Thirteen Journeys

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Today I am honored to share my story as part of the Thirteen Fit Apparel 13 Journeys campaign!!

My story is about an athlete. It’s about motherhood. It’s about challenges. It’s about entrepreneurship. It’s about hard work. It’s about priorities. It’s about putting your mind to something and accomplishing it.

I hope that something within my journey can connect or resonate with you today. We are all on our own journey toward becoming our #ultimateself, and I continue to work on mine every single day.

Thank you to Paige Festa for including me on this project, to the 12 other inspiring individuals who are also sharing their journeys in these next few weeks, and to Jocelyn Bold Photography for capturing the photos from this shoot.

Full story can found over at Thirteen Fit Apparel! Hope you can check it out!

Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina

 

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2017 Outfits In Review

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Better late than never! Here is a compilation of some of my favorite outfits from 2017. Notice, how when it starts to get cold, there are fewer outfits posted. That has less to do with me not liking the outfits, and more to do with the fact that I hate the cold! Haha. Plus I feel bad bringing my hubby and kids out in the freezing cold to do a shoot. So therefore, you don’t see much of the winter outfits haha. But nonetheless, here are some favs. If you click each individual photo, it will take you to the original post to see the whole shoot. Which look is your favorite?

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Welp, that’s a wrap on 2017 outfits. Hoping I have more fun fashion to share for 2018! Drop me a note below and let me know which look is your favorite! Happy MLK Weekend everyone!

 

XO,

Gina

2017 in Review

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WOW! I can’t believe 2017 is coming to a close. It’s been a year of personal growth, adventure, travel, family moments, and so much more. I learned a lot, and have come up with some exciting ideas to take with me into 2018. I plan to jump even more outside of my comfort zone this upcoming year, and see where the wind blows.

I want to thank each and every one of you this past year for supporting me on this journey…for reading this blog, for joining one of my health + fitness Challenge Groups, for commenting on a Facebook post, direct messaging me on Instagram, watching my IG Stories, giving me all of your advice and feedback on outfit choices or motherhood woes or workouts…or just telling me that you are inspired by a post or that you can relate. It truly means SO much to me. I started this blog and my brand really as a creative outlet a few years ago, but it’s turned into an incredible community which I am so grateful for. So THANK YOU for your continued support, and I hope you continue to take the journey with me in 2018!

Below is a look back at some of my favorite memories and experiences of 2017:

 

Zack and I finally went on a “Paint Night” Date and we loved it

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I was obsessed with smoothie bowls:

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I learned a ton about gut health + drank lots of kombucha (I did a LIVE @ 9 Episode on this which you can find on my Facebook page, but I promise to create a blog post on this for 2018 so it’s in written form):

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Boys both fell in love with soccer just like their mama:

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Helped hundreds of Challengers get on track with their nutrition with these amazing portion control containers:

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Little sis got engaged and asked the entire fam to be in the wedding 🙂 :

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Zack and I had a week-long road trip together to Asheville (thanks Mom + Dad!):

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I was able to take the family on an all-expenses paid trip to Punta Cana with Beachbody as a reward trip for my work with the company. To say they had a blast would be an understatement:

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I developed a passion for nut butters lol 😉

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Hubby and I did the Ultimate Reset Challenge Plant Based Cleanse program and we learned so much about our bodies, our eating habits, and made many tweaks and changes to our habits going forward (again, I owe you all a full synopsis of this experience in blog post form…coming at you in 2018!):

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Went to the Dave Matthews Concert with the fam:

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Spent many summer days at the NY Beaches + riding the rides at Coney Island:

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Took Nico on his first roller coaster ride at Hershey Park with the family:

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Celebrated our 10 Year NYC Anniversary:

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Went to Rhode Island with the hubs to watch one of my best friends walk down the aisle:

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Went to NOLA for my 3rd Beachbody Summit with my amazing team. We continue to grow, and I love training each new person how to become a #boss and build businesses that give them happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives:

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Completed multiple workout programs including Shift Shop, T25, Insanity Max 30, and 3 Week Yoga Retreat:

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Celebrated my sister’s Bachelorette Weekend in VA Beach rooftop style:

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Luca got his 1st haircut:

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Nico turned 4 and Luca turned 2 with a Construction themed Birthday Party:

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My challengers got amazing results with their fitness + nutrition:

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We went on family vacation to Cape May:

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and the OBX:

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Nico started his first year of “real” school through the NYC DOE and is loving Pre-K. Luca started a 2’s playschool co-op, and it was a bit of a transition at first, but he seems to be enjoying it now:

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We threw at Rainbow Sprinkle Themed Bridal Shower for my sister:

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My little sis and her high school sweetheart finally tied the knot after 13 years:

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Took the boys on their first-ever camping trip this fall with good friends:

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Had an epic Halloween dressing up like The Wizard of Oz characters:

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Did ALL the the holiday things to celebrate the season (and enjoyed my most favorite/stressful time of the year):

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Welp!!!!

That is a WRAP. Wow. What.a.year.

It’s been a good one full of fantastic memories. Thanks again for your continued support of popcorn and pandas. I appreciate you all SO much. More than you know.

I wish all of you an incredible New Year!!! I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store.

XO,

Gina

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Feeling Free

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Dress: Free People via Trunk Club (now 40% off!) / Shoes: Kelly + Katie via DSW (now on sale!) / Lip: MAC Impassioned

This dress is another that I scored with my last Trunk Club and my amazing stylist Megan. I wore it to a baby shower while in Maryland a couple weeks ago, but I also think it’s perfect for a date night in the city. These shoes are EVERYTHING and wore them that whole weekend. Surprisingly pretty comfortable for high heels!

I titled this post “Feeling Free” originally because this dress is from Free People, but after thinking more about it, there is a lot more behind the title and how I’m feeling right now. The boys are getting into their routine at school, and I’m getting into my new routine as their mama and as the CEO of my business…both this blog and my health + fitness coaching…which really, it all sort of combines to just really trying to inspire as many people as possible to live happier + healthier whether that’s by exercising, eating clean, taking time for yourself, feeling comfortable in your clothes and in your own skin, etc. With the boys being in school for a bit, I’m getting a little more free time to myself to really dive into this passion during normal day time hours, and I’m LOVING it.

I’ve been practicing the Miracle Morning which is a book by Hal Elrod, and it’s been completely life changing. I have been starting my day with meditation, visualization, reading personal development, journaling, and of course exercise. It’s literally the most perfect way to start the day, and it really sets the tone and my mood going forward. It also allows me to feel less stressed about things I have “to-do” during the day, and I feel that when I’m with my kids, I can really be more present with them and in the moment.

And not to bring down the moment, since I love keeping things positive over here, but I am feeling incredible sad in light of the recent shooting that happened in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the “freedom” of owning guns has allowed so many people to lose their own freedom and even their lives. My own dear friends were supposed to be at the concert, and ended up not going, thank God. I have never been a fan of guns and I feel that by having them, violence is just perpetuated. If you want to help support the end of gun violence, Everytown is a great movement to support.

And whatever else you can do to spread love and positivity in this world, please keep doing that! The world needs you. ❤

Make it a great day everyone!

XO,

Gina

Transformation Story: Christie DeMarco

Happy Wednesday everyone! I am SOOOOO incredibly excited to introduce you all to a challenger and now coach on my team, Christie DeMarco! Her post partum health + fitness journey has been incredible and I’m so pumped to share. In addition to rocking her health + fitness, Christie has also been crushing her business as a new coach and helping others to achieve amazing results as well!
Without further ado, here is Christie!!!
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Photos taken in April – May – June respectively
P+ P: Hi Christie!!! Please tell us about yourself (where you live, family, hobbies, interests, anything else that you would like to include about yourself)!
Christie: I recently turned 30 this past June!! My goals were to be married and be done having babies when I turned 30, and I am so done! I’m 5’5 and 125lbs (3 lb water fluctuating weight) haha. I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and have lived around here all my life. I am a Palliative Care Nurse in home care which I love. I see sickness and death day in and day out. I think that helps push me to appreciate being able to get up in the morning healthy and able to workout and eat healthy. We can’t prevent cancer 100% but we can prevent what we put in our bodies and be more mindful of our health. Which I am hoping will prevent me from getting cancer.
P+P: What is your fitness background?
Christie:  I was 125 lbs pre-pregnancy and not really trying to lose anymore weight other than that. My focuses are tightening and toning.
I have always loved health and fitness. I worked at McDonald’s in high school, but I never really ate the food there. Only fries and egg sandwiches. 

