Makeup? or Cover Up?

In my photography business I use a professional makeup artist on almost all my shoots. I tend to form strong relationships with the artists I work with, hence professional relationships often creep over to friendships. Monique Woolley was one Read more

Yogurt, Avocado oil, and Honey

So we all have our vices, and one of mine is "color". The problem is like with any process it can be damaging and drying to your hair, but I like it regardless. Yes, more grey strands are making Read more

Not in This Lifetime...

Do you ever read something about someone in the press and for a moment you are in awe of the person's accomplishments and then you think to yourself "hmmmm not in this lifetime, would I ever be acknowledged for Read more

Commitment

What are committed to? I've been doing early morning workouts, not because I like getting up at 4:30, but because I'm committed and motivated by this 55 year-old body, that needs constant attention and work. Regardless of if I stay Read more

Your Presence

View image | gettyimages.com Your presence is a gift. We live in a world where everything is fast, slow is sometimes considered old and boring. Everyone is walking around with earphones, ear pieces, and smart phones have become a new Read more

Makeup? or Cover Up?

Posted on by Gigi in friendship Leave a comment
monique

monique

In my photography business I use a professional makeup artist on almost all my shoots. I tend to form strong relationships with the artists I work with, hence professional relationships often creep over to friendships. Monique Woolley was one of those, she was a delightful young woman that could easily have been my daughter. She came into my  business at a time when my other makeup artist had a medical emergency, and was going to need time off to heal. The first time she worked for me she came in with her platinum blond curls, and her stylist diva mom Amour, the 2 of them waved their magic wand and transformed my sister Romanna, not only physically but mentally.

Monique

Monique

I got to know her family, and she got to know mine. She loved her little adorable 7 year-old boy Noah, we would adjust our schedule so she could always tend to her mommy duties. She always updated us on the current Noah story, while drinking my signature tea latte that I would make for her. She talked about her family a lot, her brothers, her sister and her mom and dad.

Monique & Noah

Monique & Noah

 

Over the year and a few months that I got to know her, we shared lots of laughs and stories about being a celebrity makeup artist in Hollywood, and interesting tidbits about how some clients you had to talk to their assistants while doing their makeup, because “they” did not want to speak to a “lowly” makeup artist directly. She was a perfectionist, always going beyond to please our clients, everyone who she touched loved her. She had a way of putting everyone at ease who sat in her chair, even the ones who were unsure about the “makeup” process and what the outcome would be. She could please the young ones, and my diva clients who were set in their ways and not open to new trends. I’m now learning moment by moment that behind that beautiful smile was a sad woman, a woman who was battling depression. Just like the makeup she so skillfully applied hiding blemishes and imperfections on my clients she was a master in concealing her pain.

Monique

Monique

I started thinking about how most of us are hiding our blemishes daily, with our own “makeup”, including moi. It becomes so routine, like the concealer, I never go out without, tapping a little bit on to camouflage those little annoying dark spots that never go away completely.

I can’t help but to wonder is there something I could have done. How could I have missed her sadness, and then I think about myself and how I am a master of hiding my emotions, while I’m an open book for the most part we all have the little shit that stays in the crevices.

I questioned why is it difficult for me to emote and I came to the conclusion that I’m a good listener and everyone can “dump” on me because I’m so “together”…Really?  Not at all…I conceal a lot of what is going on in my life. I’m stressed about my business, I’m stressed about results from medical tests, I’m stressed about my kids, the list goes on and on. I don’t talk about it much, mostly I listen to others, most who are clueless to my struggles.

What to I do about it? I meditate, practice yoga and make sure I do “me” on a regular basis. Going forward though, I am going to share my feelings, listen to others closely, because at the end of the day we all want to know that someone genuinely cares about us and our well being. If you are feeling pain…reach out to someone you trust, don’t hold it in…we do care.

