Take Me Home

IMG_9940_Layers_v1IMG_9938_Layers_v1IMG_9949_Layers_v1IMG_9955_Layers_v1IMG_9939_Layers_v1IMG_9956_Layers_v1IMG_9967_Layers_v1

Long Sleeved Rugby Polo: Ralph Lauren (old) / Blazer: Piperlime (old) / Denim: Rag & Bone / Boots: Target | on Luca: Overalls & Button Up Onesie from Carters

These photos were taken over Thanksgiving weekend on an unusually nice, warm day outside at my parent’s house where I grew up. There is something comforting in the fact that my parents still live in the house where I was born and raised. That familiar smell when you walk in…the same hand-sewn curtains hanging in my old bedroom window…the fact that I can still maneuver around in the pitch black dark and not run into the walls since I am just so familiar with every nook and cranny of this comforting abode. Staying up way too late past my bedtime, just because I am there and you know Dad will always be up (or asleep) in his chair before you hit the hay. Walking around those 2.5 acres of land and breathing in those fresh country smells of grass and trees…maybe even some horses down the road. It strangely smelled like spring there on this particular day. The familiar old tractor, the old shed, and that same spot to hang the hammock in the backyard. While things have certainly been updated since my childhood, I love that sense of comfort and security I feel when I am there. It’s nice that I am able to bring my children here to have a similar experience, much like I had in my grandparent’s house where my Dad grew up. Nico is always so excited when we arrive. He knows exactly what toys will be there, where his chair is, and the places he loves to roam outside already. It makes me smile to know although we live 4 hours away, he still feels that same sense of comfort that I do at his Mimi and Nano’s house. I am looking forward to when my little Luca will feel the same. If my dear parents are reading this, I hope they know they can never move away 😉

XO,

Gina

DIY: Paint a Mirror White

I had been wanting to paint the mirror in our living room white since we moved into our Brooklyn apartment almost two years ago.  All I can say is, “better late than never!”  I definitely think it brightens up the room, and it was so easy to accomplish that I can’t believe it took us so long to finally paint it!  I guess a little nesting was all this place needed.  Take a peek.

The Before:

IMG_0274_Layers_v1

IMG_0283_Layers_v1

The During:

Find yourself a place that you can work with a lot of open space, good lighting, and make sure to put something down underneath your workspace so you don’t get paint everywhere.

IMG_0287_Layers_v1

Use painting tape to place on the inside of the mirror so you don’t get your paint on the actual mirror.  Make sure the tape slides underneath the frame covering the entire mirror with no cracks showing.

IMG_0291_Layers_v1

Paint first coat, and let it sit until it fully dries.  Then do a second coat over top to make it as opaque as possible.  Try to paint in straight lines to avoid bad streaks or clumps of paint.  We used Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Pure White PPU18-6.  This paint has a built in primer, so we didn’t use a separate one.  However, if you choose a paint sans primer, than you should use a primer before painting for your first coat.

IMG_0299_Layers_v1

IMG_0311_Layers_v1

The After:

Once it’s fully dry from the second coat, remove the painting tape from the mirror and Voila!  A fresh new look for your mirror (and my living room.)

IMG_0315_Layers_v1

IMG_0318_Layers_v1

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Get your craft on.

XO,

Gina

A Storybook Shower

IMG_0030_Layers_v1

Last Saturday I was down in Maryland to celebrate a baby shower for my sister-in-law and future baby nephew!  It was adorably themed as a storybook shower, with many of the food options based on some of our favorite childhood books.  We each also brought a book in place of a card to shower the momma-to-be and start a library collection for her little guy.  I am so excited to meet my nephew, and looking forward to introducing our boys so soon!  Of course, I had to get our last bump-to-bump shot as well.  It’s crazy to think that the next time I see my sister-in-law, we will both be moms!

IMG_0024_Layers_v1

IMG_0027_Layers_v1

IMG_0025_Layers_v1

IMG_0028_Layers_v1

IMG_0052_Layers_v1

Happy Bump Day 😉

It’s been a busy week here with long work hours, doctor’s appointments, a dinner date with a friend in town from Detroit, and more.  Hope you are all having a good one as well!

