Baby Mama’s Hospital Bag Checklist

Baby Mama's Hospital Bag Checklist

As I hit 37 weeks on Monday with my 3rd pregnancy, I realize maybe I’ve been a liiiiiitle too lax this time around! We enjoyed vacation, and then upon returning home, I have been frantically realizing that we might not have as much time as we think we do, and being full term, who knows when this baby will arrive! Along with trying to get bunk beds set up for Nico and Luca, I am also planning their 5th and 3rd Birthday Party, running my health + fitness coaching business, and trying to survive a hot summer home as a stay at home working mama with two kids 24/7 home from school.

I still have yet to pack my bag even after making this checklist…I think that will be the first thing I do after hitting POST on this! But do as I say, and not as I do, right? 😉 Haha. I would recommend having this bag packed by 36 weeks at the latest, because you honestly just never know!!! At least the essentials.

While this checklist may seem quite large…know that I am a serial over-packer. You’re like, ok….WHY am I reading this post then? This is supposed to be HELPFUL! Haha, but hear me out. Everyone has different needs and necessities, and I also got some feedback from many of you that was fantastic…so I do include quite a bit to make sure I covered most of the bases. That said, if I mentioned EVERYTHING that people suggested, then it would become too overwhelming. So I included many of the things that I found useful and a few additions that I know others have truly found useful in past pregnancies.

I will highlight some of my FAVORITES and MUST-HAVES for ME…and then I have included an overall checklist that you can feel free to print out. I included a section at the bottom in case you want to add some things that I didn’t find necessary that you may want to bring.

I hope this is helpful for many of you new mamas out there! Or even any 2nd or 3rd or beyond time mamas, because through the craziness of labor and delivery, sometimes it’s hard to remember back when!

Okay so here we go:

THE HIGHLIGHTS:

1. Footwear: I absolutely recommend a pair of your own non-skid socks as they make you wear them in the hospital so you don’t slip, and the ones they give you are pretty terrible. I just bought this pair from Kindred Bravely. Many people also love to have a pair of slippers. I didn’t really find I needed them having all August babies, but if you are a slipper gal, these are a nice pair. I DO recommend bringing flip flops, because you will want to take a shower at some point post-partum, and you will NOT want to put your bare feet in that shower. I also wore my flip flops coming home, so they were essential!

2. Hair Ties/Head Band: I definitely wanted something to pull my hair back after a long time in the delivery room, so a hair tie was essential for me! A headband can also be a good idea. No need to get fancy here. I picked mine up from a local drug store. Post partum, I needed a brush/comb for after a shower. Some people take the time to blow dry their hair if that’s your thing and makes you feel like a human afterwards, but I threw mine up in a top knot personally and called it a day.

3. Make Up: This is what DOES make me feel more like a human. Haha. Post partum after showering, I definitely wanted to freshen up, especially before it was time to go home and see my mom and family (not that they cared, but again, makes ME feel better!) So I plan to bring this BB cream, powder, under eye concealer, blush, eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. I will also bring CHAPSTICK for labor and delivery, which definitely should not be forgotten as your lips will get super dry with all the hospital air and all the heavy breathing.

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4. Nursing Bra: Comfort is KEY. Something I can sleep in as well as wear all day and comfortably nurse in and then go home in. I think I’m going to purchase these. (certain colors are also on sale now!) Will let you know how I like them! I may also bring a stretchier, comfy sports bra or bralette.

5. Robe: I stayed in the hospital gown almost the whole time with my first baby, and wished I had brought a robe, so the 2nd time I brought a comfy one that I got for free from Ulta along with a purchase. So much more comfortable that time around! Here is another one from Victoria’s Secret that looks cozy.

6. Motherlove Nipple Cream + Breast Pads: Not gonna lie. Nursing hurt like a B*TCH for me for the first couple weeks after having BOTH babies. Motherlove Nipple Cream was my savior and the only thing that made them feel better and heal. I applied it literally every time after I nursed, and will absolutely do it again. Breast pads are also a good idea as your milk may start to come in and leakage is no fun. I like these reusable ones that you can wash and use again, but also use and love these disposable ones from Lansinoh as well.

