What are your favorite things about yourself?

Have you ever noticed, myself included how when someone gives you a compliment you downplay the compliment as a way not to seem full of yourself? Why is that? Do you have conversations like this: Friend- "You look really good, you Read more

Back to Practice

I'm back on the mat and I'm starting to regain my balance. Over the years I have had an off and on again relationship with yoga. Once I'm at the studio, everything is fine, it's my happy place, its Read more

Formation Ladies...

I did not pledge a sorority when I was in college. Most of my friends were in one, and although I was not we still all socialized  together. I have always had a large community of girlfriends, going all Read more

How to Make 2017 The Best

"I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me." - Anais Nin It's Tuesday, January 17th and I am posting Read more

Wedding Words

A few weekends ago we trekked to northern California for our nephew's wedding. We decided to make it a road trip, typically we never drive anywhere more than 2 hours. We arrived to Livermore, a little quaint town in Read more

What are your favorite things about yourself?

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 1 Comment

Gigi photographer

Have you ever noticed, myself included how when someone gives you a compliment you downplay the compliment as a way not to seem full of yourself? Why is that?

Do you have conversations like this:

Friend- “You look really good, you lost weight!”

Me- “No Way, I’m at an all time high hahahaha.”

or

Friend- “Your curls are jamming!”

Me- “No, look at this part right here, it is all dry.”

or

Friend- “I love your shoes!”

Me- “These old things…”

or

Friend- “Your makeup looks good”

Me- “Oh no, I have on a ton of concealer on , see look at all this discoloration…”

So I started thinking about this, not accepting compliments, especially  genuine ones. We all know the other kind like…

Friend- “Oh my goodness, you have lost a TON of weight- What did you do?”

or

Friend- “Do you ever get your hair DONE?”

or

Friend- “You should really look into BOTOX, it would take years off you!”

So I’m going to take a moment to share what I love about myself, no apologies.

  1. I love that I have embraced my natural hair and after many hours and numerous concoctions later, I have it down.

    Gigi January 2016

  2. I’m proud that I have reinvented myself and that I am pursuing my passion- photography.

    Gigi

3. I love that I am an open book and that the older I get the more authentic I am…4. I love that I always look for the good in every situation and everyone.

5. I love meeting new people.

What do you love about yourself? Are you a good friend? A great parent? Are you a natural athlete ?  This is your time to share… I’d love to know.

XOXO,

Gigi


Back to Practice

Posted on by Gigi in Well-Being Leave a comment

yogis

I’m back on the mat and I’m starting to regain my balance. Over the years I have had an off and on again relationship with yoga. Once I’m at the studio, everything is fine, it’s my happy place, its the getting there that sometimes can be a challenge, especially with vinyasa hot yoga the practice that I like. Doing hot yoga, I have to drive a little ways to the studio, I have to shower, address the hair, get out of my soaking wet clothes, its a lot of steps to incorporate my practice in my life. It helps having a husband who will go with me a couple of time a week, he sees the benefits as well.

yogis

Why do I like yoga? Of course as I get older, I want to remain flexible. I like the challenge of the flow, doing or attempting to do the postures. I like the feeling of being drenched midway through the class. I like the rhythm of my breath as I inhale and exhale.

Chair Pose

Gigi yoga

But more than the physical practice I like the spirituality, the self reflection I get from my practice. I am able to tap into my authentic self, stuff that would normally annoy me doesn’t when I am practicing on a regular basis. I’m honest. I’m able to see things differently, rise above the craziness, and pay attention to what really matters.

My practice is not about getting into a complex pretzel poses, or headstands, it is about  being good enough for me- listening to my body everyday I get on my mat. Not having any judgement and most importantly allowing me to be present for others.

Do you practice yoga? What brings you peace?

Love these mats

Namaste,

XOXO,

Gigi


Formation Ladies…

Posted on by Gigi in friendship 2 Comments

I did not pledge a sorority when I was in college. Most of my friends were in one, and although I was not we still all socialized  together. I have always had a large community of girlfriends, going all the way back to my childhood. I was not the most popular girl by any means, but I made friends easily.

Currently I have quite a few women friends in my life. I belong to a book club, I have a group of girlie girls  that I ski with, I have a movie, wine tasting group of girls, girls of summer group, Jack and Jill moms, my travel girls, and a few that are not in any of the above mentioned group that I socialize with as well.

