Baby Notes #3 Reveal

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Oh my gosh, you guys. The reveal day is finally here!!! I have been waiting to share (and find out myself) for so long! Lemme tell you, holding onto that envelope for 2 weeks while Zack was out of town was not easy! Haha. But our props finally arrived, Zack came home, and Saturday was go time. We headed to Prospect Park with Tyler Lyons on Saturday evening around sunset to capture our reveal and our reactions along with the news. It was a beautiful evening, and we are so happy for our little Baby Notes on the way!

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Your guesses on Facebook and Instagram massively skewed toward girl. I honestly went back and forth each trimester thinking something different. Of course, I found this soccer ball reveal prop on Etsy, and I just HAD to use it being a soccer player and now that my boys love the sport as well. My neighbor was the first one to find out since she purchased the soccer ball for me to use for this shoot. Okay…keep scrolling to find out if you guessed it right!!!

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It’s a BOY!!!! Another Brother! #boysonlyclub

Oh my gosh. You should have seen poor little Nico’s face. He was CERTAIN it was going to be pink, and he was in SUCH a state of shock. I felt a little bad that we hyped up this reveal a little too much, because apparently he really got into it! He was hoping for a sister…That said, one day later, and he was back to being super excited again about his little baby on the way!

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So I had an extra ball ordered, because I wasn’t sure how easy they were going to be to break open, and I was a little nervous myself or one of the kids would break it before we actually got to take our photos! LOL. I will say that this thing was STURDY as a rock. I had to kick is really hard (and my foot actually hurt haha), so I don’t think buying two was necessary. But that said, we had an extra one, so we let Nico throw it down to take a few more photos once we knew we were having a little BOY! It took him about 4 throws before he could get it to break, but he finally got it!

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The official sonogram pic that the sono tech had put in an envelope for me. Yup. No doubt about that anatomy haha.

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Can’t believe I’m gonna be a #boymom for life!!! Wow! Another little monkey will be joining this crazy crew in August!

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Thank you Tyler Lyons for capturing this special family moment for us! It was so much fun!

Tyler also snagged a video for us from his phone, and I edited a little something together as well if you want to watch the action.

Thank you all for your patience! I know I was driving some of you crazy making you all wait this long to find out haha. One person even said they thought we were having twins because of all the hype hahaha. NO. I guess I have always just loved a big production. 😉

To see the reveals we did in the past for Nico and Luca you can check them out here (Nico’s) and here (Luca’s).

Thanks for all the love and I feel so incredibly blessed right now! ❤ ❤ ❤

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

XO,

Gina

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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Black is Boss

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Dress: Tobi – now on sale! / Jacket: Goodnight Macaroon – similar here and here / Over-the-Knee Boots: ALDO – similar – also love these / Earrings: Forever 21 / Lip: MAC Dark Side

While I LOVE pops of color and mixing in lots of color to my wardrobe, there is always something super comforting to me about basic black. Maybe, it’s the New Yorker in me, but I gravitate toward black frequently, especially in the winter time. Black is just classic, and will never go out of style. I scored these over-the-knee boots on sale after Christmas of LAST year, and had been keeping my eye open for the perfect dress to wear them with. I saw this one from Tobi with the open V-back, and had to snag it! A little bit sexy, a little bit chic, and a little bit badass with the boots, no? The top knot with the drop earrings finish the classic look…and since it’s still winter…a quilted moto jacket so I don’t freeze. The day we shot this, we actually had weather that was creeping into the 60s which is crazy for a New York winter!

