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 ūüôā :

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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 ūüėČ

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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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2015 in Review

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A lot has happened in this past year…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Before & After

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Misa Me Family Christmas

(Photo by Misa Me Photography)

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

XO,

Gina

New Year – New You

NEW YEAR

Exactly one year ago, I decided I had enough of being unfit after having my first baby and made the commitment to my health and fitness by starting P90X and becoming and online fitness coach. Two days into the program, I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 which changed the course of my journey.

In this past year, I have built a business with over 120 challengers, trained a team of 9 coaches to do what I do, completed PiYo throughout my pregnancy, gave birth to a baby boy, completed 3 rounds of the 21 Day Fix program, and reached my pre-pregnancy weight while kickstarting my journey toward finally getting back to that healthy, fit self again.

Since starting this journey, my CONFIDENCE has been lifted, and I truly believe I can do anything I put my mind to whether in my personal life or in my business life.

Beginning JANUARY 4th, I am FINALLY going to take on that P90X journey that I wanted to begin one year ago. I’m actually going to do P90X3 (because 30 min per day is the perfect and realistic time frame for me to get a workout in with two babes), and work on toning in the new year.

It’s never to early for resolutions, so if YOU are looking to make a change in the NEW YEAR, then I would absolutely LOVE to have you come join me in starting your journey…either your health & fitness journey, or if you are looking for a new business opportunity.

I will be starting THREE groups on January 4th:

1) 21 Day Fix – comes with a color coded portion sized meal plan containers, 30 min workouts, 30 meals of Shakeology, and my accountability/support group

2) Mixed Program Challenge Group – I will work with you to determine a program that would be a good fit for you based on your likes and goals for health & fitness. Also comes with a meal plan, Shakeology, and my accountability/support group.

3) Coach Open House – For those looking for a new business opportunity in the new year – a way to make cash for shopping or vacations – or those who want to build a full time income on part time hours – this is the place to get a sneak peek behind the scenes look of what it’s like to be a coach.

It’s a NEW YEAR, so cheers to a NEW and IMPROVED YOU! It’s always the perfect time to make a change for the better ūüôā

COMMENT below with your e-mail address if you are interested in more information or email me at gina.notes26 {at} gmail.com

Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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Beauty. ¬†Natural light. ¬†Vibrant color. ¬†Fresh blooms. ¬†Sweet smells. ¬†Tranquility. ¬†These are some of the things that come to mind when I think about our trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. ¬†Spring is here, and I couldn’t be happier. ¬†Coming off a harsh winter, there is nothing nicer than walking around in the sunshine without a heavy coat. ¬†Taking in the views of the tiny buds coming to new life in a new year reminds me why this change of seasons is important. ¬†It forces you to pay attention. ¬†To appreciate¬†the nature that surrounds you¬†and the warmer, happier months ahead. ¬†At least, I think they are happier. ¬†I’m sure there is someone out there who loves the snow. ¬†To be bundled up, cozy and toasty by the fireplace with a good book and a hot chocolate. ¬†Don’t get me wrong. ¬†I do enjoy those moments for what they are worth. ¬†And those moments get me through the winter season. ¬†But I am much happier outside in the sunshine and warmth. ¬†I enjoy taking long walks, picnicking in the park, riding my bike, hiking through the woods, jumping into the ocean, sipping a pina colada, and everything else that comes with these warmer seasons ahead. ¬†The blooming flowers at the Botanic Garden give me the sense¬†as if this is the real start of the new year. ¬†And it makes¬†me excited for the¬†adventures¬†of what’s to come for this little family of mine.

After an exceptionally gorgeous three days we just experienced here in Brooklyn…today I don’t even mind the rain. ¬†Cheers to spring, and everything it brings.

XO,

Gina

Winter White

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This ivory jacket and polka dot tights were amongst some of my favorite Christmas gifts I received this year. ¬†Paired with an ivory and gold shimmery dress and a gold clutch, this made for the perfect New Year’s Eve outfit this year. ¬†I also had the opportunity to break out my old wedding shoes for the first time since the big day. ¬†Who knew I would be ever wearing these babies again?

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Photo by: Zack Notes

Ivory Coat: Express (sold out) – other ivory coats I adore from Nordstrom (here¬†and¬†here),¬†¬†Theory via Saks, Michael by Michael Kors¬†via Victoria’s Secret, and Victoria’s Secret¬†/ Dress: Forever 21 / Tights: Madewell¬†(currently on sale!) / Shoes: Nina¬†(brides, there is a ridiculous sale on these beauties!)¬†/ Sunnies: Ann Taylor LOFT / Clutch: (old) / Bow Bracelet: BaubleBar / Bow Earrings: ALDO /¬†Necklace and Rings: Family gifts / Lip: Lancome Groupie / Nails: Essie Metallics Good as Gold¬†

Had a fantastic time this past weekend in the city.  Friday, I said my farewells to a good friend who is moving back to Connecticut to go to grad school.  My second bedroom is open whenever you want to come visit!

Saturday hung out with the hubs during the day, made some yummy breakfast, took down the Christmas tree (wahhh), ¬†and…wait for it…went to see Les Mis!!! ¬†Oh my gosh, it was so amazing. ¬†Bring your tissues! ¬†I have never seen the show, so I didn’t really know what to expect other than that it would be quite depressing. ¬†However, I really enjoyed the movie, and thought Anne Hathaway had a spectacular performance. ¬†After the film, I met up with a few friends in the East Village, and ended the night with the deliciousness of Pomme Frites. ¬†If you have not been here, this place is a must for fabulous french fries dipped in more sauces than you could ever imagine. ¬†Yum!

Sunday, the boy and I got in an awesome workout at the gym, went to Home Depot to pick out some paint colors for a new DIY project (and by DIY, I mean my cousin will be DIYing for us haha), and finally sat down to a fabulous home cooked meal while watching the Redskins game.  Unfortunately, our team did not pull out a win, but they gave a valiant effort.  Some decisions were pretty questionable, but what can you do.  The Skins had a great season, so still HAILING!

Hope you all have a great week!

XO,

Gina

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I’m Still Here

I’m still here. ¬†It’s 12.21.12, and I’m still here.

I realize the day is not over yet. ¬†I realize a little “knock knock” on some wood might do me some good here. ¬†And should I not be here later today, I suppose I should say my farewells. ¬†Although it’s been a short stint here at popcorn and pandas, it has been a fun one. ¬†I will miss all of you dearly, and wish you all a happy parting from this world if we are indeed ending our time here today.

But as for now, I am still here. ¬†And I still have bucket list items to complete, Christmas to celebrate, a 90’s Christmas mix album to listen to (thanks awesome co-worker!), family to see, friends to hang out with, photos to take, a wedding to attend, and a new year to ring in.

I have packing to do and a trip to Maryland to take. ¬†I have bagels and manicottis to pick up to bring home to the family (you are welcome Dad). ¬†I have some birthdays to celebrate, a wine and pizza night with friends on the books, and a nephew puppy to shower with snuggles. ¬†I don’t know about you…but I’m not quite ready. ¬†I still have too much to do.

So I am going to stay optimistic about the fact that I am still here. ¬†The truth is, we never know how long we may have on this Earth. ¬†Forget the Mayans and their predictions about today, but we aren’t guaranteed anything in life. ¬†Including life itself. ¬†So today I am thankful that I am still here.

And while I am still here, I will take this moment to reiterate how important it is to make the most of what you have.  Make the best of your time here.  Do what makes you happy in life.  Your time is precious and should not be wasted.  You never know when your world will end.

But right now, you are still here.

Happy Friday and Happy Holidays to all!

XO,

Gina