End of Summer

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Romper: Target (similar here) – Also love this long-sleeved one for early fall / Sandals: Call it Spring / Sunglasses: Brickyard Buffalo / Pendant: antique heirloom / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: Tory Burch, Stella & Sparkle, Guilty Jean

Ahhhh, yesterday was the first day of fall, and while I do love all things pumpkin, I am sad to see the summer come to an official end. We had a great summer complete with lots of traveling and adventures, and this romper sure got a lot of play from the lake in the Poconos, to the playgrounds of Brooklyn, to the streets of Nashville in Tennessee, to the Jersey Shore in Cape May, down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Our first full summer as a family of four was a success! Can’t believe it’s over. We will remember it fondly, but part of me is excited to break out the boots and crush some pumpkin spice lattes.😉

Happy Fall + Happy Weekend!

XO,

Gina

{40} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  I’ve read a lot since my last Lately… post! Some of my favorites include Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins (finally read it!), Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero and No Excuses! by Brian Tracy.

writing  A workout calendar and agenda for my Lipstick + Lunges Challenge that starts TOMORROW! So excited. There’s still time to join, so feel free to comment below if you want to be included.

listening  You may think this song is terrible, but I don’t care. I love it anyway. 

thinking About how excited I am for my littlest guy who just started learning how to walk!!! If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can check it out here on my Instagram page.

smelling  The amazing food from the coffee spot I am currently sitting at writing this post. That’s right…I’m at a coffee shop…ALONE! #amazing

watching  Not much these days, but still Orange is the New Black when I’m folding laundry or need a break.

wearing  Jeans and a tank top or tee. My fav go-to uniform these days. My Mama Bird tee above can be found here along with some others you might enjoy.

exercising Been beasting out lately with Hammer + Chisel, which is mostly weights. Whew! Not so used to the constant weight lifting and the longer workout times (I’m used to getting it done in 30 minutes over here!), but after 2 weeks down I am feeling pretty strong!!! I think I’m even ready to bump up the weights a bit.

feeling  Uneasy about the recent explosion that went down yesterday in Chelsea (NYC).

wanting  Time to slow down. My boys are getting too big too quick.

needing  To decide what I am going to pack for my upcoming coach’s trip to Sundance, Utah!!! My coach is setting up a professional photo shoot for each Diamond member of our team! And of course, out of the whole trip, we are in a tizzy about what to WEAR! LOL! Typical…

loving  The hilarious and imaginative stories my 3 year old has been coming up with lately. Everything from traveling to different states by train, to being eaten by bears! He cracks me up and I love hearing what he will come up with next!

wishing  That I brought headphones to this coffee shop. But honestly. I’m not complaining. Because remember? I’m at a coffee shop…ALONE.

hoping  That I can find the Califia Farms Pumpkin Spice Latte at my local Target. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be there! I must try it.

craving  The Farmer’s Biscuit with egg, kale, and cheese at this coffee shop I’m sitting in…oh wait…craving satisfied. I’ll work that off tomorrow.😉

clicking  Over on the fall trends at my favorite go-to mama/baby/kid deal shop, Brickyard Buffalo. Obsessed with the “Sharing is Caring” tee!

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HAPPY SUNDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

Lipstick + Lunges

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TRAIN LIKE A BEAST AND LOOK LIKE A BEAUTY!!!!

It’s FREE Challenge time, and for the first time ever, I will be collaborating with Suzie Engler for LIPSTICK & LUNGES! In this 5 Day Challenge, we will focus on how you can look and feel beautiful on the inside AND out.🙂

I will be providing a progressive lunge challenge in which we will increase the number of reps each day, and I will also be sharing multiple different versions of the lunge that you can try. In 5 days, those hamstrings, quads, and glutes will be on FIRE, but you will be feeling oh so strong + sexy.

Suzie will be sharing her favorite techniques + tips + tricks for applying not only lipstick, but eye shadows, liner, and wait for it…BROWS. Boom! I know I am personally excited for that one. Her tips will be beautiful, yet simple enough that even the busy mama will have time to apply.🙂

Together we will be sharing the cohesion of how health + beauty combined are so important…not only for aging, but for your confidence too! Our hope is that you will leave our group having gained some amazing beauty/makeup tips, some lean muscle, and that feeling of confidence to rock out whatever you dream of.

We start MONDAY SEPTEMBER 19th! Please comment below if you’d like to join or message me for more details! You can also feel free to email me at gina.notes26@gmail.com.

Can’t wait! It’s gonna be so much fun!

Happy Wednesday all!

XO,

Gina

A Special Invitation

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PINCH ME PLEASE!
 
