Farewell 2013

I can’t believe it’s time to say farewell to 2013.  It’s been a crazy year, but also a really fun one.  I want to thank all of you for continuing to check out my posts every day.  Your comments and kind words definitely keep me coming back here to this little blog of mine.  Your favorite post was when I announced my husband and I were having a boy!  That little boy sure has changed our world.  You also liked my recipes for garden fresh tomato sauce and homemade pesto.  Who knew I could actually be crafty with my DIY Nursery Letters, which you all also seemed to enjoy.  And your favorite outfit post was this winter white number.

Now here is a little photo reminder of my trip to Maine, which is perfect for today’s celebrations.  I will most likely be in bed before the ball drops this year, because when you have a baby, you can’t stay up until midnight anymore.  Instead of drowning yourself in champagne and singing Auld Lang Syne while staring at the blurry fireworks…you sip some sparkling cider, cuddle your little one, put him to bed, and then climb into your own bed to catch up on sleep.  The difference in Brooklyn is that us parents postpone celebrations for a chic daytime party with other parents and babies in the neighborhood at the local bar (which I am looking forward to by the way).  So we will still be celebrating tomorrow, just during baby-friendly hours. 🙂

I am wishing you all the most wonderful New Year for 2014!




Happy 1st Birthday to Popcorn and Pandas


Would you believe that today marks one whole year that I decided to make the change to my little ole blog, popcorn and pandas?  I know, I can’t believe it either.  It’s been a crazy year full of adventures and travel, fashion and fun, pregnancy and now a new baby.  It’s been wonderful and therapeutic to have this creative outlet to share with you all, and I am completely grateful that you all have chosen to follow along for this past year.

Below I have reflected a bit on some of your favorite posts this past year:

My first two outfit posts with the amazing photographer Marisa

Reminiscing a Rockin’ Summer

Reminiscing Rockin Summer

Summer Stripes

Summer Stripes

Lettered sweaters were my jam


Sported my favorite Halloween costume

Hunger Games

Rang in the New Year in Winter White

Winter White

Foxes became super trendy

Foxy Lady

I had some ups and downs, announced my pregnancy, and did a cool photo shoot with Justin to find out the sex of our Little Monkey

It's A BOY

I added some Flair to my wardrobe

Flair Promenade

Craved everything peplum

Navy Peplum and Black

Felt a little Guilty

Guilty Spring

I ate my first mangosteen


Went to Arizona and saw the Grand Canyon

Desert Florals

Grand Canyon

I made some waves with Waveborn


Made fresh homemade tomato sauce and pesto from the garden

Tomato Sauce


Enjoyed the sunrise on Branch Lake in Maine

Branch Lake Sunrise

Watched as my belly grew larger and larger


Retro Rainbow


Beachy Keen

And gave birth to a beautiful baby boy


It’s been such a great year, and I am hopeful that this year will bring even greater joy.  Thank you so much for following my adventures.  Would love to hear any feedback that you have of things you want to see from me in the coming year.  What you like/don’t like.  What you want to see more or less of (outfit posts, lately posts, shopping posts, personal stories, photography, baby stuff, etc…)  I have less free time on my hands, but hopefully I can make things happen!

Happy Friday everyone!!!



{14} Lately…

photo copy

34 Weeks

Lately I’ve been…

reading  Just finished The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year by Dawn Dais.  I’m not sure whether or not it was a good idea or a bad idea to read this book.  It was quite terrifying, although I suppose I am grateful for the dose of reality and preparations.  Just started reading Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan.  Stumbled across it last week while browsing at Barnes and Noble and figured I would read it since I went to Maine this summer.  It’s more of a beach read about family summer drama.

writing  Well technically, I haven’t started yet, because my apartment has been a disaster zone since the baby shower, and I haven’t even been able to sit on the couch.  HOWEVER, I plan on starting to write out some thank you notes this weekend for all of the lovely gifts we received from our family and friends.

listening  I think I am late on this song, but I heard it a few weeks ago, and honestly it reminds me of my grandfather who always used to say, “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”  Ain’t that the truth, Grandpa.  The song is Cups by Anna Kendrick from the movie Pitch Perfect.

