Double Celebration










Photos by: Senshi Photography

Dress: Target / Shoes: Call It Spring / Earrings: Forever 21 / Zack’s Outfit: No idea / Boys Outfits – Shirts: Old Navy (similar) / Shoes: Old Navy (Nico / Luca) / Shorts: Nautica

Today marks a double celebration for our family. Not only is it Mother’s Day, but the hubby and I are celebrating our 6 Year Wedding Anniversary! These three guys are my world, and I am so incredibly grateful to call them mine. Today this mama is feeling blessed.

❤ ❤ ❤

I also want to wish my own mama, my grandmother, and my mother-in-law a very special Mother’s Day! I wouldn’t be here where I am today without the three of you. Love you all to the moon and back.

And to all the other mamas out there…what are you doing to celebrate?

Today we met up with our original Brooklyn mamas crew who were in town for a big playground playdate. Can’t believe our “babies” are now almost 4! Time flies! It was such a nice time and a gorgeous NYC spring day to boot.

Hope you are celebrating and enjoying this special day!



On Overcoming Pain


So you may be looking at this photo, thinking “What the heck does this have to do with pain?” Bear with me. You all know I typically love to keep this space a happy, positive, fun place, but if I only shared the happy stuff, that wouldn’t be real life, right?

The other night, I was sitting on my couch prepping for my Leadership class that will go on tonight, and turned to the Chapter in John Maxwell’s “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Leadership” titled “The Law of Pain.” Ugh. To say that I was less than excited to dive into this chapter is an understatement. But this class has been so amazing and eye opening for me that I knew I had to continue on and reading this chapter is all part of the growth process.

So I dove in…and it was not easy. This chapter forced me to go back and think about all the painful experiences I have had in my past. And it asked me to evaluate how I had responded to this pain. Because no matter what…you can be the best person out there…but bad experiences have a way of finding you. It’s just a fact of life that there are ups and downs that we are unable to control. But what we CAN control is how we react and manage the pain.

As I looked back into my “pain file” of bad experiences, I looked over at my Christmas Tree and thought about one of the hardest times I have ever had in my life. It was a fall of 2012. It was supposed to be a happy time. I had just found out I was pregnant with my first baby. We named the baby Peanut. We were ecstatic. We called our closest family and friends and shared the news. Everyone was bubbling with excitement. We started looking at baby things online and thinking about how to shift our apartment around and decorate a nursery. And then only a few short weeks later, when I was 7.5 weeks pregnant our world came crashing down. I had started having some complications, but we were hopeful because we had seen a heartbeat on the monitor. But after one rough weekend, I knew something was wrong and come that next doctor’s appointment, our little Peanut was no longer on the screen.

It was the first time I saw my husband cry. And actually now writing this…as I thought I had come a long way from my pain, I am seeing that maybe it’s not true and it’s still very much there…as the tears are welling up in my eyes once again. I don’t know if I dealt with my pain very well at the time. I know I cried. A LOT. I know I felt empty inside. Like something was missing. Like I was supposed to be a mom, but then I wasn’t. It was just ripped away from me. Stolen. Like it was a fake, imaginary, dream…well more like a nightmare. Like this couldn’t possibly be my first experience at being pregnant. This negative, awful, scary feeling. Thoughts rushed through my head of “Would I ever be able to have a child?” and “Is there something wrong with me?” I think I closed up into a ball for awhile when I was alone and just wailed…and in public, I tried to put on a brave face and pretend that I was okay.

I think I finally decided to truly embrace my pain when I wrote about this experience on this here blog. When I decided the walls needed to come down. I decided that it wasn’t my fault, and that this terrible experience was out of my control. And that I wasn’t some weird anomaly. This happens to a lot of women, and they just don’t talk about it. So I decided to talk about it. And deal with it. And I pretty much wrote that post as therapy for myself I guess…but I never expected what would happen in return. I got an outpouring of messages, comments, + e-mails from other women who had gone through the same thing. People that I was close to, and had NO idea they had gone through this. People that I hadn’t talked to in years came out and wrote me. People said “thank you” for sharing this, and I realized wow…I am not alone. And neither are they. I truly wish no one ever has to go through this horrible loss of an unborn child…but if they do, I am glad that I was able to be there for them as someone who could relate to their pain.

Now what does this all have to do with the photo on this post? Well, this wooden rattle was the first toy that we had gotten for our little Peanut. My husband brought it home from work, and we just loved it. We were so excited. And when we found out the horrible news, I just couldn’t bear to hang onto it for another child or to give it away either. It was Peanut’s rattle. We weren’t really sure what to do with it…so when Christmastime came along, we decided to make an ornament out of it as a symbol of our little Peanut. So that we would never forget that first little ray of sunshine. I suppose this was a positive way to deal with our pain.

