Sporty Spice








Sweater: Express / Tank: Old Navy / Jeans: Rag & Bone / Shoes: New Balance / Hat: Baltimore Orioles / Necklace: Love Lori Michelle

It’s tough to find the time to get in an outfit shoot these days, especially with the cold weather with two little ones when your husband is the photographer. I promise I still get dressed…sometimes. Well, at least on weekends. But enough with the excuses. We made it happen last weekend. A casual outfit for a casual day…brunch at Bar Bacon (amaze!), the playground, and a walk through Central Park. The kids both slept through brunch, so it was kind of like a date. It was nice to get into Manhattan and have the kids feel the magic of the city and the tall buildings, but also to escape to our favorite city sanctuary of Central Park.

Since I am generally in workout gear during the week these days, I normally dress up a little more over the weekends. But I felt like going for that sporty look with the sneakers and baseball cap. It’s not my typical go-to style, but it felt right for the day and felt comfortable for what we had planned. I even had a fellow mom strike up a convo with¬†me on the playground because of my Baltimore O’s hat. She was a former Marylander as well. See, not everyone in NY is a Yankees fan ūüėČ You can take the girl out of Maryland…

…but she will still sing the Star Bangled Banner with an “O!” (All you Maryland people know EXACTLY what I’m talking about! And everyone else is like huh?)

I digress…speaking of my hometown…we will be heading back there on Friday after the boy’s doc appointments (6 and 2.5 yr. check ups already!). Saturday we will be celebrating my baby boy Luca as¬†he will be officially welcomed into the Church! Very excited to celebrate his special day, which he will also share with his Papa who is turning 35! Looking forward to a day of family, friends, and celebration!

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!



Tying the Knot in Tucson


Tucson.  Beautiful Tucson.  The boys and I flew out to Arizona back in November to celebrate the wedding of my pen pal (yes you heard that right), Angela to her sweetheart, Leon.  We visited them in May 2013 while I was pregnant, back before they were even engaged, and we had the most amazing time out there exploring and meeting her family.  We were so happy to return as a family of three and celebrate their wonderful union together.

It was a magical night in the Tucson desert.  The sunset was absolutely unreal out there.  The flowers were stunning of course, as Angela and her sister are both floral designers.  I loved the artistic touches Angela included, especially the four wedding dresses she pulled from the parents and grandparents of her and Leon.  These dresses were hung from trees that lined her walk down the aisle.  Sigh.

Aside from the beautiful decor and scenery, the wedding was full of fantastic people. ¬†Coming from across the country, we didn’t know many of the guests¬†but both Angela and Leon’s family and friends were so completely welcoming and friendly. ¬†They were also lots of fun, and we joined them on the dance floor for much of the night. ¬†Kids were able to run around in the outdoor space, and I think our little Nico actually learned how to really walk here.

It was a beautiful night, and I am so happy for Angela and Leon.  Thanks for letting us be a part of your celebration.  Love you both!

















Beautiful, huh?

Fast forward to present day: Yesterday marked the first Day of P90X for me. ¬†As you can probably imagine, I am in an incredible amount of pain! ¬†But no pain, no gain right? ¬†Day 2 (today) I woke up early to do plyometrics. ¬†I was actually enjoying the workout, but started to feel sick and queasy about half way in. ¬†Now, I know I’m not pregnant, so I guess this is a sign I am out of shape! ¬†I¬†started having¬†flashbacks of high school basketball tryouts where there were trashcans lined up around the gym “just in ¬†case.” ¬†Yikes. ¬†I decided to listen to my body, and stop the workout at the moment. ¬†It’s only Day 2, and I have a long journey. ¬†I do plan on completing the second half of the workout later today when I have a bit more energy. ¬†Oh the curveballs!

Other than that, we have SNOW today up in the Big Apple! ¬†Unfortunately, since Nico and I have been sick, I think we will be enjoying the snow through the window today, but at least it’s pretty!

Hope you are all having a great week and a great start to the new year!



Nautical 1st Birthday Party



















Since Nico was born on Labor Day Weekend of last year, we decided to throw a little nautical themed bash to round out the summer. ¬†The hubby and I spent the week prior crafting some decorations for the event, and I think they¬†turned out nicely. ¬†To create letters like the ONE shown above, check out my tutorial on the letters I created for Nico’s nursery.

My parents, sister, and her boyfriend came up from Maryland, ¬†close friends in NY arrived, and Nico had his little buddies to hang with and jam out to the Munchkin Music Club sing-a-long. ¬†I decided I did not want to spend the entire day in the kitchen, so we had the event catered by Fairway, and they did a phenomenal job. ¬†I think we may have overdone it a bit…just a little bit…as we had food leftover for the entire week and then some. ¬†The fabulous cake from Betty Bakery tasted just as good as it looked! ¬†We appreciate everyone who came out to celebrate, and we hope you all had a great time!



Farewell 2013

I can’t believe it’s time to say farewell to 2013. ¬†It’s been a crazy year, but also a really fun one. ¬†I want to thank all of you for continuing to check out my posts every day. ¬†Your comments and kind words definitely keep me coming back here to this little blog of mine. ¬†Your favorite post was when I announced my husband and I were having a boy! ¬†That little boy sure has changed our world. ¬†You also liked my recipes for garden fresh tomato sauce and homemade pesto. ¬†Who knew I could actually be crafty with my DIY Nursery Letters, which you all also seemed to enjoy. ¬†And your favorite outfit post was this winter white number.

