NYC-versary: A Decade

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Wow. A decade. 10 years. July 3, 2007 we embarked on a crazy new journey of life. I left everything and everyone I knew and loved (except one) back in Maryland and moved to New York City. The Big Apple. Without a job. To chase my dreams. To discover myself. To pursue a career. To build a relationship. To be more independent.

We honestly thought it would last a couple years. We would experience something new and different. Get a great job to put on the resume. Live it up in one of the biggest cities in the world. Eat all the food. Have all the incredible experiences.

There were lots of trips on the Bolt Bus back to Maryland in those early days. We are both such family/friend oriented people and we never wanted to miss ANYTHING. So we were on that bus sometimes twice a month for different events and celebrations.

Two years passed and we realized we had not even scratched the surface of this city. There was no way we were leaving anytime soon. No matter that we lived in a 350 square foot one bedroom apartment with no laundry or dishwasher in a 4th floor walk up. We didn’t care. This was where we were supposed to be.

Part of the excitement of this city was the endless possibilities…so much to do…so much to see…so much opportunity…new restaurants going up daily, the theatre, the nights of dancing, the history, the people, the culture. We learned so much and we were never bored. There was always another adventure around the corner. So five years passed…then 7…now…today is 10.

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Engagement photos by Misa Me Photography 2010

Throughout this past decade, we have had lots of visitors to give us great excuses to explore our city. We have made many friends (reconnected with some old and made some new). I spent 7 years working in the advertising/animation industry learning SO much about production and creativity and how things work behind the scenes. I was able to travel and work with two amazing people that will forever remain in my life as we shared so much together. I feel very grateful to have had this experience and it was WAY more than just “something to add to my resume” that’s for darn sure.

I played on many soccer teams, had girl’s nights on the Upper East Side, tried my hand at club promoting (which although it was fun turned out not to be my thing ;-)), I lived through the majority of my 20’s here, did rooftop yoga, coached high school girl’s soccer, made a whole crew of neighborhood mom friends in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn that I swear I would have lost my sanity without during those early months of maternity leave when I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing.

My other half explored SO many different career options and ultimately paved such an incredible path for himself. I am truly inspired by his passion, work ethic and confidence every day. He also threw one of the BEST parties/events I have ever been to in the city (shout out to the Electric Moon Dance! ;-))

We celebrated an engagement, planned a wedding, got married, moved to Brooklyn, got a car (see ya later Bolt Bus!), started this blog, had two beautiful babies, I discovered a new career in online health + fitness where I am truly finding my purpose…all while living in this amazing city. We realized how much time we could actually spend at the beach in the summertime without driving too far. We’re actually sending our oldest child to SCHOOl in the NYC school system this fall, so it feels even crazier to know that we are now really raising kids here.

It’s crazy how many twists and turns, highs and lows, experiences and life changing monumental moments we have had since living in this incredible city. I literally still cannot believe that it’s been a full decade since we made this crazy-turned-amazing decision to move our lives here.

I am grateful for the most supportive, kind, hard working, adventurous, loving partner that has been here with me through it all. Zack, baby, I can believe it, but CHEERS to 10 years in New York City!

Looking forward to continuing our countless adventures and creating many more memories with you and our family. ❤

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Photo by Senshi Photography 2017

This holiday weekend will always have a special meaning for me on top of it being the Birthday of America. It’s basically the birth of our New York life together.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend! Keep safe. Sending love and happy times to you and your families today. We are off to Hershey Park for the day to chase some thrills and meet up with my brother in law, sister in law, nephew and niece! No matter how long we stay in NY, we will always make time for the fam. ❤

XO,

Gina

 

Reflection

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Sitting on Brighton Beach during magic hour (what I call the hour before the sun sets) with my boys after an amazing stress-free day at Coney Island yesterday, (yes stress-free, can you believe it?! Lol) I started to reflect as the beach was emptying out and the boys were happily digging in the sand.

