2017 in Review

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WOW! I can’t believe 2017 is coming to a close. It’s been a year of personal growth, adventure, travel, family moments, and so much more. I learned a lot, and have come up with some exciting ideas to take with me into 2018. I plan to jump even more outside of my comfort zone this upcoming year, and see where the wind blows.

I want to thank each and every one of you this past year for supporting me on this journey…for reading this blog, for joining one of my health + fitness Challenge Groups, for commenting on a Facebook post, direct messaging me on Instagram, watching my IG Stories, giving me all of your advice and feedback on outfit choices or motherhood woes or workouts…or just telling me that you are inspired by a post or that you can relate. It truly means SO much to me. I started this blog and my brand really as a creative outlet a few years ago, but it’s turned into an incredible community which I am so grateful for. So THANK YOU for your continued support, and I hope you continue to take the journey with me in 2018!

Below is a look back at some of my favorite memories and experiences of 2017:

 

Zack and I finally went on a “Paint Night” Date and we loved it

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I was obsessed with smoothie bowls:

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I learned a ton about gut health + drank lots of kombucha (I did a LIVE @ 9 Episode on this which you can find on my Facebook page, but I promise to create a blog post on this for 2018 so it’s in written form):

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Boys both fell in love with soccer just like their mama:

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Helped hundreds of Challengers get on track with their nutrition with these amazing portion control containers:

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Little sis got engaged and asked the entire fam to be in the wedding 🙂 :

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Zack and I had a week-long road trip together to Asheville (thanks Mom + Dad!):

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I was able to take the family on an all-expenses paid trip to Punta Cana with Beachbody as a reward trip for my work with the company. To say they had a blast would be an understatement:

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I developed a passion for nut butters lol 😉

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Hubby and I did the Ultimate Reset Challenge Plant Based Cleanse program and we learned so much about our bodies, our eating habits, and made many tweaks and changes to our habits going forward (again, I owe you all a full synopsis of this experience in blog post form…coming at you in 2018!):

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Went to the Dave Matthews Concert with the fam:

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Spent many summer days at the NY Beaches + riding the rides at Coney Island:

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Took Nico on his first roller coaster ride at Hershey Park with the family:

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Celebrated our 10 Year NYC Anniversary:

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Went to Rhode Island with the hubs to watch one of my best friends walk down the aisle:

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Went to NOLA for my 3rd Beachbody Summit with my amazing team. We continue to grow, and I love training each new person how to become a #boss and build businesses that give them happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives:

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Completed multiple workout programs including Shift Shop, T25, Insanity Max 30, and 3 Week Yoga Retreat:

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Celebrated my sister’s Bachelorette Weekend in VA Beach rooftop style:

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Luca got his 1st haircut:

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Nico turned 4 and Luca turned 2 with a Construction themed Birthday Party:

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My challengers got amazing results with their fitness + nutrition:

Christie Transformation

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We went on family vacation to Cape May:

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and the OBX:

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Nico started his first year of “real” school through the NYC DOE and is loving Pre-K. Luca started a 2’s playschool co-op, and it was a bit of a transition at first, but he seems to be enjoying it now:

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We threw at Rainbow Sprinkle Themed Bridal Shower for my sister:

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My little sis and her high school sweetheart finally tied the knot after 13 years:

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Took the boys on their first-ever camping trip this fall with good friends:

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Had an epic Halloween dressing up like The Wizard of Oz characters:

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Did ALL the the holiday things to celebrate the season (and enjoyed my most favorite/stressful time of the year):

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Welp!!!!

That is a WRAP. Wow. What.a.year.

It’s been a good one full of fantastic memories. Thanks again for your continued support of popcorn and pandas. I appreciate you all SO much. More than you know.

I wish all of you an incredible New Year!!! I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store.