Each year we open our Christmas box, and we take out that ornament to put on our tree…and I don’t get sad anymore. Instead I feel happy. I feel that Peanut is a part of us. That he or she is watching down over us on this special time of year and is blessing our little family, which now has two happy, healthy little boys. And I keep that hope that eventually one day I will get to meet my little Peanut in “person.”

I hope that whatever pain you have dealt with in your life or you may be dealing with now during this holiday season, that you can find a positive way to overcome it and growing stronger because of it.

Lots of love and light this Thursday evening to you all!



Cheers to 12 Years


Holy cow. Sometimes you get so busy that the days blur together and you blow right past your 12 year dating anniversary without acknowledging it! Back then we never would have missed this day, but with the craziness of work, two kids, a new anniversary, etc. we honestly both forgot! (It was on Tuesday, btw, so we are 3 days late) LOL! Though we both have been mindful to spend some extra time together this week for whatever reason. Maybe it was our subconscious coming through!

Looking back at this photo (which wasn’t even quite 12 years ago, but I didn’t have FB back then haha), we were just kids! He was a recent graduate from college and I was still in school when we met. We didn’t really know what we wanted in life and we were trying to figure ourselves out. However, we did know that whenever we were together we had a great time and that we could talk about anything. Even if it kept us up all night.

I will be forever grateful that he decided to move to New York with me and we started our own journey together discovering our joint love for culture, food, art, and big city energy. He has always been incredibly supportive with anything I have ever been passionate about, even if it’s something he could care less about. Not many husbands would be incredibly enthusiastic to take photos for their wife’s “fashion blog,” but he still does it to this day.

We both love to travel, and he is the perfect vacation partner because we always want to do the same things. We call it our “vacation magic.”

We have had our ups and downs throughout the past 12 years, and it hasn’t always been easy, but we have grown so much both individually and as a couple. We know that together we can get through anything, and he has given me two of the most precious boys I could ever imagine. Watching him with our boys just melts my heart, and they are so lucky to have such an incredible father.

Cheers to the past 12 years Zack Notes and to continuing to love and grow with each other as the years go on. ❤ ❤ ❤



Falling Leaves & Wedding Bells


I am SO incredibly excited to share these photos from my BFFs wedding last month. I only wish I had MORE that I could have taken, but since I was IN the wedding, I suppose I will let their REAL photographer get all the best shots. But regardless, here is a little sneak peek of the day. It was SUCH a gorgeous fall day. Meg looked absolutely stunning beyond belief. The colors were off the charts unreal…and did I mention they had Italian cookies? Like…the RAINBOW ones?!?!

All cookies aside…it was an amazing day for an amazing couple, and I am so excited for these two to share the rest of their lives together. I have never seen either of them so happy, and I know they are in for a fantastic life long journey together. Their love is apparent and it definitely shines through in these photos as much as it did on their wedding day.

Congratulations Meghan & Patrick! Love you both.

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Wedding Venue: Hunt Valley Golf Club in Hunt Valley, MD / Hair: Creations a la Nikki / Cake: Takes the Cake Catering and Event Planning  / DJ: Jacob Jensen / Wedding Dress: The Bridal Boutique / Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff in Cranberry / Flowers: Janda Florist

So can we celebrate again??? Such a fun day and night was had by all. Looking forward to seeing this fabulous couple again over the holidays as Mr. & Mrs.! MUAH!

Happy Friday everyone! Spread a little love and laughter this weekend, huh?

We are going to see SANTA tomorrow! Whoo!



