Easy Breezy

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Tribal Palazzo Pants: Target (sold out, but similar here) / Tank: Old Navy / Sandals: Dolce Vita (sold out but similar here) / Sunnies: Vintage Kenneth Cole / Necklace: c/o Stella & Dot /Earrings: c/o Stella & Dot / Bracelets: Guilty Jean, Stella & Sparkle, Vintage / Watch: Michael Kors / Lip Gloss: Smashbox Savvy

Can you believe today marks 31 weeks of pregnancy! WOWZA!!! The 2nd half has been flying right by! I delivered at 38 weeks the first time around, so I am starting to get a little nervous about everything we have left to do before baby’s arrival? Now you might be thinking, what could they possibly have to do? They already have everything they need, and they are even having another boy! Well, trust me when you live in a small Brooklyn apartment, you need to figure out how you are going to go from fitting a family of three to a family of four! Haha. We spent this past weekend getting our TV mounted on the fireplace so that we can eventually get rid of our entertainment center to make room for the rocking/glider chair that we will have to move OUT of the nursery (through the window, because it won’t fit through the door mind you), so that we can then fit crib #2 into the nursery. Whew! Just thinking about it makes me exhausted already.

I found the most comfy palazzo pants at Target during the spring time, and as soon as I saw that stretchy waistband, I thought they would be perfect during my pregnancy. I could not have been more spot on! At 31 weeks, these (non-maternity) pants fit me with room to spare! And they are SO incredibly comfortable!

We are gearing up for a 4th of July trip to Seneca Lake this Thursday…but not before I check in with the baby doc on Wednesday. Fingers crossed for a good appointment and a good trip to come!

Make it a great week everyone!

XO,

Gina

Summer Sweat Sesh

Summer Sweat Sesh Invite

Can’t believe it’s almost JULY! This summer is flying by already. School is officially out and I know many of us are prepping for family vacations. Whoo hoo!

Starting July 6, I’m hosting a little Summer Sweat Sesh, because a dip in the pool always feels more refreshing after a nice workout right? Not to mention feeling even more fabulous in that swimsuit. :-)

Most of the workouts are 30 min per day and are combined with a healthy eating plan. Our group will provide support and motivation each day along with workout tips, nutrition information, and yummy summer recipes.

So what do you say? Who’s in for a little sweat sesh this summer?

COMMENT below with your contact information or email me at gina.notes26 {at} gmail.com.

Cheers to Summer!

XO,

Gina

Help Wanted!

HELP WANTED!

During my 7 years working in production and advertising as an agent for animation studios, I spent a lot of time watching other people create things. I always wished I could create more myself, which led to the creation of Popcorn and Pandas…an outlet for my personal style, travel, adventures, motherhood, lifestyle, food, fun…and now also fitness.

Fitness has always been a part of my life as I played soccer and basketball growing up, trained for half marathons and triathlon post college, and now as a health & fitness coach it plays an even bigger role. Running my own business has allowed me to reach a new creative potential that I never thought possible. I am able to create fresh content daily, create exciting challenges for my clients, and I’m inspired to create new recipes for healthy eating. I am also able to make a difference in people’s live each and every day.

Some of my recent challengers have said:

“I’m totally aware of how much stronger I’ve gotten and how much energy I have. Still more work to do, but loving the motivating results.”

“Today is Day 14 for me, and I can’t believe the difference! I can’t wait to see what Day 21 looks like. Thank you!”

“I am sleeping better, fitting into a size down, and although I have been doing the modified version of the exercises, I am improving every day. My mindset is more positive, and I definitely have more energy!”

Now, THAT is what it’s all about. I love making a difference in people’s lives and seeing them so positive and happy about the changes they are making not only to their bodies but to their minds and spirit as well.

Are you someone that likes making a difference too?

Because I am looking for 5 people to train for my next Coach Apprenticeship!!!!

If you are someone who is:
-Driven
-Motivated
-Passionate
-Creative
-A Team Player
-Looking for something MORE?

Then I would love to consider you for a position on Team SPARK! If you are interested and this sounds like something you would be interested in doing either full or part time, then please fill out this application below and I will contact you with more information!