This week I hit the 12 week mark of my pregnancy! Yay! Hoping to come out of that 1st trimester fog soon, though been suffering with some headaches as of late, which are typical for me during pregnancy when my hormones are going crazy. We’ve also been dealing with an insane 4 year old this week. Not sure if it’s lack of sleep or if something deeper is going on, but it’s been impossible to get through to him. Mamas can you relate? I thought 3 was a tough age and 4 was honestly getting better for us. So I’m hoping this is just an off week for him, because it’s really been out of hand with pretty much everything. My 2 year old is dabbling in potty training, and he’s doing okay, but there’s also some stress that goes along with cleaning up pee off your floor every 20 minutes. LOL. #momlife

My February Challenge Group started up on Monday, and these gals are off to the races! Their progress in January was AMAZING, and I am so very proud at how hard they worked! We have lots continuing on with their goals, and some new faces just starting out with us as well! I decided I’m going to jump into a program called PiYo, which is a pilates/yoga based program that focuses on stretch, strength, cardio, and core. I did this same program when I was pregnant with Luca, and it was fantastic, so I’m going to dive in again so that I have something I can stick to this month and stay motivated to keep moving with my growing babe.

I have so many ideas and posts in the works for this blog in the next few weeks and also some exciting projects I’m working on, so stay tuned for what’s to come! Hope you have an incredible week!

XO,

Gina

Moto Magic

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Moto Leggings: Tobi (on sale!) / Coat: ZARA – similar here and here / Sweater: Madewell via Trunk Club – sold out but loving this color / Booties: H&M / Scarf: Gifted – also like this one / Sunnies: Brickyard Buffalo

Moto leggings are all the rage this season, and I have to say I am jumping on this train full force and loving it. I got my first pair from Trunk Club in an olive green, so when I saw these black babies from Tobi I HAD to have them in my closet! As a New Yorker, black is a go-to color in my wardrobe, and these will basically go with ANYTHING, so I was super excited to snag them. I just love the detail on the front of the thigh, and the zips down the size give them a little edge. They are super comfortable and the material is flattering, stretchy, and forgiving. I can pretty much guarantee these are going to get a lot of wear from me this season and beyond. Added bonus…these are currently on sale for 50% off.

This puffer coat from ZARA is also on heavy rotation this winter as 1) it’s WARM…and let’s be honest…that is a high priority for me in outerwear right now! I am not a cold weather loving gal, so staying bundled up is key. And 2) it’s a cuter puffer coat than most with the faux fur hood and leopard lining. It can be tough to make a warm puffer coat look cute, but I think ZARA did well.

This olive sweater from Madewell is SUPER comfy, and I’m sad the color is unavailable, but I do also love this one and I promise it’s warm!

I want to thank you all SO much for all your love and warm wishes for our big announcement we made yesterday!!! We got so much love over on Facebook and Instagram, and I cannot say enough how grateful I am to have such an incredibly wonderful community, family, and friends. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. We feel so blessed to be welcoming a 3rd child into our family, and we are excited for all the adventures this new chapter will bring!

I’m also excited to my experiences with you this time around when it comes to health, exercise, fashion, mom life and more!

Hope you’re all having an amazing week!

XO,

Gina

 

 

2017 in Review

View More: http://karenskaptures.pass.us/notes

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:

View More: http://karenskaptures.pass.us/notes

 

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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Meet Meagan: A Coaching Story

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Meet Meagan!!!
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Meagan and I went to college together at the University of Maryland and met on the Women’s Club Soccer Team. While we have a similar athletic background and we are now both mamas, I just love Meagan’s story. She is one inspiring lady who seriously does it all…she takes care of animals, takes care of her daughter, she’s an amazing wife/daughter/sister, and now she is back to taking care of herself as well. Meagan is working toward BIG goals, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled that she decided to trust in me to join Team SPARK! and take this journey as a coach alongside me. She is a TEAM player, a HARD worker, and she DREAMS BIG. Not only has she had incredible success with her health + fitness journey (she has lost at least 42 lbs post pregnancy to date of this interview…and possibly more now), she is also building her own team and making great strides toward achieving that type of freedom she craves with the business side of coaching. She has grown so much, and I cannot WAIT to see where this journey will take her next!!
 