Monday Musings on Motherhood


As I sit here on Monday afternoon watching both of my boys sleep soundly, I reflect on how grateful I am for this moment. A few years ago, my world came crashing down with the loss of our Little Peanut. I was deeply saddened and I could not picture a life as I know it now. Our Little Monkey, Nico, saved us by coming into the world two years ago with his big bright eyes, stubborn nature, and fiercely sweet charm. He turned our world upside down showing us what it means to have unconditional love. Of course there are plenty of challenges that come with parenthood, but with those challenges there is also accomplishment, happiness, a sense of pride, and complete, utter adoration. I have had the utmost pleasure watching my son grow into a little toddler, and cannot believe he just passed his 2nd birthday on Saturday. The time has flown by. I still remember him lying on my chest for a cuddle, or when he looked like a tiny speck on the big white chair in his nursery. He has always been interested in music and the alphabet since I can remember. Zack would play him songs on the guitar every morning to calm him to sleep. He was able to listen through long books at a young age, and has enjoyed any challenge brought to the table. He was quick to pick up letters, numbers, colors, shapes, animals, and more. His memory is more impeccable than my own, and he will randomly spit things out of his mouth that I didn’t even realize he was paying attention to. I am constantly amazed by his intelligence on a daily basis, and I love his ability to communicate with us. He has always been super sweet with other people and with his stuffed animals…always loving and cuddly. He has a sense of adventure like his father and is always interested in going for a hike, a bike ride, a trip to the beach, or anything else that is new and exciting. He loves to explore the world around him and has full trust in myself and my husband that we aren’t going to steer him wrong. If we are excited, then he is excited. I’m not going to lie and say my child is perfect, and there have been no toddler tantrums and fits. There have been plenty! But I know that is him growing and trying to find his independence. I feel incredibly lucky to have enjoyed Nico’s presence in our lives for these past two years.

On this day, I also think about the fact that today is Luca’s due date…my second baby, who was brought into our lives only one week and one day ago, and again we are flipped upside down with love. I look at him and am reminded how tiny Nico once was and how fast these little guys grow. Luca is so small and so dependent. Since I already know now what unconditional feels like, it was easy to look at Luca and fall in love instantly without knowing another thing about him. I also know that love will grow each and every day as I get to know him better.

I look at my husband, and I feel full. To see this little world and this little family we have created for ourselves makes me feel so blessed. Of course, it doesn’t take away the crazy. There will be days when I will be insane trying to take care of two screaming children, and I will get emotional, and it will be hard. I know this. But right now as I am sitting here watching them peacefully sleep, I can think well and good enough to know that all that crazy is worth it for the amount of love my heart holds.

Some of you may have seen this video over on my Facebook page, but if not, I just had to share this moment of Nico and Luca meeting for the first time. It steals my heart and makes me so proud to be their mama.

Wishing you all a great week!



Family Maternity Shoot With Misa*Me


I am absolutely incredibly lucky and grateful to have a first cousin and bestie who is an impeccable photographer! Marisa Crider of Misa*Me Photography snapped these photos of my little growing family during our larger family reunion back in the month of June when I was 30 weeks pregnant. It was a hot summer day, and somehow she was able to capture some great shots even with a cranky toddler. It started to rain a bit during the shoot, and then all of the sudden, the sun peeked out. I’m telling you, she is a miracle worker! I love the way she is able to capture the light. She took so many more fabulous photos for us, and it’s going to be a tough decision as to which ones end up on the walls of our home! These were some of my favorites that captured all (almost) four of us. Now, here, at 38 weeks, I cannot even believe that we are about to meet our little guy here soon!










Wearing – Dress: Betsey Johnson (borrowed from a friend – found a Size 4 for sale on Etsy!) / Heels: Cynthia Vincent / Necklace: Vintage via Etsy / Watch: Betsey Johnson / Bracelet: Stella & Dot

On Nico – Dress Shirt: Carters Just One You / Shorts: Old Navy (similar)

On Zack – Dress Shirt: H&M / Pants: GAP

Thanks again to Marisa for taking these wonderful photos! We will cherish them forever in our home. If you missed our last maternity shoot with Misa*Me, or want to take a trip back down memory lane from two years ago, you can view those photos here.

Heading to the doc as we speak for two appointments today. A little nervous about what they are going to say! Bags are packed just in case we don’t come back, but hoping they let baby come on his own when he is ready 😉

Hope you all have a great day!



Discala Gala


A few weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to spend good times with great friends at the Discala Wedding watching  the beautiful couple, Nick and Alie, tie the knot. The outdoor ceremony was just gorgeous with the sun going down, we enjoyed the amazing food, and danced the night away. Yes, even me with my prego belly. Congratulations to the happy couple! Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness together!

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What a night to remember!!!

This past weekend we celebrated my son’s 2nd Birthday about a month early (because my due date is 2 days after his REAL birthday), and we had a blast. I will be sharing photos from the event soon, so stay tuned. I hit 36 weeks of my pregnancy on Monday, and we are headed to the doc today for our check up to see how things are going. Cue the psycho nesting mode right about now as we need to get this house organized and ready STAT.

Hope you are all having a great week!



