The Best Message

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I got a message from one of my challengers this morning:

“I’ve noticed some positive changes since I started P90X3 – definitely more peppy and happy when I walk into work and also feel less stressed and anxious about doing chores at the house. Also getting hungrier. I was a little later than usual this morn cuz granola wasn’t gonna cut it I needed real food – ham, eggs, cheese toast.”

You won’t believe it, but this challenger is my HUSBAND! I have been a coach now for 20 months and while he has been super supportive of me building my business, he has yet to try a program himself. I admit my jaw dropped to the floor last week when he told me he was going to give the program a shot. You see I had tried for what felt like forever, but it just goes to show that you just have to be ready to make that commitment. Even if I was ready for him to try it, he would not have been successful without making the decision himself. He’s now on Day 4 and rocking out each workout with enthusiasm. I can’t wait to see his progress the next 3 months!

In addition, it’s amazing to know that as a coach you not only are able to help people reach their goals, but that you are able to make a difference right in your own household with your own family. His decision to improve his health and fitness will have an impact on our future together. His goal is to ride his bike into his old age…to be able to play with his grandchildren. Now it may seem like that is pretty far off at this point, but really it’s not. Every step you take in life will get you a little bit closer to that goal. And I want to be climbing mountains with him and traveling the world together ’til we are old and gray.

So proud of you babe. Looking forward to growing together, continuing to make positive changes and living a healthy lifestyle for our future and for our children’s future. Keep up the great work Zack!

XO,
Gina

 

Transformation Tuesday: A P90X3 Story

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Meet Caitlin!!!

She joined my Challenge group in May of this year, and dove right into the fitness and nutrition plan for P90X3.  I met Caitlin in high school back in Maryland (her brother was in my class), and she was always active and fit.  However, as many of us women know, having a baby can take a toll on our bodies. She has a beautiful baby boy to show for it, but Caitlin was eager to get her post-baby body back. Plus, working as a pastry chef, it was hard for her to keep her hand out of the cookie jar if you will. I don’t blame her! I was so happy to have her join my group. She worked so hard, and has incredible results to show for us and has adopted a healthy lifestyle for herself and for her family.

Okay enough chatter from me…let me introduce you to Caitlin and let her tell you about her journey herself!

P+P: Tell us about yourself (where you live, family, hobbies, interests, anything else that you would like to include about yourself)

