Feeling Free

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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

White After Labor Day?

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I thought this outfit post was fitting being the day after Labor Day. I wore this to a dinner party on vacation last week in the Outer Banks, NC, so it was NOT after Labor Day as the title suggests, but it got me thinking…. Do people still follow the rule of no white after Labor Day? Are these pants pretty much closet-ridden until next summer? Spring? Is it just pants that you aren’t supposed to wear? Or other clothing items as well?

What are your thoughts? Is this rule outdated? Or do you still follow it to full effect?

Personally, I’m not sure if I will rock these particular pants again until next year. However, I am not a total rule-follower, and I LOVED this cheeky article by the Huffington Post on wearing white after Labor Day.

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White Denim: Rag & Bone via Nordstrom Rack – still available here / Top: J. Crew via Trunk Club – now on sale! / Shoes: Chinese Laundry via DSW – now on sale! / Earrings: Stella & Dot –  / Bracelets: Mantraband and Goody (because I forgot to take off my dang hairband, doh!) / Lip: MAC Russian Red

On Luca: Top: Carters – similar for fall / Shorts: Carters – similar / Shoes: Keens

Last month was my first time trying Trunk Club by Nordstrom and I was really happy with it! The top you see here was chosen by my stylist, and she hit the nail on the head with my style personality! I love wearing black, and I also love a BOLD print, so this was right up my alley. She took the time to ask me lots of questions before presenting me with my Trunk to review. She also chose items that were a little outside of my comfort zone to try that I ended up loving even though I may not have chosen it while shopping myself. As a busy mama with a lot of summer obligations, I really didn’t have time to get to the store and choose outfits for vacation, so this was JUST was I needed, and I was super happy with what she chose! I’m excited to try out another Trunk for fall, and I’m also pumped to share some of my other Trunk Club picks from August, so stay tuned!

We have a couple more days left of summertime around here before school begins, so while today kicks off my Back to Basics Health + Fitness Challenge Group, we will be soaking up these last moments before our carefree days come to an end. I have to admit as amazing as this summer has been, I am looking forward to getting into a routine again! And to also have a bit of mommy time to work and get things done during the day! I am getting that “back to school” excited feeling that I used to get as a child. Who knew I would have it as a mom as well? My babies are growing up, and I am so happy for them to have these new adventures and excited to share in this journey with them through their eyes.

What are your thoughts on “back to school?” An exciting time or a time of dread? Comment below and share your feeling, and also your thoughts on the white after Labor Day rule!

Happy Tuesday!

XO,

Gina

Transformation Story: Christie DeMarco

Happy Wednesday everyone! I am SOOOOO incredibly excited to introduce you all to a challenger and now coach on my team, Christie DeMarco! Her post partum health + fitness journey has been incredible and I’m so pumped to share. In addition to rocking her health + fitness, Christie has also been crushing her business as a new coach and helping others to achieve amazing results as well!
Without further ado, here is Christie!!!
Christie Transformation
Photos taken in April – May – June respectively
P+ P: Hi Christie!!! Please tell us about yourself (where you live, family, hobbies, interests, anything else that you would like to include about yourself)!
Christie: I recently turned 30 this past June!! My goals were to be married and be done having babies when I turned 30, and I am so done! I’m 5’5 and 125lbs (3 lb water fluctuating weight) haha. I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and have lived around here all my life. I am a Palliative Care Nurse in home care which I love. I see sickness and death day in and day out. I think that helps push me to appreciate being able to get up in the morning healthy and able to workout and eat healthy. We can’t prevent cancer 100% but we can prevent what we put in our bodies and be more mindful of our health. Which I am hoping will prevent me from getting cancer.
P+P: What is your fitness background?
Christie:  I was 125 lbs pre-pregnancy and not really trying to lose anymore weight other than that. My focuses are tightening and toning.
I have always loved health and fitness. I worked at McDonald’s in high school, but I never really ate the food there. Only fries and egg sandwiches. 

