Insta-Snaps from New Hampshire

We spent Memorial Day Weekend up in New Hampshire near the Wolfeboro area and Lake Winniepesaukee.  While it was rainy and cold a lot of the time, we did manage to get some sunshine and some great hikes in.  We stayed on Lower Beech Pond overlooking the water in a fantastic lake house with good friends.  We drank wine, cooked delicious meals together, played games, explored the town of Wolfeboro, and took in some stunning views.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen a lot of these, but here are a few snaps from our trip.

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 Nico reading a story at the lake house with my bestie, Erin

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 Penny Candy Shop in Wolfeboro, NH

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 Yes, I think I will have some wine this vacation! Oops!

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Snuggling my baby at Camp Beech in Tuftonboro, NH

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 Taking a break for lunch on the Italian Trail on Mt. Shaw…that one’s for you Pops!

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 My two happy guys!

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 Mountain Selfie on the top of Mt. Shaw

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 So proud of Nico on his 1st hike ever! He was a champ in his Beco Gemini Carrier.

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 Cairn aka Rock Tower

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 On the top of the White Ledge Loop Trail in the White Mountain National Forest

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 Standing on the top!

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 Continuing on the trail loop

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Such a stunning view!

Some other places we visited that aren’t photographed here:

1. El Centenario: Delicious Mexican fare – We loved the fresh homemade chips and salsa, chile relleno, and chicken enchiladas they had to offer.  The staff was very friendly, and we would definitely go back here.

2.  Downtown Grille:  We came here for coffee and enjoyed their lattes so much, we came back again on the way to drop our friends off at the airport!  I enjoyed both the Blueberry Cobbler latte and the Milky Way. Yum!  If we go back, I would like to try their breakfast as well.

3. Sandy Martin Art Gallery: We had a lovely conversation with owner and artist, Sandy.  She is an extremely talented artist in multiple mediums including oil paints, watercolors, photography, & more.  She loves music and hosts parties within the gallery featuring local musicians on the in-house piano and guitar.  She also knows all the town gossip and Jimmy’s Fallon’s whereabouts when he comes to town.  Definitely a nice stop in!

4.  Sprout’s: Featuring lots of children’s toys, clothing, and gifts.

5. Details: Great little boutique stop for gifts and accessories.  Also have an adorable dress selection.  I walked away with a dainty little flower crown that I love!

6.  Jake’s Seafood: Enjoyed steamers, haddock, chowder, and lots of other yummy seafood here!  Outdoor seating is nice as well.

7.  Castle in the Clouds: A beautiful stop with a beautiful view.  It was rainy and we were hungry, so we didn’t end up doing the tour, but we did have some lunch (I had a lobster roll…drool!) at the Carriage House.

We had such a great time on our trip, despite the inclement weather.  I’m glad we were able to get two great days of hiking in, but I think next summer if we go back to New England, we will try for the 4th of July weekend again so it will be warm enough to jump in that lake!

Hope you are all having a great week!

XO,

Gina

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{24} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  The Girl on the Cliff by LucindaRiley.  This book came on recommendation from a friend, and so far I am super captivated!

writing  A packing list for our trip to the lake house in New Hampshire.  We leave tomorrow, and I cannot wait!

listening  Let me start off by saying I know this song is kind of terrible.  But something about this song and my old club days makes me not hate it.

thinking  Time is going so fast!  Nico hit two milestones this past week.  “Crawling” – or his version of it at least.  He’s basically sliding all over the apartment (including underneath the table and chairs as seen above…we are in trouble), and I told the hubby we should at least strap a swiffer duster to his belly so the floors get cleaned at the same time.  I kid, I kid.  He also pulled himself up to a standing position all by himself on Monday.  I was at work, and I missed it, which sucked, because as a mom you never want to miss those first moments.  I am so happy for him and all of his latest accomplishments, but it’s starting to hit home that our little baby is getting bigger, and it’s impossible to go back in time to when he was tiny.

smelling  Not much of anything, because I have been all stuffed up with sickness this past week.  Meh.

watching  The Bachelorette is back!  Any early guesses of who will win?

wishing  For clear skies in New Hampshire, so we can view all the pretty stars at night again this year.

hoping  Along the same lines…for sunshine this weekend!  The weather is looking a bit gloomy thus far.  I know we will still have fun catching up with our friends, playing board games and watching movies, but if possible, I would prefer to be hiking and exploring!  