Caitlin: I live in Baltimore, MD with my husband, Matt, 9 1/2 month old son, Max, and dog, Buck! I went to the Ohio State University and studied Athletic Training. I did that for a few years but burned out quickly and decided to pursue my passion in baking and pastries! I went to culinary school and I am a pastry chef – which makes it hard to resist my sweet tooth since I am surrounded by goodies all day!
P+P: What is your fitness background?
Caitlin: I was always an athlete and have always loved to workout. I played softball, ice hockey, and when I was younger did everything from basketball to soccer to ballet! I love sports and have never had a problem working out (well sometimes the motivation isn’t always there but once I get going i’m good!). During my pregnancy I tried to stay active though I did not have a set workout routine. I stuck to mostly walking but made sure I did it daily! I still gained weight, as you are supposed to during pregnancy, but it was hard to lose after!
P+P: Why did you decide to try P90X3?
I decided on P90X3 for several reasons. One, I had already done P90X and loved the routines, but they were quite long. Since I liked them, Gina recommend P90X3! I wanted something that was high intensity and had a lot of variety which is exactly what P90X3 offers. Lastly, I needed something that was short and sweet. I do not have enough time between work and being home with my very active son, to fit in a long gym sesh. Having 30 minute workouts that I could do at home was clutch (and honestly the only way I could workout and stay sane!)
P+P: What about the program worked for you? What did you like about it? 
I loved that the DVDs were only 30 minutes long. Like I said I have very little time and working out during my son’s nap is not an option. I nap when he does because I go in to work at 3 am in order to stay home with him. He is great at self play but gets bored quickly, so 30 minutes is the perfect time for me to get in a good sweat. I also loved the variety. There was a bit of lifting, some cardio, and my favorite – MMX (a mixed martial arts DVD Tony Horton style!)
P+P: What was tough or challenging for you? (Particular workouts? Sticking to nutrition? Anything else?)
The toughest part for me was nutrition. The workouts were no brainers, and it was easy to press play everyday. I think mostly because I have always loved to work out and also because the DVDs got me excited (gotta love those endorphins!) The nutrition part was a struggle because I am such a sweet tooth and am surrounded by all the bad (but oh so good!) stuff every day. I found however the more I worked out, the less I craved the sweets (well the more I thought about what I ate because I didn’t want to ruin the hard work I put in that day!)
P+P: 17 lbs and 3 pants sizes is an incredible accomplishment! How did you stay motivated for those 90 days?
My motivation came from several places. One – my support group and coach! It was awesome to see and hear from other ladies going through the same struggles and accomplishments that I went through! It also held me accountable knowing I was going to check in with them later and couldn’t lie! Also seeing the results motivated me big time! It wasn’t even what I saw on the scale – it was seeing little changes – my arms toning up – my legs slimming out – my tummy getting tighter. It started with small differences. Then I took the picture at 60 days and compared it to day 1. I could not believe what I saw! When it comes off slowly you almost forget where you started! I was so glad I took that before picture because it really put things into perspective! That then gave me the courage to try on an old pair of shorts that I had from HIGH SCHOOL! I could not believe they fit! Now 90+ days out those shorts are getting BIG! Yea I still can’t believe it! I also was very highly motivated by my son. I did not want to be self conscious and pass that on! I wanted to be fit and active and have better eating habits for him to learn! I wanted to be able to go to the beach and be happy swimming in the water and playing in the sand with him without any thoughts of “oh I bet people are looking at my belly” Plus just waking up and seeing his cute smile was all the motivation I needed to be healthy and be there for him!
P+P: How do you feel today and what are your goals moving forward?
Today I feel amazing and almost in disbelief. I know everyone says they want to lose weight, or tone up, or run that marathon – but there is always that self doubt. will I actually be able to do it? Can I do it? Now I do not even consider those questions! Yes, I CAN do it and I WILL do it! I am happier, healthier, thinner, more toned, can keep up with my son, and feel fantastic in anything I wear! My goals moving forward are to continue to create healthy habits. I feel like I am addicted to working out now so I want to try new things! I want to start lifting heavier and get more definition! I want this to be my lifestyle, a habit, something I don’t have to think about – just something I do, everyday, no questions asked!
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Caitlin (continued):

I have had such amazing results that I am now officially addicted! I jumped right into the 21 Day Fix and have plans on doing another program set to come out in December. I also am going to start training for the Baltimore Half Marathon in October (YIKES!)! I know what exercise, nutrition, and support has done for me, so I want to share that with others. It was pretty much a no brainer when you approached me about the coaching opportunity! I was already doing the workouts and working hard on the nutrition and I LOVED the challenge groups. So the transition into actually helping others do it was so easy! I have always loved to help and inspire others in any way that I can. Becoming a coach just gave me that opportunity.It also help hold me accountable! How can I help others if I am not doing it!? It was all the more reason to become a coach. I also had major support from my husband who knew this was something I wanted and something I would be good at! My son played a major role in my future as well. I want to be able to stay home with him but still provide financially for the family! Becoming a Beachbody Coach has me on the path to that lifestyle – all while keeping me healthy (and my family!) My future is filled with helping others and maintaining this healthy lifestyle – this isn’t a fad, its not a quick fix – it is hard work that I have made in to long lasting habits and I want to help as many people as I can do the same!

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I am so proud of Caitlin and all the hard work she has put into creating a better life for herself physically, mentally, and financially.  Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! I am excited to see what you accomplish for yourself and your family in the next year, and I know you will help and inspire so many others along the way!

Hope you are all having a great week so far. I am on Day 2 of being on my own with my two boys. So far, it’s going pretty well! I am surprised I have actually been productive. I was able to get out of the house two days in a row, get Nico down for his naps, get 2-3 hours of work done each day, and not have the house be a complete disaster upon Zack’s return home. #winning! Beginner’s luck? We shall see how long it lasts 😉

XO,

Gina

My WHY

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I have always been an athlete my entire life. Soccer & basketball were two of my main sports throughout childhood, high school, and college, and even beyond. I participated in my first race (an Olympic distance triathlon) at 22, and that opened up the doors for me to run 10Ks, half marathons, Tough Mudder, Ragnar Relay, and more. I love challenging myself, but also the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment I get after completing something huge.