I had diastasis recti with my 1st baby, Josilynn, which only made it way worse with Nolan, my baby. I gained 50lbs with Josilynn and only 45 with Nolan. However, even with 45 lbs i swear it was all in my belly which was very painful on my back. I lost every bit within 2 weeks with Josilynn without working out. I didn’t realize how nice that was until after my 2nd when my abdomen was not at all how it was before my 2nd pregnancy. It’s still not and will never be again. My focus has been toning my legs and arms and if my abdomen shaped up then bonus!
P+P: Why did you decide to try Insanity Max 30?
ChristieI did only the 1st month of Insanity when I was getting married but never finished it. I am a HUGE Shaun T. fan so I started Insanity Max 30. I figured I have 30 min a day I’ll give it a go. Well 1 week turned into 2 weeks and so on.  
P+P: What about the program worked for you? What did you like about it? 
Christie: I started seeing results in about 2 weeks which makes you get hooked right away!!
P+P: What was tough or challenging for you? (particular workouts? sticking to nutrition? anything else?) 
Christie: My son got sick and was hospitalized within that 1st month so I got a little off track but got right back into it when things settled. I just really wanted to finish a program. I didn’t follow the nutrition guideline, rather I just ate clean and listened to my body with good portion control. I am 95% vegan so I have to alter my diet other than the meal plans. I am NOT GOOD at meal prepping which I am really going to try and get into…..
I hate cardio because I have asthma. I know, Insanity is a LOT of cardio!!!
P+P: 10 lbs and 5 inches is an incredible accomplishment! How did you stay motivated for those 60 days?
Christie: Shaun T. kept me motivated.  I took extra breaks or modified when I needed to, but never stopped.
 

Gained confidence and without even doing most of the ab exercises I have a baby 6 pack forming!! You need to seriously focus on good form with any ab exercise especially with ab separation.

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P+P: How do you feel today and what are your goals moving forward? 

I am looking forward to coaching and helping other people gain confidence I have and will only continue to do!
I am now doing 21 day fix Extreme and my goal is to do Shift Shop in July with my 1st challenge group!
Christie Transformation Post Partum
Side note…this interview was done earlier this summer, and since then Christie has accomplished so much more! Not only has she crushed those workout programs, but she has helped SO many people in just her early stages of coaching! She achieved Success Starter status in our company in her 1st month as a coach and helped 5 people get started on their own health + fitness journey. She also earned a call with our company CEO, which is a HUGE deal!!!
She is running her own challenge groups now to help others and she is building her own team of coaches to teach and train as well. Christie is going places peeps, and I’m SO excited to have her as a part of Team SPARK!
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And she also is famous on our team for rockin’ the cutest workout tanks! Love it!
Hope you all are having an amazing week so far. Continue to spread love, positivity, and happiness wherever you go! With all this crazy stuff going on, be the change you wish there to be in the world.
XO,
Gina

March Into Spring

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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

Get Happy, Get Lean – Let’s Rock 2017!

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Almost 2 years ago, I finally decided I had enough of being unfit after having my first baby and made the commitment to my health + fitness by starting P90X and becoming and online fitness coach. Two days into the program, I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 and had to change the course of my journey. The road toward success or change is never easy and there are bumps (and in my case baby bumps! hehe) along the way. I could have easily quit and said “I will just wait until after I have my 2nd baby to work on myself. But I didn’t. I chose to keep going. A 2nd baby was an absolutely blessing…and it certainly was not an excuse to quit or give up on myself. Instead I chose to get healthy THROUGH my pregnancy…kept up with my exercise, improved my nutrition, helped others do the same…and it made it that much easier once baby arrived to keep going and get those results that I had originally intended.
 
This past year after getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight…I ended up surpassing that and getting back into even better shape than before. I challenged myself with tough programs + heavy lifting, and I also let myself breathe and have fun with yoga and dancing. I have continued to grow my business helping over 300+ challengers and have grown a team of 20+ coaches who are out there leading and inspiring others to reach their goals. I have also grown myself in ways that I never thought possible. I have learned that in order to help others, it starts within, so this past year has been incredible for self-reflection and growth. I have also learned that I would never be able to do this without the incredible supportive community of challengers and coaches to keep me accountable along the way.
 
Beginning January 2nd, I am LEAPING into the New Year strong to continue my personal journey, and I would LOVE for you to be there with me alongside to support each other!!! It’s never too early for resolutions, so if YOU are looking to make a CHANGE in the New Year, then please jump in to our amazing group and receive that support you deserve to reach your full potential.
 