wearing  Casual today in Paige denim, black and white striped tank, Camo jacket, and New Balance tennis shoes

loving  The fresh Hazelnut coffee we have been getting from Fairway.  I’m not much of a coffee snob.  I usually drink one cup a day, and the Keurig system works for us.  I had never really thought much about the freshness of the K-Cups, but until you have had one of the new Fairway One Cups (which foregoes all the bottom plastic as well for the green folks out there), you haven’t had a good K-cup!

laughing  At this woman who was just a LITTLE bit excited to be a grandmother.

wanting  A recommendation for a new spring nail polish!  Who has one?

needing  A new bathing suit for summer, but dreading the shopping process this year.  None of my old suits fit my current body, so it’s back to the drawing board.  I have a couple ideas in mind in terms of styles, so hopefully I can find something that works.

feeling  Still feeling pain and popping in my thumb a couple days after the Cortisone shot.  Hoping it kicks in soon, or else I may need another injection and possibly surgery.  Oy.

craving  Fresh fruit.  It’s almost summertime, which means all my favorite fruits will soon be in season!

clicking  Around on the Father’s Day gift hunt…it will be here before we know it!

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What have you been up to lately?

Hope you all have a great week!

Love,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

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My 1st Mother’s Day

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

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

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

XO,

Gina

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Easter Celebrations

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Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!  The hubby and I went down to Maryland to spend Easter with the family, and as you can see from these photos, there were a lot of sweets involved.  Yes, my Mom even made us Easter Baskets.  Never too old for Peeps right?  We also celebrated my Granny’s 92nd Birthday and my Uncle’s 58th since we were all together.  We feasted on BBQ chicken, filet mignon, potatoes, baked beans, salad, spinach artichoke dip, pasta salad, deviled eggs, and more.  I was stuffed to the brim before having to drive back to the Big Apple.  And what a drive that was.  6 1/2 grueling hours of traffic.  Much different than our 4 hour drive down.  Feeling pretty exhausted today, and can’t wait to get some and catch up on some Zzz’s.

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It was great seeing some friends and family this weekend, and I also had time for a photo shoot featuring Guilty Jean jewelry. I cannot wait to share these!  Stay tuned this week.

XO,

Gina

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Easter Favorites

In celebration of Easter this weekend, I wanted to share some of my favorite things about the holiday.

1. Dyeing Eggs:

Nothing like the old school dye tablets in the vinegar.  My family has been dyeing our eggs with Paas since before I can remember.

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2.  Peeps

My absolute favorite Easter Basket treat.  My trick for getting them to stay softer longer is to keep them in a ziplock bag.  Of course, you can always pop them in the microwave to warm them up.  Just make sure it’s only for a few seconds or else they blow up!  Oh yeah, and the chicks are my favorite.

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Photo Credit: The New Forty blog

3.  Potato Salad

This dish is served at our Easter table every year, and it’s something I look forward to.  It’s simple, yet delicious!  Here is a recipe I found on Pinterest from Key Ingredient that is most similar to the one we use.  This one only serves 4, so you’ll have to pump it up if you have a large gathering!

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4.  Floral Dresses

My sister and I used to get dressed up in the most frilly floral dresses for church every Easter.  Although some years it’s tough because of chilly weather, I still love to put on a floral or spring-like dress to celebrate the occasion.  Here is a gorgeous vintage style floral dress I discovered on ModCloth:

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5.  Pastel Polish

Easter is the perfect time to switch up your polish from darker hues to pastels.  Essie is my favorite nail polish brand, and here is their Spring 2013 Collection for sale at Kohl’s:

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What are your Easter and holiday favorites?  Would love to hear what you have to share.

Wishing everyone a Happy Friday and a Happy Easter this weekend!  For those celebrating Passover, I hope you are having a great holiday as well.

XO,

Gina

Love Is…

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Love makes the world go round.

Wishing a Happy Valentine’s Day to my husband, my family, my friends, and all of my readers out there.  Whether you are spending today with a loved one, or spending today slugging back wine on the couch by yourself, know that someone out there loves you.

Although we should spend every day spreading love throughout the world, try and do something nice for someone else today and bring a smile to their face.  Everyone loves to be loved 🙂

XOXO,

Gina

P.S. Image above is sold as a print by Kari Machal on Etsy.

