African Diaspora Vegan Dinner

Our friends Chef Ian Martin and Chef Cynthia Chea Pean were the featured chefs in an incredible dining experience put on by Pare. Pare is a unique communal dining concept where chefs prepare and serve a meal, paired with Read more

Quote

As a young woman I loved reading Anais Nin. So when I came across this quote I had to share it... “You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a Read more

A Slip

Yesterday was a full day. Like most days my morning started early. By noon I was desperately trying to score Beyonce tickets with no avail, which is okay- I was only trying to do it for my daughter. I drove Read more

Are You In Love?

Valentine's Day is a few days away, candy, flowers and gifts will be exchanged between loved ones. February 14th became associated with love during the middle ages, it was believed that the middle of the month was the beginning Read more

I'm going to "TRI" real hard...

Inspiration comes in many ways. I was minding my own business when a client shared she was doing the Pasadena triathlon, one that I participated in last year in the swim portion on a relay team. Then my daughter Read more

African Diaspora Vegan Dinner

Posted on by Gigi in Dining Leave a comment
Gigi and Chef Cynthia

Gigi and Chef Cynthia

Our friends Chef Ian Martin and Chef Cynthia Chea Pean were the featured chefs in an incredible dining experience put on by Pare. Pare is a unique communal dining concept where chefs prepare and serve a meal, paired with unique wines, for 30 guests that all come together from all over to partake in a culinary extravaganza. Part of the $250 per person fee is donated to a charity, proceeds from the African diaspora dinner went to The Gangsta Gardener, Ron Finley. Check this video out to learn more about Ron.

Reggie and I went not knowing what to expect. We knew we were going to a private residence, but we had no clue it would be a 12.5 million dollar home, (btw it is on the market check it out here). It was a perfect warm California evening, the table was set along side the pool, with a beautiful view of the city lights.

The Table

The Table

view of the home

view of the home

I need a closet like this...

I need a closet like this…

Good conversations, spectacular environment, some of the best vegan food I have ever had, (and I have had my share of the best) it was a nice kick off for our Valentine’s weekend. I can’t tell you exactly what we had, but what I can tell you is that everything was fresh from the garden, and crafted with so many complex flavors, but still connected to the carribbean, New Orleans, Africa, Central America and soul food- all mixed together- just exquisite.

Africa Diaspora dinner

Africa Diaspora dinner and wine flight

What are your plans for this Valentine’s weekend? Is it a 3 day one for you as well? My advice is to celebrate love- with self, or a lover, your family- all the above.

Xoxo,

Gigi

 

 


Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Inspiration Leave a comment

55thyear

As a young woman I loved reading Anais Nin. So when I came across this quote I had to share it…

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”
― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934

This quote reminds me of my love of reading, and how books were my way to another world, before I had ever traveled as a young one. I loved going to the library, it was my ticket to the universe.

I always knew there was so much out there to experience. My path had a lot of detours and bumps along the way- never taking the direct route-always making time to get lost- and shying away from those that were on that predictable journey.

It is so easy to fall into a routine, and each day you follow your schedule, do what you do, day in and day out…numb to the world around you.

Live each day with a little abandonment-  never stop discovering- it is okay to step out of your comfort zone-

Speaking of comfort zone…check out this young filmmaker Solomon Onita, I saw his short JOY at the Pan African festival and it is streaming on HBO-powerful story check it out.

Happy Thursday-

Xoxo,

Gigi

 

 


A Slip

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 4 Comments

Yesterday was a full day. Like most days my morning started early. By noon I was desperately trying to score Beyonce tickets with no avail, which is okay- I was only trying to do it for my daughter.

I drove into the city to meet a friend at the Pan African film festival, which was fabulous. I know in another life I was a filmmaker. We saw about 15 shorts, and like Siskel and Ebert we were giving them our own thumbs up thumbs down review.

