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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 Read more

Quote

It's okay to venture out of your comfort zone... Lately I've been doing it quite often. 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 Read more

Do you enjoy yourself?

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 Read more

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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 Read more

Aging

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

 

 


Are you doing something that you love?

Posted on by Gigi in Aging, photography Comments Off on Are you doing something that you love?

quote

I’ve been working as a professional photographer for a little over 3 years, on my own for barely 6 months. It took me a long time to figure out my true passion, but it was well worth the wait. I tired a lot of different things over my life time, interior design, a chocolate brownie business, working with my husband, although I enjoyed those interests for a while, nothing felt like the “it” thing.

There are times when I think about what would I be doing had I discovered my true calling 30 years ago. Would I be burnt out, ready to retire like some of my peers that have been in the professional world for 30 years and are now transitioning to another phase of life. Or maybe I would have been a trailblazer, an iconic photographer in the field, traveling all over the world giving seminars to up and coming photographers.

My journey has not been easy, there are many challenges in a field where everyone is walking around with a camera in their hand. I’m at an odd age sort of, I’m not young by no means, I’m kinda old, even though I don’t feel really old. I am constantly studying and working on my craft, there is so much I want to learn.

Some days I wonder to myself, what am I doing? Maybe it is too much, and I should just chill and relax. Perhaps at my age it is a bit much to be an artist and run a business. Maybe I should just be a hobbyist, and just take pictures of whatever inspires me.

Why do I stay up late most nights working on photography related tasks? It comes down to I absolutely LOVE what I do! I really love taking portraits of women, transforming them and showcasing their beauty. Beauty they had put on the back burner, I love giving my clients an incredible experience and capturing that genuine smile.

In our society there is so much imagery in the media that does not represent true beauty, between all the filters, and the way photos are manipulated via photoshop there is this imaginary bar that many women are trying to reach, that does not even exist. I love being able to take the best portrait of a woman and being able to show it to her without deconstructing her, just capturing her authentic self.

Gigi

I know I am fortunate to be able to pursue something that I love…What are you doing that you love? I’d love to know…

XOXO,

GIGI


Timelessness

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Comments Off on Timelessness

Gigi

Timelessness is what I am striving for- age is becoming like a friend that I have a love/hate relationship with. The friend that you really love, the one that will “check” you when you are wrong and “call you out” we all have one. I can’t outsmart my age- it is what it is…I’ve never been interested in guarding it like a top secret pass word protected number (“56” soon to be “57”) shhhhh. I know some like to elude to being a younger age that has past many moons ago, and I get it, there is a lot of age discrimination going on out there especially in the work place.

Some of us grew up with moms that taught us to hide our age, and most of us have been told “never ask a lady her age” because it is not polite. Not polite because? I wonder when that phenomenon started- denying ones age? It is just an arbitrary number that rises once a year, a time that I look forward to celebrating being me and my existence.

Beauty does not have to be defined or constrained by a number- even if we live in a society that gives out expiration dates. Being a photographer I have captured numerous young gorgeous ingenues. I can photograph them at high noon, late night , early morning and they always look beautiful, I on the other hand have to be a little more particular about the light I’m photographed in and that is ok. The important thing is to do what gives you pleasure- explore, never stop learning and continue to be the best version of you.

Celebrate your “good” whether it is your career, fabulous body, personality, family, loving eyes, compassionate spirit, yoga moves, etc. just remember you are your number 1 fan.

Happy Tuesday,

Gigi


My new year…

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Comments Off on My new year…
Gigi in Bali

Gigi in Bali

So in a little over 3 months I will celebrate another birthday. Yes, I’m getting older but I am happy to be here to celebrate. For me, my birthday is a lot like New Year’s, I start preparing for it in advance, my own personal year end. Typically it begins with the intense recommitment to my workout program, which I have been slacking on lately, along with a revamp of my diet. Next I come up with an event, or gathering I want to do, and then the planning for that starts. Then, I come up with the lists of what I what do for the following year, career goals, things I want to learn, places I want to go etc.. And lastly, the appointments, I have this thing that I want to have all my personal maintenance done, such as fresh hair color and cut, maybe a facial, trip to the Korean spa, all of this the week leading up to my birthday, which is July 28.

Growing up I had a few birthday parties, one at 6, a slumber party when I turned 12, a little beach party at 18, a 25th birthday party given by a boyfriend, ten years would pass till the next party at 35. From 35 on I started celebrating every year making up for all the ones I felt I missed.

This year I won’t have a party, maybe a small dinner at home with a few friends over, something with my girlfriends, and perhaps a weekend away with Reggie somewhere local, like Santa Barbara.

How do you celebrate your birthday? Are you the party type or do you like to have quiet celebrations and not draw attention to another year gone by, and another number added to your age. Please share I’d love to know…

Gigi @ 25

This is a pic from my 25th birthday party- I remember being so happy that day- My boyfriend at the time hosted a party for me- I felt so grown up!