XO,

Gina

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Army Green

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Boyfriend Button Up: Target / Black Denim: ZARA – similar / Booties: H&M (old) / Sunnies: Brickyard Buffalo / Engraved Bar Necklace: Stella & Dot / Earrings: World Market / Lip: MAC Dark Side

I don’t know what it is about this color green, but I was all over it this past fall and into the winter. Many of my new items this past season came back to this color, and I’m not mad about it. This particular boyfriend style button up is not only comfortable, but it’s also super affordable. Unfortunately, you may need to check the stores for this bad boy as it says they are no longer shipping. Here is an alternative if you can’t get out to the stores.

The past few days we have been hanging with family and doing a little bit of work from the coffee shop. It’s always nice to spend a little bit of extra time down in Maryland to spend quality time with the ones we love. But it’s also the busiest work season for health + fitness with people signing up for my Challenge Groups getting ready to rock those goals in 2018!

I have 3 groups opening up including one for our brand new ab + booty focused program and another featuring multiple programs. For each you would have the access to over 600+ at home workouts, a nutrition plan, super food shake, and a spot in my support/accountability group. It’s a ton of fun, and we help to motivate everyone to be happier + healthier!

My last group is for those who want to take things to the next level as a COACH! I will be offering a mentorship to help other women or mamas like me to build a health/wellness/fitness business from your kitchen table (or iPhone, or coffee shop, or wherever else you desire to work from). I will give you all the tools you need to succeed and all the tips + tricks I have picked up in the last 3 years. From there it’s up to you to take action and take that leap to achieve your goals! It’s one of my favorite parts about coaching, and I’m excited for what 2018 has to bring.

So don’t hesitate to reach out with questions even while I’m on “vacation” because when you have a job like this that you love, then you seriously are happy to make time to talk about it!

Happy Friday friends! Only a few more days until that ball drops and we are in the New Year!

XO,

Gina

 

Mountain Air

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Sweater: Leith via Nordstrom Trunk Club / Moto Leggings: B.P. via Nordstrom Trunk Club  (now on SALE!) / Booties: H&M (old) /Earrings: World Market / Sunnies: Brickyard Buffalo

Is it really only FOUR days until Christmas? Crazy!!! We shot this back over the Thanksgiving holiday. The weather was crisp and clean out in Western Maryland where we visited friends for the day. We are now back in Maryland at my parents house getting ready for Christmas! We’ve saw the trains at Homestead Gardens yesterday which is a neighborhood fav, and tonight I’m going shopping with mom, which is our favorite holiday annual tradition!

This sweater and these leggings are both from my last Nordstrom Trunk Club box and they are AMAZINGLY comfortable! I HATE itchy sweaters, and when I tried this on (no undershirt needed) it was completely comfy, soft, and cozy…no itchiness at ALL…I was sold. I will say that you MUST follow the laundering directions as I think I pretty much destroyed it by accidentally throwing it in with my regular clothes. I’m pretty mad at myself, because I LOVE this sweater, and I’m not sure if there is any coming back from it. I will have to check with my local dry cleaner to see if there is anything they can do. 😦 The leggings are also comfy, stylish and completely on sale right now! I didn’t have any pants in an olive color, so I was happy to add them to my wardrobe.

The next few days are going to be packed with wrapping and prepping for the holidays. Happy to take a little breather from the crazy NY life this week.

Hope you are having a fantastic week so far as well!

XO,

Gina

Reader’s Choice Beauty Awards: Part 1

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Okay you guys, I know this was a long awaited post…and as I was going through ALL of your amazing beauty recommendations…SKINCARE was the #1 type of recommendation you sent in! So Part 1 is going to focus mostly on skincare! And I will save a majority of the rest for Part 2.

I have to admit, I am a complete minimalist when it comes to skincare. I really don’t use much of anything except a moisturizer. So this was a true learning experience for me to see ALL the the many amazing products you all use on the daily…and I am going to have to check a few of them out for SURE.

I had asked for some natural recommendations since eventually I am leaning that direction of switching over some products. That being said…there are still some products that aren’t “natural” that I use and love and I am open to learning about ALL products right now, so I have recommendations on all fronts listed here. I have linked them all for your convenience, especially during this holiday season since you may find something for yourself or as a gift for someone else! Please let me know if you have specific questions about anything!

