Meditation- I Get It!

3 weeks ago a facebook friend tagged me in a post suggesting that we all sign up for the Oprah-Deepak 21 day free meditation. Prior to that the only meditation I had done was a moment here and there Read more

5 things I can't live without...

I admit, I have a lot of stuff/junk/possessions. Yes, I'm a hoarder- a chic one, but a hoarder none the less. So I was thinking about what 5 things would I chose if I had to limit myself to Read more

QUOTE

It has taken me a long time to learn this. If you don't expect much you can't be disappointed...I however always want the most from everyone, it's my nature, but I am realizing everyone is not wired like that. Read more

Sibling Survivor

My brother's birthday is today. He would have turned 61. He died at the young age of 55 - my age...It has been 6 years, but it still seems at times as if it was yesterday. You never really Read more

55 ways to embrace being 50 plus...

A while back I made a 50 ways to age graceful list, but so many of my friends joining the 50 plus ranks, I wanted to do a revised list, now that I have 5 years post under my Read more

Meditation- I Get It!

Posted on by Gigi in Well-Being Leave a comment
Gigi

Gigi

3 weeks ago a facebook friend tagged me in a post suggesting that we all sign up for the Oprah-Deepak 21 day free meditation. Prior to that the only meditation I had done was a moment here and there in yoga class. Let me tell you, I had no clue, the power of meditation, it is life changing. Yes, for the most part I am a  happy go lucky kinda girl, but meditation forced me to go deep inside and deal with the minuscule shit that can really hold you back, the stuff in your subconscious that feeds you negative thoughts.

For those of you who might be like I was a few weeks ago- clueless, let me explain  how it works. Every morning I logged into the site and each day there was a new message and mantra. The recording was for 20 minutes, beginning with Oprah speaking for a few minutes, followed by Deepak explaining the mantra, the lesson of the day ending with the guided meditation.

At first I was a little distracted, not realizing how much “noise” is in our lives, little things, like I would hear the little ding when I got a text, so I turned my phone off, or someone working outside, I had to learn to quite my mind and find peace and shut everything else out.

I was forced to take 30 quiet minutes for myself, where I thought about success in a different way, it helped me to understand the behavior of others and accept they are working from the best place they can. 30 minutes that made the rest of my day pleasant, nothing really upset anymore, like a veil of calmness had come over me. I know this sounds crazy, but I am able to focus and think with clarity. Things I once perceived as a challenge now seem obtainable, I have a new sense that everything is possible if you believe in yourself.

I will continue to meditate and work on “self” and understanding this powerful body /mind connection.

Do you meditate? If so what has your experience been?

Happy Friday, have a wonderful weekend. We will be going to Santa Barbara to see my son before he goes to prom…

Xoxo,

Gigi


5 things I can’t live without…

Posted on by Gigi in My Life, My Style Leave a comment

I admit, I have a lot of stuff/junk/possessions. Yes, I’m a hoarder- a chic one, but a hoarder none the less. So I was thinking about what 5 things would I chose if I had to limit myself to 5 items, really difficult but, here goes my list- at least this is what I feel as though I could not live without today…;)

1. iphone 6 plus

i phone 6 plus

i phone 6 plus

I love my phone, this is the first phone I have ever fallen in love with! I love that it is large and I don’t always need my reading glasses. I have all my music at my fingertips, and I love the camera, I have gotten some really good shots with this phone and Siri is my friend and personal assistant…

2. Coconut Oil

coconut oil

coconut oil

This is the hardest working multi use product I have… I use it in my hair every day, on my body after I shower, I cook with it, I put it in smoothies, and I even make ice cream with it…

3. A hawt pair of shoes-

self portrait #6

self portrait #6

I love my shoes…and yes…they are not the sensible kind, but life is short and they make me feel good! This pink/nude Valentino Rockstud was my one splurge for spring- and I have no regrets…love them!

4. A nice journal and uni-ball pen

journal

journal

I know I have my iphone, but there is something special about writing with a nice pen and journal, I’m always picking up quirky ones from little boutiques here and there. This is my current one.

5. Tom Ford- Cafe Rose

tom ford cafe rose

tom ford cafe rose

I love perfume and  like to change up every so often so this is my current fav. It is a beautiful sexy scent, don’t let the name fool you this is not your grandma’s rose perfume, it is a sultry spicy rose scent- very complex. Tom Ford’s description is accurant “Enticing. Exotic. Seductive. Cafe Rose descends into a hidden labyrinth, where roses’ fine breeding gives way to darker pleasures.”

What are your top 5 must haves?

