This Envelope

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This envelope right here. This envelope here holds my son’s monthly tuition for preschool. This envelope used to be a bit of a stress factor for me during that first week of the month. While our co-op is definitely affordable compared to many daycares and private preschool programs, it is still a nice chunk of change that I wasn’t always sure we could afford. I knew we would make it happen…because education is so important to me and my husband, and we truly value the experiences that our son had been able to have with his teacher and classmates. But I stressed all summer long about the tuition increase from last year to this year with an extra hour a day, extra day per week, cost to hire an assistant, etc. It all adds up pretty quick.

Building a business from scratch is not easy and it takes time and patience to build. It has been frustrating at times to not be an “overnight success,” but that’s just not how things work. My husband has been so supportive since I became a coach and he truly believes in me. He believes this has been a great decision for our family…even when I have doubted myself. For that I am so grateful. Quitting has never been an option, and I have continued to put in my best effort day in and day both both as a mom and as a business woman…sometimes at the same time.

So when I realized today that this week’s paycheck more than surpassed that monthly tuition we owe today, my heart just filled with happiness. To know that I was able to contribute in such a way toward my son’s education in just one week of helping others reach their goals truly shed light on a big reason WHY I do what I do.

I love helping others, and I also want to create the best life possible for my family and give my children all they deserve to be happy and successful in life. I am holding this envelope today feeling grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and feeling hopeful for the future.

Hope you all are having an amazing week and continuing to pursue your passions and dreams!

XO,

Gina

2016 in Review

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So much has happened over the course of this past year…here is a little recap…

 I came upon my 2 year health + fitness coaching journey this January and I have since been able to help over 300 challengers to reach their goals and over 30 coaches to build a business of their own. I am continuing to help those who want to make changes in this brand new year.

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My sweet little Luca was officially Baptized into the Catholic Church with a beautiful Christening celebration.

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I earned my first Beachbody Coach Success Club Trip and was able to take my whole family on a Caribbean Cruise on the Oasis of the Seas!!! Holy amazing!!!

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I had some fun collaborations with Younique presenter Suzy Engler & UncommonGoods. I now love a great lip stain and one of my readers is rockin’ an Elwood mug.

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We traveled to New Jersey, Ithaca, and Baltimore / (x2)  to celebrate some incredibly beautiful weddings of close friends.

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We spent a week at the lake with close friends in the Poconos.

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I returned to Nashville for my 2nd Beachbody Coach’s Summit and got to hang with my amazing team!

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Nico turned 3 and Luca turned 1, and we celebrated with a Lego themed Birthday Party

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We tackled potty training over the summer and got one kid out of diapers lol. This book was super helpful.

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We spent two weeks at the beach with family from the Outer Banks, NC to Cape May, NJ

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Hubby finally started back up on his own health and fitness journey…and he’s got the abs to prove it!

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Got in a ton of good reads this year including You Are a Badass, Girl on the Train, Me Before You, No Excuses, The 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth, The 5 Love Languages, and more.

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We hiked to the top of Bear Mountain with great friends and Nico almost did the entire thing on his own including the hand and foot scaling!!! I was super impressed.

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I completed several new at-home workout programs and challenged myself from P90X3, 21 Day Fix Extreme, 22 Minute Hard Corps, Country Heat, Hammer + Chisel, 3 Week Yoga Retreat, and Core de Force. Feeling happier + healthier than ever before!

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I traveled to Sundance, Utah for my first ever Coach’s Diamond Retreat which was an experience of a lifetime. What an amazingly beautiful place to reflect, learn, and be inspired by so many other leaders.

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Made some amazing fall soups that were so great, they will definitely be made again this winter.

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Little sis and I pulled off the surprise of the year celebrating our amazing Mom + Dad’s 60th Birthday. Aren’t these two adorable?!?!

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Got in another memorable family Christmas Eve photo by my cousin and fav photographer Misa Me.

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Rounded out the year with a fabulous holiday season with my bests in our Christmas jammies.

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What an incredible year, and we cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store!!!

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What was your favorite memory from 2016??? What are you most looking forward to in 2017??? Please share below!!!

Wishing you all a happy + healthy New Year! Happy Monday!!