Gigi’s Book Club

I love hanging with my ladies. the best thing about my women friends is that you can talk about every and any thing, beauty, fashion, hair, sex, politics, your fears, business, men, aging parents, marriage, lashes, brows, aging, hormones, illness, you name it…

Gigi girls of summer-

Granted some relationships are complicated with our female friends, but the older I get the more understanding and tolerant I am of differences. You understand that you may only see one friend every 6 months, and another friend you may chat with 2x a day and that is okay, as long as both friends are on the same page.

Ski girlies

 

Ski Patrol

It is comforting to know that you have women in your life that if you called one in the middle of the night you know she would answer, and be there for you. It is nice to share with a friend, that you know you are not going to be judged by, no matter what craziness you have gotten yourself involved in…

Beauty box at the Hollywood Bowl

Girls just want to have fun…

Do you have a girl posse? Or do you have more co-ed friends? Or do you have 1 or 2 BFF’s that are your ride or die type of girls? One last question to think about…Do you think it is harder to make new friends as you get older?

XOXO,

Gigi


How to Make 2017 The Best

Posted on by Gigi in Holiday 4 Comments

Gigi 2017

“I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.” – Anais Nin

It’s Tuesday, January 17th and I am posting my first post of the year, actually my first post in a while. I’m cleaning my slate and refocusing my purpose, not making the ubiquitous resolutions, but taking inspiration from the Anais Nin quote as my guide. Making each day matter.

I’m always working on self, constantly pushing myself to be stronger, always striving to be the best version of me that I can be… not always easy. I’m back to my yoga practice, which is a good thing, those couple of hours on the mat makes a difference.

My photography is progressing, I’m growing as an artist, searching for my voice, balancing clients with my personal work. I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never be caught up and that’s okay, to be in a continuous state of “work in progress”.

Gigi photographer

So back to the question, How to make 2017 the best?

  1. Start by doing as much good as you can.
  2. Stop doing shit you hate.
  3. Love your body more.
  4. Make time for yourself- be selfish
  5. Forgive and Forget

    Gigi Maldives

    2017 a year where I slowly peel away little pieces of the life I desire. At my age there is more life behind me than ahead of me… that’s a fact.

    Did you make any resolutions ? I’d love to know…

     

“You make a life out of what you have, not what you’re missing.” -Kate Morton, The forgotten Garden

Xoxo,

Gigi


Wedding Words

Posted on by Gigi in Weddings Leave a comment
jumping the broom

jumping the broom

A few weekends ago we trekked to northern California for our nephew’s wedding. We decided to make it a road trip, typically we never drive anywhere more than 2 hours. We arrived to Livermore, a little quaint town in the wine country, after 6 hours on the road, to an activity filled weekend, celebrating a birth, a nuptial  and a bridal shower, btw all these were for different family members.

I love weddings, I love everything about them, the flowers, invitations, the gowns, rings, decor, themes, colors- I love all of it! Not enough to be a wedding photographer, I’m content at being the guest with a camera.

My anniversary is around the corner, we will be celebrating 27 years on July 23- so after witnessing the exchange of vows of this young couple I could not help but to reflect about my own marriage and all of our experiences.

Like most modern wedding ceremonies, the couple wrote their own heartfelt vows, expressing their love for one another. I thought about my own marriage and my commitment regardless of the challenges we encountered over the years. When we got married we did not write our vows nor did we have a traditional wedding with all the trimmings, we eloped to Hawaii and had a simple ceremony.  Being the romantic I am if/when I decide to renew our vows with a ceremony I have a few poems files away for that special day hmmmm perhaps our 30th since we missed the 25th.

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

“Our Union” by Hafiz

Our union is like this: You feel cold, so I reach for a blanket to cover our shivering feet./

A hunger comes into your body, so I run to my garden and start digging potatoes./

You asked for a few words of comfort and guidance, and I quickly kneel by your side offering you a whole book as a gift./

You ache with loneliness one night so much you weep, and I say here is a rope, tie it around me, I will be your companion for life.

A & A wedding

A & A wedding

The Journey by Nikki Giovanni

It’s a journey…that I propose…I am not the guide…nor technical assistant…I will be your fellow passenger…

Though the rail has been ridden…winter clouds cover…autumn’s exuberant quilt…we must provide our own guide-posts…

I have heard…from previous visitors…the road washes out sometimes…and passengers are compelled…to continue groping…or turn back…I am not afraid…I am not afraid…of rough spots…or lonely times…I don’t fear…the success of this endeavor…I am Ra…in a space…not to be discovered…but invented…I promise you nothing…I accept your promise…of the same we are simply riding…a wave…that may carry…or crash…

It’s a journey…and I want…to go…

the dance

the dance

He’s no perfect, by Bob Marley

He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, He’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.

