Black is Boss

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Dress: Tobi – now on sale! / Jacket: Goodnight Macaroon – similar here and here / Over-the-Knee Boots: ALDO – similar – also love these / Earrings: Forever 21 / Lip: MAC Dark Side

While I LOVE pops of color and mixing in lots of color to my wardrobe, there is always something super comforting to me about basic black. Maybe, it’s the New Yorker in me, but I gravitate toward black frequently, especially in the winter time. Black is just classic, and will never go out of style. I scored these over-the-knee boots on sale after Christmas of LAST year, and had been keeping my eye open for the perfect dress to wear them with. I saw this one from Tobi with the open V-back, and had to snag it! A little bit sexy, a little bit chic, and a little bit badass with the boots, no? The top knot with the drop earrings finish the classic look…and since it’s still winter…a quilted moto jacket so I don’t freeze. The day we shot this, we actually had weather that was creeping into the 60s which is crazy for a New York winter!

This week I hit the 12 week mark of my pregnancy! Yay! Hoping to come out of that 1st trimester fog soon, though been suffering with some headaches as of late, which are typical for me during pregnancy when my hormones are going crazy. We’ve also been dealing with an insane 4 year old this week. Not sure if it’s lack of sleep or if something deeper is going on, but it’s been impossible to get through to him. Mamas can you relate? I thought 3 was a tough age and 4 was honestly getting better for us. So I’m hoping this is just an off week for him, because it’s really been out of hand with pretty much everything. My 2 year old is dabbling in potty training, and he’s doing okay, but there’s also some stress that goes along with cleaning up pee off your floor every 20 minutes. LOL. #momlife

My February Challenge Group started up on Monday, and these gals are off to the races! Their progress in January was AMAZING, and I am so very proud at how hard they worked! We have lots continuing on with their goals, and some new faces just starting out with us as well! I decided I’m going to jump into a program called PiYo, which is a pilates/yoga based program that focuses on stretch, strength, cardio, and core. I did this same program when I was pregnant with Luca, and it was fantastic, so I’m going to dive in again so that I have something I can stick to this month and stay motivated to keep moving with my growing babe.

I have so many ideas and posts in the works for this blog in the next few weeks and also some exciting projects I’m working on, so stay tuned for what’s to come! Hope you have an incredible week!

XO,

Gina

We’re in the NOLA, Baby

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SURPRISE!!!!! 4 years of wedded bliss and a trip to New Orleans to celebrate! I booked the flights in January, and have been planning out our adventures for the past few months. Somehow, someway I was able to keep this trip a surprise for that long! Many thanks to my mother-in-law for coming up to NY to watch our little guy while we got a few days away to ourselves. Figured we needed a little mini babymoon before the new baby arrives and we are back to crazy town again. I definitely think it was worth it. The best part was being able to stay out and listen to music all night without worrying about getting up early in the morning. We were also able to meet up with great friends while we were down there and they showed us around. The culture, music, art, food, and the people down there really make you feel alive. Nola, you definitely have a piece of my heart!

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Super surprised – On the way to the airport

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The house where we stayed in the Bywater complete with a beautiful backyard garden. Thank you Airbnb and thank you Marie and Raphael!

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Out to lunch at Booty’s – based on street food from around the world – located in the Bywater

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Ready to hit the town!

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Swamp Donkeys at Bamboula’s on Frenchman Street – so good!

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Coffee at Satsuma in the Bywater

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Morning stroll – love all the colorful houses!

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Beignets at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter – a tourist MUST!

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Dinner in the Courtyard at Bacchanal in the Bywater – amazing ambiance, food, wine (I am imagining) and music

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Mississippi River

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I know we only spent three days/nights in New Orleans, but I have so many photos to share, that I am going to have to create another post to continue part 2 of our trip. What a wonderful experience to share with my amazing hubby. I know we will be back again someday 🙂

Hope you are all enjoying this Monday. As sad as I was to leave Nola, I was definitely happy to get back to my PiYo mat today and get a nice sculpt workout in as well as start up our Bikini Body Challenge with a crunch-less ab circuit. Nola is not famous for the healthiest of foods…so while it was PHENOMENAL, it was definitely a rare occasion for me to eat so much fried food! My belly was happy at the time, but my body is now craving some healthy eats! Today it’s all about the fruits and veggies!

