Go With Your Gut


Through my journey as an online health + fitness coach, I am always reading, researching, and discovering new things in the health + wellness world…especially when it comes to nutrition. Last year I became obsessed with kombucha…not only because I think it tastes amazing, but because it has so many live probiotics and healing properties for your gut. My obsession with kombucha led down me a path to learn even more about gut health and other ways to improve it. I put together a Facebook LIVE video where I talked all about it, but I really wanted to put something down in writing as well for a quick reference.

Healing your gut allows your body to build a stronger immune system and produce the right kind of bacteria to fight off infection. All diseases begin in your gut, and restoring your gastrointestinal system can have major effects on your ENTIRE body. It not only affects your immune system, but also your mood, memory, digestion, and more. Certain bacteria can affect vitamin and mineral absorption, hormone regulation, and also eliminate toxins.

Some symptoms of a poor gut include abdominal pain, bloating, reflux/gas, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, and immune weakness. On the flip side, probiotic foods with healthy bacteria are helpful to make you feel great, slim down and be on the offense against infection. Prebiotic foods are also great as these are foods that probiotics thrive on. I will go into more details on these below.

So without further ado, here are 15 foods for a healthier GUT:

1) Yogurt – Yogurt is full of probiotics, or live active cultures. It doesn’t really matter if it’s Greek, regular, full fat, non-fat, etc. They are all pretty great for that belly. There are also some great dairy-free options (made with coconut, almond, etc) that are packed with probiotics as well. For myself, I try to look for a brand with a low amount of sugar, because this is definitely a food product where many brands sneak in those extras sugars. One of my favorite brands that is also low in sugar is Siggi’s!

2) Kefir – Similarly packed with probiotics, this is drinkable yogurt and has a bit of a tangy flavor. Check out this one by Maple Hill. Many brands of Kefir are also 99% lactose free for those with lactose issues.

3) Kombucha – I touched on this earlier as the gateway drug to my gut health research ;-), but kombucha is a probiotic tea that is both carbonated and tangy. It’s made with a natural bacteria and yeast that have fermented. You can make it from home if you can find the “scoby” to do so, but I personally love the brands Health-Ade and Brew Dr. – Pink Lady Apple tastes like sparkling apple cider! I have seen kombucha come into question many times for pregnant women, because of a couple reasons. 1) technically since it’s naturally fermented it can have trace amount of alcohol in it and 2) it’s raw, not pasteurized in order to salvage the healthy beneficial bacteria. Now, the alcohol part doesn’t really bother me as I’ve never gotten drunk off kombucha, let’s be real. But the raw part does make me a little nervous to be honest to drink while pregnant. I’ve always been told to avoid these types of raw foods while pregnant, and have decided to skip it at least in my first trimester, and I haven’t fully decided about the rest. I have seen and heard many people enjoy kombucha during their pregnancy, and I feel it’s just a personal choice much like eating sushi, certain cheese, etc. while pregnant. At the end of the day, I think it’s important to speak with your doctor and make a decision that you feel is right for you and your baby. That all said…kombucha is probably one of my fav things on this list, and if you haven’t tried it, you must!

4) Kimchi – This spicy Korean cabbage is made with lactic acid fermentation and does wonders for the belly! It’s a staple at many Korean meals, and you can find it at many health food stores and groceries these days or make it yourself! I’m not super big on spicy foods, but if I were, I would try this kind from Ozuke!

5) Miso Paste – Miso paste is made from aged fermented soybeans and can be used to make miso soup, on fish, or in a stir fry. It does have a high sodium content, so just be aware of your intake!

6) Sauerkraut – This chopped cabbage has been pickled in brine. There are tons of beneficial probiotics found in this dish which has been around forever. Look for sauerkraut that is located in the refrigerated section rather than jarred or canned at room temperature, because that is where the live, raw bacteria will be kept thriving and better help that gut. Bubbies makes a great one.

