Southwest Chic

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Dress: ModCloth (now on sale!) / Shoes: Sole Society (similar) / Sunnies: ModCloth / Earrings: Gifted / Clutch: Old (can’t remember!) / Bracelets: Gifted and Baublebar / Lip: MAC Rebel mixed Up the Amp / Eyes: Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in Radium, Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Limited Edition Palette (I cannot find this anymore, but you can buy the matte and the shimmer separately, which is basically the same thing!)

I had been dying for an opportunity to wear this fancy dress, and I figured a wedding in sunny Arizona was the perfect place!  Oh how I am missing that warmth right now.  We are freezing over here in New York.  Tucson is just such a beautiful place, and this backdrop was so gorgeous, we had to stop along the side of the road for some snaps before the wedding.  The wedding photos are gorgeous as well, and I’m excited to share those at a later date.  Although it was a quick trip, we had an amazing time eating delicious authentic Mexican tacos, celebrating a wonderful couple, and soaking in the sunshine.

Hope you are all having a great week!

XO,

Gina

Only in Fairytales

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Woweee!  I am so excited to finally share these photos from my cousin’s wedding!  I can’t believe they have already been married for over a month.  This couple couldn’t be more perfect for each other.  Melissa and John are two of the sweetest, kindest people I know, and they would do anything for anybody.  I am so happy they found each other and that we were lucky enough to be included in their celebration.  Their ceremony was held at their local parish in the Bronx, where my cousin Melissa is a teacher.  All of her students were in attendance which was adorable.  The reception took place at The Venetian in New Jersey, and it was the most breathtaking venue I have ever seen.  Melissa and John really thought of everything, and every detail was planned out right down to the personalized champagne glasses for Grandma and Grandpa.  This wedding was certainly the kind that you only dream of in fairytales.

Not only was it a dream-like wedding, it was also a party!  The music was pumping all night long, the guests were given light sabers, and the venue boasted the largest dance floor I have ever laid eyes on.  The Viennese dessert table was introduced with a fire show, and the bridal party made their entrance down a long flight of elegant stairs.  The WOW factor was through the roof, and the night just kept getting better and better as it went along.

Congratulations Melissa & John!  I wish you and wonderful life together full of happiness and love!

XO,

Gina

Neutrals in November

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 Trench: H&M / Sweater: Forever 21 – similar / Tank: GAP / Denim: Paige / Booties: Target / Sunnies: Vintage Kenneth Cole / Drop Earrings: Gifted

Happy Hump Day!  These photos were taken on a slow weekend in the city.  We meandered over to the neighborhood of Red Hook in Brooklyn for a delicious brunch at my favorite place, Home Made.  Let me tell you their french toast is to die for.  Also, if you are a scrambled egg person, the truffle scramble is sensational.  We settled in this comfy little spot on the cozy couches and had a lovely meal with just the three of us.  We then followed up brunch with a grocery trip to Fairway Market.  Just a typical little Saturday for ya.  Complete with the wind whipping around, a taste of winter lurking just around the corner.

Off to warmer weather tomorrow in sunny Arizona!  Feel free to follow along on Instagram for updates while we are away.

XO,

Gina

Creative Ideas for Engagement Gifts

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Photo Credit: Misa Me Photography

Since becoming a mom, I sometimes feel that I have neglected to be a very good friend.  I have always been the person who remembered every single birthday of friends and family members.  I remembered to call.  I remembered to go out of my way to do something nice on an important day for them.  Nowadays, I am lucky if I even know what day it is, let alone that there is something special going on that day.  I love my friends and want them to know that I still love them.  I know being a mommy is not an excuse to forget about my friends, and I hope they know that I do still think about them often, even if I don’t always remember to call.

One particular instance of me being a bad friend…my bestie from high school called me up one night when I was particularly exhausted from lack of sleep.  I felt bad for not answering, but I just didn’t have the energy to have the catch up session that we needed.  The next day, she called again when I was in the middle of watching both my son and another child at the same time for the first day.  I figured since she called again, that it was important, but again it was just a bad time.  I answered, but immediately said, “Hey, can I call you back.  I’m watching two babies and it’s a little insane.”  She said “ok” but sounded like she really wanted to talk, so I said, “What’s up?” and she follows with “I’M ENGAGED!!!”

