Labor Day

Growing up, Labor Day always signified going back to school and the archaic "fashion" rule of the end of wearing "white", both are now passe, with schools starting as early as August and "white" is a year around basic Read more

Is Marriage Forever?

A month ago we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, definitely a milestone for us. This past weekend my in-laws celebrated their 90th birthdays and 71 years of marriage. When my mother-n-law was my age they had already be married 36 Read more

What does real strength look like?

Today my mom is having surgery. I'm amazed at her incredible strength, she has endured 12 weeks of chemo, watched her daughter battle cancer, lost her only son to cancer, another daughter diagnosed a month ago, her ex-husband died Read more

Quote

I think this is a "James Brown" quote-- 10 days is a long time to be away from your routine. This quote applies to me in so many ways- I'm feeling so frazzled right now, this is when I know Read more

Kauai

As much as I love packing my bags and catching a flight somewhere, I am always just as happy to come back home. We spent a week on the beautiful island of Kauai. 25 years ago we were married Read more

Labor Day

Posted on by Gigi in Holiday 1 Comment
Labor Day

Labor Day

Growing up, Labor Day always signified going back to school and the archaic “fashion” rule of the end of wearing “white”, both are now passe, with schools starting as early as August and “white” is a year around basic in California.

Labor day white

Labor day white

An extra long weekend before the fall season begins, a time to catch a few more moments to relax. My son is back at school, starting his last year of high school, so we are empty nesters once again. End of summer, beginning of fall, a time for me to plan a strong ending to a rocky year. It’s going to be busy, with my son submitting college applications, the normal holiday stuff, and a few photography projects I have in the works. I will HAVE to be incredibly organized!

Gigi @ the beach

Gigi @ the beach

What my intentions are for fall:

1. Refresh my workouts–I’m been digging barre classes, and really wanting to focus on workouts that are fun and get results. I know at my age I need to step it up, and constantly change in order to shock my body. I will keep you posted on what is working.

barre class

barre class

2. Taking a film class at UCLA, I have always been intrigued by moving images and would like to explore a little.

3. Replant my veggie garden for fall and winter.

4. A few home projects…maybe get a few window treatments and some new linens for my bed.

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

5. Fine tune my diet–there is always room for improvement.

6. Work on my photography craft- always seeking beautiful light and backdrops to capture my clients, and making time to create images that make me smile.

6. Lastly, continue to work on minimizing what no longer serves me.

What are your intentions for the FAll?

A quote I stumbled on that really sums it up…

GET RID OF THE TRASH TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE TREASURES: LET THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TAKE CENTER STAGE.

Peter Walsh’

Happy Labor Day Monday,

Xoxo

Gigi

 

 


Is Marriage Forever?

Posted on by Gigi in Weddings 2 Comments

A month ago we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, definitely a milestone for us. This past weekend my in-laws celebrated their 90th birthdays and 71 years of marriage.

Mom & Dad Sampson 90 years young...

Mom & Dad Sampson
90 years young…

When my mother-n-law was my age they had already be married 36 years! We’re at an age where we are now going to weddings of our friends children, while at the same time many long term marriages are dissolving.

Kyndall & James

Kyndall & James

lovely couple

lovely couple (our friend’s daughter)

My in-laws got married when they were 19, when I think about my early relationships I know I would have had a least 1 maybe 2 divorces under my belt by now. Being a late bloomer, I had no clue what I even wanted in a relationship or partner, but somehow I knew that some of the choices I had made were wrong on so many different levels. At 30 I was certainly not the 20 something year old going in a million different directions, being the “pleaser” in one sided relationships. I had gained the confidence to know I was a “prize” and did not have to settle, just because…

Doing the math I don’t think we will be around to celebrate 70 years, but I will embrace each day like it is our last.

Gigi & Reggie

Gigi & Reggie 25 years anniversary

I was in awe of my in-laws and their lasting love–something that is becoming so rare. Check out this short clip of my father-n-law’s tribute to his wife.

Marriage like any other relationships take work, you have to be an active participant and make things happen. You and your partner have to be willing to change and grow and continue to accept one another, be honest, and most of all be willing to forgive. Any one who has been married a long time has experienced “rough patches”, but the key is being able smooth them out. You have to understand who this person is you married…and not try and transform them to who you didn’t marry. You have to know what is worth fighting about and when to just “shut up”.