We finished the evening at Post & Beam, Govind Armstrong’s restaurant, with good conversation, wine, dinner and lots of laughs about the past.

with chef Govind Armstrong

with chef Govind Armstrong

Timing was perfect to pick up Reggie from the office, which I did. So here is where things changed, he drove up to our home, parked in the driveway and I got out of the car like I have done for the past 27 years. I went to the mailbox, and next thing I know like a cartoon I fell, not almost fall where you catch yourself, but the kind of fall where your purse goes one way and your body is slammed against the concrete. All I could think about was that I was jacked!

the fall

the fall

With my osteoporosis, what if I broke my hip…Still for a moment as Reggie came to help me, I slowly got up and limped to the house barefoot. My hips were fine, I guess all the padding protected them. I immediately started the process and elevated and iced both ankles, which was where the most trauma was evident.

As I reflect on my fall, this morning I think about how that could have been a real disaster, reminding me of how life is fragile and fleeting and will slip right from under you literally. I need to SLOW down and be aware of my environment and stop trying to do it all every moment- and ween myself from those DAMN heels!!!

Happy Wednesday from a bruised but otherwise okay Gigi

IMG_7522.JPG IMG_7519.JPG

the shoe...

the shoe…


Are You In Love?

Posted on by Gigi in Inspiration Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day is a few days away, candy, flowers and gifts will be exchanged between loved ones. February 14th became associated with love during the middle ages, it was believed that the middle of the month was the beginning of the birds mating season hence a day for romance.

I will celebrate 27 years of marriage this year and  if I add the 2 years we dated prior, I have known Reggie for 29 years! So my question is how do you know you are still in love and it’s not just a “habit” like a job you are working just for the benefits?

Well here is my little list that the fairy tale is still magical.

1 You both understand and accept each others weirdness – i.e. the only 2 peeps not paying close attention to the Super Bowl and happy to be at home doing other randomness.

2 You can see each other really “raw” i.e. first thing in the morning when my hair is looking “Don Kingish” and he still thinks I’m cute, and I can see him coloring his mustache…

3 You still make plans for Valentine’s Day and you actually want to be with each other- not just going through the motions.

4 You are planning for when you are really old and what that looks like for the 2 of you.

5 You are happy when you are together, and mundane things i.e. driving to Lancaster (2 hour drive) to see an emergency patient…are fun.

6 You offer each other the last bite of something really good.

7 You try stuff that you normally would have no interest in doing i.e. triathlons, marathons, hot yoga, windsurfing, paddle boarding, zip lining, white water rafting, camping, cooking classes, korean spas, foreign films etc.

8 Your diet becomes his and vice versa- you go from eating everything to pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, vegetarian/vegan, juice fasts, gluten free, etc.

9 You are interested in what the other person is doing and become their biggest supporter and sometimes only client…i.e delivering brownies, going to trade shows, modeling for photog class, etc.

10 You still want to sleep in the same bed…same room-same house.

11 You love traveling together and look forward to vacation.

12  You send “sexy” pics “sexting” even though the other person does not know how to work their smart phone that well…and will discover the picture days later not sure where it came from.

13 You could tell the person that you want to be an astronaut and the next thing you know you would be on the way to NASA for training.

14 You think about if something happened to the person and you instantly become sad at the thought of being without them.

15 In a crisis that person is the one who comforts you-

16 If you were sick, bedridden and could not go to the bathroom etc. you know that person would be there for you.

17 You have a best friend that you get to sleep with every night-

18 And, lastly you are a better person because of them.

Happy Tuesday! Are you in Love? Will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day? Regardless- if you have a sweetheart or not- celebrate by loving yourself and doing something special.

Xoxo,

Gigi

25 years later July 23, 2014

25 years later July 23, 2014

Hubby Reggie

Hubby Reggie

Happy

Happy

 

 


I’m going to “TRI” real hard…

Posted on by Gigi in Fitness 1 Comment

Inspiration comes in many ways. I was minding my own business when a client shared she was doing the Pasadena triathlon, one that I participated in last year in the swim portion on a relay team. Then my daughter who just launched a fitness IG browngirlsdoitwell, asked me for a photo from a triathlon I had did in the past, she was doing a “throwback” post. That was enough for me to dust off my running shoes and think about starting the process to whip this body into “tri” shape in the next 4 weeks. I work best when I have a goal, so this event is perfect and obtainable, I think…

Transition Area

Transition Area

My First Tri

My First Tri

The Pasadena triathlon is March 12, it is a little sprint, 5k, 10 mile bike, and 500 yard swim, and no, I am not the type that can wake up and drop a “tri” with no training like my husband can, but I know I can finish.