Since having my son, Nico, it has been hard to get back to that place of doing things for myself, especially fitness. I didn’t have time to go to the gym, and my membership soon became a waste of money. I decided I wanted to try P90X, something that had been on my bucket list for a couple years. Of course, you all know that is now impossible due to a second little one on the way, but I have not given up my goal of staying healthy and fit, so I have started PiYo (pilates/yoga) and plan to continue for as long as I can throughout my pregnancy.

When my company folded in September, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I enjoyed production and animation (what I had been doing for the past 7 years), but I didn’t feel like my position in the industry as an agent was still as valuable as it had once been. I toyed with the idea of going into fashion merchandising as fashion has always been a passion and hobby of mine (as you know from this blog), but the hours were crazy starting from the ground up. I did a lot of research and informational interviews, and it just seemed like I would be spending a LOT more time away from my family. Now, I am not opposed to hard work. Actually, I like working hard at things I love. But I’m not in my early 20’s anymore, where I feel comfortable staying at the office until 9:00 at night. My priorities have changed. I have a family now, and I want to be able to see my kid more than 30 minutes a day and put him to bed at night.

I discovered a fellow fashion blogger who was also an athlete growing up (basically she is my West Coast alter-ego, love you Marion!), who decided to become a Beachbody Coach, get healthy, and help others along in the process. She was able to quit her full time job in just a couple months to pursue this full time. I decided that I had nothing to lose, joined her team, and took the plunge into the world of fitness coaching. So far it has been a wonderful journey. I am learning so much. I have hosted fitness challenges along with Marion, and hosted a clean eating challenge along with my partner, Karen. I love seeing people make positive changes to their lifestyle because I was able to give them a little push in the right direction. I love that I am able to build my own business anyway I like, and I can work on my own time on my own hours when it is convenient for me and my family. It’s still a LOT of work. But it’s work that I actually enjoy getting up in the morning to do and I don’t have to lose quality time with my family commuting back and forth on the subway every day. Not to mention, I don’t have to ask for time off, and if I want to plan a trip to Mexico in the middle of winter, SO BE IT.

My goal is to get to the point in my business where I am contributing financially to my family again, and hoping to surpass what I was making in the production world. I have seen so many success stories not only from my coach, Marion, but from others on my incredible team. I am confident that if I push myself to my full potential, that I will be able to achieve that goal.

I want to set a good example for my son and future baby in terms of a healthy lifestyle and also a happy career. I also plan to help as many people as possible to achieve their goals both in health/fitness and also anyone else that may be looking for a little financial freedom.

This post was a bit more long-winded than I intended, but I thought it was a good time to share my WHY and my current story with life, health, career, etc. We all have our own journey, and right now this is mine.

Make it a great week ya’ll!

XO,

Gina

Our Snow Family is Growing

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Surprise!  The Notes Family is growing!

We are very excited to announce that we will have a new addition to the family on or around August 31 of this year!  Yes, that is two days after Nico’s 2nd Birthday.  What are the odds?

Now I know I mentioned in a recent post, “I know I’m not pregnant.”  I promise I wasn’t lying!  I just really didn’t know!  Boy did I feel stupid when I found out why I had really gotten sick that day.  At least I know it wasn’t because I was that terribly out of shape haha.

Speaking of getting in shape, it’s probably obvious, but I have had to put P90X on hold for awhile, because it’s pretty much the most intense workout ever, and not exactly made for pregnant ladies.  Also, my fitness goals have clearly changed.  Instead of six-pack abs, I will be looking at a basketball belly here in a few months.  However, I’m not going to use this pregnancy as an excuse to “go crazy and eat whatever the heck I want, because I’m going to get fat anyway”.  I am going to try my best to stick to a healthy diet (even when I’m nauseous and all I want is crackers), and I have also started on the PiYo workout program, which is pilates and yoga.  Much more prego-friendly!

It’s been hard to share what I have been up to lately, because of carrying this big “secret,” so while I am now at 10 weeks during my pregnancy and not quite through the first trimester, I have decided to share our baby news a bit earlier this time around.  Mostly because keeping secrets is exhausting (especially now that I have a toddler running around).  I’m already exhausted enough!  But also, because a post written by a good friend and local neighborhood mom, Sascha, really hit home for me.  I support the decision to announce your pregnancy whenever you so desire, but for me…. right now… this is the right time.

