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Gigi

An Ordinary Day…

Posted on by Gigi in Reggie's Stroke 3 Comments

Wednesday, April 12th started off as an ordinary day. The alarm sounded off at 6:00 a.m. like it always did. Reggie did his work day morning ritual, showering, grooming, selecting a suit and accessorizing with the perfect accents for his outfit. We chatted about what we thought the day had in store for us, what I had planned and gentle reminder that he was playing ball later. After a departing kiss, Reggie was gone for a regular day at the office.

Fast forward to that evening, I heard the door open and Reggie greeted me and sprinted upstairs to change into his basketball clothes and off to the gym he went. I knew the basketball routine, that you had to get there on time so you could be picked to play, so there was always this urgency, much like when I am going to yoga class. I had some editing to take care of, so I began to work on some images, when a little after 9, the landline rings, my first instinct was not to answer this unrecognizable number, thinking it was a telemarketer.

I answer. “Reggie’s wife?” A strange voice came from the receiver. I held the phone closer, as if all of a sudden I had a hearing problem.

“Yes,” I said, feeling my heart rate increasing, knowing something is wrong.

“Something happened to Doc.” “They are working on him.” The frantic voice said.

I am sure the person said more than that, but my brain started shutting down and I cannot even recall who called me. All I could think about was working on him is my husband even alive.

“They are taking him to St. Jude Emergency Room.” The voice said.

My mouth was dry, I started trembling as I hung up the phone. I quickly put on some clothes, looked up where this hospital was, and drove to the emergency room not knowing what I would be greeted with.

“He’s in bed 19.” The ER receptionist said, as he buzzed open the door for me to go back. There were so many people being treated, like a war zone. I was so scared of what I was going to see. At that moment I thought that I should have called someone to come with me, I was all alone and at this moment no one knew this was happening.

The scene was chaotic. I walked into this cold arena with alarms ringing, lights blinking, loud voices, people hurrying about, moaning voices and then bed 19, my handsome husband was still in his basketball clothes vomiting profusely. He was surrounded by a team of medical people asking him all sorts of questions, his eyes were glazed, and he had a shiny glow about him, he saw and recognized me. He was alive.

“I loooooooooooove choooooo.” he said to me in the unmistakable slurred stroke voice, that we have all seen in the public service commercials. I knew something horrible had happened to him, in the 30 years I have know him he has never been sick. He has hypertension, but he always takes his medicine.

Quickly he was whisked away for a cat scan, as the emergency room Dr.Katz began to explain that Reggie had a hemorrhagic stroke and the neurosurgeon, Dr. Noblett was on the way. He then went on to tell me that they would be doing a craniotomy, at this point I am feeling faint as I sign my name on the consent form. Within moments I’m following my husband on a gurney to the operating room. I was numb.

post surgery ICU

This is the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. A life we loved was suddenly snatched away, initially leaving me in a state of panic. After there were no more tears to shed, I came to the realization that I had to keep on living and become active in Reggie’s recovery and my families survival.

I have to remain hopeful that Reggie will fight and win. That this athlete will be running the longest marathon ever, that we will have to be patience and know this is going to be a long journey. I know that my husband, being the most intelligent man I know, the most generous, the fittest, and with his family support, if anyone can beat this – he can.

xoxo,

Gigi


Why are some people mean?

Posted on by Gigi in Thoughts Comments Off on Why are some people mean?

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Why are some people mean? I’m not talking about a little mean, but bazaar, go out of their way to be mean. Recently I’ve encountered a few mean people, I remind myself that these situations will make me a stronger person in the long run. But I can’t begin to tell you how upsetting it is, when someone has gone out of their way to be hurtful and unkind.

Have you noticed that these same mean people appear to do well in their careers? Mean and all?

Sometimes people you like are in cahoots with these mean peeps. I don’t think they even realize it, but these mean people know how to step on others to align themselves with the people you like.

The old me, the pre-yoga me, used to react with being mean right back, sometimes succeeding in being meaner. Did it help anything? No, not at all, it just made me feel bad in the long run. Now my approach is limiting my interaction with these types of people to the best of my ability.

I can only think that these individuals perhaps are hurting or have been hurt in the past and they have to take it out on someone else in order to feel better about themselves. I’m sure the “why they are like that” could be an entire post on the factors that go into being mean, the science behind it.

Each day I wake up, I’m happy to embrace whatever comes my way. My life is far from perfect, I have more than my share of problems, I just don’t choose to focus on them. I have fears, doubts and the day to day problems of life, but I go forward and work on my own truth and being as authentic as I can be to the best of my ability.