The Beachbody community is also running their 2nd Health Bet this next month where challengers and coaches have the opportunity to win a share of a $2 Million pot JUST for completing 3 workouts per day and drinking Shakeology 5x per week. Sounds like easy money to me!!!! Getting paid to work out? Yes please!!!!
 
Let’s Get Happy, Let’s Get Lean…Let’s Rock Out 2017!!!
 
Who’s with me?!?!?!?!
 
Comment below or email me at gina.notes26 {at} gmail.com for details 🙂 ❤ 🙂 ❤
XO,
Gina

Black Friday

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Top: Forever 21 / Denim: AG Jeans – similar / Booties: H&M – similar / Coat: H&M – similar / Shades: Brickyard Buffalo / Earrings: Gifted / Bracelet: Mantraband

On Nico – Sweater: Chaps – similar / Pants: Cat + Jack for Target / Shoes: Saucony

Hope you all had a FABULOUS Thanksgiving yesterday!!! We had a wonderful day and meal with family, and I splurged on not one…but TWO pieces of pumpkin pie. Yup, that sweet tooth just took over! Eeeps! It was just so darn good, and it only comes around once a year! Luckily, I have a plan in place to get back on track with a cleanse and a new program come Monday!!

Today is Black Friday, and apparently all the stores were open even EARLIER this year for the holiday sales. I stopped going to the stores on Black Friday a long time ago. I just can’t deal with the pushing and pulling and crowds…no thank you! I will just do my shopping from the comfort of my own home on my laptop! OR since I do love the spirit and energy of in person holiday shopping, I do enjoy a trip when the crowds have died down a bit. For those of you who ARE looking for some Black Friday fashion steals, check out Macy’s, Kohl’s, H&M, Target, Dick’s, Urban Outfitters, The Dreslyn, and Bailey44. For electronics, Target, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, and Walmart seem to be where it’s at. And my favorites for online steals are Brickyard Buffalo + ASOS.

Good luck, and Happy Shopping!!! Or if you are like me…enjoy the weekend with family and friends, and then snag those Cyber Monday steals 😉

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! 😉

{40} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  I’ve read a lot since my last Lately… post! Some of my favorites include Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins (finally read it!), Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero and No Excuses! by Brian Tracy.

writing  A workout calendar and agenda for my Lipstick + Lunges Challenge that starts TOMORROW! So excited. There’s still time to join, so feel free to comment below if you want to be included.

listening  You may think this song is terrible, but I don’t care. I love it anyway. 

thinking About how excited I am for my littlest guy who just started learning how to walk!!! If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can check it out here on my Instagram page.

smelling  The amazing food from the coffee spot I am currently sitting at writing this post. That’s right…I’m at a coffee shop…ALONE! #amazing

watching  Not much these days, but still Orange is the New Black when I’m folding laundry or need a break.

wearing  Jeans and a tank top or tee. My fav go-to uniform these days. My Mama Bird tee above can be found here along with some others you might enjoy.

exercising Been beasting out lately with Hammer + Chisel, which is mostly weights. Whew! Not so used to the constant weight lifting and the longer workout times (I’m used to getting it done in 30 minutes over here!), but after 2 weeks down I am feeling pretty strong!!! I think I’m even ready to bump up the weights a bit.

feeling  Uneasy about the recent explosion that went down yesterday in Chelsea (NYC).

wanting  Time to slow down. My boys are getting too big too quick.

needing  To decide what I am going to pack for my upcoming coach’s trip to Sundance, Utah!!! My coach is setting up a professional photo shoot for each Diamond member of our team! And of course, out of the whole trip, we are in a tizzy about what to WEAR! LOL! Typical…

loving  The hilarious and imaginative stories my 3 year old has been coming up with lately. Everything from traveling to different states by train, to being eaten by bears! He cracks me up and I love hearing what he will come up with next!

wishing  That I brought headphones to this coffee shop. But honestly. I’m not complaining. Because remember? I’m at a coffee shop…ALONE.

hoping  That I can find the Califia Farms Pumpkin Spice Latte at my local Target. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be there! I must try it.

craving  The Farmer’s Biscuit with egg, kale, and cheese at this coffee shop I’m sitting in…oh wait…craving satisfied. I’ll work that off tomorrow. 😉

clicking  Over on the fall trends at my favorite go-to mama/baby/kid deal shop, Brickyard Buffalo. Obsessed with the “Sharing is Caring” tee!

