Transformation Tuesday: Meet Amy

Amy Results Photos

Meet Amy!

Amy is a fellow Brooklyn Mama who I met when both of our oldest sons were born. We have known each other for the past two+ years, and our sons are now going to preschool together. Our younger sons are also around the same age, and it has been so nice to have a friend in the neighborhood who understands what life is like with two boys and going through everything together at the same time!

I was so excited when Amy reached out about joining my next 21 Day Fix group, and with her passion for fitness, I knew she would love it and do fantastic. She has worked so hard, and her results are proof that hard work pays off.

So without future ado…let me introduce Amy!!!

 

P + P: Tell us about yourself (where you live, family, hobbies, interests, anything else that you would like to include about yourself)

Amy: My family of 4 lives in Kensington, Brooklyn. It’s a small neighborhood by the bottom of Prospect Park. My husband and I have two boys (2 years old and 7 months old). I’m 41. I like to put my age out there. I feel good about where I am in my life and the things I’ve accomplished.

I’ve lived in NYC for 17 years. Initially, I worked in theater, mostly in PR and marketing. I decided to leave my desk jobs and go to beauty school. I started at Arrojo Studio as an assistant 11 years ago and worked my way up to being a Master Colorist/Texture Specialist. I work for an industry leader and have had the opportunity to travel, teach and grow with the company. My work is my passion and I love being creative and helping people look and feel their best. That’s my day job.

My other full time job (my day and night job), is being a mom to my boys. When I’m not at the salon, I’m with my sons. I love the balance of doing both jobs.

 

P + P: What is your fitness background?

Amy: I lost 35 pounds my senior year of high school and started managing my diet and exercising. At that point, I was hooked and haven’t lost my motivation since. I went to my college’s gym between classes, joined a gym during my first internship and again when I moved to New York. I always made fitness a priority. I took spinning classes, African dance, pilates and even worked out with personal trainers. One trainer was a friend and I worked out with her for over a year. I have always loved weight lifting and cross training. From her, I learned I had to leave my comfort zone to get results. If I thought I could only do 10 pushups, she made me do 15.

 

P + P: Why did you decide to try the 21 Day Fix?

Amy: Even though I have always been dedicated to working out, I’ve always carried extra weight on my frame. The weight lifting probably made me look even heavier.

I gained 36 pounds carrying my first son. Our birthdays are two days apart and I was determined to get back in shape for my 40 birthday and his 1st. I did it, and I felt great even though I was already pregnant again. I never got to enjoy my fit self because I gained 30 pounds carrying my second son. When he was 4 months old, I saw a picture of Gina after she completed her first round of the 21 Day Fix and realized I wasn’t nursing my way into skinny jeans.   I said to my husband, “I just want to lose 4 pounds. That’s it and I’ll be happy.”

I contacted Gina, bought the 21 Day Fix program and Shakeology and joined her challenge group. I lost 6 pounds the first round.

Since then, I’ve completed 2 more fitness challenges and I’ve lost another 6 pounds (for a total of 12 pounds) and have my muscle and definition back.

 

P + P:  What about the program worked for you? What did you like about it? 

Amy: The program is easy to follow. The color coded containers make sense and I don’t feel limited since there are a huge list of food I can choose from. I also started cooking which has been a win for the whole family.

I love the 30 minute workouts. It’s a manageable amount of time when I’m home with my kids. I don’t have to go to a gym to get in shape. I have a yoga mat and weights at home and the 21 Day Fix workout videos make me feel like I’m part of the class. The first time I did a video I could barely make it through, now I’m taking on the 21 Day EXTREME workout for my next round.

 

P + P: What was tough or challenging for you? (particular workouts? sticking to nutrition? anything else?)

Amy: The controlled portion sizes are my biggest challenge. I had a decent diet before: No processed foods but I ate out a lot, I’d order in, sometimes have a beer with dinner and probably ate twice the portion than I needed.

The clean eating came easily, but eating smaller amounts were very difficult. I found it hard to resist snacks, especially my kid’s snacks. Why are bunny crackers so appealing?

 

P + P: 12 pounds and 6 inches from your waist is an incredible accomplishment! How did you stay motivated for those 63 days?