I’m excited that this is going to be the perfect way to implement  my 2016 fitness goals. January has come and gone and I have not been on my program. I found this 8 week guide to training for a sprint triathlon that I will modify for 4 weeks, yes I am an ambitious old thing.

triathlon training plan

triathlon training plan

My off days I will add yoga.

So I started the (run/walk) this past weekend, and hmmm I have a lot of work to do. I noticed after about 10 minutes my legs began to itch like crazy, so much so that I had to stop for a moment and try and relieve myself. I know what this is- as my heart rate goes up, blood flows faster, and the tiny capillaries and arteries in my muscles begin to expand rapidly, these stay open when you are fit but if you have not been on point, your capillaries tend to collapse. When your capillaries expand, the surrounding nerves become stimulated and send messages to the brain which read as intense itching! I learned all this when I trained for a marathon many years ago…

What are you fitness goals for this year? If you are mature like me, what are your obstacles if any? And how do you stay motivated? Btw you could always sign up for the Pasadena Triathlon…I’d love to know.

Happy Monday,

Xoxo,

Gigi


In pursuit of Perfect

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 4 Comments
Gigi

Gigi

I used to want it “all”. You know the perfect house, husband, kids, career, invites to all the best parties, and of course a thin body with all the latest designer frocks. While nothing is really wrong with wanting those things it contributes to a sort of deterioration , when the milestones aren’t reached or the perfect story starts to fall apart. Out of nowhere some unforeseen unpredicted situation will arise and everything will come tumbling down.

2015 was a year of highlights, I successfully made it through the rigorous college application process, the acceptances arrived, a beautiful graduation party, fall family trip to New York for the dorm move in, side trip to one of the best outlet malls- life was good. Thanksgiving came and everything changed-

My son did not return to school due to a host of complications and mishaps. My little perfect story had a glitch, that I did not see coming. At first I felt it was my mistake somehow, my cross to bear, like I was responsible for this puzzle piece  that was lost. How would I explain that my prep school, year abroad in Italy, artist, son was not returning to college- he was taking an unplanned gap year?

Well the holidays have come and gone, we are all adjusting and regrouping. It is a time of discovery, learning that my son is quite a chef and perhaps a culinary career my be an option he is researching.

I am constantly reminded that life is not predictable and that you have to just go with it and make the most of any situation…and always look for the silver lining.

Reggie Creation-

Reggie Creation-

Reggie

Reggie

Happy Friday. I am looking forward to a solo weekend of indulgent me time. My husband is traveling to Florida for a conference and my son is going to Santa Barbara.

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


On being Grateful…

Posted on by Gigi in Inspiration 1 Comment

If you are reading this you more than likely have a “device” of some sort or you are sitting at a computer.

You probably have a home or apartment, you ate yesterday (if you did not it was because you were fasting), you slept last night in a bed or stayed up binge watching something on cable.

You may have a spouse, significant other, children, parents, siblings and friends as well.

You may have a career, a business, a job, be a student, or you may be retired.

You may be going to the gym, or yoga, hiking, bike riding or taking a pilates class, finishing your workout drinking a gallon of  filtered water to hydrate your body.

You get you hair “done” or like me you have a special closet full of hair potions and lotions, manicures, pedicures, etc. are what you do, you kept up your “beauty” routine just like you maintain your car service schedule.

Just looking at the news or reading the paper I am reminded and humbled of how good my life is…and most of the people I know- but how that is not the norm for many. People are really struggling with all sorts of challenges- health problems, financial, legal, family dynamics, relationships you name it, if you are not suffering you are truly blessed.

I am reminded daily to practice gratitude, because life could change in a moment- the older I get the more I see this happening.

No matter where you are on your life journey…there is so much to be thankful for…Practice Gratitude-

Happy Thursday.

Xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi & Tea

Gigi & Tea

 

 


50 things you should have or do by your 50th

Posted on by Gigi in 50 ways Leave a comment

Being a wise old 56 year-old, I was thinking about what are the things that are really important to me at this phase of my life. The do or die list. What are the things that contribute to a quality life after being on the planet a half a century or more. So this is what I came up with for me. In no particular order.

