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 πŸ™‚ :

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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 πŸ˜‰

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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:

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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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Biltmore Gardens

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Okay you guys…I am way back logged with updates and blog posts. And I usually don’t apologize for that, because people have busy lives these days and to be honest other things (and little people) have been a priority over my blog posts….BUT that being said…I have so many things on deck to share with you, and I am going to make myself accountable here by just calling myself out to make sure I share the rest! πŸ™‚

So these photos are from our trip to Asheville back in April at the Biltmore Gardens. It was the first trip in a LONG time that hubby and I took alone (thank you Mimi and Nano!), and we honestly had the BEST time. Today, I want to share my FAV spots in Asheville with you, so keep reading…

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Dress: Macy’s – similarΒ + here / Shoes: H&M – similar / Sunglasses + Necklaces: Vintage / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

Okay…along with the Biltmore…which was totally worth a visit…I also want to recommend the following if you are planning a trip to Asheville in the near future:

Biscuit Head – A MUST. If you eat nothing else in Asheville. Go to Biscuit Head. Incredible Southern food complete with a JAM and BUTTAH bar to enjoy at your leisure. Hands down the best meal I had in Asheville. Though, I will say my typical workout did not cut it. πŸ˜‰ We stayed in West Asheville, where Biscuit Head is located so we were able to walk here and ENJOY.

River Arts District – If you love art, painting, sculpture, jewelry, funky tees, furniture, etc. you will love this area of Asheville. Old train tracks area, turned artist sanctuary, it was a ton of fun, creative, and inspiring.

Blue Ridge Mountains – A short drive away, the Blue Ridge Mountains were an INCREDIBLE natural escape from the city. As you know, I love exercise and the outdoors, so this was such a fun way to get our workout on for a day. We hiked the Mountain to Sea Trail, and enjoyed some fabulous views!

Wicked Weed Brewery – I wanted to visit a brewery while in Asheville since it’s famous for their fresh beer. Zack wasn’t super into it, so I thought it may not happen, but at the last minute, we decided to stop in for ONE beer. We quickly realized that a FLIGHT was a way better option, and we shared 6 different beers and some delicious appetizers. It was honestly one of the best experiences we shared in Asheville from the environment, the company, the food, the amazing beer, and the ambiance…I am so glad we decided to do this last minute…and he would agree!

Isis – Another West Asheville FAV. This live music venue had spectacular food to enjoy while listneing to “Asheville Music.” Not sure how else to describe it, but it was a little bluegrass, a little country, a little soul. We heard Duncan Wickel, his friend Lily, and his little brother who had a guest performance. Crazy enough…Duncan and Lily actually live in Brooklyn, so we didn’t have to go all the way down to Asheville to hear them hehe. It was such a fun evening and the music was fab though (and food too), so would totally go again.

White Duck Taco – Many people recommended this spot, and I DID enjoy it. I live in NY with lots of amazing tacos, so it wasn’t MIND BLOWING for me, butttt it was definitely a fantastic meal and budget friendly!

French Broad Chocolate Shop – I feel like this place might be touristy…but for good reason. Great chocolate, coffee, and ice cream. I got the Golden Milk vegan ice cream (made with turmeric and coconut milk), and it was LEGIT.

Tupelo Honey – WOWWWW. This place put the nail in the coffin! It was officially time to leave Asheville, because I could no longer control myself with Southern food! Lol. I got the famous sweet potato pancakes and chicken with tupelo honey, and holy moly. It was incredible. I would absolutely recommend this place. Though I was COMPLETELY off my “nutrition plan” here. Balance, right?

There were a few places that were recommended to us like The Grove Park Inn and Curate…that we weren’t able to make it to, but wanted to give a shout out, because we had so many good recs for…reasons to go back right???

I think the best parts of Asheville were staying in our sweet Airbnb, SLEEPING IN, enjoying each other’s company without being constantly interrupted, and just enjoying quality couple time. I had the best time in Asheville, and I would absolutely return!

Have you been to Asheville? What were your favorite spots?

Hope you all had a great weekend, and wishing you a fantastic week!

XO,

Gina