loving having some layers again.

laughing  At this adorable friendship on Daily Laughs.

wanting  The summer to stick around a little longer.  I’m not ready for the beach days to end…

needing  To start checking some more things off my bucket list.  And as I’m looking at it…thinking about making some edits.

feeling  Incredibly nervous as today is Nico’s first day with his new nanny and new playmate.  We are going to miss our old one so much, and it’s going to be a tough transition week for all of us, but I’m hoping he will adjust quickly.  

craving  These sweet cinnamon oven roasted peaches.  Thinking this is just the recipe I need for the peaches in our yard this year.

clicking  Looking for a few sweet new baby gifts for little ones on the way.

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What have you been up to lately?

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

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.

Porch Swing

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On me: Top: J. Crew / Tank: J. Crew (available in other colors) – also similar here / Shorts: J. Crew (available in other colors here and here) / Sandals: Sam Edelman (sold out, but many color choices here) / Sunnies: Francesca’s (similar) / Necklace: Baublebar (similar) / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: Henri Bendel, Baublebar, Stella & Sparkle / Earrings: ALDO / Lip: Lancome Red Haute

On Nico: Bathing Suit Top & Trunks Set: Carter’s

Feeling nostalgic today from our vacation to the Outer Banks.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already noticed I’m protesting my post-vacation blues.  The photos above show some of my most favorite times in the OBX.  Doing.  Absolutely.  Nothing.  Relaxation in it’s purest form.  There’s just something about a porch swing at sunset that immediately resets my zen.  After a long day in the hot sun, taking walks and building sandcastles, it feels great to come back to the cottage, have a nice shower, and climb into the porch swing and just sway.  Feeling the breeze as the sun drops down below the horizon brings an immediate feeling of calm and a sense of peacefulness that I haven’t been able to really recreate anywhere else but here.  Sometimes I will even bring a book into the swing and get lost into some other dream world.  This year, I brought Nico onto the swing with me, and for a kid who otherwise at this age is squirmy and adventurous, I was mildly surprised with his ability to just snuggle and relax with me on the swing for awhile.  It was as if he was silently saying, “Oh hey Mom, yeah I could get the hang of this relax in the porch swing thing.”  I’m lucky that my little one still does love to snuggle with me often…usually at night before bedtime.  But as he approaches his first birthday and becomes more independent, I start to see him squiggle away from me more and more as he explores the world around him.  It makes me sad, but at the same time I know he has to grow.  Part of me wants to cling and keep him small forever though and that part of me is going to soak up every moment I can while he is still little enough to be wrapped in my arms cuddling on the porch swing.

XO,

Gina

Rockin’ Wedding Weekend

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Hey friends!  Well, I wasn’t planning on being completely M.I.A. last week over here, but as it turns out our beach house in the OBX lacked wifi.  I’m sure I could have scooted over to a coffee shop of sorts, but instead I decided to enjoy the free time I had with family, and tried to relax as much as possible.  As much as you are able to with an (almost) one year old child in tow and thirty family members to catch up with.  Nico was a hit with the family and he made sure to show them all of his latest “tricks.”  What a little charmer he is.  The exception to this charm is that our dinner dates with the little guy might be put on pause for awhile.  The scene that entailed was definitely anything but.  Breakfast dates, however, are still a go.  We had a lovely one on the Nags Head Pier watching the waves crash onto the shore.  Nico loved the beach as usual, and we took him up to Jockey’s Ridge to check out the famous sand dunes.  Overall, it was a really nice get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Onto these photos of this beautiful wedding from earlier this summer.  Our dear friends Joe and Colette look ravishing and totally in love.  They were smiling from ear to ear the entire day.  The magic took place in Rock Hall, Maryland (beautiful and totally under the radar), and it also marked our first full weekend away from the little guy.  He was in good hands with his aunt/godmother, and we actually got to sleep in for once, which was kind of amazing.  We had a lovely weekend with friends, and looking back at these photos makes me want to plan another weekend with this crew soon.

Missing my vacation already, but a small part of me is glad to be home in Brooklyn.

Hope you all have a great week!

