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 ūüôā :

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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 ūüėČ

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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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Happy 2nd Birthday to P + P

A birthday cupcake with two lighted candles.
While I was down for the count last week, my little here blog turned TWO. ¬†It’s been a lot of fun having this little creative space, and although I’ve had less time for blogging this year, it’s still just as enjoyable for me. ¬†Thanks for continuing to come back here day after day to read and comment and share. ¬†Truth is, I blog for myself, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love all the support. ¬†It makes taking the time out for a post even more worthwhile. ¬†I would love to hear any feedback you have for the upcoming year of p + p. ¬†If there are particular things you like or dislike, what you want to see more of, if there is something I haven’t touched on that you are interested in, etc. ¬†Comment below! ¬†Now, I have put together a recap of some of your favorite posts from the past year:

You enjoyed Nico’s Nursery¬†photos:

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As well as the DIY Nursery Letters Tutorial:

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The first family dinner out after having Nico:

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A very formal affair in which I was proud to be a bridesmaid, and our first big event as a family of three:

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The time I regretted wearing white:

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But I clearly kept on wearing it anyway…like when we traveled to San Fran:

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I wore this pastel coat:

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Pops of Spring with Stella & Dot:

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I got these fantastic red rain boots from the hubs and wore them on our trip to New Hampshire:

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Spent my first Mother’s Day in Coney Island with my new Love, Lori Michelle necklace made with Nico’s initial:

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I rocked these amazing hair extensions from Irresistible Me:

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My baby turned ONE:

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And here is all the gear that got us through:

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Lastly, saying goodbye to summer (sadly):

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And there you have it folks…you’re favorite posts from the past year. ¬†Looking forward to what the 3rd year will bring for p + p.

Speaking of birthdays…since I have been so terrible at remembering them this year (my sincere apologies to those of you, you know who you are!)…I’m taking advantage of the fact that I remembered this one today…and I want to wish a Happy 30th to my cousin and half brain, Misa.

Hope you are all enjoying the week so far!

XO,

Gina

Love, Lori Michelle

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Aside from the amazing Mother’s Day gift that I received from my husband and son, I also received¬†an¬†incredible mommy necklace made especially for me by Lori¬†of Love, Lori Michelle. ¬†She worked with me to custom design the necklace I am wearing in this post, and we chose a heart with an “N” cut out in the corner for my little Nico. ¬†Lori is a digital artist and designer whose work with 3D models inspired her to create 3D printed jewelry. ¬†Most of her early designs were created as birthday or wedding gifts for friends, and she prides herself on her custom one-of-a-kind designs. ¬†Her silver and stainless steel pieces are both beautiful and original, and I’m so happy to be the recipient of such a wonderful gift!

What is 3D printing you ask? ¬†Lori describes the printing process here if you’d like to read on.

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Custom Necklace: c/o Love, Lori Michelle / Dress: F21 Рsimilar / Sandals: Sam Edelman Рred sold out, but many color choices here / Heart Sunnies: Amazon Рsuper sale! / Heart Striped Tote: Ban.do / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelet: Stella and Sparkle / Earrings: ALDO / Lip: Lancome Red Haute / Toes: Essie Lights

On Nico – Oxford Button Up Bodysuit: Baby GAP / Shorts: Crazy 8 / Fedora: Old Navy –¬†similar¬†/ Stroller: Uppababy Vista

My 1st Mother’s Day was absolutely everything I could have asked for and more. ¬†Nico woke up an hour later than his normal time babbling “Mama Mama” in his crib to awake me from slumber. ¬†A whole extra hour to sleep in? ¬†That never happens! ¬†And saying Mama? ¬†First time ever! ¬†What better way to wake up on my first Mother’s day huh?