1  A pretty shoe that makes you feel beautiful when you wear it. I have quite a few…

shoegasm

2 A nice watch- Yes we all have our phones, but a timepiece is so elegant and old school.

3 A Pretty signature lipstick- mine is one from Bobbi Brown Blondie Pink, that I love, it is the color of my lips.

4 A favorite “work” outfit. I have quite of few black items that I have picked up for work.(I wear black on shoots.)

PS Couture beauty posse

PS Couture beauty posse

5 Flowers. Learn to arrange- Have fresh flowers in your Living space. I can pick up fresh flowers anywhere and make them look fabulous.

IMG_3764

6 Purchase if you have not already, a piece of original art. It does not have to be from Christie’s.

7 Heirloom jewelry that you can pass down to the next generation.

8 Signature scent. I love Tom Ford Cafe Rose and Bond No. 9 Nuits de NoHo

tom ford cafe rose

tom ford cafe rose

9. Hair you love.

Finished "do"

Finished “do”

10. Ability to say “NO”… or even “HELL NO”.

11 A little black dress that you love. or 2 or 3…

12 Robust 401K- a retirement plan

13 Be a risk taker, especially if you have always been the predictable type.

14 Smile more.

15 Celebrate your birthdays in grand style.

16 Make time to read for pleasure.

17 Have a posse of trusted beauty providers i.e. manicurist, facials, waxer, hair stylist, etc. it takes a village at this age.

18 A current passport.

19 Make time for your friends, they are important for your well being.

20 Hydrate- drink water drink water and drink water…works wonders for your complexion.

21 Be supportive take time to listen to others and be as helpful as you can.

22. Don’t give up and go to the “frumpy” lane…work on you style whatever it is…Don’t give up- yes it does take a little longer to pull it together, but allow for the extra time. Get rid of logo track suits etc.

23 Keep up your appearance. see #22.

24 Mentor someone. Give some 20 something year-old the advice you wish someone would have given you…I was fortunate when I was in my 20’s to have a few 40 year-old friends who saved me big time from stupidity.

25 Forgive yourself and others. Being “mad” wrecks havoc on your looks.

26 Be a little selfish and forget what everyone else wants you to be or do.

27.Be proud of your age. It is much more attractive then trying to pretend to be”young”. Everyone can do the math- and when you avoid sharing your age- it is assumed that you are really “old” anyway.

gigi @ 56

gigi @ 56

28 Do something daily that makes you laugh- even if it is looking at a crazy video on Facebook or You Tube.

29 Be in love or open to falling in love without losing yourself in the process! It is never to late to find yourself,even if you are already lost.

30 BE HAPPY!

Happy Gigi

Happy Gigi

31 Be content with your body, weight, shoe size, bra size, jean size etc. OR Do something about it other than complain.

32 Have a pocketful of friends that you can depend on…

33 Have command of your well being. Do whatever it takes to be healthy- keep up good habits or start some now.

34 Have nice stationery and write notes and even an occasional letter to someone…we are not the texting generation-

35 Have the ability to bounce back from adversity.

36 Be able to handle rejection of any kind and keep it moving.

37 Good night cream and sun screen.

38 Minimal DRAMA.

39 A Cause you believe in- I love FACE Forward.

40 Have a love affair with your partner-

41 Continue to Dream-

42 Drink good champagne.

champagne

champagne

 

43 Stop living in the past and embrace the future.

44 Strength Train.

45 Travel.

46 Stay interesting.

47 Less is truly more.

48 Set goals for the next decades.

49 learn something new.

50 Don’t be sad- You are alive and you woke up this morning- make the most of each and every day.

Happy Wednesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

fresh highlights

fresh highlights

 

 

 


Passion

Posted on by Gigi in Inspiration Leave a comment
quote

quote

What gets you excited about life? Finding your passion is like finding the love of your life. You may have some false starts, a divorce, a second  or third marriage, a live in lover, or maybe you are still searching, and  that is okay. When you find it, you will know and there will be no doubt.

