18 on the 18th...Happy Birthday to my Son

Today my son turned 18. A milestone birthday. I know everyone says this but time really has gone by to fast. He arrived on his "due" date, I remember I dropped Amani off at school, she was in the Read more

Gathering of the Readers: Book Club

Every other month I meet with my book club to discuss a title. It's a ritual that started over 15 years ago: eat a decadent meal, sip a little bubbly, and gossip about fictional characters. Some of us go Read more

Sometimes I Really Do Feel Old...

Sometimes I really do feel old. It's not everyday, but sometimes I will glance at my reflection in the mirror and I will see a woman that I don't recognize. A woman who has hyperpigmentation on a complexion that Read more

Everyday is the first day of the rest of your life...

Everyday is the first day of the rest of your life. I'm going to be very honest here...since my mom and 2 of my sisters are currently battling cancer and my brother lost his battle with cancer- almost daily Read more

Weekend Meanderings: Palm Desert

We spent the weekend at our timeshare in Palm Desert. We decided to check out the land of cactus and sun and use the remaining days on our account so we would not lose the credit. These time shares Read more

18 on the 18th…Happy Birthday to my Son

Posted on by Gigi in Family Leave a comment
Nov 18 1996 Gigi with dark tresses

Nov 18 1996 Gigi with dark tresses

Today my son turned 18. A milestone birthday. I know everyone says this but time really has gone by to fast. He arrived on his “due” date, I remember I dropped Amani off at school, she was in the first grade, and she said, “My brother is coming today.” I didn’t have any signs of labor that morning, so I started my day as usual, I love music, so like most days I would find a reason to stop into blockbuster music and I would listen to new releases. So I’m doing my thing and my water breaks in the store- so I ask to go to the bathroom and they tell me that there is no public restroom. I tell the clerk as water is streaming down my leg that I REALLY need to do to the bathroom or else there is going to be a mess on this floor.

So of course I picked up Amani from school like normal, called Reggie at work, this was the pre text era and went to the hospital and I birthed Reggie at 9 30ish PM and my life has never been the same.

Gigi and baby Reggie

Gigi and baby Reggie

Yes, even with being the “Olivia Pope” of the college application process, worrying about him ALL THE TIME, getting MAD at   some of  a lot of the things he does, I love this kid uncondistionally. He is far from perfect, but he is my son, and he is really more like me than I admit…

Reggie

Reggie

One of my fatal flaws is doing for my kids, I can’t help it…I think about all the things  I wish I could have done when I was growing up and I GO overboard…I could only dream about the traveling to the places my kids have gone. I hope for the best for my son, and I will do all I can to keep him on a path to some sort of happiness, cause at the end of the day that is what is important in this short life we all have on this planet.

Little Reggie

Little Reggie

Today I will be driving to Santa Barbara to take my young man to dinner, 2 hours there and 2 hours back, but so worth it to see my 18 year old “man”.

Happy Tuesday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi's son

Gigi’s son

Reggie

Reggie

Reggie @ 16

Reggie @ 16

Reggie feeding the Ele

Reggie feeding the Ele

 

 


Gathering of the Readers: Book Club

Posted on by Gigi in book club Leave a comment
The ladies of Round Table

The ladies of Round Table

Every other month I meet with my book club to discuss a title. It’s a ritual that started over 15 years ago: eat a decadent meal, sip a little bubbly, and gossip about fictional characters. Some of us go way back and some of us are new acquaintances. We come from all over the south land and each of us bring a wealth of experience that contribute to lively conversations. The readings take place in solitary, but when we come together,  some emotionally charged discussions ensue.

This months selection was Gone Girl, which we tied in with the release of the blockbuster film. It provided lots of a material for a lively chat that was chaotic at times. We all were wondering about our own inner “gone girl” potential, if you have seen the film you know what I’m talking about.

Our hostess Aquinas, prepared a delicious feast, tomatoe bisque, an assortment of salads, and a potent pomegranate margarita. As we laughed and shared our own stories we celebrated the end of another club year and a commitment to our literary journey in 2015.
Do you belong to a book club ? Do you make time to read for pleasure?

