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Resolutions

The start of the new year is always a fickle time for me.  I have such mixed emotions at the thought of it.  I love Christmastime and all of the magic that seems to surround the holiday season, and for that reason alone, I hate to see December come to a close.  But, every winter, and each one has only gone by faster than the last just as my dad promised it would when I was a kid, the calendar inevitably hits a dead-end and a blank page stares me in the face; a reminder to grab a new one the next time I find myself lost in the vortex that is Target.  On the flip side, I always get a little giddy at the prospect of actually making the changes that I keep a mental log of in my head.  The ones I share with my oldest daughter when I take her to and from school in the morning and we talk about the day ahead.  The ones I really, really want to stick with.  So, here are three resolutions (yes, only three, this way I am not being completely unrealistic about what can be accomplished) that I hope to see through, at least until 2018 rolls around.

1. SPEND MORE TIME WITH MY KIDS.  This probably seems impossible because as a stay-at-home-mom I am literally with them every second of every day (and night), but what I mean is that I want to spend my time with them differently.  So much of the day is consumed with pulling shirts and leggings over and through tiny arms, and chubby feet.  And the shoes.  So much time is spent tying their shoes.  Or matching them for that matter.  And I want to really be there with them when they wake up instead of rushing past them to wrangle up jackets and lunch boxes, snacks, and mermaids.  Because now mermaids are a must in the car, too.  Along with each of their favorite blankets.  And stuffed animals.  Can you see why my car is an avalanche of toys?  And that is just the very beginning of the day.  There is always laundry and dinner and errands that have to be run.  And the books that I keep meaning to read with the girls when I put them to bed still sit out on their nightstand each night.  I have placed them there though, with the intention of reading them, but it doesn’t  always get done.  Somehow it gets dark well before the mounting to-do-list gets smaller and I have already added more to attempt to get done tomorrow.  We do spend a lot of afternoons at the park and the soccer fields and summer days at the pool, lots of roaming around Barnes and Noble.  But a huge chunk of that is spent chasing after toddlers, keeping them off of stools that are too high for them and dragging them out of the mud, literally, and breaking up fights and sometimes just keeping them alive.  So, I spend all of this time with them, but want more of them.  I want those baby hugs to last a while longer and all of us in one space long enough to finish listening to the details of their days in full without getting pulled in another direction.  After all, they are only little for so long.

2. TAKE MORE TIME FOR MYSELF.  Okay, so this seems completely contradictory to the first resolution where I want to spend more real time with my kids, I know, but this one is so, so important.  The healthiest version of myself is the one where I get a decent amount of “me time.”  It allows me to recharge and refresh so that I can be a better mom and wife and sister and friend.  Whether it’s a car ride alone, with only my thoughts and my choice of music, or a solo trip to Starbucks, or better yet, an exercise class or paddle match, I need this time.  And it doesn’t always happen, and it’s not always easy to make happen, but it is honestly necessary.  I can tell when there has been a lack of “me time” and see how it affects my stress level, my attitude and the way I interact with my girls.  Whatever it is that makes your soul happy, do it.  It will be just as good for those around you as it is for you.

3. BE MORE ORGANIZED. I tend to start the new year, or even a new season, with a closet overhaul or the much needed transformation of a room, but shortly after, the tidy drawers and baskets and piles come unraveled.  My hope is to continue to stay organized all year long, so that each pocket of my home remains neat at all (or, let’s be honest, most) times.  And with regular maintenance this can so happen!  I would love for this resolution to carry over to other aspects of my life that need constant organization, like my finances, and my kids’ important papers and even the blog, so that I don’t feel overwhelmed and underprepared.

Here’s to making realistic resolutions and sticking to them!  Or trying to at all costs.  And to all of those goals you are looking to achieve, all of those dreams you would like to see come to fruition, go for it.  You have a  brand new year ahead of you starting now.

xo gina 

Guide For Her: Little Somethings

Whether you have a couple people left to cross off on your holiday shopping list, or if you are still procrastinating, we have you covered.  Here are just a few little somethings for every lady in your life, be it your best friend, your sister, your favorite aunt, your girlfriend or wife.

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{Top, From Left to Right}:

1.  A wintergreen leather and crystal beaded wrap bracelet for some holiday sparkle.

2.  This old-school shoe made a trendy comeback and is one she can wear every day.

{Middle, From Left to Right}:

3.  For the girl who has everything.

4.  This one-size faux fur vest goes over everything from flannel tees to a thin black turtleneck.

5.  An ultra-cozy chunky knit scarf.

{Bottom, From Left to Right}:

6.  Vintage capris perfect for lounging.

7.  A relaxed sweatshirt to rock all weekend.

8.  The cutest pom pom hat, now 30% off with code PRESENT.

9.  A super chic water bottle in a champagne shade.

Happy shopping!

xo gina

 

A Trip for the Perfect Tree

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Okay, so we didn’t get the perfect tree, I’m sure.  There were lots of them.  But when your four-year-old and two-year-old somehow both agree on a tree and declare it the absolute best one out there, the one we simply couldn’t go home without, well, that’s pretty perfect to me.  This year, we maintained our streak of flawless December weather at the farm, the ideal winter day: super cold, but abundant in sunshine.  And since this will be little Liv’s first Christmas, all of our favorite traditions this time of year are that much more special.  Here are a handful of photos from the other day.

