My new year...

So in a little over 3 months I will celebrate another birthday. Yes, I'm getting older but I am happy to be here to celebrate. For me, my birthday is a lot like New Year's, I start preparing for Read more

Recalibrate- Post Bali

While I love traveling, coming back home and getting back to "the routine" can be difficult. We were in Bali for 10 days. Our trip was a dream! For 20 plus years I had been wanting to go there Read more

My Professional life

Now that my "professional" life has begun, after 3 decades or so of wandering, I feel desperate to be somewhat successful, to make up for lost time. I don't have regrets for my past, but I'm reminded so often Read more

Giving up? Or have you had Enough?

"There's a difference between giving up and knowing when you've had enough." One thing about the 50's you know when you have had enough. Perhaps it is because you know you are on the other side of that half of Read more

Do you feel good enough?

Do you feel good enough? In your profession? In your personal relationships? In your life? We are in a world where it is easy to feel as though you are constantly being judged. Judged about everything- your appearance, your weight, Read more

My new year…

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Leave a comment
Gigi in Bali

Gigi in Bali

So in a little over 3 months I will celebrate another birthday. Yes, I’m getting older but I am happy to be here to celebrate. For me, my birthday is a lot like New Year’s, I start preparing for it in advance, my own personal year end. Typically it begins with the intense recommitment to my workout program, which I have been slacking on lately, along with a revamp of my diet. Next I come up with an event, or gathering I want to do, and then the planning for that starts. Then, I come up with the lists of what I what do for the following year, career goals, things I want to learn, places I want to go etc.. And lastly, the appointments, I have this thing that I want to have all my personal maintenance done, such as fresh hair color and cut, maybe a facial, trip to the Korean spa, all of this the week leading up to my birthday, which is July 28.

Growing up I had a few birthday parties, one at 6, a slumber party when I turned 12, a little beach party at 18, a 25th birthday party given by a boyfriend, ten years would pass till the next party at 35. From 35 on I started celebrating every year making up for all the ones I felt I missed.

This year I won’t have a party, maybe a small dinner at home with a few friends over, something with my girlfriends, and perhaps a weekend away with Reggie somewhere local, like Santa Barbara.

How do you celebrate your birthday? Are you the party type or do you like to have quiet celebrations and not draw attention to another year gone by, and another number added to your age. Please share I’d love to know…

Gigi @ 25

This is a pic from my 25th birthday party- I remember being so happy that day- My boyfriend at the time hosted a party for me- I felt so grown up!

Gigi @ 40

This is from my 40th birthday- I remember feeling so old once my 30’s were over…now 40 seems so young!

This is from a 40 something Pole dancing party I had with my girlfriends-

This is from a 40 something birthday Pole dancing party I had with my girlfriends- and my long dark hair…

Gigi with flat ironed hair

My 50th Birthday party- was a blast! Now 50 even seems  “young”…

51

For my 51 birthday I had a pool party-

52

52 hmmmm I was is a real pink phase- dinner party 

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Have a fabulous Monday- embrace today by recommitting to something- join me in bumping up your workout if you have been slacking off like me…

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Recalibrate- Post Bali

Posted on by Gigi in Travel Leave a comment
gigi

gigi

While I love traveling, coming back home and getting back to “the routine” can be difficult. We were in Bali for 10 days. Our trip was a dream! For 20 plus years I had been wanting to go there and finally the time came, just Reggie and I- sans the kids.

Funny thing is that this trip started off as a underwater photography workshop that I was going to attend with an accomplished underwater photographer that I admire, Jenna Martin, unfortunately Jenna is pregnant and had to cancel the trip, and we decided to go anyway.

Our days were filled with sunshine and sandy beaches, delectable delights and lots of exploring, sprinkled with a little shopping. Here are a few of my favorite pics from our trip.

Amandari

Amandari- This is the resort we stayed at in Ubud- All the rooms are villas and some of them have private pools- This is the main pool and I just loved the reflections.

visiting the temples

visiting the temples- everyone had to wear a sarong to enter the temples- Bali is a small island and 98% Hindu, there are 1000’s of temples and we visited quite a few.

LocaVore

LocaVore– This was a passion fruit based drink that I had a Locavore, a restaurant in Ubud that I was lucky enough to secure a reservation prior to arriving- everything they serve is from local farmers- our lunch was beautiful and delicious.

