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! ūüôā

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 – similar¬†+ 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. ūüėČ 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

 

 

 

 

{41} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  The 15 Invaluable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell.  Also finished Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. Both are fantastic and I would recommend!

writing  Christmas card city! Pretty much did them all weekend long. Whew!

listening ¬†To…what else? Christmas music! Pumping the Christmas jams all month long.

thinking¬†About the fact that I haven’t started ANY shopping yet…

smelling¬†¬†Still rockin’ a Pumpkin Spice Yankee Candle, and loving it.

watching  Watched Love Actually and The Family Stone while doing cards over the weekend. Need to get my hands on Elf and Home Alone!

wearing¬† Sweats, sweats, and more sweats. It’s getting cold! Though, I am going out tonight! Whoo mama’s going out on a Monday! (this is kind of a big deal haha), so I will be putting on real clothes (and a hat, scarf, and gloves, bc whoa, snow on the ground.)

exercising¬†Finished the 3 Week Yoga Retreat last month, and I’m one week in to Core de Force. I’m OBSESSED!!! The workout times are a little longer than I’m used to. I’ve been spoiled with 30 min…but these kickboxing, Muay Thai based workouts are¬†SOOOO kick ass. I’m in love. And they are working that core!

feeling  Strong, excited, cold, busy. Lots of random feelings.

wanting  To go see the Christmas Lights in Dyker Heights. They are simply MAGICAL.

needing ¬†To clean my house. I’ve been good about tidying, but ugh, it really needs a good clean. It’s on the must-do list before we travel for the holidays.

loving  All of the snuggles from my boys lately.

wishing ¬†That the preschool application process in NYC wasn’t feeling as difficult as applying to college. And that all the Catholic Schools weren’t shutting down. Holy moly.

hoping¬† That we can find some great schools, and get into our top choices. We won’t know until the spring though.

craving  Chocolate.

clicking ¬†Well what I need to be clicking on are website for Christmas shopping, but at this rate, I won’t make the shipping, so I better hit the stores!

ANNOUNCING!!!! – Starting this week for the rest of December, I will be doing a HOLIDAY Giveaway series on my Instagram Page!!!! I will be partnering with some amazing brands and giving away some FANTASTIC things this month, so STAY TUNED!!! My first giveaway will take place THIS¬†Wednesday!!! Trust me, it’s going to be awesome, and you will want to win!!! ūüôā

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HAPPY MONDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

{35} Lately

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Lately I’ve been…

reading¬†¬†Been reading a bunch of books at once these days. Tag teaming a business book and a fun book. Just finished Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. It’s a great read for anyone who works in the social media industry or just has a general interest in social media. I am also reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult as something lighter and non-business related for summertime. And lastly, planning on beginning to read Start With Why by Simon Sinek this week about how great leaders inspire people to take action.

writing ¬†Thank you cards for everyone who attended Nico’s 2nd Birthday Party and for those who have showered our 2nd baby boy with goodies as well. We are very lucky to have such great family and friends.

listening  Inspirational Podcasts. Here is a good list for entrepreneurs. Do you have a good one to add to the list?

thinking ¬†I can’t believe it’s almost time to have this baby! And that I am going to be surrounded by BOYS!

smelling  BBQ Chicken my hubby made for dinner. So delish!

watching  The Real Housewives of Orange County and New York. Yes. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Hey, every girl needs a little trashy TV downtime.

wishing  For a smooth labor and delivery. And for my water to break at home or at the hospital and not in some crazy public place.

hoping ¬†That being said…hoping that baby comes before they decide I need to be induced like my last pregnancy! Grow baby, grow!

wearing ¬†Leggings, maternity shorts, stretchy tanks and maternity tops, maxi dresses. Anything that isn’t extremely hot to wear and that I can still walk around in. There is a reason you haven’t seen a fashion post up lately haha…there’s not much to report these days! Comfort is key to maternity survival in this heat!

loving  My new redecorated and cleaned out office space in my sunroom. Looking for more prints to hang and still need to install the knobs on the desk (which came today, yay!), and some curtains, but I am excited!

wanting  To try some recipes in the new cookbook, FIXATE, by Autumn Calabrese! They look so good!

needing  To keep walking! Exercise is getting a little tougher these days as I hit the 38 week mark of my pregnancy yesterday, but trying to keep things moving, and hopefully that will help this baby arrive soon.

feeling ¬†Like I have to pee constantly. TMI? Sorry, just keepin’ it real over here.

craving  Chocolate. Chocolate. More Chocolate. If you know me, you know I generally crave fruitier desserts, but for some reason, I am all about that chocolate in the past couple weeks. Baby has a sweet tooth!

clicking  Through Etsy for office wall art

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HAPPY TUESDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