XO,

Gina

Fall Farm Birthday

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Earlier this fall, we celebrated my nephews 3rd Birthday on the farm down at Clark’s Elioak in the heart of Howard County, Maryland. If you live near this area, but haven’t taken a trip here yet, you absolutely MUST! What an amazing experience for the whole family! Starting with the horse/pony rides, petting the goats, seeing all the animals, the magical feel of Mother Goose and the Old Woman’s shoe, slides, tractor rides, hay rides, pizza, cake, + more. The kids had a blast, and not gonna lie…so did the parents! Coming from Brooklyn, it’s so nice to get outdoors and get down on a farm this time of year. Happy 3rd Birthday to my little nephew, and cheers to my bro and sis-in law for hosting a really fun event!

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Speaking of family…we are heading down to Maryland late tonight (as soon as I clean my house, do laundry, and pack for the whole family…whew!). It’s going to be a long day, but we are excited for another adventure down in Maryland this week to celebrate Thanksgiving and catch up with family and friends. Hoping to avoid traffic (and screaming children), so we plan to leave around bedtime. Wish us luck!

And Happy Thanksgiving Week to all! 🙂

XO,

Gina

Cheers to 12 Years

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Holy cow. Sometimes you get so busy that the days blur together and you blow right past your 12 year dating anniversary without acknowledging it! Back then we never would have missed this day, but with the craziness of work, two kids, a new anniversary, etc. we honestly both forgot! (It was on Tuesday, btw, so we are 3 days late) LOL! Though we both have been mindful to spend some extra time together this week for whatever reason. Maybe it was our subconscious coming through!

Looking back at this photo (which wasn’t even quite 12 years ago, but I didn’t have FB back then haha), we were just kids! He was a recent graduate from college and I was still in school when we met. We didn’t really know what we wanted in life and we were trying to figure ourselves out. However, we did know that whenever we were together we had a great time and that we could talk about anything. Even if it kept us up all night.

I will be forever grateful that he decided to move to New York with me and we started our own journey together discovering our joint love for culture, food, art, and big city energy. He has always been incredibly supportive with anything I have ever been passionate about, even if it’s something he could care less about. Not many husbands would be incredibly enthusiastic to take photos for their wife’s “fashion blog,” but he still does it to this day.

We both love to travel, and he is the perfect vacation partner because we always want to do the same things. We call it our “vacation magic.”

We have had our ups and downs throughout the past 12 years, and it hasn’t always been easy, but we have grown so much both individually and as a couple. We know that together we can get through anything, and he has given me two of the most precious boys I could ever imagine. Watching him with our boys just melts my heart, and they are so lucky to have such an incredible father.

Cheers to the past 12 years Zack Notes and to continuing to love and grow with each other as the years go on. ❤ ❤ ❤

XO,

Gina

Feeling Like Fall

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Top: J. Crew Factory – sold out but other colors here / Hat: J. Crew Factory / Denim: AG Jeans / Booties: Target / Lip: MAC Rebel

Friday night post whoooo! Maybe some of you are as lame as me and able to read this tonight…maybe not 😉 Either way, hopefully you get a chance to check it out at some point over the weekend haha.

I took these photos last weekend when it was truly starting to feel like fall and then we had a week of 80 degree weather!!!! LOL! Go figure! I scored this J. Crew top and hat over at the Factory outlet on summer vacation, and was excited to finally bust them out.

You may have gotten a glimpse of my crazy week over on Facebook, but things are looking up and trying to focus on the positive. Last weekend we had good friends in town and took them up to Bear Mountain for an awesome fall hike. We made it to the top, and I was incredibly impressed that my 3 year old did 95% of the hike himself! I carried the baby on my back which was an extra workout, and we had a great time catching up while enjoying the great outdoors. Tomorrow we are on the road to Maryland to reunite and celebrate a dear friend who has a baby on the way.

In other news, I have the BIGGEST popcorn and pandas giveaway of the YEAR coming up which I will announce here on MONDAY!!!! So make sure you come on back to see what it’s all about! 🙂

Happy Weekend!

XO,

Gina

P.S. I need a haircut. Any good ideas? Throw them my way! 😉

End of Summer

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Romper: Target (similar here) – Also love this long-sleeved one for early fall / Sandals: Call it Spring / Sunglasses: Brickyard Buffalo / Pendant: antique heirloom / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: Tory Burch, Stella & Sparkle, Guilty Jean

Ahhhh, yesterday was the first day of fall, and while I do love all things pumpkin, I am sad to see the summer come to an official end. We had a great summer complete with lots of traveling and adventures, and this romper sure got a lot of play from the lake in the Poconos, to the playgrounds of Brooklyn, to the streets of Nashville in Tennessee, to the Jersey Shore in Cape May, down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Our first full summer as a family of four was a success! Can’t believe it’s over. We will remember it fondly, but part of me is excited to break out the boots and crush some pumpkin spice lattes. 😉

Happy Fall + Happy Weekend!