RIP Monique you will be missed by so many…

The last day I saw Monique

The last day I saw Monique…

 

 


Yogurt, Avocado oil, and Honey

Posted on by Gigi in Hair 1 Comment
this dry bush needs help

this dry bush needs help

So we all have our vices, and one of mine is “color”. The problem is like with any process it can be damaging and drying to your hair, but I like it regardless. Yes, more grey strands are making their appearance now, but I have been highlighting my hair BG, (before grey) I just like it… So I have been reading about natural concoctions to remedy dryness and decided to try one today-

So this is what I mixed together plain whole milk yogurt, avocado oil and honey, I did not measure anything, just a big blob of yogurt, a generous pour of oil, and a big squeeze of honey.

yougurt, oil and honey mask

yougurt, oil and honey mask

I mixed it all up and applied it to my hair in sections, combing each section out prior to applying the mixture.

mask applied in sections

mask applied in sections

Next put on a plastic cap in went into my “steam room/shower” (the best thing I installed when we did our bathroom remodel).

Steam control

Steam control

Gigi's shower

Gigi’s shower

The cap...

The cap…

note…see my malasma-I’m going to share some steps on how I am addressing that as well- freakin hormones take a toll on a girl.

So I steamed for about 30 minutes or so, then did some work and rinsed it out about an hour or so later using my devachan no poo, had to do it 2x, the mixture is thick and a little smelly ie. sour yogurt so I rinsed for a bit…feeling a little bad considering the drought.

all rinsed out no product

all rinsed out no product

So my hair feels cleanse and moisturized so far, so now time to go back in and apply product, I have lots of stuff in my hair cabinet, always collecting new potions and lotions. So I decided since I am going out today I needed something that would give me a good “look” right away, no time for second day hair which is what I prefer. So I decide on devachan Heaven in hair which is a deep conditioner that I use as a leave in and the devachan gel.

devachan products

devachan products

I apply my products in the showered using big clips to separate as I apply the product to my hair as evenly as I can, adding extra to areas that feel need more product and less to others, it is something that I have learned after years of practice and bad hair days.

FullSizeRender(8)

product applied

product applied

So far I like, I let it air dry for a couple hours while I did some work. Wow…I’m happy with the results and the cost…compared to my expensive conditioners. I will be doing this on a regular basis. Oh btw no filter no nada on these pics.

The result! of the mask

The result! of the mask

different light

different light

different view

different view

Happy Friday- I have a really busy weekend starting with this evening.

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Not in This Lifetime…

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment

Do you ever read something about someone in the press and for a moment you are in awe of the person’s accomplishments and then you think to yourself “hmmmm not in this lifetime, would I ever be acknowledged for something like that.”? I look back on my life and I think about what have I done that has been newsworthy…?

Being a relatively new photographer I have not receieved any formal accolades in my new career, nor had a gallery showing, or published a coffee table book, or shot a magazine cover, or been a speaker at a international photography conference. I was a full time mommy for many years and did not receive any awards for that, well a bauble here and there for Mother’s Day but that’s it. No special award for having 2 babies 6 years apart. I dabbled in interior design, no recognition there either just a lot of pretty stuff that ended up in my home.

I returned to school in my early 40’s and finished my degree, no write up there, maybe if I had gone back in my 90’s I could have been written up for breaking a record at a college of being the eldest to get my BA at the university. I’m in lots of organizations and have donated a lot of hours, but I have not started a non-profit or been on Oprah for my dedication to a cause.

Gigi finishing college

Gigi finishing college

So I went back a little further to when I had a chocolate brownie business with a friend, we worked hard and were given an award by the Governor for our efforts, I have a vague memory of the day, I remember traveling to Sacramento and being real happy to receive the award.

Gigi's brownie days-

Gigi’s brownie days-

While the odds of me doing something newsworthy or becoming “famous” in my lifetime are slim, I will still continue to live life like a rockstar- doing and being the best that I can be, I will admire those that are in my life that on occasion I read about, or see on the big screen. Would I have done things differently? I don’t know, I think everything happens for a reason, so I will savor my moments and keep it moving…

 

Xoxo,

Gigi


Commitment

Posted on by Gigi in Uncategorized Leave a comment

What are committed to?

I’ve been doing early morning workouts, not because I like getting up at 4:30, but because I’m committed and motivated by this 55 year-old body, that needs constant attention and work. Regardless of if I stay up late which I do often, I still get up and and do my workout.

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Over the years I have learned, sometimes the hard way, that success comes along with commitment, true dedication to something you believe in or really want to master. It’s not always easy to be committed, I’ve fallen off the “wagon” numerous times, but what I have learned is that something that I have passion for I can commit to easily. It’s the things that fall in the middle, like I want the results from consistent workouts , but the difficult exercises and early mornings can sometimes take a toll on me.