Lastly, today is the FINAL day to shop my online trunk show with Stella & Dot. Make sure to snag those goodies and a chance to win pieces for free or at 50% off!

Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina

{33} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. I have been reading a lot of personal development non-fiction lately. As an entrepreneur, I think it’s extremely beneficial to help keep myself on track with my goals for my life and my business.  It’s a practice that I have picked up since becoming a coach with Beachbody, and I think it has really made a difference overall in helping to improve my business as well as my life. The particular book talks about how a few simple daily disciplines can really turn into a massive change in terms of success and happiness.

writing  A workout routine for my new upcoming Bikini Boot Camp Challenge that will focus on the core using crunch-less ab exercises. The challenge will kick off next week right before Memorial Day Weekend, so let me know if you want in!

listening  Loving this new jam by Martin Solveig – Intoxicated

thinking  That I am a very lucky lady. I had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend spent with my boys. We had a playdate with friends on Saturday, a date night Saturday, and spent Sunday getting pampered with breakfast and gifts, hiking, and having an early dinner on the water.  I am so very lucky to have incredible moms in my life to call my own (mom, mother-in-law, grandmothers, godmother, aunts, friends, family friends, etc), and I am lucky to be a mom myself to my amazing little boy and babe on the way. I am also super lucky to have such an incredible partner in my journey through life. We are going to be celebrating 4 married years together (and 10.5 together) this Thursday, and I just feel so blessed for the relationship that we have built and will continue to build.

smelling  The fabulous chai that I am consuming at this very moment. Mmm.

watching  Was lucky enough to get a date night with the hubby courtesy of our fabulous parent’s group in our hood. We decided to catch a movie and saw, The Age of Adaline. Starring Blake Lively, this period piece was interesting and although unbelievable at times, if you vow to just be purely entertained and not focus so much on how it can be a little ridiculous…it was a really good movie. It’s almost as if she is time traveling because she is able to live through so many different time periods. And I just love her classic style throughout the film. Would definitely recommend! Even the hubs enjoyed it.

wishing  If I tell you this wish…it might not come true…so I’m going to stay mum for now. 😉

hoping  To finish up the planning this week for my BFF’s Bachelorette Weekend coming up! We already have some fun ideas in store, but putting together the final touches with my fellow Matron of Honor this week. Cannot wait for this little gal’s getaway!  Thanks for getting married, bestie, so we have an excuse to all get together! Hehe.

wearing  Plaid button down, ripped casual jeans, and flip flops! Yes, flip flops!  Cheers to warm weather!

loving  My new pregnancy pillow and the prenatal massage that I have booked for June. Spoiled mama!

wanting  Baby to move up a little bit in my belly! Apparently my placenta is lying a little low and so I am feeling all kinds of movements very low as well…feels kinda weird! But good news is, he is moving a lot!! Always kicking around in there. We go to the doc again on Wednesday for a growth check, so keeping fingers crossed that baby is getting bigger! (I am getting bigger, so I am hopeful!) Today marks 24 weeks!

needing  More sleep! I am so bad at going to bed early as I feel I need to stay up and complete so many more things on my to-do list each night! I really need to start forcing myself to hit the sack just a little bit earlier each night and tell myself that things can wait until tomorrow.

feeling  Tired! Like I said above…I need to get more sleep! I also did the PiYo Drench workout this morning and whew! Talk about sweating up a storm. They were not kidding about the whole “drench” thing. Felt good to get back to PiYo though after taking the weekend off. Never miss a Monday!

craving  Sweets. My pregnancy sweet tooth is starting to come back in full force! Nothing new really though, pregnant or not. I need to start eating more fruit to nix those unhealthy cravings for sugar! Watermelon was my fruit of choice last pregnancy. I would be happy to return to that routine 🙂

clicking  Through the recently launched site Co11ective, where 11 ladies have come together to share stories of health,  nutrition, fitness, fashion, digital marketing, entrepreneurship and more. I am so happy to be included in this dynamic group of powerful and successful women.

