HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

I love Valentine's Day. I'm a true romantic. I love all things pink and red, sparkly & glittery, lacy and black, sweet and chocolaty, roses and orchids, perfumes and creams and of course sexy stilettos. After 24 years of Read more

Time Goes By...

My life is full, but I feel as though it is zooming by at the speed of light. Most days there are not enough hours to do everything, always something hanging over my head. There are those never ending Read more

Quote

Love this quote...no matter what is going on, I always think about, something good is going to come. Happy Read more

Your Story...

Sometimes you can feel as though a rug has been pulled out from under you, and life as you know it is totally different. It could be a relationship, financial, physical or a mental change and your world can Read more

What Happened To Me?

It has been longer than I care to recall. So much going on, my life has been absolutely crazy! First I injured my left hip flexor on Saturday, January 11th, the same day we received the horrific news that Read more

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

Posted on by Gigi in Holiday Leave a comment
love this

love this

I love Valentine’s Day. I’m a true romantic. I love all things pink and red, sparkly & glittery, lacy and black, sweet and chocolaty, roses and orchids, perfumes and creams and of course sexy stilettos. After 24 years of marriage it would be easy to treat Valentine’s Day like any other day. We always surprise each other with something or a destination…I have a little something planned and I am looking forward to celebrating with the one I love.

Gigi & Reggie

Gigi & Reggie

Here are a few tips on keeping that Valentine feeling year round–

1. Never ever stop dating.

2. Smile upon greeting one another.

3. Be willing to forgive.

4. Continue to “love” like you did in the beginning…

5. Sacrifice for each other.

6.Be real and authentic

7. Compromise.

8. spend quiet time together.

9. Be a cheerleader for each other…

10. Honesty and consideration.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day…If you are solo do something special for yourself.

XOXO.

Gigi

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Time Goes By…

Posted on by Gigi in Thoughts Leave a comment

My life is full, but I feel as though it is zooming by at the speed of light. Most days there are not enough hours to do everything, always something hanging over my head. There are those never ending projects like going through all my pictures from the pre-digital era or deleting 1,000′s of emails and of course we can’t forget the dreaded garage.

I sometimes think about how I am starting a new career at an age when most of my contemporaries are retiring. No, I won’t get rich from what I am doing, but my work nourishes me, is always challenging and there is never a dull moment.

work

work

photographer Gigi

photographer Gigi

 

It has been a journey discovering my real self. At 54, I know my limitations, the past year I have had many reminders of the importance of living life to the fullest…enjoying every moment. I take time to laugh out loud and find simple pleasures that put a smile on my face. Sometimes I wear my “after 5″ duds during the day, just because and wear non-sensible shoes more often than I should.

I find that balance is the key, knowing that on any given day I do all I can without sacraficing “me” , knowing when to take a break and start fresh again . Accepting that it is OK if I don’t make that deadline and “work in progress” is good.

Where are you in your life journey? Do you ascribe to markers of where you should be in life? How do you balance? I’d love to know your secrets.

XOXO,

GIGI

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Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes Leave a comment
Quote

Quote

Love this quote…no matter what is going on, I always think about, something good is going to come.

Happy Wednesday.

Xoxo,

Gigi

Your Story…

Posted on by Gigi in Thoughts 2 Comments
rug pulled out from under you...

rug pulled out from under you…

Sometimes you can feel as though a rug has been pulled out from under you, and life as you know it is totally different. It could be a relationship, financial, physical or a mental change and your world can suddenly seem upside down. At these times you will challenge your belief system and question the “why”. The older I get I am finding myself a witness to these stark changes that come like a stealth bomber in the night, catching everyone off guard, only to be awaken to mass destruction and the thought of where and how to start over.

stealth bomber

stealth bomber

It does not have to be a negative change, the positive ones can wreck havoc as well. a career change, new relationship, relocating, a birth or something as simple as losing weight or changing a hairstyle.

