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

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

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

Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes, Thoughts 2 Comments
Gigi

Gigi

“There comes a day when you realize that turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize that there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.” Zayn Malik

I came across this quote the other day and thought about how easy it is to become stagnant in your life, when really we are in control and can make the necessary changes just by turning the page. I’ve been stuck on the parenthood page for a long time, it has been a good part of the book, but the story is far from being over. I’m at a point in my life when some of my friends are now retiring, I’m just beginning a new career.

Retirement seems so far away, and what does that really mean for us? Do we sell our “family” home? Downsize and travel? These are questions that cross my mind. When we traveled to Costa Rica, we looked at properties and fantasized about maybe settling down there, or maybe Hawaii or the caribbean. Of course the thought crosses your mind about grandchildren, and would we want to be far away from them? Decisions, decisions…

What I do know though, is that I want to take the best care of myself so I can be around for retirement, that is why me and my butt go to the gym, and why I try to nourish my body to the best of my ability, I firmly believe you are what you eat. My spiritual well being is important too, I control the stress, block negativity to the best of my ability and surround myself with those that really love and support me.

I have also learned the importance of celebrating often and living each day to the fullest, I know first hand how one day everything can be great and the next day the entire world can come toppling down on you. I know how when things are tough it easy to focus on the “bad”, instead of how can I make the most of this situation and come up with a plan. I know that sometimes you may want to give up, but those are the times you can’t, you have to give it your all. My son last year caused us much grief, but I never gave up on him, so to see him walk across the stage and get his diploma was truly a blessing, yes I know it is only high school, but for a minute we did not know what was going to happen, but we never loss faith.

So friends embrace this weekend and go out and grab some joy you deserve it! Happy Friday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Empty Nest Guide

Posted on by Gigi in Family 1 Comment
cate school class 2015

cate school class 2015

My nest has been sorta of empty for the past 4 years. My son started boarding school in the 9th grade and my daughter graduated college in 2012 and remained on the east coast where she is happily living in Brooklyn. Now that my son is 18, and has completed high school and will soon being going east for college there is a certain emptiness that I am feeling. Maybe it is because he is now an “adult”, and I know no one from college is going to call me if he is acting up, he will be responsible for his own decisions.

Right now he is in Cabo San Lucas with 5 other boys from his graduating class, I am counting the days until he returns. I could have said no, but I know that I cannot micro manage and part of maturing is being able to juggle and think for yourself.

Do I worry? Yes, all the time, because I know that there are so many things that can happen, but what keeps me mellow is knowing we have an open communication and both my kids know they can tell us anything- the good, the bad and the UGLY.

This summer will zoom by, August will be here soon, the game system will be retired, no more clothes on the floor, no more being “uber” mom, just the anticipated 5 word texts here and there. I will plan to be on the east coast a little more, and look forward to the winter break and maybe an occasional vacation together.

So if you too will soon be an empty nester here are a few tips.

1. Have a life or revisit a previous one.

2. Figure out a method of communication texts, phone calls, skype etc.

3. Decide on a budget for incidentals…trust me they do add up.

4. Figure out visits home- the airlines know that we want our kids home for the holidays…

5. Remind them why they are in college and that it is a privilege.

6. Explore with your new “free” time…

7. Take a class.

8. Figure out what is in the college town…good outlets, thrift stores, museums, restaurants etc.

9. Don’t compare- your kid is unique and special and everyone has their own path.

10. Find and establish your fitness and well being routine.

Happy Thursday,

Xoxo,

Gigi

more graduation pics

Reggie and grandmother

Reggie and grandmother

diploma

diploma

graduates

graduates

family

family

faculty line-good-byes

faculty line-good-byes


It’s my 3 year blog anniversary

Posted on by Gigi in Thoughts 6 Comments

Well life has been going by rather quickly. Most days I’m out by 5am and typically going nonstop till late. I feel as though there are not enough hours in the day to do everything I need to do or want to do ie. my blog, but considering it is my 3 year blog anniversary, it is a good time to post again.

I’m not a famous blogger nor is my blog monetized, nor do I have 1,000’s of followers, I’m just a blogger who likes to share her heart, and random thoughts and such. I only hope that on occasion something I post helps someone else…or makes someone else not feel alone in whatever is going on in their life.

