Oscar Favs 2016

IF

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive

Well, I may not have made it to the movie theatre once to see any of this year’s Oscar nominations…when you have a new baby, everything is on Netflix! I will have to add all of these films to my queue. However, I did have time to catch most of the Oscars including the Red Carpet. Cate Blanchett has my absolute favorite look of the night. I think she looks incredibly stunning! Below are the rest of my favorites from the night in no particular order.

88th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Julianne Moore in Chanel

 

88th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

 

Maria Menuounos

Maria Menounos in Christian Siriano

 

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive

 

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney

 

Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams in August Getty Atelier

 

Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara in Givenchy Haute Couture

 

Saorise Ronan

Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein

 

Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara in Marchesa

Which Red Carpet look is your favorite? Or do you have a different favorite look that did not make this list? Please share! 🙂

We had a great family weekend with a nice brunch in the city followed by some adventures in Central Park. It was a beautiful day and such a nice little tease for spring! Busy busy week ahead prepping for our upcoming trips to Maryland this weekend for Luca’s Baptism and our cruise to the Caribbean the following weekend. Lots to do before we leave!

Today starts block 3 of P90X3 for me, and I’m super excited to be 2/3 of the way through the program. Although slightly sad that it’s coming to an end this month, because I am really enjoying it!

Make it a great week everyone! And Happy LEAP Year!

XO,

Gina

Color Block Bikini

Splurge v. Steal

Last summer, I was exercising and working hard, but let’s be honest…I had a big ole prego belly! 😉

While I didn’t imagine being in a bikini only 6 months post-childbirth, my company reward trip to the Caribbean is coming up in just a couple weeks! I suppose I could rock a one piece (and you know I could find a vintage style one I’d adore!), but I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little bit excited to own all this hard work I have put in each day for these past few months!

I have had my eye on some color block bikinis, but wouldn’t you know, most of them have sold out. Here are two still available that I am deciding between! I LOVE the colors on this one by PILYQ, but it’s a little cheeky if ya know what I mean, and it’s $75. The other has a little more coverage and is $27 from Missguided, but the colors aren’t quite as fun!

What do you think? Make the splurge? Or grab that steal?

Happy Friday everyone!!

XO,

Gina

On This Day…We Will Win

Untitled design (17)

 

This year. This team. This moment. This was everything.

 

This was my senior year of high school. Yes, I’m the tiny brown-haired midget in the front, and yes, believe it or not, I actually played basketball…on a championship team no less. While this group was extremely talented, we were not expected to win. We were not favored. Not many believed that it was possible. Except for us.

 

And for us…winning was a decision. We decided that we were good enough. That we could work hard enough. That LOSING WAS NOT AN OPTION. We put in the work. Our coaches pushed us. We pushed harder. We stuck by each other. We did not leave any teammate behind. That year if one person screwed up and had to run sprints…the whole team was running sprints right there alongside that person.

 

We knew that we couldn’t just step onto the court and win the championship. It had to be earned. But we also knew that we were capable of doing so. We took it in small steps. We said before each individual game, “On this day, we will not lose. On this day…WE WILL WIN.” We made the decision. We created the vision. No hiccups, mistakes, or even horrible injuries would get in our way. We would persevere. We would prevail. And we did.

 

And we did it, while LOVING it. I remember walking the halls or through the gym with my teammates smiling or laughing, shouting, “I SAID ‘I LOVE BASKETBALL!’” We were living the dream. And while it was hard work to get there, we loved every minute of it.

 

As a former athlete, I have craved for years to feel that passion again. That feeling that if you work hard enough, you can truly achieve something great. That if you work together, you can do great things. That team bond that you share day in and day out. That sisterhood. That if you just believe in yourself, anything is possible. And the fact that you have a team who also believes in you just builds you up. That if you just DECIDE together that you will do it…you will.

 

It’s difficult to find something in adult life that emulates the feeling you get of playing team sports in high school or college. It’s also difficult to find something that gets you in shape like you once were in those days! Life is not so simple and carefree anymore. Yes there was homework and college applications and boyfriends back then. But in retrospect, that was simple compared to husbands and children, jobs to do and bills to pay. It seems our schedules get busier and busier each year and we have less time to devote to our passions and interests, let alone our health and fitness.

 

I don’t ever know if I will feel that SAME feeling that I once had of being on that high school basketball team. I think it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. However, I do feel that I have come pretty close.

