Maya Kaimal

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Well, it might be April, but it still feels like winter in NY. As we were driving down to sunny Charleston, SC last week, it was SNOWING up here in NY. Crazy!!! With the cold weather around here, these Everyday Dals by Maya Kaimal have been on heavy rotation!!

Not only are they delicious and comforting, but they are organic, non GMO, kosher, vegan, plant based, gluten-free, and get this…SO EASY to make! Which is perfect for this busy mama.

These amazing Indian dishes are tasty on their own, and they are also incredible on top of a bed of basmati brown rice. Such a great, healthy alternative to Indian take-out. They packed with flavor, spice, and nutrition as well.

My favorite flavor combinations are the Red Lentil with Butternut Squash + Cumin as well as the Kidney Beans with Carrots + Tamarind, but honestly? All 5 flavors are amazing and flavorful. Hubby is obsessed with them as well!

Right now, they are available at Thrive Market and at Jewel locations in Chicago…but they are making their way to more in-store locations soon!

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Before I tried these Everyday Dals, I was already obsessed with the Chickpea Chips from Maya Kaimal AND their sauces (Tikka Masala and Butter Masala are SO good!) Katherine, from Maya Kaimal also sent over both their Chickpea and Naan Chips in many flavors and we have been healthy snacking like crazy over here, oh my goodness, YUM! Thanks, girl! I have to hide them from the rest of the family, so they don’t demolish them before I can get to ’em! Haha.

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This week I am catching up on life after Spring Break vacation down in Maryland and Charleston, SC. We had such a wonderful trip which I will detail here on the blog soon, but I am totally exhausted from the last few days of driving. Yesterday was spent trying to get back into our normal routine, and there is still a ton of unpacking to be done over here.

I hope you all are having a great week so far, and crossing my fingers for some warmer spring-like weather here in our future!

XO,

Gina

Baby Notes #3 Reveal

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Oh my gosh, you guys. The reveal day is finally here!!! I have been waiting to share (and find out myself) for so long! Lemme tell you, holding onto that envelope for 2 weeks while Zack was out of town was not easy! Haha. But our props finally arrived, Zack came home, and Saturday was go time. We headed to Prospect Park with Tyler Lyons on Saturday evening around sunset to capture our reveal and our reactions along with the news. It was a beautiful evening, and we are so happy for our little Baby Notes on the way!

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Your guesses on Facebook and Instagram massively skewed toward girl. I honestly went back and forth each trimester thinking something different. Of course, I found this soccer ball reveal prop on Etsy, and I just HAD to use it being a soccer player and now that my boys love the sport as well. My neighbor was the first one to find out since she purchased the soccer ball for me to use for this shoot. Okay…keep scrolling to find out if you guessed it right!!!

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It’s a BOY!!!! Another Brother! #boysonlyclub

Oh my gosh. You should have seen poor little Nico’s face. He was CERTAIN it was going to be pink, and he was in SUCH a state of shock. I felt a little bad that we hyped up this reveal a little too much, because apparently he really got into it! He was hoping for a sister…That said, one day later, and he was back to being super excited again about his little baby on the way!

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So I had an extra ball ordered, because I wasn’t sure how easy they were going to be to break open, and I was a little nervous myself or one of the kids would break it before we actually got to take our photos! LOL. I will say that this thing was STURDY as a rock. I had to kick is really hard (and my foot actually hurt haha), so I don’t think buying two was necessary. But that said, we had an extra one, so we let Nico throw it down to take a few more photos once we knew we were having a little BOY! It took him about 4 throws before he could get it to break, but he finally got it!

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The official sonogram pic that the sono tech had put in an envelope for me. Yup. No doubt about that anatomy haha.

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Can’t believe I’m gonna be a #boymom for life!!! Wow! Another little monkey will be joining this crazy crew in August!

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Thank you Tyler Lyons for capturing this special family moment for us! It was so much fun!

Tyler also snagged a video for us from his phone, and I edited a little something together as well if you want to watch the action.

Thank you all for your patience! I know I was driving some of you crazy making you all wait this long to find out haha. One person even said they thought we were having twins because of all the hype hahaha. NO. I guess I have always just loved a big production. 😉

To see the reveals we did in the past for Nico and Luca you can check them out here (Nico’s) and here (Luca’s).

Thanks for all the love and I feel so incredibly blessed right now! ❤ ❤ ❤

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

XO,

Gina

Thirteen Journeys

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Today I am honored to share my story as part of the Thirteen Fit Apparel 13 Journeys campaign!!