A little update of what has been going on the past few weeks. I adopted Bella-Boy the cutest kitten, from David (Sierra Rescue) he discovered a litter under a large trash container at his business. I don’t plan to make my blog a “kitty” blog so if you to have a soft spot from kittens, follow Bella-Boy at Bella.boy @ instagram.

Bella.boy

Bella.boy

My son Reggie is graduated this past Sunday from Cate School, I’m happy and sad- happy to see him go to the next phase of his life and sad to see the end of his childhood cycle. He will be going to Bard college in upstate New York, our summer will be a quick one, move in is August 8th. We are proud of him and all that he has accomplished in his 18 years. College is a new beginning to the rest of his life.

untitled-167-Edit

And lastly we have made a commitment to be gluten free, a couple of years ago when we were practicing a raw vegan diet, we were by default gluten free (btw felt so much better) so a week ago we decided to try to cut out the gluten. I had an appointment with a new doctor for my annual checkup, my old doctor was horrible but I kept going to her because I was not proactive in securing another. Dr. Christine Collins and I hit it off, and she asked if I was familiar with the book Wheat Belly, I had heard of it but had not read it. So she started talking about wheat and gluten and health…everything make sense. It has been an adjustment, I’m convinced there is something in bread that is seriously addicting.

I must say I do feel better, and have dropped a couple pounds as well, I’ll be posting a few recipes soon.

So thank you friends for stopping by for my sporadic posts, thank you for your comments and your support. I’m looking forward to another year, not sure will it will take me, but I will continue to share my thoughts and my heart.

So I will leave you with this quote I stumbled upon, it really spoke to me, because when I started my blog, I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t know where it would go, I just started one day. So if you are hesitating about something just “begin anywhere”…

quote

quote

xoxo,

Gigi


Quote

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes Comments Off on Quote

I have been so incredibly busy. I apologize for my disappearance the past couple of weeks. My son attended his senior prom, we planted our summer garden, I’ve been really busy with my photography, my self portrait project and I hosted a house guest. It feels good to be back.

I came across this quote, “GROWTH DEMANDS A TEMPORARY SURRENDER OF SECURITY.” and after reading it a few times, I thought about how easy it is to do the same thing over and over, because  it is safe and secure. Change can be frightening.

I haven’t always made the right choices, but I have always been quick to give up the mundane and secure, when I look back I wonder what was I thinking… I was young and my spirit was free never conforming, almost to a fault.

Many years ago when I was working for IBM (btw, I was not the best employee- ie. shredding important files etc.) I quit one random day and the following week started a chocolate brownie business with a friend, fortunately I never looked back. It took courage to take a leap away from a nice secure job, had I not, I would probably still be working there- not that that is a bad thing, but it was not the place that I belonged. I was only working there because I thought my “then” boyfriend would like me more…if I had a nice corporate gig…Go figure?

Right now I am in a rapid growth period. My son is about to graduate and start college in New York, my husband’s business is changing, and my photography is starting to take shape. I am developing my voice as an artist, taking risks in my craft. As a woman I’m at a point where I’m embracing all of me the good the bad and the ugly.

My tolerance for craziness has gone way down, I have no space for it in my life right now. I am comforted by sincerity and unconditional love. I have no desire to micro manage relationships, that should enrich my life and help me to grow, not complicate my life.

I am surrendering the thought that I can do it all- I can’t and that is okay. I give myself permission to slow down, saying “NO”, and basically focusing on what brings me and those I love joy. Slowing down to savior life and all it has to offer.

This little blog gives me a space to share a piece of me- I don’t do it for fame, or sponsors, I do it for my own growth and for all of you out there that take a moment to stop by, I appreciate each one of you.

Are you in a growing phase? Or are you in a safe secure place that you absolutely love? Please share I’d love to know.

Happy Thursday! XOXO,

Gigi

gigi & MIMI

gigi & MIMI


Meditation- I Get It!

Posted on by Gigi in Well-Being Comments Off on Meditation- I Get It!
Gigi

Gigi

3 weeks ago a facebook friend tagged me in a post suggesting that we all sign up for the Oprah-Deepak 21 day free meditation. Prior to that the only meditation I had done was a moment here and there in yoga class. Let me tell you, I had no clue, the power of meditation, it is life changing. Yes, for the most part I am a  happy go lucky kinda girl, but meditation forced me to go deep inside and deal with the minuscule shit that can really hold you back, the stuff in your subconscious that feeds you negative thoughts.