thinking  That every time I think my belly can’t possibly get any bigger…I wake up, and it’s bigger.

smelling  The Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Heavenly that I put on this morning.

watching  The Challenge: Rivals II.  I know it’s ridiculous that I still follow these shows, but I just can’t get enough of the drama that unfolds with every new season of a challenge.  I also constantly wonder how I would measure up in these challenges.  Something tells me I would give those girls a run for their money.

wishing  That I could fly out to Missouri to celebrate my friend’s Cris and Kate’s big day this weekend!  This is the second big wedding we have missed this year, and it’s definitely a bummer to not be there, even though I know it’s for a good reason.  Wishing Cris and Kate a magical day and lots of love!

hoping  To make a lot of progress on our little boy’s room this weekend.  I’m really excited for my vision of how it will look when it’s finished, but it’s a long process to get there!  I’m hoping we can get a good chunk done this weekend.  Am I in nesting mode perhaps?

wearing  Mint green shorts and a gray and orange striped top (different color here), both from Motherhood Maternity.

loving  The maternity session photos that Misa*Me Photography took for us!  She gave us a little sneak peek, and I am so excited to share them with you all in the next couple of weeks.  She did a wonderful job, as always.  Stay tuned!

laughing  At this rendition of Ice Ice Baby that my co-worker shared with me earlier this week.  Props to the editor for stringing together 280 movies worth of clips to create this.

wanting  To swing by the Hester Street Fair on the Lower East Side this weekend.  My friends, Nicole and Maria, have a booth this summer for their handcrafted jewelry company, Guilty Jean, who you may remember from these previous posts. (Spring Has Sprung, Preppy With a Twist, Spiked & Studded, and Boho Spring).  Looking forward to checking out their latest line!

needing  Water, water, water.  Hydration is key for this prego mama.

feeling  Alien-like movements coming from my belly.  He’s kicking and squirming more and more every day.  I swear, it’s the weirdest feeling ever that something is alive and moving inside of you!  But it’s also pretty cool.

craving  Watermelon.  Nothing like this delicious fresh fruit on a hot summer day.

clicking  Through resume after resume.  Trying to find someone to fill in for me at work while I’m away.  I think we are getting close to making a decision!


What have you been up to lately?

Happy Friday!  Hope you all have a great weekend!



***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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Twenty Eight: A Reflection


My Aunt Marie, My sister on the left, and that’s me on the right – My sister and I are two years and three days apart, and we’ve been celebrating our birthdays together our whole lives. Love you little sis!

twenty eight: a reflection

twenty eight

you’ve been great

so much has happened

from the past year to date

it started with

a new camera to shoot

a photography class

to give this blog a boost

went to the obx

on family vacay

relaxed on the beach

all worries kept at bay

katie’s oc bach

was a ton of fun

laughing and dancing

til up came the sun

summer days at ft. tilden

with erin and rai

summer nights in dewey

to celebrate labor day

this year brought us very

many weddings galore

most of them being

near baltimore

there was one in boston

during a crazy manhunt

another in montauk

on the gorgeous waterfront

a ten year reunion

for my high school class

can’t believe

how much time has passed

a trip to a.c.

for a bachelorette

dinner and dancing

complete with roulette

brunches and bar crawls

in the n-y-c

pollard potluck had

their 5th anniversary

nights in new york

during santa con

thanksgiving and christmas

had lots of family to bond

we went through some struggle

went through some strife

when we lost our little peanut

it cut like a knife

we tried to stay strong

and looked up above

for some courage and guidance

and we got through with love

next came a photo shoot

with blue balloons

a new baby coming

for us all to swoon

we call him little monkey

our pride and joy

we can’t wait to meet

our sweet little boy

my fav blondes came to visit

new york in the spring

we walked on the high line

and of course went shopping

arizona adventures

brought me to tucson

hung out with my pen pal

hiked in phoenix at dawn

prescott, sedona,

and the grand canyon too

are all the great places

that we got to view

after over ten years

our huge fam got together

with over one hundred kin

and some beautiful weather

a father’s day feast

with the notes clan one day

gathered instruments together

and a concert we played

the fourth of july

brought us to maine

the lake house was awesome

and the lobster insane

this year has been wonderful

twenty eight has been sweet

but this year is now over

and we cannot repeat

twenty nine is stepping in

so let’s have some cake

celebrate, cheer, and sing

for the new memories we’ll make!