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HAPPY MONDAY!

Hope all the mommies out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

P.S. I usually only share one photo in my “Lately” posts. However, we had such a fun day yesterday, that I wanted to share a little more:

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***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.

Pregercises

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Should you exercise during your pregnancy? During your first trimester, it can be hard to even get out of bed let alone exercise, because you are so exhausted. However, I am a big fan of exercise during pregnancy. Not only does it surprisingly give you more energy, it also boosts your mood, improves sleep, and helps with the aches and pains of pregnancy. Exercise strengthens your muscles for labor and delivery, and makes it much easier to get back to normal after the birth of your baby.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women exercise for at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week. You want to get your heart pumping, increase your flexibility, manage weight gain, and prep your muscles, but you also need to make sure you don’t overdo it and cause stress for you or the baby.

If you were exercising before your pregnancy, there is no reason to stop once you get pregnant. Many women continue to run or weight train during their pregnancies. However, you do not want to start a rigorous routine when you are pregnant if you were not a big exerciser beforehand. Modify your workouts based on your fitness level and speak to your doctor about what the best plan would be for you.

Some people may think that pregnancy limits your exercise. That is true to an extent, but there are SO many things you can do during your pregnancy for exercise. Here are some of my favorites that you can do at home or on your own:

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Since crunches are off the table for me during pregnancy (I am afraid of that ab split! No thank you!), planks are a GREAT alternative to keep your core strong. My favorite are the elbow and side planks. When in elbow plank, make sure to keep your back flat so that it’s not drooping as that will put stress on your back. Hold for as long as you are able!

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Side leg lifts are great for the outside of your legs and your boo-tay. Move your leg up and down on each side. For the second version of the leg lift, start on all fours and push one leg out and up. Then bring it back in toward your chest and repeat. This exercise is really good for the hamstrings and the boo-tay as well.

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Push-ups of course work that upper body! If you have been doing regular push-ups before your pregnancy, then you could go ahead and continue. If not, then you may want to do push-ups on your knees or against a wall to be safer.

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For regular squats, place your legs shoulder width apart, keep your chest up and your shoulders back. Look up and make sure to put your weight on your heels. Pretend like you are sitting back in a chair and make sure your knees are behind your toes. You will definitely feel the burn in your quads and glutes! For plié squats or wide squats, open up your stance and your will feel those inner thighs getting strong.

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Walking is one of the best exercises you can do while pregnant. Walk at a quicker pace to get that heart rate up as well, and make sure to always stretch. Stretching (especially lower body) is really great overall to prep your body for labor and delivery.

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Step-Ups are fantastic for your legs and bum, and also counts as cardio!

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Start with your feet flat and raise up to your tippy toes. Repeat for at least 30 reps. You can do each leg separate or at the same time–whichever is more comfortable for you. Your calves might be screaming by the end, but they will be strong and toned as well.

Pregercises_Yoga

One of the most relaxing ways to build strength, tone, and stretch during your pregnancy. Some of my favorite poses include downward dog, upward dog, warrior 2, warrior 3, and child’s pose. As someone with an ever-aching back, it only gets worse during pregnancy, so these yoga poses really do wonders for me.  I have actually been participating in PiYo for the past couple months which is a combination of yoga and pilates. It’s a faster paced program that keeps you moving the whole time, and I have felt so much stronger and healthier in my pregnancy this time around because of it. Happy to share more info if you are interested!

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Last but not least, one of my favorite exercises during pregnancy…dancing!  I hope I don’t really look like this when I dance. Maybe I do. I’m a nerd and was trying to end this post on a silly note, but in all seriousness, dancing is a fantastic (and fun!) way to stay active and fit during your pregnancy.

Some other exercises not pictured here that are wonderful during pregnancy include: swimming, low-impact aerobics, pelvic tilts, seated rows, weight training, running (if you were a runner before), and spinning or barre classes.

Did you stay active during your pregnancy? If so, what was your favorite way to exercise?