Amy: When I started, I wanted to fit back into my old clothes and feel better. After the first round, I looked so different I wanted to keep going. I wanted to look good, but the potential for looking GREAT was so close.

Friends and co-workers started noticing and everyone was enthusiastic and supportive. The 21 Day Fix became fun, like a fitness game.

 

P + P: How do you feel today and what are your goals moving forward? 

Amy: I feel completely different than I did before I started the program. I’m fit, feel healthy and I have energy again. The kind of energy I use to have before having kids. At 41, I never thought that was possible. I assumed people just get more tired as they get older but that’s just not true. Doing this program showed me that if I want it, I can make it happen. I put in the effort and I got the result.

Another thing that still surprises me is how much support I am receiving on my health and fitness journey. My husband, friends and co-workers are cheering for me and I inspired them to change themselves. I’ve learned how gratifying it is to lead others as they get fit. It’s the ultimate way to pay it forward and that’s why I became a coach.

 

I am so incredibly proud of Amy for her hard work and dedication. As a brand new coach, she has already inspired 9 new people to start their own fitness journey. It’s clear that whatever challenge Amy takes on in life, she goes at it full-on…whether it’s as a Master Colorist/Texture Specialist, a Mama of two, or a Fitness Coach, Amy does it well and with great success! Thank you so much, Amy, for sharing your story here with us!

Hope you are all having a great week so far. It’s been unusually nice outside for February after we just had a major snow storm, but I’m certainly not complaining!!!

XO,

Gina

Owl or Lark?

Owl or Lark

 

I have been listening to the “Happier” Podcast recently by the author of “The Happiness Project,” Gretchin Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft. I definitely recommend it by the way! It’s pretty awesome.
 
But one of the topics that came up was whether you are an Owl or a Lark? Basically…are you a night person or a morning person?
 
When I was a teenager, my mom would burst into my bedroom basically singing in the morning. I didn’t drink coffee back then, but I would basically grumble, roll over, tell her to leave me alone and I didn’t really feel like having a conversation for at least 30 minutes. I did not understand how she could be so happy and chipper in the morning while I was so miserable. I chalked it up to the teenage years (because what teenager doesn’t sleep in?), but even now at 31 years of age, I still grumble getting out of bed in the morning, and don’t want to talk to anyone until I have had my coffee.
 
On those rare days I wake up early and feel energized, I end up being super productive, and so I sometimes wish that I could be a Lark. But I think I am mostly an Owl.
 
I used to think that Owls could be Larks if they just went to bed earlier. It makes sense right? Well if I just went to bed earlier, then I would wake up happier? But after listening to this podcast, I’m not so sure that is the case! I have tried going to bed earlier before, and many times I end up tossing and turning and rolling around trying to sleep and just sort of lying there. And even if I do end up falling asleep earlier than normal, I generally still wake up grumbling. So I think, well maybe I should have just stayed up and got those things done I needed to do?
 
The world is built for Larks…people get up early to do their workouts, get the kids to school, go to work, etc. If you sleep past a certain hour you are called “lazy.” But what if you could just embrace what you really are?
 
I have been staying up late to get things done because it’s the only time I can find quiet. Everyone is asleep and I can just focus on one thing without any distractions. With kids it can be hard to be an Owl, because they get up so darn early! But luckily since my husband is generally a Lark and likes to go to bed early, he is usually happy to get up with the kids so I can stay up later and then sleep a little later.
 
Anyway, I’m not sure where I’m going with all of this except I think it’s important to figure out which one you are and then try to do your most important tasks for the day during the time when you are most productive. Ultimately that will bring you the most happiness rather than trying to fit into the mold of something you are not.
 
So which one are YOU? An OWL or a LARK?
Hope you are all having a great week!
XO,
Gina

Three Hobbies

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I found this quote on Pinterest the other week, and it really got me thinking. Aside from love and family (because I think PEOPLE and relationships are #1 in my life ALWAYS), these three things are so vital for our day to day:

1) We need money to pay the bills, simple as that and then extra money is always great for the finer things in life (which for me is traveling the world and delicious food)

2) We need our health…not only does staying in shape help us to live longer, but it helps us stay energized and more focused throughout our day.