Now here is a little photo reminder of my trip to Maine, which is perfect for today’s celebrations. ¬†I will most likely be in bed before the ball drops this year, because when you have a baby, you can’t stay up until midnight anymore. ¬†Instead of drowning yourself in champagne and singing Auld Lang Syne while staring at the blurry fireworks…you sip some sparkling cider, cuddle your little one, put him to bed, and then climb into your own bed to catch up on sleep. ¬†The difference in Brooklyn is that us parents postpone celebrations for a chic daytime party with other parents and babies in the neighborhood at the local bar (which I am looking forward to by the way). ¬†So we will still be celebrating tomorrow, just during baby-friendly hours. ūüôā

I am wishing you all the most wonderful New Year for 2014!




Easter Celebrations


Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! ¬†The hubby and I went down to Maryland to spend Easter with the family, and as you can see from these photos, there were a lot of sweets involved. ¬†Yes, my Mom even made us Easter Baskets. ¬†Never too old for Peeps right? ¬†We also celebrated my Granny’s 92nd Birthday and my Uncle’s 58th since we were all together. ¬†We feasted on BBQ chicken, filet mignon, potatoes, baked beans, salad, spinach artichoke dip, pasta salad, deviled eggs, and more. ¬†I was stuffed to the brim before having to drive back to the Big Apple. ¬†And what a drive that was. ¬†6 1/2 grueling hours of traffic. ¬†Much different than our 4 hour drive down. ¬†Feeling pretty exhausted today, and can’t wait to get some and catch up on some Zzz’s.





It was great seeing some friends and family this weekend, and I also had time for a photo shoot featuring Guilty Jean jewelry. I cannot wait to share these!  Stay tuned this week.



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A Day on the Farm


While on holiday, we spent a day celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday on the farm. ¬†Her friend owns a beautiful piece of property in Northern Maryland, and invited a crew over for a lovely housewarming at their newly renovated home. ¬†Along with my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law were also in attendance. ¬†It was great to catch up with everyone over delicious home cooked seafood chowder, decadent desserts, and a fantastic walk around the yard with all the goats and chickens. ¬†Thanks to Bill and Ellen for their hospitality.














Today is my first day back at the office in the new year. ¬†It’s strangely quiet so far today. ¬†This morning I was able to make it to the gym, and I actually made it there before it opened. ¬†What, you say? ¬†Yes, this is no joke. ¬†Weird things are happening in 2013.

Hope you all enjoy the end of our short week.



Seven Fishes


The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian Christmas celebration.  The dinner features seven different types of seafood and commemorates the wait, or vigil, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.  The most famous dish that Southern Italians are known for is baccala, or codfish.  Italians today also incorporate many other different types of seafood into their meal.

My family has been celebrating this tradition since before I can even remember. ¬†What used to be a feast at my Grandparent’s house for many years has now moved to my Aunt and Uncle’s due to spacial reasons. ¬†The family keeps growing! ¬†Christmas Eve is a night that my cousins and I look forward to all year long. ¬†It’s a time where the whole family is together, we drink delicious drinks, eat the best meal of the year, share gifts, and take our annual family photos.

This year was no different.  We shared many laughs, pumpkin martinis, cherry bomb spritzers, pesto rockfish, breaded baccala, escargot, clams, mussels, shrimp (ok so we had six, not seven, but close enough!), broccoli, garlic bread, the amazing corn pudding, brie, homemade cookies, awkward family photos, presents, and silliness.

I always hate departure time, but I was able to end the night knowing that we would be seeing everyone in less than a week for a family wedding before the new year!  Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.

Buon Natale!














Your Favorite Holiday Things

Thanks to all of those who sent in your favorite holidays things!  I loved getting them!  We all have our own traditions and things that make the holidays special for us, and I appreciate the little peek into how you celebrate the season.

From Justin – @justin_goldberg

Favorite Holiday Treat:

Amazeballs – cooked by his wife, Jessica of The Quest to Be Cookie Queen



From Angela – @acguaragna29

Favorite 2012 Holiday Present:


finley for mom

Favorite Movie:

Love Actually

love actually

Favorite Christmas Album:

The Carpenters

Carpenters mcd

Favorite Cooks:

Grandma & Aunt Marie for Christmas Eve Seven Fishes Italian Dinner

fave xmas eve cooks

From Zigi Р@zigisitch of ZiGiSituations

Favorite Place to Shop:

Macy’s Windows + Bryant Park w/ the fam


From Olivia – @PressTerp

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

Decorating my trees…big and small!

Picture 1

Thanks again to all those who participated and sent in your holiday favorites!

Today I am headed to my aunt and uncle’s house to celebrate Christmas Eve Italian style – the Seven Fishes dinner. ¬†Clams, rockfish, codfish, shrimp, escargot, and whatever else today’s dinner will bring. ¬†It’s one of my favorite days of the year where all of my crazy family gets together to celebrate, eat good food, drink yummy cocktails, sing songs, share gifts, and eat Grandma’s delicious homemade cookies.

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!  Hope you have a fantastic day!



These Are a Few of My Favorite Things


Favorite Laugh:

Favorite Movie:


Favorite Family Photo:


Yes, this is my crazy Italian fam – Courtesy of Misa*Me Photography

Favorite Holiday Look:

polyvore holiday look

New Year’s Eve??? – Photo courtesy of¬†Polyvore

Favorite Sweet Treat:


Grandma Sally G’s Italian Christmas Eve Cookies – a family favorite!

What are some of your holiday favorites?  E-mail or tweet me your favorite holiday things by Friday, and I will feature them in an upcoming post!

Email: gina (dot) notes26 (at) gmail (dot) com – wrote the address this way, so I can’t get spammed FYI

Twitter Handle: @popcornpandas

Can’t wait to see your favorites!