2017 in Review

View More: http://karenskaptures.pass.us/notes

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

IMG_0944

 

I was obsessed with smoothie bowls:

FullSizeRender (2)

 

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):

img_1331.jpg

 

Boys both fell in love with soccer just like their mama:

IMG_2386

IMG_2393

 

Helped hundreds of Challengers get on track with their nutrition with these amazing portion control containers:

IMG_1531

Little sis got engaged and asked the entire fam to be in the wedding 🙂 :

img_2422.jpg

Zack and I had a week-long road trip together to Asheville (thanks Mom + Dad!):

IMG_2531

IMG_2594

 

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:

IMG_3399

IMG_3492

 

I developed a passion for nut butters lol 😉

IMG_3839

 

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!):

IMG_4769.PNG

Went to the Dave Matthews Concert with the fam:

IMG_5630

IMG_5633

 

Spent many summer days at the NY Beaches + riding the rides at Coney Island:

IMG_5723

IMG_8303

 

Took Nico on his first roller coaster ride at Hershey Park with the family:

IMG_6393

 

Celebrated our 10 Year NYC Anniversary:

NYC Engagement

 

Went to Rhode Island with the hubs to watch one of my best friends walk down the aisle:

IMG_6717

 

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:

IMG_6938

IMG_7018

IMG_7986

Completed multiple workout programs including Shift Shop, T25, Insanity Max 30, and 3 Week Yoga Retreat:

IMG_2137

Celebrated my sister’s Bachelorette Weekend in VA Beach rooftop style:

IMG_8787

 

Luca got his 1st haircut:

IMG_8957

IMG_8959

Nico turned 4 and Luca turned 2 with a Construction themed Birthday Party:

IMG_9120

 

My challengers got amazing results with their fitness + nutrition:

Christie Transformation

86B4DF75-1905-4E8C-A122-FBF6CA6A0780

 

We went on family vacation to Cape May:

View More: http://karenskaptures.pass.us/notes

 

and the OBX:

IMG_9920.JPG

 

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:

IMG_0367

IMG_0421

We threw at Rainbow Sprinkle Themed Bridal Shower for my sister:

IMG_0234_Layers_v1

 

My little sis and her high school sweetheart finally tied the knot after 13 years:

22310601_10106411438053598_2146557899471833612_n

Took the boys on their first-ever camping trip this fall with good friends:

IMG_2308

 

Had an epic Halloween dressing up like The Wizard of Oz characters:

IMG_2752

 

Did ALL the the holiday things to celebrate the season (and enjoyed my most favorite/stressful time of the year):

IMG_4099

IMG_4607

IMG_4684

IMG_4981

IMG_4946

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

_DSC0128

Good Vibes Only

IMG_0411_Layers_v1

IMG_0472_Layers_v1

IMG_0406_Layers_v1

IMG_0454_Layers_v1

IMG_0470_Layers_v1

IMG_0409_Layers_v1

IMG_0474_Layers_v1

Good Vibes Only Sweatshirt: Target / Tank: Gifted / Denim: Paige Denim / Sneaks: New Balance via Poshmark – on sale here / Rainbow + Unicorn Earrings: UncommonGoods / Lip: MAC Up the Amp

A little rain ain’t gonna kill my vibe. The weather is calling for a rainy forecast ahead, but this week is going to be packed with high vibe goodness! From Namaste November to the 80 Day Obsession Sneak Peek, to our “A Day in the Life” Event on Facebook and Instagram Stories, to my New Coach Mentorship Program, (which by the way, shoot me an email to join any of these groups or get more details) Kindergarten tours, a full day off with the both boys on Tuesday, playdates with friends, and MORE…I am ready to #sparkthefire this week!

You can’t control everything in your life, but you can control how you react to it and the vibes/energy you put out into the world. Remember, your vibe attracts your tribe, and I truly believe what you put out there comes back to you. I can’t control the rain, but I can choose whether I complain or splash in the puddles with a smile.

What type of vibes are you going to be putting out into the world this week?

XO,

Gina

Feeling Free

IMG_0229_Layers_v1

IMG_0230_Layers_v1

IMG_0227_Layers_v1

IMG_0197_Layers_v1

IMG_0160_Layers_v1

IMG_0223_Layers_v1

Dress: Free People via Trunk Club (now 40% off!) / Shoes: Kelly + Katie via DSW (now on sale!) / Lip: MAC Impassioned

This dress is another that I scored with my last Trunk Club and my amazing stylist Megan. I wore it to a baby shower while in Maryland a couple weeks ago, but I also think it’s perfect for a date night in the city. These shoes are EVERYTHING and wore them that whole weekend. Surprisingly pretty comfortable for high heels!