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7. Herbal Perineal Spray: I have never used this before, but I have read about them on a few different blogs, and it sounds like I have been missing out and that it’s super helpful with recovery and pain after birth, so I plan to get some of this Earth Mama ASAP to add to my bag!

8. Comfy Clothes: I plan to pack some comfy clothes all around…a couple days worth of tops, pants, (most likely my maternity leggings or something similar) in dark colors, pajamas or something to sleep in, and then something to go home in. Nothing fancy. Comfort is KEY.

9. Pillow + Nursing Pillow: It’s nice to have some comforts from home, so I always brought my own pillow to try and sleep as much as I could since I was so exhausted during and after giving birth! I also found a nursing pillow to be really helpful for breastfeeding, and I used my Boppy every time!

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10. Towel: Hospital towels are the WORST and ridiculously small. It will feel SO amazing to dry off with a soft, comfortable towel from home after your first post partum shower.

11. Cell Phone + Charger: This is kind of an obvious, because who doesn’t go anywhere without their phones these days. But one thing you may want to add is a portable charger or an extension cord to your list, because oftentimes the plugs can be so far away from the beds and it’s a pain to have the phone so far away while charging.

12. Camera: I always brought my DSLR camera to take some photos before and after delivery and for those early moments in the hospital. Sure, you can use your phone, and I will likely take phone pics also, but I will absolutely bring my camera to capture some precious moments. Make sure to bring your camera FULLY charged, so you don’t have to worry about bringing chargers…and also make sure your SD card is IN your camera! I can’t tell you the number of times I have brought my camera out to shoot something and then realized my SD card was in my computer or somewhere else.

13. Toiletries: These will be different for everyone, but I plan to bring shampoo, conditioner, a little hair de-frizz product, soap, face wash, face wipes, face oil/moisturizer, body lotion, deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste.

14. Snacks + Water Bottle: You may or may not be allowed to eat in the delivery room, but either way, you will want some snacks for the next couple days. Hospital food is mediocre at best and you will be STARVING. I also always try to scope out the local food in the neighborhood of the hospital, so I can send hubby out on a food run! Trust me, he is MORE than willing to oblige as he doesn’t want that hospital food either! Haha. Many of you suggested bringing your own water bottle to the hospital because you either didn’t like the cups provided or they were too small and you had to keep refilling. I don’t remember water being an issue for me, but wanted to include it here and will pack one this time just in case since it’s a new hospital for me.

15. Clothes for Baby: You will definitely want some onesies for the baby while you’re in the hospital. I always hated the clothing they had them in at the hospital the first time, so the second time I brought my own clothes. And then something for them to go home in. I usually just chose a cute sleep and play with a baby hat to match. Bonus if the outfit has built-in anti-scratch mittens, because the separate ones always fell off my babies hands.

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16. Swaddle Sleep Sack: 2 kiddos down and I still can’t properly swaddle using a blanket, so I will bring our Halo Sleep Sack for baby, so I don’t need to call a nurse every time I need to swaddle!

17. Car Seat Installed: Make sure you have your car seat installed now just in case so you are ready when it’s GO time! I remember feeling like our babies were SO tiny in those things, and I just couldn’t quite believe they were going to let us take them home!

18. Gifts for Nurses/Staff: I have never actually done this before, but I have read it on a few other blogs and it seems like a really nice gesture to at least give them some cards with a nice note and maybe a sweet treat.

If you have older siblings in the house, it’s also a nice idea to bring them a gift or a goodie bag from “from the baby.” Since the baby will be getting so much of the attention, it will be nice for them to feel the extra love coming from baby! Since all my boys are August babies, I plan on having the new baby give them Birthday presents when he arrives!

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There are some other things on the printable list for you to go through, but these were some that I really used, needed, or enjoyed having there! Can’t believe we will be doing this again soon! Okay…time for me to go pack now!

Your printable checklist is below. Happy packing and congrats on your sweet babe on the way!

XO,

Gina

Baby Mama’s Hospital Bag Checklist

Baby Mama's Hospital Bag Checklist

Isabel Maternity

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I haven’t gotten around to shooting or posting as many maternity outfit photos this pregnancy…which I guess comes with the territory of 3rd child, huh? A little harder to plan when you have two other young kiddos and your hubby is your photographer haha. I HAVE been trying to post as much as I can over on Instagram Stories for you all to keep you in the loop since it’s less time consuming, so make sure you are following me over there if you aren’t already!