Love this man

Love this man

Did you have a “reading” at your wedding?

Happy Monday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Brown Mermaid

Posted on by Gigi in photography Leave a comment

IMG_1932.PNG

I have always loved the water, as far back as I can remember and that’s a long time. I was the kid that on family trips to the beach I stayed in the ocean the entire time, just riding the waves.  A year ago on a whim I took an underwater photography class and fell in love! Both of my passions together, what more could I ask for…

After taking that class, I rented the housing for my camera to try it out in my own pool and I was hooked, I knew I  wanted to add this to my slate of specialities. So I made the hefty  investment and have been going down under ever since.

 

gigi underwater

gigi underwater

I have done numerous sessions now and I am still fascinated with the variety of results I get each time I do a shoot. Sometimes I’m photographing a dancer or a new swimmer, regardless of the person’s skill set I love creating something unique and magical for each person. Depending on the time of day, weather, location in my pool, and my position, no shoot is ever the same. The light and shadows create a surreal little world.

Sara

Sara

I have quite a variety of “underwater outfits” that add to the experience, including shoes and various other props, everything potentially can go in the water…

"love of reading"

“love of reading”

Sessions go for 3 to 4 hours, I’m in the water the entire time, building a bond with my mermaids and sometimes mermen. I don’t use scuba gear I just free dive and am able to hold my breath for a really long time, allowing me to position myself to get the best shots.

"Red"

“Red”

"Cynara"

“Cynara”

I have even done a few maternity sessions which were really fun. My “mom’s to be” are so flexible in the water.

"Tea-Zap"

“Tea-Zap”

"Myriam"

“Myriam”

I’m dreaming about doing some sort of coffee table book featuring underwater images, another one of those bucket list items, so many of them. I have lots of sessions scheduled this summer and I know I will capture some incredible images- I’m also working on a new website to showcase my work so stay tuned.

Happy Tuesday-

Xoxo,

Gigi

quote

quote

 

 

 


Change

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment
Gigi

Gigi

Being on the planet for more than half a century there have been people I have come in contact with that have inspired me and encouraged me to grow as an individual. Some of them are still in my life and some are not.

Change is a part of life and our growth as human beings. It is not always comfortable, matter of fact it can be painful at times. Part of this life journey is getting places we want to go. Setting goals and having a vision is only one part, you have to execute and follow through. Recently everyday I have been writing my elevate and execute tasks down in a notebook and it has really helped my productivity- like writing my blog daily again.

Figure out who you are and focus on your talents, no matter what your age is or where you are in your life journey it is never to late to explore another path. Limit your time with those individuals who feel they are superior to you the ones who you would like approval from, but sometimes these are the ones that will never see you as “good enough”.  I have run into photographers in my short career that love telling me how much I don’t know… I limit my interaction with those types in exchange for those photographers who are willing to share and inspire me.

As this month is rapidly coming to an end, I am embracing some changes in my personal and business life. I’m excited and will be sharing changes here as they develop.

Who or what  inspires you?

Btw if you are looking for a great book to read this summer check out the book my club is reading here.

Those of you that really know me – know that I am a cat woman- check these dolce gabbana cat-ture dresses out…and yes I would wear one of these-lol

IMG_1699-0.png IMG_1700-0.png

cat dresses

cat dresses

Happy Monday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Relationship Goals

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment
Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

I will be celebrating 27 years of marriage in a few weeks, add in the 2 years we dated that brings us to 29 years- a long time! More than half of my life. While no relationship is perfect- and if it were I think that would be quite boring. I was thinking about what makes my relationship rock? Here are a few things I came up with.

1. I know this seems like a no brainer, but we still sleep together in the same bed, same room. Not always the case. The other day a guy was sharing with me some doggie drama that now because of it his wife sleeps in another room with one of the puppies.

2. Don’t hold grudges. Speak your mind, have disagreements  and move on. Oh and COMMUNICATE! The quiet BS does not work if anything it just builds resentment.