For those of you who might be like I was a few weeks ago- clueless, let me explain  how it works. Every morning I logged into the site and each day there was a new message and mantra. The recording was for 20 minutes, beginning with Oprah speaking for a few minutes, followed by Deepak explaining the mantra, the lesson of the day ending with the guided meditation.

At first I was a little distracted, not realizing how much “noise” is in our lives, little things, like I would hear the little ding when I got a text, so I turned my phone off, or someone working outside, I had to learn to quite my mind and find peace and shut everything else out.

I was forced to take 30 quiet minutes for myself, where I thought about success in a different way, it helped me to understand the behavior of others and accept they are working from the best place they can. 30 minutes that made the rest of my day pleasant, nothing really upset anymore, like a veil of calmness had come over me. I know this sounds crazy, but I am able to focus and think with clarity. Things I once perceived as a challenge now seem obtainable, I have a new sense that everything is possible if you believe in yourself.

I will continue to meditate and work on “self” and understanding this powerful body /mind connection.

Do you meditate? If so what has your experience been?

Happy Friday, have a wonderful weekend. We will be going to Santa Barbara to see my son before he goes to prom…

Xoxo,

Gigi


5 things I can’t live without…

Posted on by Gigi in My Life, My Style Comments Off on 5 things I can’t live without…

I admit, I have a lot of stuff/junk/possessions. Yes, I’m a hoarder- a chic one, but a hoarder none the less. So I was thinking about what 5 things would I chose if I had to limit myself to 5 items, really difficult but, here goes my list- at least this is what I feel as though I could not live without today…;)

1. iphone 6 plus

i phone 6 plus

i phone 6 plus

I love my phone, this is the first phone I have ever fallen in love with! I love that it is large and I don’t always need my reading glasses. I have all my music at my fingertips, and I love the camera, I have gotten some really good shots with this phone and Siri is my friend and personal assistant…

2. Coconut Oil

coconut oil

coconut oil

This is the hardest working multi use product I have… I use it in my hair every day, on my body after I shower, I cook with it, I put it in smoothies, and I even make ice cream with it…

3. A hawt pair of shoes

self portrait #6

self portrait #6

I love my shoes…and yes…they are not the sensible kind, but life is short and they make me feel good! This pink/nude Valentino Rockstud was my one splurge for spring- and I have no regrets…love them!

4. A nice journal and uni-ball pen

journal

journal

I know I have my iphone, but there is something special about writing with a nice pen and journal, I’m always picking up quirky ones from little boutiques here and there. This is my current one.

5. Tom Ford- Cafe Rose

tom ford cafe rose

tom ford cafe rose

I love perfume and  like to change up every so often so this is my current fav. It is a beautiful sexy scent, don’t let the name fool you this is not your grandma’s rose perfume, it is a sultry spicy rose scent- very complex. Tom Ford’s description is accurant “Enticing. Exotic. Seductive. Cafe Rose descends into a hidden labyrinth, where roses’ fine breeding gives way to darker pleasures.”

What are your top 5 must haves?

Happy Wednesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


QUOTE

Posted on by Gigi in Quotes Comments Off on QUOTE
quote

quote

It has taken me a long time to learn this. If you don’t expect much you can’t be disappointed…I however always want the most from everyone, it’s my nature, but I am realizing everyone is not wired like that. One of my flaws is always wanting success for everyone, I will navigate the path and want others to follow, and when they get sidetracked or go backwards I’m disappointed instead of accepting maybe it is something they are not really interested in doing.

We are all so different in so many ways, I don’t know if it is an age thing or what, but I am not as accommodating as I used to be. I’m more of an observer, taking little mental notes, but always figuring out a plan and knowing what I can do to make it happen. I never give up on anyone, but I’ve learned that it is difficult to instill desire in another person if they don’t feel it or crave it from within. Everyone has their priorities and once you realize and accept that their priorities are not necessarily yours you can keep it moving and continue to work on your plan or align yourself with someone who is on the same path. This new awareness comes from a place of acceptance, not anger at all, basically accepting others from the level they are operating from and not expecting more than they are capable of giving.

I often tell my kids, “I can’t want this more than you do…” and I really mean it. We as parents sometimes can create what is perceived as a heartbreak from our children, when in reality it is simply our children wanting something different than what we want for them. My son wants to study art, and I have had some well meaning people ask me “what is he going to do with that?” and my answer is “be happy”… Growing up my well meaning family expected me to embark on a traditional career, I wanted to do something in fashion or art, but that dream was squashed and hence for a long time I was a “disappointment”.