A year and a half ago, I decided to try out this “coaching thing” because I didn’t want to start a brand new job in the advertising industry spending long hours away from my little guy. I knew I would enjoy working for myself, and being able to work on my own schedule from anywhere was extremely appealing. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I figured as a former athlete and with my passion to help others that maybe it would be something I could do.
I quickly realized that this job would require hard work, but at the same time my potential was limitless…a feeling I had never TRULY felt before.
 
I became pregnant with baby #2, continued my own healthy journey and helped others to start theirs…and then I really knew this was no longer a “let’s see what happens” kind of job. This was a job that I felt was important…one that I needed and wanted to make work for my family. A job that I still enjoy waking up to do each day. I still have a long way to go on my journey, but I know that train is headed in the right direction.
 
I never realized how many people I would be able to help.
 
I never realized that I could actually get paid to do something like this.
 
I never realized how many AMAZING people I would meet.
 
And I definitely never realized I would be heading to Sundance, Utah this fall on a free trip provided to the top leaders of our team from our incredible coach.
 
This coaching job has not only allowed me to help others change their lives…with physical transformations, increased energy, happiness boosts, increased confidence, financial transformations, and more…
 
But it has given me an incredible confidence I never thought possible…and I have been able to surround myself with other hard working, bad ass women on a similar journey toward self-improvement. My team is amazing. I have realized that literally ANYONE can do this. You don’t have to be a social media rock star or a sales person (Lord, please don’t be a sales person). You don’t have to have completed your journey yet or “be where you want to be with your fitness.” My team is still learning and growing on our own journeys every day.
 
To see this invitation in my inbox last week, I am still in shock at how much has changed in the last year and a half. Back then I was a mom of an 18 month old with one on the way, out of a job, + a semi-directionless mediocre blogger who discovered my coach on the interwebs. Now, we are good friends, and she is hosting this phenomenal retreat for our team where I will reunite with other amazing ladies I have met on this journey and we will learn how to grow ourselves, grow our businesses, learn how to better help others, and have a little fun while doing it.
 
Seriously, PINCH ME! Thank you Marion for this incredible opportunity! I am counting down the days!!!!
Happy Friday everyone!
XO,
Gina

3 Week Yoga Retreat

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I was an athlete growing up, but yoga is something I discovered in my 20’s after college. Being that person who was always into cardio heavy sports like soccer and basketball, yoga was quite a switch. The quiet, calm music…having to hold balance and stay still in a position for an extended period of time. It was definitely different. But the moment I tried it for the first time, I knew I loved it. There was just something about it that made me feel AMAZING after it was all over. It was a different feeling than I had experienced from exercise before. I normally felt exhausted, tired, banged up, bruised, sore, and more after a soccer or basketball game. But after yoga I felt rejuvenated. I felt a clear mind. I felt a release of stress, tension, and anxiety. I knew that yoga would not be going anywhere in my life.
 
While living in New York, I have had the pleasure of attending amazing yoga classes from my favorite teacher Brian Williams! If you haven’t taken a punk rock yoga class before, or a class on top of a roof in this amazing city, this guy will rock your world. Seriously. I am still dreaming of taking his week long yoga retreat vacation to some beautiful, tropical location. One of these days, I will make it happen.
 
But for now…since becoming a mom, it’s nearly impossible for me to make a yoga class (or any other classes for that matter). When my older son was about 18 months, I finally decided to get back into shape by taking my workouts to the living room. I quickly found out I was pregnant with baby #2 and I was going to need something more low impact than P90X. I WISHED Beachbody had a yoga program at that time, but they didn’t. The closest thing they had was PiYo, and I absolutely loooooooooved it. This combo of pilates/yoga/cardio/sculpt/strength + Chalene Johnson will always have a special place in my heart. However, it was not truly yoga.
 
I am THRILLED that as of yesterday, Beachbody has launched a new *** 3 WEEK YOGA RETREAT *** that you can do inside your own living room!!!! This is the program I have been waiting for!!!! Now I don’t have to feel left out because I can’t make the classes, but I can do them from home. 21 different yoga workouts for 21 days. On demand, so you can not only do them at home, but wherever you need to go. Pretty amazing.
 
The super yogis will love this, but it’s even better for those just beginning or those needing a low impact workout.
 
I’m currently doing Hammer + Chisel as you may have seen from my posts yesterday, but I seriously cannot wait to rock out this yoga program as soon as I am finished! I already know that I will love it.❤
Hope you all had an awesome Labor Day Weekend! I cannot believe they are already serving pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. I am sad for the summer to end, but I do love the fall. School also starts this week for my oldest guy which is crazy! He will be in a 3’s program this year, and it will also be my first experience as a mom packing lunches! Is it weird that I oddly excited about that? I am also a bit excited to get started in our new routine. Yesterday, I was feeling all “Bring Back the Summer,” but today I think I’m embracing the new season.
 