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Hope you are enjoying the holiday season, too!

xo gina

Rib Knit Dress x SkyBrunch

 

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Sunday is arguably the best day of the week for brunch.  It is the morning after a (hopefully) great Friday and Saturday night, even if those nights were just spent catching up on your favorite TV shows with your favorite, littlest members of your family.  It is the morning that sets the tone for the very last day of the week before the always-dreaded Monday.  And a late morning catch-up with friends over an amazing breakfast and lunch spread is exactly what is in order.  Top that with an unbelievable view of one of my most beloved cities, Philadelphia, and there is nothing better.  SkyBrunch and Punch Media PR hosted myself and a handful of other local bloggers, who happen to be the most gorgeous group of ladies around, to brunch this past weekend and we got to experience the expansive views that the 50th floor of the venue has to offer, the delicious buffet, and so much more.  I personally loved the blood orange mimosas.  And they also have a build-your-own hot chocolate bar where you can customize a mug of the quintessential holiday drink with any of your favorite liquor concoctions, cookies and whipped cream.  We got to try one and it was so, so good!  I will definitely be back for that alone next time and will be adding the idea to my bar cart this holiday season.  Before we left, we headed up to the SkyGarten on the 51st floor of the building and were able to experience panoramic views that would be the perfect backdrop for a wedding, cocktail reception, corporate outing, or a night out with friends.  If you are in the area or if you plan on traveling to Philly, make sure to stop by SkyBrunch Top of the Tower and check out all they have to offer.

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This rib-knit dress from H&M was the perfect pick for brunch.  It was one of my most-worn dresses during the end of my pregnancy and I have worn it post-pregnancy, in colder temps, too.  It is super comfortable and the color block detail really stands out.  I love the long length, side-slits and the fact that you can make it as casual or dressy as you want.  I can wear it with sneaks to drop off my daughter at preschool, then pair it with ankle boots and a moto jacket for an afternoon meeting and change into over-the-knee suede boots and a favorite clutch for date night.  This exact dress has sold out online, but check local stores!  And I have linked similar options as well as other items I would pair it with.

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{H&M dress, sold out, similar HERE, HERE and HERE / REBECCA MINKOFF love crossbody / SAM EDELMAN black and wood stacked boots, old, similar HERE and HERE / MACKAGE kenya jacket}

Also love this dress with the following items:

{ADIDAS originals superstar / LEVI’S classic denim jacket / STEVE MADDEN quilted slip on sneakers / CATHERINE MALANDRINO sorcha over-the-knee boot}

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*Thanks again to SkyBrunch and Punch Media PR for having us!

xo gina 

 

Five Tips For Finding Time to Exercise

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Finding time (let alone the will-power) to exercise can be tough.  Throw three kids into the mix and sometimes it feels downright impossible.  But then on my way to drop off my oldest daughter at pre-school, I see another mom pushing two toddlers in a jogging stroller and a middle-aged man running the same incline I catch him running up each day at that same time.  And I’m suddenly reminded how important it is to find the time for exercise in my own life.  I go through really long stretches where I workout daily, and then, when chaos takes over and we close on a house the same week our third daughter is born, the same week our first daughter turns four, the same week the first big holiday in the long string of holidays kicks off, I get completely sidetracked.  And yes, for the record, all of those things truly occurred simultaneously, and some days I am shocked I still manage to find two matching shoes as we walk out the door.  But others do it, and more, every single day, so in honor of a brand new month, I wanted to share five quick tips that help me find time to incorporate exercise into my routine and I hope that these tips might help you, too!

1.  Walk it out. 

A long walk gives me more than a breath of fresh air, it clears my head.  And it allows me to go at a pace where my kids can come along and collect colored leaves or take their naps while in the stroller, or read a book or even share the iPad to catch a Disney movie together on our route.  I try and incorporate hills to intensify the workout and agree to go as long or as far as my kids’ attention spans will allow.

2.  Join In The Fun.

My two older girls love to go to our local soccer field and kick around the ball for hours.  I used to sit on the hill and watch them play and now I try to join in when I can and am surprised at how much of a workout it really is.  Besides catching an afternoon of laughs with my kids, I spend the whole time on the move and don’t feel guilty when we didn’t have time to fit in a walk earlier that morning.

3.  Leave The Car At Home.

When my oldest started gymnastics class as an infant, the location was only a mile away from our house and when weather permitted, we would walk there and back.  A mile there and back might not seem like much, but it added up, and more often than not, she would fall asleep on our way back down the hill and I would be able to extend the walk even longer.

4.  Take The Stairs.

Much like the tip mentioned above, the same goes for indoor locations.  Maximize your movement whenever possible.  When I take the kids to the doctor or go to any appointments in office buildings myself, I always opt for the stairs.  Avoiding the elevator when you can keeps your muscles moving and allows you to achieve the health benefits of aerobic exercise without ever setting foot in a gym.

5.  Go Easy On Yourself.

There are days, that sometimes stretch out into a week, that I don’t make it out for that 2-hour walk as planned.  Because there is school drop-off and pick-up, and sometimes those things interfere with nap time and feeding time, and appointments and schedules and playdates.  And then there’s always the essential errands that need to be run, like making sure there is food in the house and that the toys are cleaned up, at least enough so we can walk in the door.  But you can’t beat yourself up because I always feel like that sets me even further back.  Don’t add more stress to your already -full plate.  Just do what you can, when you can.  And make sure it’s what works best for you.

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Happy December!

xo gina

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