Happy Wednesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


QUOTE

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes Leave a comment
quote

quote

It has taken me a long time to learn this. If you don’t expect much you can’t be disappointed…I however always want the most from everyone, it’s my nature, but I am realizing everyone is not wired like that. One of my flaws is always wanting success for everyone, I will navigate the path and want others to follow, and when they get sidetracked or go backwards I’m disappointed instead of accepting maybe it is something they are not really interested in doing.

We are all so different in so many ways, I don’t know if it is an age thing or what, but I am not as accommodating as I used to be. I’m more of an observer, taking little mental notes, but always figuring out a plan and knowing what I can do to make it happen. I never give up on anyone, but I’ve learned that it is difficult to instill desire in another person if they don’t feel it or crave it from within. Everyone has their priorities and once you realize and accept that their priorities are not necessarily yours you can keep it moving and continue to work on your plan or align yourself with someone who is on the same path. This new awareness comes from a place of acceptance, not anger at all, basically accepting others from the level they are operating from and not expecting more than they are capable of giving.

I often tell my kids, “I can’t want this more than you do…” and I really mean it. We as parents sometimes can create what is perceived as a heartbreak from our children, when in reality it is simply our children wanting something different than what we want for them. My son wants to study art, and I have had some well meaning people ask me “what is he going to do with that?” and my answer is “be happy”… Growing up my well meaning family expected me to embark on a traditional career, I wanted to do something in fashion or art, but that dream was squashed and hence for a long time I was a “disappointment”.

I’m fortunate that my husband is the same way, no matter what obstacles are presented, no matter how difficult, he will always work on finding a solution. In the 27 years we have been together we have had some real challenges along the way, and have overcome the impossible at times ie. IRS, bankruptcy, lawsuits, just to name a few, but you get it…

I’m at a place in life where lots are changes are taking place, my son will be going away to college, my husband’s business is changing rapidly, and I am figuring out who I am as an artist and what my business model is going to look like in the next 6 months, year, 5 years. The one thing I know for sure though, is that if something starts to feel uncomfortable, I will figure it out before it gets to disaster mode.

Happy Tuesday XOXO,

Gigi

Gigi

Gigi


Sibling Survivor

Posted on by Gigi in Family, My Life 2 Comments
Howard Jones JR

Howard Jones JR

My brother’s birthday is today. He would have turned 61. He died at the young age of 55 – my age…It has been 6 years, but it still seems at times as if it was yesterday. You never really get over a death, perhaps some are more difficult than others, I suppose, like the death of a child, but the loss is always with you. Yes, time does heal, but you never forget, especially at holidays and every birthday, they remind us that our loved one is gone.

Howard was my only brother, although we were 6 years apart we were really close. He is the reason I am a photographer. Many years ago when my kids were still little, we both started photography school together, with the thought that we would one day go into business together. My timing was off with trying to balance my family, so I attended one term and quit and he continued and became a working photographer, until his death.

When you lose a brother, there are so many connections lost, your children miss out on having a uncle, my nieces miss out on having their dad, their children miss out on having a grandfather, my mother misses out on having her only son, no mother ever expects to bury their child.

My brother lost his battle with colon cancer a few years after he was diagnosed. This ugly cancer seemed to have set up residency in my family, it started with my father, then my brother, two sisters and my 82 year-old mother. He fought it with all he had, never showing the outward signs that his body was failing him, he continued to work almost to the end. He knew he was dying so the last year before he departed he celebrated life to its fullest, ending with a family cruise with all of us to the islands.

For a while I walked in fear, feeling as if cancer was chasing me and soon it was going to attack me as well, but I finally had to let that go. I changed some things in my life, like my doctor who was the worst, always making me feel as if it was going to happen, she just didn’t know when. I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle, but there is always room for improvement, so I exercise, follow a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, stay positive, live each day to the fullest, knowing that nothing is for certain and with all the environmental toxins that I have no control over, you just never know.

My brother lives inside of me via my photography, I know he is looking down on me smiling, now that I am carrying the torch and doing something that he loved so much. My memories of our time together never fade, I’ll never forget the time he took  my friend and I to the forum to see James Brown, we were about 14 so this was a big deal, or cleaning his room for $5.00 every week, or taking my friends and I to the beach for my 16th birthday, the list goes on and on.  The sad thing though, is we have no pictures together…another reason why I am obsessive about taking pictures and documenting my life with my family and friends.

Today I will reflect on his life as I go about my day, smiling as I hear my shutter click- Howard Jones JR. R.I.P.

Have you lost a sibling? How did you cope with the loss?