Oh. Em. Gee!!!  No wonder she was calling so much!  And here I am blowing her off, because I’m too crazy and tired on one of the most important days of her life!  What a jerk!  I said, “Congratulations, and I will definitely call you back later to hear the story.”  To which I did follow through.  Upon calling her back, she says, “Did you remember today is also my birthday?” F@#$!!!!!!  Ok, I am officially the worst. friend. EVER.  I knew her birthday was coming up, but when the actual day arrived, I didn’t even know the date.  I felt AWFUL.

Luckily, she is an amazing person and has forgiven me.  And I know gift giving totally doesn’t erase the fact that I am a nincompoop.  HOWEVER!  It’s cannot hurt, and I totally owe her one.  So I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with some creative engagement gifts to send her way, and here are some of the ideas that have crossed my mind:

Wedding Planning Basket:  As a new bride-to-be, it can be really exciting to think about planning your wedding, but it can also be a bit overwhelming.  A wedding planning basket will give them a little boost to get started and fill them with ideas and organization tips.  Include bridal magazines, a planner, pen, thank you card, ideas for local vendors, to-do list with typical budgets, wedding-themed movies to put them in the wedding planning mood, and more.

Personalized Champagne Glasses:  Nothing says celebrate like champagne!  I love the idea of personalized champagne glasses with the names of the couple and the date of their wedding.  They can use them for the big toast on their wedding day, and toast again with them year after year on their anniversary.  Include a nice bottle of champagne for the win.

Take Them Out/Send them Out:  Take them out for a night on the town, a nice dinner, or a fun activity you know they will enjoy to celebrate the new journey they will take together.  You could also get them a gift certificate to send them on their own adventure together.  A couples massage to relax before their big day would be one of my favorites to suggest!

Create a Slide Show:  Gather photos from friends and family members to compile an adorable slide show for the future bride and groom.  The thought and effort put into the project will mean the world to the engaged couple.  You can include photos from their childhood  with family and friend or include photos of solely the couple themselves on their many adventures together.  The slide show can be used at an engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, etc.

Photography Session:  Speaking of photos, a professional engagement photography session could be an amazing gift for a couple.  With all the insane amount of expenses that come along with planning a wedding, a couple might not have it in their budget to include an engagement session as well.  The photos could be used for their future “save the dates,” thank you cards, at the wedding, or framed and hung in their home.

Personalized Art Work:  My husband and I received a piece of art work for our wedding, and we still have it hanging in our home.  Something sweet to hang as a reminder of their special day will always be appreciated.  I really enjoy this simple Happily Ever After piece from Etsy.  Artwork is also not limited to the wall!  A personalized platter, ring holder, pillow, or anything else for the home could be a great gift and beautiful  reminder of their special day.

Wine Box:  If the engaged couple is into wine, a wine box could be a really fun idea.  Choose about 6 bottles of wine or so and label them with tags for different milestones that they will reach in their lives (First Anniversary, 10th Anniversary, First Home, First Christmas, etc.)  Make sure to ask someone at the wine store for advice as they may be able to suggest wines that age well.  You could also include a bottle of sparkling cider to toast their First Child.  If they have a different drink of choice, you could do a similar box filled with beer, mini liquor bottles, or something else that would interest them.

Personalized Greeting Card:  Sometimes it’s the simple things that mean the most.  A personalized greeting card is an inexpensive, yet thoughtful way to let someone know you are happy for them.  I absolutely love the greeting card options available at Treat.  They have lovely designs, deliver right to the recipient’s door, and they can also include photos or a gift card inside if you wish.

I cannot divulge what option I ultimately decided on because said friend might be reading this post, and I haven’t presented her with my gift yet.  ;-)  Hopefully one of these ideas will speak to you.  I know I will definitely be returning to this list for future friend’s engagements.

Hope you all had a great weekend.  I have a short week here in New York, before I head off to my longtime friend and pen-pal’s wedding in Arizona!  I haven’t seen her since our Tucson reunion last year, so I am very much excited to see her and her awesome fiancé tie the knot!

XO,

Gina

Happy Halloween

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We are all ready for Halloween at the Notes/Gonzalez household!  I will admit, aside from the pumpkins, most of this decor was done by my fabulous neighbors.  We are excited for a neighborhood celebration complete with a parade, and I can’t wait to take Nico trick-or-treating for the first time in his Mickey Mouse costume.