We ate breakfast together at home, and then headed outside as it was a perfect, sunny, beautiful day sans humidity. ¬†Naturally the beach was calling our name!¬† Although it wasn’t quite bathing suit and ocean weather, it was a perfect day for walking around Coney Island. ¬†It was just before tourist season, so it wasn’t too crowded. ¬†We had delicious pizza at the new Grimaldi’s (which is super family friendly by the way), and we took a long walk on the boardwalk and out on the pier. ¬†We watched people on the rides, got ice cream cones, and even played a little ski ball. ¬†The best part was watching Nico’s face as he saw people the Cyclone¬†for the first time. ¬†I’m guessing he was thinking: 1) What is that, and 2) That looks awesome! ¬†I love seeing him experience things for the first time, and I admit I even got a little teary.

We are headed off to New Hampshire this morning for the Memorial Day holiday.  If you want to follow our adventures, you can catch me on Instagram!

XO,

Gina

My 1st Mother’s Day

What a wonderful 1st Mother’s Day spent with my boys! ¬†I relaxed this¬†weekend, and we also took a day trip to Coney Island which means I didn’t spend much time writing posts. ¬†However, I did snap a lot of photos, which I will be sharing in the next couple weeks. ¬†My favorite gifts are ones that are made with love¬†and pull at my heart strings. ¬†This gift from my amazing husband had me in tears as he compiled a bunch of our videos of our son, Nico, who is now 8 months old (almost 9 now‚Ķeek!) ¬†It’s crazy how much you forget about each little step along the way because your baby keeps growing and changing and you have to keep up. ¬†Watching this video really hit me hard, because you cannot rewind those little moments. ¬†He will never be that tiny again. ¬†Seeing him with so little hair, making those squeaky little sounds he used to make, hating tummy time with a passion, when he really looked at me for the first time, trying those first bites of food, the first giggle, when he loved sleeping on my chest‚Ķyou cannot get that back. ¬†We are forever pushing forward. ¬†Which of course, in and of itself is also extremely exciting. ¬†I love thinking about all the other firsts Nico will accomplish‚Ķbut it’s a bittersweet feeling, knowing you cannot go back to when he was tiny‚Ķand it gut punches you when you realize how fast this is all going.

Nico, it has been a pleasure and a joy to be your Mom these past 8.5 months.  I love you forever.

And a special belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms I know in my life. ¬†I am lucky to have wonderful grandmother’s, aunts, a godmother, ¬†ladies that I can call 2nd moms, and a fantastic mother-in-law. ¬†Most importantly, I am so lucky to have my Mom. ¬†She has shown me what it takes to be a good mom, sister, daughter, and friend. ¬†I now understand all the hard work, time, and effort you put in to raise me. ¬†I love you so much, and I cannot thank you enough for being my rock. ¬†I love our nightly chats on my walk home from the subway, and you are already an amazing Mimi to our Nico.

XO,

Gina

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Cyclones and Princesses

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We ventured out to Coney Island a couple weeks ago with friends to attend our first Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game.  I have to admit, a majority of the draw (aside from the lovely company) was the fact that it was Disney Princess night complete with fireworks to Disney tunes!  I am a sucker for anything Disney, so this event was right up my alley.  We had a lot of fun enjoying the game, the views, and the bright lights.

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We’ve been hunkered down in the city waiting for our little boy’s arrival and getting some things done around the house. ¬†We hung out at Rockaway Beach on Saturday which was a gorgeous, relaxing day complete with arepas at Caracas…my favorite! ¬†We also met up with my sorority Grand Little who was in town from Boston for an amazing pizza dinner at Grimaldi’s. ¬†It was my first time there, and I will definitely be returning! ¬†Sunday, we completed a small DIY project at the house that we’ve been wanting to do for a while and created some fun artwork to hang up in the garden.

Hope you all had a great weekend, and wishing everyone a Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina

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Weekend Snaps

Wanted to share a few photos from the past couple weekends we have spent in NYC. ¬†It’s been nice to actually be in town for a bit and enjoy this amazing city!