Gigi @ 40

This is from my 40th birthday- I remember feeling so old once my 30’s were over…now 40 seems so young!

This is from a 40 something Pole dancing party I had with my girlfriends-

This is from a 40 something birthday Pole dancing party I had with my girlfriends- and my long dark hair…

Gigi with flat ironed hair

My 50th Birthday party- was a blast! Now 50 even seems  “young”…

51

For my 51 birthday I had a pool party-

52

52 hmmmm I was is a real pink phase- dinner party 

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Have a fabulous Monday- embrace today by recommitting to something- join me in bumping up your workout if you have been slacking off like me…

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Reggie’s Birthday

Posted on by Gigi in Aging, My Life 4 Comments
Reggie

Reggie

Reggie’s birthday was yesterday, his 64th no less. Funny that our numbers are going up but we don’t “feel” whatever that age is supposed to feel like. We will be celebrating this month, starting with dinner tonight. In a couple of weeks we will go to Las Vegas with friends and I have a few other surprises planned. I asked Reggie did he feel “64” and they are battling diseases that have taken a toll on their bodies, although I have high blood pressure, I know if I were not exercising and eating a plant based diet I probably would not be celebrating my 64th birthday.”

I love birthdays and over the years we have had a lot of parties- here are a few pics I found from some of those shindigs.

Reggie celebrated 63 years on planet

Reggie celebrated 63 years on planet – we had a little house party.

one of the 50 something birthdays

one of the 50 something birthdays I can’t recall which one- the only clue is I was wearing my hair straight – so this may have been about 10 or 12 years ago.

Husband & I birthday 61?

Husband & I birthday 61 I can tell by my “big hair don’t care” oops the the grey mustache…hehehe

60th St. Lucia

60th St. Lucia- we went with 4 of our dear friends and had a blast-

birthday

birthday – maybe 57? that purple dress is kinda old…

another one of the 50 something birthdays

One of the 40 something birthdays…I can tell by my hair and the thick dark mustache

Reggie 58th b-day

Reggie 58th b-day

surprise party I think 59th

surprise party I think 59th- close friends met us at a restaurant-

Next year will be one of those milestone birthdays, perhaps we will go away somewhere or maybe another party- all I know is we will celebrate-

Are you obsessed with celebrating birthdays like me? Growing up I had a birthday party for my 6th birthday, a slumber party for my 12th and that was it…so I think I am making up for all the years I did not have birthday celebrations.

How do you typically celebrate birthdays?

Xoxo,

Gigi

 

 


Women of a certain “age”…

Posted on by Gigi in Aging 4 Comments
Gigi

Gigi

Today I was cruising one of my many “private” photography group pages and there was a picture of a striking woman and the post read “still obsessing with this 57 yo ;)”. Various comments followed mostly stating how “good” she looked for her age etc. and then one person wanted to see the SOOC (straight out of camera version) implying that there must have been a lot of photoshop done to the image. The SOOC was posted it was obvious that not much had been done to the pic and this is just how this woman looked. More comments followed, most in amazement of how “good” she looked once again for her age.

Being the 56 year old that I am I was reminded that women of a “certain age” are considered the exception if they still are deemed attractive by the powers that be- the group of judges that determines when a woman’s attractive meter has stopped functioning and she has sadly “lost it”.

So many women are not bound by the constraint of numbers or someone else’s beauty standard. I look in the mirror and I see the reflection of a woman who has lived, spent some time in the sun before sunblock was the de rigueur. A face that has smiled for 50 plus years and has the imprint to prove it.

Most of us are juggling various ages- our biological age and the age of our heart and spirit, which has nothing to do with our years of the planet. The inner age that tells you that you can pull off skinny jeans, a bikini, or start a new career. Having a positive attitude and being kind all contribute to a timeless, ageless beauty that shines from within, the best anti-age serum.

To be 20, 30 or even 40 again would be a curse, because the woman I am the today is the product of all those years in the making.

Xoxo,

Gigi

Age has no reality except in the physical world-

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gigi @ 40

Gigi @ 40

 

 


56 WTF?

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Comments Off on 56 WTF?
gigi @ 56

gigi @ 56

Today is the first day of my new year. 56, a number that seems  is old middle age, mature, a woman of a “certain” age, that is what comes to my mind when I hear that number. This number that is closer yet to a “bigger” significant number the- big “60”.

