#96 See Phantom of the Opera on Broadway

Friday February 22, 2013

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When I was a little girl, my parents went to see Phantom of the Opera, and they came home bearing a soundtrack of the performance.  My sister and I started listening to it, and we quickly grew addicted.  We played this soundtrack day after day, memorized all the songs, sang them around the house, and fantasized about the day that we would get to see this show ourselves.

Fast forward to about a month ago.  The hubby and I now live in the Big Apple with Broadway at our fingertips.  We decided that we were going to check this item off my bucket list, and we bought tickets as our Valentine’s Day present to each other. To say I was excited would be an extreme understatement.  I skipped around the city for the past month giddy with anticipation.  I played the songs around the house to get Zack as equally pumped up for the show (well maybe not equally.)  I counted down the days until I would finally be able to see the show of my dreams.

Well, let me tell you.  It was everything I had dreamed of and more.  The sets were absolutely stunning.  The acting was superb.  The music was phenomenal.  You know how you wait for something for so long (almost your whole life), and the excitement builds up, and then when it finally gets here, you are just overcome and overwhelmed with emotion?!?!  Well, that was me on Friday night.  Blubbering in my seat to all of my favorite songs that I had been waiting to hear live for all these years.  I almost felt silly for tearing up at a Broadway show, but I just could not believe that I was actually there seeing Phantom on Broadway.  Before Friday, I only knew the music.  Now I could put faces and emotions and stories to the tunes.  It all came together, and it was just perfect.

I cannot believe it took me that long to see this show, but I will say that it was worth the wait.  I will also say that I am pretty sure there will be a “second time” of me seeing this show.  So Angela, (my little sister) you better get your butt up to New York.  You have no idea what you are missing!

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Bright Lights Bigger City

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I typically tend to avoid touristy areas like Times Square, but I happened to be here last Friday night with my camera in tow, and I decided to take advantage.  As much as the crowds can be crazy and frustrating, there is something about Times Square that fills you with energy and excitement.  The bright lights.  The big city.  It makes you feel as if you are a part of something really magnificent.  So I took the opportunity to dive right in there with the tourists and take some photos.  I hadn’t really taken any night shots since I started my photography class, so I experimented with what I had been learning, and here is what I came up with.  Hope you like.

And now for a little tune to put you in the spirit:

Bright Lights Bigger City – Cee Lo Green

Happy Hump Day!

XO,

Gina

Oscar Favorites

Happy Monday!

Today I want to share some of my favorites from the Oscar Red Carpet.  Two major trends I saw this year were metallics and pale neutral colors.  Of course, there were a few pops of bright color in there as well.   There were so many to choose from this year (even the gentlemen rose to the occasion!), but these were on the top of my list.

JessicaChastain

Jessica Chastain looking gorgeous in Giorgio Armani – Steve Granitz/WireImage

StacyKeibler

Stacy Keibler in a stunning metallic dress from Naeen Khan – Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

AmyAdams

Loving Amy Adams in this gown from Oscar De La Renta – I could be biased, because it reminds me of my wedding dress – Kevin Mazur/WireImage

JenniferLawrence

Oscar Winning Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture – Steve Granitz/Wire Image

CharlizeTheron-

Charlize Theron with a sexy haircut and sleek white dress from Dior Haute Couture – Michael Buckner/Getty Images

AmandaSeyfried

Amanda Seyfried looking sophisticated in Alexander McQueen – Kevin Mazur/WireImage

HalleBerry

Halle Berry never fails to be a showstopper. Looking amazing as always in Versace. – Steve Granitz/WireImage

ChanningTatum

Oh Channing, I know you have a pregnant wife, but you are so ridiculously handsome. – Getty Images

JenniferGarner

Jennifer Garner supporting her hubby, Ben Affleck in this beautiful bordeaux number from Gucci – Steve Granitz/Wire Image

NaomiWatts

Naomi Watts sparkling in Giorgio Armani – Jason Merrit/Getty Images

KerryWashington

Kerry Washington brings a pop of color to the Red Carpet in this fabulous dress by Miu Miu – Jason Merrit/Getty Images

NicoleKidman

Nicole Kidman shining bright in L’Wren Scott – Steve Granitz/WireImage

EddieRedmayne

Les Mis star, Eddie Redmayne dressed in Alexander McQueen and looking dapper. Loving those shoes. – Kevin Mazur/WireImage

DanielDayLewis

Best Actor, Daniel Day Lewis rocking navy and black by Domenico Vacca – Jason Merrit/Getty Images

SandraBullock

Sandra Bullock looking ever so classy in Elie Saab – Jason Merrit/Getty Images

BradleyCooper

Loving the slicked back hair, baby blues, and Tom Ford tux on Bradley Cooper – Steve Granitz/Wire Image

HughJackman

Hugh Jackman looking smashing in Tom Ford – Jason Merrit/Getty Images

JenniferAniston

The always adorable Jennifer Aniston donning a bright red gown from Valentino – Steve Grantiz/Wire Image

Would love to know your Red Carpet favorites as well!