My awesome soccer team at our championship BBQ in Williamsburg, BK

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A little corn hole action…

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Taking a walk in the neighborhood with our neighbors

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Pretty little house in the ‘hood

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View of Coney Island from my beach chair…

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Brighton Beach – so happy to be at the Ocean!

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Toes in the sand (Wearing Essie DJ Play That Song)

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It’s been so nice and super relaxing ¬†these past few weekends staying in town and enjoying this city in which we live. ¬†I often think about how lucky we are to be in such an urban place with so much to offer in terms of food, theatre, culture, events, and more. ¬†And in addition to this crazy metropolis, how is it possible that we still have the ocean only 4 miles away from our home? ¬†For me it is the best of both worlds, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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

XO,

Gina

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Boardwalk Tribal

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Two summer trends I am embracing this season are 1) obviously the maxi which you have seen a lot lately in previous posts, and 2) tribal prints. ¬†I actually received this dress as a gift a summer or two ago, and I broke it out for a quick impromptu beach trip to Brighton Beach/Coney Island. ¬†I also recently found this amazingly bright tribal necklace from Flair Accessories. ¬†It was the last one, and I just had to snag it. ¬†If you’re lucky, she may get some more in stock! ¬†We had a great time watching the sun go down, reading our books with our toes in the sand, and walking along the boardwalk catching the last of the Puerto Rican Day Parade festivities. ¬†I heart the summertime.

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Photos by: Zack Notes / Edited by: Myself

Maxi Dress: Gifted / Tribal Necklace and Bracelet: Flair Accessories / Watch: Michael Kors / Flip Flops: Rainbow / Shades: NYC Street Vendor / Lip: Lancome Fearless / Nails: The Balm Hella Yella (from LOFT)

The storms seem to be winding down, and we are heading into (hopefully) a gorgeous weekend. ¬†Do you all have anything special planned for Father’s Day? ¬†The hubby and I will be spending our Father’s Day weekend preparing for him to be a father and me to be a mother at a weekend intensive child birth course. ¬†I’m a little nervous, but excited to learn and get ready (as most we can) for our big day ahead.

I also want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to my own Father, as well as my Father-in-law and my Godfather. ¬†You all have made a wonderful impact on my life and my husband’s, and we are so lucky to have the three of you. ¬†While, we won’t see you this weekend, we are looking forward to our family reunion and belated Father’s Day celebration next weekend.

Have a great weekend everyone!

XO,

Gina

Retro Rainbow

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ModCloth had a sale recently, and I couldn’t help but snag a few retro-style items from their online store. ¬†This rainbow frock totally brightens my day, and I’m in love with these new cat-eye sunnies. ¬†I’m also excited that I was able to score another non-maternity dress to rock while prego. ¬†That way, I can also wear it post-bump! ¬†Little Man is getting bigger and bigger. ¬†And Mom is too. ¬†These photos were taken at 26 weeks, and today I hit week 27. ¬†3rd trimester here we go!

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Photos by: Zack Notes / Edited by: Myself

Dress: ModCloth / Cat-Eye Sunnies: ModCloth / Shoes: Nordstrom Rack / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelet: Henri Bendel Рsimilar  / Earrings: ? (old) / Lip: MAC Candy Yum-Yum / Nails: The Balm Hella Yella (from LOFT)

After a beautiful weekend of sunshine, we have been getting some crazy storms up here! ¬†I have to say, I’m glad it wasn’t the opposite. ¬†We spent the weekend getting some errands done, picking up supplies for a small DIY house project, hanging out with friends for a birthday party and a cookout, playing some corn hole, and an impromptu trip to Brighton Beach/Coney Island.

Please send some love and prayers this way as my Uncle is currently having surgery today. ¬†He’s been through a lot these past few months, and this surgery is extremely crucial to his health and well-being. ¬†So any positive thoughts you can spare would be much appreciated!

Hope you all are having a good week so far!

XO,

Gina

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