3) We need to feel creative and to feel a PASSION for something. To make things, build, expand…it’s in our human nature to create.

Now, I loved this quote because wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had hobbies to check off these necessities in our lives? But I thought “wait a minute…it doesn’t have to be THREE different hobbies…”*

Because since having started as a fitness coach…I have all of that in ONE!

*I make an income helping people get healthy, keeping them on track to reach their goals on a daily basis by providing motivation and support for not only the physical health of my challengers, but also their overall happiness, positivity, and confidence. On top of that, I help a team of coaches build their own businesses to reach financial freedom.

*Working out each day is part of my job. While I may not always want to roll out of bed and get my workout done each morning, I know that if and when I do, I will be so happy that I did and feel so much better for doing it.

*Each day I am building my creativity by coming up with fun posts to share with my challengers, growing my social media and challenging people to become better versions of themselves.

—BEST of all??? I can do this while staying at home with my two small children. I love my job. But I also love my job as a MOM, and with this opportunity, I didn’t have to choose. I could do BOTH :-)

My team is opening up the curtain next Monday January 25th to show you what it’s like in the day of an online fitness coach. We will show you what it takes to build your own business (no matter how great or small), what our days are like, how we make money, and what your potential can be.

If YOU have been looking for MORE in this new year and want to find that SOMETHING that gives you PASSION and makes you want to get out of bed in the morning, then come take a look and see what it’s all about. No pressure, just a place to learn :-)

***If you want to learn more, please fill out the short application linked below! I will respond back and we can connect as to whether or not this would be a good fit for you!***

https://pandpfitness.wufoo.com/forms/team-spark/

 

Make it a Happy Day!

XO,

Gina

Vision

Vision.

“a vivid mental image, especially a fanciful one of the future”

We all have vision in some way, shape or form…a view inside our minds of how we want the future to look. We can’t predict the future, but we CAN envision it. Many times our vision can get cloudy. We forget WHY we are doing something or where we want to go. We get distracted by the many things in life pulling us in different directions. Sometimes we aren’t quite sure where we want to go…and we really need to sit down and think about what it is that we want or how it is that we can get there.

This is an exercise that a year ago I would have laughed at if someone told me I should do it. I didn’t really understand the value in it, thought it was a little bit silly, and even a waste of my precious time.  But I have come to appreciate the value in SEEING my vision and putting it down on paper (or on electronic paper in this case…although I do recommend printing it out and putting it where you can see it each day!) By having a physical copy of my vision there is no chance I will forget those goals I have set for myself…no way that I can get lost in the shuffle of the day to day and let my vision get left behind in the fog.

At first it was scary mapping out this vision…even writing this now, I am scared to hit the publish button. Who the hell do I think I am to achieve this? Will people think I’m crazy? Will they laugh at me? Will they think there is no way she will be able to do that in a year? WHAT IF I FAIL????

But the more I think about it…it doesn’t matter what other people think. This is my journey and my life, and I only have one…so why not DREAM BIG and make the most of each moment. And while I will work my tush off to achieve this vision…so what if I don’t quite get there this year? It’s all about the journey and growing as a person at the end of the day right?

So…here goes…(deep breath)…my VISION BOARD for 2016.

2016 Vision Board

May you set out to reach YOUR full potential this year, and may your vision become your reality. Believe in yourself and believe that anything is possible. That’s my motto for this year, and I’m stickin’ to it! ;-)

XO,

Gina

2015 Fashion Round-Up

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So I may be a bit behind on my 2015 round fashion round up, but HERE you go. Some of your favorites from the past year…which one do you like the best? Or which one are you like “what the heck what she thinking?” LOL!

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Hope you are all enjoying the first full week of 2016 so far! I am making goals for myself and getting organized :-)

Happy Tuesday!

XO,

Gina

2015 in Review

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A lot has happened in this past year…

I embarked on a new career as a health & fitness coach last January and I have since been able to help over 120 challengers to reach their goals and 8 coaches to build a business of their own. I am continuing to help those who want to make changes in this brand new year.

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I found out I was pregnant with our second child in January, and we did a fun little photo shoot in Prospect Park to find out we were expecting a BOY!