“There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy”

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi in Bali

 


Maldives

Posted on by Gigi in Travel Comments Off on Maldives

Our last trip of 2016 was to the Maldives. Last year was one full of excursions, We traveled to Cameroon, Paris, Bali, Hawaii, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, Lake Tahoe, Atlanta, Napa, San Francisco, Dubai, and I must say beyond a doubt the Maldives was truly the highlight. I had never experienced anything quite like it and I have been a few places.

 

Mr. & Mrs. S

It was not a trip we had really planned, it was a spontaneous last minute decision that came about when our good friends invited us to join them, and instead of listening to  all the reasons we should not go, we went! Prior to our trip, I must admit I did not even know where the Maldives was located. I knew that is was a chain of islands but that is all I knew.

seaplanes take you to the various islands

Maldives is a sovereign archipelagic nation positioned in the Indian Ocean. There is no counterpart in the entire world in terms of its unique geography and topography. Turquoise blue waters, pearlescent sand beaches, and decadent overwater villas are just a few of the attractions that attract travelers from all over the world.

The path to to our over water villa

Welcome message when we arrived

Mr. S chilling on the side of our private pool

Our home for the week was Per Aquum Niyama a stunning resort that was a true paradise. My pictures don’t begin to showcase the beauty of this place, I was so in the moment I used my phone most of the the time, I just wanted to be present and take it all in…It was a place where we really relaxed and just enjoyed our time together with no distractions.

Here is a video though, so check it out, and be blown away as I was…

In additional to this resort being breath taking, it is the staff that really made our stay special. Everyone was so accommodating, always going beyond the call of duty to make us happy. After the first day everyone knew our name, and at breakfast my artisan latte was ready with a special message each day. Our mode of transportation around the island were cute bikes with little wooden nameplates.

 

 

my bike-

love bike riding

Mr & Mrs S

Anything you thought about, you could do here. Some of the highlights, I went scuba diving for the first time ever. What an experience. Of course I was nervous, but I did it and it was incredible. We also went snorkeling as well, colorful sea life was everywhere you looked.

of course I had to bring my gear…

Mr. S

turtle

our guide

my friend in her pink snorkeling mask…

Of course the food was delicious and they accommodated our veggie diet with no problem. Most of the time I felt as if I was on my own private island. Of course other guests were there, but most of the time it was just us…

the beach

The view

just beautiful-

This post  could go on and on…between the New Year’s Eve party which was world class, private movie on the beach with champagne and popcorn with our friends, gourmet dinners, private boat ride to another island, the spa, scuba lessons, and our butler that was there to accommodate whatever we thought about, this was truly a dream vacation- I defiantly want to go back again.

US

 

Us

The Maldives should defiantly be on your bucket list. Although we went at the last moment, it is probably a destination that you should plan for and save for. I don’t think there is a “bad” time to go, like any tropical area they get their share of rain, we had rain the day before New Year’s Eve, but other than that the weather was perfect. The flight is long, we flew LA to Dubai, Dubai to Male and then a seaplane to the island. So it is a 24 hour journey to get there, but well worth it.

I felt like a kid again…

my “young” husband

gigi

My last Latte

What places are on your bucket list? What is your favorite travel destination?

XOXO,

Gigi


Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes, Uncategorized Comments Off on Quote

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It’s okay to venture out of your comfort zone… Lately I’ve been doing it quite often.

Gigi bosslady…

This weekend is going to be one of renewal, my personal Super Bowl. What are your plans? I will be working today and tomorrow.

Happy Friday!

XOXO,

GIGI

 


Do you enjoy yourself?

Posted on by Gigi in Well-Being Comments Off on Do you enjoy yourself?

my best friend

Both of my kids are in New York, my son is in school in the Hudson Valley and my daughter is living in Brooklyn and working. So we are officially empty nesters, and have been so for a while now. My husband works long hours, so I have a lot of alone time. I am busy with my photography, but I still have those quiet moments of solitude.

As I mature, I am starting to find a peace with these alone moments with just myself. I have a lot of friends that I love dearly, but I don’t find myself doing the hours on the phone chatting about this and that as often as I used too. I don’t need to have the TV on looking at the latest series, or getting depressed looking at CNN, I’m happy just with myself and listening to my inner soul.

When you think about it, you’ve know yourself the longest of any relationship you have been in, and we have a tendency to neglect ourselves the most. When you are in love with yourself, you know you will always have your back, you will take care of you, and YOU understand you better than anybody else. I hope this is making sense…but you get what I’m trying to say.