Meant to Be


We attended the wedding of this beautiful couple in Upstate NY/Bronx a few weeks ago. I went to high school with the groom, Marcin, and we continued along similar paths heading to the University of Maryland for college, and eventually New York City in our early 20s. It was so nice to have a friendly face from home when we (my now husband and I) first moved to the Big Apple. We didn’t know how long we would stay, but it’s crazy to think we all just came upon our 8th anniversary here. I was so honored Marcin and his fiancé (and now wife), Dana, asked me to be a part of their ceremony by doing a reading at the church. I couldn’t have been happier to support this couple as they spoke their vows on that beautiful day. Not only have I remained close with Marcin and his family throughout the years, but it’s been a blessing getting to know Dana as well as Dana’s incredible family. To see two amazing families unite is truly a wonderful thing. Marcin and Dana make each other so exceptionally happy and you can just tell from these photos how much they light up when they are around each other. From day one, I could tell these two had a strong bond, and I know they will continue to be blessed and happy together for many many years to come. Congratulations Marcin and Dee…you are truly meant to be!

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These photos bring me back! What a great day and night it was…and you can truly see the love!

Hope you are all having a great week. I have been playing a lot of catch up…both with work and with home life (laundry, grocery shopping, etc. – you know all the fun stuff). We got back on Monday from a trip to the Finger Lakes for the 4th of July holiday. We spent some time on Seneca Lake, in the Ithaca area near Cayuga lake, and exploring around the outdoors. I have a lot more to share from our trip, so stay tuned to the next couple posts to view our adventures!

Make it a great one!



Our Snow Family is Growing

Baby Notes 2 Announcement

Surprise!  The Notes Family is growing!

We are very excited to announce that we will have a new addition to the family on or around August 31 of this year!  Yes, that is two days after Nico’s 2nd Birthday.  What are the odds?

Now I know I mentioned in a recent post, “I know I’m not pregnant.”  I promise I wasn’t lying!  I just really didn’t know!  Boy did I feel stupid when I found out why I had really gotten sick that day.  At least I know it wasn’t because I was that terribly out of shape haha.

Speaking of getting in shape, it’s probably obvious, but I have had to put P90X on hold for awhile, because it’s pretty much the most intense workout ever, and not exactly made for pregnant ladies.  Also, my fitness goals have clearly changed.  Instead of six-pack abs, I will be looking at a basketball belly here in a few months.  However, I’m not going to use this pregnancy as an excuse to “go crazy and eat whatever the heck I want, because I’m going to get fat anyway”.  I am going to try my best to stick to a healthy diet (even when I’m nauseous and all I want is crackers), and I have also started on the PiYo workout program, which is pilates and yoga.  Much more prego-friendly!

It’s been hard to share what I have been up to lately, because of carrying this big “secret,” so while I am now at 10 weeks during my pregnancy and not quite through the first trimester, I have decided to share our baby news a bit earlier this time around.  Mostly because keeping secrets is exhausting (especially now that I have a toddler running around).  I’m already exhausted enough!  But also, because a post written by a good friend and local neighborhood mom, Sascha, really hit home for me.  I support the decision to announce your pregnancy whenever you so desire, but for me…. right now… this is the right time.

If you have been following my blog for awhile now, you know that I lost my first pregnancy with our Little Peanut.  When I got pregnant with Nico, I lived a lot of the pregnancy in fear of what could happen.  I was constantly scared and anxious that we would somehow lose him too.  But getting through the first trimester also isn’t some sort of magic number of weeks that sends you off on a sweet sunset sail toward labor and delivery.  I have had many friends lose pregnancies in their second trimesters too.  Things happen in life that we have no control over, and as heartbreaking as that is, I felt that even though I know there is the possibility of losing another pregnancy, it wasn’t going to stop me from being happy this time around.  No matter what, you will ALWAYS worry about your children.  It doesn’t matter how old they are.  So I am not willing to let fear stop my happiness.  And God-forbid if my family has to go down that dark path again, at least I can be rest assured that I have a supportive network of family and friends around me to get me through.  Every life is worth celebrating, and right now I am happy to celebrate the 10 week old growing baby in my belly.

That being said, pregnancy with a toddler is crazy!  I’m trying to get through each and every day while exhausted and nauseous.  It’s strange to be going through it a second time around.  It’s sort of like we’ve gone back in time a bit.  Not gonna lie, it’s hard.  And I imagine it only gets that much harder once the baby actually arrives!  But thinking about Nico being a big brother this summer makes me so excited.  He has even started giving the baby kisses (kissing my belly) which just melts my heart.  He is the sweetest thing.

World's Best Big Brother

We cannot be more thrilled to grow our family, and I am looking forward to sharing my pregnancy journey with you for a second time around.

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!



