Goodbye To 4.5 pounds of Joy...

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, Read more

Listen to your Spirit...

"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 Read more

What's your take on aging?

Came across this article in the New Yorker 25 quotes from famous women on aging.  Love this one from Dolly Parton: "I will never retire unless I have to. As long as I'm able to get up in the morning, Read more

Quote

I love Zora Neale Hurston, and the other day I stumbled across this quote on instagram. This is so powerful...How many of us are silent about painful situations? In my current life I am an open book, at times Read more

ON Bodies and Other Things

Breaking the 55 speed limit, has its bumps in the road- not that I'm obsessed with my body, but yes I do want to be  fit and healthy and if a side benefit is a toned physique I'll take Read more

Goodbye To 4.5 pounds of Joy…

Posted on by Gigi in My Life, Uncategorized 4 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

 


What’s your take on aging?

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Leave a comment

Came across this article in the New Yorker 25 quotes from famous women on aging.  Love this one from Dolly Parton:

“I will never retire unless I have to. As long as I’m able to get up in the morning, get that makeup on and my high heels on, and even if I can’t wear high heels, I’m going to do like Mae West, I’m going to sit in a wheelchair with my high heels on.”

Gigi’s take on aging:

Aging is a part of life, I have loved each decade for different reasons. Childhood- no matter what was going on with the adults I still had many happy moments, teen years were the discovery years of exploring and sampling the good and lots of bad, 20’s the rebel years, against all odds, just out there in the world, 30’s motherhood, wife-hood, figuring out who am I and what is my purpose, 40’s I’m a full fledge confidant woman working on me and doing whatever I want to do, 50’s living the la vida loca, yes I can be a photographer, yes I can say “no” when I need to and if something is not working I know it is okay to quit.

As time goes by and you experience loss, heartbreak and sadness you realize that each day is a gift and you have to exhale, stretch your body and conquer each day, look for the joy and squash the negativity and always find a reason to celebrate.

Another thing, came across this article about how “skinny jeans” are out- (btw after I finally figured out what brand fit my big butt and thighs) and  flare leg jeans are back. The good thing about being 50 something is that you have seen all the trends over and over. I chuckle to myself when I think about my mom telling me about when something was in “style” a long time ago, well guess what- I’m doing the same thing. The good news is I still have my flare jeans, something told me to hold on to them.

And lastly, with everything that is going in the world, why is Bey’s new bangs making all the headlines? Or last weeks reference to her “mom” do…hehehe as India Arie says ” I am not my hair”…

Bey's mommie do and her new bangs...

Bey’s mommie do and her new bangs…

photo-150

Happy Wednesday

Xoxo,

Gigi

fresh highlights

fresh highlights

 


Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes Leave a comment
Quote

Quote

I love Zora Neale Hurston, and the other day I stumbled across this quote on instagram. This is so powerful…How many of us are silent about painful situations? In my current life I am an open book, at times maybe to open, but I know the silent pretend everything is okay is not good. It’s like the ah ha moment when you here something about someone that is totally unexpected, and the response is “wow, I wish I would have known, maybe I could of helped” this is what I am talking about.

We all know that person who is always smiling, but you sense the smile has no depth, the one who you have a conversation with and you still don’t know anything about them, or the one you have know for 20 plus years who you are no closer with than you are to your local grocery store checker. Some of these peeps are suffering from this pain, that is masquerading in designer clothes, and other trappings that represent a superficial “happiness”.

Personally I’m dealing with the pain of working with my son and this college process. We all want the best for our children, but I know they have to want it as well, I can’t as a mother want it more than he does. I can’t go back and say why did you not do better, all I can do is help him and hope in the future he makes better choices. Now it would be easy to “pretend” that I have this model student…who would know or question?

Keeping pain silent will take a toll on your soul…Let it go. I know it is not easy, especially if the pain has been around for a long time, but trust me your soul will thank you. Personally I’m dealing with the pain of working with my son and this college process. We all want the best for our children, but I know they have to want it as well, I can’t as a mother want it more than he does. I can’t go back and say why did you not do better, all I can do is help him and hope in the future he makes better choices.

