2015 in Review

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A lot has happened in this past year…

I embarked on a new career as a health & fitness coach last January and I have since been able to help over 120 challengers to reach their goals and 8 coaches to build a business of their own. I am continuing to help those who want to make changes in this brand new year.

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I found out I was pregnant with our second child in January, and we did a fun little photo shoot in Prospect Park to find out we were expecting a BOY!

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I felt a little bit tougher this time around during my pregnancy and made my health and fitness a big priority for both myself and my family.

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We took a trip to Tulum, Mexico as a family and it was a crazy fun adventure.

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I rocked a two piece dress during my pregnancy which Lord knows I never thought would happen! I also rocked a bikini.

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I came up with a post all about exercises during pregnancy which many of you read and loved…I call them pregercises.

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I had some fun collaborations with both Stella & Dot and Irresistible Me…I have to say I am obsessed with Stella & Dot jewelry, and I can now FINALLY use a curling iron without butchering my hair!

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Before & After

I surprised my husband with a trip to the NOLA for our 4 year wedding anniversary.

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We had an adorable family maternity photo shoot with my phenomenal cousin and professional photographer Misa Me.

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We took our annual lake trip over the summer…this time we landed in Seneca Lake in the Finger Lake region of Upstate New York.

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I also traveled 8 months pregnant to Nashville for the annual Beachbody Summit, and met my fabulous team of coaches in person to share a phenomenal life-changing experience. I also broke it down on the CIZE dance floor. (yes I was the awkward dancing pregnant lady)

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My beautiful baby Luca was brought into the world and our world was forever changed for the better. This kid is the smiliest, happiest baby I have ever met and we are so in love.

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My Nico Bonzo turned TWO this year with a TMNT b-day party. He started preschool, has become so independent, is making friends, and having full conversations these days. He astonishes me daily with how much memory he can retain in that little brain of his. I know he is destined for great things.

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I started my own 21 Day Fix journey to get back to my pre-baby, healthy, active self again, and so far things are going really well. I told myself I would not wait so long like I did with my first babe to get back into shape, and I have stuck to my word.

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We have celebrated many beautiful friends getting married this past year and wonderful holidays together with family. We are so very lucky and I am thankful for my blessings each and every day.

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Misa Me Family Christmas

(Photo by Misa Me Photography)

I look forward to what 2016 has to offer, and I am wishing you all a happy, healthy New Year!

XO,

Gina

Family Maternity Shoot With Misa*Me

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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!

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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 ūüėČ

Hope you all have a great day!

XO,

Gina

What a Treat

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Hey everyone! ¬†Head on over to the lovely blog at Treat, where I am guest blogging¬†for the day, and you can hear more about this crazy Italian family of mine ūüėČ ¬†Oh how I love them dearly. ¬†By the way, the credit on this photo goes to my amazing cousin, Marisa of MisaMe Photography, and we couldn’t have captured this magic moment without her.

Speaking of family, my sister Angie, her boyfriend Adam, and my cousin Nick are on their way to Brooklyn RIGHT NOW to spend the weekend with us, and we couldn’t be more excited! ¬†We even have a babysitter for tonight. ¬†Whoo-hoo! ¬†Just a little excited, can you tell?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend as well!

XO,

Gina

Creative Ideas for Engagement Gifts

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Photo Credit: Misa Me Photography

Since becoming a mom, I sometimes feel that I have neglected to be a very good friend. ¬†I have always been the¬†person who remembered every single birthday of friends and family members. ¬†I remembered to call. ¬†I remembered to go out of my way to do something nice on an important day for them. ¬†Nowadays, I am lucky if I even know what day it is, let alone that there is something special going on that day. ¬†I love my friends and want them to know that I still love them. ¬†I know being a mommy is not an excuse to forget about my friends, and I hope they know that I do still think about them often, even if I don’t always remember to call.

One particular instance of me being a bad friend…my bestie from high school called me up one night when I was particularly exhausted from lack of sleep. ¬†I felt bad for not answering, but I just didn’t have the energy to have the catch up session that we needed. ¬†The next day, she called again when I was in the middle of watching both my son and another child at the same time for the first day. ¬†I figured since she called again, that it was important, but again it was just a bad time. ¬†I answered, but immediately said, “Hey, can I call you back. ¬†I’m watching two babies and it’s a little insane.” ¬†She said “ok” but sounded like she really wanted to talk, so I said, “What’s up?” and she follows with “I’M ENGAGED!!!”