I had a great time watching the Academy Awards last night with the hubby.  I felt very knowledgable about a lot more of the films this year, because of our Race to the Oscars.  I also thought the competition was really fantastic this year.  So many amazing pieces of work were nominated, and so many categories held really wonderful options for winners.  There was a even a tie in the Sound Editing category this year.  I have never heard of an Oscar tie!  What an honor to share.  The performances were great, and there was even a guest appearance by our First Lady–what a surprise!  Congrats to Argo and Ben Affleck for winning Best Picture.  How exciting!

I had a great weekend fulfilling a bucket list item (more to share on that later!), date nights with the hubby, coaching basketball, and relaxing.  Looking forward to a busy week ahead as well.

Hope you all have a great week too!

XO,

Gina

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Spring Fever

Spring Fever
1.  Yellow Trench Coat: Target / 2.  Butter London Spring 2013 Collection: Nordstrom / 3.  Wide Brim Straw Hat – Kate Spade / 4.  Fan Fringe Necklace – J. Crew / 5.  Rainboots – Charlotte Russe / 6. Rebecca Minkoff Striped Mini M.A.C. – SHOPBOP / 7. Polka Dot Short – Forever 21 / 8.  Floral Porchfield Dress – Jack Willis / 9.  Pink Blazer – Topshop / 10.  Blue Minnie Pant – J. Crew / 11.  Jeffrey Campbell Lace Ankle Bootie – Nelly / 12.  Anchor Studs: J. Crew
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I don’t know about you, but I am OVER this cold weather!  All the talk of snow and chill has me jonesin’ for spring.  I couldn’t help but scour the online shopping world for some of my favorite on-trend pieces that I cannot wait to get my hands on.  If only I could wear them right now!  Although I tend to wear a ton of black in the winter time, I am very excited to sport some color this spring!  This little collection above makes me happy, because it reminds me that spring is just around the corner.
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In other news, congratulations to “Befab4lyfe” for winning the Flair Accessories earring giveaway!!!  Please inbox me your shipping info to { gina dot notes26 at gmail dot com }.  Then, I will have these gorgeous iridescent studs on the way to your door as soon as possible!  Thanks to all who entered the giveaway.
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I am ticking off a bucket list item tonight, that I cannot wait to share with you next week!
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Happy Friday Everyone!
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XO,
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Gina
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A View From Weehawken

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Last Saturday we made the trek out to Weehawken, New Jersey for a good friend’s housewarming party.  I have driven through the Lincoln Tunnel many times, and have looked up at the houses up in the cliffs imagining the stunning views they must have of Manhattan.  Well, on Saturday I no longer had to imagine as I saw this view for myself!  WOW.  We spent tons of time hanging out on this ledge taking photos before joining the housewarming festivities…which were also a ton of fun by the way!  Congrats to my friends on their new digs and their fabulous view!

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Photos by: Zack Notes

Top: ASOS – now on sale! / Pants: ZARA / Boots: Steve Madden – on sale at Swell! / Hat: Union Square Holiday Market – similar / Scarf: Gift – similar here and here / Sunglasses: Vintage / Bag: TJ Maxx / Bracelets: Flair Accessories, ASOS, and Wanderlust + Co. / Watch: Betsey Johnson / Necklace: Forever 21 / Lip: Lancome Luxe

Last night we held our final screening for our Race to the Oscars.  We saw the Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts program!  Most people don’t get a chance to see the films in this category, so I always feel like I have an upper hand when guessing the winner.  I am always impressed by the level of talent, and this year was no disappointment.

If you haven’t already entered to win my giveaway, you have two more days to score these amazing stud earrings from Flair Accessories!

XO,

Gina

{Giveaway} Flair Accessories Earrings

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Despite being sold out, I was lucky enough to snag a secret pair of these stunning iridescent royal blue studs from Flair Accessories.  I am hosting a giveaway, and one of YOU will be the lucky winner and future owner of these gorgeous earrings!

To enter:

1) You MUST be a true follower of popcorn and pandas.  This means you are an e-mail, WordPress, or Bloglovin’ follower. (It’s not too late to sign up today!)

2) Extra entries will be counted for Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest followers. (1 entry for each)

3) Comment on this post below stating: a) How you would style this pair of earrings or why you want to win them, and b) Each of the ways you follow popcorn and pandas

You can see how I styled the earrings here.

The winner will be announced Friday on the blog.

GOOD LUCK!

XO,

Gina

Morning After Nemo

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These photos were taking the morning after the big snow storm, Nemo, hit in Brooklyn.  I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood, and was surprised to find how quickly everything was plowed and shoveled.  It was a beautiful sunny day with the light reflecting off the fresh snow.  Overall, it was a quiet, relaxing little walk…a nice little break to otherwise hibernating that weekend.  Enjoy.

