Transformation Tuesday: 21 Day Fix Round 2

21DF Results Compare Side

Transformation Tuesday!

During my 2nd Round of the 21 Day Fix I lost 2 more pounds and 5.25 more inches. So from Day 1 to Day 42, I lost a total of 6 lbs and 12 inches.

It may not seem like much in terms of weight, but my photos show that you can’t just go by the scale! You can really see a difference (at least I think so) in the before/after shots. I can also definitely feel things have changed in the way my clothes fit. Those pre-pregnancy jeans are now feeling comfortable and not so super tight.

My journey is not over, but I am making progress and that’s what counts! It took me 9 months to carry that little baby to term, and it has only been 3 months postpartum. So I am feeling good and happy and strong with where I am today.

I indulged a little more than I had planned over the Thanksgiving holiday, but hey…that’s also part of why I’m working so hard right? To enjoy! Plus Round 3 started yesterday, and I am back on track for the month of December! Going to be hard to fight off some of those holiday temptations, but the best part about this plan is that it allows some treats! :-)

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I am SO incredibly grateful and thankful for my family and friends. I am also thankful for all of you lovely readers who keep coming back here each day. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!



Leaves Fall Down







Floral Wrap Cardigan: Target / Embroidered Tank: Target / Denim: AG Jeans / Fringe Booties: Target (old) – similar / Beaded Bracelets: Guilty Jean / Gold Bangle: Gifted – Engraved with “Today my matron of honor, forever my best friend.”

Things you don’t have time for when you have two children…1) Styling your hair (I somehow managed a blow dry that day, but let me tell you it’s rare, and 2) Ironing your shirt. I have to admit, it didn’t even look wrinkled to me when I left that house, but these photos are proving otherwise! I would say that I am embarrassed, but at the same time the odds of me managing to actually iron it and get out the door for our Friendsgiving event would have been slim to none. So I’m just going to own my un-ironed, wrinkled shirt and chalk it up to motherhood.

Friendsgiving was fantastic with our old Manhattan crew who is slowly moving out of the city (sadface). We met in Jersey and Nico actually had a little playmate this year as our friends have a son as well and they were both old enough to interact this year (and also have extreme meltdowns in tandem…well played boys, well played.) We shared a lovely meal, some wine, games, and conversation as we caught up with each other on life. I think we are going to need to make it a habit to do things like this more often.

The following day was spent out on Staten Island celebrating a cousin’s after-wedding brunch. Congrats cousin!! Much of my close family including my parents and grandmother (who is celebrating a birthday today!) were in town so it was great to be able to see everyone on our turf this time. It was also a lot of fun to catch up with our Staten Island cousins and have them meet the kiddos.

This week is a busy one as we are leaving town next week, so grinding it out and getting things done!

Lastly, I would like to announce the WINNER of the Chalk It Up Giveaway! Drumroll please….ANGELA!

Yes, my very own sister. I promise I picked out of a hat!

CONGRATULATIONS little sis! Thanks for being a loyal reader of p + p and a lover of beautiful chalk designs. Kristyn will be reaching out to you to shortly.

A BIG thank you to everyone who participated!



Chalk It Up


Now that my home office is up and running, I have been looking for some custom art to spice up the walls and make it feel more like my own comfortable, motivating work space. I am SUPER excited about this new custom piece I have added to the room created by Kristyn of Chalk It Up. She creates beautiful designs and quotes using chalk markers on handmade chalkboards, wood stumps, canvas, glass, or anything else you can imagine.

Kristyn started her business by chance as her cousin was getting married, and they asked her to make a chalkboard sign. She had never completed one before, but she decided to take on the challenge. She knew she had a talent for drawing, but never thought it could turn into something like this! Guests at the wedding were very complimentary of her work, friends encouraged her, and she realized she had something here. Thus, Chalk It Up was born!

Her pieces are fabulous for events or weddings, can be used as home decor, a monthly baby board, and they also make for excellent gifts. With the holidays right around the corner, this could also be the perfect opportunity to add some Christmas or Chanukah sparkle to your home or to someone else’s!

She creates custom work and is happy to collaborate with you or also get creative herself. I had a few style ideas in mind for my office, but Kristyn came up with this concept and the font all on her own. I was super impressed, and she was such a pleasure to work with!

Working from home has gotten even better and prettier!