My story is about an athlete. It’s about motherhood. It’s about challenges. It’s about entrepreneurship. It’s about hard work. It’s about priorities. It’s about putting your mind to something and accomplishing it.

I hope that something within my journey can connect or resonate with you today. We are all on our own journey toward becoming our #ultimateself, and I continue to work on mine every single day.

Thank you to Paige Festa for including me on this project, to the 12 other inspiring individuals who are also sharing their journeys in these next few weeks, and to Jocelyn Bold Photography for capturing the photos from this shoot.

Full story can found over at Thirteen Fit Apparel! Hope you can check it out!

Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina

 

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Red Carpet Picks 2018

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Okay! Here we have it. My top picks for the Red Carpet 2018! Sorry for the delay. It’s been a crazy week around here. They aren’t in order, but I just had to start with this shimmering goddess, Jennifer Lawrence, in Dior. Seriously, does she look like a star or what? As you will see below, many sparkling metallics made the list this year!

 

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The Black Panther star, Lupita Nyong’o, slaying it in this golden Versace gown.

 

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Gal Gadot pulling off Hollywood glam in this gorgeous flapper-style dress by Givenchy.

 

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Allison Williams, of the movie “Get Out” (have you seen this one yet, you guys? If not, it’s a must!) wearing Armani Privè Couture and looking beautiful.

 

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Best Actress nominee, Margot Robbie, wearing an incredible Chanel gown that took over 600 hours to make! That 3d crystal garland? Winning!

 

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Nicole Kidman always looks amazing on the red carpet and this year’s royal blue Armani Privè gown and it’s giant bow did not disappoint!

 

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My girl and Birthday Twin, Sandra Bullock, looking shimmery and chic in Louis Vuitton.

 

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Pretty in pink, Saoirse Ronan of “Lady Bird” looking super sweet in Calvin Klein on the red carpet.

 

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Let’s not forget the dudes! Armie Hammer looking fly in Giorgio Armani despite being in bed with the stomach flu the night before. I never would have guessed!

 

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Common looking handsome on the red carpet in an Armani suit with Tiffany & Co. watch and pin.

 

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While these next two might not be my personal favorite looks, you cannot deny these two made some head’s turn. Rita Moreno rocked the same black and gold dress that she wore on the red carpet in 1962 where she won an Oscar for “West Side Story.”

 

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No pants? No problem. St. Vincent making a statement in Saint Laurent. Does she remind anyone else of Lady Gaga or is it just me?

 

Okay, that’s a wrap, you guys. Now I want to hear YOUR favorites! Post them below!

Hope you’re having a great week!

XO,

Gina

Go With Your Gut

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Through my journey as an online health + fitness coach, I am always reading, researching, and discovering new things in the health + wellness world…especially when it comes to nutrition. Last year I became obsessed with kombucha…not only because I think it tastes amazing, but because it has so many live probiotics and healing properties for your gut. My obsession with kombucha led down me a path to learn even more about gut health and other ways to improve it. I put together a Facebook LIVE video where I talked all about it, but I really wanted to put something down in writing as well for a quick reference.

Healing your gut allows your body to build a stronger immune system and produce the right kind of bacteria to fight off infection. All diseases begin in your gut, and restoring your gastrointestinal system can have major effects on your ENTIRE body. It not only affects your immune system, but also your mood, memory, digestion, and more. Certain bacteria can affect vitamin and mineral absorption, hormone regulation, and also eliminate toxins.

Some symptoms of a poor gut include abdominal pain, bloating, reflux/gas, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, and immune weakness. On the flip side, probiotic foods with healthy bacteria are helpful to make you feel great, slim down and be on the offense against infection. Prebiotic foods are also great as these are foods that probiotics thrive on. I will go into more details on these below.

So without further ado, here are 15 foods for a healthier GUT:

1) Yogurt – Yogurt is full of probiotics, or live active cultures. It doesn’t really matter if it’s Greek, regular, full fat, non-fat, etc. They are all pretty great for that belly. There are also some great dairy-free options (made with coconut, almond, etc) that are packed with probiotics as well. For myself, I try to look for a brand with a low amount of sugar, because this is definitely a food product where many brands sneak in those extras sugars. One of my favorite brands that is also low in sugar is Siggi’s!

2) Kefir – Similarly packed with probiotics, this is drinkable yogurt and has a bit of a tangy flavor. Check out this one by Maple Hill. Many brands of Kefir are also 99% lactose free for those with lactose issues.