Photography is my passion! I love what I do- there is something magical about documenting a moment, a smile, a connection in someone’s life- or snapping a stranger on the street and looking at that photo later and being moved for some reason.

Gigi

Gigi

Once you find your true calling, it is always there. My passion warms my soul and gives my life purpose. I wake up thinking about something photography related everyday. I drive around and I’m always distracted by something on the street that I want to photograph, and next thing I know I’m taking a detour.

I’m so fortunate to have a supportive partner, who gets it, one that has made it possible for me to make my passion a reality with no restriction. Without my husband Reggie none of what I’m doing would be possible.

Finding your passion does not mean you have found your nirvana, it is a growing process, that at times you will question, like when I don’t have a client for weeks, or I can’t master that lighting like Annie Leibovitz. But then there are those days when you put a woman in a ball gown, and she transforms into a princess and you know you have changed her life, watching her discover her beauty that she had been discounting for the past years, because society told her that middle aged women are not beautiful. I shoot for those moments.

If you too are fortunate enough to have found your passion, be willing to share and give to others. Be willing to inspire someone else in their journey.

And if you have not found your passion, don’t give up, like me perhaps you will finally find it in your 50’s and that is okay, just as long as you find it and embrace the process and let it seduce you…

What are you passionate about? How and when did you discover your passion? Are you still searching for your passion?

Happy Tuesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Keeping my sanity …

Posted on by Gigi in Fitness Leave a comment
Chair Pose

Gigi yoga

Today I am recommitting to my workout. January was crazy with my 3 trips, totally interrupting my exercise schedule. Of course, I brought workout stuff on all of my trips, but it stayed neatly folded in my suitcase.

Exercising is big for me, I feel much better and overall happier when I work out. Negativity can sneak up on me when I don’t exercise and I get these periods of irritability that I know are from a lack of exercise. At my age a few weeks of being inactive shows up on the body right away, another one of the many side effects that came along post 50.

So I set a few obtainable goals, like drop maybe 8 pounds or so, work on some of the jiggly areas, and work on my flexibility by returning to a regular yoga practice. Of course I want the aesthetic results, like gracefully gliding into my 57th birthday with a nice taut body, strolling on the beach sans a cover up.

So- what is my plan? Basically setting my intentions, putting my workouts on my calendar like any other appointment, sticking to my routine and really watching my diet. Wearing my fitbit, that is just sitting in my drawer collecting dust.

When I think about my life in regards to fitness, I have always been active, the 20’s were easy, things stayed in place, I worked at Jack La lanne, (does anybody even remember that gym) taught aerobic classes at Nautilus Plus (another gym that went under) worked for Jim Kelly, he had a little private gym back in the 80’s and I lived by the beach and rode my bike a lot- those years were good.

I worked for Jim Kelly during the 80's

I worked for Jim Kelly during the 80’s

The 30’s came along with marriage, and the babies…things were still okay. I Discovered running, did a few marathons, fell in love with spinning, did weight training- the body was good.

LA Marathon 1998

LA Marathon 1998

40’s came along with the major diet shifts, no more meat, chicken, fish, it was a slow transition but by 50 all the animal products were eliminated. I discovered bootcamp, Pole dancing, yoga and pilates- the body was good.

Gigi @ 40

Gigi @ 40

And then came the 50’s- things started trying to shift and my waist was becoming a traitor. My diet is mostly vegan, with some slip-ups with cheese here and there, especially when traveling. I joined Equinox, worked on and off with trainers, did classes here and there, hot yoga, pilates, barre, pretty much all over the place- periods of being real consistent and then slip ups- the body just okay.

50's Gigi

50’s Gigi

Fast forward to now, I know that for my curvy body type I need lots of cardio, i.e. “sweat”, strength training and yoga or pilates to keep my body together. Cut out all the obvious things, and just eat “clean” whole foods in their original state…and I would be okay.

Do a variety of workouts so I don’t get bored and most of all make it fun.

This month as I recommit I will be mindful of my workouts and focus on being the best version of me.

Did you make any challenges or resolutions for 2016? How do you stay motivated with your workouts? How do you stay on track?

equinox

equinox

Xoxo,

Gigi


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