Sporty Spice








Sweater: Express / Tank: Old Navy / Jeans: Rag & Bone / Shoes: New Balance / Hat: Baltimore Orioles / Necklace: Love Lori Michelle

It’s tough to find the time to get in an outfit shoot these days, especially with the cold weather with two little ones when your husband is the photographer. I promise I still get dressed…sometimes. Well, at least on weekends. But enough with the excuses. We made it happen last weekend. A casual outfit for a casual day…brunch at Bar Bacon (amaze!), the playground, and a walk through Central Park. The kids both slept through brunch, so it was kind of like a date. It was nice to get into Manhattan and have the kids feel the magic of the city and the tall buildings, but also to escape to our favorite city sanctuary of Central Park.

Since I am generally in workout gear during the week these days, I normally dress up a little more over the weekends. But I felt like going for that sporty look with the sneakers and baseball cap. It’s not my typical go-to style, but it felt right for the day and felt comfortable for what we had planned. I even had a fellow mom strike up a convo with¬†me on the playground because of my Baltimore O’s hat. She was a former Marylander as well. See, not everyone in NY is a Yankees fan ūüėČ You can take the girl out of Maryland…

…but she will still sing the Star Bangled Banner with an “O!” (All you Maryland people know EXACTLY what I’m talking about! And everyone else is like huh?)

I digress…speaking of my hometown…we will be heading back there on Friday after the boy’s doc appointments (6 and 2.5 yr. check ups already!). Saturday we will be celebrating my baby boy Luca as¬†he will be officially welcomed into the Church! Very excited to celebrate his special day, which he will also share with his Papa who is turning 35! Looking forward to a day of family, friends, and celebration!

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!



Take Me Home


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

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



Dyker Heights Lights













Before skipping town for the holidays, we made our way to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn to check out their stunning Christmas Lights display.  We found a spot to park and had a fantastic night walking around the blocks to check out the all festive houses.  They were completely decked out with strings of lights, humongous wreaths, multiple blow up characters, reindeer, and toy soldiers.  We saw nativity scenes, dancing ballerinas, a giant Santa Claus, and even two carousels!  One house was selling hot chocolate for charity, and that ended our night with a sweet twist.  Dyker Heights has the most stunning display of lights I have ever seen in one neighborhood.  I definitely plan on returning for future holiday seasons, and I would love to bring some out-of-town visitors here to check out the scene.

We had a lovely time on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family and the day after Christmas with my husband’s family. ¬†It was so much fun to see Nico get excited about opening his gifts this year. ¬†He was very much into the wrapping paper, and wanted to play with every single toy or book he opened right away. ¬†Simply magical!

We are spending another week¬†in Maryland catching up with more family and friends. ¬†Last night we went out to celebrate a friend’s 30th Birthday, and¬†we are planning on spending¬†New Year’s Eve in Baltimore. ¬†It’s kind of nice to have free babysitting! ūüėČ ¬†Not to mention, we love that Nico is getting so much quality time with his grandparents and family.

Hope you all had a great holiday, and wishing you the best for the new year!



Plaid + (Faux) Fur







(Faux) Chinchilla Fur Jacket: Express (a couple years old, but similar here) / Plaid Button Up: Target (on sale!) / Denim: Rag & Bone / Booties: Target (on sale!) / Sunglasses: ModCloth / Bracelets: Tory Burch (similar), Stella & Sparkle / Watch: Michael Kors / Lip: Lancome Luxe

Call me crazy, but I absolutely adore the mix of plaid & fur¬†right now! ¬†To me, it’s a perfect fall or winter look. ¬†I was gifted this amazing jacket for Christmas a couple years ago, and I recently scored this bright button up¬†at Target. ¬†Mixed the two together, and boom. ¬†I¬†all the sudden look a lot more put together than I really am. ūüėČ

I wore this on a little trip to downtown Annapolis when we were visiting family and friends for the holidays. ¬†We started at Miss Shirley’s for breakfast. ¬†Let me tell you, if you are a Maryland local, and you have not yet been to Miss Shirley’s, you need to go there…like immediately. ¬†They have the best southern comfort food you could ever imagine. ¬†Proof here. ¬†From there, we headed down to walk around the gorgeous harbor, the historical homes, and popped into the amazing consignment shop, Navette. ¬†I found this shop¬†through Instagram, ordered from them over the phone, and even met one of their amazing owners for coffee in NYC, yet I still hadn’t visited their store front until this day! ¬†I was very excited and delighted to see a bustling shop full of fantastic treasures and happy customers. ¬†Unfortunately, due to a toddler naptime meltdown, I had to cut my trip there short, but I didn’t leave without scoring this fabulous Jonathan Adler clutch.