Our villa in Ubud

Our villa in Ubud- The resort is designed like a traditional Bali village in the middle of the jungle-There are about 40 rooms all gorgeous.

Reggie Bond-

Reggie “Bond”- On the way to Bali we had a day layover in Dubai, so of course we took advantage and went into the city for dinner at Atmosphere which is in the tallest building in the world-Burj Khalifa.

beach at Nusa Dua

beach at Nusa Dua- southern part of Bali-

I am looking forward to a weekend at home taking time to recalibrate and move forward on numerous projects and lists that I created on my 24 hour flight. It is amazing how being away from all normal distractions can really clear your mind. Bali is a magical place and the Balinese people are so happy and content with a very simple life, it was humbling and a reminder of what is really important at the end of the day…

Have a wonderful weekend- I will be “working” but I really looove doing what I do- so it really isn’t work.

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


My Professional life

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment
Gigi

Gigi

Now that my “professional” life has begun, after 3 decades or so of wandering, I feel desperate to be somewhat successful, to make up for lost time. I don’t have regrets for my past, but I’m reminded so often when I meet peers close to my age or more often read about them in publications, it is at those times I feel behind.

I love what I’m doing, being a photographer, even if my work is not hanging in a gallery, I’m not a keynote speaker at WPPI, nor am I doing assignments for Vogue or NY fashion week. I am capturing and documenting the existence and beauty of women who trust me with their soul and vulnerabilities.

When I imagined my new life as a photographer, I never thought about my age, or what others were doing, it was my passion and I was not concerned where it was going to go or end.

I’m grateful that I am in good health, that I embrace my 10 extra pounds, I have a supportive husband, my kids are navigating and figuring out their purpose in this world and life for the most part is really good.

I believe everything happens when it is supposed to and I have to trust that this is my time. I’m 5’6″ (I wish) 56 years old and my life is just that my life, the one with my quirky family, surrounded by my kitties, hopelessly shoe addicted, camera toting, complicated, kinky curly hair wearing, loving, traveling, stressful and 98% of the time happy woman.

Happy to be back after my 2 week hiatus-

Xoxo,

Gigi


Giving up? Or have you had Enough?

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 3 Comments

“There’s a difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough.”

One thing about the 50’s you know when you have had enough. Perhaps it is because you know you are on the other side of that half of a century mark and you know while some people make it to the ripe old age of “100” most of us don’t…

You realize that you are responsible for your life, and your life is the one you have created for yourself…the good the bad and the ugly. If you have been living someone else’s life for the past 50 or so years, you know it is time to at least entertain a change, a little shift in your priorities.

Take that passionate leap and go for whatever- take a chance, especially if you have been consumed with obstacles that have prevented you in the past. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, failure can be a good thing. I have forgotten half the things I failed at, but what I do recall is that I was not afraid to try- and I have a garage full of remnants of past ventures that fell by the wayside.

Surround yourself with those that uplift you- let go of those that bring you down. Find the “right” people who will inspire you to be your best. If there are those in your life that are causing you anxiety, back away or if it is one of those complicated situations figure out a way to make a change. Embrace change and navigate it and know it is for a reason- don’t stay and be stagnant.

The good thing about being on this planet for a long time you have witnessed a lot and hopefully you have learned something. For me I always check my happiness meter and if it starts going in the wrong direction I quickly evaluate and make adjustments quickly. In my past life, I was notorious for ending relationships abruptly, walking off jobs, moving suddenly, all for the pursuit of happiness and sometimes to maintain my sanity.

So, when do you know you have had enough? I’d like to know.

xoxo,

Gigi

Happy Gigi

Happy Gigi

 

 


Do you feel good enough?

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment
Quote

Quote

Do you feel good enough? In your profession? In your personal relationships? In your life?

We are in a world where it is easy to feel as though you are constantly being judged. Judged about everything- your appearance, your weight, your clothing, home, car, partner, education, children, the list goes on and on.

Gigi

Gigi

In my profession, photography, your work is constantly being judged. We live in a visual society, where we are bombarded nonstop with images. Instagram & pinterest are leading social media with the imagery that is posted every second.

