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

Give Forward: My Sister-in-Law, Andrea

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This post was written by my husband, Zack, in regard to his sister, Andrea, who is suffering from Parkinson’s.  I have known Andrea for over 10 years now, and have seen how this disease has affected her life.  The paragraphs below are an inside view on what it is like to live in her shoes.  The good news is that there is a very good chance that her quality of life may be able to change drastically with your help…

 

In 2005, at the age of 34, Andrea noticed an involuntary tremor in her left pinky finger. At the time, it seemed relatively insignificant. As time progressed, her whole left side became extremely weak and her left foot stopped lifting when she walked. Her step seemed to get smaller. If she did not focus on lifting her left leg, she would trip. At the same time, her left shoulder kept falling out of its socket, rendering her arm useless. More symptoms followed, including fatigue and insomnia, muscle and joint pain. Then came the dreaded shakes.

After 4 years and many second opinions, she was finally referred to a movement disorder specialist, who diagnosed her with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. As the unforgiving disease progressed, it began to affect her whole being. Her thoughts were scattered and cloudy. It became hard to focus. Her voice seemed to get quieter and quieter. Her handwriting got smaller and smaller. She frequently lost her balance and falling down stairs became commonplace. Due to Hypokinesia, or “Stone Face”, her once prevalent smile had all but disappeared and she avoided people, fearful that someone would see her shake, twitch, trip, or fall. Someone once asked her “If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?” Her answer was invisibility.

Andrea first heard about Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on TV. It’s a neurosurgical procedure, involving the implantation of a brain pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses to the brain for the treatment of movement and affective disorders. It was approved by the FDA in 2002 for Parkinson’s and has since been deemed a miracle surgery by its advocates. Initially, Andrea was skeptical and intimidated at the thought of implanting something foreign in her body. As her symptoms worsened, she came to realize that this may be her only hope for recovery. Her Doctor agreed.

With this surgery comes the promise of a new life. Her shaking and involuntary movements will likely cease, making it much easier to walk (and even run) again. Many patients also experience a reduction of muscle and joint pain. It will make it physically easier for Andrea to smile again, something most people take for granted. There are so many activities Andrea would love to do again – from a simple walk through the park with her husband and two daughters to an endless hike in the woods without worry that she will be unable to make it out alive. She used to love kayaking with the sun on her face. She dreams of regaining her confidence in social situations, no longer being afraid of embarrassment. In her own words, “I’m 43 years young and I’m tired of feeling 95. I’m excited to continue my journey in life. I hope to climb the highest mountain and scream as loud as I can that I won’t let this disease define me and take my soul. I want to be free again.”

Unfortunately, DBS is not an inexpensive surgery. It is quite costly, and Andrea is lucky to have her insurance cover all but $3000. Still, it is $3000 that she simply does not have. This is where you come in. We need your selfless donation to help Andrea get her life back. Please help us by contributing whatever you can afford.  Andrea and her family will be eternally grateful.

-Zack Notes

 

We appreciate all of those who have helped Andrea to fund her surgery so far, and we are more than halfway there to reaching our goal.  If you can find it in your heart to help, we would be extremely thankful!  It would mean the world to Andrea.

Here is the link to make a donation.

Thanks and hope you are all enjoying your week!

 

XO,

Gina

Happy 2nd Birthday to P + P

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While I was down for the count last week, my little here blog turned TWO.  It’s been a lot of fun having this little creative space, and although I’ve had less time for blogging this year, it’s still just as enjoyable for me.  Thanks for continuing to come back here day after day to read and comment and share.  Truth is, I blog for myself, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love all the support.  It makes taking the time out for a post even more worthwhile.  I would love to hear any feedback you have for the upcoming year of p + p.  If there are particular things you like or dislike, what you want to see more of, if there is something I haven’t touched on that you are interested in, etc.  Comment below!  Now, I have put together a recap of some of your favorite posts from the past year:

You enjoyed Nico’s Nursery photos:

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As well as the DIY Nursery Letters Tutorial:

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The first family dinner out after having Nico:

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A very formal affair in which I was proud to be a bridesmaid, and our first big event as a family of three:

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The time I regretted wearing white:

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But I clearly kept on wearing it anyway…like when we traveled to San Fran:

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I wore this pastel coat:

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Pops of Spring with Stella & Dot:

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I got these fantastic red rain boots from the hubs and wore them on our trip to New Hampshire:

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Spent my first Mother’s Day in Coney Island with my new Love, Lori Michelle necklace made with Nico’s initial:

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I rocked these amazing hair extensions from Irresistible Me:

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My baby turned ONE:

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And here is all the gear that got us through:

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Lastly, saying goodbye to summer (sadly):

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And there you have it folks…you’re favorite posts from the past year.  Looking forward to what the 3rd year will bring for p + p.

Speaking of birthdays…since I have been so terrible at remembering them this year (my sincere apologies to those of you, you know who you are!)…I’m taking advantage of the fact that I remembered this one today…and I want to wish a Happy 30th to my cousin and half brain, Misa.

Hope you are all enjoying the week so far!

XO,

Gina

Strawberry Sunshine

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On me – Dress: ModCloth / Shoes (1): ALDO / Shoes (2): Carrini via Hautelook / Sunnies: Amazon / Bracelet: Baublebar / Watch: Michael Kors / Lip: Lancome Red Haute

On Nico – Shirt: Carter’s / Shorts: Quad Seven

I scored this dress on sale from ModCloth at the beginning of August, and I love that it can work both for summer and fall.  I dig the retro/vintage feel of the dress in terms of the silhouette as well as the strawberry floral print.  It instantly puts me in a good mood!  I wore this a couple weeks ago for a family day in the neighborhood, and then changed my shoes for a long walk to the Prospect Park carousel and zoo.  As you can tell, Nico was a big fan of the carousel!

I am feeling SO MUCH better this week.  Thank you for all your thoughts and well wishes from my last post.  It definitely helped!  Looking forward to a busy week of catch up, and I’m planning to get outside as much as humanly possible!

XO,

Gina

Confessions of a Stir Crazy Mama

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Well, this isn’t exactly how I planned to spend my first week back as a stay-at-home mom.  Yes, you heard that right.  I am currently a stay-at-home mom again as of last Thursday…the last day of my company’s existence as we know it.  The news came as a bit of a shock in terms of the timing, although when I think about it, I’m not really surprised.  I always knew the day might come when my boss got tired of the business and would want to retire or move onto other things.  I guess I never realized I might still be around (in the company) at that point.  It’s bittersweet for me.  It’s the place that I have called my second home since moving to the Big Apple with two of the only co-workers I have ever known in this city.  I have changed so much since my beginning there as a young twenty-something, and I have learned so much about advertising, production, animation, and so many other areas I had the opportunity of dipping into during my last seven years.  I have had the chance to meet and work with some incredibly talented and amazing people, be included in fabulous events, and learn the ins and outs of an industry from a rare point of view.  I am ever grateful for the mentorship, friendship, flexibility, confidence, trust, concern, and kindness my boss has shown toward me over these last several years.  As a newcomer to NY, it can be scary to embark on a journey in such a large city, but I felt welcomed immediately and knew that I had people that I could count on in my life through my work.

It’s bittersweet, because although I am sad to leave the comfort of my job and my day-to-day relationships, this does mean I get to spend more time with my son while I figure all of this out.  I also get the chance to start fresh and maybe try something new.  I have thought about trying something new from time to time, but then I always get sucked back into the day-to-day, and I lean on the comfort of my security with where I am at.  Now, I have no excuse for not pursuing those dreams.  I don’t even necessarily know if I have figured out exactly what those dreams are…but I know have the time to soul search, dig deep into myself to figure out what I am passionate about, determine what my strengths are, and possibly marry all of that together.  I do know that I want to continue working in some way, shape, or form.  I like having a job outside of the home where I can be someone other than “Mom.”  I love being Mom, but I also love creating and thinking and producing and connecting…doing all of the other things I know I am capable of in my life and in my career.  I have enjoyed the balance in the past months since I have finished with maternity leave between home life and work life.  I think that works best for me and my family…for my sanity…for Nico to grow comfortable with others…for my husband in regard to my sanity haha.  I would like to find a way that I can continue that balance going forward.  I don’t want to rush.  I want to enjoy this extra time with my baby while I can, because I will never get it back.  And I want to make sure my future decisions are based on careful, well-thought-out, heart-and-mind-fulfilling planning.