Gigi with flat ironed hair

Gigi @ big “50″ “straight is for parties…

Week old hair from a WnG

Week old hair from a WnG

I always have a loosely structured plan, one that can easily be adapted with a moments notice. Case and point when I did my photography program I envisioned myself being this extraordinary “family” photographer. I enjoyed that, but then on a whim I took this course from a woman photographer that specializes in women portraiture, and it was life changing. I realized that I love photographing women, I never get tired of coming up with ways to capture that light within and taking beautiful images that make my clients smile. I love nothing more than having a session with a client who shared that they cannot remember the last time they had a portrait taken.

Sign

Sign

I am fortunate to be setting my goals based on my dreams. Goals that are flexible enough that I know it is okay to vary the direction, if need be to make an occasional sharp turn or a detour to see something that may have been missed if I  stayed on the main road. Life would not be nearly as interesting if it did not have some false starts, different beginnings, a few scandals, different characters, plots, part 2′s etc..

We all have our story, all of it may not be a page turner, but it is uniquely ours. Who wants the predictable story? Think about your life, your story and be true to yourself and your beliefs.

Dream Big!

Xoxo,

Gigi

photographer Gigi

photographer Gigi

IMG_5630

 

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What Happened To Me?

Posted on by Gigi in Thoughts 8 Comments

It has been longer than I care to recall. So much going on, my life has been absolutely crazy! First I injured my left hip flexor on Saturday, January 11th, the same day we received the horrific news that our nephew had been in a fatal car accident. I’m convinced that the emotional impact of the news, combined with something I did while photographing the ladies at my Fresh & Fabulous 2014 event and my “advanced age” all contributed to an immobilizing injury. I was in so much pain I could barely walk and could only wear flip flops or slippers. I was already having nightmares envisioning my shoe collection on ebay and accepting that from here on out I would be regulated to wearing sensible shoes like Easy Spirit or Aerosoles instead of Loubies or Jimmy Choos. My girlfriends were already planning to get me a bling-ed walker heheheh

Zapatos

Zapatos

Christian-Louboutin-Let-Me-Tell-You-Ankle-Boots-Black-Red-90 I was visiting my acupuncturist, Dr Daoshing a few times a week, making turmeric shots, drinking green juice, rubbing all sorts of smelly ointments and icing until my hip was numb. I was determined to heal myself, you see I have this fear of MD’s- I know my husband is one, but I have always been scared of doctors. It stems from a few bad experiences when I was a child, that I have never gotten over yet. The good news is that I’m back, walking and wearing my “medium” heels.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Next my sister was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, I cannot begin to share the emotional toll that disease has on a family. The good news is that my sister has an excellent prognosis, and she is dealing with the chemo and the side effects like a true gladiator. I realize that life as you know it can change with the snap of a finger, there is no rhyme or reason most of the time–mess just happens. I always like to find a positive in every situation, and for my family it has brought us closer together, instead of being busy all the time doing whatever, we now make time for each other.

Breasts

Breasts

breast cancer

breast cancer

And lastly PS Couture, kicked off our Fresh & Fabulous 2014 event. We hosted 20 gorgeous ladies this past month, in small groups transforming them and creating images of “how they dreamed of being photographed”. It was a blast and non-stop fun which also meant non-stop editing. Stay tuned I will be featuring some of the ladies here, these women are not only beautiful but they all have incredible stories–so inspiring.

PS Couture beauty posse

PS Couture beauty posse

This past weekend my family had a memorial service for our nephew. He will truly be missed. A veil of sadness was heavy, family and friends traveled near and far to support the family at this difficult time. It rained the entire weekend mirroring our tears. 24  is way to early to depart, no parent should have to experience this, but unfortunately I’m finding out it happens more frequent than I realized, everyone seems to have a story of sudden loss.

Andrew Sampson 9-17-89- 1-11-14

Andrew Sampson September 17, 1989 – January 11, 2014

Reggie spoke at the services here are a few of the highlights.

So my friends, love your family and friends, have a forgiving open accepting heart, and cherish those special ones in your life.

XOXO,

Gigi

Gigi

Gigi

 

 

 

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What Could You Give Up?

Posted on by Gigi in Well-Being Leave a comment

If given a choice what could you give up? Your hair? Breasts? Complexion? Lashes” Brows? Figure? Self confidence? Faith? Integrity? All of the above?

