NYC-versary: A Decade

NYC 2007 2

Wow. A decade. 10 years. July 3, 2007 we embarked on a crazy new journey of life. I left everything and everyone I knew and loved (except one) back in Maryland and moved to New York City. The Big Apple. Without a job. To chase my dreams. To discover myself. To pursue a career. To build a relationship. To be more independent.

We honestly thought it would last a couple years. We would experience something new and different. Get a great job to put on the resume. Live it up in one of the biggest cities in the world. Eat all the food. Have all the incredible experiences.

There were lots of trips on the Bolt Bus back to Maryland in those early days. We are both such family/friend oriented people and we never wanted to miss ANYTHING. So we were on that bus sometimes twice a month for different events and celebrations.

Two years passed and we realized we had not even scratched the surface of this city. There was no way we were leaving anytime soon. No matter that we lived in a 350 square foot one bedroom apartment with no laundry or dishwasher in a 4th floor walk up. We didn’t care. This was where we were supposed to be.

Part of the excitement of this city was the endless possibilities…so much to do…so much to see…so much opportunity…new restaurants going up daily, the theatre, the nights of dancing, the history, the people, the culture. We learned so much and we were never bored. There was always another adventure around the corner. So five years passed…then 7…now…today is 10.

NYC Engagement

Engagement photos by Misa Me Photography 2010

Throughout this past decade, we have had lots of visitors to give us great excuses to explore our city. We have made many friends (reconnected with some old and made some new). I spent 7 years working in the advertising/animation industry learning SO much about production and creativity and how things work behind the scenes. I was able to travel and work with two amazing people that will forever remain in my life as we shared so much together. I feel very grateful to have had this experience and it was WAY more than just “something to add to my resume” that’s for darn sure.

I played on many soccer teams, had girl’s nights on the Upper East Side, tried my hand at club promoting (which although it was fun turned out not to be my thing ;-)), I lived through the majority of my 20’s here, did rooftop yoga, coached high school girl’s soccer, made a whole crew of neighborhood mom friends in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn that I swear I would have lost my sanity without during those early months of maternity leave when I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing.

My other half explored SO many different career options and ultimately paved such an incredible path for himself. I am truly inspired by his passion, work ethic and confidence every day. He also threw one of the BEST parties/events I have ever been to in the city (shout out to the Electric Moon Dance! ;-))

We celebrated an engagement, planned a wedding, got married, moved to Brooklyn, got a car (see ya later Bolt Bus!), started this blog, had two beautiful babies, I discovered a new career in online health + fitness where I am truly finding my purpose…all while living in this amazing city. We realized how much time we could actually spend at the beach in the summertime without driving too far. We’re actually sending our oldest child to SCHOOl in the NYC school system this fall, so it feels even crazier to know that we are now really raising kids here.

It’s crazy how many twists and turns, highs and lows, experiences and life changing monumental moments we have had since living in this incredible city. I literally still cannot believe that it’s been a full decade since we made this crazy-turned-amazing decision to move our lives here.

I am grateful for the most supportive, kind, hard working, adventurous, loving partner that has been here with me through it all. Zack, baby, I can believe it, but CHEERS to 10 years in New York City!

Looking forward to continuing our countless adventures and creating many more memories with you and our family. ❤

_DSC0128.jpg

Photo by Senshi Photography 2017

This holiday weekend will always have a special meaning for me on top of it being the Birthday of America. It’s basically the birth of our New York life together.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend! Keep safe. Sending love and happy times to you and your families today. We are off to Hershey Park for the day to chase some thrills and meet up with my brother in law, sister in law, nephew and niece! No matter how long we stay in NY, we will always make time for the fam. ❤

XO,

Gina

 

2016 in Review

img_9438_layers_v1

So much has happened over the course of this past year…here is a little recap…

 I came upon my 2 year health + fitness coaching journey this January and I have since been able to help over 300 challengers to reach their goals and over 30 coaches to build a business of their own. I am continuing to help those who want to make changes in this brand new year.

15232066_10105207789050848_1615112854739271632_n

My sweet little Luca was officially Baptized into the Catholic Church with a beautiful Christening celebration.

DSC_0614.JPG

I earned my first Beachbody Coach Success Club Trip and was able to take my whole family on a Caribbean Cruise on the Oasis of the Seas!!! Holy amazing!!!

img_4202-3

img_4209

I had some fun collaborations with Younique presenter Suzy Engler & UncommonGoods. I now love a great lip stain and one of my readers is rockin’ an Elwood mug.