Confessions of a Stir Crazy Mama


Well, this isn’t exactly how I planned to spend my first week back as a stay-at-home mom.  Yes, you heard that right.  I am currently a stay-at-home mom again as of last Thursday…the last day of my company’s existence as we know it.  The news came as a bit of a shock in terms of the timing, although when I think about it, I’m not really surprised.  I always knew the day might come when my boss got tired of the business and would want to retire or move onto other things.  I guess I never realized I might still be around (in the company) at that point.  It’s bittersweet for me.  It’s the place that I have called my second home since moving to the Big Apple with two of the only co-workers I have ever known in this city.  I have changed so much since my beginning there as a young twenty-something, and I have learned so much about advertising, production, animation, and so many other areas I had the opportunity of dipping into during my last seven years.  I have had the chance to meet and work with some incredibly talented and amazing people, be included in fabulous events, and learn the ins and outs of an industry from a rare point of view.  I am ever grateful for the mentorship, friendship, flexibility, confidence, trust, concern, and kindness my boss has shown toward me over these last several years.  As a newcomer to NY, it can be scary to embark on a journey in such a large city, but I felt welcomed immediately and knew that I had people that I could count on in my life through my work.

It’s bittersweet, because although I am sad to leave the comfort of my job and my day-to-day relationships, this does mean I get to spend more time with my son while I figure all of this out.  I also get the chance to start fresh and maybe try something new.  I have thought about trying something new from time to time, but then I always get sucked back into the day-to-day, and I lean on the comfort of my security with where I am at.  Now, I have no excuse for not pursuing those dreams.  I don’t even necessarily know if I have figured out exactly what those dreams are…but I know have the time to soul search, dig deep into myself to figure out what I am passionate about, determine what my strengths are, and possibly marry all of that together.  I do know that I want to continue working in some way, shape, or form.  I like having a job outside of the home where I can be someone other than “Mom.”  I love being Mom, but I also love creating and thinking and producing and connecting…doing all of the other things I know I am capable of in my life and in my career.  I have enjoyed the balance in the past months since I have finished with maternity leave between home life and work life.  I think that works best for me and my family…for my sanity…for Nico to grow comfortable with others…for my husband in regard to my sanity haha.  I would like to find a way that I can continue that balance going forward.  I don’t want to rush.  I want to enjoy this extra time with my baby while I can, because I will never get it back.  And I want to make sure my future decisions are based on careful, well-thought-out, heart-and-mind-fulfilling planning.

All that being said…this is not the way I planned on spending my first week back at home.  I was super excited to take Nico out on playdates, catch up on blog posts, find some time for soul searching and career planning.  And the most I have managed is two loads of laundry in four days.  I have basically been immobile on the couch or bed, feeling like I have been hit by a ton of bricks.  I have been bound by high fevers, chills, sniffles, body aches, head throbs, and a gnarly looking sore-throat…the absolute works.  I’m not even able to care for myself, let alone a small child.  My husband had to come home from work just to take me to the doctor, because I couldn’t get there by myself with the baby (and I also didn’t want the baby in the doctor’s office with a bunch of sick people.)  It’s a miracle he hasn’t gotten sick yet, and I’m praying he doesn’t.  Turns out, I think I have strep throat, and no wonder I am so miserable.  I have not been feeling like that supermom I thought I would considering I have a full week of quality time alone with my son.  Instead, it’s me moaning on the couch while he tries to play with his toys alone, wondering why I won’t play with him.  It’s him bringing me toys and books up onto the couch, saying in his own way “come on mom, you used to be fun.”  He’s been acting out, I think in defiance to my current state of being couch ridden.  Refusing to eat his food, refusing to take his naps, and demanding milk constantly.  Yesterday was an all-time low in regard to us spending time together.  I thought I might literally go insane and found myself wishing for the day to just end so I could go to sleep and feel better, and that is just sad.

However today is a new day.  I think the meds are finally starting to kick in, and it’s the first morning I woke up feeling not 100% miserable.  I am even contemplating a walk later…if I can just get the rain to cooperate.  Nico woke me up this morning with a kiss on my cheek complete with a MMMMWAH sound, and it just melted my heart.  No matter how trying our day together was yesterday, I know that little guy has an ultimate love for me, and I have it just as much, if not more for him.  When I woke up, I knew today was going to be a better day.  And as I’m typing, Nico is taking a nap, so we are already on the right track.  Although I haven’t gotten 1/10 of the things on my “first week back list” checked off I know I just need to be patient, regain my health, keep my family happy, and everything will work itself out in the end.