I’m my own best friend, the one that is always there to listen, the one that is accepting of me just the way I am, the one that I can be real with all the time no judgement ever. The one that is always dependable and never lets me down.

I’m also the one that knows when I am full of BS, the one that knows when I’m not on my A game. The one who will call me out and give me the side eye. The one that will tell you that you can do the impossible when you want to give up. I love her!

Do you enjoy your own company?

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


February 1, what happened to January?

Posted on by Gigi in Life Style 2 Comments

gigi

January is in the past! We so eagerly celebrated and welcomed the New Year and now it is just a memory. Some of us have already fallen off the new commitments we made and that is okay. Just start again today.

Savoir each day to the fullest. Last week my neighbor was on his evening walk with his dogs and he had a massive heart attack and died on the sidewalk. It was disturbing to say the least, to see a life depart so suddenly, I could not help but to wonder what was his day like prior to his last walk…was it a happy day?

So while January 2017 is gone, lets embrace the coming months and strive for balance. I am so guilty of the over full, never finished schedule, I am taking time for my yoga practice and it is really helping me to balance. Being in my own business where I wear all the hats, it is difficult to end the day because there is always some task to be done, but my new approach is that I am only doing what I can do, and I am figuring out a comfortable workflow that I can balance with my personal life.

Being so over scheduled with the never ending “to do” list interferes with living a full life. A life where you take time to really see a friend not just a face book message or a text. You go to an exhibit at a museum, not just look at it online. You take a moment to enjoy this world we live in…not focusing only on the turmoil that is going on, finding some good in something that brings you joy.

So my friends do something today that brings you joy, it may be as simple as going to have a tea or coffee somewhere instead of having it in a cup in your car. Just take a moment for you-

XOXO,

Gigi


Some days I feel “OLD”

Posted on by Gigi in Aging 2 Comments

GIGI

Some days I feel “OLD”. Maybe it is because I recommitted to writing my blog and I am missing out on sleep, staying up late. Or maybe time is just going by and along with that comes age.

Things I’ve observed that let me know I’m sorta old…

Retirement. I think about that now and wonder how will I maintain my lifestyle in “retirement” or will I ever be able to afford to retire.

I worry about my kids and their lives. How will they make it? Will they be able to take care of themselves when I am gone.

Wrinkles and grey hair. No explanation needed. I’m just not ready to embrace the silver grey hair trend, so off to the colorist I go. And thinning hair…it is a good thing I had a lot of hair back in the day, now it is manageable.

As much as I love high heels, all of a sudden flats are looking real cute lately.

The body, hmmm lets just say there is a shift, and I am fighting it in every way I can…

The reading glasses, what an annoyance, I feel like I can’t move without them.

Young people, the 20 something year olds, like to explain things to me, information about social media, like snap chat or artists that I am not familiar with. Often times they share with me that I am older than their parents and that they have noticed that their parents are slowing down.

The little aches here and there, that I did not have before, like waking up in the morning and I have to stretch, just so I can get moving properly.

Makeup- it really is not an option. It is a mandate, at least lipstick, mascara and concealer.

And what is up with lotion, I am constantly slathering it on all day, I don’t remember doing that when I was “young”.

And lastly…sometimes I am in denial about this one, but I forget stuff, sometimes important things, like names of people that I should know, or a note in my calendar that I wrote and I have no clue what it is. Just writing in a real calendar, instead of my phone is old, lol.

But with all these reminders of aging, I will say along with the years, comes a certain confidence. An attitude where not much bothers you, your tolerance for BS is low, you know how to eliminate it from years of experience. I’m living an authentic life, just being real and embracing my path, stopping off here and there to explore.

How are you navigating the aging process? I’d love to know…

Xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi

 

 


Why I did a Boudoir Session

Posted on by Gigi in photography Comments Off on Why I did a Boudoir Session

boudoir session

As most of you know I’m a professional photographer. I Looooooovve photographing women. Although I dabble in other genres, my favorite subject hands down are women. I attended a boudoir workshop in New Orleans where boudoir photographers from all over the country attended to learn from the best in the industry.

So while I was there I scheduled a session for myself with Craig Lamere, a photographer that I have be admiring since I started my career. It was the best investment in moi! So many reasons…Of course I was nervous and was wishing I had hit the gym a little harder and dieted a little more, but once my session started all of that pressure slowly disappeared. Two hours later I felt as if I was on top of the world, Queendom for a day.

I felt amazing getting my makeup done, my hair was on point and loved that sultry  New Orleans weather, and I ended up with a collection of images any ole’ or young girl would want for themselves.