Xoxo,

Gigi


ON Bodies and Other Things

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

Breaking the 55 speed limit, has its bumps in the road- not that I’m obsessed with my body, but yes I do want to be  fit and healthy and if a side benefit is a toned physique I’ll take that. So I’m on top of my workout game, which is keeping me sore on most days. Working out in a high intensity class where you are the eldest in the room will take a toll on you, but I’m doing it. I just want to keep the middle age spread at a distance, I don’t want to come face to face with it, at least not at this point, I still like body conscious clothes and want to rock them for a bit more.

So as I’m limping around this weekend, I came across this photography project called 4th trimester bodies, which is a collection of images of women and their small babies showcasing their bodies. The images are so real and raw, these mothers and their post birth soft bodies are beautiful. I started thinking about the standard of “body beauty” that women are judged by and who sets that. Like why am working my butt off to have flat abs, some sort of waist and a tight ass…all of which may be mission impossible anyway.

In my own business, I photograph a lot of women and most no matter what size or age they are will immediately zoom in on their bodies and ask if something can be tweaked with a little photoshop. I remember when I was younger, a lot younger in my 20’s I thought I was the “bomb”, now I get 20 something year-old gorgeous girls that want images photoshopped, but I guess we are living in a world where celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian, and Bey are photoshopping instagram pics, so everyone has a warped sense of reality.

Then there are the diets, the juice cleanse, paleo diet, atkins, master cleanse, gluten free, HCG 500 calorie and countless others, all of which work if you follow them, it is when you go back to eating “normal” that all the weight returns sometimes even more than what you started with and now a jacked metabolism where you look at a cookie and gain weight. I personally love good food to much, which is my problem, and could never stick with any plan long term, especially the low calorie ones, where the weight comes off so fast and the consequence is a sunken in face, not good for my age demographic. So the trade off fat butt and full face or skinny butt and sunken face…I chose the first one.

So friends as difficult as it is, lets work toward acceptance and stop the self loathing–cause at the end of the day there is always going to be some one thinner, younger, tighter body etc. just be the best version of you. So I will work on loving my golden age body, and the bumps and lumps that I have earned over the half century it has been on the planet. I’ll do my workouts for my overall well being, BTW nothing feels better than a good sweaty workout- and I’ll take any cosmetic gains as well.

Happy Monday

Xoxo Gigi

Gigi @ 55

Gigi @ 55

 


Busy

Posted on by Gigi in Thoughts 2 Comments

Busy is a choice . Tired and exhausted, usually is not a choice. Yes, this past week has been crazy, starting Saturday I had a senior shoot in downtown LA in bazillion degree weather. We went to the Bradbury building where we were quickly interrogated about our cameras and  asked was this a commercial shoot, so hence no pics were taken at this location with our client, of course permits are $500 which was not in the budget, so we popped over to tired and true Disney Hall.

Disney Hall senior shoot

Disney Hall senior shoot

Bradbury building

Bradbury building

Sunday, the 5 hour turn around  trip to my son’s school in Santa Barbara, the drive is long but in less than a year, he will be away at college somewhere and the visits will not be as frequent, so I am cherishing these senior year moments and there is a nice outlet on the way and Erewhon market, one of my favorite places to stop for a treat.

Kabucha @ Erewhon

Kabucha @ Erewhon

Monday, week 2 of my new “work out” routine, an hour of yoga followed by a crazy boot camp-ish type class called ETC, one in which I am sure I am the oldest person participating and yes it is kicking my BUTT. They put motivational messages up on the wall to keep us encouraged, but by the time I am done I feel so good so it is worth all the pain and suffering. I got a pair of these yoga/barre shoes and I love them…they are on sale here, some how getting dressed in new workout gear makes it a little easier. Am I the only one that feels this way?

my new barre/yoga shoes

my new barre/yoga shoes

Monday night my film class started at UCLA. I have always been intrigued by motion, so when I saw this class, DSLR Video and Motion I had to sign up, so of course I will be showcasing my work here very soon. My teacher Van Ditthavong has done some interesting projects, including making a short film for nokia using a Lumia phone.

