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

Find Your Tribe, Love Them Hard

Spark Open House

 

***FIND YOUR TRIBE AND LOVE THEM HARD***
 
Who would have thought that 15 years after high school, I would have been in New Orleans with these 3 ladies from good ole ASHS???
 
Seriously though… Sure, we were friendly… I don’t think many of us couldn’t talk to pretty much anyone from our school in the hallway (it was truly a special place!)…but we didn’t know each other all that well. And yet we came together with a common purpose:
 
*To help others succeed
*To create a more fulfilling future for ourselves and our families
*To inspire others
*To be happy + healthy
*To grow as individuals + support each other along the way
*To surround ourselves with positive influences
 
And it felt incredibly EASY and NATURAL and just like we have been the best of friends the whole time throughout these last 15 years!
 
One of the BEST things about coaching is the amazing people this opportunity has brought into my life. I can honestly say I would not be the same person I am today if it weren’t for my team. Building each other up, supporting each other when we are down.
 
Throughout my whole life I had always been a part of a team. And I realized in my adult life, a team is still what I crave and need to have around me. This community has meant the world to me. Along with these amazing ladies, I have met tons of others from across the country who have changed me for the better.
 
And honestly? They just “get” me! My quirks, my goofy weirdness, my gangsta rap, the fact that even though I CAN be in yoga pants all day doesn’t mean I want to (I actually LIKE to get dressed up!), my OCD personality, the bookworm nerd in me, the fact that I never want to miss out on anything, my adventurous nature, they relate to me on the mom-level, we can have deep conversations, and so much more…they never judge…and they work so hard to do the best they can at every facet of life. They inspire me every day.
 
*The incredible group of ladies you see here along with the rest of Team SPARK! who weren’t able to make it to New Orleans this year will be hosting a SPECIAL EVENT this THURSDAY evening at 8:30pm ET!*
 
After coming back from our trip, we realize that we would be doing you a disservice if we did not SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS at how much this incredible Coaching Opportunity has CHANGED our lives, and we want to pay it forward. We want to share with you that ANYTHING is possible if you believe in yourself and what you can achieve.
 
We are looking for TEAM PLAYERS.
People who are GO-GETTERS.
Who want to hustle.
Who aren’t afraid to dig deep and grow themselves.
Who want to be happy and healthy.
Who want to be financially free.
Who enjoy helping others.
 
If this sounds like YOU, then please fill out this application and comment below with your RSVP for Thursday night at 8:30pm!
 
 
Hope to chat with you soon and hope you believe in yourself enough to take the leap and join this amazing tribe!
XO,
Gina

2016 Style

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And here you have it…a little throwback Thursday here this morning with the 2016 style round-up! Which look is your fav? Which look should never come back around in 2017? LOL.

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Hope 2017 is treating you well so far! I am working on those yearly goals and that vision board! Who else is making a vision board for this year?

Don’t forget to join me on Facebook LIVE tonight at 9 as I will be doing my first LIVE @ 9 “broadcast.” Tonight will be a LIVE “Lately” post!!! So excited to share what I’ve been up to Lately and also to hear what YOU’VE been doing! Make it a great Thursday!!!

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

Feeling Like Fall

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Top: J. Crew Factory – sold out but other colors here / Hat: J. Crew Factory / Denim: AG Jeans / Booties: Target / Lip: MAC Rebel

Friday night post whoooo! Maybe some of you are as lame as me and able to read this tonight…maybe not 😉 Either way, hopefully you get a chance to check it out at some point over the weekend haha.

I took these photos last weekend when it was truly starting to feel like fall and then we had a week of 80 degree weather!!!! LOL! Go figure! I scored this J. Crew top and hat over at the Factory outlet on summer vacation, and was excited to finally bust them out.

You may have gotten a glimpse of my crazy week over on Facebook, but things are looking up and trying to focus on the positive. Last weekend we had good friends in town and took them up to Bear Mountain for an awesome fall hike. We made it to the top, and I was incredibly impressed that my 3 year old did 95% of the hike himself! I carried the baby on my back which was an extra workout, and we had a great time catching up while enjoying the great outdoors. Tomorrow we are on the road to Maryland to reunite and celebrate a dear friend who has a baby on the way.

In other news, I have the BIGGEST popcorn and pandas giveaway of the YEAR coming up which I will announce here on MONDAY!!!! So make sure you come on back to see what it’s all about! 🙂

Happy Weekend!

XO,

Gina

P.S. I need a haircut. Any good ideas? Throw them my way! 😉

{40} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  I’ve read a lot since my last Lately… post! Some of my favorites include Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins (finally read it!), Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero and No Excuses! by Brian Tracy.

writing  A workout calendar and agenda for my Lipstick + Lunges Challenge that starts TOMORROW! So excited. There’s still time to join, so feel free to comment below if you want to be included.

listening  You may think this song is terrible, but I don’t care. I love it anyway. 

thinking About how excited I am for my littlest guy who just started learning how to walk!!! If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can check it out here on my Instagram page.

smelling  The amazing food from the coffee spot I am currently sitting at writing this post. That’s right…I’m at a coffee shop…ALONE! #amazing

watching  Not much these days, but still Orange is the New Black when I’m folding laundry or need a break.

wearing  Jeans and a tank top or tee. My fav go-to uniform these days. My Mama Bird tee above can be found here along with some others you might enjoy.