Breasts

Breasts

 

Hair

Hair

lashes & brows

lashes & brows

figure

figure

I asked myself that question yesterday. Most of us love our “physical self” we abide by the mantra “love yourself”, but what happens when the “self” is confronted with change? How do you continue to love as opposed to hating “self”? The body that betrayed you, and now is becoming a fragment of your previous self.

Tears Streaming

-nausea most likely

-day 14 – 17 hair gone

- white count down

-can’t have intercourse at this time

-metallic taste

-numb feeling

-once every 3 weeks

-everyday for 6 weeks

-the pill for 10 years

-no more babies

-early menopause

-don’t get pneumonia

-ANY QUESTIONS

Change is frightening. There is a lot I don’t know about, but what I do know is how to live. I do know how to shut down the petty bull shit and keep moving. I do know how to let stuff out and be vulnerable. I do know how to forgive and admit mistakes.

I embrace 100% of me, and it is the inner most parts that I would not want to give up. The exterior “pretty” parts are not ours to keep, they are fading each decade regardless of what you do to desperatly hold on to them…it is part of the life cycle. Those inner parts however, your soul and heart are what enables you to confront adversity and find strength to deal with whatever blocks your path, if you give up your soul, and faith you are jacked. The external markings can be replaced, bought, rejuvenated, but the soul-less person is lost-

So my friends happy Friday..

“Stay calm and carry on”!

Xoxo,

Gigi

 

 

 

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2014 Another Year to Welcome

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

Quote

I came across this quote and thought about how everyday could be the “beginning of anything you want”. Most  of us end the year reflecting about the previous 12 months and then start the new year off with a host of resolutions, you know the usual suspects, exercise program, lose weight, eat better etc. and then come February, March the backsliding begins.

2014 will be a busy year for me, I’ll be celebrating 25 years of marriage in some manner, my son will be returning from Italy, starting his senior year, and the college application process. My business is starting the year with 3 sold out events, most of my waking moments are spent planning all the details I’m so excited, and of course I will be posting all the details here. On a lesser note, I will be on an emotional roller coaster, being the rock for a family member who is about to embark on the biggest battle of their life. With all of that going on, I still plan to post my musings here, inspired by things that bring me joy, things that inspire me, things that put a smile on my face in even the darkest moments.

gigi's Black eyed peas

gigi’s Black eyed peas

Today I made black eyed peas, a New Year tradition that is said to bring good luck. I modify a recipe from Samuelsson Marcus that I love, it is african/indian inspired preparation and if you like spice, it is simply delicious. All I do is saute in olive oil instead of butter, use veggie stock instead of chicken broth, and I use whatever fresh pepper I can find locally.

Marcus

Marcus

I do have a few personal goals for 2014

1. Take as many beautiful portraits that I can-many I will be sharing here.

2. Look for that perfect little casita, maybe in the desert, or by the sea or up in the mountains…it is something we have always talked about, but this may be the year to start seriously searching and make it happen.

3. Do another triathlon- sprint of course.

4. Keep calm and carry on…

5. Give back and make a difference whenever I can…

6. Travel , Travel and Travel–Brazil, Turkey, Vietnam, Madagascar, and Bali are just a few on my long list of places I hope to see one day.

7. Lastly continue to work on being my authentic self. Remember my journey is just that- my journey, and sometimes my GPS gets twisted, but it always recalculates and gets me going in the right direction again.

Remember this is your BEGINNING…

XOXO,

Gigi

 

 

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NEW YEAR’S EVE

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment

Good Bye 2013.