I’ll share our next selection here, in case you want to read what we are reading…

Happy Monday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Sometimes I Really Do Feel Old…

Posted on by Gigi in Aging 1 Comment

Sometimes I really do feel old. It’s not everyday, but sometimes I will glance at my reflection in the mirror and I will see a woman that I don’t recognize. A woman who has hyperpigmentation on a complexion that for 40 plus years was flawless, who now reaches for concealer before venturing outside. A woman who now takes a second glance at those “filler” and botox ads that grace some of her favorite magazines. A woman who has to spend more time at the gym just to maintain some sort of figure that can still fit into her clothes. A woman who sometimes answers the phone and the caller is talking, the voice is familiar, but the woman has no clue who she is speaking to. A woman who is among the oldest in her workout classes, but is still sporting her lululemon.

Yes, age is just a number, but there is no denying this aging thing, it can be brutal and unfair in our youth obsessed society. I don’t wish for a younger “me”, I just don’t want the aches and pains of the older “me”. I want to be the best that I can be, but that is becoming increasingly more difficult. Everything takes more time, gone are the days of quickly pulling myself together and looking like a million bucks. It is a process now with numerous steps and formulas.

The other day of friend of mine made an observation that she noticed that young women who are half our age were sporting the same clothes that we used to wear we we were their age and they are looking like we used to “look”. The cycle just repeats itself all over, I remember wearing crop pants and my mom telling me that she used to wear those when she was my age and they were called peddle pushers and clam diggers. Perhaps that is why the shopping bug is not as exciting, because nothing seems fresh anymore…

Just as I am aging, my hubby is as well, but it seems different for him. His concerns are longevity, maintaining his business and being healthy. His only cosmetic issue is his grey mustache that he regularly colors. It’s nice to be on this “age” ride together and I am fortunate to have a partner that is accepting of me and all my vintage parts. One that I don’t have to explain the constant need for my reading glasses and the panic that sets in when I can’t find them. One I can call on the phone and he will talk to me and is not expecting me to text exclusively.

Starting my family later in life also has its disadvantages, many of my friends have grandchildren already, I think about by the time I have a grandchild I’m really going to be old. But I can’t worry about that right now…just gotta keep doing me and embrace each day to the fullest.

What are your thoughts on the aging process? Please share and tell me I’m not the only one with these feelings.

Happy Friday,

XOXO,

GIGI

Gigi

Gigi

 

 

 


Everyday is the first day of the rest of your life…

Posted on by Gigi in Thoughts 1 Comment

Everyday is the first day of the rest of your life. I’m going to be very honest here…since my mom and 2 of my sisters are currently battling cancer and my brother lost his battle with cancer- almost daily I think about “getting” cancer. I can’t help it most days, I try to ignore it , but like a bad allergy it rarely goes away and can flare up in moment with no notice.

And the worst is when some well meaning person who hears my bleak history says to me “oh nooooo, you’re getting checked…right?” as they look at me giving me a compassionate half smile, that is really saying “you’re jacked sister girl.” The odds are not in my favor, I cringe at the thought of my upcoming check up, but I know whatever happens whatever results I am given,  I have watched my 83 year old mom kick cancers ASS, literally. All I have to do is think about her and I know I am from a strong, resilient gene pool that can deal with a lot of stuff…

Yes. I do all I can, but I know sometimes there is no reason for some of these crazy diseases. So I am purposing to live each day as the first day of the rest of my life, embracing and exploring new things and places and not wasting precious life on trivia things that at the end of the day don’t matter…such as “if you like me or not” or “Is college “A” going to accept my son” or “does my hair look Okay?” or “am I fat?” or “should I have a piece of cake or another glass of champagne.”

I’m going to have the glass of champagne…

Do you worry about getting a horrific disease? Are you embracing your life every day? What gives you peace?

