Why are some people mean?

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 Read more

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

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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

February 1, what happened to January?

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

Welcome 2016

Posted on by Gigi in Life Style 10 Comments

 

Gigi

2015 was a year filled with some highs and some lows. I am planning on 2016 to be a good great year. As time seems to fly by faster and faster the older I get, I’ve been finding it more important to savor blissful moments and reflect on the things that made me smile, my son’s graduation from high school, underwater photography, my east coast travels, spending time with friends- experiences that contribute to my well being.

one of my favorite underwater portraits

one of my favorite underwater portraits

With a new year comes a time to renew, start fresh, with new goals, ideas and opportunities. While I did not make an obligatory “New Years” resolution list, I decided one of my goals is to just be present- present and engaged in the moment- being the best version of me each and every day.

I also plan to focus each month on an objective- January being organization. Everything from my home, (editing stuff and getting rid of what no longer serves me), to my workouts,(having balance returning to a consistent yoga practice)  business (organizing my schedule so I have time for my continuing education) and family (always having quality time for them).

We are all on our life journeys , maybe it is a career shift, relocation, divorce, change in family dynamics, health challenge or perhaps working out the kinks in a new business as I am, allow yourself the space for those unexpected uncertainties that can come out of nowhere and turn your life upside down.

This last quarter was especially difficult, hence my disappearance from here…so sorry, but if any of you are still around I’m back!

Did you make New Year resolutions? what do you hope to accomplish? I’d love to know…

xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi

Gigi

quote

quote

 


Do you still “Do it”?

Posted on by Gigi in My Life 10 Comments
reggie & Gigi

reggie & Gigi

So I’m minding my own business and doing my routine maintenance  – mani, pedi etc., when I finally arrived at my last stop on this particular day, the wax salon. While not the most pleasant experience it is one of those little necessities, at least for me that make my life a little smoother. I missed the laser option a while ago (that’s another post that I will have to share) so hence I am vested in this little wax salon.

I’ve been going to the same waxer, “A” for over 10 years, it’s sort of like your ob/gyn, once you find one you are comfortable with you stay.  You develop a unique relationship with a person that does such a specialized service, needless to say we have gotten really close. In our 15 minutes together we talk about everything, from what the kids are doing, photography, my kitties, yoga, etc.,  so on this particular visit the conversation goes something like this:

A: “Do you and Reggie still “do it”?

Moi: “Yes…we do” not as often as we used to-not like, before marriage or before kids, but yes we do…

A: “You know a lot of my clients don’t have sex, I hear it all the time.”

riiiiip riiiiiip

Moi: “hmmmmm I know some couples that are in roommate situations for various reasons, you are right there are a lot of sexless marriages.”

A: ” Now you have been married a long time. How long?”

Moi: “26 years plus the 2 years we dated so 28 years.”

A: “So do you guys still want to have sex?…I see you on FB and you 2 look so cute and I wonder…”

Moi: “Well, yes we do- trust me I would not be here letting you do “this” just because-

Riiiiiiiiiiip Riiiiiiiiiiiiiip Riiiiiiiiiiiiip

So after my appointment, I thought about intimacy in marriage and what happens to some couples that one day or night becomes the “last time” and then they never “do it ” again? I get it if there is a health issue, but what really happens? It is one of those subjects that you don’t really chat about.

I recall my mother-n-law who is in her early 90’s telling me and my sister-n-law that if you are not having sex with your husband he is having sex with someone else…Relationships are complicated and they are always changing, you have to be adaptable and accepting of your partner as these changes are taking place. Intimacy is a part of marriage and like anything else you have to work at the connection and keeping things interesting.

Based on my 28 years, not that I’m an expert, but from my experience you have to be open and honest with your partner. Of course as the years go by we change physically and emotionally, the stress of life can sometimes get the best of you, but it is important to carve out time for relationship and make it a priority. It is IMPORTANT to make time for special moments. Never stop dating and doing the things that attracted you in the first place.

BTW speaking of time, I’m happy to be baaaaaack! It has been to long, summer has zoomed by, my son is settling into his first year of college at Bard in upstate New York, my photography is going quite well, I am learning how to do underwater portraits and just having a blast and embracing each day to the fullest. I have a lot of fun things planned so stay tuned.