These were taken at 31 weeks pregnant on our family trip to Upstate NY. We spent the weekend doing a flat hike along the trestle in Rosendale, NY, and we found a waterfall swimming hole nearby to cool off in the summer heat. We had a great trip, and the boys LOVED staying in a hotel room. I promise it wasn’t that exciting of a hotel, but they were pumped, regardless.

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Dress: Isabel Maternity by Ingrid + Isabel for Target (now on clearance!) /  Sandals: Halogen – sold out, but have seen some listing for them on Poshmark / Sunnies: Vintage / Earrings: Forever 21 / Leather Wrap Bracelet: Tory Burch – similar

Now at 36 weeks pregnant today, we are in the final stretches of this pregnancy. We returned from a 10 day vacation to Cape May, NJ and Rehoboth, DE with both family and friends, and had an incredible time. We are now hunkered down at home trying to get everything prepared for our new little boy’s arrival and get all of the other things done that need to be done before he gets here.

Yesterday, I spent lots of time planning Nico and Luca’s Birthday party which will be a few weeks early due to baby’s arrival date. We are doing a fire engine theme this year on their request, so I dove into the world of Pinterest for some ideas.

I also dove into bunk bed hunting yesterday and we settled on this white one from Birch Lane which is currently on sale. I also found mattresses, bedding, etc to go along with it, and I’m really excited for a fresh little renovation to the boys room. They are just as excited, and I’m hoping to get all the craziness out of their system with the new bunk bed addition before baby arrives so I can pay CLOSE attention, and you know…make sure they don’t jump off the bed or anything nuts.

Along with prepping for baby, I am also prepping for a brand new Challenge Group to launch on August 6th! Our currently July Groups are going well – both my “Feel Fly in July” group and the new “LIIFT4 Test Group Launch.” My challengers are kicking booty and getting great results already! They are also really loving the 4 day workout schedule with 3 rest days on our new program! Please reach out if you want to jump in with us for our next round!

Happy Monday everyone! It’s time for me to get my own workout in…yes, still trying to move as much as I can here at week 36 (without overdoing it of course – listening to your body is KEY!) And then the boys and I are going to try and figure out how else we are going to tackle this rainy day.

Chat soon!

XO,

Gina

 

 

A Folly Good Time

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 Hooded Sweatshirt Dress: HiHo (on sale!) via The Skinny Dip boutique in Charleston / Sneakers: Converse / Heart Sunnies: Amazon – similar

I discovered the cutest boutique while in Charleston…adorable shopping downstairs, coffee upstairs…and I had to snag this beachy throw over while it still fit! Hah! Made of 100% cotton terry, this hooded sweatshirt dress is so comfy-cozy + perfect for those spring and fall beach days or a chillier summer evening during beach season. It fit over the bump with a little room for growth even in the XS, so I had to scoop it up! It’s currently on sale, so bump or not, grab it while you can!

These photos are from our last day in Charleston…we spent it on Folly Beach, which was a ton of fun…perfect weather, perfect scenery. Honestly, couldn’t have been a better way to end the trip!

Fast forward to yesterday…it was a crazy one running around getting my shattered iPhone fixed, but the weather was GORGEOUS, so I was pretty much on Cloud 9. Call me basic, but the sunshine TOTALLY makes my day! Lots of outdoor time to make up for all the rain…

Also hit 27 weeks this week! This pregnancy is going so fast!

Make it a good one!

XO,

Gina

Charleston Spring

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Oh, Charleston! How I miss thee. With all the rain here we have going on in NYC this week, I am reminiscing back to 75 and sunny, wind in my hair, toes in the sand…our kid-free (well almost kid free haha) trip to Charleston was magical, and I’m so glad hubby and I got the opportunity to visit this charming town. Thanks Mom and Dad for watching the boys so we could take this little adventure!