Happy Tuesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

fresh highlights

fresh highlights


Weekend Meanderings: Palm Desert

Posted on by Gigi in Weekend, Weekend Observations Leave a comment

We spent the weekend at our timeshare in Palm Desert. We decided to check out the land of cactus and sun and use the remaining days on our account so we would not lose the credit. These time shares can be such a pain at times with all the rules and restrictions. The weather was perfect, the Westin property was nice , not plush at all, but all the basics were covered. One of the things I love about living in California, is that you can drive an hour in any direction and be in a totally different climate.

Westin desert willow

Westin desert willow

I arrived a day before Reggie, so I took advantage of the “me” time and made a pit stop out to the Cabazon outlet mall and that evening met up with a couple of girlfriends who were staying at the Ritz Carlton for dinner. My excursion to the outlets was interesting, I’m at a point in my life where I have accumulated a lot of things and really, for my current life style I don’t need much so I don’t get excited about shopping like I used to, so that being said I walked the mall for a little pre-holiday shopping. I saw a lot of stuff, some of it nice, some of old and none of it really cheap. A few more designers have joined the outlet mall bandwagon, Valentino , Calypso, Frette, Gucci child, Rag and Bone, Moncler ski wear. I did pick up a nice Dolce Gabbana animal print dress and a few pieces from Allsaints store, but that was it.

dolce gabbana dress

dolce gabbana dress

Being out in the desert I was surrounded by retired people, I could not help but to think about what “retirement” looks like for me. I know how old I am, but I don’t feel like I am close to retiring any time soon, perhaps it is because I have for the most part always worked for myself and never put in time at a company where I could “retire” from. I could see the allure of the desert, especially for golfers, which we are not, it is pretty, my alma mater, UCR has a campus out there and there are health facilities everywhere. There are lots of shops and restaurants with lots of mature people working in them, yoga studios, Costco, Whole foods, Nordstrom Rack, a Bentley dealership and even an Apple store. Maybe a second home out there would be nice, considering it is only an hour away, but I don’t see us out there anytime soon on a permanent basis, I’m not even sure we would like living in a community with all mature peeps…

pretty arrangement

pretty arrangement at the newly reopened Ritz Carlton

Saturday we had a marathon driving day. Reggie had to see a patient that he did surgery on Friday, and we had a party to go to in Tarzana. Although it was a lot of driving I have no regrets, the party was for the Indian New Year celebration Diwali, festival of lights which is celebrated in autumn. Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair. The food was delicious, Bollywood music, dancing, the decor was beautiful, and every one had a good time. It was nice going to a house party, it seems that people don’t entertain at their homes to often so it was a treat going and my friend Jasmine and her husband were lovely hosts.

Gigi at Diwali Party

Gigi at Diwali Party

Always with my camera

Always with my camera

girlie girl table with henna tattos, nose rings, bracelets etc.

girlie girl table with henna tattos, nose rings, bracelets etc.

After driving back to the desert, we slept in, thank goodness for black out shades, I need to get those in my bedroom. After a late breakfast, we decided to do the tourist thing and go to the tram. Reggie insisted that he took me there when we were dating, he said he took all his “dates” there, I assured him that I had never been there–EVER. If you have not been go- it reminded me of the tram in South Africa that we took up to Table Mountain.

So 27 years later we had our tram date.

Tram date

Tram date

 

How was your weekend? I hope you had a good one as well.

Happy Monday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi in Palm Desert

Gigi in Palm Desert

 

 

 

 


Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes Leave a comment
quote

quote

I think about this everyday…

Happy Tuesday,

Xoxo,

Gigi


Weekend Meanderings…

Posted on by Gigi in Weekend Observations Leave a comment

This weekend was a welcome break from a stressful week, I was looking forward to a low key weekend, if there is even such a thing in my world. Halloween started out wet, and I’m not talking about the much needed rain we got, there is a leak in my garage that had flooded one car stall. I called our plumber right away, and of course as luck would have it,  we need a “leak specialist” to come out and locate the pipe that is broken and of course that person is not available until Monday morning, hence no running water for the weekend. So instead of moving out for the weekend, we decided we would go to the gym and use the bathroom there. Thank goodness for gym memberships.

My son finished his early decision college apps! I was happy to give up the credit card numbers in exchange for pressing submit before the November 1 deadline. Now the waiting begins. It is an exciting time for our family.