XO,

Gina

{26} Lately…

Lately I’ve been…

reading Finished a few good ones recently.  First up was The Fault in Our Stars.  I wanted to read the book before watching the movie.  Of course, it’s predictable and a total tearjerker, but I was pleasantly surprised with how well a male author (John Green) was able to capture the mind of a sixteen year old girl.  Next, I read Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn.  This author never disappoints.  Although the main character, Libby, is a little unlikable in my opinion, Gillian Flynn is always keeping you on your toes with her novels and makes you want more.  Heading to the beach this weekend, so if you have any beach reads to recommend, please do!

writing  A ginormous to-do list of everything I need to get done before our trip to the Outer Banks.  And a packing list.

listening  Summer…my summer anthem by Calvin Harris.  Prepping a little playlist for our road trip.

thinking  That this beautifully written blog post from my friend Sascha really hits home for the working mom.

smelling  The delicious homemade eggplant parm the hubby cooked this week.  Fresh eggplant, tomatoes, and basil from the garden.  Melt in your mouth amazingness.

watching  The Bachelorette finale really threw me for a loop!  I realize I am delayed on watching my shows, so sorry for being late to the party.  I won’t throw out any spoilers for those who may also be behind on their TV watching, but let’s just say I was really surprised!

wishing  Time would slow down a bit.  My little baby is almost a year old already!  I can’t even take it.

hoping  I can pull off this fabulous fishtail braid at the beach next week shown in this tutorial by Nikki.

wearing  Lots of leopard print this week.  Feeling feisty.

loving  The end of summer sales!  ModCloth, Free People, J. Crew, & Zara have some pretty good ones going on right now.

laughing  At how Nico loves to be chased around the house.  I will crawl after him, and he will start crawling away squealing with delight…then come back and start chasing me while laughing.  That belly laugh is enough to get me laughing and smiling all day long.

wanting  To be with my little boy today.  In case you couldn’t tell, I’m missing him a lot while at work this week.  Looking forward to spending a whole week with him at the beach and introducing him to the place I have vacationed since I was a small child.  Also excited that the whole family will be able to see how much he has grown.

needing  A little girl (one day) so I can buy these adorable ribbons from Brit!

feeling  Totally inspired by hometown friend Candice as she becomes the first plus-sized model to appear in next year’s Pirelli calendar.  Doesn’t she look fantastic!!??

craving  Something sweet.  What else is new?

clicking  On 1st birthday party ideas for my little guy.

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What have you been up to lately?

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

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.

Captured in Cape May

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I’m finally getting around to sharing some more of our Cape May vacation photos.  Some of these were taken on my camera, and some of them are from my Instagram feed, so don’t mind the inconsistency.  My favorite part about Cape May was looking at all the adorable houses, many of which have been converted in Bed & Breakfast Inns.  The architecture actually reminds me of my neighborhood, Ditmas Park in Brooklyn yet even closer to the beach.  I loved that mostly everything was in walking or biking distance and that it was very family oriented.  Many thanks to my mother-in-law and father-in-law for organizing such a fantastic trip!

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*Note*  The 2nd baby pictured is my adorable nephew, Nathan!  He and Nico had a great time playing together throughout the week.

Now we are on a countdown to our next family adventure…the Outer Banks!  This is a place my family has been going every summer since I was four.  Last summer, I was hugely pregnant and unable to attend as my due date was creeping up, so I am extremely pumped to not only return to the OBX, but to show Nico how much we all love this place and each other.  My cousins have already started the text chain, and I cannot wait to see them!

Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina

{Style Envy} Rompin’ Around + Turning Thirty

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On Brianna – Romper: Forever 21 / Sandals: Michael Kors / Necklaces: Forever 21

Introducing my beautiful niece, Brianna.  You may remember a few posts way back when from my Style Envy segments with Marisa and Alex.  Every now and then I like to showcase someone else’s style rather than my own, and Brianna was looking so adorable in this romper while we were on vacation in Cape May that I just had to snap some photos at the beach.  Rompers made a small come back last summer, and they are still in full force this season.  It’s so nice to only think about one piece.  No need to worry about which top is going to go with which bottom.  Matchy matchy tops and bottoms have also been a trend this season, so why not just buy one piece and call it a day?  Of course, everyone’s main complaint about rompers is the ever-annoying hassle of going to the bathroom, but in my opinion, it’s no big deal to suck it up for a day for the sake of fashion.  That’s what we women do, right?

Onto my niece…Bri is one of those people with a natural easy-going attitude.  She’s always down for an adventure, for trying fun new things, and she’s a total pleasure to be around.  Throughout the week whenever someone would make a suggestion about something fun to do, she was always up for it.  No matter how weird to crazy the activity, she was always excited to partake.  Want to go play skee-ball at the arcade?  Yup.  Want to go for a walk?  Yup.  Want to take photos on the beach?  Yup.  Want to go get ice cream?  Yup.  Want to go on a four-person family bike?  Yup.  She reminds me of my husband (her uncle) never wanting to sit around.  Always go go go…they might miss something or won’t be able to enjoy the most out of their vacation if they are relaxing too much.  We had a blast hanging out at the beach, and I only wish she and my sister-in-law could have stayed longer!