exercising Been beasting out lately with Hammer + Chisel, which is mostly weights. Whew! Not so used to the constant weight lifting and the longer workout times (I’m used to getting it done in 30 minutes over here!), but after 2 weeks down I am feeling pretty strong!!! I think I’m even ready to bump up the weights a bit.

feeling  Uneasy about the recent explosion that went down yesterday in Chelsea (NYC).

wanting  Time to slow down. My boys are getting too big too quick.

needing  To decide what I am going to pack for my upcoming coach’s trip to Sundance, Utah!!! My coach is setting up a professional photo shoot for each Diamond member of our team! And of course, out of the whole trip, we are in a tizzy about what to WEAR! LOL! Typical…

loving  The hilarious and imaginative stories my 3 year old has been coming up with lately. Everything from traveling to different states by train, to being eaten by bears! He cracks me up and I love hearing what he will come up with next!

wishing  That I brought headphones to this coffee shop. But honestly. I’m not complaining. Because remember? I’m at a coffee shop…ALONE.

hoping  That I can find the Califia Farms Pumpkin Spice Latte at my local Target. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be there! I must try it.

craving  The Farmer’s Biscuit with egg, kale, and cheese at this coffee shop I’m sitting in…oh wait…craving satisfied. I’ll work that off tomorrow. 😉

clicking  Over on the fall trends at my favorite go-to mama/baby/kid deal shop, Brickyard Buffalo. Obsessed with the “Sharing is Caring” tee!

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HAPPY SUNDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

Lipstick + Lunges

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TRAIN LIKE A BEAST AND LOOK LIKE A BEAUTY!!!!

It’s FREE Challenge time, and for the first time ever, I will be collaborating with Suzie Engler for LIPSTICK & LUNGES! In this 5 Day Challenge, we will focus on how you can look and feel beautiful on the inside AND out. 🙂

I will be providing a progressive lunge challenge in which we will increase the number of reps each day, and I will also be sharing multiple different versions of the lunge that you can try. In 5 days, those hamstrings, quads, and glutes will be on FIRE, but you will be feeling oh so strong + sexy.

Suzie will be sharing her favorite techniques + tips + tricks for applying not only lipstick, but eye shadows, liner, and wait for it…BROWS. Boom! I know I am personally excited for that one. Her tips will be beautiful, yet simple enough that even the busy mama will have time to apply. 🙂

Together we will be sharing the cohesion of how health + beauty combined are so important…not only for aging, but for your confidence too! Our hope is that you will leave our group having gained some amazing beauty/makeup tips, some lean muscle, and that feeling of confidence to rock out whatever you dream of.

We start MONDAY SEPTEMBER 19th! Please comment below if you’d like to join or message me for more details! You can also feel free to email me at gina.notes26@gmail.com.

Can’t wait! It’s gonna be so much fun!

Happy Wednesday all!

XO,

Gina

Monkey Turns Three

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Dear Nico,

Three years ago today you came into our lives 2 weeks earlier than expected. I thought I would be going to work, but the doctor said it was time for you to make your appearance. Papa and I were freaked out and nervous but excited at the same time. It took probably 36 hours or so before you finally arrived, but there you were. So tiny and fragile, my little monkey.

You changed my world the very minute you arrived. I learned about unconditional love and how fiercely I could love another human being. I learned that being a mom is hard…like REALLY hard…like how did no one ever tell me it would be THIS hard?! But it’s also the most rewarding job I have ever had in my entire life.

I have watched you grow over these past three years into an incredible little human. Everything you choose to do you do it full out with 110% effort. There is no holding back. You go all in…always. You are so intelligent, always seeking knowledge and answers. Reading books is one of your favorite things to do, and I know that will be such a huge asset in your future. You have a wild sense of adventure like your Papa, but you also approach situations with caution like myself.

You may drive me crazy sometimes, especially when you are tired and don’t want to nap, but you also make me melt into a puddle when you are sweet to your little brother or you hug me tight.

I seriously cannot believe you are three years old today. This is the year you go from toddler to little boy. You are growing and changing and becoming more and more independent each day. It makes me sad to lose my little baby, but I’m so proud of all your new accomplishments and achievements and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Sweet Little Monkey, Nico Bonzo! Mama and Papa love you SOOOOOOOO freakin’ much.

XOXO,

Mama

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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

Watercolors

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Dress: Olive & Oak / Shoes: Call it Spring / Sunnies & Bracelet: Vintage / Clutch: Express / Earrings: Stella & Dot by Jess Sigler / Lip: MAC Up the Amp 

No, I’m not traveling to Miami, but this “Miami Maxi” by Olive & Oak  is the perfect flowing dress for summer! Fancy enough to dress up for a wedding, but easy going enough for a Sunday BBQ, this is one of my favorite versatile looks for summer. Plus the colors are just gorg!

June was the month of weddings for us! Lots of traveling, lots of love, and lots of dressing up! Will be sharing some more summer wedding looks on the blog here in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned.

We spent this past week at the lake in the Poconos with friends celebrating Independence Day. It’s getting tougher to “relax” the more kiddos we add to the mix here on vacation haha, but we did have a great time!

Today in my challenge group it’s “Random Act of Kindness” Day. It seems that the world could surely use a little (or a lot) more kindness, so I would love it if the rest of you could also participate in this little challenge! Please do at least one random act of kindness for today and report back in the comments section when you have done something KIND!

Hope you all had an awesome weekend, and cheers to a great week ahead!

XO,

Gina