IMG_9180_Layers_v1

elwood

We traveled to New Jersey, Ithaca, and Baltimore / (x2)  to celebrate some incredibly beautiful weddings of close friends.

img_6681_layers_v1

IMG_9733_Layers_v1

We spent a week at the lake with close friends in the Poconos.

lake-house

I returned to Nashville for my 2nd Beachbody Coach’s Summit and got to hang with my amazing team!

summit-nashville-pivot

Nico turned 3 and Luca turned 1, and we celebrated with a Lego themed Birthday Party

lego-birthday

We tackled potty training over the summer and got one kid out of diapers lol. This book was super helpful.

potty-training

We spent two weeks at the beach with family from the Outer Banks, NC to Cape May, NJ

obx

Hubby finally started back up on his own health and fitness journey…and he’s got the abs to prove it!

hubby

Got in a ton of good reads this year including You Are a Badass, Girl on the Train, Me Before You, No Excuses, The 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth, The 5 Love Languages, and more.

badass

We hiked to the top of Bear Mountain with great friends and Nico almost did the entire thing on his own including the hand and foot scaling!!! I was super impressed.

bearmountain.jpg

I completed several new at-home workout programs and challenged myself from P90X3, 21 Day Fix Extreme, 22 Minute Hard Corps, Country Heat, Hammer + Chisel, 3 Week Yoga Retreat, and Core de Force. Feeling happier + healthier than ever before!

beachbody

I traveled to Sundance, Utah for my first ever Coach’s Diamond Retreat which was an experience of a lifetime. What an amazingly beautiful place to reflect, learn, and be inspired by so many other leaders.

diamond-retreat-team-pivot

Made some amazing fall soups that were so great, they will definitely be made again this winter.

soup

Little sis and I pulled off the surprise of the year celebrating our amazing Mom + Dad’s 60th Birthday. Aren’t these two adorable?!?!

60th

Got in another memorable family Christmas Eve photo by my cousin and fav photographer Misa Me.

guaragna family pic 2016.jpg

Rounded out the year with a fabulous holiday season with my bests in our Christmas jammies.

family-christmas

What an incredible year, and we cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store!!!

img_9443_layers_v1

What was your favorite memory from 2016??? What are you most looking forward to in 2017??? Please share below!!!

Wishing you all a happy + healthy New Year! Happy Monday!!

XO,

Gina

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

get-happy-get-leanits-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 🙂 ❤ 🙂 ❤
XO,
Gina

One Year Later

one-year-later-front

This afternoon I shared my results from my recent Hammer + Chisel program with my Challenge Group, and I came across my first “Before” photo that I took at 6 weeks post partum. Whew! Hard to look at for someone who has always been an athlete and in shape in the past. I am proud that with my body I was able to give life to two awesome little dudes, but I was eager to look and feel like my old self again. My mindset was much different than after my first pregnancy.

After my first pregnancy, I never really tried to get back to myself for a long time…18 months long. To be fair, I had to figure out who I was at a person since becoming a mom and I just didn’t understand how exercise could still fit into my lifestyle. I had many excuses…many of them were legit excuses…work, time, travel, gym commute, etc….but they were still excuses. I finally found a way to find that time for myself again when my son was 18 months old. I started the original P90X at home, and was SO pumped to start!!! …and then 2 days in I found out I was pregnant again with Baby #2. So while I did start my path of healthy eating, exercise, and “me” time, my journey was a little different than planned. 😉

After having my 2nd son, I was SO eager to finally get back to my daily routine and finally get in real shape again. My mindset had completely shifted and I had made that decision to go after some goals. I whipped out that 21 Day Fix and did 3 rounds in 3 months. My journey continued this past year with P90X3, 21 Day Fix Extreme, CIZE, 22 Minute Hard Corps, Country Heat, and lastly Hammer + Chisel. I honestly cannot believe I have been able to stick to so many programs over the past year, and this is the longest I have stuck to a routine in YEARS. I feel amazing, strong, my endurance is up, and even with little sleep and two little ones, I somehow have energy. With my busy schedule, I now cannot even imagine spending an extra time commuting to a gym or classes. These 30 minute home workouts + healthy eating (with treats of course!) + daily Shakeology have truly been a godsend for which I am so thankful!