Chicken Mole Poblano

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Latin food is one of my favorite genres to both cook¬†and eat, and this dish is on the top of my list. ¬†I originally got this chicken mole poblano recipe¬†from Top Chef Season 5 contestant, Carla Hall, when she was featured in Health Magazine. ¬†I made it a few years ago and loved it, so I decided it was time to break this recipe out again this past week. ¬†I’m not going to lie though, Carla would have been disappointed with the amount of “love” I put into this dish. ¬†In the beginning of the week, I couldn’t wait to make it, and then reality set in. ¬†I got home from work late, I was tired due to lack of sleep the night before, and the last thing I wanted to do was try to make a recipe I hadn’t done in three years. ¬†I had planned on creating this post, but¬†then I was in such a funk that I scrapped taking photos and glumly resumed my wifely/motherly duties with a sour look on my face. ¬†I had promised my husband (and he was super excited) to make¬†this delicious meal, but I just didn’t feel like it! ¬†However, I knew it was the right thing to do to by making it.¬† You know those days when you really just don’t want to go to the gym or work out? ¬†But then you do anyway‚Ķand you feel SO much better afterward??? ¬†Well, this is how cooking this meal went. ¬†I really was not in the mood to cook¬†in the beginning, and was super cranky about it (sorry dear husband). ¬†But as I got into it, I started getting¬†excited (more than likely because I was going to get to eat it)‚Ķand then after it was done, I was extremely¬†proud of how it turned out. ¬†I then rushed to grab the camera and take a photo of the final product. ¬†I got back on board with doing a blog post about it, and wished I hadn’t been such a grouch in the beginning. ¬†It’s amazing how making a little meal can uplift your spirits and shift your mood. ¬†I’m still blaming certain mood swings on the hormones. ūüėČ

As for this recipe, I think you will also find it delicious. ¬†And it’s even better when you make it with a little love. ¬†As usual, I made a few changes to my own liking (especially with the chicken – I tend to prefer white meat over dark), but for the most part, the sauce is the same.

Hope you enjoy!

What you need:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1.5 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

.5 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles

1 teaspoon tahini (I omitted this, because I couldn’t find it at the store)

3 oz dark chocolate chopped

1 tablespoon cilantro chopped

Carla used an already cooked rotisserie chicken, divided into 6 pieces and warmed – I used uncooked chicken breasts instead covered in cumin and cinnamon to taste and white cooking wine

1/2 avocado, pitted and sliced

1 tomato, diced

How to Make it Happen:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place uncooked chicken breasts covered in cumin, cinnamon, and white wine into a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake the chicken for approximately 35 minutes (will depend on thickness of the chicken and how your oven cooks, so make sure to check it early to avoid overcooking!)

While the chicken is baking, heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.  Add onion and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent.  Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in cumin, cinnamon, sale, and pepper; cook for 1 minute.

Add canned diced tomatoes and chiles to saucepan, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in tahini and chocolate until melted.  Stir in chopped cilantro.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Put sauce in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Spoon as much sauce as you like over the chicken.  Serve with avocado and tomato.

I also decided to serve it with some black beans and rice, which really completed the meal for me.  The cheese on top of the beans is cotija.

Happy to say, we blended everything all together to serve to our little guy as well, and he happily ate it as well!

Hope you are all having a great week!

XO,

Gina

{13} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading¬† Just finished What Remains by Carole Radziwill. ¬†She is one of the more recent additions to the New York City Housewife cast, although she wrote this book long before. ¬†Carole was a reporter for many years, a princess, and related to the Kennedy’s. ¬†This memoir is about friendship, love, and loss. ¬†It’s extremely sad, but very real, and Radziwill is an excellent writer. ¬†I just started Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks as I heard it was decent and was looking for a light summer beach read (even though I’m not at the beach).

writing¬† Contracts. ¬†I’m no lawyer, and I can’t exactly say much yet, but it’s exciting, and I’m drafting, drafting.

listening¬† I’ve always been an Avicii fan, but I’m really loving his new single Wake Me Up. ¬†It starts out with a folk/country guitar style, and breaks into the typical dance/house style of Avicii that we know and love.

thinking ¬†That all I wanted was summertime, and now I got my wish…but it’s so hot, I don’t know how this prego body is going to make it through August.

smelling¬† Breakfast food…my favorite!

watching¬† Holy Bachelorette! ¬†Some intense home visits and a sad goodbye. ¬†Go figure they are all in love with her, except the one she is in love with. ¬†I still can’t believe I got into this show this season…those to blame, you know who you are…

wishing¬† That I could fly out to San Fran to celebrate my friend’s Trey and Suzette’s big day this weekend! ¬†I know it will be amazing, and I’m sad to miss it. ¬†But excited instead to celebrate my bestie Teri’s bridal shower and a baby shower for my Little Monkey.

hoping ¬†For good weather this weekend. ¬†We have a maternity photo session scheduled with Misa*Me Photography, and I’m hoping the weather will cooperate!

wearing  Gray and blue striped cotton jersey dress that was handed down to me by Danielle, my college roomie and cutest little mama!

loving ¬†The new Up the Amp MAC lipstick that I got for free by turning in my 6 empties to recycle. ¬†Also loving the new Benefit They’re Real Mascara I got for my birthday from Sephora.

laughing ¬†At this awesome maid of honor speech I discovered on Zigi’s blog. ¬†I died laughing, and it totally made me think of my bestie Teri. ¬†Let’s just say this girl does a sick Eminem.

wanting ¬†To jump in a pool for my birthday (next weekend)…anyone know a place in the city that could throw a good pool party?

needing ¬†Air conditioning. ¬†Been blasting it lately! ¬†I’m dreading the electric bill.

feeling ¬†Incredibly lucky for my amazing family and friends. ¬†Everyone has been so generous, and we have already started getting lots of packages and gifts to the house for our little man, and I haven’t even had my shower yet! ¬†I cannot wait to get everything in order! ¬†Thank you everyone, I really appreciate it.

craving  Chocolate and fruit.  I have been wanting a little bit almost every day lately.

clicking  Photography inspiration ideas for our shoot this Saturday.

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What have you been up to lately?

Happy Tuesday!

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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