Marriage is REAL commitment, especially a 25 + year one like mine. For me commitment in a marriage really does mean for better or worse- through financial woes, sickness, menopause, pregnancy, businesses, family drama, attitudes, the list goes on and on with challenges that any long term relationship will confront at sometime or another. Unconditional commitment is the glue that has the ability to hold a couple together when everything else is falling apart, you have to be willing to adjust to change and adapt and keep it moving.

photo_5

I’m committed to my children, and that’s a big one, cause the two of them can drive me cray cray at times, but I would go to hell and back for them, regardless of criticism I may get from outside observers.

Amani, Gigi & Reggie

Amani, Gigi & Reggie

I’m committed to being honest, forgiving and being able to admit when I am wrong. Commitment is a big part of who I have “grown ” to be, I’m always working on my inadequacies, we all have them. I’m committed to my well being, the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual- I have to be so I can be there for those that I care for and love.

So, what are you committed to? I’d love to know.

Happy Wednesday.

Xoxo,

Gigi


Your Presence

Posted on by Gigi in American Life 1 Comment

Your presence is a gift. We live in a world where everything is fast, slow is sometimes considered old and boring. Everyone is walking around with earphones, ear pieces, and smart phones have become a new body part. I know because I am guilty of all the above. All these gadgets were supposed to make our lives easier, but instead it has interfered with our human interaction. With all the social media, that we can easily access on our phones and be entertained, who has time to interact with the person next to you? And oh let’s not forget we all have 1000’s of friends now, but we still yearn for someone to be present, in the moment with us. We want to hear a voice, not read a cryptic text, that many times is misunderstood and usually in a bad way.

I’m old enough to remember BC…before cell phones and PC’s for that matter. Those were the days when you had to meet in person and you were fully engaged, because you had no distractions. You had dinner with your family and you chatted, you didn’t have bells, songs, chimes going off non-stop, alerting you of something perhaps a little more interesting than the person in front of you.

While driving you talked with your kids not on your cellphone to your girlfriend about “nothing”. Meetings took place in person, not via skype or on conference calls, you actually met with a person and went over things together. I know technology is supposed to make our lives more efficient, but my question is why are we busier than ever? Never able to complete tasks, always behind…why is “busy” perceived as important?

With my business I spend a lot of time online, to much time, I get sidetracked on “facecrack”, instagram, checking in on twitter, spending time alone engaging as my online persona, time that could be spent gracing someone with my presence. I’ve decided I’m going to take “busy” down a bit, and focus on my presence, make time to engage, unplug…I want to see a face, hear a voice, observe a glance, I don’t want to guess what 5 or 6 words accented by a happy face really mean.

So today take a moment and give someone the gift of your presence.

Happy Tuesday.

Xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi

Gigi

 


I love Vitamin D

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Leave a comment
Quote

Quote

First and foremost I’m not a doctor, but I am interested in anything I can do to enhance my well being. I truly believe we have a lot of control based on what we chose to put in our bodies and how active we keep ourselves. So that being said I switched doctors this year-something I should have sone years ago and my new doctor and I see eye to eye. She is an M.D., but believes as I do we are in control more than society would like us to believe. So one of the things, there are quite a few that she has me doing, is taking a vitamin D supplement.  Yes. We do get vitamin from the sun, but I am careful with my sun exposure considering that one of the side effects I have from menopause is melasma which gets worse in the sun.

So I am taking vitamin D drops 5000 iu daily. I feel so much better, not sure if it is the vitamin D or, the gluten free diet, or consistent workouts or all the above. But anyway I want to stress the importance of Vitamin D, so if you are not taking it, run to the store and get some NOW!

Benefits of Vitamin D

1. Aids in preventing Breast Cancer

With two family members with breast cancer, anything I can do as a preventive measure, I’m going to incorporate.  JoEllen Welsh, a researcher with the State University of New York, has studied the effects of vitamin D for 25 years. She believes vitamin D may be just as powerful as the most modern anti-cancer drugs.

“What happens is that vitamin D enters the cells and triggers the cell death process. It’s similar to what we see when we treat cells with Tamoxifen, a drug used to treat breast cancer.”

