Best of Both Worlds

best of both worlds

What kind of life do you desire for yourself?

I find that as I get older and time goes on, my priorities have changed. In my twenties, I may have been fine with working late hours, meeting up with friends for an after work drink, crashing late, and doing it all over again the next day.

But now as a mom of two kids, I want to be here to tuck my kids into bed at night, read them stories, and snuggle them to sleep.

Previously, I was okay with a long subway commute. I used it as an excuse to get lots of reading done and was proud at how many books I could finish underground. Now, I do not want to spend a total of 3 hours per day commuting, because that means 15 hours a week extra that I would be spending away from my kiddos on top of a long work day.

My family has become my priority these days. I love being a mom…the good, the bad, and the ugly. The lack of sleep and toddler tantrums have nothing on those newborn snuggles and those slobbery toddler kisses.

That being said…I never saw myself as a stay at home mom. My mom worked hard outside of the home each and every day, and I figured I would follow in those footsteps. I studied hard in school and had dreams of a future and career that involved television and movies and sports and more. I wanted to be successful in my own right, and never have to rely on someone else to pay my bills. Not that those who are stay at home moms are not successful. It’s the hands down HARDEST job I have ever had to date! And I give props to every single stay at home mom out there, because having and raising kids on a daily basis IS definitely success in my book.

But the difference between then and now is that I didn’t realize then that I could be FINANCIALLY successful AND be a stay at home mom at the same time. I could own a business, work from home, AND spend my days raising my children the way I see fit. The best of both worlds in my mind.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s easy. I work HARD…both as a mom and as an entrepreneur. And some days I still feel like I am not quite measuring up in either category…because let’s face it…as mom you never feel like you are doing everything right…I am only human, and I can only do so much and yes, it’s HARD to work from home when you have a toddler…and now with a newborn, it’s even more crazy. But I am making it work, because it’s what’s best for ME and what’s best for my family. I am getting to fulfill something that I always wanted to do by having my own business and creating my own success…and I am not missing out on those opportunities to see my children grow.

The best part is that I have the FREEDOM to work when and how I want. I am able to create my own schedule and hours. I am helping others to reach their goals not only in health and fitness, but by teaching others to build their OWN business as well.

This opportunity is not exclusive to me. Have you ever thought about being a fitness coach? What about being home with your kids more? Or having the freedom to work from wherever you want? Or to stop stressing about money on the regular?

If so, I would love to invite you to join me and Team SPARK on Monday September 28th as we host a sneak peek into our business and share what is that we do on a daily basis. We are looking for 5 hard working, creative, and intelligent individuals who are looking to create more freedom for themselves or for their families. If you have any interest at all in learning more, please comment below and fill out this application to save your spot in our 3 Day Coach Open House group!

https://pandpfitness.wufoo.com/forms/team-spark/

Hope you are having a great week!

XO,

Gina

{35} Lately

photo (40)

Lately I’ve been…

reading  Been reading a bunch of books at once these days. Tag teaming a business book and a fun book. Just finished Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. It’s a great read for anyone who works in the social media industry or just has a general interest in social media. I am also reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult as something lighter and non-business related for summertime. And lastly, planning on beginning to read Start With Why by Simon Sinek this week about how great leaders inspire people to take action.

writing  Thank you cards for everyone who attended Nico’s 2nd Birthday Party and for those who have showered our 2nd baby boy with goodies as well. We are very lucky to have such great family and friends.

listening  Inspirational Podcasts. Here is a good list for entrepreneurs. Do you have a good one to add to the list?

thinking  I can’t believe it’s almost time to have this baby! And that I am going to be surrounded by BOYS!

smelling  BBQ Chicken my hubby made for dinner. So delish!

watching  The Real Housewives of Orange County and New York. Yes. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Hey, every girl needs a little trashy TV downtime.

wishing  For a smooth labor and delivery. And for my water to break at home or at the hospital and not in some crazy public place.

