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 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:

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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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

Porch Swing

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On me: Top: J. Crew / Tank: J. Crew (available in other colors) – also similar here / Shorts: J. Crew (available in other colors here and here) / Sandals: Sam Edelman (sold out, but many color choices here) / Sunnies: Francesca’s (similar) / Necklace: Baublebar (similar) / Watch: Michael Kors / Bracelets: Henri Bendel, Baublebar, Stella & Sparkle / Earrings: ALDO / Lip: Lancome Red Haute

On Nico: Bathing Suit Top & Trunks Set: Carter’s

Feeling nostalgic today from our vacation to the Outer Banks. ¬†If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already noticed I’m protesting my post-vacation blues. ¬†The photos above show some of my most favorite times in the OBX. ¬†Doing. ¬†Absolutely. ¬†Nothing. ¬†Relaxation in it’s purest form. ¬†There’s just something about a porch swing at sunset that immediately resets my zen. ¬†After a long day in the hot sun, taking walks and building sandcastles, it feels great to come back to the cottage, have a nice shower, and climb into the porch swing and just sway. ¬†Feeling the breeze as the sun drops down below the horizon brings an immediate feeling of calm and a sense of peacefulness that I haven’t been able to really recreate anywhere else but here. ¬†Sometimes I will even bring a book into the swing and get lost into some other dream world. ¬†This year, I brought Nico onto the swing with me, and for a kid who otherwise at this age is squirmy and adventurous, I was mildly surprised with his ability to just snuggle and relax with me on the swing for awhile. ¬†It was as if he was silently saying, “Oh hey Mom, yeah I could get the hang of this relax in the porch swing thing.” ¬†I’m lucky that my little one still does love to snuggle with me often‚Ķusually at night before bedtime. ¬†But as he approaches his first birthday and becomes more independent, I start to see him squiggle away from me more and more as he explores the world around him. ¬†It makes me sad, but at the same time I know he has to grow. ¬†Part of me wants to cling and keep him small forever though and that part of me is going to soak up every moment I can while he is still little enough to be wrapped in my arms cuddling on the porch swing.

XO,

Gina

{26} Lately…

Lately I’ve been…

reading¬†Finished a few good ones recently. ¬†First up was The Fault in Our Stars. ¬†I wanted to read the book before watching the movie. ¬†Of course, it’s predictable and a total tearjerker, but I was pleasantly surprised with how well a male author (John Green) was able to capture the mind of a sixteen year old girl. ¬†Next, I read Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn. ¬†This author never disappoints. ¬†Although the main character, Libby, is a little unlikable in my opinion, Gillian Flynn is always keeping you on your toes with her novels and makes you want more. ¬†Heading to the beach this weekend, so if you have any beach reads to recommend, please do!

writing  A ginormous to-do list of everything I need to get done before our trip to the Outer Banks.  And a packing list.

listening  Summer…my summer anthem by Calvin Harris.  Prepping a little playlist for our road trip.

thinking  That this beautifully written blog post from my friend Sascha really hits home for the working mom.

smelling  The delicious homemade eggplant parm the hubby cooked this week.  Fresh eggplant, tomatoes, and basil from the garden.  Melt in your mouth amazingness.

watching¬†¬†The Bachelorette finale really threw me for a loop! ¬†I realize I am delayed on watching my shows, so sorry for being late to the party. ¬†I won’t throw out any spoilers for those who may also be behind on their TV watching, but let’s just say I was really surprised!

wishing ¬†Time would slow down a bit. ¬†My little baby is almost a year old already! ¬†I can’t even take it.

hoping  I can pull off this fabulous fishtail braid at the beach next week shown in this tutorial by Nikki.

wearing  Lots of leopard print this week.  Feeling feisty.

loving  The end of summer sales!  ModCloth, Free People, J. Crew, & Zara have some pretty good ones going on right now.

laughing  At how Nico loves to be chased around the house.  I will crawl after him, and he will start crawling away squealing with delight…then come back and start chasing me while laughing.  That belly laugh is enough to get me laughing and smiling all day long.

wanting ¬†To be with my little boy today. ¬†In case you couldn’t tell, I’m missing him a lot while at work this week. ¬†Looking forward to spending a whole week with him at the beach and introducing him to the place I have vacationed since I was a small child. ¬†Also excited that the whole family will be able to see how much he has grown.

needing  A little girl (one day) so I can buy these adorable ribbons from Brit!

feeling ¬†Totally inspired by hometown friend Candice as she becomes the first plus-sized model to appear in next year’s Pirelli calendar. ¬†Doesn’t she look fantastic!!??

craving  Something sweet.  What else is new?

clicking  On 1st birthday party ideas for my little guy.