Before having kids, I had always wondering what it would be like to be a stay at home mom. Part of me always wanted to work, be creative, and have my own career and financial success…but then the part of me who was slugging through the day to day at times thought, “Man that could be cool to just do things on my own schedule and be able to take off on adventures any time.”

Living in NYC though, on a single income, is not exactly ideal. Survival mode isn’t exactly a comfortable way to live…and trust me, I have been in survival mode. It’s not fun. Not that I am so unfortunate that I couldn’t have asked for help from my parents or in laws, but I never wanted to. I never wanted to live a life of handouts. So I knew that a career for myself outside of being a mom is something I wanted to continue.

Of course after having kids, I realize how tough of a job being a mom is!!! It’s a ton of work, your grand ideas don’t always come to fruition, and you have to be WAY more go with the flow than I was used to. I was even a little intimidated by having them at home full time for the summer!!

But as I sat and looked around and thought about our day, breathed in the air and enjoyed the peace of the moment, I realized how blessed I am to have come across the Beachbody coaching opportunity. I mean what other job could I do that encourages me to be healthy, encourages me to grow as a person, allows me to help others to the same, gives me the freedom to work on my own schedule, and allows me the chance to go on amazing adventures with my kids all summer long and while they are young… all while simultaneously building an income to help support my family.

I literally could not have dreamed up a better life plan on my own, and I’m so grateful for social media opening my eyes up to new people and career options for women like me. Times have changed and the 9 to 5 doesn’t have the be your only option! Why “live for the weekend” when you and live your WHOLE life every day?!

I know I mentioned our “What Is Coaching” Sneak Peek event already on my Facebook page that will be taking place tonight at 9pm, but I just cannot help myself from shouting it from the rooftops what an incredible journey this has been and how much I want to share it with you!!!

The sky is the limit on what you can achieve with a heart of gold, a passion for living a full life and the determination to put in the hard work.

If nothing else, take this event as a chance to learn what could be possible! Email me to join tonight at 9, and I cannot WAIT to see the faces of those who have already RSVPed! 🙂 ❤ 

Happy Thursday!
XO,
Gina

 

#SUMMERSTRONG

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Holy smokes, you guys…Memorial Day is RIGHT around the corner, and before you know it, we are in JUNE!!!

 

There is never a perfect time to get started on making a change. We are never “less busy” than usual. There will always be parties, and holidays, and soccer practice, and traveling. So the perfect time to get started often has to do with something within.

 

There has to be something within you that wants to make a change. A reason. A why that is propelling you forward. Without that why, you may start something new excitedly, but then quickly fall off because you weren’t serious about making your change or you didn’t fully understand why you jumped in.

 

So maybe you are the:

 

*Former athlete turned mama who wants to get back to her old self again

*The working mom who just can no longer fit in that gym commute

*The gym rat who loves working out, but it somehow just not getting the results

*The one with the sweet tooth who cannot stop late night snacking and wants to improve with healthier habits

*The gal who just wants to feel confident in her bathing suit this summer

*The woman who is daily going through her closet disliking everything she puts on.

*The mama who just seriously is craving some ME time

*The person who is tired of being sick and tired and wants that boost to energy and motivation

 

Because I have been ALL of these women and more at some point and time…

 

And I can say now that:

 

*I am happier + healthier than ever before

*I have found a community that supports each other and lifts each other up

*I have gained a ton more confidence in myself and my capabilities

*I feel excited to get dressed in the morning

*I feel strong in mind, body, and soul

*I have opened my mind to so many more possibilities and have learned so much

 

I may never be completely confident in my bathing suit…but hey we all have our insecurities, and no one is perfect.

 

But it’s not about being perfect. It’s about improving yourself and being the best version of yourself there is.

 

If you are READY to commit to making a change. If you want to reach your full potential. If you want to be happy and healthy. If you want to feel #SUMMERSTRONG…

 

Then I would LOVE to include you in my upcoming #SUMMERSTRONG health + fitness Challenge Group starting June 5th!