All that being said…this is not the way I planned on spending my first week back at home.  I was super excited to take Nico out on playdates, catch up on blog posts, find some time for soul searching and career planning.  And the most I have managed is two loads of laundry in four days.  I have basically been immobile on the couch or bed, feeling like I have been hit by a ton of bricks.  I have been bound by high fevers, chills, sniffles, body aches, head throbs, and a gnarly looking sore-throat…the absolute works.  I’m not even able to care for myself, let alone a small child.  My husband had to come home from work just to take me to the doctor, because I couldn’t get there by myself with the baby (and I also didn’t want the baby in the doctor’s office with a bunch of sick people.)  It’s a miracle he hasn’t gotten sick yet, and I’m praying he doesn’t.  Turns out, I think I have strep throat, and no wonder I am so miserable.  I have not been feeling like that supermom I thought I would considering I have a full week of quality time alone with my son.  Instead, it’s me moaning on the couch while he tries to play with his toys alone, wondering why I won’t play with him.  It’s him bringing me toys and books up onto the couch, saying in his own way “come on mom, you used to be fun.”  He’s been acting out, I think in defiance to my current state of being couch ridden.  Refusing to eat his food, refusing to take his naps, and demanding milk constantly.  Yesterday was an all-time low in regard to us spending time together.  I thought I might literally go insane and found myself wishing for the day to just end so I could go to sleep and feel better, and that is just sad.

However today is a new day.  I think the meds are finally starting to kick in, and it’s the first morning I woke up feeling not 100% miserable.  I am even contemplating a walk later…if I can just get the rain to cooperate.  Nico woke me up this morning with a kiss on my cheek complete with a MMMMWAH sound, and it just melted my heart.  No matter how trying our day together was yesterday, I know that little guy has an ultimate love for me, and I have it just as much, if not more for him.  When I woke up, I knew today was going to be a better day.  And as I’m typing, Nico is taking a nap, so we are already on the right track.  Although I haven’t gotten 1/10 of the things on my “first week back list” checked off I know I just need to be patient, regain my health, keep my family happy, and everything will work itself out in the end.

XO,

Gina

Outer Banks Vacation Photos

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I can’t believe it.  The official start to fall is next week, so I thought I would end this week with some of my favorite photos from our last summer vacation to the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Hope you enjoy them, and have a great time on this last weekend of the official summer season!

We are headed to Maryland to celebrate our nephew’s 1st birthday and our friend’s child’s 3rd.  Party party!  These kids are growing up too fast!  Time for me to get to packing.

XO,

Gina

Nautical 1st Birthday Party

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Since Nico was born on Labor Day Weekend of last year, we decided to throw a little nautical themed bash to round out the summer.  The hubby and I spent the week prior crafting some decorations for the event, and I think they turned out nicely.  To create letters like the ONE shown above, check out my tutorial on the letters I created for Nico’s nursery.

My parents, sister, and her boyfriend came up from Maryland,  close friends in NY arrived, and Nico had his little buddies to hang with and jam out to the Munchkin Music Club sing-a-long.  I decided I did not want to spend the entire day in the kitchen, so we had the event catered by Fairway, and they did a phenomenal job.  I think we may have overdone it a bit…just a little bit…as we had food leftover for the entire week and then some.  The fabulous cake from Betty Bakery tasted just as good as it looked!  We appreciate everyone who came out to celebrate, and we hope you all had a great time!

XO,

Gina