So moving into Halloween evening, we decided to go to dinner, since we have no running water so I made a reservation at a place I had been wanting to try, Alma. I had read lots of reviews, in 2013 they were voted one of the top new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit magazine, so I was excited to finally go, and they have a prix fixe vegetarian menu. So we ventured out of our safety zone of our regular DTLA spots. BIG MISTAKE- Big Expensive mistake- I should have know when I was able to get a table on a Friday night on the same day that something was up. I don’t like to bash anybody or any place, but this was not a connect for us. ;(. It was the kind of meal, that you have and you wonder “hmmmmmm what was the chef thinking?” And talk about SMALL portions…

Reggie at Alma

Reggie at Alma

itty bitty salad

itty bitty salad

not sure what this was...

not sure what this was…

itty bitty carrot something...

itty bitty carrot something…

Perhaps it was an off night, but so sorry- we won’t be going back.

Saturday I went to my film class that I am so enjoying. I have a lot to learn and it is confusing for me, the concept of movement instead of stills, is coming slowly. I made my first short tonight and I mean short 35 seconds and you all are going to be the first to see it…the premiere right here on Gigi’s Meanderings. It is about wanting to take a “shower” when you have no running water and you don’t want to go out again…

Saturday evening we had our first “gala” of the holiday season. It was a nice event for a good cause. We have a lot of doctor friends that are from Sri Lanka, and they raise money so they can help with the medical services in Sri Lanka. There are so many famers dying from kidney disease, due to the pesticides  that are used in the fields-so horrific. So many things in our environment that are causing so many diseases all over the world. The event was held at the Skirball Cultural Center.

Sira Lander

Sri Lanka Medical Association fundraiser gala

Gigi

Gigi

Husband

Husband

beautiful flowers

beautiful flowers

When the time was right, we exited and made it to a late showing of “Gone Girl” and it was really really good. We are reading the book for my book club, so I know we will have a lively discussion about this one. Yes. I went to the movie in my gown, but I guess since was Halloween weekend, no one even noticed. So the movie was over about 1:30 we came home to an electrical outage, so now no water or electricity, nothing to do but go to sleep.

Sunday I woke up to power, but no internet, I needed to work, so I camped out at my local Starbucks. We headed out to Riverside to visit my Mom and I am happy to report she is doing well. God is GOOD.

I am looking forward to a productive week, so many things I want to do and complete before 2014 is behind us.

Happy Monday!

XOXO,

GIGI

 

 


When in Rome…

Posted on by Gigi in Family 3 Comments
Reggie & Reggie

Reggie & Reggie

My son is a senior in high school at CATE a boarding school in Carpinteria, a little sleepy beach town 20 min south of Santa Barbara. We are in the throws of the college application process, early apps are due November 1, he is doing the last of the last so we can press “submit”. So everything was going smooth until we get to the “disciplinary history” prompt.

disciplinary history prompt

disciplinary history prompt

Yes. My sweet angel has to answer this question. I feel bad for him, but at the same time, I’m happy that he made a poor decision at 17 as opposed to 37. I think about in this competitive college admission game how will admissions evaluate him. He is a good student, that could be stellar if he worked a little harder and a talented artist. So I know at the end of this process there will be a school for him.

So as he is struggling trying to come up with an explanation for his actions, I think about how do you explain a wrong doing? Should you be apologetic? Or matter of fact? Or just tell the story? As a mom, always trying the find the good in everything, I rationalize to myself that at least it was not stealing or cheating, just a little recreational drinking. Basically while my son was in Italy in the school year abroad program he had a drinking situation one evening and got caught. The drinking was bad enough, complicated by sneaking out and over sleeping the next morning so hence the call to us and the “disciplinary action”. Italy is very liberal when it comes to drinking, so I guess my son decided “when in Rome…”. All is well now, I know he has grown from that experience and the mere fact that he now has to explain it on his college app is a reminder to think about what you are doing.

quote

quote

When I look back at my high school years some 30 + years ago, nothing was different- kids were drinking and doing all sorts of things, my crew was really careful  and never got caught or perhaps we/they were lucky ; ).