Now for the exciting part…Kristyn is offering a GIVEAWAY to one of my loyal popcorn and pandas readers!!! One of you can win a custom piece of artwork of your own to use for any upcoming event, to decorate your home, or to present as a gift to a friend or family member. The options are endless.

To enter you must:

1. Be a follower of popcorn and pandas & comment below on what type of chalkboard you dream about winning

2. Like Chalk It Up on Facebook

3. Share this Giveaway on your Facebook Page

Winner will be announced Tuesday November 17th!

Good luck!



{36} Lately…


Lately I’ve been…

reading  Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar on creativity and inspiration in business. It’s one that I have wanted to read for awhile having worked in the animation industry for 8 years. Now with running my own business, I figured it would be a good read.

writing  Content for my next team call I am leading for my coaches on time management. So many people ask how the heck I have time to do everything that I do…I am no magic fairy. I have the same amount of time as everyone else. Some days I have it together…and some days I am a crazy person. It’s all about prioritizing, making the most of your time, and nixing things in life that are huge time wasters!

listening  To the rain falling down on my window pane…and also, the laundry machine.

thinking About the holidays. Can’t believe it’s all right around the corner. Although it can be stressful at times, it’s definitely my most favorite time of the year.

smelling  You don’t want to know…but I have two kids in diapers at home…so take a wild guess. (GROSS, Gina!) I know, but that is my life ;-)

watching  I don’t watch a ton of TV anymore, but I do allow myself a bit here and there. I have been watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix, and I am a fan!

wishing  A lifetime of happiness for my BFF who got married last weekend. And for my cousin who is saying “I do” on Saturday.

hoping  For sunshine tomorrow.

wearing  Another pair of jeans from my pre-pregnancy closet. SCORE! Loving this 21 Day Fix! Also a flowy top, striped cardigan, and red rainboots.

loving  This personalized bar necklace from Brickyard Buffalo. Thinking about this as an updated “Mommy Necklace” to have both of my boys close to my heart.

wanting  A raincoat. I can’t believe I have lived in NYC for over 8 years now, and have never owned a raincoat. What is wrong with me? What do you all think of this one?

needing  Some hot tea with honey. It’s feeling like fall today.

feeling  Energized. Healthy. Strong.

craving  Something sweet. Hence why it’s time to go make that hot tea with honey.

clicking  Through some healthy recipes and yoga moves for my upcoming Namaste November Free Challenge. There is still time to join if you are interested! Let me know in the comments below.



What have you been up to lately?



Namaste November


Happy Monday!!!

It’s FREE Challenge Group time!!! And this month, I am going to mix things up a bit with a NAMASTE NOVEMBER CHALLENGE!

Many of us have a LOT of stress coming up with the holidays…lots of parties to prep and plan for, lots of unhealthy comfort foods at every event, holiday shopping, decorating, you name it. I wanted to take this next week prior to all the craziness to just DECOMPRESS and CHILL OUT a bit.

Join me starting November 16th for a YOGA inspired challenge where we will come together for some low impact exercise, inspiration, healthy festive recipes, and tips for how to carve out time for physical and mental wellness during the chaos of the holiday season.

If this sounds like something you would enjoy or even if this is something brand new and outside the box for you, I would love to include you! Simply comment below with your e-mail address or e-mail me at It’s going to be a fun week and will hopefully allow us to enter the holiday season this year with a little less crazy.




Fall Fever







Plaid Button Down: Old Navy / Sweater: Target / Denim: Rag and Bone / Booties: Target / Necklace: H&M / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: Tory Burch, Stella & Sparkle / Earrings: Stella & Dot

Hey gang! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve done a fashion post. Trust me, it’s not because I haven’t wanted to! It’s just that with working at home with two little ones these days, it’s hard enough to get DRESSED in clothing outside of athletic wear let alone have the time to have PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE that I got dressed haha. But alas, a wonderful friend of mine recently moved to NYC with her fiance, and they made the trek out to Brooklyn to see us for brunch this past weekend. I decided this was a great opportunity to, you know…put on real clothes, swipe on some makeup, and actually blow dry my hair for once! ;-) Not that she cared how I looked when I showed up, but it’s the little things people, it’s the little things! So, thank you Tissy! It was a gorgeous fall day for a neighborhood stroll, and we ended the evening with Halloween festivities later that night!