*

What have you been up to lately?

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

XO,

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.

Captured in Cape May

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I’m finally getting around to sharing some more of our Cape May vacation photos. ¬†Some of these were taken on my camera, and some of them are from my Instagram feed, so don’t mind the inconsistency. ¬†My favorite part about Cape May was looking at all the adorable houses, many of which have been converted in Bed & Breakfast Inns. ¬†The architecture actually reminds me of my neighborhood, Ditmas Park in Brooklyn yet even closer to the beach. ¬†I loved that mostly everything was in walking or biking distance and that it was very family oriented. ¬†Many thanks to my mother-in-law and father-in-law for organizing such a fantastic trip!

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*Note*  The 2nd baby pictured is my adorable nephew, Nathan!  He and Nico had a great time playing together throughout the week.

Now we are on a countdown to our next family adventure…the Outer Banks!  This is a place my family has been going every summer since I was four.  Last summer, I was hugely pregnant and unable to attend as my due date was creeping up, so I am extremely pumped to not only return to the OBX, but to show Nico how much we all love this place and each other.  My cousins have already started the text chain, and I cannot wait to see them!

Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina

2012: A Year in Review

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Ringing in the New Year in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica!

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Hiking in the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica

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Three Italianos Reunited in Brooklyn!

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Valentine’s Day Surprise at the Mary Poppins Show! I dressed just like her without even knowing.

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Celebrating Zack’s 31st at crazy Mehenata Bulgarian Bar

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OAR Concert with Jack and Sammy

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14 inch hair chop! Bye Bye. Thanks Nikki!

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Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather in MD featuring Avicii…AMAZING.

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Seeing Emily Blunt and Jason Segal at the premiere of 5 Year Engagement at the Tribeca Film Festival

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SKYDIVING!!! Thanks to my amazing husband – he surprised me on our one year anniversary with this bucket list item.

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Dad FINALLY visits us in NY. With Zack, Mom, and cousins at their pasta shop in Brooklyn

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DMB Concert and Upstate NY trip

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Virginia Beach trip with friends for Shirin and Shahrum’s wedding

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Testudo came to Zach and Jessica’s wedding! Go Terps!

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Happy Birthday to ME! Love my new camera!

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Girl’s Weekend in OC for Katie’s Bachelorette – Seacrets is crazy!

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Family vacation in the Outer Banks, NC

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Surfing Competition in the Rockaways

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Dewey Summer Send off on Labor Day Weekend

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A Naval Academy Wedding for Megan and JoJo

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Visionary Art Museum Wedding for MaryBeth and James

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Trip to Montauk for Mike and Abby’s Big Day

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Katie & Adam tie the knot at Sagamore Farms

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Running with Patrick and Melissa for my late dear friend John Petrovick. “Inside all of us is HOPE.”

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Thanks to Gabbi for helping to raise money for John’s cause.

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Camping trip with Erin and Rai to French Creek

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End of the season pic with my JV High School Girls Soccer Team

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ASHS 10 Year High School Reunion – man time flies

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AC trip for Alex’s Bachelorette!

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All my girls at the 5th Annual Pollard Potluck

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Christmas Morning at Mom and Dad’s

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Alex and Seamus get married to end the year!

It may seem like a lot of photos, but this is just a small snippet of what took place in 2012.  There were so many more fun memories of this past year.  There were also some sad moments as well.  I have learned a lot this past year, and I know that I am truly thankful for the family and friends that I have.  I am incredibly lucky for the support and love that I have received this past year, and I hope I was able to return the favor to all of you as well.

I wish you all a Happy New Year’s Eve. ¬†Please stay safe tonight.

Bring on 2013!

XO,

Gina