For example I LOVE to TRAVEL, if I were to wait on my husband to plan a trip we would not go anywhere, but since I know that I make sure I am proactive and plan things. I did not marry the person who is going to surprise me and whisk me away to an exotic location, and that is okay.

Patera Elephant Farm

Patera Elephant Farm

I also know that some marriages end. Some are impossible, just BIG mistakes. I came from a broken family and now that I am an adult, I see clearly why my parents could have never stayed married–sad but true. I am grateful that my mom was able to relocate with 4 kids to California and start a new life.

My mother and father early 1960's

My mother and father early 1960′s

Every marriage is different and each one has a different formula to keep it going. My humble advice is to always work on “self” being the best “you”, stay “market” ready, be interesting and continue to grow, be in tune with your partner, keep it “sexy”, know that it is okay if you give more sometimes and lastly always make time for each other.

Have a wonderful weekend, we will be heading to Temecula for a wedding (daughter of one of our dear friends).

XOXO,

Gigi

 


What does real strength look like?

Posted on by Gigi in Well-Being Leave a comment
Gigi & Mom

Gigi & Mom

Today my mom is having surgery. I’m amazed at her incredible strength, she has endured 12 weeks of chemo, watched her daughter battle cancer, lost her only son to cancer, another daughter diagnosed a month ago, her ex-husband died of cancer and numerous friends over the years have battled this horrific disease. There is no rhyme or reason why my 83-year-old mom would “get it”…

This past weekend my mom went with my family to San Francisco, we went all over the city, lots of walking, you would never know by her attitude that she had all this “mess” hanging over her. She was a trooper. I’m so glad we had this time together.

I don’t have the answer to this disease, once again like a broken record–Live each day like there is no tomorrow! Don’t waste time being angry, Forgive and love…and do the best you can taking care of your body–exercise, eat well, and take care of the mental “you”.

Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness

Happy Wednesday,

XOXO,

Gigi


Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes, Uncategorized Leave a comment
Quote

Quote

I think this is a “James Brown” quote–

10 days is a long time to be away from your routine. This quote applies to me in so many ways- I’m feeling so frazzled right now, this is when I know I am all of my 55 years, a couple of all nighters and I am done.

Moving on, my son is back in school, I’ll be back to work on Friday, Reggie went back today and I have a couple of days to get my home back together, the animals settled and take advantage of the last days of summer.

Reggie and a classmate

Reggie and a classmate

Reggie's dorm room

Reggie’s dorm room

I decided I really want to put together some time saving steps in place so that I don’t return from vacation feeling as though I need another one. Simple things like keeping a makeup/toiletry bag ready to go, workout stuff ready, just try and be a little bit more organized. I have a few more trips planned before the end of the year, NYC, Salt Lake City, Chicago and Palm Desert, so if I discover some magical tricks I’ll  certainly share them.

kitty menage se troi

kitty menage se troi

Tiny with his new cut

Tiny with his new cut

Happy Mid-day Tuesday…

xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi

Gigi

 


Kauai

Posted on by Gigi in Travel 2 Comments
Kauai

Kauai

As much as I love packing my bags and catching a flight somewhere, I am always just as happy to come back home. We spent a week on the beautiful island of Kauai. 25 years ago we were married on this island and we have been coming back ever since then, always discovering something new.

Island fruit

Island fruit

Gigi & Hubby

Gigi & Hubby

While there I could not help but to fantasize about living on a island…What would I do, where would we go on Saturday nights, would I have a favorite tea spot? We met so many people that shared their stories of how they left the mainland and  never looked back. It was nice to be in a place where the pace is so laid back and there are none of the usual interruptions.

Common Ground

Common Ground

We drove all over the island, showed Amani and Reggie the spot where we got married, discovered a few new restaurants and visited some of our favorites.

Chapel where we got married

Chapel where we got married

 

Here’s a peak at some of the highlights of our week.

STAY

Westin Princeville- A couple years ago we got sucked into buying a timeshare here, the units a large 1 and 2 bedrooms, nicely appointed, with full kitchens, which was nice for preparing some of our meals, especially breakfast. The resort is set high on a cliff, so the closest beach is about a mile away at the St. Regis. Westin guests have excess to the beach there, and can also order stuff and charge it to your room. My kids are already trying to figure out when they can come without us…and of course bring their friends.