Happy Monday XOXO.

Gigi

self portrait #10

self portrait #10


55 ways to embrace being 50 plus…

Posted on by Gigi in 50 ways Leave a comment

A while back I made a 50 ways to age graceful list, but so many of my friends joining the 50 plus ranks, I wanted to do a revised list, now that I have 5 years post under my belt .Yes, 50 is certainly a milestone birthday, especially for women. Aging is not always embraced, but I can certainly tell you the alternative is not good, so no matter where you are in your life journey- celebrate your admission to this elite “golden” club.

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

So here is my new list:

1. At “50” things that you thought were important are not- let it go.

2. Keep up your appearance, this is not the time to stop your grooming.

3. Embrace your age- no one is going to believe you are still in your 20’s anyway.

4. Address your personal shit and handle it…

5. Forget about what is age appropriate and do what feels right.

6. Practice yoga, pilates, etc. you don’t want to get stiff- stay flexible and if you have not been practicing it is never to late to start.

6A. Mediate- just started this and let me tell you it is a game changer…

7. Appreciate the first 50 years and know that those 50 years made you the person  you are today.

8. Wear makeup, especially concealer and remember less is more.

9. Walk daily- park far away, whenever you can etc. just get it in…wear one of those tracking devices if you need accountability – I love fitbit.

10. Celebrate every birthday with friends and family and do something special and of course drink champagne-the good stuff.

11. Take a class in something, keep your brain active.

12. Remember “sitting” is the new “smoking” get up and move.

13. Take responsibility for “you”.

14. Learn a new language.

15. Do something different with your hair color, try a new style especially if you have been rocking the same “do” for the past 20 years.

16. Be modest with your face if you decide to go the botox/filler route, you don’t want to start looking odd.

17. Smile more…

18. Travel, even if you have to go solo.

19. Get your sleep- at least 8 hours.

20. Have a few younger friends – you can teach each other a few things.

21. Be charming and gracious.

22. Work at being your best weight.

23. Take care of your skin and continue to wear sunscreen.

24. Start a journal- or perhaps write a memoir.

25. hydrate- Drink a  lot of water daily.

26. Wear good lingerie.

27. Get dressed up just because.

28. Set goals for your 50’s and 60’s.

29. Splurge.

30. Be want you want to be, regardless of what others may think…

30A. See whoever you want to see regardless of what others think.

31. Accept the “you” of today, don’t wish for the 20 or 30 year old you- just concentrate on being the best “you” right now.

32. Laugh and find humor in everyday life.

33. Forgive yourself for the past.

34. Volunteer for something you are passionate about.

35. If you are a mother or a grandmother, don’t let that define you.

36. Take more baths.

37. Don’t focus on menopause.

38. Have a love affair with your partner-

39. Arrange flowers.

39A. Listen to music.

40. Use and wear the “good” stuff…nice jewelry , china etc..

41. Strength train.

41A. Dance.

42. Have good posture.

43. Believe that dreams can still come true.

44. Wear sexy pretty shoes, even if they are flat- Don’t give in to sensible shoes…

45. Flaunt your assets. If you have nice legs wear something short.

46. Get out of your comfort zone and do something different.

47. Make your surroundings beautiful.

48. Don’t drink to excess.

49. Get more massages.

50. Explore eastern medicine.

51. Prepare meals with all your heart and soul.

52. Have a spiritual base.

53. Be open to receive love.

54. Respect and spend time with your sister-friends.

55. Live each day to the fullest and don’t take life for granted.

55A. Stay interesting…read. Know what is going on in the world.

Did I miss anything? Let me know any that you have on your list.

Happy Wednesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

self portrait #10

self portrait #10

 


Mission Statement

Posted on by Gigi in Thoughts 2 Comments

I’m working on a mission statement, one that sums up my philosophy on life and my personal being, my mantra. It is not as easy as I thought, to come of with a few sentences that really capture me. I’m going to have to flush it out, but this is what I have come up with so far.

To find happiness, fulfillment, and value in living a beautiful life.

I will seek out and experience all the pleasures and joys that life has to offer.

As a photographer I will do my best to take the most beautiful portrait you have ever had taken of yourself.

As an artist I want to be authentic and capture the light and tell honest stories with my images.

Family and friends are the core of my existence and I will work at strengthening my relationships and work on having mutual respect.

To be content wherever I am, in my surroundings, knowing that they can change and knowing that the physical location does not define who I am, but being secure with self, finding peace within and always following my heart, which is most important.

I looked up some company mission statements to get some inspiration and here are a few.