 

Each person in the group will be following an at-home workout program that I will help to recommend based on your goals and interests, drink a daily superfood shake packed with clean energy and nutrition, follow a nutrition plan, have my full support as your coach, and be surrounded by other positive uplifiting challengers like yourself who will motivate each other to reach our goals.

 

These groups have been LIFE CHANGING for me, and I know if you are ready, they will be for you too!

 

Please comment below with your email address or email me if you would like to learn more! Make it a great day everyone!!!

XO,

Gina

Top Knot

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Floral Bomber: Macy’s (now on sale! – and yes, I got this from the Junior’s section haha) / Denim: AG Jeans (old) / Foral Tennis Shoes: Forever 21 (similar here, here, and here / Sunglasses: Brickyard Buffalo / Lip: MAC Snob / Nails: Essie Mint Candy Apple

I’m still playing lots of catch up over here on photos I took from our April vacations! On the way down to Asheville, North Carolina, we made an overnight stop at a little mountain town along the way called Staunton in Virginia. And just so you know…it’s pronounced STAN-TON. The “U” is silent, as we found out from a local photographer right before we left town. Yes, we had been saying it wrong the entire time.

We chose this particular town, because hubby read the book, Omnimore’s Dilemma, and was really interested in getting local food from Polyface Farms. It also seemed like an interesting place with hiking nearby. On the way down we hiked in the Shenandoah Valley along the Dark Hollow Falls Trailhead, which was beautiful and so nice this time of year. We celebrated our hike by checking into the beautiful Stonewall Jackson Hotel and getting ready for an AMAZING dinner at Zynodoa. We had impeccable southern inspired food all locally sourced from Virginia’s best farms. If you ever find yourself in this little mountain town, this spot is a must!

The next morning, after my hotel room workout sesh (thank you Beachbody on Demand!) and after getting a little work done, hubby brought us back coffees (oh how I miss coffeeeee! If you don’t know, I am doing the Ultimate Reset program right now, which means no coffee ahhhh). Anyway…for breakfast we walked down to a little health food store called Cranberry’s that had a restaurant inside as well. We got the orangest (is that a word?) eggs I have ever seen in my entire life! And yes…they were from Polyface Farms! Hubby was so happy. The food was on point and super delicious. We walked around town a little more, met a few interesting local folks with some great recs for rest of our trip, and continued onward to Asheville.

I have to say this little town of Staunton, Virginia was quite a nice surprise!

Hope you all had an amazing weekend celebrating Mother’s Day!!! We had a wonderful day celebrating all the mamas and also our wedding anniversary!

Today starts Week 2 of the Ultimate Reset for the myself and the hubby. Feeling a lot more prepared both physically and mentally this week, and ready to rock it.

Make it a great week everyone!

XO,

Gina

Double Celebration

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Photos by: Senshi Photography

Dress: Target / Shoes: Call It Spring / Earrings: Forever 21 / Zack’s Outfit: No idea / Boys Outfits – Shirts: Old Navy (similar) / Shoes: Old Navy (Nico / Luca) / Shorts: Nautica

Today marks a double celebration for our family. Not only is it Mother’s Day, but the hubby and I are celebrating our 6 Year Wedding Anniversary! These three guys are my world, and I am so incredibly grateful to call them mine. Today this mama is feeling blessed.

❤ ❤ ❤

I also want to wish my own mama, my grandmother, and my mother-in-law a very special Mother’s Day! I wouldn’t be here where I am today without the three of you. Love you all to the moon and back.

And to all the other mamas out there…what are you doing to celebrate?

Today we met up with our original Brooklyn mamas crew who were in town for a big playground playdate. Can’t believe our “babies” are now almost 4! Time flies! It was such a nice time and a gorgeous NYC spring day to boot.

Hope you are celebrating and enjoying this special day!