I’m looking forward to returning to Maryland again for Christmas, but until then, I am enjoying the holiday spirit up here in NYC. ¬†Our tree is up, and we took Nico to see Santa last weekend. ¬†Much to my surprise, there were no tears! ¬†Yay! ¬†I love New York City at Christmastime. ¬†If you missed yesterday’s post about things to do in December, check it out here.

This week I have been working on my holiday cards (which is pretty difficult with a bum thumb), online shopping for gifts, and listening to Christmas music non-stop. ¬†Tonight, I am getting out of the house to go to a holiday party with a friend, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Hope you are all enjoying the season!




A Formal Affair


The Notes clan took our first family trip down to Maryland two weekends ago to celebrate the nuptials of our dear friends, Teri and Charlie. ¬†It was a beautiful weekend to celebrate a beautiful couple. ¬†The bride looked absolutely stunning, and she carried the most unique and amazing bouquet I have ever seen! ¬†Made completely of brooches, many of them were passed down from her family members to add to this masterpiece. ¬†The best part is that she can save this bouquet forever in it’s original form. ¬†I could see it making a beautiful decorative piece for their future dining or living room. ¬†Her lace dress was exquisite, and her cathedral veil was perfect considering their wedding was held at the Baltimore Cathedral. ¬†Teri and I have been friends since high school, and I was lucky enough to be chosen as a bridesmaid to stand up with her on her special day. ¬†My only regret with these photos is that I was unable to capture anything from the ceremony, since I was in the wedding. ¬†Typically, if I’m in the bridal party, my husband will play second shooter to capture photos of the ceremony, but he was on baby duty and was unable to play photographer. ¬†I am looking forward to seeing their professional photos, because that cathedral was just phenomenal. ¬†During the reception, our little one stayed with my mother-in-law at the hotel, and we are very thankful to have had our first adult night out since having a baby. ¬†It was also great to catch up with so many of my best friends all at once. ¬†Congrats to Teri and Charlie! ¬†Wishing you both lots of love and happiness for many many years to come.










Hope you are all having a great week so far!



A Storybook Shower


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






Happy Bump Day ūüėČ

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



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Friday Favorites

1. Favorite Summer Drink – The Smoothie

I have been downing one of these almost daily.  They are super refreshing and hydrating for my prego body, not to mention tasty.  I love to mix it up with different fruits including watermelon, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, and more.

2. Favorite Recipe – Beer Can Chicken

My husband made this receipe from Bon Appetit Magazine last week, and it was absolutely delicious!  In the middle of cooking, the chicken actually ended up falling over on the grill, and he was convinced it turned out burned and terrible, but I beg to differ!  It was juicy and flavorful, and I would definitely request we have this again!


3.  Favorite Wedding Hairstyle РBeautiful Top Bun w/ Headpiece

My beautiful cousin, Alex, adorned this stunning hairstyle on her wedding day last December courtesy of Creations-a-la-Nikki.  I love how super-chic and classy her look is, captured by the wonderful photographer Abby Grace.


4.  Favorite Blogger РKeiko Lynn

I have been following Keiko’s blog for awhile now. ¬†I absolutely love her retro-yet-modern, punkish-yet-feminine chic style. ¬†Her blog is definitely one of those that I go to for inspiration. ¬†And her make-up tutorials are phenomenal!


5.  Favorite Funny Video РDad Life

This video actually reminds me more of my own Dad, than of my husband, but who knows, it could only be a matter of time once Zack starts rockin’ the Dad Life style as well! ¬†Haha.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend. ¬†We are headed down to Maryland for one last quick trip (before we hibernate in NY until the baby gets here) for my sister-in-law’s baby shower for my future little nephew! ¬†We are so excited our boys will be born right around the same time. ¬†It reminds me of growing up with my cousin, Marisa, and I hope our boys create the same type of long-lasting friendship that we did throughout the years.