Baby Notes 2 Announcement

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I felt a little bit tougher this time around during my pregnancy and made my health and fitness a big priority for both myself and my family.

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We took a trip to Tulum, Mexico as a family and it was a crazy fun adventure.

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I rocked a two piece dress during my pregnancy which Lord knows I never thought would happen! I also rocked a bikini.

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I came up with a post all about exercises during pregnancy which many of you read and loved…I call them pregercises.

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I had some fun collaborations with both Stella & Dot and Irresistible Me…I have to say I am obsessed with Stella & Dot jewelry, and I can now FINALLY use a curling iron without butchering my hair!

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Before & After

I surprised my husband with a trip to the NOLA for our 4 year wedding anniversary.

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We had an adorable family maternity photo shoot with my phenomenal cousin and professional photographer Misa Me.

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We took our annual lake trip over the summer…this time we landed in Seneca Lake in the Finger Lake region of Upstate New York.

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I also traveled 8 months pregnant to Nashville for the annual Beachbody Summit, and met my fabulous team of coaches in person to share a phenomenal life-changing experience. I also broke it down on the CIZE dance floor. (yes I was the awkward dancing pregnant lady)

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My beautiful baby Luca was brought into the world and our world was forever changed for the better. This kid is the smiliest, happiest baby I have ever met and we are so in love.

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My Nico Bonzo turned TWO this year with a TMNT b-day party. He started preschool, has become so independent, is making friends, and having full conversations these days. He astonishes me daily with how much memory he can retain in that little brain of his. I know he is destined for great things.

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I started my own 21 Day Fix journey to get back to my pre-baby, healthy, active self again, and so far things are going really well. I told myself I would not wait so long like I did with my first babe to get back into shape, and I have stuck to my word.

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We have celebrated many beautiful friends getting married this past year and wonderful holidays together with family. We are so very lucky and I am thankful for my blessings each and every day.

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Misa Me Family Christmas

(Photo by Misa Me Photography)

I look forward to what 2016 has to offer, and I am wishing you all a happy, healthy New Year!

XO,

Gina

Sparkly Season

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Sparkly Tank: Forever 21 (old) – similar / White Blazer: Target (old) – similar / Leggings: Target – similar / Ankle Booties: H&M – similar / Hat: Habit (boutique in Brooklyn) / Lip: MAC Rebel

‘Tis the season of SPARKLE!!!! This was supposed to be my New Year’s Eve outfit, but I got excited and wore it on Christmas Eve instead. I planned on wearing my red dress, but decided I wanted to feel a little more casual…but not TOO casual. So I managed to dress up black leggings with nothing else other than a little sparkle, blazer, and a hat. And who knew my aunt would be bringing hats for each one of the gals at the party for a “funny hat” photo?! Guess I had a sixth sense or something…

Christmas was a blast as usual with lots of family craziness, keeping kids up late, some crankiness, tons of presents, cookies galore, and much much more. We had a great time…I wish it hadn’t felt like such a rush through it all. Nico really enjoyed himself and it was amazing just seeing all the excitement in his eyes. Oh how I love the magic of Christmas! Luca slept through most of the excitement of his 1st Christmas, but he was mostly his smiley self when awake (except when we kept him up past bedtime LOL.)

This week I am hoping to relax a little more, see some more family and friends, get back into a workout routine, ramp up some work time…and maybe even get a little date night or something. It’s hard with two kids, but we’re trying!

Hope you are all enjoying this wonderful holiday season!

XO,

Gina

New Year – New You

NEW YEAR

Exactly one year ago, I decided I had enough of being unfit after having my first baby and made the commitment to my health and fitness by starting P90X and becoming and online fitness coach. Two days into the program, I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 which changed the course of my journey.

In this past year, I have built a business with over 120 challengers, trained a team of 9 coaches to do what I do, completed PiYo throughout my pregnancy, gave birth to a baby boy, completed 3 rounds of the 21 Day Fix program, and reached my pre-pregnancy weight while kickstarting my journey toward finally getting back to that healthy, fit self again.