Oh. Em. Gee!!! ¬†No wonder she was calling so much! ¬†And here I am blowing her off, because I’m too crazy and tired on one of the most important days of her life! ¬†What a jerk! ¬†I said, “Congratulations, and I will definitely call you back later to hear the story.” ¬†To which I did follow through. ¬†Upon calling her back, she says, “Did you remember today is also my birthday?” F@#$!!!!!! ¬†Ok, I am officially the worst. friend. EVER. ¬†I knew her birthday was coming up, but when the actual day arrived, I didn’t even know the date. ¬†I felt AWFUL.

Luckily, she is an amazing person and has forgiven me. ¬†And I know gift giving totally doesn’t erase the fact that I am a nincompoop. ¬†HOWEVER! ¬†It’s cannot hurt, and I totally owe her one. ¬†So I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with some creative engagement gifts to send her way, and here are some of the ideas that have crossed my mind:

Wedding Planning Basket:  As a new bride-to-be, it can be really exciting to think about planning your wedding, but it can also be a bit overwhelming.  A wedding planning basket will give them a little boost to get started and fill them with ideas and organization tips.  Include bridal magazines, a planner, pen, thank you card, ideas for local vendors, to-do list with typical budgets, wedding-themed movies to put them in the wedding planning mood, and more.

Personalized Champagne Glasses:  Nothing says celebrate like champagne!  I love the idea of personalized champagne glasses with the names of the couple and the date of their wedding.  They can use them for the big toast on their wedding day, and toast again with them year after year on their anniversary.  Include a nice bottle of champagne for the win.

Take Them Out/Send them Out:  Take them out for a night on the town, a nice dinner, or a fun activity you know they will enjoy to celebrate the new journey they will take together.  You could also get them a gift certificate to send them on their own adventure together.  A couples massage to relax before their big day would be one of my favorites to suggest!

Create a Slide Show:  Gather photos from friends and family members to compile an adorable slide show for the future bride and groom.  The thought and effort put into the project will mean the world to the engaged couple.  You can include photos from their childhood  with family and friend or include photos of solely the couple themselves on their many adventures together.  The slide show can be used at an engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, etc.

Photography Session: ¬†Speaking of photos, a professional engagement photography session could be an amazing gift for a couple. ¬†With all the insane amount of expenses that come along with planning a wedding, a couple might not have it in their budget to include an engagement session as well. ¬†The photos could be used for their future “save the dates,” thank you cards, at the wedding, or framed and hung in their home.

Personalized Art Work:  My husband and I received a piece of art work for our wedding, and we still have it hanging in our home.  Something sweet to hang as a reminder of their special day will always be appreciated.  I really enjoy this simple Happily Ever After piece from Etsy.  Artwork is also not limited to the wall!  A personalized platter, ring holder, pillow, or anything else for the home could be a great gift and beautiful  reminder of their special day.

Wine Box:  If the engaged couple is into wine, a wine box could be a really fun idea.  Choose about 6 bottles of wine or so and label them with tags for different milestones that they will reach in their lives (First Anniversary, 10th Anniversary, First Home, First Christmas, etc.)  Make sure to ask someone at the wine store for advice as they may be able to suggest wines that age well.  You could also include a bottle of sparkling cider to toast their First Child.  If they have a different drink of choice, you could do a similar box filled with beer, mini liquor bottles, or something else that would interest them.

Personalized Greeting Card: ¬†Sometimes it’s the simple things that mean the most. ¬†A personalized greeting card is an inexpensive, yet thoughtful way to let someone know you are happy for them. ¬†I absolutely love the greeting card options available at Treat. ¬†They have lovely designs, deliver right to the recipient’s door, and they can also include photos or a gift card inside if you wish.

I cannot divulge what option I ultimately decided on because said friend might be reading this post, and I haven’t presented her with my gift yet. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Hopefully one of these ideas will speak to you. ¬†I know I will definitely be returning to this list for future friend’s engagements.

Hope you all had a great weekend. ¬†I have a short week here in New York, before I head off to my longtime friend and pen-pal’s wedding in Arizona! ¬†I haven’t seen her¬†since our Tucson reunion last year, so I am very much excited to see her and her awesome fianc√© tie the knot!