Lately I have been photographing incredibly beautiful young models. Part of the process is the editing of these images, it is here that I am reminded that even the “best” of us will fall into the arms of father time. I am reminded that I used to have long thick hair, a tight body and a laissez faire attitude. These are faces that have not smiled as much as mine, or have seen as much sadness. Faces that giggle about new boyfriends, legs that peek out of short shorts, tousled messy hair that looks so right, random odd jobs that keep them busy, and that anticipation of the next audition, or the big break that will soon come.

pretty girls

pretty girls

I have embraced the physical changes ( not that I really have a choice) my kinky curly “do” gives the illusion of a lot of hair, trust me it has thinned out a lot. The body looks pretty good dressed and a little better than okay undressed. The eyes, well lets just say I have joined the ranks of those that have numerous glasses all over the house.

big hair don't care

big hair don’t care

Or how I really do have to take a moment to find my “good” side prior to the shutter snapping, holding my chin just so. I have to hydrate non-stop, especially if I indulge in a glass or 2 of wine. But even with all these changes, I’m at a good place with my self and who I am. There is a sense of comfort that comes with the 50’s, you realize “it is what it is…” You are not going to be transformed to your former 30 year-old self, and that is okay, nor become the next President, just saynin’. Mistakes I have made have contributed to the centered woman I am today. I’m more authentic which is good and bad, good for being who I really am, and bad for sharing my thoughts, thoughts that are at times not invited.

I’m at a point where I don’t have time for the ridiculous anymore. There are places I want to go, experiences I want to have, things I want to see. A sort of urgency where you feel as if you have to focus, especially if you were a late bloomer, like moi. My inner circle is shrinking a bit, I’m satisfied  with those that are “easy” and accepting. I still enjoy spending time with my husband and now that our son is about to depart for college that is a good thing.

As I reflect on this past year I am happy to be present, there are so many that have departed, I am reminded often- the news of death, something I don’t recall hearing about when I was younger. Life is truly a gift.

So as this day comes to an end, take a moment for yourself and cherish wherever you are on your life journey-

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


I love Vitamin D

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Comments Off on I love Vitamin D
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

 

 


My Bucket List…

Posted on by Gigi in Aging, Inspiration, Life Style 4 Comments

In my recent observations of life, in particular some that have ended way to soon unfortunately- I started thinking about my bucket list. At 55 I’m on the other side, I feel fine, not sure what “middle age” is supposed to feel like, but I’m embracing every day. I for the most part do the right “things”,  but I am learning there is no rhyme or reason to these horrific diseases, there are no guarantees.

Here is what I came up with, in no particular order:

1. Travel to Brazil, Cuba, Bali, Turkey, Mauritius, New Zealand, Montreux jazz just to name a few destinations on my list.

Kauai

Kauai

2. Become a really really good photographer.

Gigi

Gigi

3. Write a book. (does not have to be a bestseller or anything)

4. Have a grandchild or two.

5. Get in incredible shape. (For me it is more difficult at this age-body parts want to relocate and shift…)

Gigi @ the beach

Gigi @ the beach

6. Start a non-profit. I want to make a difference, for women and/or animals- cats in particular.

What’s on your bucket list?

Happy Tuesday,

Xoxo,

Gigi


5 Things I No Longer believe About Aging.

Posted on by Gigi in Aging Comments Off on 5 Things I No Longer believe About Aging.

5 Things I no longer believe about aging.

1. Menopause is this horrific situation.

I’m fortunate in that I am still waiting for that hot flash, but if or when I get one I ‘ll just have a collection of fabulous little fans. Yes, menopause is the official marker that there are no more babies coming out of this body and that too is okay. Middle age is whatever you want it to be, I know some 50 plus ladies that could give the 20 plus girls a run for the money. It is all a mind set and how you take care of your self physically and mentally. I don’t know what I was expecting, I come from a family where no one talks about the “change” so I did not know what was going to happen if anything.

2. Don’t wear your hair to long.

Well after my Fresh & Fabulous event…I’m a believer in whatever makes you feel good. No, I’m not going to get a waist length weave or anything but if I’m wanting a “look” for an event or something, why not? Life is short.

Gigi

Gigi

 

3. Accept a “middle age” body.

Hell no!!! Yes it is a lot more work to keep things from shifting, but I am going out fighting. I enjoy having a waist line and want to keep one even if it means a little more time or a lot more time in the gym. Watching my diet and eating “clean” are a way of life. This does not mean never indulging, for me it is choices, skipping desert for a nice glass of champagne etc.. My body may not be what it was when I was in my 20’s, but I’m constantly working on being the best 50 plus body.

24 year old GIGI

24 year old GIGI

4. Fillers and Botox are for “Beverly Hills Housewives”.

As I continue to mature, I’m doing my homework and staying on top on the latest in skin care and anti aging solutions. No, I don’t want to look ridiculous or anything, but I know there will be a time sooner than later where I’m going to explore some options. Some days I look in the mirror and give myself a nod of approval, and other days I look and I see an older lady who looks like me. Yes I drink gallons of water, use lots of lotions and potions, but the aging process skips no one and for me it is not wanting to look “younger” I just want to look good for my age.

5. Don’t wear bikinis, minis or shorts if you are over 50.

I used to read this a lot in those articles about dressing for your age, but there are exceptions. If your legs are fabulous why not? It is that simple, wear what makes you happy and feel good about yourself. If you can walk in 4 inch heels rock those too, I do. Why should women of a certain age be banished to one piece bathing suits? Break the rules.

legs

legs

What is your philosophy on aging? I loved to hear…

Happy Thursday,

Gigi

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