Can’t believe another whole year has passed by, and boom I’m in my last year of my twenties.  Time really does fly by.  Twenty eight was awesome, and I am really looking forward to embarking on so many more of life’s adventures in year twenty nine.  Thank you so much for all of the wonderful wishes I have received thus far!

I would also like to say a special early “Happy Birthday” to my little sis, Angela, who is also celebrating her birthday this weekend.  We are lucky to have our birthdays so close, and we have always been able to celebrate together from either near or far.  Love you Pooks!

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a fabulous weekend ahead!



Florida Style in Maine


For some reason, this dress reminds me of something I would find in a Florida boutique.  Maybe it’s the soft colors, the silky feel, or the floral print.  I found it on sale at Francesca’s (non-maternity score again!), and had to have it for my summer trip to Maine.  I wore this on our last night out to dinner in Elsworth (at 30 weeks pregnant), added the belt, and some gold accessories to complete the look.  I am still reminiscing about the amazing view we had from our lake house.







Photos by: Zack Notes / Edited by: Myself

Dress: Francesca’s / Shoes: Dolce Vita (on sale!) / Belt: ? / Necklace: Family Heirloom / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelet: Henri Bendel / Earrings: gifted / Nails: Essie Forever Yummy / Toes: Essie In the Cabana / Lip: MAC Snob

It’s overcast and cooler today in NYC, and I have to say I’m actually grateful!  It’s been brutally hot for my prego body, and today’s cooler temperatures made my walk to the subway this morning a bit easier.  Today I hit the 33 week mark!  One month away from being full term.  Holy crap.  We were able to get rid of our guest bed last night, so we have some space to work with in trying to get the nursery together.  I also managed to schedule our pediatrician consults, so hoping to make a decision on that in the near future.

I’ve got a busy day at the office today with a few meetings and lots of resume reviewing.

Happy Tuesday!



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Acadia and Bar Harbor Adventures


Happy Monday everyone!  Just wanted to share some more photos from our Maine adventures.  The first is from a hike we did in Acadia, followed by photos from Sand Beach, the top of Cadillac Mountain, and 4th of July fireworks in downtown Bar Harbor.  It was such an amazing trip, and I cannot wait to go back there again sometime.












This past weekend we had an awesome trip to Maryland celebrating my bff, Teri’s bridal shower, taking maternity photos with Misa*Me Photography (hope to have those to share soon!), and celebrating the pending arrival of our Little Monkey!  It was amazing, and I am completely exhausted!  We are now back in NY, and it’s go-time for getting this nursery put together.  I am so grateful to my family and friends for making the event so wonderful, especially to my Mom, Sister, and Aunt for putting so much time, work, and effort into making everything so great.  Little Monkey is a lucky little guy!  And he is either going to LOVE or HATE monkeys when he gets here.  Haha.

Hope you all are off to a great start this week!



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Sunrise on Branch Lake


It’s 4:13am and I am awoken in the middle of the night due to pregnancy and my inability to control my bladder from the urgency to relieve itself these days.  So, I hop out of bed to make my way downstairs to the restroom in the lake house, when I look out the bedroom window.  Holy sky.  This is amazing.  We had thought about waking up early to watch the sunrise, and had set our alarms for 4:55am since the sun was supposed to come up at 5:00am, but we weren’t really sure if we would be able to force ourselves out of bed at that hour.  After waking up and taking care of business, I quickly grabbed my camera and took a few shots across the lake and into the colorful sky.  It was eerily quiet, peaceful and serene.  Just me and the lake and the brightly colored sky.  I wrestled with the idea of whether or not to wake the rest of the gang this early, and ultimately decided that they needed to see what I was seeing at that moment.  It would just be too selfish to exclude them from this view, and by 4:55am, they may have missed all of this.  So I woke up Zack and our friends, Erin and Rai.  They weren’t too pleased at first, grumbling and groaning, but when I showed them a photo I had taken of the sky, they knew they too needed to jump up before they missed this magical moment.  Zack and Erin got so excited in fact, that they broke out the kayaks and enjoyed the sunrise from atop the water.  Rai and I stayed behind taking in the moment from the lake house dock and capturing photos.  I know photos can’t really do justice, but my memories and these photos are all I’ve got.  Hope you enjoy.