3) Kombucha – I touched on this earlier as the gateway drug to my gut health research ;-), but kombucha is a probiotic tea that is both carbonated and tangy. It’s made with a natural bacteria and yeast that have fermented. You can make it from home if you can find the “scoby” to do so, but I personally love the brands Health-Ade and Brew Dr. – Pink Lady Apple tastes like sparkling apple cider! I have seen kombucha come into question many times for pregnant women, because of a couple reasons. 1) technically since it’s naturally fermented it can have trace amount of alcohol in it and 2) it’s raw, not pasteurized in order to salvage the healthy beneficial bacteria. Now, the alcohol part doesn’t really bother me as I’ve never gotten drunk off kombucha, let’s be real. But the raw part does make me a little nervous to be honest to drink while pregnant. I’ve always been told to avoid these types of raw foods while pregnant, and have decided to skip it at least in my first trimester, and I haven’t fully decided about the rest. I have seen and heard many people enjoy kombucha during their pregnancy, and I feel it’s just a personal choice much like eating sushi, certain cheese, etc. while pregnant. At the end of the day, I think it’s important to speak with your doctor and make a decision that you feel is right for you and your baby. That all said…kombucha is probably one of my fav things on this list, and if you haven’t tried it, you must!

4) Kimchi – This spicy Korean cabbage is made with lactic acid fermentation and does wonders for the belly! It’s a staple at many Korean meals, and you can find it at many health food stores and groceries these days or make it yourself! I’m not super big on spicy foods, but if I were, I would try this kind from Ozuke!

5) Miso Paste – Miso paste is made from aged fermented soybeans and can be used to make miso soup, on fish, or in a stir fry. It does have a high sodium content, so just be aware of your intake!

6) Sauerkraut – This chopped cabbage has been pickled in brine. There are tons of beneficial probiotics found in this dish which has been around forever. Look for sauerkraut that is located in the refrigerated section rather than jarred or canned at room temperature, because that is where the live, raw bacteria will be kept thriving and better help that gut. Bubbies makes a great one.

7) Sourdough Bread – This type of bread is made with lactic acid and contains friendly bacteria as well. Who knew? A bread that’s actually good for your gut! Sign me up! Whole grain sourdough is best. Bonus: for those with diabetes, sourdough bread causes a lower blood sugar spike than other types of bread.

8) Pickles – A pregnant woman’s dream!!! Though I have to admit, I have never craved pickles in any of my pregnancies haha. Similar to sauerkraut, you want to make sure your pickles are in brine rather than vinegar and those with live cultures are best. You can also pickle other vegetables in a similar fashion such as beets, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, and more. A great pickle brand is Bubbies and one of my favorite pickled beet mixes is from Ozuke.

9) High Fiber Plant Foods – These types of foods are excellent for the gut, because they are preventative to keep the belly in a healthy state. Some high fiber plant foods include vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

10) Prebiotic Foods – These types of foods are what those healthy probiotics love to eat! To keep the healthy bacteria alive, they need something to thrive on, and these foods are it! They include the fiber rich foods listed above, onions, garlic, asparagus, shallots, leeks, beets, cabbage, beans, lentils, soybeans, oats, whole grains, bananas, and mango.

11) Bone Broth – This is another one of my recent favorite things ever. ESPECIALLY when I’m sick. It’s SO healing, and I feel like I get over my sickness that much quicker after having it. It’s nutrient rich and helps to heal and seal the lining of the small and large intestine. You can definitely make this on your own at home with chicken bones (and it’s probably even healthier for you that way to maintain all the nutrients), but I’m a creature of “easy as effing possible” so I have only purchased it. My favorite brand thus far is Kettle & Fire, and I love their Chicken and Mushroom flavor! I have also heard great things about Bonafide Provisions.

12) Apple Cider Vinegar – I know many people who swear by ACV each day. It helps the body created hydrochloric acid and aids in fat digestion as well.  I’ve never drank it solo, but I have enjoyed Mother Earth Organic Root Cider which is mixture that includes apple cider vinegar along with it also boasts roots, vegetables, spices, lemon, peppers, and more. It’s definitely worth a shot, and it’s a great kick start to your day.

13) Coconut Oil – Another favorite of mine to make the list! This medium chain triglycerides (or fatty acids) found in coconut oil may be helpful over time in balancing the bacteria found in your gut which can help with digestion, energy levels, and vitamin/mineral absorption. I always buy unrefined which keeps that coconut flavor. This organic one by La Tourangelle is fantastic.

14) Wild Salmon – Packed with omega 3 fatty acids, wild salmon can help to heal an inflamed gut. Eating wild salmon can help to ward off diabetes, obesity, and Crohn’s disease.

