Biltmore Gardens

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Okay you guys…I am way back logged with updates and blog posts. And I usually don’t apologize for that, because people have busy lives these days and to be honest other things (and little people) have been a priority over my blog posts….BUT that being said…I have so many things on deck to share with you, and I am going to make myself accountable here by just calling myself out to make sure I share the rest! ūüôā

So these photos are from our trip to Asheville back in April at the Biltmore Gardens. It was the first trip in a LONG time that hubby and I took alone (thank you Mimi and Nano!), and we honestly had the BEST time. Today, I want to share my FAV spots in Asheville with you, so keep reading…

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Dress: Macy’s – similar¬†+ here / Shoes: H&M – similar / Sunglasses + Necklaces: Vintage / Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

Okay…along with the Biltmore…which was totally worth a visit…I also want to recommend the following if you are planning a trip to Asheville in the near future:

Biscuit Head – A MUST. If you eat nothing else in Asheville. Go to Biscuit Head. Incredible Southern food complete with a JAM and BUTTAH bar to enjoy at your leisure. Hands down the best meal I had in Asheville. Though, I will say my typical workout did not cut it. ūüėČ We stayed in West Asheville, where Biscuit Head is located so we were able to walk here and ENJOY.

River Arts District – If you love art, painting, sculpture, jewelry, funky tees, furniture, etc. you will love this area of Asheville. Old train tracks area, turned artist sanctuary, it was a ton of fun, creative, and inspiring.

Blue Ridge Mountains – A short drive away, the Blue Ridge Mountains were an INCREDIBLE natural escape from the city. As you know, I love exercise and the outdoors, so this was such a fun way to get our workout on for a day. We hiked the Mountain to Sea Trail, and enjoyed some fabulous views!

Wicked Weed Brewery – I wanted to visit a brewery while in Asheville since it’s famous for their fresh beer. Zack wasn’t super into it, so I thought it may not happen, but at the last minute, we decided to stop in for ONE beer. We quickly realized that a FLIGHT was a way better option, and we shared 6 different beers and some delicious appetizers. It was honestly one of the best experiences we shared in Asheville from the environment, the company, the food, the amazing beer, and the ambiance…I am so glad we decided to do this last minute…and he would agree!

Isis – Another West Asheville FAV. This live music venue had spectacular food to enjoy while listneing to “Asheville Music.” Not sure how else to describe it, but it was a little bluegrass, a little country, a little soul. We heard Duncan Wickel, his friend Lily, and his little brother who had a guest performance. Crazy enough…Duncan and Lily actually live in Brooklyn, so we didn’t have to go all the way down to Asheville to hear them hehe. It was such a fun evening and the music was fab though (and food too), so would totally go again.

White Duck Taco – Many people recommended this spot, and I DID enjoy it. I live in NY with lots of amazing tacos, so it wasn’t MIND BLOWING for me, butttt it was definitely a fantastic meal and budget friendly!

French Broad Chocolate Shop – I feel like this place might be touristy…but for good reason. Great chocolate, coffee, and ice cream. I got the Golden Milk vegan ice cream (made with turmeric and coconut milk), and it was LEGIT.

Tupelo Honey – WOWWWW. This place put the nail in the coffin! It was officially time to leave Asheville, because I could no longer control myself with Southern food! Lol. I got the famous sweet potato pancakes and chicken with tupelo honey, and holy moly. It was incredible. I would absolutely recommend this place. Though I was COMPLETELY off my “nutrition plan” here. Balance, right?

There were a few places that were recommended to us like The Grove Park Inn and Curate…that we weren’t able to make it to, but wanted to give a shout out, because we had so many good recs for…reasons to go back right???

I think the best parts of Asheville were staying in our sweet Airbnb, SLEEPING IN, enjoying each other’s company without being constantly interrupted, and just enjoying quality couple time. I had the best time in Asheville, and I would absolutely return!

Have you been to Asheville? What were your favorite spots?

Hope you all had a great weekend, and wishing you a fantastic week!