hoping  That being said…hoping that baby comes before they decide I need to be induced like my last pregnancy! Grow baby, grow!

wearing  Leggings, maternity shorts, stretchy tanks and maternity tops, maxi dresses. Anything that isn’t extremely hot to wear and that I can still walk around in. There is a reason you haven’t seen a fashion post up lately haha…there’s not much to report these days! Comfort is key to maternity survival in this heat!

loving  My new redecorated and cleaned out office space in my sunroom. Looking for more prints to hang and still need to install the knobs on the desk (which came today, yay!), and some curtains, but I am excited!

wanting  To try some recipes in the new cookbook, FIXATE, by Autumn Calabrese! They look so good!

needing  To keep walking! Exercise is getting a little tougher these days as I hit the 38 week mark of my pregnancy yesterday, but trying to keep things moving, and hopefully that will help this baby arrive soon.

feeling  Like I have to pee constantly. TMI? Sorry, just keepin’ it real over here.

craving  Chocolate. Chocolate. More Chocolate. If you know me, you know I generally crave fruitier desserts, but for some reason, I am all about that chocolate in the past couple weeks. Baby has a sweet tooth!

clicking  Through Etsy for office wall art

*

HAPPY TUESDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

Turning Two With Turtle Power

photo 1

We celebrated Nico’s 2nd Birthday a little early this year due to the fact that his birthday is two days away from my due date. So as not to add any additional stress or a possible last minute cancelation, we decided a month in advance would be appropriate to make sure he got to have his cake and eat it too. We settled on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme…not because he watches the shows, because to be honest, the only thing he pretty much watches is Sesame Street…but I thought it was cool, and he was really excited about the turtles when I bought him a TMNT t-shirt one time. So there you have it. Two = Turtle Power for the win. He seemed to get into the theme, so I think it worked out well. I had a lot of fun crafting a few things in advance for the party. My husband might disagree as he had the task of crafting 12 turtle masks of out felt, which we then failed to photograph. Sorry, honey. They looked great! And apparently some of the kids are even still wearing them at home, I swear! It was a beautiful day with friends and even some family was able to come up for it (namely Nico’s godfather, which was awesome!) The kids had a pool and a water table to keep them occupied, and the parents had food and supervising children in the pool and at the water table to keep them occupied. The best part is that Nico was in a great mood the entire day, and I could tell he really enjoyed himself having everyone over to celebrate. He even asked us to sing “Happy Birthday” to him again privately later on during the party. It was kind of adorable. We are so grateful to everyone who came out and showered him with love on this special day!

photo 1 copy

photo 3 copy

photo 2 copy

photo 5

photo 4

photo 3

photo (39)

11817113_10103899866802518_7177907793768796794_n

*Cake from Betty Bakery*

Now he still has a couple more weeks until his ACTUAL 2nd Birthday, so pending on my labor schedule, you will probably get a sappier birthday post around then. 😉

Hit the 37 week mark yesterday, and we made tons of headway on the house over the weekend including a new office space for Mama. SCORE! We are pretty much ready for baby’s arrival when he is!

Hope you are all enjoying the week so far. Make it a good one!

XO,

Gina

{32} Lately…

20weeks

Lately I’ve been…

reading  Aaaaaand I’m still reading The Goldfinch.  Haha might possibly be the longest it’s ever taken me to get through a book that I didn’t absolutely hate. LOL. I also just finished Eat That Frog, which is an excellent book about time management and making the best use out of your time. Picked up lots of great business tips in there.  

writing  I recently had the privilege to interview Shannon Fitzpatrick for Autism Awareness month about her son Chase and how Autism has impacted her family. Thank you Shannon for opening up about your experience, and hopefully this can help and inspire those going through something similar.

listening  To Nico say “I love you too” this morning, just about MADE.MY.DAY. Love that kid.

thinking  About some ideas for an upcoming post on the best exercises to do while pregnant.

smelling  The deliciousness cooking at my local cafe and Monday “office” Cafe Madeline.