I had diastasis recti with my 1st baby, Josilynn, which only made it way worse with Nolan, my baby. I gained 50lbs with Josilynn and only 45 with Nolan. However, even with 45 lbs i swear it was all in my belly which was very painful on my back. I lost every bit within 2 weeks with Josilynn without working out. I didn’t realize how nice that was until after my 2nd when my abdomen was not at all how it was before my 2nd pregnancy. It’s still not and will never be again. My focus has been toning my legs and arms and if my abdomen shaped up then bonus!
P+P: Why did you decide to try Insanity Max 30?
ChristieI did only the 1st month of Insanity when I was getting married but never finished it. I am a HUGE Shaun T. fan so I started Insanity Max 30. I figured I have 30 min a day I’ll give it a go. Well 1 week turned into 2 weeks and so on.  
P+P: What about the program worked for you? What did you like about it? 
Christie: I started seeing results in about 2 weeks which makes you get hooked right away!!
P+P: What was tough or challenging for you? (particular workouts? sticking to nutrition? anything else?) 
Christie: My son got sick and was hospitalized within that 1st month so I got a little off track but got right back into it when things settled. I just really wanted to finish a program. I didn’t follow the nutrition guideline, rather I just ate clean and listened to my body with good portion control. I am 95% vegan so I have to alter my diet other than the meal plans. I am NOT GOOD at meal prepping which I am really going to try and get into…..
I hate cardio because I have asthma. I know, Insanity is a LOT of cardio!!!
P+P: 10 lbs and 5 inches is an incredible accomplishment! How did you stay motivated for those 60 days?
Christie: Shaun T. kept me motivated.  I took extra breaks or modified when I needed to, but never stopped.
 

Gained confidence and without even doing most of the ab exercises I have a baby 6 pack forming!! You need to seriously focus on good form with any ab exercise especially with ab separation.

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P+P: How do you feel today and what are your goals moving forward? 

I am looking forward to coaching and helping other people gain confidence I have and will only continue to do!
I am now doing 21 day fix Extreme and my goal is to do Shift Shop in July with my 1st challenge group!
Christie Transformation Post Partum
Side note…this interview was done earlier this summer, and since then Christie has accomplished so much more! Not only has she crushed those workout programs, but she has helped SO many people in just her early stages of coaching! She achieved Success Starter status in our company in her 1st month as a coach and helped 5 people get started on their own health + fitness journey. She also earned a call with our company CEO, which is a HUGE deal!!!
She is running her own challenge groups now to help others and she is building her own team of coaches to teach and train as well. Christie is going places peeps, and I’m SO excited to have her as a part of Team SPARK!
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And she also is famous on our team for rockin’ the cutest workout tanks! Love it!
Hope you all are having an amazing week so far. Continue to spread love, positivity, and happiness wherever you go! With all this crazy stuff going on, be the change you wish there to be in the world.
XO,
Gina

This Envelope

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This envelope right here. This envelope here holds my son’s monthly tuition for preschool. This envelope used to be a bit of a stress factor for me during that first week of the month. While our co-op is definitely affordable compared to many daycares and private preschool programs, it is still a nice chunk of change that I wasn’t always sure we could afford. I knew we would make it happen…because education is so important to me and my husband, and we truly value the experiences that our son had been able to have with his teacher and classmates. But I stressed all summer long about the tuition increase from last year to this year with an extra hour a day, extra day per week, cost to hire an assistant, etc. It all adds up pretty quick.

Building a business from scratch is not easy and it takes time and patience to build. It has been frustrating at times to not be an “overnight success,” but that’s just not how things work. My husband has been so supportive since I became a coach and he truly believes in me. He believes this has been a great decision for our family…even when I have doubted myself. For that I am so grateful. Quitting has never been an option, and I have continued to put in my best effort day in and day both both as a mom and as a business woman…sometimes at the same time.

So when I realized today that this week’s paycheck more than surpassed that monthly tuition we owe today, my heart just filled with happiness. To know that I was able to contribute in such a way toward my son’s education in just one week of helping others reach their goals truly shed light on a big reason WHY I do what I do.