XO,

Gina

 

 

 

 

Let the Countdown Begin

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This photo was taken 2 years ago at our last family trip to the Outer Banks. Nico was almost 1 year old, and I was so excited to bring him there for the first time. You see, the Outer Banks is like a second home. My parents grew up vacationing here, and then I grew up with my sister and cousins vacationing here. My uncle lived here for 25+ years, and my cousin also calls this place home. We have family friends here, we know our way around, we have our favorite restaurants, beach spots, shops, and traditions we keep. We spend long days here lounging in sand or playing corn hole on the beach. We ride the waves and sit in chairs getting lost in conversation until we realize we are halfway in the ocean lol. We go for jogs and walks down to the pier and back. We spend our evenings with a quick dip in the pool then off to celebrating summer birthdays, dining on restaurant seafood + home cooked pasta and meatballs, and mingling with family. Our late nights are spent here playing board games, drinking wine and playing guitar/singing out on the deck. It’s the one time of year where my entire family gathers to be together at once. We may need more than one house to fit all of us there, but we make it happen and we create the best memories.

I’m sure many of you have a place like this that is so special for you and your family. What is that place for you???

As I think about our upcoming trip to the OBX in 4 days, I think about my little Luca…who is the age and size that Nico was in this photo. I am excited for him to experience all of this for the first time, and happy that Nico may even be old enough to carry some of the memories home with him (and maybe some seashells too).

I may be raising little city kids up here in Brooklyn, but they sure as heck will be OBX beach babes every summer.

Counting down – 4 days ’til OBX fam

XO,

Gina

Outer Banks Vacation Photos

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I can’t believe it. ¬†The official start to fall is next week, so I thought I would end this week with some of my favorite photos from our last summer vacation to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. ¬†Hope you enjoy them, and have a great time on this last weekend of the official summer season!

We are headed to Maryland to celebrate our nephew’s 1st birthday and our friend’s child’s 3rd. ¬†Party party! ¬†These kids are growing up too fast! ¬†Time for me to get to packing.

XO,

Gina

{8} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading¬† Just finished Belong to Me by Marisa de Santos. ¬†Now I’m reading Love Walked In¬†by the same author. ¬†Someone should have told me I should have reversed that reading order. ¬†Oh well.

writing  Bills Bills Bills.  Yes, I still do most of mine by hand.  Call me old-fashioned.

listening  The Sound of Music station on Pandora.  Complete with musical ensembles from Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, and many more Disney and show tune favorites.  So guilty, yet so not ashamed.

thinking¬† About my upcoming girl’s night tonight! ¬†Yay for friends and Mexican food!

smelling  Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum

watching¬† My favorite restaurant in the Outer Banks, NC, Tortuga’s Lie was featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives last night! ¬†My cousin’s uncle (Richard Welch) is a chef and owner, and my cousin worked there for years. ¬†It’s amazing, and Guy Fieri gave Tortuga’s rave reviews for their Jerk Chicken and Pork Antonio. ¬†I’m so proud of them!

wishing¬† For warmer weather. ¬†Snow be gone! ¬†It’s time for Spring now.

hoping ¬†For a good doctor’s report tomorrow.

wearing ¬†This photo is from over the weekend pre-shopping trip, but today I am wearing…jeans, J. Crew navy and white polka dot button down, cream and navy striped GAP sweater w/ red bow over top, Steve Madden boots, and some fun baubles.

loving  The fact that my tax documents have already been organized and shipped out to my accountant, and I can let her take over from here.  Totally worth the money to not have to do them myself.

laughing ¬†We watched a few documentaries over the weekend on Vice.com, and stumbled across this genre of music called Turbofolk in Serbia. ¬†Serbian pop star, Goga Sekulic came out with this hit “Seksi Bizinesmen” (note the spelling) and we couldn’t not stop cracking up at how serious they were while performing this video. ¬†Is that a fox on her shoulder? ¬†The worst part is that after to listening to this song three times, I am starting to think it’s kinda catchy.