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Without further ado, I will let you read my interview with her below and you can meet her for yourself! 🙂
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1) Tell us about yourself (where you live, family, hobbies, interests, anything else that you would like to include about yourself). I live in Baltimore, MD with my husband and daughter. We have 2 dogs and 2 cats. My husband and I are both from PA so our families are atleast 1.5 hours away. I’m the oldest of 6 girls so life for me has always been crazy/busy, non stop, always on the go. Living away from family means that help with our daughter’s childcare can be a little difficult at times. I work three 12 hours shifts in a row as a registered veterinary technician (nurse) at a very busy animal hospital with a very high standard of care. So work can be exhausting (mentally and physically) and stressful but I love it. I also bartend on Saturday nights at Phillips Seafood Restaurant where I have worked since graduating from college (this year makes 9 years!). My husband’s days off are two of the days that I work so he can be home with Charlotte. On Saturdays I go into work with Charlie and hand her off to Daddy and then he takes her home. So we only have to pay for one day of childcare. This plan, however, does not allow us to have any days off together. That has it’s own challenges, of course. I don’t have much time or the ability for activities for myself (I used to play football, kickball, and softball on local social club teams) but when ever I have off, I have my daughter (and daddy is at work) and it’s not always easy to find help to watch her if I need/want to do something. So, I can’t do it, unless I can take her.
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I love sports, animals, being outside and being adventurous. I like doing anything that I can take the dogs along for. They love to swim and fetch, they are very active and energetic but it’s hard to bring them with me sometimes since it’s usually just me with Charlie and both of them.
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2) What is your fitness background? I played soccer for 16 years. In middle school, I ran track and played basketball too. In college and afterwards I played on several club teams for kickball, football, softball, volleyball, soccer. If you need a person on your sports team, I’m your gal. Haha. I may not be awesome at all sports, but I can get by in most of them. My Dad was a soccer player (He played for the San Jose Earthquakes in the 80s) and he always played softball when I was growing up, so my love of sports comes from him— he taught me everything I know about throwing a baseball and football and kicking a soccer ball. My mom was always active also, she was a flamenco dancer in a dance company when I was young, trained with a body builder and would often go on long runs when I was in high school. She used to take me to an MMA gym where we would take a boxercise class and tae-ke-bo class. So my fitness always revolved around sports. I didn’t like running for fun until college which was when I picked up a love for yoga also. Both were a great way for me to de-stress and clear my mind. As great as yoga and running are for my mind, I have always loved team sports.
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3) Why did you decide to become a Coach on Team SPARK? I wasn’t expecting to decide to be a coach that day in May 2017. I saw one of your posts about daring to dream. I think it just hit home for me and I knew I had to jump on it, without much thought, I jumped in. I had been feeling very BLAH for months. I was in a funk, a bad one. I WANTED to workout more, but I just couldn’t seem to get it done. I had started taking regular walks with the dogs and Charlie in the stroller and I was more conscious about what I was eating. I was 160ish pounds in Dec2016/Jan2017 and by April I was hovering around 145. So, progress was being made but I knew regular walks weren’t gonna to get me where I wanted. I just couldn’t seem to figure out how I was going to get it done. My husband is naturally tall and thin and would choose to eat Taco Bell every night if he could (even though he is an amazing cook). He wasn’t going to be the one to motivate me. We had worked half way through P90X twice (we could only ever seem to make it to 45ish days haha). He grew up playing volleyball and baseball. We played kickball together on a social team and he can be very competitive and that’s how we got through P90X. I worked out during the day because I worked nights then and he would workout when he got home from his day shift— we always kept each other on track. Nowadays, he’d rather not workout— so that leaves me to motivate myself. It wasn’t going very well. I didn’t want to get a gym membership, becauseI knew I wouldn’t use it. Plus, not all gyms have childcare and like I said before, I always have Charlie.
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I’d also been dreaming of not having to bartend on Saturday nights anymore. It’s not a bad gig, but I’m just ready to call it quits. The money I make there each month pays my gigantic student loan bill and although we could probably survive without it.. it seems stupid to not work 4 days a month to be able to make that payment. I was trying to figure out what else I could do that would allow us the freedom we have financially without making any sacrifices. After several weeks/months of feeling like there was something missing in more than 1 aspect of my life, there was your post. Dare to dream. I had been seeing your posts for years. Busy mom, fit mom, working mom. Killing it. So I said, what the hell. Why not try it, what could it hurt. I knew just being a challenger would not be enough to make this a lifestyle change. Being just a challenger would probably get me as far as I got with P90X and then I would fall off again. BUT being a coach, being able to motivate and inspire others? That should do the trick. I always loved being a team captain, I loved coaching, and I had been thinking about taking looking into teaching at the local vet tech school. I wanted something to spend my time that was fulfilling, that would allow me to help others. But coaching/teaching was just another something that would take me away from the house and require additional childcare costs and less time with family. COACHING was it! I could check off all the boxes. PLUS, even if coaching wasn’t a financial success, I would hopefully have my athletic self back again. I had been missing since college. So, without overthinking it, I said yes. I’m so happy I did.
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4) What was the first Beachbody program you tried? What did you like about it?  P90X. I liked how challenging it was and I liked that variety of workouts. Since becoming a coach, the first program I tried was 22 Minute Hard Corps, because I knew I liked Tony as a trainer, and I was familiar with him so I picked that one first. Plus the shorter workouts would make for an easier transition into a fitness routine.
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5) What was tough or challenging for you?  The hardest part at first was waking up early to get my workout in before my long shifts. That had been an excuse of mine for a loooooong time. There was no way that I would be able to wake up before a 12 hours shift earlier than I needed to just to work out. I had been working on eating better for a few months, but nutrition was also a big part of what I struggled with. Not because I don’t like healthy foods, but because I was terrible at planning and I would stop at fast food restaurants all the time because I wouldn’t have food in the house. I would stop in the morning on the way to work for breakfast— because I wouldn’t give myself enough time to eat at home— and I would stop when I was out running errands because it was easy. I was getting fast food at least 3-4 times a week AND going out to eat with hubby once a week or every other week. Shakeology has really helped with that, it’s my breakfast in the car on the way to work and my go-to lunch on my days off when we are out and about!
 