If you have been following my blog for awhile now, you know that I lost my first pregnancy with our Little Peanut.  When I got pregnant with Nico, I lived a lot of the pregnancy in fear of what could happen.  I was constantly scared and anxious that we would somehow lose him too.  But getting through the first trimester also isn’t some sort of magic number of weeks that sends you off on a sweet sunset sail toward labor and delivery.  I have had many friends lose pregnancies in their second trimesters too.  Things happen in life that we have no control over, and as heartbreaking as that is, I felt that even though I know there is the possibility of losing another pregnancy, it wasn’t going to stop me from being happy this time around.  No matter what, you will ALWAYS worry about your children.  It doesn’t matter how old they are.  So I am not willing to let fear stop my happiness.  And God-forbid if my family has to go down that dark path again, at least I can be rest assured that I have a supportive network of family and friends around me to get me through.  Every life is worth celebrating, and right now I am happy to celebrate the 10 week old growing baby in my belly.

That being said, pregnancy with a toddler is crazy!  I’m trying to get through each and every day while exhausted and nauseous.  It’s strange to be going through it a second time around.  It’s sort of like we’ve gone back in time a bit.  Not gonna lie, it’s hard.  And I imagine it only gets that much harder once the baby actually arrives!  But thinking about Nico being a big brother this summer makes me so excited.  He has even started giving the baby kisses (kissing my belly) which just melts my heart.  He is the sweetest thing.

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We cannot be more thrilled to grow our family, and I am looking forward to sharing my pregnancy journey with you for a second time around.

Hope you are all having a fantastic week!

XO,

Gina

{30} Lately…

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*Just a note on this photo.  My boys spent the day together at the grocery store on Sunday so I could get some work done.  I received this text message while they were gone!  Nothing better than knowing my baby is happy and smiling while he is away from me 🙂  Okay, now onto the rest of the post…

Lately I’ve been…

reading  The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.  Great for any entrepreneur or entrepreneur in the making.

writing  Down my goals for 2015.  1) Get fit and stay healthy.  2) Start a successful business as a Beachbody Fitness Coach.  What’s this, you ask?  We basically motivate and help others achieve their fitness goals.  Happy to share more information with whoever is interested.  Please feel free to e-mail or message me!  3) Travel more.  So far I have been keeping up with my workouts and doing my best to motivate the challengers I have in my groups thus far.  I also have a trip to Tulum, Mexico on the books, so here we go 2015!  Bring it on!

listening  I’m still singing Christmas music in my head.  Is that weird?

thinking  As I sit here in my neighborhood cafe working, I have run into three moms I know, and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful community here.

smelling  Not much right now.  It seems my cold has returned and I’m currently stuffy and drinking loads of hot tea.

watching  Maleficent.  As an avid Disney fan, this was a must see for me!  I was very much impressed with the animation and graphics, and I enjoyed the switch on the storyline from the traditional Sleeping Beauty!  It reminded me of the show Wicked in that regard.

wishing  Upon a star.  

hoping  For warmer weather.  Oh wait, it’s only January…sigh.

wearing  My new Panda sweater.  Unfortunately this one is sold out, but this vintage sweater from the 80’s is pretty darn amazing.  I’m also wearing a heavy scarf, because this coffee shop I’m in is FREEZING.

loving  My new snow boots from my mother-in-law.  Thank God for them, because I have already needed to wear them twice this year.

laughing  At these doorbell notes from Moms.  I can’t believe I haven’t resorted to one of these notes yet!  This is real life!

wanting  A massage.  These workouts are no joke!

needing  To go through photos from Nico’s first year and pull out his monthly chair photos to put in a frame.  This has been on my to-do list since he turned 1 (he’s now 16.5 months old), and I still haven’t gotten to it.  This week is the week!

feeling  Sick at the moment.  And a bit tired.  But happy I still got my workout in this morning.

craving  Caffeine.

clicking  Through photos of Tulum, Mexico and dreaming of our paradise vacation that is only 43 days away.  

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What have you been up to lately?

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.

Tying the Knot in Tucson

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Tucson.  Beautiful Tucson.  The boys and I flew out to Arizona back in November to celebrate the wedding of my pen pal (yes you heard that right), Angela to her sweetheart, Leon.  We visited them in May 2013 while I was pregnant, back before they were even engaged, and we had the most amazing time out there exploring and meeting her family.  We were so happy to return as a family of three and celebrate their wonderful union together.

It was a magical night in the Tucson desert.  The sunset was absolutely unreal out there.  The flowers were stunning of course, as Angela and her sister are both floral designers.  I loved the artistic touches Angela included, especially the four wedding dresses she pulled from the parents and grandparents of her and Leon.  These dresses were hung from trees that lined her walk down the aisle.  Sigh.