Happy Friday!



Chesapeake Bay Beach Love


Let me set the scene. ¬†It was a beautiful sunny day in Annapolis. ¬†We headed over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge by shuttle for a lovely church ceremony, followed by a gorgeous reception on the water at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. ¬†We watched Kurt and Tiffany say their long-awaited “I do’s” and the love was radiating between the two of them all day and night long.

I have known Kurt since college. ¬†He was roommates with my high school friend Mike at St. Joseph’s University in Philly, and my cousin Marisa and I took many of those two hour trips throughout our college years up from the University of Maryland to visit them as well as another one of our besties at UPenn. ¬†We really got to know all of the St. Joe’s guys, but especially Kurt as he and Mike stayed roommates and best friends for years to come. ¬†We spent many crazy summers in Dewey Beach fist pumping, dancing to techno, screaming Taylor Swift at the tops of our lungs and taking a gazillion photos. ¬†We also spent many fun nights hanging out in Baltimore in the off season for all different kinds of events or just random weekend nights. ¬†I remember when Kurt first met Tiffany, and her first trip to Dewey Beach. ¬†I think I may actually have it on video. ¬†She seemed a little nervous (because let’s be honest, my friends are crazy), but she was sweet as could be and fit right in with the gang. ¬†I knew she would be sticking around for the long haul.

Kurt and Tiffany have such a special relationship that you would have to be blind to not notice.  I hope the photos below capture the beautiful and awesome wedding day that June 29th was.  They are a wonderful couple and I am happy to call them my friends.  Congratulations Kurt and Tiff, and I I wish you both a lifetime of happiness together!

















Hope you enjoyed the photos from this magical day. ¬†Doesn’t Tiff just look stunning in this last photo?

This week has been a good one…been busy with multiple errands, catching up with blogging and e-mails, and enjoying a little peace and quiet around the house. ¬†I have a doc appointment for Little Monkey today for our 7 month checkup. ¬†I still cannot believe we are almost there! ¬†Things have been piling in for the nursery…he is already spoiled thanks to my family and friends. ¬†We are getting super excited for his arrival, and I’m pretty sure the “nesting” bug is going to hit me soon.

Hope you all are having a great week so far!



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Family Reunion


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


You may remember this top from earlier this spring when the weather was still a bit on the chilly side. ¬†I decided to break it out again for summertime while it still covers my baby bump. ¬†I paired it with some mint short shorts and some comfy sneaks for a fun filled family day in Maryland. ¬†We had our belated Father’s Day celebration this past Sunday with both my family and my husband’s, complete with crab cakes (because that’s what Maryland’s all about right?), brisket, chicken, corn on the cob, pasta salad, strawberry salad, beans, homemade tortillas, rolls, ice cream, cake, a musical performance, a little rain, a little sunshine, and a lot of fun.






Photos by: Zack Notes / Edited by: Myself

Skull Tank: Hot Topic – similar / Mint Shorts: Motherhood Maternitynon maternity version / Sneaks: ALDO / Bracelets: c/o Guilty Jean (2), ASOS, Flair Accessories / Watch: Michael Kors / Necklace: c/o Guilty Jean / Chevron Ring: Baublebar / Nails: Essie Turquoise and Caicos / Lip: Korres Guava Lipstick Natural Pink #13

Last night, we went to our final child birth class and learned a lot about breastfeeding and newborn care. ¬†I’m really glad we decided to take the class, and now we feel a lot more confident going into the whole birthing experience. ¬†Tonight, I am joining the ladies for a spa night in complete with manicures, pedicures, and facials! ¬†Whoo! ¬†Nothing like a little mid-week pampering. ¬†The rest of the week, I plan on relaxing, and getting ready to travel back down to Maryland again for my friends Kurt and Tiffany’s wedding on the Eastern Shore! ¬†Shortly after returning from that trip, we head off to Maine for our last mini vacay of the summer. ¬†Fun times ahead!

Hope you all are stayin’ cool this Tuesday.