Tuesday, a shoot with 3 lovelies. We were doing portfolio shots for a MUA friend, the models were interesting and fun to work with.

natural beauty

natural beauty

fun shoot

fun shoot

MUA doing her work

MUA doing her work

fellow yogini

fellow yogini

cow girl

cow girl

Wednesday, Back to the “kick ass” class and then dinner in LA with a BFF who I have not seen since June. We met at one of my favorite restaurants Gracias Madre, they have the best vegan mexican food. My BFF surprised me with an Alexis Bittar bracelet…I love them and I am acquiring a nice collection thanks to my generous girlfriends, love arm candy.

Alexis Bittar arm candy

Alexis Bittar arm candy

Thursday, another 5 hour turn around trip to Santa Barbara. I met with my son’s college counselor to work on fine tuning his college list, stressful to say the least. Afterwards we with to Montecito, stopped at an orchid farm, there are so many out there and then to Trattoria Mollie for dinner, where my son was able to practice his Italian with the staff.

Reggie and the orchids

Reggie and the orchids

 

In addition to all the above,  I still had husband stuff, family stuff, house stuff, edit stuff, club stuff and “Me” stuff.

I’m not sure if I like being this “busy”, that feeling of not enough hours in the day. I yearn for the idleness of no deadlines, no appointments, and nowhere to be except where I want to be…

This weekend I have a beach family shoot, which I am looking forward to, and another 5 hour turn around trip for my son.

Happy Friday, have a wonderful weekend.

Xoxo,

Gigi

BTW here are a few links I meant to share earlier in the week.

I want to do a personal photography project, so I am always looking for inspiration. This is a project on the underground railroad, that a photographer captured.

Interesting article on social media, I’m guilty of this.

Are cornrows mainstream now? Read this.

And lastly…the older I get the more I think I could do something like this.

 

 

 

 

 


The Trip to Bountiful

Posted on by Gigi in entertainment Leave a comment
Trip to Bountiful

Trip to Bountiful

First and foremost Cicely Tyson is fabulous! I’m not sure of her age, the NY Times peg her as 88 and some other sources state that she is 80, all I know is that she carries the production for the entire 2 hours whatever her age is. Cicely Tyson sings, dances, and her silent expressions are priceless. Her Tony award winning performance is flawless. Pulitzer Prize winner, Horton Foote’s american masterpiece The Trip to Bountiful, is still a timely piece, the message of home and family and what is really important never goes out of style.

The Trip to Bountiful takes place in 1950’s Texas, Mother Watts (Cicely Tyson) living in a small apartment with her bossy daughter-in-law Jessie Mae (Vanessa Williams) and son Ludie (Blair Underwood),  Mother Watts is determined to go back to Bountiful, her hometown. Ludie is constantly balancing his mother and wife trying to keep peace. Jessie Mae is the nagging daughter-n-law who is frustrated with Mother Watts and is not afraid to express how annoyed she is with her.

Mother Watts, runs away with her pension check in hand to return to Bountiful. Her journey is delightful and nothing and everything happens on her bus ride to Bountiful.

trip to bountiful

trip to bountiful

We got very good tickets at the last minute, I was surprised at the amount of empty seats for a world class production like this, even on a Wednesday evening.

Trip to Bountiful at the Ahmanson Theater September 17 – November 2

Go see this one- don’t miss out-

Happy Friday,

Xoxo,

Gigi


Zucchini Pasta & Marinara Sauce

Posted on by Gigi in Recipes 2 Comments
Zuchinni pasta & mair

Zucchini pasta & marinara sauce

On warm days it’s nice to have a salad for dinner, especially when I am on “program” and working on dropping a few pounds. We have been having a nonstop heat wave here in Cali. This is one of my favorite dishes to make- I love pasta but pasta does not love me, so these zucchini noodles are a nice alternative. The recipe is so easy and can be varied to your taste, it is the sort of recipe that lends itself to eyeballing and adjusting your seasoning to your palate.