15) Collagen – Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our bodies found in our hair, nails, skin, bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Collagen supplements are wildly popular at the moment and can not only help strengthen all of those body parts listed above, but it can also aid an inflamed gut and slow down the aging process. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is the one I have seen most people using, and have also used myself. Again, always check with a doctor before adding any new supplements into your routine!

Welp, that about wraps up my research on gut-healthy food choices!!! I hope this was helpful!! Did you learn anything new? OR…do you have anything else you would ADD to this list? I love hearing from you all, so please share!

Let’s make it a great week everyone!

XO,

Gina

Black is Boss

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Dress: Tobi – now on sale! / Jacket: Goodnight Macaroon – similar here and here / Over-the-Knee Boots: ALDO – similar – also love these / Earrings: Forever 21 / Lip: MAC Dark Side

While I LOVE pops of color and mixing in lots of color to my wardrobe, there is always something super comforting to me about basic black. Maybe, it’s the New Yorker in me, but I gravitate toward black frequently, especially in the winter time. Black is just classic, and will never go out of style. I scored these over-the-knee boots on sale after Christmas of LAST year, and had been keeping my eye open for the perfect dress to wear them with. I saw this one from Tobi with the open V-back, and had to snag it! A little bit sexy, a little bit chic, and a little bit badass with the boots, no? The top knot with the drop earrings finish the classic look…and since it’s still winter…a quilted moto jacket so I don’t freeze. The day we shot this, we actually had weather that was creeping into the 60s which is crazy for a New York winter!

This week I hit the 12 week mark of my pregnancy! Yay! Hoping to come out of that 1st trimester fog soon, though been suffering with some headaches as of late, which are typical for me during pregnancy when my hormones are going crazy. We’ve also been dealing with an insane 4 year old this week. Not sure if it’s lack of sleep or if something deeper is going on, but it’s been impossible to get through to him. Mamas can you relate? I thought 3 was a tough age and 4 was honestly getting better for us. So I’m hoping this is just an off week for him, because it’s really been out of hand with pretty much everything. My 2 year old is dabbling in potty training, and he’s doing okay, but there’s also some stress that goes along with cleaning up pee off your floor every 20 minutes. LOL. #momlife

My February Challenge Group started up on Monday, and these gals are off to the races! Their progress in January was AMAZING, and I am so very proud at how hard they worked! We have lots continuing on with their goals, and some new faces just starting out with us as well! I decided I’m going to jump into a program called PiYo, which is a pilates/yoga based program that focuses on stretch, strength, cardio, and core. I did this same program when I was pregnant with Luca, and it was fantastic, so I’m going to dive in again so that I have something I can stick to this month and stay motivated to keep moving with my growing babe.

I have so many ideas and posts in the works for this blog in the next few weeks and also some exciting projects I’m working on, so stay tuned for what’s to come! Hope you have an incredible week!

XO,

Gina

Sweet & Chic

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Coat: Express (old) – similar / Lace Dress: Tobi / Shoes: Kimchi Blue – similar / Tights: Urban Outfitters (old) – similar / Sunnies: Brickyard Buffalo / Earrings: World Market / Bracelet: Stella & Dot / Necklace: Vintage / Lip: MAC Rebel

I blinked, and it was the end of January! Holy smokes. February is right around the corner, and yesterday was the first time I thought about Valentine’s Day. It’s not a huge holiday in our family, but we still do like to do something nice to celebrate at some point during the week. Though as of today, we’ve made absolutely no plans, and I have no gifts for my people’s yet! Oopsie!

I do, however, have a cute outfit! Haha. I found this sweet little off the shoulder lace shift dress at Tobi in a wine color, and I think it makes an adorable little date night dress for a romantic evening out. I pulled together some other favorites from my closet to complete the look, and now I just need to figure out somewhere to go, right? 😉

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Do you have any plans? Going out? Staying in? Did you buy any gifts for your loved ones? Spouse? Partner? Littles? I need ideas, you guys!! LOL!

In other news, I hit 11 weeks of my pregnancy with Baby #3 this week, and I’ll be heading to the doc tomorrow, so I would absolutely appreciate any prayers or good vibes you could send my way! I am feeling okay. A little nauseous and super exhausted the past few weeks, but overall it’s been easier than my last two pregnancies, so I can’t complain too much! I think someone upstairs is being kind to me this time around know that I have two little dudes to chase on the regular.