I can’t help, that I too get caught up in the competition game of judging work of other photographers, or images I see in magazines. Fortunately, I quickly am able to put things in perspective and continue to work on me and where I am on my creative journey.

To stay on track and keep the negatively at bay, that can sneak up on you- here are a few tips on keeping those negative vibes at bay..

1 Remember your journey is just that “yours”- work on you and don’t worry about “them”.

2 Everything happens for a reason. I have to believe there is a reason I began my professional photography career in my 50’s.

3 Find and maintain your own inner happiness. There is always going to be someone “better”, “richer”, “skinnier” etc., whatever that thing is that gets under your skin, trust me, there is someone out there doing it.

4 Everyday you rise, choose happiness over negativity.

5 Work daily on your goals- you will make progress little by little.

6 Don’t get stuck in the “what ifs”- Just Do it!”

7 Be passionate about life and your pursuits.

8 If you want something bad enough you will figure out a way to make it happen.

9 You are stronger that what you think you are- you can overcome obstacles that may be troubling you now.

10 Never stop trying- your setbacks will make you stronger.

What makes you feel “not good enough?” How do you deal with those feelings? I ‘d love to know.

Happy Tuesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

gigi

gigi


Is busyness an illness?

Posted on by Gigi in Life Style 1 Comment
#17 gigi

#17 gigi

Is busyness an illness?

Yes! Busyness is an illness and I have it bad. This photography business is what has taken me to the edge. There is always something to do, something to finish, someone to call, someone to photograph. Although I love every moment, at times it is a bit much.

I sometimes yearn for those days prior to my photography gig, I can’t even recall what my life was like back then. What was I doing with all my time? I realize now that time is a real luxury item, and being a lover of luxury, I am going to have to figure out a way to tap back into those leisure days.

I don’t like getting sucked into that crazy busyness that causes anxiety and stress. Time is precious and I don’t want to miss out on the simple things that busyness blocks. Like my blog space, I made a commitment to be consistent this year- and those of you that follow, know I have made good on that promise. My blog is my guilty pleasure- I do it no matter if one person stops by or a bunch.

So, I’m going to restructure and figure out what works for me, which is going to look like a max of 8 clients per month- a number that I can give an incredible experience from start to finish and still have my life and time to do what I want to do…a selfish move but at 56 there are so many more important things that I don’t want to miss out on…

How do you manage you time? Can a person have it all? Do you have the busyness disease? How do you treat it, I’d love to know…

Happy Thursday!

Gigi


Self Portrait – The ultimate selfie

Posted on by Gigi in photography Leave a comment
#17 self portrait

#17 self portrait

Like Frida Kahlo I love doing self portraits. Early in my photography career it was a way to try out different techniques, such as lighting, posing, locations etc.. I would set up my tripod, work on the focus point and jump into the scene and then analyze the result. It became a learning tool, that quickly became another art form for me and a vehicle of discovery of myself.

#17 black & white

#17 black & white

With self portraits, at least mine, I am tapping into a vulnerable part of self- sharing my soul and my emotional state at that moment. Different from a selfie with my iPhone where it is typically a smiling spontaneous image, sharing a location or cute makeup, although you can get some nice self portraits with your phone as well you just have to put a little thought into it. For me it is a creative outlet another part of my art- where my “client” is so patient and she will do whatever I need to get the shot.

#17 color

#17 color

This group that I call #17 was taken on Monday. I could not get myself together and get dressed…I stayed in my nightgown all day-dealing with a bit of being overwhelmed with a laundry list of “to do-s” but I took a moment to capture my feelings and document-

Do you do selfies? Have you played around with self portraits? If no, try it…you will be surprised at what you discovery.

“Because I am so often alone…because I am the subject I know best.”   Frida Kahlo

Xoxo,

Gigi

#17 color

#17 color

 


How to look somewhat put together…

Posted on by Gigi in Fashion Leave a comment
Gigi

Gigi

I find that it takes me so much longer to pull myself together. When I was younger I would just get up, dab a little gloss, a bit of mascara and I was on my way. I could throw anything on and look pretty cute, no matter where the item came from…hmmmmm fast forward to 2016 and it is a different story.

Here are some of my tips that help me to look not so disheveled.

1 Plan your outfit the night before. I don’t have a closet like this…

I need a closet like this...