We pretty much ate our way through this city and then walked most of it off. It was a great place to explore filled with incredible local southern food and seafood, adorable shops, colorful houses, beautiful architecture, CLEAN streets, interesting history, and nearby beaches. Looking forward to sharing our travels with you below and some of our favorite stops we made along the way. I wish we had gotten to explore more, because you all had SO many amazing recommendations, and we didn’t even get to see HALF of it…but I think we definitely got a good taste of the city, and we will definitely be returning one day for sure!

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Yes, we ROAD-tripped it all the way from NY. We stopped in NY for Passover/Easter celebrations with the family and to drop the boys off with my parents, and then made our way down South. Of course, we had to stop at this glorified rest stop, South of the Border for a little photo opp and some ice cream. I hadn’t been here since I was 7 and we drove down to Florida, so it was a trip down memory lane.

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Our first night we arrived and strolled in at 9pm to the beautiful and delicious, Husk. It was pure vacation magic that we were able to just walk up and enjoy with no wait! I would recommend a reservation if possible, and this place was a must! We had pig ears for the first time you guys…yep. Not kidding. And they were actually fantastic! Hubby also enjoyed a beautiful piece of fish and I had the steak. It was pretty divine southern food at it’s best, I must say.

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If you know me, you know I love breakfast food, and Hominy Grill is probably on the very top of my list of places for brunch. OH EM GEE. So freakin’ good. I enjoyed sweet potato waffles with pecans and coconut glaze. Holy heaven. And I also got a cup of the she-crab soup, because #vacationmode. They also had an adorable little garden area, and next time we go to Charleston, this will be my first brunch stop.

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Since we had our car with us, we wanted to take advantage of visiting some of the islands and beaches nearby. So we took some of your suggestions to visit Sullivan’s Island, and we were not disappointed! Grabbed a burger at Poe’s for lunch that was out of this world.

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So many of you mentioned the oyster bars and how amazing they were, so even though this pregnant lady couldn’t eat raw oysters this time around, we had to check one out. Pearlz was fantastic as well as affordable. I ordered the oysters rockefeller instead and both of us got an order of steamed clams cooked in different sauces. Everything was ON POINT.

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I think it’s pretty standard that you HAVE to enjoy a biscuit when you go down south, and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit did not disappoint!!!

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Okay okay, while all of this southern style food was AMAZING…our bodies were craving some HEALTHIER options a few days into our trip! We stumbled across Basic Kitchen, and oh my gosh, it was EXACTLY what we needed!!!! Fueled with fresh, healthy, local ingredients and GREENS that gave me the exact energy boost I needed. A definitely must-visit for a simple, yet incredibly delightful, healthy bite.

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Early reservation for F.I.G. which was a definite high end splurge, but the gnocchi might be the best I have ever tasted. Baby bump in full effect both before AND after this meal. Haha.

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We came across this cute little mobile boutique while we were walking along King Street. It travels around to different areas, but this little van was packed with some adorable tops, dresses, jewelry, bags, and more. If you can track it down, definitely hop in to Urban Izzy to check it out!

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Okay, this next Greek restaurant was not one I anticipated on going to before our trip, but with two strong recommendations and good online reviews, I felt I just had to try it. WOW!!!! I am so glad we did. The food was out of this world. The ambience was great. We went for lunch, and literally every single thing we ordered was made to perfection and so delicious. Highly recommend Stella’s!!!

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Xiao Bao Biscuit was a hubby choice for some spicy Asian food…and while it wasn’t my PERSONAL favorite…he LOVED it…and I did enjoy it as well. The food was interesting and not like any I have tasted before, and if you know me, I always love trying new things. It also felt like we were back in Brooklyn with the hipster vibe and loud (but not annoying) trendy music. It was definitely a cool spot, and one to visit if you love new, different, spicy food!

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Another enjoyable history-filled southern style restaurant we enjoyed was Poogan’s Porch. We had breakfast here before heading to Folly Beach.

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And lastly, enjoying our final day here on Folly Beach. This mama was in HEAVEN in her happy place parked here for the day. ❤

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Okay…I know that was a lot, but there is still more…I didn’t have photos of everything, but I still have some other recommendations that I wanted to make sure to detail below.

 

Things to Do:

Historical Walking tour (you can also do a carriage tour, but we opted for the exercise!)