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

XO,

Gina

Fit Mama Thoughts

Prego Coach Post

Shortly after I became a fitness coach, I discovered I was pregnant. I panicked. Not because of the whole extra child part. For that I was pretty excited, even though we were a tad surprised at the time. But I panicked about just starting a new job where people would rely on me to reach their health & fitness goals, because how could I set a good example while pregnant? I obviously wasn’t going to be showing any “results” photos from my program. I had to switch my program. I would be getting BIGGER…not smaller. What if I couldn’t keep up? Would people want to work with a coach who couldn’t practice everything they preach?

But I decided to give it a shot…give it my all…and see what came out of it. I have been working out as much as I can, eating healthy, and sharing my journey through pregnancy as a fit mama.

And you know what? I now have over 30 challengers in my groups and THREE of them are prego mamas just like me! I never would have dreamed I would be able to help and inspire so many people to reach their goals and stay healthy…especially the pregnant mamas. I am actually so incredibly inspired by THEM and all of my challengers to keep going on a daily basis.

This job has given me an amazing opportunity to not only help others but to better myself in the process :-) A year ago, I never would have thought I would be able to stay at home with my son and still accomplish so much in the working world. I am incredibly blessed and thankful, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

Hope you all are having a great week!

XO,

Gina

Tank Top Arms & Tasty Treats

Tank Top Arms Challenge Invite

Do you have tickets to the gun show? No, I’m not talking about the right to bear arms….I’m talking about the right to BARE ARMS…see what I did there? ;-) Ok ok…I admit, I’m a nerd…the point here is…it’s FREE Challenge time, and this month is all about those TANK TOP ARMS! It’s summer time and the guns are out, so let’s show them off with pride, ay?

Starting next MONDAY JUNE 15th, we will be sculpting those shoulders, building those biceps, and toning those triceps. Who says arms can’t be sexy?

We’ll also be mixing in some TASTY TREATS next week with some refreshing summer slim down recipes for meals and snacks.

No equipment necessary…and you can do this challenge from the comfort of your own home! We will meet online in a private Facebook group for support.

Who’s with me? COMMENT below with “I’m in!” and your e-mail address, and I will add you to the group You can also email me at gina.notes26 {at} gmail.com. Friends are always welcome, so feel free to spread the word!

Looking forward to seeing you next week!

Happy Hump Day!

XO,

Gina

Why I’m Tougher This Pregnancy

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Pregnancy. What a wild ride it is…and each time is different. My first pregnancy was cut tragically short due to a miscarriage after 7.5 weeks and ended in devastation and sadness. My 2nd pregnancy, I was a nervous wreck for the entire 1st trimester and then some. Afraid to work out. Afraid of another loss. Eventually as time wore on, I started to become less nervous and embrace my pregnancy along with all the ups and down, scares, vomiting, nausea, itchiness, heartburn, early contractions, duck waddling, and more. With every sonogram (and I had a lot of them) I felt closer and closer to my Little Monkey. Eventually, on August 29, 2013, my little boy was brought into the world and everything made sense. All of that craziness was worth it, and my life was forever changed. I can’t believe that little boy is now almost 2 years old, and I have another on the way.

Most women would say that being pregnant the 2nd (or in my case 3rd) time around is more difficult. I would have to agree that it has been quite challenging. However, I think it has somehow made me TOUGHER. And here’s why:

1st Trimester Nausea & Exhaustion

I thought this was bad before, but this pregnancy was much worse! Previously, I would get sick, and then feel better, but I pretty much felt a constant wave of nausea all day every day for the entire first trimester. Even if I got sick, I did not feel any better. I tried ginger candies (I was repulsed), preggie pop drops, eating small frequent meals, and sea bands, but nothing really seemed to do the trick except letting time pass. I was also much more exhausted, but couldn’t exactly fall asleep whenever I wanted to. Knowing that I was able to get through this first rough of a 1st trimester with everything else going on in my life makes me feel like one tough cookie.

I Have a Toddler This Time Around

This is probably BY FAR the most challenging aspect of this pregnancy! Previously, if I needed a nap or I felt sick I could lay down and rest. As a stay-at-home working mom this time around, I cannot just take a break when I need to. My toddler is very active and wants to run around and play all day. He takes one nap a day, and at the beginning, I was napping right along with him! With the 2nd trimester, I gained a lot of energy back, and now I work during his nap time, but it was a a struggle in the beginning. There was a lot of time for planning during my last pregnancy, but I feel as if this pregnancy is just flying right by! Anyone that can get through a pregnancy while taking care of a toddler is tough in my book!