3. Your spouse should be your best friend- the one you want to share stuff with- the good the bad and the ugly. The person you can share your fears with, the one that will not judge you- the one that understands you-

4. Treat your spouse with respect. Adore him. Adore her. Continue to give compliments to one another.

5. Do and try new things together. Travel. Bottom line continue to date, don’t let your kids, work etc. stop you from having private time together.

6. Always have some interests of your own- Continue to grow as an individual.

7. Remember why you fell in LOVE…

Happy Friday- What are your plans for the weekend? I will be working, but my Sunday will end at the Hollywood Bowl one of my favorite summer venues.

Happy Friday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

Our villa in Ubud

Our villa in Ubud


MERAKI

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment

 

Gigi

Gigi

I’m a word junkie, I like discovering new words. So my new word that I discovered that I just love is MERAKI.

“Greek. maraki {may-rah-kee} (adjective) This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.”

I feel this way about my photography. Discovering what one is passionate about is not easy, I did not discover mine until about 3 years ago. Yes, I have aways liked taking pictures all my life, but I never thought it would become a career that I absolutely love.

Over my life I’ve been sort of ADD with all my passions, in the past I would lock into something that I thought was the one and then the interest would wane. Self doubt would creep in making me question my purpose and if I am good enough to be doing this or sometimes I would just loose that initial excitement.

I dabbled in interior design for a few years, loved it, did the program at UCLA, worked at the Pacific Design Center, did a few clients, opened a home decor boutique and something happened where my enthusiasm was no longer there, I realized I just wanted to design my own space and buy things that I loved personally.

I was passionate about my brownie business, did it well, developed it from the ground up with my best friend had a lot of success, but then I got married and had Amani and my interest shifted to other things.

When I changed my diet I became obsessed with the vegan lifestyle, I started being an educator for others, hosting cooking classes in my home, living breathing everything vegan…and then I went to France and had a little piece of cheese with a glass of wine and I have been going back and forth trying to recommit.

And then there was my knitting binge, where I would knit nonstop, buying yarn from all over the world, reading knitting magazines, totally consumed, and then I would stop just like that and pack all the yarn away.

I could go on and on in all my distractions and paths my passions have led me on only to end on a dead end road.

So there are times when I wake up in the middle of the night, and I think “I’m a photographer” a sort of historian for others, capturing and documenting their lives, and what I do is valuable and I love every minute of it. Knowing that keeps me motivated and excited – it may have took a half a century to discover but I’m at a good place and the time for me is now.

So back to my word, maraki here is my sentence using my new word:

My meraki is in everything I photograph. What are you passionate about?

quote

quote

Happy Thursday,

xoxo,

Gigi

 


Summer To Do List

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 2 Comments
Gigi

Gigi

Every year my family and I have been fortunate to take a family vacation- a destination selected and planned by me without many restrictions, the only one being, that travel takes place in August. We usually alternate years with an exotic trip abroad with something in the states the following year. This year we will be going to Kauai and Maui.

Hawaii is a special place for me for 2 reasons: 1. Kauai is where Reggie and I got married way back in 1989.

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

Wedding Day july 23, 1989 1 week before 30

2. It is the first place I traveled alone as a child.

My girl scout troop went to Hawaii when I was in the 6th grade. I remember the trip vividly, my mom gave me $30.00 for spending money and I was going to be there for 7 days which was about 4.00 per day, by the way most of our meals were included, but I wanted to bring all my family members a souvenir back from this tropical paradise. So even back then 30.00 did not go far, so my 11 year old brain decided that I could shoplift the 5 gifts I needed for my family. There was no rhyme or reason to what I stole just the right opportunity, I just could not return empty handed, so hence my gifts were a collection of oddities but never the less a gift from Hawaii.

Now that summer is here, this is my

list that I would like to cross off by the time Labor Day arrives.

  1. Take advantage of our Cali beaches
  2. Host a couple of fun dinner parties.
  3. Give a face lift to my back yard.
  4. Create a studio space to “paint” some portraits.
  5. Hollywood Bowl summer nights.
  6. Scrubs at my favorite Korean spa.
  7. Paddle boarding
  8. Mermaid shoots.
  9. A boudoir b-day celebration with some of my BFF’s
  10. Fix and or get a new bike and start riding again
  11. bump up my workouts so I’m not hiding behind a coverup on my Hawaii trip
  12. Try some new outdoor brunch spots that are veggie friendly

What’s on your summer wish list? I’d love to know-

Xoxo Gigi

Gigi & Tea

Gigi

 


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