On a final note, I turned 30 over the weekend.  That’s right THIRTY.  Holy crap.  Where does the time go?  I remember when I used to think thirty was so old.  It’s crazy how much I have grown and changed in the last decade.  Met Zack, graduated college, moved to New York City, got into the animation/advertising industry, partied my ass off, traveled, got married, moved to Brooklyn, slowed down, had a baby, and now I’m a mom of an almost 1-year-old.  My twenties were a lot of fun indeed.  As scary as 30 sounds, I do admit, I am excited to embrace this new decade with the clarity, responsibility, and self-awareness that I did not always exhibit in my twenties.  Sure occasionally I know I will miss my carefree days, but my life is all about my family and closest friends right now, and I couldn’t be happier.

Special thanks to my husband for planning an amazing 30th surprise weekend for me complete with Six Flags, a fancy dinner, a night on the town, and finished with a beach day.  I am a lucky lady.

Hope you are all having a great week!

XO,

Gina

Summer Sunlight

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Dress: Boxing Kitten for Urban Outfitters (old) / Neon Sandals: Dolce Vita – similar / Crossbody Bag: T.J. Maxx / Necklace: Guilty Jean / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelet: Baublebar / Lip: Lancome Fuchsia Clutch / Nails: Essie Marshmallow / Toes: Essie Bachelorette Bash

Summer sunlight peeking through the trees as the sun is starting to set.  Probably my favorite moment of the day.  The magic hour brings me a peaceful calm.  It strange how only a few years ago, the sun going down was a symbol of the start of my evening.  It meant that it was time to start prepping to get ready for a night on the town with my man or the girls.  I’ve always been a night owl, and I lived for summer nights exploring New York City.  Dressing up, hair, make-up, the whole sha-bing.

Nowadays, the sunset usually represents quiet for me.  Time to reflect on the adventures from the day, give the baby a bath, put him to bed, and then enjoy dinner with my husband and maybe even a glass of wine.  This particular evening, however, we were on family vacation which meant Bubbe and Pop Pop were eager to babysit.  So after Nico’s bedtime, my husband and I were able to go out on our own little adventure.  We started by taking these photos and others in the summer sunlight.  We walked around Cape May, and had a delicious romantic dinner for two at Louisa’s.  I guess we realized how little we get out after 8pm these days, and so we didn’t want the night to end.  We walked around in the moonlight, shared a kiss under the stars (or two), and played video games and skee-ball at the arcade until close.  We felt like two teenagers running around on a summer night.  Yes, things have changed.  Instead of closing down bars, we are closing down arcades at a family beach town.  Instead of going to sleep at 4am, I am waking up at 6am.

But I’m okay with that.

Hope you are all having a great week so far!

XO,

Gina

Floral Fit & Flare

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I’m tiny, yet curvy (even more so now post baby), so the classic fit & flare has always been a favorite silhouette of mine.  I found this Pim & Larkin floral beauty on sale via Piperlime, and I had to snag it for wedding season.  Unfortunately, this one is sold out, but they have other gorgeous options as well.  I particularly love the two black and white striped fit & flare options you’ll see on this page.

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Dress: Pim & Larkin via Piperlime – sold out, but love their other options here /  Shoes: Sole Society / Clutch: Express / Shades: ModCloth / Bracelet & Earrings Set: Gifted / Lip: Lancome Fuchsia Clutch (discontinued – Wannabe is similar)

I apologize for falling off the world (wide web) these past few weeks.  It’s just that it’s summer time, and I have been having way to much fun enjoying it rather than writing about it.  I’ve been taking photos along the way, but I’ve been too busy to bother with editing and uploading.  Sorry, not sorry. These were taken back on our trip to Rock Hall, MD.  We were on our way to the rehearsal dinner, and we passed a drive-through wildlife refuge.  There was no question, we had to turn back around and take a peek.  We saw a hawk, baby deer, a few more birds and a gorgeous landscape which turned out to be a beautiful back drop for a photo op as well.

This summer has been epic for road travel.  Who would have thought we could handle this many adventures as a family of three?  I have to say, Nico is taking these road trips like a champ and he seems to enjoy every new place we take him.  I have so much to share from the rest of Rock Hall, Cape May, and Rehoboth, and I promise I will give it my best effort, but I have to warn you we have the North Fork, Deep Creek Lake, and the OBX on the horizon!

Hope you all are enjoying your summer as much as I am.

XO,

Gina