Equipment needed:

vitamix or high speed blender

spiralizer

spri

spiralizer

Ingredients:

2 or 3 zucchini

2 cups of sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hours- I soak mine overnight

2 or 3 small heirloom tomatoes- diced

1/4-1/2 cup of chopped red onion

3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1-2 small garlic cloves chopped

1/4-1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

fresh herbs- basil (I like a lot of basil), oregano, thyme

1-2 tablespoons of agave if needed- I find it depends on the sweetness of my tomatoes

1-2 teaspoons of sea salt

red pepper flakes or a fresh pepper

1. spiralize zucchini and set aside

2. drain all the water and squeeze excess out of sun-dried tomatoes, mix all ingredients in vitamix until smooth, sauce should be thick-taste and adjust flavoring to your liking-

3. arrange noodles on plate and top with sauce and serve!

heirloom tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

sun-dried tomatoes

sun-dried tomatoes

chili olive oil adds a nice kick

chili olive oil adds a nice kick

so easy-love this gadgit

so easy-love this gadgit

"pasta"

“pasta”

Enjoy!

Happy Thursday,

XOXO,

Gigi

 


What are you willing to give up?

Posted on by Gigi in Inspiration 1 Comment

I’m always reading something, online, magazines, a book or the newspaper-I’m old school I still get it delivered daily, I keep my notebook handy and if I come across something interesting I will jot it down, so the other day I came across this quote:

“People who look like they have everything they want are actually the people who are most clear on what they are willing to give up.”

I thought about it for a moment as it relates to my own life and it was so clear. Basically it goes back to being happy with what you have at any given moment, instead of what you don’t have… We live in a suburb outside of LA proper in a little sleepy town, I’m very happy here, although sometimes I hear “hmmmmm I don’t know how you live out there…it is so far” or “I could never do all the driving you all do”  Living where we live, was a choice we made, and we are okay with not living in LA proper, or in my case I gave up living at the beach prior to getting married.

Beach House

Beach House

Do I wish I had a hermes birkin bag?  No, I’m happy with my pretty bags that I have accumulated from various sales here and there. Do I have hair envy when I see someone with long straight shiny hair blowing? Hmmmm no, I gave that up when I decided to wear my hair in its natural state. The list goes on and on.

Hermes Birkin

Hermes Birkin

The key is figuring out what you can comfortably give up and still be happy. I love traveling, but being self employed there is only so much time my husband and I can take off, without our businesses suffering, so the romantic notion of living abroad for a month or so, is not in our future, but I can go and see a lot on a 4 day trip. I remember after 9/11 we scored some tickets to London for $200 RT, we left on a Wednesday and returned on a Sunday, spent 3 days there and had a blast.

Life is to short to always look for the negative, or to feel as though the entire world is out to get you. Remember there is always going to be someone who is younger than you , richer than you, skinnier than you etc. but once you exhale and give in to your authentic self, everything else will fall into place. We really are in control, and sometimes when you give up certain things other opportunities will come your way. It may be little things like waking up earlier to exercise to get the fit body your want,  or taking an online class to pick up a new skill or maybe fine tuning your “friend” circle to those who really are there for you and you both mutually enhance each others lives.

So what are you willing to give up? I’m curious, we all are so different and what is important to me may not be important to you. Please share…

Happy Wednesday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn. – Gore Vidal

 


Gigi’s Meanderings around the Web # 16

Posted on by Gigi in Web Leave a comment

Always wanted to go here, and today I did…had a really good juice.

Central Market

Central Market

I see why makeup “you tubes” can be addicting…came upon this one, love the look.

Yes. I am condensing stuff, and not shopping as often, appreciating what I have, but I would like pair of these.

Speaking of shopping I love love love a good deal, so of course I was thrilled to score these boots at the Last Call at 70% off, especially since they are in the store at full price.

Being a girl who has always a lot of junk in the trunk, I’m always intrigued with the attention the media spends on “butts” check out this piece on “posteriors”.

Love this look for a Cali fall day.

Cali day look

Cali day look

Saw Choir Boy, by Tarrell McCraney it is a must see. Read about it here.

Equilizer- definitely a “boy” movie, but it was Denzel Washington.

This time I will keep up with my workouts…starting back is so so hard, but if you are wearing a pair of these I’m sure the workout will seem easier.

Love my garden…still have collards, peppers, tomatoes, herbs and squash that is taking over everything.

collards

collards -gigi’s garden

Happy Tuesday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


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