I am Running My Own Business

Speaking of work…since the company I was working for folded in September, I decided to take a step in a new direction as a fitness coach and freelance writer. I now stay at home with my son, work from home, and make my own schedule, but it’s also extremely tough to fit everything in in one day on top of being pregnant. Toddler playdates, doctor’s appointments, conference calls, emails, quiet time to write, taking care of the house, building a business…there is so much to fit in each day, and only so much time. I find myself working a lot of late nights trying to get it all done, and luckily my husband is good about letting me sleep in a lot so that I don’t run myself ragged.

I am Working on My Fitness

As I said before, I was previously scared to work out during my last pregnancy. I walked a lot, which was a great way to keep active, but I did not feel “in shape” at all. This pregnancy, I have been doing the PiYo program (combo of pilates and yoga) at least 4-5 times per week for at least 30 min per day, hiking on weekends, etc. My body feels so much more physically fit, strong, & toned, and my lungs have so much more endurance and capacity. I feel so much more energized on a daily basis after I have completed my workouts, and I generally just feel tougher!

I am Eating Healthier

I do feel that I generally ate pretty healthy during my last pregnancy, but since becoming a fitness coach, I have paid even more attention to what I am putting in my body on a daily basis…especially processed foods and sugars. Of course, this pregnant mama is never going to completely cut ice cream out of her diet…I mean we all have to live a little, right?!?!  Sometimes those pregnancy cravings will get the best of me for sure. I am not perfect, and will never claim to be!  But on the whole, I am conscious of what I am eating and I strive to make healthy, clean choices for myself and my growing babe.

I Have Been Through It Before

I have a newfound confidence this time around. I mentioned being afraid a lot during my last pregnancy…but this time I am more confident with my decisions, I realize that there are some things that are just out of my control, and I have to let go a little.  I generally have an idea of what to expect this time for labor and delivery (although I do understand that things could be completely different), so I am not super anxious about what’s going to happen. I understand that things may happen unexpectedly, I now know what contractions feel like (and I know to drink tons of WATER to prevent dehydration and early contractions), and I know not to freak out if I go into my regular check up and they tell me I am not leaving without a baby. I feel prepped and I feel calm.  I’m actually more anxious about how things are going to go POST-delivery when I have two children! Haha.

Curious as to what you other mamas are going through out there? How have you been feeling throughout your pregnancy? If you are pregnant for a 2nd time around, have you felt that it’s been easier or harder? Do you feel tougher as well or has it all been a lot to handle?

I definitely feel that my workouts combined with my nutrition have played a HUGE role in my “toughness” this pregnancy, both mentally and physically. It keeps me going and keeps me strong.

Happy Monday to all you Mamas, and everyone else out there reading! We had a nice weekend with family and friends. Today marks 28 weeks pregnant for this gal.

Let’s make it a great week!

XO,

Gina

Southern Charm

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Dress: Express (sold out – similar here) / Shoes: Cynthia Vincent / Sunnies: Vintage / Bracelet: Stella & Dot (sold out – shop bracelets here) / Watch: Betsey Johnson / Lip: Revlon Hydrangea

Happy Monday gang!!!  It’s been busy around here with holiday travel last week, playing catch up with work and family, etc. Wanted to share another look from my anniversary trip to New Orleans. I was about 25 weeks here, and can you believe today marks 27 weeks!?!?!? That’s right, I’m officially in the THIRD trimester!!! This pregnancy is just flying right by.  We had some good updates from the doc last week, so I am feeling good.

This week is off to a great start with a good workout, healthy eats, and getting down to business. We had a nice weekend celebrating the wedding of dear friends, and it was a lot of fun seeing high school bests from Maryland in my city.

Can’t believe it’s already June, and I’m so excited for what this summer has in store!