wanting ¬†Warm weather. ¬†Did I say that already??? ¬†Well let me just reiterate…spring cannot come soon enough.

needing ¬†Before this weekend I was needing pants that fit! ¬†I am now satisfied, and banning myself from shopping until spring is over since I went a bit crazy. ¬†We’ll see how long that lasts.

feeling  A bit more energized, and a lot less nausea than the past few weeks.

craving¬† Family time. ¬†I haven’t seen the fam since the holidays, so I am looking forward to my in-laws visiting this weekend, and also looking forward to seeing my side of the family on Easter weekend. ¬†It’s been too long!

clicking ¬†Through baby toys. ¬†What does one get a 1 year old for their 1st birthday? ¬†I’m new at this baby thing, folks!

What have you been up to lately?

Happy Tuesday!

Love,

Gina

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

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Summer Stripes

Dress: Tart via Last Call Neiman Marcus / Bag: Coach (old) / Sunglasses: LOFT / Necklace: Baublebar / Bracelet: J. Crew / Watch: NYC street vendor / Ring: Banana Republic / Bow Earrings: Aldo / Shoes: Aldo (old) similar here / Lipstick: Lancome Fuschia Clutch

Okay, so I am STILL reminiscing on summer. ¬†With the drop in temperature this weekend, I am missing the warm weather. ¬†I promise to start embracing the fall soon. ¬†These photos were also taken on our amazing family vacation in Outer Banks, NC. ¬†I wore this to the birthday dinner for my sister and I at “Tale of the Whale.” ¬†The photos are courtesy of Misa*Me Photography.

OBX ta Sea

Our first stop upon arrival: Pizza at The Black Pelican. Yum!

Our beach access that we walked across every day

The hubby taking a dip

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Top: Style Mint / Pants: Zara / Earrings: Baublebar / Ring: Banana Republic

So many cakes! Celebrating all the family July & August Birthdays together.

My sister and I have our birthdays three days apart, and we have always shared our celebration. This year the family went to “Tale of the Whale” for some delicious seafood!

I have been coming to the Outer Banks, North Carolina for as long as I can remember. ¬†It’s the one time of the year where all of my family gets together for a full week in three big houses and spends quality time together. ¬†The OBX is a great place to kick back, relax, and just enjoy the beach and enjoy each other’s company. ¬†This year was no different. ¬†We spent every day lounging in beach chairs with our toes in the sand soaking up the sun. ¬†We played numerous games of corn hole (or Bagg-o depending on where you are from) and pool volleyball with our makeshift net. ¬†We had lots of family dinners including the annual meatball night & birthday night, late night jam sessions on the back deck, trips to our favorite restaurant, “Tortuga’s Lie,” (which will be featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives this season), BINGO night with Granny, family game nights, lots of wine and lots of laughs. ¬†These are some of my favorite photos that I took with my new camera (Happy Birthday to me!) during our vacation. ¬†Summer is my favorite time of year, and although we are now in the beginning of fall, I’m already looking forward to next year’s crazy Italian/Irish family vacay!

Reminiscing a Rockin’ Summer

Dress: Urban Outfitters / Shoes: Go Jane (old) Рsimilar here or in pink here  / Watch: Betsey Johnson via Nordstrom Rack / Sunglasses: NYC street vendor / Necklace: Barami NYC / Ring: Banana Republic Рsimilar here by Amrita Singh / Earrings: Baublebar Рsimilar here and here / Bag: TJ Maxx / Lipstick: MAC Snob w/ MAC Cremesheen Gloss Right Image / Toe Polish: Essie Lights

These photos were taken on our family vacation to the Outer Banks, NC in the middle of August. ¬†My cousin, Marisa, is a portrait and wedding photographer, and she was wonderful enough to take the first fashion photos for popcorn and pandas. ¬†It’s so fun to have a professional photographer in the family, because you never know when an impromptu family photo session will strike! (at least with the girls anyway.)

Thank you to Misa*Me Photography for your brilliance behind the lens!