I’m fortunate that my husband is the same way, no matter what obstacles are presented, no matter how difficult, he will always work on finding a solution. In the 27 years we have been together we have had some real challenges along the way, and have overcome the impossible at times ie. IRS, bankruptcy, lawsuits, just to name a few, but you get it…

I’m at a place in life where lots are changes are taking place, my son will be going away to college, my husband’s business is changing rapidly, and I am figuring out who I am as an artist and what my business model is going to look like in the next 6 months, year, 5 years. The one thing I know for sure though, is that if something starts to feel uncomfortable, I will figure it out before it gets to disaster mode.

Happy Tuesday XOXO,

Gigi

Gigi

Gigi


Sibling Survivor

Posted on by Gigi in Family, My Life 2 Comments
Howard Jones JR

Howard Jones JR

My brother’s birthday is today. He would have turned 61. He died at the young age of 55 – my age…It has been 6 years, but it still seems at times as if it was yesterday. You never really get over a death, perhaps some are more difficult than others, I suppose, like the death of a child, but the loss is always with you. Yes, time does heal, but you never forget, especially at holidays and every birthday, they remind us that our loved one is gone.

Howard was my only brother, although we were 6 years apart we were really close. He is the reason I am a photographer. Many years ago when my kids were still little, we both started photography school together, with the thought that we would one day go into business together. My timing was off with trying to balance my family, so I attended one term and quit and he continued and became a working photographer, until his death.

When you lose a brother, there are so many connections lost, your children miss out on having a uncle, my nieces miss out on having their dad, their children miss out on having a grandfather, my mother misses out on having her only son, no mother ever expects to bury their child.

My brother lost his battle with colon cancer a few years after he was diagnosed. This ugly cancer seemed to have set up residency in my family, it started with my father, then my brother, two sisters and my 82 year-old mother. He fought it with all he had, never showing the outward signs that his body was failing him, he continued to work almost to the end. He knew he was dying so the last year before he departed he celebrated life to its fullest, ending with a family cruise with all of us to the islands.

For a while I walked in fear, feeling as if cancer was chasing me and soon it was going to attack me as well, but I finally had to let that go. I changed some things in my life, like my doctor who was the worst, always making me feel as if it was going to happen, she just didn’t know when. I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle, but there is always room for improvement, so I exercise, follow a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, stay positive, live each day to the fullest, knowing that nothing is for certain and with all the environmental toxins that I have no control over, you just never know.

My brother lives inside of me via my photography, I know he is looking down on me smiling, now that I am carrying the torch and doing something that he loved so much. My memories of our time together never fade, I’ll never forget the time he took  my friend and I to the forum to see James Brown, we were about 14 so this was a big deal, or cleaning his room for $5.00 every week, or taking my friends and I to the beach for my 16th birthday, the list goes on and on.  The sad thing though, is we have no pictures together…another reason why I am obsessive about taking pictures and documenting my life with my family and friends.

Today I will reflect on his life as I go about my day, smiling as I hear my shutter click- Howard Jones JR. R.I.P.

Have you lost a sibling? How did you cope with the loss?

Happy Monday XOXO.

Gigi

self portrait #10

self portrait #10


55 ways to embrace being 50 plus…

Posted on by Gigi in 50 ways Comments Off on 55 ways to embrace being 50 plus…

A while back I made a 50 ways to age graceful list, but so many of my friends joining the 50 plus ranks, I wanted to do a revised list, now that I have 5 years post under my belt .Yes, 50 is certainly a milestone birthday, especially for women. Aging is not always embraced, but I can certainly tell you the alternative is not good, so no matter where you are in your life journey- celebrate your admission to this elite “golden” club.

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

Gigi breaking the speed limit-55

So here is my new list:

1. At “50” things that you thought were important are not- let it go.

2. Keep up your appearance, this is not the time to stop your grooming.

3. Embrace your age- no one is going to believe you are still in your 20’s anyway.

4. Address your personal shit and handle it…

5. Forget about what is age appropriate and do what feels right.

6. Practice yoga, pilates, etc. you don’t want to get stiff- stay flexible and if you have not been practicing it is never to late to start.