2. Stronger Bones

You need vitamin D so your calcium can be absorbed which is needed for strong bones. Having osteoporosis this is very important for me.

3. Immune Support

Good for your immune system-keeping infections down

4. Avoiding PCOS polycystic ovarian syndrome

This is a leading cause of infertility and low levels of vitamin D have been associated with this condition.

So friends, do your own research, test your vitamin D levels to see where you are, most people are deficient unless you are a lifeguard or work outdoors.

Happy Monday,

Xoxo

Gigi

 

 


Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes, Thoughts 2 Comments
Gigi

Gigi

“There comes a day when you realize that turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize that there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.” Zayn Malik

I came across this quote the other day and thought about how easy it is to become stagnant in your life, when really we are in control and can make the necessary changes just by turning the page. I’ve been stuck on the parenthood page for a long time, it has been a good part of the book, but the story is far from being over. I’m at a point in my life when some of my friends are now retiring, I’m just beginning a new career.

Retirement seems so far away, and what does that really mean for us? Do we sell our “family” home? Downsize and travel? These are questions that cross my mind. When we traveled to Costa Rica, we looked at properties and fantasized about maybe settling down there, or maybe Hawaii or the caribbean. Of course the thought crosses your mind about grandchildren, and would we want to be far away from them? Decisions, decisions…

What I do know though, is that I want to take the best care of myself so I can be around for retirement, that is why me and my butt go to the gym, and why I try to nourish my body to the best of my ability, I firmly believe you are what you eat. My spiritual well being is important too, I control the stress, block negativity to the best of my ability and surround myself with those that really love and support me.

I have also learned the importance of celebrating often and living each day to the fullest, I know first hand how one day everything can be great and the next day the entire world can come toppling down on you. I know how when things are tough it easy to focus on the “bad”, instead of how can I make the most of this situation and come up with a plan. I know that sometimes you may want to give up, but those are the times you can’t, you have to give it your all. My son last year caused us much grief, but I never gave up on him, so to see him walk across the stage and get his diploma was truly a blessing, yes I know it is only high school, but for a minute we did not know what was going to happen, but we never loss faith.

So friends embrace this weekend and go out and grab some joy you deserve it! Happy Friday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Empty Nest Guide

Posted on by Gigi in Family 1 Comment
cate school class 2015

cate school class 2015

My nest has been sorta of empty for the past 4 years. My son started boarding school in the 9th grade and my daughter graduated college in 2012 and remained on the east coast where she is happily living in Brooklyn. Now that my son is 18, and has completed high school and will soon being going east for college there is a certain emptiness that I am feeling. Maybe it is because he is now an “adult”, and I know no one from college is going to call me if he is acting up, he will be responsible for his own decisions.

Right now he is in Cabo San Lucas with 5 other boys from his graduating class, I am counting the days until he returns. I could have said no, but I know that I cannot micro manage and part of maturing is being able to juggle and think for yourself.

Do I worry? Yes, all the time, because I know that there are so many things that can happen, but what keeps me mellow is knowing we have an open communication and both my kids know they can tell us anything- the good, the bad and the UGLY.

This summer will zoom by, August will be here soon, the game system will be retired, no more clothes on the floor, no more being “uber” mom, just the anticipated 5 word texts here and there. I will plan to be on the east coast a little more, and look forward to the winter break and maybe an occasional vacation together.

So if you too will soon be an empty nester here are a few tips.

1. Have a life or revisit a previous one.

2. Figure out a method of communication texts, phone calls, skype etc.

3. Decide on a budget for incidentals…trust me they do add up.

4. Figure out visits home- the airlines know that we want our kids home for the holidays…

5. Remind them why they are in college and that it is a privilege.

6. Explore with your new “free” time…

7. Take a class.

8. Figure out what is in the college town…good outlets, thrift stores, museums, restaurants etc.

9. Don’t compare- your kid is unique and special and everyone has their own path.

10. Find and establish your fitness and well being routine.

Happy Thursday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

more graduation pics

Reggie and grandmother

Reggie and grandmother

diploma

diploma

graduates

graduates

family

family

faculty line-good-byes

faculty line-good-byes


It’s my 3 year blog anniversary

Posted on by Gigi in Thoughts 6 Comments

Well life has been going by rather quickly. Most days I’m out by 5am and typically going nonstop till late. I feel as though there are not enough hours in the day to do everything I need to do or want to do ie. my blog, but considering it is my 3 year blog anniversary, it is a good time to post again.