6) What has your progressed looked like in terms of pounds and inches? How did you stay motivated to get to this point?  I’ve lost 15 pounds and 10 inches since becoming a coach. I went from a size 10 to a 4 (just realized I was in a size 4 the other day)! My motivation came from the accountability/support groups. Watching everyone live busy lives and still find time to workout and eat right was great. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I knew it was going to be a constant battle and somedays I may lose the battle was I was going to win this war. It all comes back to my love of team sports. That was this is like for me. We are all on a team, we win together, we lose together, we support each other, we motivate each other. We all have something to learn from one another, and I find that the most inspiring. The honesty and the open-ness of the group allows for a safe place to be honest and open with yourself. Sharing my story has helped me stay on track and hearing how people are inspired by what I’m doing when I run into them, that’s worth it. Even if they aren’t joining my group or supporting my business, they are driven by when I share to be more active and make better choices. That’s huge.
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7) How do you feel today, and what are your goals moving forward?  I feel awesome. My goals are constantly changing, which is so cool! I’ve surpassed my original goals which is sooo surprising! Instead of quitting because I’ve reached my original goals (which is part of the reason I stopped P90X midway through— I felt like I was at a good place and could stop), I make new goals. Now that I’ve lost the weight, I want to build muscle and tone my body. I want to be able to one day do a hand stand and at least 5 pull ups. I want to continue inspiring other people to reach their goals. My ultimate goal is to inspire my husband to join me and start his own fitness journey. Any wife knows that you can’t make them do anything they don’t want to do, so I’ll just wait for him to have the grand idea all on his own. 🙂 Haha. I just want people to realize that if they WANT to do it, they can do it. I’m a TV junkie. I love naps. I love junk food. I procrastinate. I’m always late, and I hit the snooze at least 3 times every morning. But here I am, surprising myself everyday. If I can do this, anyone can do this.
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8) How has your life changed since become a Coach on Team SPARK? My life has changed in so many ways! I LIKE waking up early before work to work out. I feel energized, accomplished, and proud. I make regular trips to the grocery store and keep my fridge stocked with good foods to eat! I plan more, plan meals for the week, plan my days, and plan to be better than I used to be. I’m happier. I don’t feel sluggish or tired (sometimes yes, but not nearly as often as I used to). I’m confident. I like the person I see in the mirror and not just because of my pants size but because of what I’ve been able to accomplish. Being a coach has given me my life back, I feel like myself again.
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So flippin’ proud of this girl, and can you just look at that SMILE!!!! That is EVERYTHING. 🙂
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All it takes is a leap of faith when you dare to dream. This girl is doing it. And this team is going places. Watch us. Or join us. Only you can make that decision spark that fire and FLY.
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Hope you are all making the most of your week!
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XO,
Gina