Beach at the St. Regis

Beach at the St. Regis

EAT

Common Ground- farm to table menu, lots of salads, smoothies, wraps – very good. I was in awe of there garden.

Kauai Grill- at the St. Regis- expensive, but beautiful sunset- worth going for drinks just for the view.

Bar Acuda- one of our favorites-tapas style, interesting combinations.

Bar Acuda

Bar Acuda

Postcards Cafe-homey comfort food-everyone was so friendly and nice.

Josselin’s Tapas-sangria cart (I’m gonna copy) tapas were okay, not much selections for vegans.

Tortilla Republic- Mexican food, that was pretty good for the islands.

Mermaids Cafe-little beach place where you order from a window and sit at picnic tables- really good thai tea made with coconut milk and nice veggie wraps.

Mermaid Cafe

Mermaid Cafe

Java Kai-nice coffee, tea and fresh juice spot.

Rainbow Living Foods- fresh salads and really good smoothies

PLAY

Na’Pali Coast – did 4 miles of the 11 mile hike-most people do the 11 miles and camp and return the next day. One of the highlights of our trip.

Biking along the beach.

island biking

island biking

Paddle Boarding

Art Walk in Wamea

Driving around the island stopping at different beaches

Kauai

Kauai

Relax, Chil-laxing and mo’ relaxing

Kauai

Kauai

SHOP

 Picked up a few Christmas ornaments (I collect them from my travels), and a cute sundress. Everything is so expensive here.

As soon as we got  back from Kauai, 8 hours later we were on another flight to San Francisco to celebrate my in-laws 90th birthdays, more on that later on this week.

As I finish this post, I will be taking my son back to school, he will be starting his senior year. I’m excited for him and what this year will reveal for him, his life journey is just beginning.

Happy Monday

Xoxo,

GIGI

Gigi in Kauai

Gigi in Kauai


KAUAI

Posted on by Gigi in Travel 3 Comments
Kauai

Kauai

We are going to KAUAI! Our first trip there was in 1988 and we fell in love with the island. Amani and Reggie will be going as well, I am cherishing these family vacations, and happy that they still want to travel with us. I’m looking forward to having no agenda.

I will be in touch from Aloha land.

XOXO,

GIGI

50's Gigi

50′s Gigi


Michael Brown & Robin Williams

Posted on by Gigi in American Life 1 Comment

Two men, from totally different worlds were lost this past week. 18 year old Michael Brown, unarmed was shot and killed by the police at 2:15 in the afternoon. My son will be 18 on November 18th, Michael could have been my son. My son does not have his drivers license as of yet, so this summer I have been driving him everywhere, in a way it is a blessing. I worry about my son in this mean world we live in, I worry about what college he will go to and what the “area” will be like- is the neighborhood safe? What are the police like ?

I know first hand that this type of situation could occur anywhere, not just the midwest. I have been the victim of police abuse right here in Hollywood…PARKED in my car, in a store parking lot with a girlfriend. First of all, how does one get “stopped” if you are parked…but  I did, the officer  spoke to me as if I had horns, accused me of not having insurance ( I do) and he never ever said why I was being interrogated, he finally left me alone when he realized my friend was caucasian and she shouted at him to “LEAVE MY FRIEND ALONE!”.

Michael missed his first day of college, I can’t even imagine the pain his mother is going through. I tell my son to ALWAYS be humble and respectful if confronted with law enforcement, don’t make any sudden moves and answer all questions and don’t get “smart”. It is sad that I even have to have conversations about this…I wonder if my caucasian mother friends have to have these conversation as well…

Michael Brown RIP

Michael Brown RIP

Robin Williams, another tragic loss, suicide by someone the world viewed as one of happiest people, one who was always making others laugh. Depression, bipolar, and mood disorders, are diseases just like high blood pressure, diabetes etc. they have to be diagnosed and treated. It is easy to overlook these conditions, especially in our children, no one wants the stigma of “mental illness”. Many are embarrassed and ashamed at the thought of having a family member with mental illness, so hence many people go undiagnosed.