Happy Tuesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi and Family in Carp

Gigi and Family in Carp


Goodbye To 4.5 pounds of Joy…

Posted on by Gigi in My Life, Uncategorized 5 Comments
"Blue"

“Blue”

Most of you know I am a crazy cat lady, leo the lioness, kitty lover. My mother loves cats too, so of course growing up we always had a cat. There’s something special about kitty love, the soft meow, the gentle kneading and those mesmerizing eyes that can melt your heart.

Blue

Blue

Blue joined our family July 3, she was discovered under a wooden pallet  at the nursery, and once I laid eyes on her, I knew she was coming home with me. Of course I didn’t need another kitty, since I already have 3, but there was something about her that captured my heart. She was so little and I could not stop thinking about what happened to her mother and her little mates, how did she end up at the nursery abandoned.

Blue at the vet

Blue at the vet

This little multi-colored fur ball has given me so much joy, at a time when it seems as if everyone I care about is being attacked by diseases, life changes, financial woes, layoffs you name it. Somehow this little thing helped me absorb the bad news I was dealing with on a daily basis, perhaps it was her spirit or the way she would run and jump and entertain herself trying to catch a moth for what seemed like hours.

So Cute

So Cute

It took the other kitties a couple of months to embrace Blue, but once they did, they would all take turns grooming her and running around the house playing “kitty tag”.

Blue under the reformer

Blue under the reformer

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that Blue was not as playful, and seemed as if she was losing weight and overall just not herself, so I made an appointment with the vet last Wednesday, thinking maybe she had worms or was about to go into heat. So after her exam, Dr. To came into the room and told me the worst news, that Blue had F.I.P ( feline infectious peritonitis ).  A FATAL disease with no cure or treatment. I am and was devastated. Before I knew it I was crying uncontrollably.

Blue

Blue

As painful as it is I have to euthanize Blue this week. I have to do what is best and minimize her pain. I know I have only had her 4 months, but this accelerated path to death caught me off guard. It was yet another reminder of the brief cycle of life, I know the 4 months of her short 6 month life were full of love.

I’m gonna miss my “Blue” kitty…

"Blue" May 2014-Oct 2014

“Blue” May 2014-Oct 2014

XOXO,

Gigi

 

 


Listen to your Spirit…

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

You can either waltz boldly onto the floor of life and live the way you know your spirit is nudging you to, or you can sit quietly by the wall and recede in the shadows of fear and self-doubt.”

-OPRAH

Came across this quote and thought about how it took me a while to listen to my spirit. It was not necessarily fear or self-doubt, but a need to comply with some imaginary image that I created in my mind. I spent a lot of time exploring and trying to figure out what was my true purpose on this planet. I had the mother/wife thing under control, but it was the other part of me that needed to be discovered.

I remember many years ago, hmmm like 30 years, wanting to work at IBM, because I thought having a career in the corporate world would make me “important” and as silly as it may sound I thought working there would make me more attractive to potential mates. I observed the way IBM-ers looked and went out and bought a nice navy suit, a blouse with a bow at the neck, low heeled pumps, and stud earrings, I pulled my hair back, a little makeup and after a few interviews I was hired. It was a horrible fit, because my spirit was not there, no matter how hard I tried. So needless to say after a few close calls ie. almost getting fired, I resigned and started a brownie business with a friend.

Soon I realized I was most happy working for myself, even if I did not make a lot of money. My spirit needed the freedom to create and follow my passion. Now at 55  I am an up and coming photographer and I am thrilled everyday with my work. So it is NEVER to late to listen to that inner voice and see where it leads you- you may be pleasantly surprised.

 

GiGi

GiGi in Thailand

A few days ago,  Oscar De La Renta, passed away, at the age of 82. I don’t own any of his dresses, even on sale they were always out of my league, but I always admired them and how beautifully they were constructed. Here are a few of my favorite ladies sporting Oscar De La Renta…

First Lady Michelle

First Lady Michelle

Beyonce

Beyonce

Iman

Iman

Kerry

Kerry

Lupita

Lupita

Halle

Halle

Happy Thursday-

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


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