I love helping others, and I also want to create the best life possible for my family and give my children all they deserve to be happy and successful in life. I am holding this envelope today feeling grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and feeling hopeful for the future.

Hope you all are having an amazing week and continuing to pursue your passions and dreams!

XO,

Gina

Jaw Drop

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Holy Thursday!!!
 
My face says it all…today was my first Beachbody paycheck of 2017, and I almost spit out my coffee. This paycheck more than doubled my highest paycheck ever earned since I started coaching.
 
I don’t talk about money or income much, because 1) I think it’s kinda tacky and 2) I haven’t reached my income goals yet…and so at times it can be scary to share the “before” or while you are still on the journey. It’s much easier to share once you have achieved those results you are looking for. But the reality is…there will always be a journey and there will always be goals to reach. And I’m sure others out there can relate…so in an effort to “keep it real” here we go…
 
I became a coach almost to this day about 2 years ago. I had no idea what I was getting into…what to do, how it all worked, etc. I was fresh and new and excited. I knew I wanted to help people. I knew I wanted to work on my own schedule and for myself so I could also be present for my kids…but I honestly had NO idea what it was like to be an entrepreneur. I thought I would easily match what I was making at my old job and then some pretty quickly. But I underestimated how much patience I would need to have. Starting your own business is NOT a “get rich quick” kind of thing. It takes time, and work…LOTS of work. It takes consistency. It takes fearlessness.
 
All of which I have struggled with at times. It’s scary to put yourself out there on a daily basis. To wonder what people think about what you are doing. If they think you are a complete weirdo. I know it shouldn’t matter what other people think, but I’m only human.
 
And then comes the life of being a busy mom, trying to balance two young boys, a hubby, family, traveling, a social life, housework, adulting in general, and everything else that comes with it. There have been times when I thought maybe I just wasn’t cut out for this. That maybe I just can’t do it all. That maybe it’s okay if this coaching thing is just a hobby. That maybe I just am not that great of a leader.
 
But I kept going. And I know now after all the personal growth I dove into at the tail end of 2016 that those are just limiting beliefs. Being a leader starts within, and I needed (and still need) to grow MYSELF before I can help others to grow and succeed. So I will continue to keep going…and growing.
 
Success is a personal definition. It doesn’t always have to be directly related to money. But for a long time I related success = money. To be honest, I thought by the end of 2016, I would have made more money than I did. I thought I would have achieved a higher rank in my company. I didn’t reach some of my big goals. But what I didn’t realize was how much I would learn and grow personally. Apparently, I wasn’t yet ready for all of that. And 2016 was a year of growth for sure.
 
And it’s interesting…when you stop focusing on the money…and start focusing on growing yourself and helping others…then the money actually comes haha. Imagine that.
 
Because quite frankly even though money is not the most important thing…we all need it. Especially when you live in a city like New York and everything is so darn expensive. My husband and I have tons of old debt to pay off, plus our monthly rent, car payment, student loans, credit cards, IRS taxes…and I have goals of traveling around the world with my family…sending my kids to the best schools possible, allowing them to reach their full potential with extra curricular classes, and more.
 
So when I saw that paycheck today, it was a reminder that I need to keep going. That all the hard work that I have put in for the past 2 years has not been for nothing. It was a reminder of all the people I have been able to help to reach their goals. I thought about the thank you notes and positive comments I have received from challengers and coaches on my team. I thought about how I would never want to let them down. I thought about being able to pay those debts off in the future and to be able to give my kids the best education, and about seeing the world. I thought about how supportive my husband has been these past 2 years. When I was down on myself, he always looked at the positive and told me how much money I was saving for our family by working from home or how I was helping to pay off preschool or groceries that week.
 
I thought about how patience is key. And everyone has been telling me that those who don’t succeed are the ones who quit too early. So even those next week’s paycheck will probably not come close to this one…thank you little paycheck for that reminder that what I am doing is important for myself and my family…and that I AM growing…that if I have the belief and the work ethic, anything is possible…and that 2017 is going to be amazing.
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XO,
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Gina

Do You Believe in Yourself?

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***Do you believe in yourself?*** (APPLICATION BELOW)
 
I have always been a confident person on the outside, and I was raised to always believe that I was capable of achieving anything I set my mind to. My parents always believed in me and instilled that confidence in myself. And somewhere inside I did believe that.
 