My family and my husband’s family are both riddled with family members struggling with mood disorders. I have seen what long term untreated mental illness can do to a loved one–not something I would wish on anyone. Alcoholism and drug abuse combined with mood disorders can be deadly. The abuse piece puzzles me, I understand it and I have witnessed it in our families, but how do you cure it? What can family members do before it is to late, and something happens like a suicide or some other tragic situation as a result of an unstable lifestyle…I know Robin Williams probably had the best therapists, and rehab programs and he could not win this battle, so what does this say for others that are dealing with this…

With my own family we work on communicating with one another and having a home where we can talk openly about everything. Learning to accept each others and all our flaws I think is key, knowing that no one is perfect.

I pray for Michael and Robin and their families at this difficult time, and embrace my family daily, because tomorrow is not promised.

Robin Williams RIP

Robin Williams RIP

XOXO,

GIGI

 


Do You Collect Anything?

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Leave a comment
tea cup collection

tea cup collection

I admit, I have hoarder tendencies. I accumulate stuff, I’m getting better, slowly getting rid of things that no longer serve me. Hoarders love collecting, it’s sort of an excuse to gather more things. I have a collection of tea cups,  decorative pitchers, elephants, pins, shoes, jewelry, christmas ornaments from around the world, and  All Gods children figurines, most of which were broken by my kids.

My other problem, when I decide to take up something new, whether a new sport, or hobby, I feel as if I need everything for that activity, for example when I was swimming, I got numerous “professional swimsuits”, fins, goggles, hand paddles, special conditioner for the pool, a variety of swim caps, an after swim coverup, a special backpack only for swimming, wetsuit and special body wash just for post swimming. I did the same thing with yoga, biking, capoeira, knitting, painting, gardening, etc. you get it, so fast forward almost 30 years…I have a lot of SHIT! I know when I leave this earth my kids are going to have the biggest yard sale…neither one of them have this tendency, nor does Reggie-he is a minimalist, which is a good thing.

So what sorts of things do you collect? Am I the only hoarder out there? I ‘d love to know…

Happy Tuesday.

Xoxo,

Gigi


Surround Yourself with Goddesses…

Posted on by Gigi in friendship Leave a comment
Quote

Quote

Saturday I had a gathering of Goddesses, there was no rhyme or reason, a loose guest list of friends, some I’ve know forever, and a few I just met. We had no agenda, just coming together just because. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing community of goddesses giving advice and reaching out to receive advice.

Goddesses

Goddesses

I made a few of my fav’s, raw vegan chili, carrot ginger soup, watermelon-tomato salad, and my raw vegan peach cobbler & vanilla pecan ice cream. All the goddesses were fabulous and all brought something different to the table, literally and figuratively. We all came with our experiences based on our own individual life journeys sharing with one another, especially with the little goddess cubs that were present.

Goddess spread

Goddess spread

We also had a little commerce as well, my friend Dee Dee who is a lularoe distributor, set up a pop up boutique for us–I absolutely love her yoga skirts and always have one in my gym bag, of course I had to add a couple of things to my collection as well. Everything is so reasonable and cute give her a call if you would like to see the line or have your own “pop up boutique”  Dee Dee 323 702-3702.

Luluro

Lularoe

I’ve always had a strong circle of women in my life. The support and interaction I have with my women friends is so important to me, it balances my life and I have learned so much from my sister-friends. There was a study done at UCLA in 2000 about women and their friendships; “having a circle of friends actually provides an alternative to the traditional fight-or-flight response to stress. The researchers called this response “tend-and-befriend” (and with children), they release more oxytocin, the mother-love hormone associated with breast- feeding, which has a marked calming effect.” It also stated that “friends may also add to the quality of those extra years by helping us maintain brain function.” Yes I know all of this is true…

Goddesses

Goddesses

Goddesses You Need In Your Life…

1. “The Confidant” -AKA “Therapist” she is the one who you tell anything and everything to, no judgement, the one you can spill your heart out to, the one who hears your silent tears over the phone without you saying anything. She is your “rock” you can call her anytime of day or night and you know she will answer.

2. “The Wikipedia”- She knows everything about anything…She is the strategist, financial expert, human resource person, educator, advisor, left-brain,  trouble shooter, your go to for figuring things out, the ultimate problem solver–she is bright, smart as a whip and can help you navigate a situation like no other.

3. “The Prophet”- She is the truth dealer, your spritual advisor, the one who will tell you “right’ from wrong” your conscience and the one who prays for you and with you.