watching  Revenge on Netflix. I had been wanting to watch this show for awhile, but didn’t want to jump in without seeing the first few seasons. So I decided to catch up via Netflix. It’s dark, but captivating!

wishing  A Happy Birthday to my (pretty much) brother-in-law, Adam!  Hope it’s amazing and wonderful just like you!

hoping  That Nico has a fun time at his first dance/movement class today! Wish I could be there with him, but Mama’s gotta get some work done.

wearing  Floral Pants from Motherhood Maternity – Tank from GAP – Blouse from Express – Polka Dot Flats from GAP Outlet

loving  The sunshine! It’s been very nice out the past couple days, and I am relishing in it! Even broke out my floral spring pants this morning as you can see from above.

wanting  A prenatal massage and a big huge pregnancy pillow (that I never had with my first baby). Mother’s Day? (wink wink)

needing  To go shopping for some new clothes this spring. Yes, I know I have the perfect maternity clothes already in my closet from my last pregnancy, because the babe will be born at the same time of year as Nico…but can you blame me for wanting something new?

feeling  Pretty good! Aside from a little back pain (which PiYo totally helps with by the way!), I am feeling pretty good during this second trimester. How I wish the whole pregnancy could be like the second trimester!  Haha.

craving  Ditching alllllll my cravings for processed sugar this week as I am hosting a 7-Day (No) Sugar & Squats Challenge!  Today is the first day (50 squats down baby!), so feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you want in!

clicking  Through apartment listings. Trying to figure out if it makes sense to move before we have our little one. We could technically squeeze in our current place, but it will be TIGHT. The problem is that finding anything bigger is going to be a huge increase in expense (my guess), and we have such an amazing deal now that it’s hard to leave. We shall see what the future brings!

*

HAPPY MONDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

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.

Captured in Cape May

IMG_4653_Layers_v1

I’m finally getting around to sharing some more of our Cape May vacation photos.  Some of these were taken on my camera, and some of them are from my Instagram feed, so don’t mind the inconsistency.  My favorite part about Cape May was looking at all the adorable houses, many of which have been converted in Bed & Breakfast Inns.  The architecture actually reminds me of my neighborhood, Ditmas Park in Brooklyn yet even closer to the beach.  I loved that mostly everything was in walking or biking distance and that it was very family oriented.  Many thanks to my mother-in-law and father-in-law for organizing such a fantastic trip!

IMG_4656_Layers_v110390192_10102778264502518_8693529401359264458_n

10435929_10102778990273068_2144106319396591194_n

IMG_4642_Layers_v1

10441379_10102784622795448_8757667935507904354_n

10383004_10102786558990298_7416152944729358570_n

IMG_4659_Layers_v1

IMG_4673_Layers_v1

IMG_4586_Layers_v1

IMG_4670_Layers_v1

1526869_10102785674872078_4622023219681478576_n

IMG_4727_Layers_v1

*Note*  The 2nd baby pictured is my adorable nephew, Nathan!  He and Nico had a great time playing together throughout the week.

Now we are on a countdown to our next family adventure…the Outer Banks!  This is a place my family has been going every summer since I was four.  Last summer, I was hugely pregnant and unable to attend as my due date was creeping up, so I am extremely pumped to not only return to the OBX, but to show Nico how much we all love this place and each other.  My cousins have already started the text chain, and I cannot wait to see them!

Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina

DIY: Decorate Wooden Letters for Nursery

I got this idea from a friend who recently had a baby, and I just loved her nursery letters!  I really appreciated her filling me in on how to make these yourself rather than spending tons of money to have them made, so I figured I would pass this idea along to all of you!  It’s simple, quick (it helps when you only have four letters to work with), and easily custom made for any name, color, or theme. Take a look and get crafty!