 

I am building a career out of helping others, while at the same time keeping myself accountable for my own journey. I am a part of an INCREDIBLE team of individuals who build me up each and every day. We believe in each other and we believe in ourselves. And I know we won’t be giving up, because once again LOSING IS NOT AN OPTION. We made a decision. We have created our vision. And together we will be building better lives for ourselves and our families while helping others do the same. And the bonus? We truly LOVE it. We wake up each day excited about what’s to come and the potential on the horizon. We are consistent every day. And ON THIS DAY…WE WILL WIN.

XO,

Gina

We All Can Dance

IMG_3435

Who knew I would learn something from reading books with my toddler today? For all you mamas or soon-to-be mamas out there, if you don’t already own the book, “Giraffes Can’t Dance,” you need to get it immediately! It has such a beautiful message, and it’s on constant rotation in the Notes household right now.

The story is about a giraffe named Gerald who is completely awkward, clumsy, and cannot dance. He is sad and embarrassed because all the other animals in the jungle seem to have no problem dancing to all different types of music. People think he is weird, they make fun of him, and he feels very alone.

But a wise cricket speaks up and says to him “sometimes when you’re different, you just need a different song.” So he listens to the music that speaks to his soul…in this case the branches, the grass, the moon, and the trees…and all the sudden he is dancing with ease!!!

The last line of the books states ”We all can dance, when we find music that we love.”

I thought this was such a wonderful message to send to our children. That everyone is different. Something that works for one person may not work for another. But we are all at our absolutely best when we are happy and passionate about the things we are doing in life. We only get one of these here lives, so why not make the best of it, ay?

So I ask you this question now…are you dancing through life like Gerald? Are you doing the things each day that make you feel happy to be alive? Or are you just chugging through the week ticking days off the calendar?

I’m choosing happy.

XO,

Gina

{38} Lately…

Live Fully

Lately I’ve been…

reading  Creativity Inc. – slowly but surely.

writing  Emails to plan out Luca’s upcoming Baptism. Looking forward to this amazing celebration!

listening  Still listening to the “Happier” podcast by Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft. I am catching up on all the past episodes, and I am still absolutely loving it.

thinking About ideas for my next free challenge group. Any requests?

smelling  Tomato sauce and garlic. Mmmm…

watching  The Bachelor. GUILTY as charged.

wearing  Loose, comfy layers that make it easy to nurse and run around with the babes.

feeling  Super excited about our upcoming CRUISE to the Caribbean! Thank you Beachbody! So excited that I am able to treat my boys to this amazing trip 🙂

wanting  To go shopping for some new resort wear! I LOVE summer clothing!

needing  To stick to those workouts! This mama will be getting in a bikini soon for the first time since baby #2! Eeep!

loving  How STRONG I have become since starting P90X3. It’s amazing how easily I can knock out some pushups these days. Pull-ups are still another story, but I am getting better, and I’m even knocking out new yoga poses with this program, and I only just started Block 2!

wishing  To relive last Friday night’s date night! It was so wonderful to have a night out to dinner with the hubs for the first time in Brooklyn since having Luca. We have decided that date night is going to be a weekly thing for us (either at home or out…point being…quality time). So far we have stuck to it, and it’s been awesome. I think it’s so crucial to make sure to get that time with each other, especially when you have so much else going on with kids, work, etc.

hoping  To find some more fun indoor activities to do with my toddler, Nico, through the rest of the winter season. I have been searching Pinterest, but if you have any fun ideas that have been a hit at your house lately, please send them along!

craving  Salty snacks! Anyone have any good, healthy options?

clicking  For Valentine’s Day and Birthday gifts for the hubs. It’s double whammy season over here! 😉

*

HAPPY TUESDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

Transformation Tuesday: Meet Amy

Amy Results Photos

Meet Amy!

Amy is a fellow Brooklyn Mama who I met when both of our oldest sons were born. We have known each other for the past two+ years, and our sons are now going to preschool together. Our younger sons are also around the same age, and it has been so nice to have a friend in the neighborhood who understands what life is like with two boys and going through everything together at the same time!

I was so excited when Amy reached out about joining my next 21 Day Fix group, and with her passion for fitness, I knew she would love it and do fantastic. She has worked so hard, and her results are proof that hard work pays off.

So without future ado…let me introduce Amy!!!

 

P + P: Tell us about yourself (where you live, family, hobbies, interests, anything else that you would like to include about yourself)

Amy: My family of 4 lives in Kensington, Brooklyn. It’s a small neighborhood by the bottom of Prospect Park. My husband and I have two boys (2 years old and 7 months old). I’m 41. I like to put my age out there. I feel good about where I am in my life and the things I’ve accomplished.