XO,

Gina

Maternity Photos By Misa*Me

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On the weekend we went back to Maryland for Teri’s bridal shower and Little Monkey’s baby shower, we were lucky enough to squeeze in this maternity photo session with the lovely Marisa Crider of Misa*Me Photography. ¬†I was looking for a sun drenched romantic setting with tall grass for the backdrop of this shoot, and Marisa found the perfect location! ¬†The sun more or less cooperated for some of the time, and we were able to get the beautiful field shots I wanted as well as some surprise shots on a nearby beach. ¬†Marisa never fails to impress with her talents, and she truly captured our excitement for our arriving baby boy. ¬†We cannot wait to meet him and share these photos with him one day.

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Outfit 1: On Me – Dress: Target Maternity / Necklace: Cheerfully Charmed (similar) / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelet: Baublebar / Lip: MAC Venomous Villains Heartless / Baby Shoes: Luvable Friends¬†— On Zack –¬†Button Down and Linen Pants: H&M

Outfit 2: On Me – Dress: Ella Moss via Gilt / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: Henri Bendel and Baublebar / Earrings: Borrowed from Misa*Me / Lip: MAC Venomous Villains Heartless — On Zack –¬†Shirt: H&M / Shorts: Target / Shoes: Sanuk¬†– similar here,¬†here, and here

Thank you so much to my amazing cousin, Marisa, for taking these photos for our little family.  We really appreciate it, and cannot wait for our little man to get here!

If you’d like to see more photos from the shoot, then please head on over to Misa*Me Photography to see the rest.

Hope you are all enjoying the week so far.

XO,

Gina

{14} Lately…

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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!

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What have you been up to lately?

Happy Friday!  Hope you all have a great weekend!

Love,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

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{13} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading¬† Just finished What Remains by Carole Radziwill. ¬†She is one of the more recent additions to the New York City Housewife cast, although she wrote this book long before. ¬†Carole was a reporter for many years, a princess, and related to the Kennedy’s. ¬†This memoir is about friendship, love, and loss. ¬†It’s extremely sad, but very real, and Radziwill is an excellent writer. ¬†I just started Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks as I heard it was decent and was looking for a light summer beach read (even though I’m not at the beach).

writing¬† Contracts. ¬†I’m no lawyer, and I can’t exactly say much yet, but it’s exciting, and I’m drafting, drafting.

listening¬† I’ve always been an Avicii fan, but I’m really loving his new single Wake Me Up. ¬†It starts out with a folk/country guitar style, and breaks into the typical dance/house style of Avicii that we know and love.

thinking ¬†That all I wanted was summertime, and now I got my wish…but it’s so hot, I don’t know how this prego body is going to make it through August.

smelling¬† Breakfast food…my favorite!

watching¬† Holy Bachelorette! ¬†Some intense home visits and a sad goodbye. ¬†Go figure they are all in love with her, except the one she is in love with. ¬†I still can’t believe I got into this show this season…those to blame, you know who you are…

wishing¬† That I could fly out to San Fran to celebrate my friend’s Trey and Suzette’s big day this weekend! ¬†I know it will be amazing, and I’m sad to miss it. ¬†But excited instead to celebrate my bestie Teri’s bridal shower and a baby shower for my Little Monkey.

hoping ¬†For good weather this weekend. ¬†We have a maternity photo session scheduled with Misa*Me Photography, and I’m hoping the weather will cooperate!

wearing  Gray and blue striped cotton jersey dress that was handed down to me by Danielle, my college roomie and cutest little mama!

loving ¬†The new Up the Amp MAC lipstick that I got for free by turning in my 6 empties to recycle. ¬†Also loving the new Benefit They’re Real Mascara I got for my birthday from Sephora.

laughing ¬†At this awesome maid of honor speech I discovered on Zigi’s blog. ¬†I died laughing, and it totally made me think of my bestie Teri. ¬†Let’s just say this girl does a sick Eminem.

wanting ¬†To jump in a pool for my birthday (next weekend)…anyone know a place in the city that could throw a good pool party?

needing ¬†Air conditioning. ¬†Been blasting it lately! ¬†I’m dreading the electric bill.

feeling ¬†Incredibly lucky for my amazing family and friends. ¬†Everyone has been so generous, and we have already started getting lots of packages and gifts to the house for our little man, and I haven’t even had my shower yet! ¬†I cannot wait to get everything in order! ¬†Thank you everyone, I really appreciate it.

craving  Chocolate and fruit.  I have been wanting a little bit almost every day lately.

clicking  Photography inspiration ideas for our shoot this Saturday.

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What have you been up to lately?

Happy Tuesday!

Love,

Gina

***I was inspired by Tina of Like Ordinary Life to create this post, and she was inspired by Lauren of siddathornton, who started The Sunday Currently.

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