I titled this post “Feeling Free” originally because this dress is from Free People, but after thinking more about it, there is a lot more behind the title and how I’m feeling right now. The boys are getting into their routine at school, and I’m getting into my new routine as their mama and as the CEO of my business…both this blog and my health + fitness coaching…which really, it all sort of combines to just really trying to inspire as many people as possible to live happier + healthier whether that’s by exercising, eating clean, taking time for yourself, feeling comfortable in your clothes and in your own skin, etc. With the boys being in school for a bit, I’m getting a little more free time to myself to really dive into this passion during normal day time hours, and I’m LOVING it.

I’ve been practicing the Miracle Morning which is a book by Hal Elrod, and it’s been completely life changing. I have been starting my day with meditation, visualization, reading personal development, journaling, and of course exercise. It’s literally the most perfect way to start the day, and it really sets the tone and my mood going forward. It also allows me to feel less stressed about things I have “to-do” during the day, and I feel that when I’m with my kids, I can really be more present with them and in the moment.

And not to bring down the moment, since I love keeping things positive over here, but I am feeling incredible sad in light of the recent shooting that happened in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the “freedom” of owning guns has allowed so many people to lose their own freedom and even their lives. My own dear friends were supposed to be at the concert, and ended up not going, thank God. I have never been a fan of guns and I feel that by having them, violence is just perpetuated. If you want to help support the end of gun violence, Everytown is a great movement to support.

And whatever else you can do to spread love and positivity in this world, please keep doing that! The world needs you. ❤

Make it a great day everyone!

XO,

Gina

Find Your Tribe, Love Them Hard

Spark Open House

 

***FIND YOUR TRIBE AND LOVE THEM HARD***
 
Who would have thought that 15 years after high school, I would have been in New Orleans with these 3 ladies from good ole ASHS???
 
Seriously though… Sure, we were friendly… I don’t think many of us couldn’t talk to pretty much anyone from our school in the hallway (it was truly a special place!)…but we didn’t know each other all that well. And yet we came together with a common purpose:
 
*To help others succeed
*To create a more fulfilling future for ourselves and our families
*To inspire others
*To be happy + healthy
*To grow as individuals + support each other along the way
*To surround ourselves with positive influences
 
And it felt incredibly EASY and NATURAL and just like we have been the best of friends the whole time throughout these last 15 years!
 
One of the BEST things about coaching is the amazing people this opportunity has brought into my life. I can honestly say I would not be the same person I am today if it weren’t for my team. Building each other up, supporting each other when we are down.
 
Throughout my whole life I had always been a part of a team. And I realized in my adult life, a team is still what I crave and need to have around me. This community has meant the world to me. Along with these amazing ladies, I have met tons of others from across the country who have changed me for the better.
 
And honestly? They just “get” me! My quirks, my goofy weirdness, my gangsta rap, the fact that even though I CAN be in yoga pants all day doesn’t mean I want to (I actually LIKE to get dressed up!), my OCD personality, the bookworm nerd in me, the fact that I never want to miss out on anything, my adventurous nature, they relate to me on the mom-level, we can have deep conversations, and so much more…they never judge…and they work so hard to do the best they can at every facet of life. They inspire me every day.
 
*The incredible group of ladies you see here along with the rest of Team SPARK! who weren’t able to make it to New Orleans this year will be hosting a SPECIAL EVENT this THURSDAY evening at 8:30pm ET!*
 
After coming back from our trip, we realize that we would be doing you a disservice if we did not SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS at how much this incredible Coaching Opportunity has CHANGED our lives, and we want to pay it forward. We want to share with you that ANYTHING is possible if you believe in yourself and what you can achieve.
 
We are looking for TEAM PLAYERS.
People who are GO-GETTERS.
Who want to hustle.
Who aren’t afraid to dig deep and grow themselves.
Who want to be happy and healthy.
Who want to be financially free.
Who enjoy helping others.
 
If this sounds like YOU, then please fill out this application and comment below with your RSVP for Thursday night at 8:30pm!
 