XO,

Gina

Enhanced by Zemanta

Family Reunion

fam·i·ly

/ˈfam(ə)lē/
Noun: A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.
Now, this gigantic group of people above may not all live together in one household…but I certainly consider them all family.
After at least a 10 year long hiatus, my Italian grandfather’s side of the family got together at the end of June for a family reunion in Davidsonville, MD.  My cousin, Valerie, was kind enough to open her home to 100+ crazy Italianos from all over the U.S.  Some as far as Maine, Iowa, and Washington state.  I expected maybe 40-50 people or so, but to have over 100 just blew my mind.  It proved to me that I was not the only one who saw a larger definition to the word “family.”
We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day, a pool for the kiddies to enjoy, delicious BBQ, and a lot of fun.  We had a large family tree diagram to trace each bloodline back multiple generations thanks to my Uncle Art.  People brought tons of old photos.  One of my favorite moments was sitting with my Uncle Danny (my Grandpa Frank’s 1st cousin) while we looked through an old photo album of his life from childhood to the present.  He had so many stories of growing up with my Grandfather that really just made my day.  Everyone brought tons of desserts, and many of them were family recipes.  I think I ate more dessert than actual lunch food!  Oops.
We had such a great time catching up with each other that I really wish so much time hadn’t gone by since our last reunion, and I’m hoping that the next one will be sooner rather than later.
When I think of family, I think of love, respect, sacrifice, holidays, being there for one another, having a shoulder to cry on, people to laugh with, those to get crazy with, honesty, trust, friendship, acceptance, support and care.  Family shapes who we are as people and changes us for the future.  I realize that not everyone may have this same definition of family depending on their life experiences, but I am so grateful for the amount of love in my family.
 You can’t choose who is in your family, but you can choose whether or not you want to spend time with them.  The fact that so many people came out for this reunion shows how much we all care about each other even after so much time had gone by.  I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of such a greater whole, and I’m looking forward to when my Little Monkey will be able to join this amazing group of people that I can call my own.
XO,
Gina
Enhanced by Zemanta

Weekend Snaps

Wanted to share a few photos from the past couple weekends we have spent in NYC.  It’s been nice to actually be in town for a bit and enjoy this amazing city!

My awesome soccer team at our championship BBQ in Williamsburg, BK

IMG_9052_Layers_v1

A little corn hole action…

IMG_9014_Layers_v1

Taking a walk in the neighborhood with our neighbors

IMG_9059_Layers_v1

Pretty little house in the ‘hood

IMG_9062_Layers_v1

View of Coney Island from my beach chair…

IMG_9168_Layers_v1

Brighton Beach – so happy to be at the Ocean!

IMG_9169_Layers_v1

Toes in the sand (Wearing Essie DJ Play That Song)

IMG_9170_Layers_v1

It’s been so nice and super relaxing  these past few weekends staying in town and enjoying this city in which we live.  I often think about how lucky we are to be in such an urban place with so much to offer in terms of food, theatre, culture, events, and more.  And in addition to this crazy metropolis, how is it possible that we still have the ocean only 4 miles away from our home?  For me it is the best of both worlds, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hope you all had a great weekend, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

XO,

Gina

Enhanced by Zemanta

Dinner Party

IMG_6864v2

There’s nothing like an impromptu Saturday night dinner party!  I broke out the fine china (for only the second time in two years…let’s just say was about time to put those amazing wedding gifts to good use), and whipped up a little Italiano meal for the hubs and my friends Brooke (a new Brooklynite) and Kendel (visiting from Baltimore).  Pasta with red sauce, breaded chicken, mixed green salad, and a bottle of red (or maybe two bottles of red).  Doesn’t get much better than that huh?  Except for maybe the little game of “Flip Coaster” we invented after dinner.  Don’t even get me started on how insanely good Brooke is at this game–she put us all to shame.  We had so much fun that we completely lost track of time, and the fact that we were supposed to be meeting friends out in Manhattan that night.  Zack ended up crashing, but the girls and I rallied for a fun little night at the Back Room on the Lower East Side.  The Back Room is a swank little speakeasy that serves cocktails in teacups and beer bottles in paper bags.  We had a great time, and I’m thinking we will need to have a repeat date sometime soon!