4 Years of Motherhood

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Dear Nico,

Has it really been FOUR years since you came into this world and made me a mama? Today you seem so grown up from the little baby I remember holding in my arms. We prayed so hard for you, and I was so nervous the whole time you were in my belly…my little rainbow baby. After complications and scares throughout my pregnancy with you, and a SUPER long time in the hospital with not one but TWO inductions….having you arrive on this day four years was the biggest blessing.

You taught me about unconditional love. The type of love that is so strong that it overpowers you like none other. That you can’t even understand until you are living it. You taught me about selflessness, about true responsibility. I remember your Papa and I thinking…”Oh my God, they are going to let us take this little tiny baby HOME from the hospital?!?!” And re-watching the video of the nurse swaddling you over and over again so we would know how to do it right. FYI…I still can’t swaddle right lol.

You have always been such a strong person your entire life…even when just a tiny little guy. I can’t even get mad at your stubbornness and strength, because I know you got it honest right from your Mama. You are fierce and competitive, but you are also sweet and loving. You have a heart of gold and a smile that is contagious. You make friends wherever you go which reminds me of your Nano and your great-grandpa Frank that you never got to meet. You have a sense of adventure like your Papa and you are always up for exploring and trying new things.

Your sense of humor makes me laugh constantly, and I love how you and your little brother tell each other knock-knock jokes and make them up yourselves. You have taken on the big brother role so well these past two years. While yes, sometimes, you are that typical big brother who picks on the little one…you also always have his back. You make him laugh. You teach him new things (even when those things are how to climb out of his crib lol), and you protect and love him with all your heart. Seeing you and your little brother together makes my heart light up and makes me so happy to see your relationship with each other grow.

You have such an eagerness to learn. You have an incredible attention span for learning and you just soak every little bit in. You remember things that happened over two years ago…things that I don’t even remember and the smallest details. You seriously impress me every day with your ability and passion to expand your mind and I know this quality will take you far in life.

I am so happy to be your mama. You make me proud every single day. I love you with all my heart my Nico, Bonzo, Little Monkey, NiNi (as Luca called you), Nico Nics, and so many other names we have created for you. Thank you for teaching me and challenging me and loving me and I know you will continue to grow and flourish in this world.

Happy 4th Birthday my sweet, Nico. I love you so freakin’ much.

Love,

Mama

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Excited to be spending this special day with family down in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. We have a little rain today, but that won’t “rain on our parade.” Fun times in store for this sweet Birthday Boy and the whole fam! ❤

Hope you all are enjoying this last bit of summertime!

XO,

Gina

NYC-versary: A Decade

NYC 2007 2

Wow. A decade. 10 years. July 3, 2007 we embarked on a crazy new journey of life. I left everything and everyone I knew and loved (except one) back in Maryland and moved to New York City. The Big Apple. Without a job. To chase my dreams. To discover myself. To pursue a career. To build a relationship. To be more independent.

We honestly thought it would last a couple years. We would experience something new and different. Get a great job to put on the resume. Live it up in one of the biggest cities in the world. Eat all the food. Have all the incredible experiences.