6A. Mediate- just started this and let me tell you it is a game changer…

7. Appreciate the first 50 years and know that those 50 years made you the person  you are today.

8. Wear makeup, especially concealer and remember less is more.

9. Walk daily- park far away, whenever you can etc. just get it in…wear one of those tracking devices if you need accountability – I love fitbit.

10. Celebrate every birthday with friends and family and do something special and of course drink champagne-the good stuff.

11. Take a class in something, keep your brain active.

12. Remember “sitting” is the new “smoking” get up and move.

13. Take responsibility for “you”.

14. Learn a new language.

15. Do something different with your hair color, try a new style especially if you have been rocking the same “do” for the past 20 years.

16. Be modest with your face if you decide to go the botox/filler route, you don’t want to start looking odd.

17. Smile more…

18. Travel, even if you have to go solo.

19. Get your sleep- at least 8 hours.

20. Have a few younger friends – you can teach each other a few things.

21. Be charming and gracious.

22. Work at being your best weight.

23. Take care of your skin and continue to wear sunscreen.

24. Start a journal- or perhaps write a memoir.

25. hydrate- Drink a  lot of water daily.

26. Wear good lingerie.

27. Get dressed up just because.

28. Set goals for your 50’s and 60’s.

29. Splurge.

30. Be want you want to be, regardless of what others may think…

30A. See whoever you want to see regardless of what others think.

31. Accept the “you” of today, don’t wish for the 20 or 30 year old you- just concentrate on being the best “you” right now.

32. Laugh and find humor in everyday life.

33. Forgive yourself for the past.

34. Volunteer for something you are passionate about.

35. If you are a mother or a grandmother, don’t let that define you.

36. Take more baths.

37. Don’t focus on menopause.

38. Have a love affair with your partner-

39. Arrange flowers.

39A. Listen to music.

40. Use and wear the “good” stuff…nice jewelry , china etc..

41. Strength train.

41A. Dance.

42. Have good posture.

43. Believe that dreams can still come true.

44. Wear sexy pretty shoes, even if they are flat- Don’t give in to sensible shoes…

45. Flaunt your assets. If you have nice legs wear something short.

46. Get out of your comfort zone and do something different.

47. Make your surroundings beautiful.

48. Don’t drink to excess.

49. Get more massages.

50. Explore eastern medicine.

51. Prepare meals with all your heart and soul.

52. Have a spiritual base.

53. Be open to receive love.

54. Respect and spend time with your sister-friends.

55. Live each day to the fullest and don’t take life for granted.

55A. Stay interesting…read. Know what is going on in the world.

Did I miss anything? Let me know any that you have on your list.

Happy Wednesday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

self portrait #10

self portrait #10

 


Mission Statement

Posted on by Gigi in Thoughts 2 Comments

I’m working on a mission statement, one that sums up my philosophy on life and my personal being, my mantra. It is not as easy as I thought, to come of with a few sentences that really capture me. I’m going to have to flush it out, but this is what I have come up with so far.

To find happiness, fulfillment, and value in living a beautiful life.

I will seek out and experience all the pleasures and joys that life has to offer.

As a photographer I will do my best to take the most beautiful portrait you have ever had taken of yourself.

As an artist I want to be authentic and capture the light and tell honest stories with my images.

Family and friends are the core of my existence and I will work at strengthening my relationships and work on having mutual respect.

To be content wherever I am, in my surroundings, knowing that they can change and knowing that the physical location does not define who I am, but being secure with self, finding peace within and always following my heart, which is most important.

I looked up some company mission statements to get some inspiration and here are a few.

NIKE- “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”

Nordstrom- “To provide outstanding service every day, one customer at a time.”

Ritz Carlton- “We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience.”

Maserati- “Build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with timeless Italian style, accommodating bespoke interiors, and effortless, signature sounding power.”

Bobbi Brown makeup- “Empowering women to look like their best selves.”

Whole foods-“Whole foods, whole people, whole planet”

Google- “mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Pantagonia- “Build the best products, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

Honest Tea- “We embrace the simplicity of tea–water and leaves. for generations, cultures around the world have enjoyed tea grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers and we don’t see any reason to include them in our recipes today.”

Ikea- “our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”

Do you have a mission statement? Please share.

Happy Tuesday.

Xoxo,

Gigi

selfportrait3.1kittyseries

 


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