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

XO,

Gina

P.S. Nico had his first photo shoot for an ad catalog yesterday (my husband’s company.)  He got to model the most adorable lion coat! It was pretty cute, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Stay tuned. 🙂

Blue & Yellow

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Took these photos back on Easter/Passover weekend when we were in Maryland visiting family. It was a GORGEOUS day outside allowing me to wear this sleeveless number without a jacket and fully enjoy the sunshine. Oh boy am I happy that spring is finally here!

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Dress: ModCloth (sold out, but similar here) / Boots: Target / Watch: Michael Kors – now on sale!

My little bump is starting to pop here in these photos at 19 weeks. I am now at 21 weeks today, and we will head to the doctor on Wednesday for our 2nd anatomy sonogram and to check in with my midwife to see how baby is progressing.  I always get so excited/nervous for these appointments!  I am feeling good and starting to feel baby’s movements so I’m hoping that this means we will be getting a good report!

We had a nice weekend and decided to enjoy the fabulous weather by taking a little family trip to the Bronx Zoo. Nico was in complete awe of the giant tigers and bears. We ended the day with a trip to Arthur Avenue for some delicious Italian fare. Nom nom nom.  Yesterday we headed to Long Island City in Queens for a 2nd birthday party, so I guess you could say we borough hopped around this weekend!

Today I got my PiYo Buns workout in this morning (buns are burning ya’ll!), and I am hunkered down working from home trying to stay out of the wind, cold, and rain. Hoping tomorrow will bring the sunshine back.  Happy Monday everyone! Let’s make it a great week!

XO,

Gina

{32} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  Aaaaaand I’m still reading The Goldfinch.  Haha might possibly be the longest it’s ever taken me to get through a book that I didn’t absolutely hate. LOL. I also just finished Eat That Frog, which is an excellent book about time management and making the best use out of your time. Picked up lots of great business tips in there.  

writing  I recently had the privilege to interview Shannon Fitzpatrick for Autism Awareness month about her son Chase and how Autism has impacted her family. Thank you Shannon for opening up about your experience, and hopefully this can help and inspire those going through something similar.

listening  To Nico say “I love you too” this morning, just about MADE.MY.DAY. Love that kid.

thinking  About some ideas for an upcoming post on the best exercises to do while pregnant.

smelling  The deliciousness cooking at my local cafe and Monday “office” Cafe Madeline.

watching  Revenge on Netflix. I had been wanting to watch this show for awhile, but didn’t want to jump in without seeing the first few seasons. So I decided to catch up via Netflix. It’s dark, but captivating!

wishing  A Happy Birthday to my (pretty much) brother-in-law, Adam!  Hope it’s amazing and wonderful just like you!

hoping  That Nico has a fun time at his first dance/movement class today! Wish I could be there with him, but Mama’s gotta get some work done.

wearing  Floral Pants from Motherhood Maternity – Tank from GAP – Blouse from Express – Polka Dot Flats from GAP Outlet

loving  The sunshine! It’s been very nice out the past couple days, and I am relishing in it! Even broke out my floral spring pants this morning as you can see from above.

wanting  A prenatal massage and a big huge pregnancy pillow (that I never had with my first baby). Mother’s Day? (wink wink)

needing  To go shopping for some new clothes this spring. Yes, I know I have the perfect maternity clothes already in my closet from my last pregnancy, because the babe will be born at the same time of year as Nico…but can you blame me for wanting something new?

feeling  Pretty good! Aside from a little back pain (which PiYo totally helps with by the way!), I am feeling pretty good during this second trimester. How I wish the whole pregnancy could be like the second trimester!  Haha.

craving  Ditching alllllll my cravings for processed sugar this week as I am hosting a 7-Day (No) Sugar & Squats Challenge!  Today is the first day (50 squats down baby!), so feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you want in!

clicking  Through apartment listings. Trying to figure out if it makes sense to move before we have our little one. We could technically squeeze in our current place, but it will be TIGHT. The problem is that finding anything bigger is going to be a huge increase in expense (my guess), and we have such an amazing deal now that it’s hard to leave. We shall see what the future brings!

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HAPPY MONDAY!

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.

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