XO,

Gina

Spring Has Arrived

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Dress: Forever 21 / Shoes: Target / Sunnies: Vintage / Earrings: Gifted / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Lip: Lancome All Done Up

Spring has arrived friends! We had the most amazing Parent’s Spring Break week in Asheville, North Carolina thanks to my amazing parents for taking excellent care of our boys! We had the absolute BEST time exploring, hiking, eating, drinking, sleeping, and more.

I am going to do another post here on the blog to share our favorites from Asheville! So please hold me to it. 😉 ‘Til then, here is one of the outfits I wore on the trip. ❤

Hope you all are having an amazing week!

XO,

Gina

Kids are a Reason

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***Kids are a reason***

This what I believe now. But for 18 months I used my kid as an excuse.

“I’m a new mom. I’m back to work in the ad industry. I have an hour and 15 minute commute. I have no time for the gym. It’s too hard to get to the soccer field. I take walks around the neighborhood. Isn’t that enough? I’m breastfeeding…I can eat more, right? A lot more? I’m just too tired. WAY too freakin’ tired. I’m a mom now, so that’s just the way things are. I come last…”

These are just a snippet of the things I used to tell myself…the excuses that ran through my head to make myself feel better. Sure, maybe of them had a touch of validity. Being a new mom was a WHOLE new world, and I did not know WHAT the heck I was doing.

But after 18 months, I finally realized that I WAS important too. And I did not feel like myself anymore. I MISSED myself. I loved being a mom, but I also loved being me, and I wanted to feel healthy again. I wanted to feel athletic again. I wanted to feel comfortable in a bathing suit again. I found coaching at that time, and I have to say it TRULY changed my life and my perspective.

And as I became pregnant with baby #2, I decided that I would not allow my children to become an excuse anymore. Instead they would be my reason. I admit, I originally became a coach for selfish reasons. I wanted to feel good about own self again, and I was out of a job. I needed to bring in more income for my family, and since I had an athletic background, I thought I could make it work.

But I have REMAINED a coach, because not only has this opportunity changed MY life….but I have seen SOOOOO many of my challengers and coaches lives change right before my eyes as well. And I addicted to helping others changed their lives and change the way they ultimately view the world and themselves within it. Seeing the confidence burst through at the seams. Seeing someone scared to start their journey and then feel SO proud about what they have been able to accomplish. It’s addicting.

And all the while, my KIDS and my FAMILY drive me to keep going. I see that by helping others achieve their dreams, I am also going to be able to achieve mine. And I am going to be able to give that kind of life to my children that I have always dreamed of. When I have tough days (because we all have tough days) I keep my vision on the #1 purpose in this life right now which is to create an amazing life for my kids. I am so thankful that I found coaching because it has given me the BELIEF that this is truly possible.

Whatever you are dreaming about right now…know that you are capable. As long as you know your purpose and your why to keep going, you will get there. I am so thankful that coaching allowed me to come to this realization that my kids were no longer going to be my excuse, but instead my reason to live the best life possible. ❤ ❤ ❤

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! TGIF!

XO,

Gina

Rising Girlboss

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***In search of my next RISING GIRLBOSS!!!***
 
Are you a dreamer of dreams? Do you have a vision for your life that you want to create for yourself? For your family? Are you currently living out your passion?
 
If you were to ask me 2 years ago if I thought being a health + fitness coach was my “passion,” I probably wouldn’t have been sure. I have always been an athlete, and I thought I may “good” at coaching, but I didn’t know how much it could actually change my life. I didn’t realize that by helping OTHERS grow, change and reach their goals, that I would also grow, change, and reach my goals in the process. At this point 2 years later, not only has this opportunity opened my eyes to the possibilities for the future, but it’s given me the confidence, the strength, the courage, and the fearlessness to pursue everything and anything I put my mind to. And to help women do the same.
 