I know I have been on a hiatus but I’d love to hear from you…

Xoxo,

Gigi

FRes_3808


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

 


Deletion

Posted on by Gigi in My Life, Uncategorized Comments Off on Deletion

FullSizeRender-24

In our virtual world of facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat etc. we have more “contact” with friends, family and our cyber peeps, many whom we have never met. Lots of time is spent being a voyeur into the lives of strangers, remote acquaintances and friensmies. We spend time peeking into secret worlds, wondering how our life compares, are we as happy as they are? Most of us present our best “self” on line, including moi…the bad hair days tend to not make it on my feed, nor the pics that we all have when caught in mid speech or chewing…not cute. It’s human nature to want to “see” what others are doing, to snoop on an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfirend’s page, check out their comings and goings.

Between my blog and my business my “friend” list has grown. I don’t know all the mechanics of facebook, for example how which friends show up on my newsfeed, or how I can google something, usually a shoe of some sort and the next thing I know that item shows up on my feed in a sponsored post. I accept most friend requests, especially if I have mutual friends in common. You meet people and quickly add them to your facebook tribe routinely. I have a few facebook friends that I have even met in person. One was a woman named “Gervel” who lives in Maryland, she saw my status update when I was in Maryland this particular day, “Gervel” messaged me and we met and had a lovely time exchanging stories about how we both ended up with the same odd name.

I’ve become close with a few of my facebook friends, sort of a connection like a “penpal” those of you that are old enough might remember those. In this world where we have so many “friends”, what happens when someone DELETES you?  How do you feel? Or does it matter, especially if it is someone you don’t know.  Or maybe the connection is so remote you may not even know your were deleted. But what if it is someone you know? You may feel hurt, especially if the person is someone in your social circles.

FullSizeRender-22

It has happened to me on a few occasions, and I must admit it is an odd feeling, not hurt per se, because someone you really know would probably have a chat with you if there was some conflict. It’s one of those things, where you figure, that a person had an adverse feeling about you that moved them to press “DELETE”. Maybe it was a post, or perhaps you have a religious or political stance that rubbed them the wrong way. Or maybe they just decided “enough of you” delete! Whatever the reason for the omission, life keeps moving forward and it is a reminder to make time for real “face” time with friends and family, don’t let social media replace real visits, there something different about looking into someone eyes seeing their smile and having a conversation.

FullSizeRender-21

Happy Monday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

self portrait #3

self portrait #3

 

 


Makeup? or Cover Up?

Posted on by Gigi in friendship 2 Comments
monique

monique

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

Monique

Monique

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

Monique & Noah

Monique & Noah

 

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

Monique

Monique

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

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

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

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

RIP Monique you will be missed by so many…

The last day I saw Monique

The last day I saw Monique…

 

 


Yogurt, Avocado oil, and Honey

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

this dry bush needs help

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

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

yougurt, oil and honey mask

yougurt, oil and honey mask

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

mask applied in sections

mask applied in sections

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

Steam control

Steam control

Gigi's shower

Gigi’s shower

The cap...

The cap…

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

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

all rinsed out no product

all rinsed out no product

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

devachan products

devachan products

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

FullSizeRender(8)

product applied

product applied

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

The result! of the mask

The result! of the mask

different light

different light

different view

different view

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

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Not in This Lifetime…

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Comments Off on Not in This Lifetime…

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

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

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

Gigi finishing college

Gigi finishing college

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

Gigi's brownie days-

Gigi’s brownie days-

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

 

Xoxo,

Gigi


Commitment

Posted on by Gigi in Uncategorized Comments Off on Commitment

What are committed to?

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

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

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

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

photo_5

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

Amani, Gigi & Reggie

Amani, Gigi & Reggie

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

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

Happy Wednesday.

Xoxo,

Gigi


Your Presence

Posted on by Gigi in American Life 1 Comment

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Tuesday.

Xoxo,

Gigi

Gigi

Gigi

 


I love Vitamin D

Posted on by Gigi in Aging 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

 

 


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