This week is going to be a crazy one as we are leaving for Maryland on Wednesday night to spend the weekend there celebrating one of my BFF’s getting married! So excited for our first night out without the kids since Luca was born, although also slightly anxious…even though I know they will be in good hands with family. Going to do my best to stay on track with Round 2 of the 21 Day Fix this week as well amidst the craziness.

Hope you are all starting this week off right!



Homemade Apple Butter


After our recent trip to Fishkill Farms, I knew that this was going to be the perfect opportunity to finally make homemade apple butter this season. With fresh organic apples from the farm and a recipe from Skinnytaste, I decided to spend a Sunday afternoon making this delicious spread that reminds me of my childhood days. I was nervous with how it was going to turn out, but I have to say, it was pretty spot on!


  • 6 large apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped (honeycrisp, gala, ambrosia) – *I used a couple extra apples and the apple type was whatever we found at the farm
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, not packed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg – *For all the spices, I had an Apple Pie spice that I used instead which had these ingredients


Place the apples in a slow cooker. Top with sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and mix well. Cover and cook high 5 hours, or low 10 hours, stirring once halfway, until the apples are tender and dark brown.

Uncover and puree with an immersion blender. *(I do not own an immersion blender, so I actually had to spoon it out and blend it in my regular blender…not really recommended, as it’s hot and this is a difficult procedure! However, it got the job done.) Cook on high uncovered 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Spoon into jars or containers, cover and refrigerate.

Makes 2 cups.

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Nico has been enjoying peanut butter and apple butter sandwiches for lunch as I did as a child, and he absolutely loves it! I have enjoyed some on toast as well. If you have other great ideas for how to enjoy apple butter, please share!

Hope you all had a fantastic Halloween last night. My boys dressed up as Curious George (Nico) and the Man in the Yellow Hat (hubby). Luca was a skeleton (with a pumpkin hat), and I was a panda (naturally). We enjoyed our neighborhood Halloween Parade, which was fabulous, and then took off for some Trick or Treating. Nico had his first candy this year, and had no idea what to do with a lollipop. It was a pretty funny experience to say the least. We let him have a few pieces…and then my husband and I had a few too many pieces…and now I need to GET IT ALL OUT OF MY HOUSE!

21 Day Fix Round 2 starts tomorrow as well as my Thankful for Fitness Challenge Group, and it’s healthy eating and living from here on out so that I am going into the holidays feeling happy, healthy, and strong.

Who’s with me?

Happy Sunday!



Transformation Tuesday: 21 Day Fix Post-Pregnancy


Remember this photo? This was me at 38 weeks pregnant, right before my little Luca decided to make his grand entrance! As most of you know, I was active throughout the majority of my pregnancy (aside from some 1st trimester morning sickness days and at the very end, I admit I was starting to lose some mobility!) I did feel a huge difference this time around in regard to my health and fitness compared to my last pregnancy. While I did walk a ton with my son, Nico, I definitely did not do any other strength activity as I did this time around. I managed to complete the entire PiYo program (combo of pilates/yoga), dabbled in some Turbo Jam (dance/kickboxing) and even CIZED it Up (hip hop dance) while 34+ weeks pregnant! It was a lot of fun, and I am so glad I did. I also think it helped me in regard to labor and delivery (which went super smoothly), recovery (which was quick), shedding a lot of baby weight, and being able to jump back into things quickly after.

I suppose that also has something to do with having a toddler. Toddlers do not exactly let you sit around and REST ;-)

So combined with a healthy-ish diet, walking around Brooklyn, and chasing my toddler, and nursing my newborn, I was able to shed 20 lbs of baby weight after 6 weeks post-partum.

I was very eager to get active again, and I decided to start with the 21 Day Fix Program that is so well-known and loved in my industry. After seeing challenger after challenger have success with this program and continue a healthy lifestyle going forward, I thought this would be the perfect way to not only kickstart my fitness journey again, but really get my nutrition in check for the long haul. The portion control containers REALLY opened my eyes to what I was eating on a daily basis and what I SHOULD be eating. I did eat well throughout most of my pregnancy…but you know…those pregnancy cravings…

I dove into the 21 Day Fix full force planning out my meals for the week and pressing play I was very determined to stay on track, and I am happy with the end result. I do have to remember that it took me 9 MONTHS to look the way I did when I was carrying Luca, so of course things are not all magically going to go back to normal after 21 days. It’s all about progress, not perfection. But I am happy to say that it’s working, and I am on my way back to my healthy, fit self again.