It is the gift that keeps on giving. I have a gorgeous album, prints and everything else I could order. I like that the “sexy” side of me was captured by a professional, a lot better than my occasional sexy phone selfie done alone. I thought to myself, why did I wait so long to do this?

Gigi

I love that I have  documented this moment in my life, a moment that certainly is “middle age” quickly going to the next phase of what society says is old age. Truly, I believe sexy has no expiration, it is something inside that can certainly can be revealed and it is okay. Our sensuality is a part of our identity, why not celebrate it? Why be ashamed of it?

gigi

As a result, from my session I am a better photographer. I learned so much being on the other side of the camera. Being in that vulnerable position in front of another human being, staring at you with a camera I know what that feels like. I also observed my photographer work and get the best images of me I have ever had. Truly amazing. So many ahha moments!

gigi

It was great therapy. As women we are always doing things for our families, taking care of business, rarely doing something for ourselves. This was the ultimate indulgence. Matter of fact it will probably become an annual event that I treat myself to.

gigi

So my ladies and guys…btw (stay tuned for my dude-oir session I’m going to be shooting soon) do something special, give yourself a boudoir session. If you don’t choose me lol, choose a photographer that will be patient and give you an incredible experience. Don’t wait for your body to be “perfect” or you will never do it.

Happy Monday!

XOXO,

GIGI


Are you Vulnerable?

Posted on by Gigi in Well-Being 2 Comments

GIGI

Are you vulnerable? Or do you keep a wall up like the one that Donald Trump wants to build? Yes, it is scary at times to open up to another human being. Of course there is the risk of being hurt, but if you don’t open up it is difficult to have real intimacy with another person.

In the beginning of a new relationship , we are all the “best version” of ourselves, but after a while it becomes difficult to maintain that facade. You have to let go of the BS and let “you” really be you…not the pretend you.

At my age, I have a lot of friends and acquaintances, some that I am really close with and some that I am superficially close with. I started analyzing what makes a close relationship versus the superficially close ones, you know the kind that you go through the motions of a “close” relationship, but you really have no depth with the person.

I came to the conclusion it is not the length of time, nor the frequency of visits, or how often you talk with the person. For me it came down to trust, and being comfortable with another person at your darkest moments. Those individuals that you could share anything with and you know it is not going to be held against you at a later date. Those friends that you can let loose with, and just be real.

Being vulnerable is not something that can happen overnight. It takes time to give in and let the wall down especially if it has been up for a long time. My personality has always been open, perhaps at times to0 open, it has come back in negative ways on a few occasions.

I’m fortunate to be married to a person that I can say anything to without any fear or consequence. There are a few women in my life that are my “ride or die” chicks, the kind that have your back, I don’t know what I would do if I had no confidants in my life, it would be lonely.

Are you vulnerable? To have someone you can confide in? Are you superficial because of things that have happened to you in the past? Please share I’d like to know.

Have a beautiful weekend- I have nice weekend planned that will end with a portrait session on Sunday.

XOXO,

GIGI


Recipe for happiness

Posted on by Gigi in Well-Being Comments Off on Recipe for happiness

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This quote moved me… Sometimes you have to listen to that little voice on the inside. It is easy in this world we live in to concentrate on our exterior, making sure it looks real good to everyone. Giving the illusion that everything is okay, when it is crumbling apart on the inside.

Life is full of ups and downs. The daily comings and goings can take its toll on the best of us. Sometimes I feel bad for feeling down when in the big scheme of things, my disappointments are not that serious, compared to some. For example a few days ago a Facebook friend shared that their 7 week old baby suddenly passed away, although I have never met this person I was instantly sad at the thought of losing a baby. My issue of the day quickly disappeared.

We are responsible for our own happiness. I know that is easier said than done. The truth is I have my down days too, sometimes more often than I’d like to admit, but I also have some tactics to help navigate those times as well.

My recipe for happiness.

1.Surround yourself with positivity.

2.Wake up and embrace the day, leaving yesterday in the past.

3.Unfriend, unfollow, hang up on, negativity.

4.Accept people for who they are…and limit the interaction with those that do not have your best interest. see #3

5.Yoga- for me my practice helps me to stay grounded…find something that works for you.

6.Laughing even when you should not be…

7.Go out and find your joy.

8.Spend time with your loved one- or someone that makes you feel special.

9.Have people in your life, that will accept you for you- the ones you can be your authentic self- no faking the funk.

10.Indulge in something decadent- occasionally – don’t be that person that can never let loose…the ones that are always uptight because they are concentrating on the exterior a little to much.

What is your recipe for happiness? I’d love to know…

XOXO,

GIGI

Gigi 2017

 


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