If you were still unsure about whether or not you should visit Maine, then these photos probably did the trick.  We were lucky enough to wake up to this view every morning, even though it might have been a bit earlier than we were used to!

Hope everyone is having a good Thursday.  I am looking forward to a little girl’s night.  My friend Jess is moving to New Jersey at the end of the month, so this will be the last one she hosts in her NYC apartment.  I then have to go home to pack for our trip to Maryland this weekend for both my friend Teri’s bridal shower and my baby shower for the Little Monkey.  We are trying to get the guest bedroom cleared out, and after this weekend it’s go time on that nursery!



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Grecian Gown


I was able to snag this Ella Moss beauty on sale via Gilt, and I couldn’t be happier (again, not maternity)!  I wore this gown on a beautiful night out to dinner in Maine.  I love the ease and flow of this dress as I walk, and the jersey material makes it super comfortable as well.  In these photos, I am 30 weeks pregnant, and this week, I just hit 32.  Little Monkey will be here before I can blink.







Photos by: Zack Notes / Edited by: Myself

Gown: Ella Moss via Gilt / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff / Shoes: ALDO – similar / Earrings: ALDO / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: ASOS, Gorjana, c/o Guilty Jean, Henri Bendel / Toes: Essie In the Cabana / Nails: Essie Forever Yummy and Set in Stone

Oh, how I miss this little lake house already!  Wishing I had the lake to jump into and cool off this week; it’s been brutal!  Trying to stay hydrated and enjoy the AC indoors.

Stay cool ya’ll!



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Lake House


Happy Monday everyone!  Just wanted to share some photos from our lake house that we stayed in at Branch Lake in Elsworth, Maine.  The location could not be beat, and it was a dream come true.  I took these on our first full day when we played on the lake all day.  If you’ve never been to Maine, I would definitely suggest you check it out.  Thanks to the Shaw family for opening up their cottage to us as the first renters ever!






Hope you all had a great weekend!

The hubby went away with his brother for a guy’s weekend, so my sister-in-law came to visit me in Brooklyn.  We did girly/mom things like prenatal massages, high tea, hung out with college girlfriends, dinner, and brunches.  The massage was phenomenal and extremely relaxing.  Just what the doctor ordered.  We went to Massage Williamsburg on recommendation, and it sure was a treat!  Our delicious dinner was Korean BBQ at Dokebi, and we had brunch in my hood at Costello Plan.  It was a lot of fun bumping both of our prego bellies together (me at 31.5 weeks and her at 29 weeks!),  talking about baby things, catching up on life, and being girly.  Looking forward to both my little one and my little nephew who will be arriving so closely together.  It’s a really exciting time for the Notes Family!



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Maine via Instagram


Red’s Eats – Best Lobster Roll in Maine


And here you have it…amazing


At the top of Mt. Battie in Camden


Maine blueberries


The cute little town of Camden


We ate ice cream everywhere…


Blueberry pancakes with fresh fruit and blueberry syrup thanks to the homeowners of the lake house we stayed at


The view from our bedroom…breathtaking


Pretty much ate blueberry everything…also the popovers here were fantastic!


Me and my Munchkin at Jordan Pond


Just chillin’ at Branch Lake


A little Fourth of July manicure – Essie Forever Yummy and Set in Stone


Gorgeous sunrise on the lake


Happy Independence Day in Bar Harbor!


Homemade blueberry pie from Gale…found her through a local inside tip!


30 weeks pregnant smoochin’ my honey – this photo by Rai Pollard

Wow!!  What a trip!  Well, here is your first sneak peak into our Maine adventures!  While I took many photos with my “real” camera on the trip, sometimes it is just easier to run around with your iPhone instead of lugging around the big heavy camera all the time.  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen some of these photos, but you may want to read on if you plan on visiting Maine.  If you haven’t planned on it, you should still read on, and you may want to afterward!