IMG_6848v3

IMG_6942v2

IMG_6894v2

IMG_6875v2

IMG_6948v2

Photos by: Zack Notes / Edited by: Myself

Dress: Free People (old) – view their current dress collection! / Leather Jacket: Vintage – love this asymmetrical alternative / Tights: Urban Outfitters / Boots: ALDO / Cardigan: Forever 21 (old) / Bag: Chinatown / Scarf: Gift / Necklace: Guilty Jean / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelet: Baublebar / Lip: Lancome Luxe / China: Lenox Chirp

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Mine was quite relaxing, and I’m looking forward to chilling out this week as well.  I’m a bit excited about the extra daylight hour.  It reminds me that spring is right around the corner!

Happy Birthday to my twin cousins, Briana and Victoria, today!  Love you girls!

XO,

Gina

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Day on the Farm

IMG_4447

While on holiday, we spent a day celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday on the farm.  Her friend owns a beautiful piece of property in Northern Maryland, and invited a crew over for a lovely housewarming at their newly renovated home.  Along with my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law were also in attendance.  It was great to catch up with everyone over delicious home cooked seafood chowder, decadent desserts, and a fantastic walk around the yard with all the goats and chickens.  Thanks to Bill and Ellen for their hospitality.

IMG_4493

IMG_4435

IMG_4497

IMG_4454

IMG_4455

IMG_4462

IMG_4459

IMG_4452

IMG_4448

IMG_4506

IMG_4504

IMG_4470

IMG_4473

Today is my first day back at the office in the new year.  It’s strangely quiet so far today.  This morning I was able to make it to the gym, and I actually made it there before it opened.  What, you say?  Yes, this is no joke.  Weird things are happening in 2013.

Hope you all enjoy the end of our short week.

Cheers,

Gina

O Christmas Tree

Ta da!!!

We finally got our Christmas tree up!  We had to get a smaller one this year due to living room space.  Last year, our couch had not yet been delivered, and we got the biggest most beautiful tree.  While this one may not measure up in terms of looks, this year’s tree is definitely quirky and unique.  Dressed up in all the colorful lights and special ornaments, we have made this tree our own for 2012.  Take a peek and spread the holiday cheer!

Before:

After:

Next on the list: writing my Christmas cards!  Can you tell I kinda like Christmas?  Just a little?  The Christmas cards will have to wait ’til after the weekend though, because this girl is headed to Atlantic City.  Girls weekend here I come!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend as well!

XO,

Gina

30 Days of Thanksgiving

I have seen friends on Facebook and Twitter posting about things they are thankful for this year, and it has inspired me to create a list of my own thanksgivings for 2012.

1:  First and foremost, I want to thank God for putting me here on this beautiful Earth and allowing me to wake up another day.

2:  My wonderful husband, for loving me every day, accepting me the way I am, faults and all.  He is my rock and my best friend, and I am very lucky to have such a fantastic partner in this world.  Who else would have taken me on a surprise skydiving trip for our one year anniversary this past year?  He just gets me, and I fall in love with him more and more every day.

3:  My parents for an amazing upbringing full of love and support.  For giving me everything I could have asked for, and although at times I thought they were too tough on me, it has made me stronger and more independent for it.  There have been a few bumps in the road this past year, and I am so thankful to have had my mom and dad by my side during these times.

4:  My sister for being the BSITWWW (Best Sister in the Whole Wide World).  For being the person that I can always come to if I need to get something off my chest, for making me laugh constantly, for reading my mind without ever having to say a word.  For being able to sing every song from The Sound of Music or Grease from start to finish with me, and for being my partner in crime growing up.

5: My in-laws for always accepting me from the start.  For never questioning the fact that I was Catholic and their son was Jewish.  For respecting me and welcoming me lovingly into their family.