Looking forward to rounding out my year with the 3 Week Yoga Retreat and the new kickboxing/MMA program, Core de Force. I love knowing what I have coming up, because it keeps me on track and helps me stick to a daily routine. Knowing how I felt after having my first son and then knowing how I feel now, there is no way I could ever go back!

one-year-later-side-no-label

Hope you all had a great weekend, and you are enjoying this lovely Sunday evening!

XO,

Gina

P.S. The Country Heat Giveway winner was announced on my Facebook page, so head on over there if you want to hear more details about the package and who won the prize!

End of Summer

img_0529_layers_v1

img_0561_layers_v1

img_0517_layers_v1

img_0519_layers_v1

img_0512_layers_v1

img_0572_layers_v1

Romper: Target (similar here) – Also love this long-sleeved one for early fall / Sandals: Call it Spring / Sunglasses: Brickyard Buffalo / Pendant: antique heirloom / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: Tory Burch, Stella & Sparkle, Guilty Jean

Ahhhh, yesterday was the first day of fall, and while I do love all things pumpkin, I am sad to see the summer come to an official end. We had a great summer complete with lots of traveling and adventures, and this romper sure got a lot of play from the lake in the Poconos, to the playgrounds of Brooklyn, to the streets of Nashville in Tennessee, to the Jersey Shore in Cape May, down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Our first full summer as a family of four was a success! Can’t believe it’s over. We will remember it fondly, but part of me is excited to break out the boots and crush some pumpkin spice lattes. 😉

Happy Fall + Happy Weekend!

XO,

Gina

3 Week Yoga Retreat

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

Monkey Turns Three

14141938_10104884515323988_8523171111289586862_n

Dear Nico,

Three years ago today you came into our lives 2 weeks earlier than expected. I thought I would be going to work, but the doctor said it was time for you to make your appearance. Papa and I were freaked out and nervous but excited at the same time. It took probably 36 hours or so before you finally arrived, but there you were. So tiny and fragile, my little monkey.

You changed my world the very minute you arrived. I learned about unconditional love and how fiercely I could love another human being. I learned that being a mom is hard…like REALLY hard…like how did no one ever tell me it would be THIS hard?! But it’s also the most rewarding job I have ever had in my entire life.

I have watched you grow over these past three years into an incredible little human. Everything you choose to do you do it full out with 110% effort. There is no holding back. You go all in…always. You are so intelligent, always seeking knowledge and answers. Reading books is one of your favorite things to do, and I know that will be such a huge asset in your future. You have a wild sense of adventure like your Papa, but you also approach situations with caution like myself.

You may drive me crazy sometimes, especially when you are tired and don’t want to nap, but you also make me melt into a puddle when you are sweet to your little brother or you hug me tight.

I seriously cannot believe you are three years old today. This is the year you go from toddler to little boy. You are growing and changing and becoming more and more independent each day. It makes me sad to lose my little baby, but I’m so proud of all your new accomplishments and achievements and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Sweet Little Monkey, Nico Bonzo! Mama and Papa love you SOOOOOOOO freakin’ much.

XOXO,

Mama

14203284_10104884515483668_9037493942149625572_n

Happy 1st Birthday Luca

Baby Luca Has Arrived

IMG_9407_Layers_v1

IMG_9559_Layers_v1

IMG_9873_Layers_v1

IMG_9040_Layers_v1

IMG_9075_Layers_v1

IMG_9099_Layers_v1

IMG_9270_Layers_v1

IMG_9569_Layers_v1

IMG_9638_Layers_v1

IMG_0022_Layers_v1

IMG_0587_Layers_v1

IMG_0661_Layers_v1

My Luca Bear. I cannot even believe my little baby is ONE today!!! It feels like you were born yesterday, but that also you have been here forever. When we got the news of my pregnancy with you, I thought for sure you would be the crazy one. Your brother was a pretty awesome baby, and I thought there is no way we could get two awesome babies. You kept me up all night kicking my belly during my pregnancy…and I guess the whole keeping me up thing hasn’t really changed haha, but aside from that (and the fact that you occasionally bite me…ouch dude, you should really probably stop that), you are pretty much the most awesome baby ever. Just sayin’. Like AWESOME.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine such a cool, chill, laid-back, patient child would arrive in my arms. I suppose I have your father to thank for that! It’s tough being the 2nd child. I’m not a 2nd child myself, so it was hard to imagine until you came along. Sorry little sis. But yeah, in this past year I have seen how hard it can be. Your older brother getting tons of attention, following his schedule…you along for the ride…mostly dragged along, woken up from naps constantly, pushed around, toys stolen. Of course there are the hugs too (mostly too tight). We kept a book of all your brother’s milestone moments, but we were too busy and stressed to create yours. But you honestly have handled everything like a champ…and with the BIGGEST SMILE!!!!