Without further ado…here are your FAVORITE SKINCARE products!!!

 

Moisturizing Oils:

Cocokind Chia Seed Oil (face)

Cocokind Chia Seed Oil

 

Maya Chia Face Oil

Maya Chia

 

Almond oil (whole body) – no brand specified, but found this one at Target

Almond Oil

Marula Oil (evening) – no brand specified, but found this one at Sephora

Marula Oil

Young Living Rose Ointment

YL Rose Ointment

Doterra Geranium Essential Oil

Doterra Geranium Oil

 

Moisturizing Creams:

 

Belief True Cream Moisturizing Bomb (day)

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Natura Culina Skincare Set – this is actually a full set, not just a moisturizer, but wasn’t sure where to place it

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Young Living Sandalwood Moisturizing Cream

YL Sandalwood

Beautycounter Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion

Beautycounter Adaptive Moisture

Beautycounter Brightening Face Oil

Beautycounter Brightening Face Oil

Doterra Immortelle

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Murad Day Cream (with SPF 30)

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Olay Age Defying

Olay

 

 

Astringent/Toner: 

-Witch Hazel – no brand specified, but I found this one at Target

Thayer's Witch Hazel

Heart Grown Wild

Heart Grown Wild Toner

 

Exfoliator/Scrubs:

Sunday Riley Good Genes Acid Exfoliator

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Beautycounter Exfoliating Facial Scrub

Beautycounter Exfoliator

Homemade Pink Himalayan Salt, coconut oil, essential oils for body – here is a good recipe

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Cleansers:

Philosophy Purity along with a Clarisonic

Philosophy Purity

Beautycounter Cleansing Balm

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Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar

Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar

Marie Veronique Replenishing Oil Cleanser

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Serums:

Sunday Riley C.E.O

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Young Living Rejuvenating Serum

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Drunk Elephant C Firma

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Heart Grown Wild

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Aster + Bay Purify Serum

Aster and Bay

Agent Nateur Youth Serum

Agent Nateur Youth Serum

 

Mists:

Beautycounter Rosewater Mist

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SPF:

Josie Maran

Josie Maran SPF

 

Face Masks:

Manuka Honey

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Natura Culina Rose Berry

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Beautycounter Charcoal Mask

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Makeup Remover:

Coconut Oil – How to remove your makeup with coconut oil

Aveeno Wipes

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Hands/Body:

Dr. Bronners (both bar and bottle)

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Dr Bronner Bottle

 

J.R. Watkins Coconut Milk & Honey Hand Cream

JR Watkins Hand Cream

Trader Joe’s Hand Cream

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Lotions:

Homemade beeswax, coconut oil, olive oil combo – Instructions for how to make this

Nourish Organic Lotion

Nourish Organic

 

Eye Creams:

Cocokind MyMatcha Stick – under eye puffiness (also great as a chapstick) – not really a cream

Cocokind MyMatcha Stick

100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Cream

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Young Living Wolfberry Eye Cream

YL Wolfberry Eye Cream

 

Deodorant:

Primal Pit Paste Stick

Primal Pit Paste Stick

Nivea Pure Invisible

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Spruce Tips Apothecary Orange Cardamom

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Native Deodorant

Native Deodorant


WHEW!!!!!!! WOW, you guys….I am completely BLOWN AWAY!!!! Thank you SO much for all of your beauty recommendations for Skincare (and a few other things). I will absolutely be trying many of these out, and I hope you are able to do the same!

If you agree with something on this list, I want to hear it!!!

If you believe something needs to be added to this list…I want to know!!!

And lastly…as I work on Part 2, I’m still taking recommendations for:

Concealers

Eye Shadows/Liners

Mascara

Blush

Lipstick

Foundation

Gloss

Nail Polish

Hair Products

Thanks again for all the amazings recs, and I hope you guys are having a fantastic week!!

My Christmas Cards are finished, so now I am busy over here thinking about Christmas shopping and about our new ab + booty focused workout program that is pre-launching SO soon! (December 14th). Getting excited. I just love this time of year!

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season too!

XO,

Gina