In celebration of Halloween, I have decided to share some of my holiday favorites this year…

*A combo including two of my favorite things…white pumpkins and glitter.

*This may be a Christmas movie, but it includes my favorite Halloween song.

*One of my most favorite Halloween costumes to date.

*And I had to, of course, include an old school throwback with the little sis.

*This movie is one of those that you have to watch at least once a year.

*Love these adorable Halloween Frankenstein treats.

*Speaking of yummy things, you must try this pumpkin fluff dip.  They serve it with graham crackers which is great, but I also like it served with apples and nilla wafers.  Amazing.

*This scarily sweet martini is right up my alley.

*My favorite children’s Halloween costume.

*Who remember’s these awesome books from when they were a kids?

Hoping you all stay safe this Halloween night.  Have a fun time and hope there are less tricks and more treats!

Happy Weekend!

XO,

Gina

Weekend With Minnie

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Minnie Sweatshirt: Shop Navette (consignment shop) / Blouse: Old Navy / Denim: Rag & Bone / Booties: Target / Sunglasses: Vintage Kenneth Cole/ Bag: Thrifted / Watch: Michael Kors / Leather Wrap Bracelet: Tory Burch – similar / Lip: MAC Rebel

I’ve been on a Minnie Mouse kick recently, and when I saw this on the Shop Navette Instagram page, I knew I had to have it.  I longingly commented on their post that I wished they could ship to me in Brooklyn (they are located in Annapolis, MD), and low and behold, they could!  I jumped for joy, and have been rocking this sweatshirt ever since.  I love how it looks a little more put together when layered with a blouse for fall.

We had friends in town this weekend, and we took them upstate to hike Bear Mountain.  Little did we know, they were also having an Oktoberfest extravaganza.  We walked right into a party, and at the end of our hike, I decided it was only fair that I partake in the festivities after working so hard on the hike ;-)  We also went on a walk around the neighborhood to grab breakfast at Cafe Madeline, and had to take some photos with the fall foliage.

Back to Disney…I’m on such a Disney kick that Nico is even going to be Mickey Mouse this year for Halloween.  I’m so excited that he will be more aware of the holiday this year.  I have already tested out his fear factor to prep him for the big night by trying on silly and scary masks at the stores, and so far he seems completely interested and not at all scared.  That’s my boy.  Can’t wait to see him in his little costume.  What is everyone (and their littles) going to be for Halloween?  Would love to hear in the comments below!

Wishing you all a fantastic week!

XO,

Gina

Stay Wild

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On Nico – T-Shirt: Beckett’s Threads / Pants: Just One You Made by Carters / Shoes: Pediped – similar

Things are getting wild over here at the Notes household.  Nico took 16 steps yesterday.  SIXTEEN!  He’s still a bit unsteady, but I’m pretty sure full on walking is probably going to happen before this upcoming weekend is over.  Which means things are going to get crazy.  That being said, I do feel pretty lucky that I have a son who enjoys reading as much as Nico does.  Yes, reading Hop on Pop 20 times in one day can probably drive you a little mad.  But he is starting to take to plopping down on his own and looking through all the books.  He loves to pull them all off the shelf, and then dive into each and every one.  I wonder what he is thinking when he looks at them…if he is remembering the words that go along or he’s making up his own rhymes in his head.  Eventually he will crawl over to me with a book in hand saying “Buh!” his big brown eyes telling me he wants me to read to him.  And I oblige every time, because I never want to discourage a good habit, and because who wouldn’t want to cuddle up with this little nugget while I still can.

On another note, how cool is Nico’s tee?  Beckett’s Threads is offering a 15% discount to all my readers through Sunday night on this tee and other rad baby gear.  There are even a few items for mom as well.  Just use the code PANDA15. Hope you are all enjoying your week!

XO,

Gina

Autumn Yellow

 

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Blouse: H&M – similar / Denim: AG Jeans / Leopard Pumps: Liz Claiborne (clearance!) / Necklace: Coup de Coeur/ Sunnies: Vintage Kenneth Cole / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: Tory Burch, Baublebar / Nails: Essie Sexy Divide (amazing price!) / Lip: Lancome All Done Up

It’s definitely feeling like fall over here, which means it’s time for me to break out the darker hues and longer sleeves.  Jewel tones are my favorite for fall, and I love this topaz/mustard color yellow for the season.  It reminds of the leaves changing colors around me.