The Before:

IMG_9975_Layers_v1

IMG_9976_Layers_v1

Materials:

Wooden letters

Scrapbooking Paper

Scissors

Paper Glue

Scrapbook Stickers

Pencil

All of my materials were purchased at Michaels

How to DIY:

1.  Choose a scrapbooking paper print that you like and flip it over so you are looking at the back of the paper.  You can choose all the same or a variety of patterns in the similar color palette depending on your preference.

2.  Flip over your wooden letter and place that on top of the paper.  It’s very important that these are both flipped over for tracing purposes!

3.  Trace your wooden letter, and then use the scissors to cut out the letter shape from the scrapbooking paper.

4.  Flip over both the scrapbooking paper and the wooden letter so they are now face up.

5.  Use the paper glue adhesive to glue the scrapbooking paper to the top of the wooden letter.  Press firmly and set aside to let it dry while continuing with your other letters and scrapbook paper patterns.

6.  Once they are all dry, jazz up your letters with some fancy stickers or other types of adornments.

All finished and super easy!

IMG_0192_Layers_v1

IMG_0195_Layers_v1

Enhanced by Zemanta

Nico’s Nursery

IMG_0160_Layers_v1

I have been wanting to share these photos for awhile now, but had been holding off because I wanted Nico’s name to be a surprise until his arrival.  Zack and I worked tirelessly on this nursery for a few weekends in a row to get those wall decals perfect and to make sure everything came together with the finishing touches.  We purchased these dressers when we first moved to NYC, and we saved them and used them in the guest bedroom when we moved to Brooklyn.  Rather than buy new dressers for the nursery, we figured these were the perfect color for the panda and monkey themed nursery we were planning.  We have already spent many sleepless nights rocking Nico in the glider, and have spent many hours in this room for his diaper and wardrobe changes.  He is currently sleeping in the bassinet in our room, but when he is older, we will eventually move him to his crib.  We hope Nico will grow to love his nursery as much as we do!

IMG_0167_Layers_v1

IMG_0195_Layers_v1

IMG_0170_Layers_v1

IMG_0177_Layers_v1

IMG_0190_Layers_v1

IMG_0162_Layers_v1

IMG_0174_Layers_v1

IMG_0168_Layers_v1

IMG_0204_Layers_v1

IMG_0192_Layers_v1

Dressers: Gothic Cabinet Craft / Little Castle Swivel Glider: Target / Little Castle Gliding Ottoman: Target / Window Panels: Sweet JoJo Designs / Book Shelf: Target – similar / Crib: Babyletto / Panda Bank: Urban Outfitters / Panda Wall Decals: Etsy – Decal Lab / Monkey Wall Decals: Etsy – Simple Shapes / Wooden Letters: DIY (post to come soon) materials from Michaels / Panda Rug: Uncommon Goods / Green Rug: Sweet JoJo Deisgns

Today is Zack’s first day back to work, and it’s my first day at home alone with my little man.  It’s definitely a lot of work to be on your own, and I applaud all single parents for being strong enough to do this!  I should probably be sleeping right now (sleep when the baby sleeps right?), but I wanted to take advantage of his little nap by getting out this blog post today.

We had a great weekend with my sister and her boyfriend in town as well as my in-laws.  My sister cooked us up a phenomenal meal, and we spent the two days hanging out, taking a little walk around the neighborhood, and snuggling our little monkey.  Nico is a lucky boy to have so much love and family around him, and I couldn’t ask for a better support system.

Hope you all have a great week!

XO,

Gina

Baby Gender Reveal Ideas {Canadian Family}

Remember our gender reveal for Little Monkey???

8625317045_d798fc97cc_b

Photo by: Justin Goldberg of Eudora Video Solutions

Well, apparently Little Monkey is quite the popular one.  Online magazine, Canadian Family has included our gender reveal in their latest article called 8 Exciting Baby Gender Reveal Ideas.  I am so honored to be included in their post.  Head on over to see my mention as well as 7 other fabulous ideas for mommies and daddies-to-be!

Curious, did you do anything special to find out your baby’s gender?  How did you tell your family and friends?

XO,

Gina