21DF Oct 5 Before After Front

21 DF Oct Before After Side

The “Before” photos were taken 6 weeks post-partum, and the “After” shots were taken on Sunday…21 days later. 4 pounds and 6.25 inches may not seem like a lot to some, but on my short frame, it’s actually quite a lot. And trust me…it was NOT easy for me to share these. Although I live my life on social media…I am still embarrassed and shy about putting something like this out where I don’t necessarily feel comfortable in my own skin just yet. But I think it’s important to show that it is a process, and if you keep at it, you will reach your goals. It’s only been 21 days, and I know this is not a huge transformation, but I still have work to do. Hopefully I will be able to incorporate more ab exercises back in soon (as I have ab separation from my pregnancy and cannot do crunches, etc.) I am planning on doing another round of the 21 Day Fix starting up November 2nd, and I’m already planning out my programs for the new year.  Who’s with me? Comment below with your e-mail, and I would be happy to send you more info!

I thought it would be terribly difficult to get my workout in with two little ones and working from home, but all it takes is a commitment. It’s all a mindset, and if you make yourself a priority for 30 minutes each day, you will get it done.

Hope you are all having an awesome week so far!



Fishkill Farms


I look forward to the fall and harvest season every year. So yeah, maybe I’m basic and I like pumpkin spice lattes. At least I own it. But before my coffee drinking days growing up, I always loved the fall. The new school year was always exciting to me…starting fresh (with brand new school supplies…am I the only dork who was obsessed with school supply shopping? I craved it!), seeing my friends again or meeting new ones, football games, tailgates, parties, social events, soccer season…I loved all of it. And now as a mama, I look forward to the excitement on my little boys’ faces (or at least one of them this year…the other slept in the carrier the whole time) as they run toward the pumpkin field. Those big, bright eyes lighting up when I tell him he can pick one out for himself to bring home. His joy brings ME joy, and I love seeing him so happy and running free in the great outdoors.

We had a fantastic time upstate at Fishkill Farms where we not only got to pick out a pumpkin for each member of the family (and some extra exciting indoor white pumpkins for mama), but we also got to explore the apple orchards and run around from tree to tree looking for delicious fruit to take home and dream about what to make with them. Speaking of…stay tuned for an apple butter post in the near future! ;-)

It was a little hectic getting inside the farm with the traffic…definitely not rainbows and butterflies…more like milk and tears and stopping along the side of the road to nurse. But that’s life these days and as crazy as it may be, it was worth getting in there and seeing that little boy’s smile.


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What are your favorite fall traditions?

Yesterday, Nico and I did pumpkin painting for the first time which he thoroughly enjoyed. I am looking forward to doing some more fall and holiday themed art projects with him throughout the season.

Yesterday also kicked off Week 3 of the 21 Day Fix for me. Haven’t missed a day yet and going strong. Really loving being back in action, and this program is keeping my nutrition in check on a whole different level than ever before.  I may even do another round when this is over!

Hope you are all having a great week!



Numbers on a Scale

yes...i'm being serious...

Can you believe this health & fitness coach does not even own a scale?

“Is she serious?”

Yes, I’m serious.

Does this make me crazy?

I’ve never been a numbers girl, and quite frankly I never really wanted to get hung up on numbers on a scale. In the past 8 years since living on my own, I have only weighed myself at the doctor’s (or occasionally in a friend’s bathroom). In my opinion, it’s about how you look and about how you feel about yourself…not about a number on a scale.

That being said…since I started the 21 Day Fix and my post-pregnancy weight loss journey, I have to admit I am a tad curious about all the work I am putting in here! I am thinking I might cave in and get a scale just to see my end result at the end of the 21 Days.

And I promise not to be one of those people who stresses about checking every day, because like I said before, that is not what is most important. Health & fitness is an overall feeling and a lifestyle, and I do not want a lifestyle where I am obsessively checking my numbers each day. So I will buy a scale (recommendations welcome because I don’t even know where to start), check once, make a note, and tuck it away until further notice…

Curious, how often do you weigh yourself?

Hope you all are having a great week!