NIKE- “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”

Nordstrom- “To provide outstanding service every day, one customer at a time.”

Ritz Carlton- “We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience.”

Maserati- “Build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with timeless Italian style, accommodating bespoke interiors, and effortless, signature sounding power.”

Bobbi Brown makeup- “Empowering women to look like their best selves.”

Whole foods-“Whole foods, whole people, whole planet”

Google- “mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Pantagonia- “Build the best products, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

Honest Tea- “We embrace the simplicity of tea–water and leaves. for generations, cultures around the world have enjoyed tea grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers and we don’t see any reason to include them in our recipes today.”

Ikea- “our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”

Do you have a mission statement? Please share.

Happy Tuesday.

Xoxo,

Gigi

selfportrait3.1kittyseries

 


Self Portrait Project

Posted on by Gigi in self portrait Leave a comment
self portrait #9.5

self portrait #9.5

This self-portrait project is taking on a life of its own. It started out as a vehicle in which I could try out different techniques, lighting, and new locations , but it has evolved into a self discovery project in which I am getting to know myself really well. I know all the sides of this 50+5 year-old woman, I know that at certain angles I see the signs of a woman that has been around for a while…for the first time I have seriously considered a bit of filler or botox to perhaps address this situation. I know that my curvy body needs fitted garments or I can go instantly to frumpy real quick. I’ve learned that my natural hair is perfect for hiding my grey strands. I’ve learned that looking into to a lens can be intimidating- we all have a perception of what we want or think we look like, what is pleasing to us- and trust me when I upload and look real close you see all the good the bad and the downright ugly. I know how vulnerable we are since we are constantly bombarded with perfect images in the media that trust me, most are so altered you would be amazed. I know that phone selfies are not always our friend especially if you are not 16, I have had clients show me phone pics of themselves that they love and want something similar…basically diffused, distorted and blurry.

When I first started the project I felt like this narcissistic crazy lady, I did not want anybody to see me doing this, so I had to wait until I had alone time, if I were outside had to make sure the gardener was not around. There are lots of clicks to get the one or two that convey the story I am trying to tell. I have to plan my wardrobe, setting, makeup, hair and lighting, all natural light is not equal and artificial light that is another story, one that I plan to conquer soon. I love that this project is forcing me to grow as an artist, to take chances and try things.

I do the shoots weekly, and post them on Thursday to my social media and to a self portrait group I belong to, I have no chance to drop 5 pounds or go on a cleanse so I can look my “best”,  each week I capture who I am that moment, the fuller version of the 40 year old me. I am the picky critical client that I have to please. I have come to accept who I am today and not worry, I want to exist in photos for my family, there are so many periods in my life where I don’t exist. I have no pictures from 25 to 29, and only school pictures from my teen years, and a couple from my childhood. I know that is why I am obsessive about taking photos of my family and friends even if they get annoyed. After I do the 52 pics, I will be making a book for myself of this body of work.

I would recommend everyone try a few self portraits. It is easy to do just set your timer on your camera and get in position. If you don’t have a camera you can use your phone, just set it up on something so you can get the perspective that you want.

Here are a few more from my “wandering” #9 series. The inspiration was I wanted to be in a lush field with a big long flowy skirt on, I wanted morning light and of course my #bighairdon’tcare” hair. I was happy with my results, and am thinking about my next shoot…maybe something modern and stark total opposite of this one.

self

self

self #9

self #9

self portrait #9

self portrait #9

Happy Monday!

Xoxo,

Gigi


50 Ways to be Happy…

Posted on by Gigi in 50 ways Leave a comment

With so much going on in the world, that I cannot control, my personal well being is important. We should all work on having as much happiness in our lives as possible. So I came up with this list of things that make me happy, of course I have sad moments too, but for the most part I work hard at “happy”. I always try to find the good in a situation.

A couple of weeks ago my car stalled on me in Hollywood, my son and his friend were in the car, we were on the way downtown to have lunch and we were starving, it was one of those “missed breakfast kinda days”. It was also a really hot day, and I had just had my car serviced the day before, and paid a lot of money, so I could have instantly gotten “mad” and called the dealer and went off, but instead I just called Automobile club and just wandered around Santa Monica Blvd. for a moment until my car was towed, 2 hours later we were in a loaner car and went and had an early dinner at the beach and continued on with the rest of our day, making the most of the situation.