We picked up our friends Erin and Rai from the airport in Boston on Tuesday morning and started our journey to Maine.  Along the way to our lake house in Elsworth, we decided to take the longer scenic route through Camden, a town we had visited for a wedding a few years prior.  I have to admit, another main reason for taking this route was for the amazing lobster rolls at Red’s Eats!  We ate here last time we were in Maine, and it’s absolutely amazing.  They pile on the lobster, add some drawn butter, throw it on toast, and it’s ready to chow down.  Although, the lines here are typically and famously long, we have gotten lucky both times and have arrived with no line.  The first was at closing time, and this time it was for opening.  We arrived 30 minutes before opening and were the first group in line.  Not 2 minutes after we arrived there was a ridiculous following behind us.  Talk about perfect timing!

After Red’s Eats, we continued on to Camden, where we drove to the top of Mt. Battie, picked some Maine blueberries, walked along the water, and ate blueberry ice cream.  It was the perfect little day time stop through on our trip.

We eventually made it to camp at the Branch Lake house, Shaw Cottage.  We met the owner there who gave us the grand tour, and we found out that we were actually the first people to ever rent the house!  He even left us blueberry pancake mix with blueberry syrup as a little welcoming gift.  How sweet was that?  We stocked the house with groceries for dinner and breakfast and played Cards Against Humanity while we cooked.  So fun!

The next morning, we hung out at the lake, took the motor boat and kayaks out for some fun, went swimming, and had a ball.  That night, we gussied up and drove down to Bar Harbor (which surprisingly seemed closer than it did on the map) for dinner at Havana.  It was an adorable little spot with fantastic seafood and Latin cuisine.  And of course we got ice cream after at Mt. Desert Is. Ice Cream.  Yum!  After returning to Branch Lake, we did another one of my favorite Maine activities, which is looking at the stars.  I don’t know whether it’s lack of pollution or being closer to the top of the globe, but the stars just look amazing in Maine.  I could literally see the Milky Way Galaxy outline; it was unreal.

Day 3, we started off the morning bright and early (and I mean early) around 4:13am to watch the sunrise.  I cannot wait to actually share these photos with you soon.  Zack and Erin went kayaking to check out the morning sights and the sunrise from the water, and Rai and I stayed behind to capture the view from our floating dock.  I don’t know if I have seen a sunrise so beautiful!  It was picture perfect.  Once the sun was fully up, we were actually still exhausted so we went back to sleep for a few hours before really starting our day.

Once we were fully up, we headed down to Acadia to check out some easy hiking trails.  Unfortunately, we ended up “hiking” by a golf course and the side of the road for an hour instead of on a “real” trail.  That was kind of a bummer, and it was super hot out, so we decided to then hit up Sand Beach quickly before lunch.  Sand Beach was really beautiful and had gorgeous rocky cliffs on either side of it.  The water was so cold, I don’t know how people were actually swimming in there, but it was at least refreshing to dip my toes in.  After Sand Beach, we headed to Jordan Pond, which was a really great restaurant within the State Park.  We treated ourselves to their famous popovers, lobster stew and sandwiches while taking in the views of the water and mountains around us.

That night, we headed into town at Bar Harbor for their Fourth of July fireworks show!  We have seen fireworks in Manhattan for the past couple years, which are always fantastic…but there is something about sitting on a big lawn overlooking the water with the band playing patriotic tunes that just makes you feel good ‘ole American on the Fourth of July!  We were all really impressed with the pyrotechnics, and we headed back to Elsworth that night with big smiles on our faces.

Our last full day in Maine was spent lazily enjoying the peaceful lake.  The early morning and the hustle and bustle of the previous day made us all exhausted, and we wanted nothing more than to relax and enjoy the serenity.  We kayaked, sunbathed, took multiple swimming dips in the lake, read books and magazines, and had long chats on the floating dock.  I think we each had a little nap that day as well.  We ended the day with a delicious tapas dinner at Cleonice in Elsworth, although I have to warn you, there is no AC there, which was pretty brutal!  Luckily, the food was good enough to make it worth withstanding the heat.

We definitely wish our trip to Maine could have lasted longer.  We had a great time with great friends, and a trip back is definitely in our future!  Stay tuned for the rest of my photos next week from the “real” cam.

Happy Friday ya’ll!