 
Hope to chat with you soon and hope you believe in yourself enough to take the leap and join this amazing tribe!
XO,
Gina

Rising Girlboss

Searching for my next (1)

***In search of my next RISING GIRLBOSS!!!***
 
Are you a dreamer of dreams? Do you have a vision for your life that you want to create for yourself? For your family? Are you currently living out your passion?
 
If you were to ask me 2 years ago if I thought being a health + fitness coach was my “passion,” I probably wouldn’t have been sure. I have always been an athlete, and I thought I may “good” at coaching, but I didn’t know how much it could actually change my life. I didn’t realize that by helping OTHERS grow, change and reach their goals, that I would also grow, change, and reach my goals in the process. At this point 2 years later, not only has this opportunity opened my eyes to the possibilities for the future, but it’s given me the confidence, the strength, the courage, and the fearlessness to pursue everything and anything I put my mind to. And to help women do the same.
 
I am putting together a mentorship group to help 5-10 women like me to become the next rising #girlboss!!!!
 
If you are:
-hardworking
-creative
-passionate
-goal oriented
-love helping others
-want to grow yourself personally
-tired of being stuck in the same place
-want to have more positivity in your life
-needing more balance between work and family
 
Then let’s chat! You just might be a perfect fit for this mentorship!
 
Fill out the application here https://pandpfitness.wufoo.com/forms/team-spark/ or email me at gina.notes26@gmail.com and let’s chat!
Make it a great day everyone!!
XO,
Gina

The Busy Balanced Life

THE BUSY BALANCED LIFE (1)

 

***ARE YOU INSANELY BUSY???***

Do you struggle with finding the time to BALANCE it all?

If so, this just may be the FREE Challenge you are looking for!

I know how hard it can be as a busy mom, wife, friend, boss babe, hard worker, and (former) perfectionist to fit it all in…while actually feeling GOOD about it what you have accomplished. There are days when I have felt that I was running on empty or that I just couldn’t do anything right. If I was excelling in one area, then I was “failing” in another. But, we’re never going to get “less busy,” right?

So how do you find the BALANCE and the HAPPINESS within?

I truly believe that it’s found in mind, body, and soul, and that’s why I am teaming up with fellow #girlboss Danika Colucci to run this 5 Day Free Challenge starting on March 20th! The Busy Balanced Life Challenge will tackle tips on how to create more balance in your life mentally along with how to physically balance yourself with exercise. The mind, body, and soul really can all work together to create an incredible balance within.

If you want to achieve more balance + happiness in your busy life, then please COMMENT below to join us! We cannot WAIT to take you on this little mini virtual journey toward a more relaxed and balanced life!

We hope you will join us! Wishing you all a FABULOUS Monday and a great start to your week! 🙂

XO,

Gina

Day Date

img_9686_layers_v1

It’s not every day you get a day date in Manhattan. But hubby and I had been wanting to do a “Paint Nite” event for the longest time, and when we saw one with a cool painting for 1:00 on a Saturday, we jumped at the chance. Thankfully, our babysitter was able to switch her plans around to be there for us, and we decided to make a whole day of it, treating ourselves to brunch beforehand. While typically trying to make the healthy choice as a health + fitness coach, I dove into some chicken + waffles and a Bloody Mary at Whitman + Bloom. It’s not every day you get a day date as parents, right? We really got into the painting and became totally swept into the whole experience despite my lack of artistic ability (hubby is pretty good though!) We had a ton of fun getting out of our comfort zones, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed with how our work turned out! Feel free to check my Instagram for the finished product!

img_9667_layers_v1

img_9576_layers_v1

img_9629_layers_v1

img_9589_layers_v1

img_9641_layers_v1

img_9645_layers_v1

Dress: Forever 21 / Jacket: Goodnight Macaroon / Booties: H&M / Necklaces: Vintage + Stella & Dot / Sunglasses: Brickyard Buffalo

Wow, what a weekend! A day date, and a 60+ degree day in February? Whaaat? Crazy. We are on Winter Break over here, so mama is trying to come up with a plan of action for activities and things to do, while still being able to get some work done around here! Haha. I have a feeling it’s going to be a crazy week, but a fun one!

Hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend and cheers to an awesome week ahead!