6:  My extended family.  My grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, etc.  For always being there.  As crazy as we all are, we always have the most amazing time together.  I relish in our Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, Easter, and Outer Banks celebrations every year.  There are a lot of us, which only means a lot more love and fun times to go around.

7:  My friends.  I am very lucky to have made such wonderful friends throughout each and every moment of my life.  From Queen Anne, to Bowie Soccer United, the Beltway Lady Cougars, St. Mary of the Assumption, to Archbishop Spalding, to the University of Maryland, to my girls at Alpha Phi, to the Dewey Crew, all the way to New York City.  Each one of you has made a difference in my life for the positive.  You are also my extended family, and I would not be where I am without your friendship and support.

8:  Popcorn and Pandas.  The former being my favorite snack in the world and the latter being the most adorable animals on the planet.

9:  Brooklyn, for being an affordable way to stay in New York city without going broke.  Being able to have the luxuries of a washer/dryer, dishwasher, a 2 bedroom apartment inside of a house with the most amazing neighbors while still having Manhattan and all it’s glory right at our fingertips has just been a blessing.

10:  My boss for keeping me employed during an awful recession period, helping me continue to grow in my field, being a great mentor in the production, television, animation, and advertising industries, and for making the work day enjoyable.

11:  Uncommon Goods for employing my husband thereby, helping to keep a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, giving us the ability to travel back and forth to Maryland to see family and friends, and for making possible those moments where I “just had to have” those pair of shoes.

12:  My nephew pup, Finley, who I just met and already love and adore.  He is the cutest, sweetest little tyke I have ever seen!

13:  My health, for allowing me to run around and play soccer and basketball, run races, dance, and do all the other things that I love.

14.  The invention of photography for allowing me to capture almost every moment of life.  For without photography, I would probably forget half of the things I have done and accomplished.  People say I have a good memory, and while this may be true, I remember so much through my photos, and cherish those memories every time I view them.

15.  Music for putting me in a good mood, for enjoyable car rides, for awesome nights on the dance floor, for lazy nights at the beach, for getting me through house cleaning, to accompany me while cooking, for jam sessions with my husband, etc.

16.  Teachers and coaches for making a difference in the future of America.  I had many great teachers and coaches growing up, and wouldn’t be where I am today without their guidance and leadership in the classroom and on the field/court.

17.  Our military for putting their lives on the line to protect our freedoms in this country.  Your service is much appreciated.

18.  Doctors, especially Dr. Q. for dedicating his life and career to curing brain cancer.  He fought for my friend John, and still continues to do so every day with Q’s Quest.

19.  Ice Cream for curing my sweet tooth always.

20.  The film industry for giving me a drive and passion to succeed and be creative.

21. Artists for continually reminding me that humans are capable of creating beautiful things.

22.  Technology for making it easier and faster to communicate with people from all over the world.

23.  Television for giving me an outlet when I am stressed to just chill and relax without having to think about anything.  Also to reality TV for helping me realize that other people are much crazier than me!

24.  For the amazing restaurants in NYC.  You provide a most delectable experience for those nights where I just do not feel like cooking.

25.  For online shopping, because with my busy travel schedule, I find it hard to make it out to the store as often as I would like.

26.  For children, who are completely innocent, and remind me of the days when things were so simple.

27.  For my long subway ride to work (I know, weird right?) for allowing me to catch up on all of my reading daily.

28.  Our car, so that I no longer have to take the Bolt Bus on every trip down to Maryland.  Having the car has definitely made traveling a lot less stressful, and being able to come and go at our leisure instead of being locked into a schedule has been bliss.

29.  My family home.  I’m so grateful that my parents still live where I grew up.  I am able to come back to visit and be greeted by all the memories of childhood.

30.  The Brown Family for cooking Thanksgiving dinner today, so that we can enjoy the benefits of a fabulous meal without having to do all the work.  Don’t worry, we got you on Christmas 🙂

What are you thankful for this year?

Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!  Enjoy!

Love,

Gina