Explore the beautiful College of Charleston

Walking and shopping and browsing on King Street around surrounding blocks

Rainbow Row (the colorful buildings in the first photo)

 

Shopping:

The Skinny Dip – my favorite boutique with a little coffee shop upstairs as well

Candlefish – an amazing candle store that creates their own  hand poured candles in house

Savannah Bee Company for fresh, raw, local honey

Cornerstone Minerals – an amazing shop for crystals, gemstones, fossils, and more

Veggie Bin for a small, quick, healthy grocery stop – we got snacks and some healthy goods to keep at the place we stayed for the week

 

Coffee:

The Bearded Cafe – our favorite stop for coffee in the AM

Revelator Coffee

Carmella’s – a perfect after dinner cafe for coffee and dessert

 

 

Restaurants + Spots on our list that we didn’t get to:

Shem’s Creek (in Mt. Pleasant on the way out to Sullivan’s Island) or Obstinate Daughter (on Sullivan’s Island)

Taco Boy or Wash Out (on Folly Beach)

Kudu Coffee + Craft Beer for the best of both worlds

Plantation Tours (Middleton or Magnolia)

Slave Market

Boat Cruise

Holy Cow Yoga for a prenatal yoga class

The Restoration Hotel and Trager Contemporary Art Gallery for art

SNOB (Slightly North of Broad Street southern style restaurant)

Halls Chophouse (high end steakhouse)

Mello Mushroom for pizza

Rooftop Bar at Henry’s

O-Ku for sushi

Butcher & Bee for local and sustainable goodness

Five Loaves for soups and sandwiches

Kaminsky’s for pie

Cannon Green for seasonal Mediterranean fare and plant-filled ambiance

Toast for breakfast

Goat.Sheep.Cow. for cheese

…and you guys…my list actually goes on, because you all are AMAZING and we got SOOOOO many recommendations, but I will stop here, because I know this is already super overwhelming!!! Suffice it to say that there is plenty to do, eat, see, shop, learn, and enjoy in the beautiful city of Charleston!

If you’re wondering where we stayed, it was a little studio apartment we found off Airbnb that was clean, functional, comfortable, and close enough that we could walk to many places. Happy to share the exact location for anyone who is looking for an affordable place to stay on your visit. I will say that it was close to a busy road, so it was a little bit noisy at night, even for this Brooklyn girl.

We also met up with one of Zack’s college friends while we were there, and it was so nice to feel that southern hospitality as they opened up their home to us and fed us a delicious home-cooked meal! Great company and great times.

If you have any specific questions about our trip, please don’t hesitate to shoot a comment below or send me a message! I love chatting with you all and sharing my experiences.

Happy Travels!

XO,

Gina

 

 

 

 

Joylab

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Sweatshirt: Joylab for Target (sold out) – also like this one / Side Tie Leggings: Joylab for Target / Sneakers: Blondo via Trunk Club / Sunnies: Brickyard Buffalo (old)

Okay, you guys. I am seriously behind on blog posts! This shoot was done back in NOVEMBER. I know, I know. Look how long my hair was! And this was before the baby bump even existed. But better late than never right? And guess what? Joylab, the now new-ish activewear line from Target is still fabulous…and comfortable and adorable…and totally perfect for that busy mom-on-the-go life.

I’m telling you, this sweatshirt is the softest, most comfortable ever, and was my go-to all winter long. The fit is loose with plenty of room for that belly that continued (and still continues) to grow as well. The leggings no longer fit with the bump, however, I look forward to wearing them again once baby arrives. Super sleek, comfy and perfect for either a workout, running errands, or hanging at the playground with your kiddos.

The rest of their line is adorable too, so I would check it out if you haven’t already!

This week has been a bit gloomy here in the Big Apple, and I’m personally missing the sunshine. However, mama and baby had a good doctor’s appointment this week…which if you have been following me on Facebook, you know it’s been a crazy roller coaster. I haven’t really shared over here, but we had a super big health scare with baby a couple weeks back which required some further testing, and luckily the results came back looking good, thank GOD. So to hit Week 26 this week with another good appointment is frankly the only real sunshine I TRULY need.

Happy Friday to all, and cheers to getting some more uber-belated blog posts up in the next few weeks!

XO,

Gina

 

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.

 

Armie Hammer

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.

 

Rita Moreno

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