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Today I am enjoying the day off at home thanks to our American Presidents.  Catching up on laundry, cleaning, tv, and blogging.  Hoping to get the chance to take some more photos today as well.

Happy President’s Day!

XO,

Gina

Love Is…

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Love makes the world go round.

Wishing a Happy Valentine’s Day to my husband, my family, my friends, and all of my readers out there.  Whether you are spending today with a loved one, or spending today slugging back wine on the couch by yourself, know that someone out there loves you.

Although we should spend every day spreading love throughout the world, try and do something nice for someone else today and bring a smile to their face.  Everyone loves to be loved 🙂

XOXO,

Gina

P.S. Image above is sold as a print by Kari Machal on Etsy.

{6} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  Still reading Book 5 in the Harry Potter series…I can’t seem to stop falling asleep on the subway lately, which is cutting into my reading time.

writing  Been taking lots of notes in my photography class.  Weird to be using a notebook and a pen again.

listening  Of course the Maryland girl has to listen to a little country every now and then.  This song is a bit of a morbid love ballad by The Band Perry, and I can’t get enough of it.  Check out “Better Dig Two.”

thinking  About my spiritual self.  It seems this is the time of year that I tend to look inside my soul.  Today is Ash Wednesday (if you didn’t already notice from the photo above), which is the start of the Lenten season.  It makes me think about what I can do to be a better person, and what I can do to help others.

smelling  Citrus tea that my boss has been brewing daily in the office.

watching  Still on my “Race to the Oscars,” and I have seen all but two films now that have been nominated for Best Picture!  I have to say, there has not been one that I have disliked so far.  Last night was Lincoln to celebrate Lincoln’s Birthday.  It was a fantastic film, and I have a feeling it just might take gold at the Oscar’s.

wishing  My butt buddie, Erin, a speedy recovery as she is undergoing Lasik eye surgery today.  Love you Munchkin!

hoping  For warmer weather on the horizon.  I’m pretty much done with cold and snow.  Unfortunately, I do not think I am going to get my wish just yet…

wearing  My “Hi” “Bye” heart sweater with leggings and combat boots.

loving  The genius behind Oreo during the Super Bowl a couple weeks ago.  Did anyone see that Twitter ad during the blackout?  Pure genius.

laughing  At my husband and neighbors this past weekend as they attempted to invent a live version of “Frogger” with this Makey Makey invention kit.  Just picture a grown man with 4 children jumping up and down around the room Dance Dance Revolution style while listening to techno music.

wanting  The doctors to come to a diagnosis for my Uncle, so he can start getting the treatment he probably needs.  He has been at Hopkins for awhile now undergoing tons of tests.  Love you Uncle Johnny.

needing  Rest.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  While I love keeping myself busy most of the time, I am looking forward to a little downtime at some point.

feeling  Optimistic.  I will leave it at that.

craving  This shade of MAC lipstick – Rebel – Did you know MAC recycles?  If you return 6 empty MAC products, you can get a free lipstick!  I think I just may…yay!

clicking  I have been click click clicking away on my camera since I started my photography class a couple weeks ago.  So far, I have already learned a lot, and I am looking forward to learning even more.

What have you been up to lately?

Love,

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.

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Promenade Brooklyn Heights {Flair Accessories Series #4}

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Photos By: Zack Notes

Coat: ASOS / Jacket: Macy’s / Top: ASOS / Leopard Skirt: ASOS / Bag: ALDO – similar / Shoes: Cynthia Rowley / Scarf: Christmas Gift / Earrings: ALDO / Druzy Stone Necklace, Pyramid Cuff,  Cage Ring: Flair Accessories / Spike Bracelet: ASOS / Buckle Bracelet: Wanderlust + Co. / Watch: Betsey Johnson / Lip: MAC Venomous Villians Cruella de Vil Heartless w/ matching gloss

This post concludes my Flair Accessories Series, and this look is actually my favorite of the bunch.  I hope you have enjoyed my little styling adventure!  The hubby has been wanting to take me to the promenade in Brooklyn Heights for awhile now.  We decided to stop in before a dinner and movie date a couple weekends ago.  There is a beautiful walkway along the water as well as a gorgeous skyline view.  What’s not to enjoy?  Well, I will tell you, I did NOT enjoy the windy cold temps that I felt up there!!!  While I displayed a smile for many of these photos, I was secretly freezing my bum off, and could not wait to get off this promenade.  I can happily say I will not be returning until the Spring!

Today, I would like to say “Happy Birthday” to our dear old friend Abraham Lincoln.  I am celebrating tonight by going to see the movie, Lincoln, on our little Race to the Oscars here at work.  I have heard a lot of great things about this film, and I am very excited to see it for myself!

Happy Tuesday everyone.  Hope you have a great day!

XO,

Gina