4. “The Fashionista”- the one who will tell you when it is time to retire the mini, or when to bump it up ie. you are falling into “old lady” lane. The one who will tell you that it is time to change the hair do or color the greys. Your honest stylist who wants you to look your best.

5. “The Cheerleader”- not to be confused with a “groupie”.  She will encourage you, support you in your goals, help you to be the best “you” that you can be…She will be happy for your successes and keep you motivated to constantly do better.

6. “The Leader”- She keeps everything together, organizing things, ie. bookclubs, spa retreats, girl get togethers, ski trips etc. she keeps you in the loop and makes sure you get out and do things.

7. “The Trainer”- The one that will keep you and your butt on point. Your workout bud, the one when you are sitting around being lazy who will call you and do a workout with you, or the one who is a role model who inspires you by their dedication.

8. “The Comedienne”- The one who just makes you laugh and makes you smile.

9. “The Young Cub”- The one you nurture and take under your wing and she keeps you “hip” and up to date on social media etc..

10. “The Historian”-The one who has known you the longest. She knows your past, you don’t have to bring her up to speed, she knows all the dysfunction of your family, ex-boyfriends, the weird jobs, etc.. she understands you and your history.

You may have a couple of goddesses that are in your life that have all these qualities or maybe you have a village. What kind of goddess friend are you? I have bits and pieces of all these.

Your goddess circle will change throughout your life some will be in your life for a season and some will come into your life and stay forever, just be open to receive and willing to give–

I’ve always loved this Sade song, which is about losing a friend, I’ve lost a couple and the words to this song sum it up…

Goddess Gigi

Goddess Gigi

Happy Monday,

XOXO,

GIGI

 

 


What is Luxurious ?

Posted on by Gigi in Life Style, My Style 3 Comments
"Stuff"

“Stuff”

Luxury does not have to be a label or be expensive. In our consumer driven society we are encouraged to accumulate “things”, the latest model car, or the “it” bag, or a pair of those “red bottom” shoes…I have been guilty of all the above, but I know these things are not the key to a luxurious life. Time is a luxury, savoring a moment is the ultimate luxury. It is so easy to get caught up in the rat race, rushing from point A to point B, never taking a break.

“Luxurious” is a state of mind, it is the manner in which you go about your day to day activities. Every other corner now has a drive thru Starbucks, yes, they are convenient, but luxurious? NO. Waking up a little earlier and making your own coffee or tea, using your china, and sitting down for 5 minutes or so, that is luxurious. Taking a bath with a nice fragrant oil, instead of the rushed shower, or putting pretty lingerie under your outfit, are simple ways to turn up your luxury dial. Write a letter on some nice stationary and send it to a friend or lover instead of shooting another cryptic text or email. Basically in our “light speed” life…SLOW DOWN! What is the real benefit of rushing? Let me know…

21 Ways to add a little luxury to your life:

1. Fresh Flowers-make your own arrangement, from your garden, the flower mart or pick up a few from Trader’s Joe-

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

2. Spontaneity- be flexible-don’t be so rigid- don’t think about it- just do something out of your comfort zone

3. Unplug. Shut it Down. Look across the table and make eye contact without a device in your hand or on the table

4. Prepare a meal from scratch- not something you made last week and stuck in the freezer, but something fresh

5. Have a dessert and savor it-

6. Plant a garden, it can be a little herb garden- just grow something that you can harvest

my garden

my garden

7. Invite friends over instead of “meeting” at a place

8. Sleep in, preferable in something pretty…or nada.

9. Appreciate where you are in your life.

10. Get a massage.

11. Photograph a moment through your eyes- take the time to capture something you find beautiful-our phones now have amazing cameras

12. Listen actively.

13. Play dress-up…put on a gown and go to the store-and see the reaction.

Gigi

Gigi

14. Dance.

15. Music.

16. Burn decadent candles

17. Sustainable lifestyle-live in your “lane” but do it well- nothing worse than living on the edge- been there, not fun.

18. Always work on your body- inside and out

Chair Pose

Gigi yoga

19. Cultivate your friendships- it is not the quantity but the quality–learned this one the hard way.

20. Take time to smell the roses…

J & J flowers at registration

Roses

21. LOVE YOU AND NEVER STOP- BE YOUR OWN BFF

Happy Friday! Have a Wonderful Weekend.

XOXO,

GIGI


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