I’m not a famous blogger nor is my blog monetized, nor do I have 1,000’s of followers, I’m just a blogger who likes to share her heart, and random thoughts and such. I only hope that on occasion something I post helps someone else…or makes someone else not feel alone in whatever is going on in their life.

A little update of what has been going on the past few weeks. I adopted Bella-Boy the cutest kitten, from David (Sierra Rescue) he discovered a litter under a large trash container at his business. I don’t plan to make my blog a “kitty” blog so if you to have a soft spot from kittens, follow Bella-Boy at Bella.boy @ instagram.

Bella.boy

Bella.boy

My son Reggie is graduated this past Sunday from Cate School, I’m happy and sad- happy to see him go to the next phase of his life and sad to see the end of his childhood cycle. He will be going to Bard college in upstate New York, our summer will be a quick one, move in is August 8th. We are proud of him and all that he has accomplished in his 18 years. College is a new beginning to the rest of his life.

untitled-167-Edit

And lastly we have made a commitment to be gluten free, a couple of years ago when we were practicing a raw vegan diet, we were by default gluten free (btw felt so much better) so a week ago we decided to try to cut out the gluten. I had an appointment with a new doctor for my annual checkup, my old doctor was horrible but I kept going to her because I was not proactive in securing another. Dr. Christine Collins and I hit it off, and she asked if I was familiar with the book Wheat Belly, I had heard of it but had not read it. So she started talking about wheat and gluten and health…everything make sense. It has been an adjustment, I’m convinced there is something in bread that is seriously addicting.

I must say I do feel better, and have dropped a couple pounds as well, I’ll be posting a few recipes soon.

So thank you friends for stopping by for my sporadic posts, thank you for your comments and your support. I’m looking forward to another year, not sure will it will take me, but I will continue to share my thoughts and my heart.

So I will leave you with this quote I stumbled upon, it really spoke to me, because when I started my blog, I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t know where it would go, I just started one day. So if you are hesitating about something just “begin anywhere”…

quote

quote

xoxo,

Gigi


Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes Leave a comment

I have been so incredibly busy. I apologize for my disappearance the past couple of weeks. My son attended his senior prom, we planted our summer garden, I’ve been really busy with my photography, my self portrait project and I hosted a house guest. It feels good to be back.

I came across this quote, “GROWTH DEMANDS A TEMPORARY SURRENDER OF SECURITY.” and after reading it a few times, I thought about how easy it is to do the same thing over and over, because  it is safe and secure. Change can be frightening.

I haven’t always made the right choices, but I have always been quick to give up the mundane and secure, when I look back I wonder what was I thinking… I was young and my spirit was free never conforming, almost to a fault.

Many years ago when I was working for IBM (btw, I was not the best employee- ie. shredding important files etc.) I quit one random day and the following week started a chocolate brownie business with a friend, fortunately I never looked back. It took courage to take a leap away from a nice secure job, had I not, I would probably still be working there- not that that is a bad thing, but it was not the place that I belonged. I was only working there because I thought my “then” boyfriend would like me more…if I had a nice corporate gig…Go figure?

Right now I am in a rapid growth period. My son is about to graduate and start college in New York, my husband’s business is changing, and my photography is starting to take shape. I am developing my voice as an artist, taking risks in my craft. As a woman I’m at a point where I’m embracing all of me the good the bad and the ugly.

My tolerance for craziness has gone way down, I have no space for it in my life right now. I am comforted by sincerity and unconditional love. I have no desire to micro manage relationships, that should enrich my life and help me to grow, not complicate my life.

I am surrendering the thought that I can do it all- I can’t and that is okay. I give myself permission to slow down, saying “NO”, and basically focusing on what brings me and those I love joy. Slowing down to savior life and all it has to offer.

This little blog gives me a space to share a piece of me- I don’t do it for fame, or sponsors, I do it for my own growth and for all of you out there that take a moment to stop by, I appreciate each one of you.

Are you in a growing phase? Or are you in a safe secure place that you absolutely love? Please share I’d love to know.

Happy Thursday! XOXO,

Gigi

gigi & MIMI

gigi & MIMI


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