Aside from the beautiful decor and scenery, the wedding was full of fantastic people.  Coming from across the country, we didn’t know many of the guests but both Angela and Leon’s family and friends were so completely welcoming and friendly.  They were also lots of fun, and we joined them on the dance floor for much of the night.  Kids were able to run around in the outdoor space, and I think our little Nico actually learned how to really walk here.

It was a beautiful night, and I am so happy for Angela and Leon.  Thanks for letting us be a part of your celebration.  Love you both!

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Beautiful, huh?

Fast forward to present day: Yesterday marked the first Day of P90X for me.  As you can probably imagine, I am in an incredible amount of pain!  But no pain, no gain right?  Day 2 (today) I woke up early to do plyometrics.  I was actually enjoying the workout, but started to feel sick and queasy about half way in.  Now, I know I’m not pregnant, so I guess this is a sign I am out of shape!  I started having flashbacks of high school basketball tryouts where there were trashcans lined up around the gym “just in  case.”  Yikes.  I decided to listen to my body, and stop the workout at the moment.  It’s only Day 2, and I have a long journey.  I do plan on completing the second half of the workout later today when I have a bit more energy.  Oh the curveballs!

Other than that, we have SNOW today up in the Big Apple!  Unfortunately, since Nico and I have been sick, I think we will be enjoying the snow through the window today, but at least it’s pretty!

Hope you are all having a great week and a great start to the new year!

XO,

Gina

Happy New Year!

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The past year has been a bit of a roller coaster.  My family has suffered a lot of loss, but we have also shared in a lot of joy.  There have been changes in my career, trips across the country, exciting wedding celebrations, babies born, and interesting adventures.  Watching my son grow this past year has been the most amazing part.  He turned one in August with a nautical birthday party, and he has been soaking up knowledge like a sponge.  He amazes me every day with the way he communicates and how much he can remember.  He is sweet as pie and shows so much love and affection.  I feel incredibly blessed and lucky.

I also feel extremely lucky to have so much love and support from all of you.  Thanks for sticking by me this past year through the good times and the bad.  There were moments when it was tough to find the time or energy to continuing blogging and creating, but this is always a place I love to come back to, and I appreciate you all coming back here as well.  Some of your favorite posts from this past year included the beautiful fairytale wedding of Melissa and John, some creative ideas for engagement gifts, and when I tried out these fabulous new hair extensions.  I also heard from a lot of you about how I survived the first year of motherhood and the gear that got me through.  As always, please let me know what types of posts you would love to see more or less of in the coming year.

I can definitely say I am excited for what 2015 has to offer.  I’m going to jump into a P90X program starting TOMORROW, and I am so excited to get back into shape again.  I have always been athletic having played soccer and basketball my entire life through college and beyond.  After having my child, I have struggled to find the time and the energy to get into a regular workout routine.  When I was working outside of the home, I quite frankly hated to spend my free time away from my son.  Now that I am home most days, it’s tough to even have free time!  I received the P90X DVD program a couple years ago as a Christmas gift.  It was on my wish list and also on my bucket list as something I wanted to complete as a challenge to myself.  Although the program is still in the shrink wrap, it’s something I have not been able to let go.  I despise the feeling of not being in shape anymore, and although I have lost all of my baby weight, I do not feel like my healthy, energetic self anymore.  I plan on joining an online challenge group to keep myself motivated on this journey, and I am looking forward to feeling good again and setting a good example for my son.  If you are also interested in joining me in my fitness journey, please let me know and I would love to give you more information about the group.

Aside from getting fit and healthy, I am setting my sights on a family vacation to Tulum, Mexico!  I have never visited, but I have heard so many amazing things.  Our itinerary is completely open, so if you have any ideas or suggestions on where to stay or what to do while we are there, please share!

The photo above is from New Year’s Eve on my friend’s rooftop in Baltimore, MD.  We had a blast on our trip, although we are now trying to recover from the yucky sickness we managed to catch while away.  Poor lil guy has the croup plus a fever!  We have finally unpacked all of our Christmas goodies from the car, took down our tree, and put away all the decorations for the season.  I’m always sad when Christmas is over, but I am excited for a fresh start in 2015.

Hope you all had a wonderful year, and I am wishing you all the best for a happy, healthy new year in 2015!

XO,

Gina