What are some of your favorite colors to wear during the autumn season?

Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

XO,

Gina

{28} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading I Am Hutterite by Mary Ann Kirby.  An inside peek into the life into a Hutterite community (similar to Amish), leaving the community, adapting to the English world, and trying to reclaim a heritage.

writing  A practice schedule for today’s soccer class this afternoon.  Since I have some free time on my hands these days and there was desire for a soccer class in the neighborhood, I have spent the last few weeks obtaining a permit from the Prospect Park office, and my class is now ready to go!  We had our first one last week, and seemed to go well, so my assistant, Nico, and I are looking forward to the next 8 weeks of soccer fun.

listening  To a lot of kid’s music.  Luckily, we have amazing bands like The Dad Beats around here which makes listening to kid’s music (somewhat) bearable.

thinking  About the next steps I want to take career-wise.  Soccer class is great, my Poshmark closet is selling well, and I love spending time with my little Nico, but still craving something a little more creative in my life on the job front (that – full disclosure – can also bring in a little more cash for the family).  I have a few ideas in mind, but still researching and will see what might come about.

smelling  I can still smell those apple cider donuts in my mind that we ate at Stakey’s Farm on Sunday.  Mmmmazing.

watching  I FINALLY watched The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  I was a big fan of the series, but wasn’t able to get to the movie theatre when this one was released.  It was everything I thought it would be.

wishing  Congratulations to Nico’s former nanny who just presented the world with a brand new baby girl last night!  So happy for her, and can’t wait to meet that baby!

hoping  To find some time to carve the amazing pumpkins we got from the patch.  I always say I want to carve, and then I rarely get around to it.

wearing  My new custom made Guilty Jean bracelet given to me as a gift from a dear friend.  The coordinates are from the place where we originally met.  Love love love it!

loving  The fact that our neighborhood is currently the set of the newest Steven Spielberg movie starring Tom Hanks.  He’s pretty much my favorite actor.  And I got to see him on set yesterday which was pretty damn amazing.  The film is also starring a friend of mine who I met on an airplane, who at the time was a soap opera actor and asked me to rehearse lines with him on the plane.  Although, I was incredibly embarrassed, I obliged because he was so nice.  He’s now making movies with Spielberg and Tom Hanks.  Way to make it big Billy Magnussen!  Can’t wait to see you rock out this film.

laughing  At how my son continuously manages to outsmart me.

wanting  A date night for the hubby and I in the near future.  It’s been too long!

needing  To figure out what I am going to be wearing to the black-tie optional wedding we are invited to this weekend!  And needing to figure out what Nico will be wearing as well.  Looking forward to seeing my cousin walk down that aisle!

feeling  So proud of my little guy who took his first steps this weekend!  He took even more yesterday, and this mama is going to be in big trouble soon!

craving  Candy corn.  I’m still wondering why we only eat this one month out of the year.

clicking  Away on career research. Thinking of making a switch up.  We shall see!

*

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.

Pattern Mixing

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Striped Top: H&M – similar here and here / Floral Skater Skirt: H&M – similar / Sparkly Flats: Nine West / Heart Tote: ban.do / Sunglasses: Vintage Kenneth Cole / Watch: Michael Kors / Necklace: Barami / Lip: MAC Snob / Nails: Essie Sexy Divide 

Here is the last of my summer outfit posts, and it’s definitely feeling like fall now.  To keep wearing these pieces into the new season, you could always throw on a pair of tights under the skirt or a blazer over the top.  I am very into getting as much use as possible out of every article of clothing in my closet for as long as I can!  I love the idea of pattern mixing, and I think it works as long as you stay in a similar color palette.  Stripes and florals are two of my favorites, so why not mix them together?

This past weekend, we took Nico to the pumpkin patch, and my what a difference from last year to this year!  He was so excited about the orange “balls” as he called them, and was crawling all around the patch exploring.  We drove out to Stakey’s Farm on the North Fork of Long Island for pumpkin picking, apple cider donuts, and a corn maze.  We also stopped off a Briermere Farm for apples and a raspberry creme pie.  One way to get me to embrace the colder weather is certainly through my stomach.

Hope you are all having a great week so far!

XO,

Gina