I’ve lived in NYC for 17 years. Initially, I worked in theater, mostly in PR and marketing. I decided to leave my desk jobs and go to beauty school. I started at Arrojo Studio as an assistant 11 years ago and worked my way up to being a Master Colorist/Texture Specialist. I work for an industry leader and have had the opportunity to travel, teach and grow with the company. My work is my passion and I love being creative and helping people look and feel their best. That’s my day job.

My other full time job (my day and night job), is being a mom to my boys. When I’m not at the salon, I’m with my sons. I love the balance of doing both jobs.

 

P + P: What is your fitness background?

Amy: I lost 35 pounds my senior year of high school and started managing my diet and exercising. At that point, I was hooked and haven’t lost my motivation since. I went to my college’s gym between classes, joined a gym during my first internship and again when I moved to New York. I always made fitness a priority. I took spinning classes, African dance, pilates and even worked out with personal trainers. One trainer was a friend and I worked out with her for over a year. I have always loved weight lifting and cross training. From her, I learned I had to leave my comfort zone to get results. If I thought I could only do 10 pushups, she made me do 15.

 

P + P: Why did you decide to try the 21 Day Fix?

Amy: Even though I have always been dedicated to working out, I’ve always carried extra weight on my frame. The weight lifting probably made me look even heavier.

I gained 36 pounds carrying my first son. Our birthdays are two days apart and I was determined to get back in shape for my 40 birthday and his 1st. I did it, and I felt great even though I was already pregnant again. I never got to enjoy my fit self because I gained 30 pounds carrying my second son. When he was 4 months old, I saw a picture of Gina after she completed her first round of the 21 Day Fix and realized I wasn’t nursing my way into skinny jeans.   I said to my husband, “I just want to lose 4 pounds. That’s it and I’ll be happy.”

I contacted Gina, bought the 21 Day Fix program and Shakeology and joined her challenge group. I lost 6 pounds the first round.

Since then, I’ve completed 2 more fitness challenges and I’ve lost another 6 pounds (for a total of 12 pounds) and have my muscle and definition back.

 

P + P:  What about the program worked for you? What did you like about it? 

Amy: The program is easy to follow. The color coded containers make sense and I don’t feel limited since there are a huge list of food I can choose from. I also started cooking which has been a win for the whole family.

I love the 30 minute workouts. It’s a manageable amount of time when I’m home with my kids. I don’t have to go to a gym to get in shape. I have a yoga mat and weights at home and the 21 Day Fix workout videos make me feel like I’m part of the class. The first time I did a video I could barely make it through, now I’m taking on the 21 Day EXTREME workout for my next round.

 

P + P: What was tough or challenging for you? (particular workouts? sticking to nutrition? anything else?)

Amy: The controlled portion sizes are my biggest challenge. I had a decent diet before: No processed foods but I ate out a lot, I’d order in, sometimes have a beer with dinner and probably ate twice the portion than I needed.

The clean eating came easily, but eating smaller amounts were very difficult. I found it hard to resist snacks, especially my kid’s snacks. Why are bunny crackers so appealing?

 

P + P: 12 pounds and 6 inches from your waist is an incredible accomplishment! How did you stay motivated for those 63 days?

Amy: When I started, I wanted to fit back into my old clothes and feel better. After the first round, I looked so different I wanted to keep going. I wanted to look good, but the potential for looking GREAT was so close.

Friends and co-workers started noticing and everyone was enthusiastic and supportive. The 21 Day Fix became fun, like a fitness game.

 

P + P: How do you feel today and what are your goals moving forward? 

Amy: I feel completely different than I did before I started the program. I’m fit, feel healthy and I have energy again. The kind of energy I use to have before having kids. At 41, I never thought that was possible. I assumed people just get more tired as they get older but that’s just not true. Doing this program showed me that if I want it, I can make it happen. I put in the effort and I got the result.

Another thing that still surprises me is how much support I am receiving on my health and fitness journey. My husband, friends and co-workers are cheering for me and I inspired them to change themselves. I’ve learned how gratifying it is to lead others as they get fit. It’s the ultimate way to pay it forward and that’s why I became a coach.

 

I am so incredibly proud of Amy for her hard work and dedication. As a brand new coach, she has already inspired 9 new people to start their own fitness journey. It’s clear that whatever challenge Amy takes on in life, she goes at it full-on…whether it’s as a Master Colorist/Texture Specialist, a Mama of two, or a Fitness Coach, Amy does it well and with great success! Thank you so much, Amy, for sharing your story here with us!

Hope you are all having a great week so far. It’s been unusually nice outside for February after we just had a major snow storm, but I’m certainly not complaining!!!

XO,

Gina