{4} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  I took a little reading break over the holidays with all the craziness, but now that I’m back to the Big Apple and doing my daily subway commute again, I have started Book 4 of the Harry Potter series.

writing  Yesterday and today, I have been catching up on writing e-mails since I have been away on holiday.  Still have a few more to go, but I’m getting there!

listening  Was recently introduced to this a cappella version of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” performed by Walk Off the Earth feat. KRNFX.  Pure genius.  Thanks for sending this to me Krissy!

thinking  About taking my Christmas tree down this weekend.  Are the holidays really over?

smelling  Lolita Lempicka perfume that I put on this morning.  A musky floral vanilla scent that is sensual and romantic.

wishing  My friend Erin all the best on her move back to Connecticut from the Big Apple.  Good luck on your new venture with grad school.  You will be missed, but you better come visit!

hoping  That all my family and friends are starting off 2013 on a happy note!

wearing  Lots of black.  Black peplum top from StyleMint with military blazer from Macy’s over top.  Black skinny jeans from ZARA with my new Steve Madden studded combat boots.  Swoon!  Pops of pink from my Barami necklace and American Eagle beanie (thanks Meg!)  Lastly, my new black military style winter coat that I got from the hubby for Christmas from ASOS.  Obsessed!

loving  That I just got back to work yesterday, and it’s already the weekend today.

wanting  To see Les Mis this weekend.  Yes, that must happen.

needing  To get back in shape.  I know, I know.  It’s the new year and everyone has these fitness resolutions.  So sue me if I want to jump onto that bandwagon.  The holidays were fun, but now my pants are too tight.

feeling  Excited for the possibilities that 2013 brings!  We already have a few weddings on the books, some travel ideas (thinking Arizona!), a photography class scheduled, and (shocker!) even some relaxation time in the next few weeks with no bi-monthly trips to Maryland.  Sorry fam/friends, it’s your turn to come visit US!

clicking  Researching through different animation company reels and catching up on e-mails and my favorite blogs.

What have you been up to lately?

Happy Friday!

Love,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

 

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Your Favorite Holiday Things

Thanks to all of those who sent in your favorite holidays things!  I loved getting them!  We all have our own traditions and things that make the holidays special for us, and I appreciate the little peek into how you celebrate the season.

From Justin – @justin_goldberg

Favorite Holiday Treat:

Amazeballs – cooked by his wife, Jessica of The Quest to Be Cookie Queen

 

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From Angela – @acguaragna29

Favorite 2012 Holiday Present:

Finley

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Favorite Movie:

Love Actually

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Favorite Christmas Album:

The Carpenters

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Favorite Cooks:

Grandma & Aunt Marie for Christmas Eve Seven Fishes Italian Dinner

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From Zigi – @zigisitch of ZiGiSituations

Favorite Place to Shop:

Macy’s Windows + Bryant Park w/ the fam

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From Olivia – @PressTerp

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

Decorating my trees…big and small!

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Thanks again to all those who participated and sent in your holiday favorites!

Today I am headed to my aunt and uncle’s house to celebrate Christmas Eve Italian style – the Seven Fishes dinner.  Clams, rockfish, codfish, shrimp, escargot, and whatever else today’s dinner will bring.  It’s one of my favorite days of the year where all of my crazy family gets together to celebrate, eat good food, drink yummy cocktails, sing songs, share gifts, and eat Grandma’s delicious homemade cookies.

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!  Hope you have a fantastic day!

XO,

Gina

The Lady is a Vamp

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Photos by: Zack Notes

Dress: H&M / Tights: Duane Reade / Shoes: ALDO – other black booties I like herehere, and here / Necklace & Bracelet: Gifts from family members / Panda Ring: nOir / Watch: Betsey Johnson / Lip: Kat Von D Homegirl / Eyes: MAC Knight Divine all over lid with Carbon in crease

Taking a little walk on the dark side with this vampy look from H&M.  I’ve worn this a few times on nights out on the town in NYC, DC, and AC.  Unfortunately, it’s tough to get photos on nights out due to poor lighting (and my dislike of the flash).

Only a couple more days in the Big Apple until it’s time to head to Maryland for the holidays.  Today we are having our office Christmas luncheon at a surprise location.  I have 100% finished my shopping and wrapping, so I can now focus on the packing.  Looking forward to a little holiday retreat as well as a wedding before the new year!

Wishing everyone well!

Gina

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

HOLIDAY FAVORITES

Favorite Laugh:

Favorite Movie:

Elf

Favorite Family Photo:

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Yes, this is my crazy Italian fam – Courtesy of Misa*Me Photography

Favorite Holiday Look:

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New Year’s Eve??? – Photo courtesy of Polyvore

Favorite Sweet Treat:

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Grandma Sally G’s Italian Christmas Eve Cookies – a family favorite!

What are some of your holiday favorites?  E-mail or tweet me your favorite holiday things by Friday, and I will feature them in an upcoming post!

Email: gina (dot) notes26 (at) gmail (dot) com – wrote the address this way, so I can’t get spammed FYI

Twitter Handle: @popcornpandas

Can’t wait to see your favorites!

XO,

Gina