I have been feeling a little more energy this week and been listening to my body when it comes to nourishment and exercise. My January Challenge Group is ending tomorrow and my February one will be starting on Feb 5th and is all about SELF-LOVE!!! I plan to continue to listen to my body and do what it needs for myself and baby, and I’m looking forward to supporting all of the amazing ladies who have been crushing their programs and those who will be starting fresh this month as well! There is still a little bit of time and a few spots left to sign up to join us on Monday, so please reach out if you’re ready to take action and reach some goals this upcoming month!

Hope you all are having an amazing week, and sending you lots of love!

XO,

Gina

Moto Magic

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Moto Leggings: Tobi (on sale!) / Coat: ZARA – similar here and here / Sweater: Madewell via Trunk Club – sold out but loving this color / Booties: H&M / Scarf: Gifted – also like this one / Sunnies: Brickyard Buffalo

Moto leggings are all the rage this season, and I have to say I am jumping on this train full force and loving it. I got my first pair from Trunk Club in an olive green, so when I saw these black babies from Tobi I HAD to have them in my closet! As a New Yorker, black is a go-to color in my wardrobe, and these will basically go with ANYTHING, so I was super excited to snag them. I just love the detail on the front of the thigh, and the zips down the size give them a little edge. They are super comfortable and the material is flattering, stretchy, and forgiving. I can pretty much guarantee these are going to get a lot of wear from me this season and beyond. Added bonus…these are currently on sale for 50% off.

This puffer coat from ZARA is also on heavy rotation this winter as 1) it’s WARM…and let’s be honest…that is a high priority for me in outerwear right now! I am not a cold weather loving gal, so staying bundled up is key. And 2) it’s a cuter puffer coat than most with the faux fur hood and leopard lining. It can be tough to make a warm puffer coat look cute, but I think ZARA did well.

This olive sweater from Madewell is SUPER comfy, and I’m sad the color is unavailable, but I do also love this one and I promise it’s warm!

I want to thank you all SO much for all your love and warm wishes for our big announcement we made yesterday!!! We got so much love over on Facebook and Instagram, and I cannot say enough how grateful I am to have such an incredibly wonderful community, family, and friends. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. We feel so blessed to be welcoming a 3rd child into our family, and we are excited for all the adventures this new chapter will bring!

I’m also excited to my experiences with you this time around when it comes to health, exercise, fashion, mom life and more!

Hope you’re all having an amazing week!

XO,

Gina

 

 

Another Present Under the Tree!

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Welp, today is Day #1 of the long anticipated 80 Day Obsession, but looks like I won’t be starting today afterall…God has another plan!!!

Looks like there was one more present under the tree. The Notes Fam is expecting Baby 3! 🙂 🙂

We’re only 9 weeks so say some prayers to the man upstairs and send some good vibes for a healthy human to arrive to us in August!

I know some of you are probably wondering why I am announcing so “early” because it’s not the “norm,” but after hearing about a recent terrible pregnancy loss from a high school friend, it was another reminder to me to celebrate every moment. I have something to celebrate NOW. And yes, I know the terrible that could happen…it has happened before…but announcing “early” and celebrating the life inside me now doesn’t change any outcomes. I don’t want to hide in fear of what could happen but instead celebrate what IS happening now..and that is I’m growing a human! And no matter what happens, I will only be stronger for having all of the support around me.

Plus, I’m starting to pop out already big time.  I share much of my life on social media, and it just feels so unnatural for me to hide and not be able to share everything that has been going on behind the scenes of the first trimester…like being super hungry and incredibly tired this week and not even wanting to exercise. And having that nausea finally kick in. Apparently this is normal for this week of pregnancy, so I’m trying to ride the wave, but happy to share what’s been going on as I navigate this pregnancy with two little boys. This weekend I have been SO thankful for my helpful hubby! And that we have him for an extra day.

Thanks for all the love and support you all have shown my fam thus far, and we are so excited for this new journey as a family of 5! 

 

XO,

Gina

2017 Outfits In Review

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Better late than never! Here is a compilation of some of my favorite outfits from 2017. Notice, how when it starts to get cold, there are fewer outfits posted. That has less to do with me not liking the outfits, and more to do with the fact that I hate the cold! Haha. Plus I feel bad bringing my hubby and kids out in the freezing cold to do a shoot. So therefore, you don’t see much of the winter outfits haha. But nonetheless, here are some favs. If you click each individual photo, it will take you to the original post to see the whole shoot. Which look is your favorite?

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Welp, that’s a wrap on 2017 outfits. Hoping I have more fun fashion to share for 2018! Drop me a note below and let me know which look is your favorite! Happy MLK Weekend everyone!

 

XO,

Gina