7) Sourdough Bread – This type of bread is made with lactic acid and contains friendly bacteria as well. Who knew? A bread that’s actually good for your gut! Sign me up! Whole grain sourdough is best. Bonus: for those with diabetes, sourdough bread causes a lower blood sugar spike than other types of bread.

8) Pickles – A pregnant woman’s dream!!! Though I have to admit, I have never craved pickles in any of my pregnancies haha. Similar to sauerkraut, you want to make sure your pickles are in brine rather than vinegar and those with live cultures are best. You can also pickle other vegetables in a similar fashion such as beets, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, and more. A great pickle brand is Bubbies and one of my favorite pickled beet mixes is from Ozuke.

9) High Fiber Plant Foods – These types of foods are excellent for the gut, because they are preventative to keep the belly in a healthy state. Some high fiber plant foods include vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

10) Prebiotic Foods – These types of foods are what those healthy probiotics love to eat! To keep the healthy bacteria alive, they need something to thrive on, and these foods are it! They include the fiber rich foods listed above, onions, garlic, asparagus, shallots, leeks, beets, cabbage, beans, lentils, soybeans, oats, whole grains, bananas, and mango.

11) Bone Broth – This is another one of my recent favorite things ever. ESPECIALLY when I’m sick. It’s SO healing, and I feel like I get over my sickness that much quicker after having it. It’s nutrient rich and helps to heal and seal the lining of the small and large intestine. You can definitely make this on your own at home with chicken bones (and it’s probably even healthier for you that way to maintain all the nutrients), but I’m a creature of “easy as effing possible” so I have only purchased it. My favorite brand thus far is Kettle & Fire, and I love their Chicken and Mushroom flavor! I have also heard great things about Bonafide Provisions.

12) Apple Cider Vinegar – I know many people who swear by ACV each day. It helps the body created hydrochloric acid and aids in fat digestion as well.  I’ve never drank it solo, but I have enjoyed Mother Earth Organic Root Cider which is mixture that includes apple cider vinegar along with it also boasts roots, vegetables, spices, lemon, peppers, and more. It’s definitely worth a shot, and it’s a great kick start to your day.

13) Coconut Oil – Another favorite of mine to make the list! This medium chain triglycerides (or fatty acids) found in coconut oil may be helpful over time in balancing the bacteria found in your gut which can help with digestion, energy levels, and vitamin/mineral absorption. I always buy unrefined which keeps that coconut flavor. This organic one by La Tourangelle is fantastic.

14) Wild Salmon – Packed with omega 3 fatty acids, wild salmon can help to heal an inflamed gut. Eating wild salmon can help to ward off diabetes, obesity, and Crohn’s disease.

15) Collagen – Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our bodies found in our hair, nails, skin, bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Collagen supplements are wildly popular at the moment and can not only help strengthen all of those body parts listed above, but it can also aid an inflamed gut and slow down the aging process. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is the one I have seen most people using, and have also used myself. Again, always check with a doctor before adding any new supplements into your routine!

Welp, that about wraps up my research on gut-healthy food choices!!! I hope this was helpful!! Did you learn anything new? OR…do you have anything else you would ADD to this list? I love hearing from you all, so please share!

Let’s make it a great week everyone!



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



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):



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




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


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


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




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:




I developed a passion for nut butters lol 😉



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!):


Went to the Dave Matthews Concert with the fam:




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




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



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:



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:




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


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



Luca got his 1st haircut:



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



My challengers got amazing results with their fitness + nutrition:

Christie Transformation



We went on family vacation to Cape May:

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


and the OBX:



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:



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



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


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



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



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







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.




Feeling Free







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!



White After Labor Day?


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.









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!



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.


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!
19702142_454762074880197_2768262667984270027_n (1)
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.

March Into Spring


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!



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


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 🙂 ❤ 🙂 ❤

Black Friday










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 😉



Feeling Like Fall






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!



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

{40} Lately…


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!



What have you been up to lately?