Namaste!!!
Gina

Monkey Turns Three

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Dear Nico,

Three years ago today you came into our lives 2 weeks earlier than expected. I thought I would be going to work, but the doctor said it was time for you to make your appearance. Papa and I were freaked out and nervous but excited at the same time. It took probably 36 hours or so before you finally arrived, but there you were. So tiny and fragile, my little monkey.

You changed my world the very minute you arrived. I learned about unconditional love and how fiercely I could love another human being. I learned that being a mom is hard…like REALLY hard…like how did no one ever tell me it would be THIS hard?! But it’s also the most rewarding job I have ever had in my entire life.

I have watched you grow over these past three years into an incredible little human. Everything you choose to do you do it full out with 110% effort. There is no holding back. You go all in…always. You are so intelligent, always seeking knowledge and answers. Reading books is one of your favorite things to do, and I know that will be such a huge asset in your future. You have a wild sense of adventure like your Papa, but you also approach situations with caution like myself.

You may drive me crazy sometimes, especially when you are tired and don’t want to nap, but you also make me melt into a puddle when you are sweet to your little brother or you hug me tight.

I seriously cannot believe you are three years old today. This is the year you go from toddler to little boy. You are growing and changing and becoming more and more independent each day. It makes me sad to lose my little baby, but I’m so proud of all your new accomplishments and achievements and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Sweet Little Monkey, Nico Bonzo! Mama and Papa love you SOOOOOOOO freakin’ much.

XOXO,

Mama

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Happy 1st Birthday Luca

Baby Luca Has Arrived

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My Luca Bear. I cannot even believe my little baby is ONE today!!! It feels like you were born yesterday, but that also you have been here forever. When we got the news of my pregnancy with you, I thought for sure you would be the crazy one. Your brother was a pretty awesome baby, and I thought there is no way we could get two awesome babies. You kept me up all night kicking my belly during my pregnancy…and I guess the whole keeping me up thing hasn’t really changed haha, but aside from that (and the fact that you occasionally bite me…ouch dude, you should really probably stop that), you are pretty much the most awesome baby ever. Just sayin’. Like AWESOME.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine such a cool, chill, laid-back, patient child would arrive in my arms. I suppose I have your father to thank for that! It’s tough being the 2nd child. I’m not a 2nd child myself, so it was hard to imagine until you came along. Sorry little sis. But yeah, in this past year I have seen how hard it can be. Your older brother getting tons of attention, following his schedule…you along for the ride…mostly dragged along, woken up from naps constantly, pushed around, toys stolen. Of course there are the hugs too (mostly too tight). We kept a book of all your brother’s milestone moments, but we were too busy and stressed to create yours. But you honestly have handled everything like a champ…and with the BIGGEST SMILE!!!!

You rarely complain, you are incredibly patient, you go with the flow, and again with that smile!!! You are ALWAYS smiling. Like the happiest baby on the planet. I don’t think you even really cried for like the first 6 months of life. Not really. You truly made becoming a mother for the 2nd time a much easier process than I had anticipated.

A year ago today, you arrived in my arms and it was love at first sight. I knew how hard I could love a human being because I had your brother, so when you came, it was just instant. I knew I would love you just as much. And my love has kept growing throughout this past year.

I love the way you light up and crawl toward me when I come into the room with your little one legged crawl.

I love how your eyes smile along with your mouth…your Irish eyes are always smiling.

I love the way you snuggle your head on my shoulder when I sing to you before bedtime.

I love how independent you are with feeding yourself, and it’s seriously impressive how much you can eat.

I love how interested you are in animal sounds, dancing, drawing, my workouts, + the ABC song.

I love the way you push cars around a room and say “Broom Broom!” like you are having the time of your life.

I love the way you are always happy to see your brother even though he can sometimes be a butthead to you. You forgive him every time.

I love how when you say “Papa” it’s always in a whisper.

I love your sense of humor and that belly laugh that erupts whenever I show you a silly face.

I love those crazy curls on your head that no matter how many times I brush them, they pop up in a mohawk style.

My Luca Bear. Luca Dukes. Dukes. Goose. You have made our world so incredibly happy. You bring so much joy to our family and I seriously cannot imagine what life would be like without you in it. Apparently this birthday means you are a toddler now, but I don’t believe it. You still seem SO tiny to me (and maybe that’s because you are), but you are still my little baby, and I don’t see that changing for awhile. I am constantly amazed at the new things you accomplish on a daily basis and while I want to really keep you my baby forever, I am also excited to see you learn and grow even more in this next year.

Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet little angel baby. I love you to the moon and back again.