There were lots of trips on the Bolt Bus back to Maryland in those early days. We are both such family/friend oriented people and we never wanted to miss ANYTHING. So we were on that bus sometimes twice a month for different events and celebrations.

Two years passed and we realized we had not even scratched the surface of this city. There was no way we were leaving anytime soon. No matter that we lived in a 350 square foot one bedroom apartment with no laundry or dishwasher in a 4th floor walk up. We didn’t care. This was where we were supposed to be.

Part of the excitement of this city was the endless possibilities…so much to do…so much to see…so much opportunity…new restaurants going up daily, the theatre, the nights of dancing, the history, the people, the culture. We learned so much and we were never bored. There was always another adventure around the corner. So five years passed…then 7…now…today is 10.

NYC Engagement

Engagement photos by Misa Me Photography 2010

Throughout this past decade, we have had lots of visitors to give us great excuses to explore our city. We have made many friends (reconnected with some old and made some new). I spent 7 years working in the advertising/animation industry learning SO much about production and creativity and how things work behind the scenes. I was able to travel and work with two amazing people that will forever remain in my life as we shared so much together. I feel very grateful to have had this experience and it was WAY more than just “something to add to my resume” that’s for darn sure.

I played on many soccer teams, had girl’s nights on the Upper East Side, tried my hand at club promoting (which although it was fun turned out not to be my thing ;-)), I lived through the majority of my 20’s here, did rooftop yoga, coached high school girl’s soccer, made a whole crew of neighborhood mom friends in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn that I swear I would have lost my sanity without during those early months of maternity leave when I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing.

My other half explored SO many different career options and ultimately paved such an incredible path for himself. I am truly inspired by his passion, work ethic and confidence every day. He also threw one of the BEST parties/events I have ever been to in the city (shout out to the Electric Moon Dance! ;-))

We celebrated an engagement, planned a wedding, got married, moved to Brooklyn, got a car (see ya later Bolt Bus!), started this blog, had two beautiful babies, I discovered a new career in online health + fitness where I am truly finding my purpose…all while living in this amazing city. We realized how much time we could actually spend at the beach in the summertime without driving too far. We’re actually sending our oldest child to SCHOOl in the NYC school system this fall, so it feels even crazier to know that we are now really raising kids here.

It’s crazy how many twists and turns, highs and lows, experiences and life changing monumental moments we have had since living in this incredible city. I literally still cannot believe that it’s been a full decade since we made this crazy-turned-amazing decision to move our lives here.

I am grateful for the most supportive, kind, hard working, adventurous, loving partner that has been here with me through it all. Zack, baby, I can believe it, but CHEERS to 10 years in New York City!

Looking forward to continuing our countless adventures and creating many more memories with you and our family. ❤

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Photo by Senshi Photography 2017

This holiday weekend will always have a special meaning for me on top of it being the Birthday of America. It’s basically the birth of our New York life together.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend! Keep safe. Sending love and happy times to you and your families today. We are off to Hershey Park for the day to chase some thrills and meet up with my brother in law, sister in law, nephew and niece! No matter how long we stay in NY, we will always make time for the fam. ❤

XO,

Gina

 

Day Date

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It’s not every day you get a day date in Manhattan. But hubby and I had been wanting to do a “Paint Nite” event for the longest time, and when we saw one with a cool painting for 1:00 on a Saturday, we jumped at the chance. Thankfully, our babysitter was able to switch her plans around to be there for us, and we decided to make a whole day of it, treating ourselves to brunch beforehand. While typically trying to make the healthy choice as a health + fitness coach, I dove into some chicken + waffles and a Bloody Mary at Whitman + Bloom. It’s not every day you get a day date as parents, right? We really got into the painting and became totally swept into the whole experience despite my lack of artistic ability (hubby is pretty good though!) We had a ton of fun getting out of our comfort zones, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed with how our work turned out! Feel free to check my Instagram for the finished product!