XO,

Gina

March Into Spring

MARCH.png

The first photo here is 6 weeks post partum with my 2nd baby. I clearly felt uncomfortable about taking this photo even though I had no reason to. I stayed healthy throughout my pregnancy. I exercised regularly…ate well…I JUST HAD A BABY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. And I had already lost 20 pounds of baby weight after this photo was taken. I had a PLAN of action this time around, unlike after 1st baby when I had no clue what sort of whirlwind I was being thrown into. This time I was prepared. Yet, I was still feeling uncomfortable in my own skin taking this photo. As much as I wish I could have just embraced my body and what it did for me (and trust me I LOVE what our bodies are capable of. I think it’s truly amazing and has brought me two of life’s most greatest blessings)…I still hated seeing myself like this. With my line of work as an online health and fitness coach, I knew that in order for others to see how our programs work, I was going to have to show others what was possible. So I took the photo, but I didn’t love doing it. And it’s still tough for me to share here today…even though in my heart of hearts I KNOW there is absolutely NOTHING I should feel bad about. If anything I should feel proud that my body was able to create two amazing little humans.

That being said…the 2nd photo here is taken about a year later. After a lot of hard work. After ups and downs. After a lot of personal and mental growth. After CHOOSING to make sure that I did not get lost this time. That I remained a priority in my own life. It’s not easy to make a change. But I knew after my 2nd baby, I wanted to feel GOOD. I wanted to feel like myself. I didn’t want to wait around and “see what would happen.” I made a decision to take things into my own hands. Instead of letting life control me, I would control my OWN life.

I know 100%, that without Beachbody, I would not have been able to make this type of change. I would have told myself that I would make it to the gym, that I would go on a run before my husband left for work, that I would somehow, someway fit it into my day…but I wouldn’t. I now know that about myself. I now know that I needed something I could do from home. I needed something that could be done quickly. I needed something structured…that told me what to do each day and how to eat better so that I didn’t have to think too much about it. That I could just get it done in 30 minutes, and move on with my day.

I was able to make this change not only with the incredible workout programs and nutrition plans (because they seriously are AMAZING), but even more so because of the community of SUPPORT that I have had to stay on track toward my goals and stay consistent with a healthy lifestyle. I don’t have some “insane level of dedication or motivation.” People message me frequently and tell me that they love my dedication, or they also tell me that they wish they were as motivated as I was. But I’m here to tell you that I’m not any different than anyone else. I love ice cream and pasta just like the rest of us. (and I eat it often lol) I sometimes hate to get my workout in. I am definitely not perfect…not even close. But because of this community…because I stay more accountable for things when I know I will be checking in…because I have the support of like-minded people around me…because I’m the coach and I know I need to lead by example…I have been able to achieve things that I never believed would be possible after two kids.

If you are like me and you WANT to feel good about yourself, but:
-you struggle to fit working out into your busy day, or
-you have become stagnant on your journey toward reaching your goals…
-if you think you could use the extra support of a positive community that values individual progress over competition…
-if you cannot afford an expensive trainer at the gym, but want workouts that are going to get results…
-if you need to improve your nutrition habits or need new ideas to make meals more fun…

then please join me and my group as we MARCH INTO SPRING…with our heads held high. Starting March 6th, we will begin our next group based on making progress toward reaching our goals and feeling more confident than ever going into that spring break season. I don’t know about you, but I have Punta Cana on the calendar, and I want to feel my best!

***Comment below with MARCH INTO SPRING and your email address if you want to join or you would like more details about the group! You can also feel free to email me at gina.notes26 {at} gmail.com ***

 

Hoping you’re having a fantastic weekend!

XO,

Gina

This Envelope

envelope

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 Style

IMG_9129_Layers_v1

And here you have it…a little throwback Thursday here this morning with the 2016 style round-up! Which look is your fav? Which look should never come back around in 2017? LOL.

IMG_9195_Layers_v1

IMG_9373_Layers_v1

IMG_9279_Layers_v1

IMG_9447_Layers_v1

IMG_9598_Layers_v1

IMG_0101_Layers_v1

IMG_9968_Layers_v1

IMG_0284_Layers_v1

img_0561_layers_v1

img_9232_layers_v1

img_9316_layers_v1

img_9345_layers_v1

img_9487_layers_v1

Hope 2017 is treating you well so far! I am working on those yearly goals and that vision board! Who else is making a vision board for this year?

Don’t forget to join me on Facebook LIVE tonight at 9 as I will be doing my first LIVE @ 9 “broadcast.” Tonight will be a LIVE “Lately” post!!! So excited to share what I’ve been up to Lately and also to hear what YOU’VE been doing! Make it a great Thursday!!!

XO,

Gina