XO,

Gina

America

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Top: J. Crew / Tank: J. Crew / Denim: Motherhood / Shoes: Soludos / Sunnies: Vintage Kenneth Cole / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: Tory Burch (similar) and Baublebar / Lip: MAC Russian Red

You may remember this top from last summer. I decided to remix it up a bit and style it for spring. This was taken in our backyard during our trip to Nola, but figured it was a perfect outfit post leading into Memorial Day Weekend. I am headed out of town again this weekend…this time on a girl’s trip for my BFF’s Bachelorette to Deep Creek Lake, MD. I tell you, this lady couldn’t be further from a Bridezilla and she has chosen a pregnant woman’s dream of a Bachelorette celebration. A nice house near a lake with all your besties, cooking dinner, wearing sweatpants, and drinking wine? Ok fine, maybe I can’t have the wine…but I will take all the rest! And I will selfishly admit that I am glad I won’t have to squeeze on a mini dress with this baby bump and strut awkwardly into a club (although honey, I WOULD have done that for you too!) But thanks for taking it easy on me ;-) Although I will miss my little munchkin once again this weekend, it will definitely be nice to have some girl time and at least my boys will get some quality time together as well.

What are your plans for Memorial Day Weekend?

Make it a good one!

XO,

Gina

NOLA {Part 2}

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Here is Part 2 of our 4 Year Anniversary Trip to NOLA!

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Elizabeth’s for Breakfast in the Bywater

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Bananas Foster French Toast

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Honey Island Swamp Tour in Slidell, LA

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SNAP!

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Me and my honey walking down Bourbon Street

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Another tourist must – pralines!

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Street music was impeccable

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And the indoor concerts were just as fab – these are the Brass-aholics at Blue Nile on Frenchman Street / You’ll also want to check out the Spotted Cat, Maison, Cafe Negril, Vaso, dba, and Three Muses. You can pretty much just walk along and pop in when you hear something you like!

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Fabulous dinner at Upperline with friends Uptown – everything from the adorable owner, incredible food, art on the walls and wonderful service made this experience perfect

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Is it bad that I hung out with gators, and then ate gators? This and an entire menu of amazingness at Cochon in the CBD

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Oh how I miss these adorable houses! I wish I had documented even more of our trip. We got a tour through the beautiful Garden District, uptown, and the area near Tulane and Loyola of New Orleans (where I went my first time to Nola). It was so nice to have such great friends to hang out with and show us around, and we also made sure to enjoy some alone time together. We walked down Royal St. checking out all of the art galleries along the way. I could have spent a week or more there just exploring…although I must admit, I was a little tired after running around for only three days! Haha.

Hanging out with my little guy today. Heading to story time and then maybe the grocery store. I have missed him!

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

XO,

Gina

We’re in the NOLA, Baby

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SURPRISE!!!!! 4 years of wedded bliss and a trip to New Orleans to celebrate! I booked the flights in January, and have been planning out our adventures for the past few months. Somehow, someway I was able to keep this trip a surprise for that long! Many thanks to my mother-in-law for coming up to NY to watch our little guy while we got a few days away to ourselves. Figured we needed a little mini babymoon before the new baby arrives and we are back to crazy town again. I definitely think it was worth it. The best part was being able to stay out and listen to music all night without worrying about getting up early in the morning. We were also able to meet up with great friends while we were down there and they showed us around. The culture, music, art, food, and the people down there really make you feel alive. Nola, you definitely have a piece of my heart!

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Super surprised – On the way to the airport

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The house where we stayed in the Bywater complete with a beautiful backyard garden. Thank you Airbnb and thank you Marie and Raphael!

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Out to lunch at Booty’s – based on street food from around the world – located in the Bywater

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Ready to hit the town!

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Swamp Donkeys at Bamboula’s on Frenchman Street – so good!

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Coffee at Satsuma in the Bywater

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Morning stroll – love all the colorful houses!

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Beignets at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter – a tourist MUST!

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Dinner in the Courtyard at Bacchanal in the Bywater – amazing ambiance, food, wine (I am imagining) and music

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Mississippi River

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I know we only spent three days/nights in New Orleans, but I have so many photos to share, that I am going to have to create another post to continue part 2 of our trip. What a wonderful experience to share with my amazing hubby. I know we will be back again someday :-)

Hope you are all enjoying this Monday. As sad as I was to leave Nola, I was definitely happy to get back to my PiYo mat today and get a nice sculpt workout in as well as start up our Bikini Body Challenge with a crunch-less ab circuit. Nola is not famous for the healthiest of foods…so while it was PHENOMENAL, it was definitely a rare occasion for me to eat so much fried food! My belly was happy at the time, but my body is now craving some healthy eats! Today it’s all about the fruits and veggies!

Lastly, today is the FINAL day to shop my online trunk show with Stella & Dot. Make sure to snag those goodies and a chance to win pieces for free or at 50% off!

Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina