Happy 1st Birthday Luca

Baby Luca Has Arrived

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My Luca Bear. I cannot even believe my little baby is ONE today!!! It feels like you were born yesterday, but that also you have been here forever. When we got the news of my pregnancy with you, I thought for sure you would be the crazy one. Your brother was a pretty awesome baby, and I thought there is no way we could get two awesome babies. You kept me up all night kicking my belly during my pregnancy…and I guess the whole keeping me up thing hasn’t really changed haha, but aside from that (and the fact that you occasionally bite me…ouch dude, you should really probably stop that), you are pretty much the most awesome baby ever. Just sayin’. Like AWESOME.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine such a cool, chill, laid-back, patient child would arrive in my arms. I suppose I have your father to thank for that! It’s tough being the 2nd child. I’m not a 2nd child myself, so it was hard to imagine until you came along. Sorry little sis. But yeah, in this past year I have seen how hard it can be. Your older brother getting tons of attention, following his schedule…you along for the ride…mostly dragged along, woken up from naps constantly, pushed around, toys stolen. Of course there are the hugs too (mostly too tight). We kept a book of all your brother’s milestone moments, but we were too busy and stressed to create yours. But you honestly have handled everything like a champ…and with the BIGGEST SMILE!!!!

You rarely complain, you are incredibly patient, you go with the flow, and again with that smile!!! You are ALWAYS smiling. Like the happiest baby on the planet. I don’t think you even really cried for like the first 6 months of life. Not really. You truly made becoming a mother for the 2nd time a much easier process than I had anticipated.

A year ago today, you arrived in my arms and it was love at first sight. I knew how hard I could love a human being because I had your brother, so when you came, it was just instant. I knew I would love you just as much. And my love has kept growing throughout this past year.

I love the way you light up and crawl toward me when I come into the room with your little one legged crawl.

I love how your eyes smile along with your mouth…your Irish eyes are always smiling.

I love the way you snuggle your head on my shoulder when I sing to you before bedtime.

I love how independent you are with feeding yourself, and it’s seriously impressive how much you can eat.

I love how interested you are in animal sounds, dancing, drawing, my workouts, + the ABC song.

I love the way you push cars around a room and say “Broom Broom!” like you are having the time of your life.

I love the way you are always happy to see your brother even though he can sometimes be a butthead to you. You forgive him every time.

I love how when you say “Papa” it’s always in a whisper.

I love your sense of humor and that belly laugh that erupts whenever I show you a silly face.

I love those crazy curls on your head that no matter how many times I brush them, they pop up in a mohawk style.

My Luca Bear. Luca Dukes. Dukes. Goose. You have made our world so incredibly happy. You bring so much joy to our family and I seriously cannot imagine what life would be like without you in it. Apparently this birthday means you are a toddler now, but I don’t believe it. You still seem SO tiny to me (and maybe that’s because you are), but you are still my little baby, and I don’t see that changing for awhile. I am constantly amazed at the new things you accomplish on a daily basis and while I want to really keep you my baby forever, I am also excited to see you learn and grow even more in this next year.

Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet little angel baby. I love you to the moon and back again.

Love,

Mama

{30} Lately…

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*Just a note on this photo.  My boys spent the day together at the grocery store on Sunday so I could get some work done.  I received this text message while they were gone!  Nothing better than knowing my baby is happy and smiling while he is away from me 🙂  Okay, now onto the rest of the post…

Lately I’ve been…

reading  The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.  Great for any entrepreneur or entrepreneur in the making.

writing  Down my goals for 2015.  1) Get fit and stay healthy.  2) Start a successful business as a Beachbody Fitness Coach.  What’s this, you ask?  We basically motivate and help others achieve their fitness goals.  Happy to share more information with whoever is interested.  Please feel free to e-mail or message me!  3) Travel more.  So far I have been keeping up with my workouts and doing my best to motivate the challengers I have in my groups thus far.  I also have a trip to Tulum, Mexico on the books, so here we go 2015!  Bring it on!

listening  I’m still singing Christmas music in my head.  Is that weird?

thinking  As I sit here in my neighborhood cafe working, I have run into three moms I know, and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful community here.

smelling  Not much right now.  It seems my cold has returned and I’m currently stuffy and drinking loads of hot tea.

watching  Maleficent.  As an avid Disney fan, this was a must see for me!  I was very much impressed with the animation and graphics, and I enjoyed the switch on the storyline from the traditional Sleeping Beauty!  It reminded me of the show Wicked in that regard.

wishing  Upon a star.  

hoping  For warmer weather.  Oh wait, it’s only January…sigh.

wearing  My new Panda sweater.  Unfortunately this one is sold out, but this vintage sweater from the 80’s is pretty darn amazing.  I’m also wearing a heavy scarf, because this coffee shop I’m in is FREEZING.

loving  My new snow boots from my mother-in-law.  Thank God for them, because I have already needed to wear them twice this year.

laughing  At these doorbell notes from Moms.  I can’t believe I haven’t resorted to one of these notes yet!  This is real life!

wanting  A massage.  These workouts are no joke!

needing  To go through photos from Nico’s first year and pull out his monthly chair photos to put in a frame.  This has been on my to-do list since he turned 1 (he’s now 16.5 months old), and I still haven’t gotten to it.  This week is the week!

feeling  Sick at the moment.  And a bit tired.  But happy I still got my workout in this morning.

craving  Caffeine.

clicking  Through photos of Tulum, Mexico and dreaming of our paradise vacation that is only 43 days away.  

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What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

{29} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  Just started The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and so far it has my attention.  

writing  I have been writing a ton lately.  A few opportunities have arisen lately in the writing world, and it’s all very exciting!  I’m not quite ready to share yet, but keep a look out in the next month!

listening  Love this song, Stay, by tyDi featuring Dia Frampton (Frank Pole Remix)

thinking  We had a lovely Friendsgiving dinner at our house the other night.  We decided to do a sit down and all write things we are thankful for about each other.  We also had a new addition to the crew this year as my friend brought her newborn baby.  I am very thankful for my NYC Upper East side loves.

smelling  (and eating) lots of pumpkin pie!  Mmmm.

watching  The hubby and I watched 12 Years A Slave over the weekend.  It was an incredible film, and also extremely heartbreaking.  I was pretty much in tears the entire time.

wishing  Everyone safe travels and a Happy Thanksgiving!

hoping  That all my little soccer students enjoyed our session!  We had our last class of the season yesterday.  It was a lot of fun, and it was definitely a learning experience coaching such young children (ages 2-5) !

wearing  Lots of plaid and aztec prints this fall.  

loving  At how quickly Nico is picking up new words.  He is like a little parrot right now just copying everything we say.  It’s super adorable, but I realize I also need to start watching my potty mouth!

laughing  At Weird Things All BFFs do.

wanting  To find some time to edit my personal photos.  I am super back-logged!  Maybe I will get a chance over the break, although that is probably wishful thinking.

needing  To get packing.  We are heading back to Maryland for the holiday, and excited to see family and friends.

feeling  Motivated.

craving  What else?  Thankgiving food.  Turkey, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.  All the essentials.

clicking  Through family photos to try and pick one for the holiday card this year.

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What have you been up to lately?

Hope you all enjoy the holiday week!

XO,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

{28} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading I Am Hutterite by Mary Ann Kirby.  An inside peek into the life into a Hutterite community (similar to Amish), leaving the community, adapting to the English world, and trying to reclaim a heritage.

writing  A practice schedule for today’s soccer class this afternoon.  Since I have some free time on my hands these days and there was desire for a soccer class in the neighborhood, I have spent the last few weeks obtaining a permit from the Prospect Park office, and my class is now ready to go!  We had our first one last week, and seemed to go well, so my assistant, Nico, and I are looking forward to the next 8 weeks of soccer fun.

listening  To a lot of kid’s music.  Luckily, we have amazing bands like The Dad Beats around here which makes listening to kid’s music (somewhat) bearable.

thinking  About the next steps I want to take career-wise.  Soccer class is great, my Poshmark closet is selling well, and I love spending time with my little Nico, but still craving something a little more creative in my life on the job front (that – full disclosure – can also bring in a little more cash for the family).  I have a few ideas in mind, but still researching and will see what might come about.

smelling  I can still smell those apple cider donuts in my mind that we ate at Stakey’s Farm on Sunday.  Mmmmazing.

watching  I FINALLY watched The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  I was a big fan of the series, but wasn’t able to get to the movie theatre when this one was released.  It was everything I thought it would be.

wishing  Congratulations to Nico’s former nanny who just presented the world with a brand new baby girl last night!  So happy for her, and can’t wait to meet that baby!

hoping  To find some time to carve the amazing pumpkins we got from the patch.  I always say I want to carve, and then I rarely get around to it.

wearing  My new custom made Guilty Jean bracelet given to me as a gift from a dear friend.  The coordinates are from the place where we originally met.  Love love love it!

loving  The fact that our neighborhood is currently the set of the newest Steven Spielberg movie starring Tom Hanks.  He’s pretty much my favorite actor.  And I got to see him on set yesterday which was pretty damn amazing.  The film is also starring a friend of mine who I met on an airplane, who at the time was a soap opera actor and asked me to rehearse lines with him on the plane.  Although, I was incredibly embarrassed, I obliged because he was so nice.  He’s now making movies with Spielberg and Tom Hanks.  Way to make it big Billy Magnussen!  Can’t wait to see you rock out this film.

laughing  At how my son continuously manages to outsmart me.

wanting  A date night for the hubby and I in the near future.  It’s been too long!

needing  To figure out what I am going to be wearing to the black-tie optional wedding we are invited to this weekend!  And needing to figure out what Nico will be wearing as well.  Looking forward to seeing my cousin walk down that aisle!

feeling  So proud of my little guy who took his first steps this weekend!  He took even more yesterday, and this mama is going to be in big trouble soon!

craving  Candy corn.  I’m still wondering why we only eat this one month out of the year.

clicking  Away on career research. Thinking of making a switch up.  We shall see!

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What have you been up to lately?

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

XO,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

{27} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading Finished beachy read,  Another Piece of My Heart, by Jane Green.  Nothing groundbreaking, but a decent vacation read.

writing  A deposition for a court date.  I’m a witness!  Don’t get too excited, it’s just traffic court…

listening  To lots of upbeat music, because Friday I returned to the gym after a 20 month hiatus.  And I actually went again on Monday, and went for a run this morning.  Hoping to keep this momentum going, because I’m already feeling more energized (apart from my sore limbs).

thinking  That we had a really great time last Sunday at the Industry City Dance Party in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  Zack was eager to go, and I was a little worried that we would be “those people” bringing a baby into an entirely inappropriate situation, but I was happy to find all sorts of kids and babies rockin’ out on the dance floor with the best of them.  It was definitely a party.  And not a kid’s party.  But the fact that kids were welcomed and deemed appropriate there was pretty cool.  Nico (not surprisingly) loved it, and our little fam had a really great time getting our dance on.

smelling  My fav scent, Light Blue.

watching  All the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos.  I was a little annoyed by them at first…people dousing themselves so they didn’t have to donate…didn’t make a lot of sense to me.  But after reading this blog post, I have a new perspective.

wishing  Nico an early Happy 1st Birthday!  He is turning ONE on Friday.  I just can’t believe it.

hoping  That I can get my act together this week for a party planning extravaganza.  And by extravaganza, I mean myself, a glass of wine, my living room, and some DIY crafting.

wearing  In the photo above I’m wearing my new ModCloth dress that I got at their 70% off sale!  It’s sold out, but check out some of their other sale dresses here.  Did I mention I was able to go shopping this weekend…ALONE?  It was kind of amazing.

loving  My new haircut (also seen in photo above) from the amazing Tim Dueñas.  Feels so much lighter and loving having some layers again.

laughing  At this adorable friendship on Daily Laughs.

wanting  The summer to stick around a little longer.  I’m not ready for the beach days to end…

needing  To start checking some more things off my bucket list.  And as I’m looking at it…thinking about making some edits.

feeling  Incredibly nervous as today is Nico’s first day with his new nanny and new playmate.  We are going to miss our old one so much, and it’s going to be a tough transition week for all of us, but I’m hoping he will adjust quickly.  

craving  These sweet cinnamon oven roasted peaches.  Thinking this is just the recipe I need for the peaches in our yard this year.

clicking  Looking for a few sweet new baby gifts for little ones on the way.

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What have you been up to lately?

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

XO,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

{26} Lately…

Lately I’ve been…

reading Finished a few good ones recently.  First up was The Fault in Our Stars.  I wanted to read the book before watching the movie.  Of course, it’s predictable and a total tearjerker, but I was pleasantly surprised with how well a male author (John Green) was able to capture the mind of a sixteen year old girl.  Next, I read Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn.  This author never disappoints.  Although the main character, Libby, is a little unlikable in my opinion, Gillian Flynn is always keeping you on your toes with her novels and makes you want more.  Heading to the beach this weekend, so if you have any beach reads to recommend, please do!

writing  A ginormous to-do list of everything I need to get done before our trip to the Outer Banks.  And a packing list.

listening  Summer…my summer anthem by Calvin Harris.  Prepping a little playlist for our road trip.

thinking  That this beautifully written blog post from my friend Sascha really hits home for the working mom.

smelling  The delicious homemade eggplant parm the hubby cooked this week.  Fresh eggplant, tomatoes, and basil from the garden.  Melt in your mouth amazingness.

watching  The Bachelorette finale really threw me for a loop!  I realize I am delayed on watching my shows, so sorry for being late to the party.  I won’t throw out any spoilers for those who may also be behind on their TV watching, but let’s just say I was really surprised!

wishing  Time would slow down a bit.  My little baby is almost a year old already!  I can’t even take it.

hoping  I can pull off this fabulous fishtail braid at the beach next week shown in this tutorial by Nikki.

wearing  Lots of leopard print this week.  Feeling feisty.

loving  The end of summer sales!  ModCloth, Free People, J. Crew, & Zara have some pretty good ones going on right now.

laughing  At how Nico loves to be chased around the house.  I will crawl after him, and he will start crawling away squealing with delight…then come back and start chasing me while laughing.  That belly laugh is enough to get me laughing and smiling all day long.

wanting  To be with my little boy today.  In case you couldn’t tell, I’m missing him a lot while at work this week.  Looking forward to spending a whole week with him at the beach and introducing him to the place I have vacationed since I was a small child.  Also excited that the whole family will be able to see how much he has grown.

needing  A little girl (one day) so I can buy these adorable ribbons from Brit!

feeling  Totally inspired by hometown friend Candice as she becomes the first plus-sized model to appear in next year’s Pirelli calendar.  Doesn’t she look fantastic!!??

craving  Something sweet.  What else is new?

clicking  On 1st birthday party ideas for my little guy.

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What have you been up to lately?

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

XO,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

{25} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, founder and CEO of Nasty Gal.  Incredible story and extremely inspirational.  Would recommend to anyone, not just the ladies.

writing  In Nico’s baby book.  I have a few months of catching up to do with all his new milestones!  

listening  “Talk Dirty” by Jason DeRulo.  As a former sax player, I had to give a shout out to the awesome solo work in this song.

thinking  It’s been a bit of a crazy few weeks for me and my family.  We lost my beloved Granny recently, and although she was 93 years old, it was  sudden and a bit of a shock for all of us.  After losing my Uncle earlier this year, it’s been rough for everyone, especially my Mom.  I cannot imagine losing my own mother, and I know this has got to be incredibly difficult for her.  My Granny was the sweetest lady, and I miss her dearly.  I am comforted in the fact that I was able to be by her side in her last week along with the rest of our family, and that she was comfortable and knew we were all with her at the end.  I truly appreciate all of the love, prayers, cards, and support that people have given us during this time.

smelling  The great outdoors.  Spent Zack’s 1st Father’s Day Weekend hiking Bear Mountain on Saturday, and Sunday was spent smelling the sweet salt air at Rockaway Beach.  I would definitely recommend the Perkins Memorial 3.9 mile trail loop.  Amazing views and a challenging, fun hike.  I impressed myself by doing a few rock scrambles with a baby on my back as well, and we were able to introduce Nico to his first ride…the carousel!  Onto the beach…if my fellow New Yorkers make it to Rockaway this summer, you must go to 106th street for arepas at Caracas.  I insist!  P.S. Nico LOVED the beach.  That’s my boy!

watching  Watched the throwback movie Big for the first time with one of my favorite actors of all time, Tom Hanks.  Although the method of getting “bigger” was a tad cheesy, I really enjoyed the movie and would recommend it.

wishing  For the weekend to get here!  We are heading to Cape May for the first time for a family vacation with the hubby’s side.  Looking forward to snuggling that little nephew of ours, and spending time with the entire fam.  Have any of you been to Cape May before?  Would love some suggestions on what to do/where to eat/where to shop, etc.!

hoping  That Nico feels less pain when the rest of his teeth come in…yes, you heard right…Nico got his first tooth this weekend!  My boy is getting big.  

wearing  This new vintage style bathing suit I purchased from Grey Dog Boutique.  Discovered this shop from Bonnie over at Flashes of Style.  Go say hi!