Regardless, as I moved through life and chased dreams…sometimes along the way you start to doubt yourself. Well, can I REALLY become an actress, or REALLY be a news reporter? (Yes, I wanted to do those things). Can I REALLY build my dream house? Can I REALLY feel completely fulfilled? Am I REALLY worth it?
 
There have been times where I have been stuck in old habits because they were comfortable…because I was afraid of the unknown…because I feared change. Because I had to try something new and get out of my comfort zone.
 
When my company folded, I was very sad, because I enjoyed what I did and I had the best co-workers. I had an amazing situation of supportive people who made me laugh on a daily basis. But it was also a chance to start fresh. A chance to figure out who I was now that I was a mom. A chance to discover my true potential. I was already uncomfortable and jobless, so I had nothing to lose at this point right? Sometimes life forces you to reexamine things and which direction you want to go.
 
Having kids definitely changed a lot of my priorities in life and the 9-6 grind with an hour and 15 min subway commute each way just wasn’t working for me anymore. I wanted to be around more for my boys.
 
When I discovered coaching, I had no idea if it would be something that I would love or hate. I just knew I wanted to get back in shape again, I enjoyed helping people, I could work from home, and I could be my own boss.
 
And while I have been able to help change so many lives throughout this process, what I have gained is even more incredible. Through this experience, I have been challenged to look deep within myself and find out my true passion, to discover what I REALLY truly want in life, WHY I want it, and a plan of action to actually GO FOR IT.
 
Through personal development, I have been able to grow and change into a person who really believes that she can achieve more in life. And I have gained a network of like-minded #bosses who push me to be the best person I can be. They say you are ultimately a portrait of the people who are around you, and I could not have found a better group of positive, inspirational people to surround myself with.
 
This WEDNESDAY night at 8:30pm, I will be hosting an online event to showcase what coaching is all about, why we love it so much, and how you can fit it into your already busy life. If you want to believe in yourself and go after your true potential or you are just curious to learn more, I hope you will join me!
 
Please fill out the application below, and I will be in touch!
 
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Hope you are staying dry on this rainy Tuesday!
XO,
Gina

Belvedere Sparkle

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Dress: Vijiv via Amazon Fashion (I know. I can’t believe it either. Amazing, right? Just wait ’til you see the price!) / Shoes: Nina / Bracelet and Earrings: Gifted / Sunglasses: Vintage / Lip: MAC Up the Amp / Bag: Old, cheap, and don’t remember! Oops! – But LOVE this one here

TGIF!!! Every Friday deserves a little SPARKLE!

Can you believe I seriously found this dress on Amazon? Like PRIME, 2-day shipping Amazon. With 3 weddings in June, I needed some fancy dresses quick, and I was happy to say that Amazon did NOT disappoint! As surprised as I was to find this gorgeous number, I am actually obsessed with this dress, and wish I had a million more occasions that I could wear it to!

This occasion in particular was the beautiful wedding of a fantastic couple and long-time friend. It was held at the classy establishment The Belvedere in Baltimore, Maryland. This classic, fancy, old-style venue seemed like the perfect opportunity for a flapper dress.

That being said…we rocked out the night to a Bruce Springsteen cover band (who was amazing) all night long! I think it was the busiest dance floor in that I’ve seen in my wedding guest history (and I have been to a lot of weddings!) The energy was plentiful and the dance floor was PACKED the whole night through.

Honestly?!?!?!?! I think the venue had some trouble getting us out of the building!!! It was as if we were at a real-live concert and the lights came on to kick us out, but everyone just screamed ENCORE!!! Pretty cool if you ask me.

SUCH a fun night, and I’m looking forward to posting more photos from their wedding soon!

Tomorrow, we are having a joint birthday party for both Nico + Luca!! Their birthdays aren’t until the end of the month, but we will be on vacation, so we wanted to do something at home with our friends in the neighborhood and any family that could come to town. We are doing a LEGO theme this year and we have been busy building over here this morning! I seriously cannot believe Nico will be 3 and Luca will be 1 already. It’s like I snapped my fingers and 3 years have gone by. They always tell you it will happen that way, but it’s hard to imagine when you are living it! The days are slow but the years are too quick!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

XO,

Gina