I am putting together a mentorship group to help 5-10 women like me to become the next rising #girlboss!!!!
 
If you are:
-hardworking
-creative
-passionate
-goal oriented
-love helping others
-want to grow yourself personally
-tired of being stuck in the same place
-want to have more positivity in your life
-needing more balance between work and family
 
Then let’s chat! You just might be a perfect fit for this mentorship!
 
Fill out the application here https://pandpfitness.wufoo.com/forms/team-spark/ or email me at gina.notes26@gmail.com and let’s chat!
Make it a great day everyone!!
XO,
Gina

The Busy Balanced Life

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***ARE YOU INSANELY BUSY???***

Do you struggle with finding the time to BALANCE it all?

If so, this just may be the FREE Challenge you are looking for!

I know how hard it can be as a busy mom, wife, friend, boss babe, hard worker, and (former) perfectionist to fit it all in…while actually feeling GOOD about it what you have accomplished. There are days when I have felt that I was running on empty or that I just couldn’t do anything right. If I was excelling in one area, then I was “failing” in another. But, we’re never going to get “less busy,” right?

So how do you find the BALANCE and the HAPPINESS within?

I truly believe that it’s found in mind, body, and soul, and that’s why I am teaming up with fellow #girlboss Danika Colucci to run this 5 Day Free Challenge starting on March 20th! The Busy Balanced Life Challenge will tackle tips on how to create more balance in your life mentally along with how to physically balance yourself with exercise. The mind, body, and soul really can all work together to create an incredible balance within.

If you want to achieve more balance + happiness in your busy life, then please COMMENT below to join us! We cannot WAIT to take you on this little mini virtual journey toward a more relaxed and balanced life!

We hope you will join us! Wishing you all a FABULOUS Monday and a great start to your week! 🙂

XO,

Gina

Oscar Red Carpet Favs

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BOOM! I don’t necessarily have these in any particular order. However, this power couple had to top my list. Jessica Biel looking fierce as ever in the this bold bombshell gold gown by Kaufman Franco.

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Emma Stone looking simply stunning as she graces the Red Carpet for her nomination in La La Land. Loving this chic, gold Givenchy Haute Couture number, especially with that bottom fringe and her Old Hollywood Glam hairstyle.

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Hailee Steinfeld looks dreamy in this romantic Ralph & Russo gown. Just loving the texture and the neckline here. And the back…ahhh hard to see from this angle, but it’s to die for.

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Can we say classy and chic right here? Isabelle Huppert shows that you can rock the red carpet at any age. Obsessed with her Armani Privé gown, lip color, hair…all of it. She looks incredibly beautiful.

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Michelle Williams always manages to make my favorites, and this year did not disappoint. Love the plunging neckline and the sparkle on this Louis Vuitton gown. Her hair is also looking super chic.

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Now, Emma Roberts’ vintage Armani Privé dress is very similar to Michelle’s which is probably why I also like it! It has a similar neckline, and she also shows a little peek-a-boo on the side angle which I typically despise, but here I think it works. Obsessed with the lace and also her hair and makeup for an overall stunning look.

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You may see a trend here with lots of golds and nudes on the list, but again this Armani Privé gown on Nicole Kidman also makes my list! I’m loving all the embroidery and detail, and her lip color is on point. Stunning as usual Nicole!

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Finally a classic black dress to make the list. This Dior Haute Couture gown is simple, but Kirsten really rocks it. I love the shoes, the pockets in the dress and her hair and make up really rounds out her total look.

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I ALWAYS love me some Marchesa, and Octavia Spencer looks FABULOUS in this custom designed gown. Loving those whimsical feathers, and think she looks fantastic.

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Last, but not least, here is a little color to the list with Ruth Negga in Valentino. Love the sheerness, the lace, the neckline, and she is just really doing red proud on that Red Carpet!

Okay, now it’s time to hear YOUR favorites!!! Please share below!!!

Happy Oscars to all!

XO,

Gina