Tonight we will celebrate the New Year quietly at home. No galas or soirees just the two of us. 2014 will be the year of simplicity, savoring simple moments and embracing life…

I know all to well that tomorrow is not promised. Celebrate with your loved ones.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Xoxo,

Gigi

new year

new year

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NYE EVE… And what I learned from the Italians

Posted on by Gigi in My Life, Thoughts, Travel 1 Comment

On this “NYE” eve, like most of us I can’t help but to reflect on the past year. There were highs; my son’s acceptance to SYA Italy, our family trip to Thailand, my annual girls ski trip to Colorado, my launch of 54 Couture Portraiture, and my collaboration with a fellow artist forming PS Couture. There were lows as well; my husband’s stroke, my brother-n-law’s untimely death, breast cancer attacked my family like a stealth bomber, absence of a close friendship, and the loss of an unborn child. My observation in all of this is that life is constantly changing and waits for no one. The good and the bad have to be embraced, cherish the good and try and make sense of the bad.

mi familia

mi familia

The past week I was in Italy with my family, a first for us celebrating Christmas away, while there I did a lot of people watching and observed the italians zeal for life. They smoke and drink with abandonment, savor their meals, upon meeting men kiss one another, and all the women from baby girls to 80 plus year-olds are “dressed”.  The women my age are not trying to emulate their daughters, they are sporting silver hair, wearing body conscious clothes and always so effortlessly chic. I loved seeing people riding bikes, fully dressed in street clothes, going about their day.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps

It was refreshing not to see Starbucks. Yes. I do love Starbucks and have been known on more than one occasion to even cruise through a drive-thru. Here you did not see people walking around with paper cups, if you have a coffee or tea your are sitting in a cafe with a “real” cup and saucer, and oh none of this “tall”, “grande” and “venti” business, everything is served in a regular cup. The culture does not seem driven by convenience, no taking food away in containers and meals with your family are important.

Cafe

Cafe

What I learned from the Italians:

1. If I don’t have time to sit downn and drink my tea or coffee–I don’t need it.

2. No more wearing my “workout” clothes as street wear- finish working out and get dressed-enough said.

3. Prepare more meals at home, with the kids being away it is so easy to just pick something up.

4. Spend more time with family.

5. Continue to find joy in simple things ie. having fresh flowers just because…

flowers are everywhere in Italy...these were sold from the back of a truck

flowers are everywhere in Italy…these were sold from the back of a truck

6. Having friends over just because–the art of home entertaining seems lost-

7. Make more rituals-make your bath like a spa-why not?

love my bathtub...

love my bathtub…

8. Ride your bike for transportation in your regular clothes-and put your groceries in the bike basket–get rid of the Costco card and stop buying thngs in bulk…

9. Laugh out loud often- even if for no reason

10. And lastly…Drink more red wine or  juice or kumbucha…water–just drink

10.5 Yes…a bidet

11. Say “Ciao” “Grazie” and ” Allora”

Ciao,

XOXO,

GIGI

Gigi in Rome

Gigi in Rome

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Christmas and Thereafter

Posted on by Gigi in Family, Italy, My Life, Travel Leave a comment
mi familia

mi familia

 

The days are going by so fast and blending into each other. We have been in Italy just enough time to start adjusting to the time only to have to start packing for our trip home. A lot of bonding goes on when you are in a country where little english is spoken and there are none of the normal distractions. No phone calls, unreliable wifi most of the time, no nada, just each other, talking about everything from the future, their goals and dreams to what retirement looks like for us.

family

family

You bring these children into the world, but as parents we lay the foundation and express our wants and desires for them, but ultimately it is up to them to make it happen and stay on task. There is not enough “micro managing”,” helicopter mommy-ing” in the world that can make these young adults do something that they don’t really want to do. I’m sure there are many who may not agree with this, but in my 54 years here on the planet, 23 of these years being a parent and countless years observing my friends, family and numerous acquaintances raise kids, you have to just hope for the best and set the foundation, because there are no guarantees or sure set paths or formulas.

family

family

On this trip of no distractions we talked about everything like, “Yes you are on a nice trip doing “nice” things, but what are your going to do in your life so you too can travel?’ or “What colleges are you interested in based on your GPA?” or “How long to you plan to live in NYC on your salary?”

As I sat across from my children, I could not help but to reflect on how my family has grown up so quckly. We were blessed that everything worked out and we were able to be together. This trip made me realize how much I miss my children and the dynamics of being together as a family. I’m happy that they are both so independant but sad that they are both so far away.

This has been an unforgettable trip full of special memories. Tomorrow is our last day together, and we will all go our seperate ways hopefully to be reunited in the summer.

family

family

Xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi in Rome

Gigi in Rome

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