So here is my list:

1. Chose to be happy. 2. laugh out loud. 3. Eat Green- ie. as many green veggies as possible 4. Smile.

5. Daily gratitude.

6. Forgive and forgive. 7. Look for the good instead of the bad. 8. Shut down negativity 9. Do something daily that makes you happy 10. Exercise. 11. Practice yoga 12. Quit complaining. 13. Have friends you can talk to about  anything. 14. Celebrate often

15. Indulge in small pleasures 16. Spontaneous fun. 17. Seek our pleasant experiences. 18. Take up a hobby or revisit an old one. 19. Random acts of kindness. 20. Prepare food for someone 21. Surround yourself with beauty. 22. Meditate. 23. Spend time outside. 24. SLOW DOWN 25. Do what you can, there is always tomorrow. 26. Do “You” 27. Explore new places.

28. Smell something…roses, perfume, candles etc..29. Pet a kitten or a puppy. 30. Tell someone you love them. 31. Read

32. Inspire others 33. Watch the sunset 34. follow your passion 35. Say “no”, its okay. 36. Be romantic. 37. Dream big.

38. Avoid drama. 39. Look on the bright side. 40. Continue to learn. 41. Write. 42. Get enough sleep.

43. Stay hydrated.

44. Love yourself. 45. Face your fears. 46. So something magical. 47. Set an intention everyday.

48. Treat yourself. 49.Love and be loved and never give up on love. 50. Feed your spiritual soul.

What makes you happy? This list came off the top of my head so please add some that I may have missed.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Friday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

self portrait #9.5

self portrait #9.5

 


What Scares You?

Posted on by Gigi in My Life, Well-Being Leave a comment

I have this journal that contains a year’s worth of “fear” prompts. One of the prompts “list things that scare you” …I had to think about this since there is a part of me that thinks I am fearless. So after digging deep inside, this is my “scared to death – bone chilling” list.

scared of heights...

scared of heights…

1. Fear of heights. This one is twofold, there is something about looking over the edge that really frightens me, but I can ski and I’m not afraid of those edges. I’m afraid of flying in small planes, and the one time I did I was in Costa Rica and I had a panic attack and had to use the bathroom, of course this plane was so small there was no bathroom so the pilot just landed in a field so I could go…talk about SCARED…

needles

needles

2. All things medical. Yes. I know I am married to a doctor, but I am scared of needles, blood tests, hospitals, exams etc. and my worst medical fear is the big “C”.  Almost all of my family has been attacked by cancer, so I can’t help but to think about being diagnosed myself.

false teeth

false teeth

3. I’m scared of losing my teeth…so regardless of number 2, I am at the dentist twice a year, never ever missing an appointment. I think this fear came from seeing older relatives removing their teeth and putting them in a glass of water, and I remember being really afraid, wondering what happened to their teeth, but knowing I could not ask.

scorpions

scorpions

4. Scorpions- a few years ago one was in my bed! I almost had a heart attack. Yes. Creepy crawlers freak me out. I remember when we traveled to Costa Rica I thought it would be nice to stay at a Eco resort- WRONG it was full of all kinds of exotic insects…all over the place.

5. Snakes, no explanation needed. I have had run ins in my neighborhood with snakes on a few occasions.

6. Not “aging” per se, but looking really old- and not in a graceful way. So I’m trying to balance what works and hopefully recognizing what does not. And unless I get over fear number 2, I may not be able to take advantage of the modern anti-aging treatments.

7. Losing my husband and /or my children. Recently I have witnessed close friends and family experiencing this loss and I don’t know how you ever work through the grief.

What scares you? I’m curious.

Happy Tuesday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


My Bucket List…

Posted on by Gigi in Aging, Inspiration, Life Style 4 Comments

In my recent observations of life, in particular some that have ended way to soon unfortunately- I started thinking about my bucket list. At 55 I’m on the other side, I feel fine, not sure what “middle age” is supposed to feel like, but I’m embracing every day. I for the most part do the right “things”,  but I am learning there is no rhyme or reason to these horrific diseases, there are no guarantees.

Here is what I came up with, in no particular order:

1. Travel to Brazil, Cuba, Bali, Turkey, Mauritius, New Zealand, Montreux jazz just to name a few destinations on my list.

Kauai

Kauai

2. Become a really really good photographer.

Gigi

Gigi

3. Write a book. (does not have to be a bestseller or anything)

4. Have a grandchild or two.

5. Get in incredible shape. (For me it is more difficult at this age-body parts want to relocate and shift…)

Gigi @ the beach

Gigi @ the beach

6. Start a non-profit. I want to make a difference, for women and/or animals- cats in particular.

What’s on your bucket list?

Happy Tuesday,

Xoxo,

Gigi


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