I need a closet like this…

matter of fact I have stuff in various closets in various rooms. So I have to pull stuff out ahead of time to put an outfit together. On a side note this is an app that I have on my phone that helps with this. Check it out Stylebook.

2 Face it at my age I need time to pull it together. Even though I wear my hair natural, I still have to manipulate it and sometimes even wet it before going out and that takes time. And I have to put some makeup on…I don’t care what I eat, how much water I drink I need a little makeup on…

3 I’m always looking for inspiration to make my old stuff look new and fresh again. Most trends I have already seen at least twice- the key is making it look age appropriate and still keeping with my style and not looking dated. I love this app called Texture where you have access to numerous magazines right on your device.

4 Dress for where you are going- know what will work, but still be “you”. Nothing worse than wearing something too sexy in a room full of conservative suits…been there before- know the dress code but then tweak it and make it you.

5 Undergaments- I don’t care if you are a size “0” or “20”, proper shape wear is a must, makes such a difference.

6 Wear clothes that fit and flatter the you of today. If it does not get rid of it…just because you paid a lot for it, if it does not look good and make you feel wonderful- time to toss or give it away.

7 Have a few investment pieces- you will get your monies worth in the amount of times you wear or use the item.

8 Take care of your clothes, hand wash, dry clean, hang everything up right away- you will be rewarded with many years of wear from your wardrobe.

9 Plan your shoes, nothing worse than being somewhere and your feet are hurting.

10 Follow your own style. When I was younger I always wanted the “it” shoe, bag etc., but now I want what makes me feel good and what fits my lifestyle, regardless of what is trending. I’m getting to a point where I like almost everything in my closet, it has been a painful process letting go, but it feels good.

What is your take on fashion? What makes you feel good when you get dressed. How has your look evolved over the years?

Happy Tuesday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


African Diaspora Vegan Dinner

Posted on by Gigi in Dining Leave a comment
Gigi and Chef Cynthia

Gigi and Chef Cynthia

Our friends Chef Ian Martin and Chef Cynthia Chea Pean were the featured chefs in an incredible dining experience put on by Pare. Pare is a unique communal dining concept where chefs prepare and serve a meal, paired with unique wines, for 30 guests that all come together from all over to partake in a culinary extravaganza. Part of the $250 per person fee is donated to a charity, proceeds from the African diaspora dinner went to The Gangsta Gardener, Ron Finley. Check this video out to learn more about Ron.

Reggie and I went not knowing what to expect. We knew we were going to a private residence, but we had no clue it would be a 12.5 million dollar home, (btw it is on the market check it out here). It was a perfect warm California evening, the table was set along side the pool, with a beautiful view of the city lights.

The Table

The Table

view of the home

view of the home

I need a closet like this...

I need a closet like this…

Good conversations, spectacular environment, some of the best vegan food I have ever had, (and I have had my share of the best) it was a nice kick off for our Valentine’s weekend. I can’t tell you exactly what we had, but what I can tell you is that everything was fresh from the garden, and crafted with so many complex flavors, but still connected to the carribbean, New Orleans, Africa, Central America and soul food- all mixed together- just exquisite.

Africa Diaspora dinner

Africa Diaspora dinner and wine flight

What are your plans for this Valentine’s weekend? Is it a 3 day one for you as well? My advice is to celebrate love- with self, or a lover, your family- all the above.

Xoxo,

Gigi

 

 


Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Inspiration Leave a comment

55thyear

As a young woman I loved reading Anais Nin. So when I came across this quote I had to share it…

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”
― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934

This quote reminds me of my love of reading, and how books were my way to another world, before I had ever traveled as a young one. I loved going to the library, it was my ticket to the universe.

I always knew there was so much out there to experience. My path had a lot of detours and bumps along the way- never taking the direct route-always making time to get lost- and shying away from those that were on that predictable journey.

It is so easy to fall into a routine, and each day you follow your schedule, do what you do, day in and day out…numb to the world around you.

Live each day with a little abandonment-  never stop discovering- it is okay to step out of your comfort zone-

Speaking of comfort zone…check out this young filmmaker Solomon Onita, I saw his short JOY at the Pan African festival and it is streaming on HBO-powerful story check it out.

Happy Thursday-

Xoxo,

Gigi

 

 


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