XO,

Gina

Monkey Turns Three

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Dear Nico,

Three years ago today you came into our lives 2 weeks earlier than expected. I thought I would be going to work, but the doctor said it was time for you to make your appearance. Papa and I were freaked out and nervous but excited at the same time. It took probably 36 hours or so before you finally arrived, but there you were. So tiny and fragile, my little monkey.

You changed my world the very minute you arrived. I learned about unconditional love and how fiercely I could love another human being. I learned that being a mom is hard…like REALLY hard…like how did no one ever tell me it would be THIS hard?! But it’s also the most rewarding job I have ever had in my entire life.

I have watched you grow over these past three years into an incredible little human. Everything you choose to do you do it full out with 110% effort. There is no holding back. You go all in…always. You are so intelligent, always seeking knowledge and answers. Reading books is one of your favorite things to do, and I know that will be such a huge asset in your future. You have a wild sense of adventure like your Papa, but you also approach situations with caution like myself.

You may drive me crazy sometimes, especially when you are tired and don’t want to nap, but you also make me melt into a puddle when you are sweet to your little brother or you hug me tight.

I seriously cannot believe you are three years old today. This is the year you go from toddler to little boy. You are growing and changing and becoming more and more independent each day. It makes me sad to lose my little baby, but I’m so proud of all your new accomplishments and achievements and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Sweet Little Monkey, Nico Bonzo! Mama and Papa love you SOOOOOOOO freakin’ much.

XOXO,

Mama

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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

Let the Countdown Begin

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This photo was taken 2 years ago at our last family trip to the Outer Banks. Nico was almost 1 year old, and I was so excited to bring him there for the first time. You see, the Outer Banks is like a second home. My parents grew up vacationing here, and then I grew up with my sister and cousins vacationing here. My uncle lived here for 25+ years, and my cousin also calls this place home. We have family friends here, we know our way around, we have our favorite restaurants, beach spots, shops, and traditions we keep. We spend long days here lounging in sand or playing corn hole on the beach. We ride the waves and sit in chairs getting lost in conversation until we realize we are halfway in the ocean lol. We go for jogs and walks down to the pier and back. We spend our evenings with a quick dip in the pool then off to celebrating summer birthdays, dining on restaurant seafood + home cooked pasta and meatballs, and mingling with family. Our late nights are spent here playing board games, drinking wine and playing guitar/singing out on the deck. It’s the one time of year where my entire family gathers to be together at once. We may need more than one house to fit all of us there, but we make it happen and we create the best memories.

I’m sure many of you have a place like this that is so special for you and your family. What is that place for you???

As I think about our upcoming trip to the OBX in 4 days, I think about my little Luca…who is the age and size that Nico was in this photo. I am excited for him to experience all of this for the first time, and happy that Nico may even be old enough to carry some of the memories home with him (and maybe some seashells too).

I may be raising little city kids up here in Brooklyn, but they sure as heck will be OBX beach babes every summer.

Counting down – 4 days ’til OBX fam

XO,

Gina

The Best Message

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I got a message from one of my challengers this morning:

“I’ve noticed some positive changes since I started P90X3 – definitely more peppy and happy when I walk into work and also feel less stressed and anxious about doing chores at the house. Also getting hungrier. I was a little later than usual this morn cuz granola wasn’t gonna cut it I needed real food – ham, eggs, cheese toast.”

You won’t believe it, but this challenger is my HUSBAND! I have been a coach now for 20 months and while he has been super supportive of me building my business, he has yet to try a program himself. I admit my jaw dropped to the floor last week when he told me he was going to give the program a shot. You see I had tried for what felt like forever, but it just goes to show that you just have to be ready to make that commitment. Even if I was ready for him to try it, he would not have been successful without making the decision himself. He’s now on Day 4 and rocking out each workout with enthusiasm. I can’t wait to see his progress the next 3 months!

In addition, it’s amazing to know that as a coach you not only are able to help people reach their goals, but that you are able to make a difference right in your own household with your own family. His decision to improve his health and fitness will have an impact on our future together. His goal is to ride his bike into his old age…to be able to play with his grandchildren. Now it may seem like that is pretty far off at this point, but really it’s not. Every step you take in life will get you a little bit closer to that goal. And I want to be climbing mountains with him and traveling the world together ’til we are old and gray.

So proud of you babe. Looking forward to growing together, continuing to make positive changes and living a healthy lifestyle for our future and for our children’s future. Keep up the great work Zack!

XO,
Gina