Love,

Mama

Let the Countdown Begin

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This photo was taken 2 years ago at our last family trip to the Outer Banks. Nico was almost 1 year old, and I was so excited to bring him there for the first time. You see, the Outer Banks is like a second home. My parents grew up vacationing here, and then I grew up with my sister and cousins vacationing here. My uncle lived here for 25+ years, and my cousin also calls this place home. We have family friends here, we know our way around, we have our favorite restaurants, beach spots, shops, and traditions we keep. We spend long days here lounging in sand or playing corn hole on the beach. We ride the waves and sit in chairs getting lost in conversation until we realize we are halfway in the ocean lol. We go for jogs and walks down to the pier and back. We spend our evenings with a quick dip in the pool then off to celebrating summer birthdays, dining on restaurant seafood + home cooked pasta and meatballs, and mingling with family. Our late nights are spent here playing board games, drinking wine and playing guitar/singing out on the deck. It’s the one time of year where my entire family gathers to be together at once. We may need more than one house to fit all of us there, but we make it happen and we create the best memories.

I’m sure many of you have a place like this that is so special for you and your family. What is that place for you???

As I think about our upcoming trip to the OBX in 4 days, I think about my little Luca…who is the age and size that Nico was in this photo. I am excited for him to experience all of this for the first time, and happy that Nico may even be old enough to carry some of the memories home with him (and maybe some seashells too).

I may be raising little city kids up here in Brooklyn, but they sure as heck will be OBX beach babes every summer.

Counting down – 4 days ’til OBX fam

XO,

Gina

Belvedere Sparkle

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Dress: Vijiv via Amazon Fashion (I know. I can’t believe it either. Amazing, right? Just wait ’til you see the price!) / Shoes: Nina / Bracelet and Earrings: Gifted / Sunglasses: Vintage / Lip: MAC Up the Amp / Bag: Old, cheap, and don’t remember! Oops! – But LOVE this one here

TGIF!!! Every Friday deserves a little SPARKLE!

Can you believe I seriously found this dress on Amazon? Like PRIME, 2-day shipping Amazon. With 3 weddings in June, I needed some fancy dresses quick, and I was happy to say that Amazon did NOT disappoint! As surprised as I was to find this gorgeous number, I am actually obsessed with this dress, and wish I had a million more occasions that I could wear it to!

This occasion in particular was the beautiful wedding of a fantastic couple and long-time friend. It was held at the classy establishment The Belvedere in Baltimore, Maryland. This classic, fancy, old-style venue seemed like the perfect opportunity for a flapper dress.

That being said…we rocked out the night to a Bruce Springsteen cover band (who was amazing) all night long! I think it was the busiest dance floor in that I’ve seen in my wedding guest history (and I have been to a lot of weddings!) The energy was plentiful and the dance floor was PACKED the whole night through.

Honestly?!?!?!?! I think the venue had some trouble getting us out of the building!!! It was as if we were at a real-live concert and the lights came on to kick us out, but everyone just screamed ENCORE!!! Pretty cool if you ask me.

SUCH a fun night, and I’m looking forward to posting more photos from their wedding soon!

Tomorrow, we are having a joint birthday party for both Nico + Luca!! Their birthdays aren’t until the end of the month, but we will be on vacation, so we wanted to do something at home with our friends in the neighborhood and any family that could come to town. We are doing a LEGO theme this year and we have been busy building over here this morning! I seriously cannot believe Nico will be 3 and Luca will be 1 already. It’s like I snapped my fingers and 3 years have gone by. They always tell you it will happen that way, but it’s hard to imagine when you are living it! The days are slow but the years are too quick!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

XO,

Gina

The Best Message

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I got a message from one of my challengers this morning:

“I’ve noticed some positive changes since I started P90X3 – definitely more peppy and happy when I walk into work and also feel less stressed and anxious about doing chores at the house. Also getting hungrier. I was a little later than usual this morn cuz granola wasn’t gonna cut it I needed real food – ham, eggs, cheese toast.”

You won’t believe it, but this challenger is my HUSBAND! I have been a coach now for 20 months and while he has been super supportive of me building my business, he has yet to try a program himself. I admit my jaw dropped to the floor last week when he told me he was going to give the program a shot. You see I had tried for what felt like forever, but it just goes to show that you just have to be ready to make that commitment. Even if I was ready for him to try it, he would not have been successful without making the decision himself. He’s now on Day 4 and rocking out each workout with enthusiasm. I can’t wait to see his progress the next 3 months!

In addition, it’s amazing to know that as a coach you not only are able to help people reach their goals, but that you are able to make a difference right in your own household with your own family. His decision to improve his health and fitness will have an impact on our future together. His goal is to ride his bike into his old age…to be able to play with his grandchildren. Now it may seem like that is pretty far off at this point, but really it’s not. Every step you take in life will get you a little bit closer to that goal. And I want to be climbing mountains with him and traveling the world together ’til we are old and gray.

So proud of you babe. Looking forward to growing together, continuing to make positive changes and living a healthy lifestyle for our future and for our children’s future. Keep up the great work Zack!

XO,
Gina