loving  The the line-up of summer travel we have on the horizon.  While driving long distances can sometimes be draining, Zack and I are always up for an adventure, and this summer will be no different even with a little one in tow.  We started off the summer in New Hampshire with good friends, enjoyed upstate NY last weekend, and have Cape May to round out the month of June.  July we will be heading to Rehobeth Beach (DE), North Fork (Long Island), Deep Creek Lake (MD), and celebrating my 30th (eek!).  Ending the summer will be a trip to the Outer Banks (NC) and celebrating Nico’s 1st birthday.  Some may call us crazy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

laughing  I’m not a cat person, but this kitten jam had me rolling!  

wanting  This shocking coral lip color for the season.

needing  Some more time with girlfriends.  I’ve been loving the family life without a doubt, and I love my boys to death, but sometimes a girl needs some quality time with her girlfriends too!  Hoping to set up a few “girl-dates” while the weather is nice and warm. 

feeling  A second needle injection into my thumb this morning.  OUCH.  My thumb has definitely gotten a lot better since the first shot, but it’s still not completely back to normal, and as the doc said “I am too young to have this problem!”  Not to mention how impossible it is to “rest your thumb.”  I really do hope this one will curb me from having to undergo surgery, but worst case scenario, I have heard it’s a fairly simple procedure.

craving  More time to work on this blog and other personal endeavors/passion projects.  My creativity is bursting at the seams with very little time to act!  I’ve always been great with time management, but juggling work, caring for a baby, and our social/travel calendar have made things a bit more tricky.  I know it’s tough to “have it all,” but I’m determined to come up with a way to make things work without sacrificing my family time.

clicking  Nico is pulling himself up to a standing position, and I think it’s time for some functional shoes for summer.  I’ve been searching around online, but does anyone have any favorites they love for their little one?

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What have you been up to lately?

Happy Hump Day!

Love,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

{24} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  The Girl on the Cliff by LucindaRiley.  This book came on recommendation from a friend, and so far I am super captivated!

writing  A packing list for our trip to the lake house in New Hampshire.  We leave tomorrow, and I cannot wait!

listening  Let me start off by saying I know this song is kind of terrible.  But something about this song and my old club days makes me not hate it.

thinking  Time is going so fast!  Nico hit two milestones this past week.  “Crawling” – or his version of it at least.  He’s basically sliding all over the apartment (including underneath the table and chairs as seen above…we are in trouble), and I told the hubby we should at least strap a swiffer duster to his belly so the floors get cleaned at the same time.  I kid, I kid.  He also pulled himself up to a standing position all by himself on Monday.  I was at work, and I missed it, which sucked, because as a mom you never want to miss those first moments.  I am so happy for him and all of his latest accomplishments, but it’s starting to hit home that our little baby is getting bigger, and it’s impossible to go back in time to when he was tiny.

smelling  Not much of anything, because I have been all stuffed up with sickness this past week.  Meh.

watching  The Bachelorette is back!  Any early guesses of who will win?

wishing  For clear skies in New Hampshire, so we can view all the pretty stars at night again this year.

hoping  Along the same lines…for sunshine this weekend!  The weather is looking a bit gloomy thus far.  I know we will still have fun catching up with our friends, playing board games and watching movies, but if possible, I would prefer to be hiking and exploring!  

wearing  Casual today in Paige denim, black and white striped tank, Camo jacket, and New Balance tennis shoes

loving  The fresh Hazelnut coffee we have been getting from Fairway.  I’m not much of a coffee snob.  I usually drink one cup a day, and the Keurig system works for us.  I had never really thought much about the freshness of the K-Cups, but until you have had one of the new Fairway One Cups (which foregoes all the bottom plastic as well for the green folks out there), you haven’t had a good K-cup!

laughing  At this woman who was just a LITTLE bit excited to be a grandmother.

wanting  A recommendation for a new spring nail polish!  Who has one?

needing  A new bathing suit for summer, but dreading the shopping process this year.  None of my old suits fit my current body, so it’s back to the drawing board.  I have a couple ideas in mind in terms of styles, so hopefully I can find something that works.

feeling  Still feeling pain and popping in my thumb a couple days after the Cortisone shot.  Hoping it kicks in soon, or else I may need another injection and possibly surgery.  Oy.

craving  Fresh fruit.  It’s almost summertime, which means all my favorite fruits will soon be in season!

clicking  Around on the Father’s Day gift hunt…it will be here before we know it!

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What have you been up to lately?

Hope you all have a great week!

Love,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

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