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Dress: Forever 21 / Jacket: Goodnight Macaroon / Booties: H&M / Necklaces: Vintage + Stella & Dot / Sunglasses: Brickyard Buffalo

Wow, what a weekend! A day date, and a 60+ degree day in February? Whaaat? Crazy. We are on Winter Break over here, so mama is trying to come up with a plan of action for activities and things to do, while still being able to get some work done around here! Haha. I have a feeling it’s going to be a crazy week, but a fun one!

Hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend and cheers to an awesome week ahead!

XO,

Gina

March Into Spring

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The first photo here is 6 weeks post partum with my 2nd baby. I clearly felt uncomfortable about taking this photo even though I had no reason to. I stayed healthy throughout my pregnancy. I exercised regularly…ate well…I JUST HAD A BABY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. And I had already lost 20 pounds of baby weight after this photo was taken. I had a PLAN of action this time around, unlike after 1st baby when I had no clue what sort of whirlwind I was being thrown into. This time I was prepared. Yet, I was still feeling uncomfortable in my own skin taking this photo. As much as I wish I could have just embraced my body and what it did for me (and trust me I LOVE what our bodies are capable of. I think it’s truly amazing and has brought me two of life’s most greatest blessings)…I still hated seeing myself like this. With my line of work as an online health and fitness coach, I knew that in order for others to see how our programs work, I was going to have to show others what was possible. So I took the photo, but I didn’t love doing it. And it’s still tough for me to share here today…even though in my heart of hearts I KNOW there is absolutely NOTHING I should feel bad about. If anything I should feel proud that my body was able to create two amazing little humans.

That being said…the 2nd photo here is taken about a year later. After a lot of hard work. After ups and downs. After a lot of personal and mental growth. After CHOOSING to make sure that I did not get lost this time. That I remained a priority in my own life. It’s not easy to make a change. But I knew after my 2nd baby, I wanted to feel GOOD. I wanted to feel like myself. I didn’t want to wait around and “see what would happen.” I made a decision to take things into my own hands. Instead of letting life control me, I would control my OWN life.

I know 100%, that without Beachbody, I would not have been able to make this type of change. I would have told myself that I would make it to the gym, that I would go on a run before my husband left for work, that I would somehow, someway fit it into my day…but I wouldn’t. I now know that about myself. I now know that I needed something I could do from home. I needed something that could be done quickly. I needed something structured…that told me what to do each day and how to eat better so that I didn’t have to think too much about it. That I could just get it done in 30 minutes, and move on with my day.

I was able to make this change not only with the incredible workout programs and nutrition plans (because they seriously are AMAZING), but even more so because of the community of SUPPORT that I have had to stay on track toward my goals and stay consistent with a healthy lifestyle. I don’t have some “insane level of dedication or motivation.” People message me frequently and tell me that they love my dedication, or they also tell me that they wish they were as motivated as I was. But I’m here to tell you that I’m not any different than anyone else. I love ice cream and pasta just like the rest of us. (and I eat it often lol) I sometimes hate to get my workout in. I am definitely not perfect…not even close. But because of this community…because I stay more accountable for things when I know I will be checking in…because I have the support of like-minded people around me…because I’m the coach and I know I need to lead by example…I have been able to achieve things that I never believed would be possible after two kids.

If you are like me and you WANT to feel good about yourself, but:
-you struggle to fit working out into your busy day, or
-you have become stagnant on your journey toward reaching your goals…
-if you think you could use the extra support of a positive community that values individual progress over competition…
-if you cannot afford an expensive trainer at the gym, but want workouts that are going to get results…
-if you need to improve your nutrition habits or need new ideas to make meals more fun…

then please join me and my group as we MARCH INTO SPRING…with our heads held high. Starting March 6th, we will begin our next group based on making progress toward reaching our goals and feeling more confident than ever going into that spring break season. I don’t know about you, but I have Punta Cana on the calendar, and I want to feel my best!

***Comment below with MARCH INTO SPRING and your email address if you want to join or you would like more details about the group! You can also feel free to email me at gina.notes26 {at} gmail.com ***

 

Hoping you’re having a fantastic weekend!

XO,

Gina