You rarely complain, you are incredibly patient, you go with the flow, and again with that smile!!! You are ALWAYS smiling. Like the happiest baby on the planet. I don’t think you even really cried for like the first 6 months of life. Not really. You truly made becoming a mother for the 2nd time a much easier process than I had anticipated.

A year ago today, you arrived in my arms and it was love at first sight. I knew how hard I could love a human being because I had your brother, so when you came, it was just instant. I knew I would love you just as much. And my love has kept growing throughout this past year.

I love the way you light up and crawl toward me when I come into the room with your little one legged crawl.

I love how your eyes smile along with your mouth…your Irish eyes are always smiling.

I love the way you snuggle your head on my shoulder when I sing to you before bedtime.

I love how independent you are with feeding yourself, and it’s seriously impressive how much you can eat.

I love how interested you are in animal sounds, dancing, drawing, my workouts, + the ABC song.

I love the way you push cars around a room and say “Broom Broom!” like you are having the time of your life.

I love the way you are always happy to see your brother even though he can sometimes be a butthead to you. You forgive him every time.

I love how when you say “Papa” it’s always in a whisper.

I love your sense of humor and that belly laugh that erupts whenever I show you a silly face.

I love those crazy curls on your head that no matter how many times I brush them, they pop up in a mohawk style.

My Luca Bear. Luca Dukes. Dukes. Goose. You have made our world so incredibly happy. You bring so much joy to our family and I seriously cannot imagine what life would be like without you in it. Apparently this birthday means you are a toddler now, but I don’t believe it. You still seem SO tiny to me (and maybe that’s because you are), but you are still my little baby, and I don’t see that changing for awhile. I am constantly amazed at the new things you accomplish on a daily basis and while I want to really keep you my baby forever, I am also excited to see you learn and grow even more in this next year.

Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet little angel baby. I love you to the moon and back again.

Love,

Mama

Let the Countdown Begin

13886375_10104828243952268_4468137256450867422_n

This photo was taken 2 years ago at our last family trip to the Outer Banks. Nico was almost 1 year old, and I was so excited to bring him there for the first time. You see, the Outer Banks is like a second home. My parents grew up vacationing here, and then I grew up with my sister and cousins vacationing here. My uncle lived here for 25+ years, and my cousin also calls this place home. We have family friends here, we know our way around, we have our favorite restaurants, beach spots, shops, and traditions we keep. We spend long days here lounging in sand or playing corn hole on the beach. We ride the waves and sit in chairs getting lost in conversation until we realize we are halfway in the ocean lol. We go for jogs and walks down to the pier and back. We spend our evenings with a quick dip in the pool then off to celebrating summer birthdays, dining on restaurant seafood + home cooked pasta and meatballs, and mingling with family. Our late nights are spent here playing board games, drinking wine and playing guitar/singing out on the deck. It’s the one time of year where my entire family gathers to be together at once. We may need more than one house to fit all of us there, but we make it happen and we create the best memories.

I’m sure many of you have a place like this that is so special for you and your family. What is that place for you???

As I think about our upcoming trip to the OBX in 4 days, I think about my little Luca…who is the age and size that Nico was in this photo. I am excited for him to experience all of this for the first time, and happy that Nico may even be old enough to carry some of the memories home with him (and maybe some seashells too).

I may be raising little city kids up here in Brooklyn, but they sure as heck will be OBX beach babes every summer.

Counting down – 4 days ’til OBX fam

XO,

Gina

Jam out July

Jam Out July Invite.png

Like music? Like working out? Like listening to music WHILE working out?!?!

Then THIS is the challenge for you!!!

Join some of the top coaches on Team SPARK! July 18th for Jam Out July!!! This FREE 5 Day Health + Fitness Challenge will incorporate a summer jam for each workout on each day of the week. You can listen to the song once for a quick mini workout, play the song on repeat for more of a challenge, or string them all together at the end of the week to pump up that jam!

We will also be sharing healthy recipes and tips for summer fun! Should be a good time, and you won’t want to miss this one!

Comment below with your email address to JOIN the fun or reach out to me for more details!

gina.notes26 {at} gmail.com

Cannot WAIT!

XO,

Gina