Since starting this journey, my CONFIDENCE has been lifted, and I truly believe I can do anything I put my mind to whether in my personal life or in my business life.

Beginning JANUARY 4th, I am FINALLY going to take on that P90X journey that I wanted to begin one year ago. I’m actually going to do P90X3 (because 30 min per day is the perfect and realistic time frame for me to get a workout in with two babes), and work on toning in the new year.

It’s never to early for resolutions, so if YOU are looking to make a change in the NEW YEAR, then I would absolutely LOVE to have you come join me in starting your journey…either your health & fitness journey, or if you are looking for a new business opportunity.

I will be starting THREE groups on January 4th:

1) 21 Day Fix – comes with a color coded portion sized meal plan containers, 30 min workouts, 30 meals of Shakeology, and my accountability/support group

2) Mixed Program Challenge Group – I will work with you to determine a program that would be a good fit for you based on your likes and goals for health & fitness. Also comes with a meal plan, Shakeology, and my accountability/support group.

3) Coach Open House – For those looking for a new business opportunity in the new year – a way to make cash for shopping or vacations – or those who want to build a full time income on part time hours – this is the place to get a sneak peek behind the scenes look of what it’s like to be a coach.

It’s a NEW YEAR, so cheers to a NEW and IMPROVED YOU! It’s always the perfect time to make a change for the better :-)

COMMENT below with your e-mail address if you are interested in more information or email me at gina.notes26 {at} gmail.com

Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina

Lady in Red

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Dress: ASOS / Shoes: Audrey Brooke / Jacket: LOFT / Clutch: Lulu Townsend / Lip: MAC Russian Red 

On Zack – Tux: Men’s Wearhouse / Button Down: J. Crew

When I stumbled upon this dress, I knew I just HAD to have it. The perfect dress for a December wedding AND I can wear it for Christmas? Money well spent in my book! Apparently I wasn’t the only one, because it sold out quick! But I am here with some amazing news! Since I last posted this dress, it’s now back up for sale on the ASOS website! Guess it was so good, they decided to get more in stock! If you order it soon, you can still even have it for Christmas :-)

December has SERIOUSLY flown by. I am sitting here staring at my Christmas tree right now, and I’m a little bit sad that it will be my last day to enjoy it in 2015. We are back on the road tomorrow morning to head to Maryland for the holidays. Which means I should probably stop typing and start packing. Holiday cards and wrapping presents will have to wait until we are settled at my parent’s home. We have had a busy month, but I am looking forward to some more family time, friends, laughter, and fun since this really is my favorite time of the year. It’s even more fun this year as I think Nico is actually getting excited for Santa to arrive. The joy on his face makes my little heart melt into a puddle. I cannot wait to see his eyes light up on Christmas morning and imagine it will be purely magical.

Have a great weekend!

XO,

Gina

Falling Leaves & Wedding Bells

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I am SO incredibly excited to share these photos from my BFFs wedding last month. I only wish I had MORE that I could have taken, but since I was IN the wedding, I suppose I will let their REAL photographer get all the best shots. But regardless, here is a little sneak peek of the day. It was SUCH a gorgeous fall day. Meg looked absolutely stunning beyond belief. The colors were off the charts unreal…and did I mention they had Italian cookies? Like…the RAINBOW ones?!?!

All cookies aside…it was an amazing day for an amazing couple, and I am so excited for these two to share the rest of their lives together. I have never seen either of them so happy, and I know they are in for a fantastic life long journey together. Their love is apparent and it definitely shines through in these photos as much as it did on their wedding day.

Congratulations Meghan & Patrick! Love you both.

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Wedding Venue: Hunt Valley Golf Club in Hunt Valley, MD / Hair: Creations a la Nikki / Cake: Takes the Cake Catering and Event Planning  / DJ: Jacob Jensen / Wedding Dress: The Bridal Boutique / Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff in Cranberry / Flowers: Janda Florist

So can we celebrate again??? Such a fun day and night was had by all. Looking forward to seeing this fabulous couple again over the holidays as Mr. & Mrs.! MUAH!

Happy Friday everyone! Spread a little love and laughter this weekend, huh?

We are going to see SANTA tomorrow! Whoo!

XO,

Gina