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HAPPY SUNDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

Lipstick + Lunges

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TRAIN LIKE A BEAST AND LOOK LIKE A BEAUTY!!!!

It’s FREE Challenge time, and for the first time ever, I will be collaborating with Suzie Engler for LIPSTICK & LUNGES! In this 5 Day Challenge, we will focus on how you can look and feel beautiful on the inside AND out. 🙂

I will be providing a progressive lunge challenge in which we will increase the number of reps each day, and I will also be sharing multiple different versions of the lunge that you can try. In 5 days, those hamstrings, quads, and glutes will be on FIRE, but you will be feeling oh so strong + sexy.

Suzie will be sharing her favorite techniques + tips + tricks for applying not only lipstick, but eye shadows, liner, and wait for it…BROWS. Boom! I know I am personally excited for that one. Her tips will be beautiful, yet simple enough that even the busy mama will have time to apply. 🙂

Together we will be sharing the cohesion of how health + beauty combined are so important…not only for aging, but for your confidence too! Our hope is that you will leave our group having gained some amazing beauty/makeup tips, some lean muscle, and that feeling of confidence to rock out whatever you dream of.

We start MONDAY SEPTEMBER 19th! Please comment below if you’d like to join or message me for more details! You can also feel free to email me at gina.notes26@gmail.com.

Can’t wait! It’s gonna be so much fun!

Happy Wednesday all!

XO,

Gina

3 Week Yoga Retreat

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I was an athlete growing up, but yoga is something I discovered in my 20’s after college. Being that person who was always into cardio heavy sports like soccer and basketball, yoga was quite a switch. The quiet, calm music…having to hold balance and stay still in a position for an extended period of time. It was definitely different. But the moment I tried it for the first time, I knew I loved it. There was just something about it that made me feel AMAZING after it was all over. It was a different feeling than I had experienced from exercise before. I normally felt exhausted, tired, banged up, bruised, sore, and more after a soccer or basketball game. But after yoga I felt rejuvenated. I felt a clear mind. I felt a release of stress, tension, and anxiety. I knew that yoga would not be going anywhere in my life.
 
While living in New York, I have had the pleasure of attending amazing yoga classes from my favorite teacher Brian Williams! If you haven’t taken a punk rock yoga class before, or a class on top of a roof in this amazing city, this guy will rock your world. Seriously. I am still dreaming of taking his week long yoga retreat vacation to some beautiful, tropical location. One of these days, I will make it happen.
 
But for now…since becoming a mom, it’s nearly impossible for me to make a yoga class (or any other classes for that matter). When my older son was about 18 months, I finally decided to get back into shape by taking my workouts to the living room. I quickly found out I was pregnant with baby #2 and I was going to need something more low impact than P90X. I WISHED Beachbody had a yoga program at that time, but they didn’t. The closest thing they had was PiYo, and I absolutely loooooooooved it. This combo of pilates/yoga/cardio/sculpt/strength + Chalene Johnson will always have a special place in my heart. However, it was not truly yoga.
 
I am THRILLED that as of yesterday, Beachbody has launched a new *** 3 WEEK YOGA RETREAT *** that you can do inside your own living room!!!! This is the program I have been waiting for!!!! Now I don’t have to feel left out because I can’t make the classes, but I can do them from home. 21 different yoga workouts for 21 days. On demand, so you can not only do them at home, but wherever you need to go. Pretty amazing.
 
The super yogis will love this, but it’s even better for those just beginning or those needing a low impact workout.
 
I’m currently doing Hammer + Chisel as you may have seen from my posts yesterday, but I seriously cannot wait to rock out this yoga program as soon as I am finished! I already know that I will love it. ❤
Hope you all had an awesome Labor Day Weekend! I cannot believe they are already serving pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. I am sad for the summer to end, but I do love the fall. School also starts this week for my oldest guy which is crazy! He will be in a 3’s program this year, and it will also be my first experience as a mom packing lunches! Is it weird that I oddly excited about that? I am also a bit excited to get started in our new routine. Yesterday, I was feeling all “Bring Back the Summer,” but today I think I’m embracing the new season.
 
Namaste!!!
Gina