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

Friendship

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

 


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


Formation Ladies…

Posted on by Gigi in friendship 2 Comments

I did not pledge a sorority when I was in college. Most of my friends were in one, and although I was not we still all socialized  together. I have always had a large community of girlfriends, going all the way back to my childhood. I was not the most popular girl by any means, but I made friends easily.

Currently I have quite a few women friends in my life. I belong to a book club, I have a group of girlie girls  that I ski with, I have a movie, wine tasting group of girls, girls of summer group, Jack and Jill moms, my travel girls, and a few that are not in any of the above mentioned group that I socialize with as well.

Gigi’s Book Club

I love hanging with my ladies. the best thing about my women friends is that you can talk about every and any thing, beauty, fashion, hair, sex, politics, your fears, business, men, aging parents, marriage, lashes, brows, aging, hormones, illness, you name it…

Gigi girls of summer-

Granted some relationships are complicated with our female friends, but the older I get the more understanding and tolerant I am of differences. You understand that you may only see one friend every 6 months, and another friend you may chat with 2x a day and that is okay, as long as both friends are on the same page.

Ski girlies

 

Ski Patrol

It is comforting to know that you have women in your life that if you called one in the middle of the night you know she would answer, and be there for you. It is nice to share with a friend, that you know you are not going to be judged by, no matter what craziness you have gotten yourself involved in…

Beauty box at the Hollywood Bowl

Girls just want to have fun…

Do you have a girl posse? Or do you have more co-ed friends? Or do you have 1 or 2 BFF’s that are your ride or die type of girls? One last question to think about…Do you think it is harder to make new friends as you get older?

XOXO,

Gigi


Life Lesson

Posted on by Gigi in friendship 2 Comments
Friends

Friends

Relationships change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for worse. Last week a long term friendship came to an abrupt end. Initially I felt bad and hurt, so I started wondering what had I done, or what could I have done differently. After exhaling and soul searching, I thought to myself  “she might not have meant to hurt me, in which case I’m not going to be offended.”.

When you lose a friend unless you tell someone, no one even knows, if both of you are part of a larger community of women it can be awkward. Long term friendships shape the the person you are today, which is why it is so difficult when they end, it feels as if a part of you is lost. The moments cannot be duplicated and have a rare and powerful affect in a way that nothing else will. For me the most painful element is the realization of how important I really wasn’t to someone who meant the world to me.

Friendships enrich our lives, yes there is something special about those friends who have been in your life for decades, that  get every reference to your crazy past, and know all your secrets, but there is also something special about nurturing a new friendship as well and the discovery of commonalities.

I’m at an age where I’m witnessing unwelcome life changes, over the weekend a friend of ours lost her battle with cancer. As many of us are going through life changes, girlfriends have a way of making everything better. I’m always working on being a better friend, making time to “see” friends in person or just being there to listen. We are all flawed and if only I could go back and do somethings differently of course I would.

So 2015 is here, I will go forward embracing life each day to its fullest. Have you experienced the end to an epic friendship? If so, how did you cope? I’d love to hear…

Happy King day and I hope you are enjoying the end of your long weekend.

Xoxo,

Gigi

“Somewhere in my sadness I know I won’t fall apart completely”  Sade

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Surround Yourself with Goddesses…

Posted on by Gigi in friendship Comments Off on Surround Yourself with Goddesses…
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Saturday I had a gathering of Goddesses, there was no rhyme or reason, a loose guest list of friends, some I’ve know forever, and a few I just met. We had no agenda, just coming together just because. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing community of goddesses giving advice and reaching out to receive advice.

Goddesses

Goddesses

I made a few of my fav’s, raw vegan chili, carrot ginger soup, watermelon-tomato salad, and my raw vegan peach cobbler & vanilla pecan ice cream. All the goddesses were fabulous and all brought something different to the table, literally and figuratively. We all came with our experiences based on our own individual life journeys sharing with one another, especially with the little goddess cubs that were present.

Goddess spread

Goddess spread

We also had a little commerce as well, my friend Dee Dee who is a lularoe distributor, set up a pop up boutique for us–I absolutely love her yoga skirts and always have one in my gym bag, of course I had to add a couple of things to my collection as well. Everything is so reasonable and cute give her a call if you would like to see the line or have your own “pop up boutique”  Dee Dee 323 702-3702.

Luluro

Lularoe

I’ve always had a strong circle of women in my life. The support and interaction I have with my women friends is so important to me, it balances my life and I have learned so much from my sister-friends. There was a study done at UCLA in 2000 about women and their friendships; “having a circle of friends actually provides an alternative to the traditional fight-or-flight response to stress. The researchers called this response “tend-and-befriend” (and with children), they release more oxytocin, the mother-love hormone associated with breast- feeding, which has a marked calming effect.” It also stated that “friends may also add to the quality of those extra years by helping us maintain brain function.” Yes I know all of this is true…

Goddesses

Goddesses

Goddesses You Need In Your Life…

1. “The Confidant” -AKA “Therapist” she is the one who you tell anything and everything to, no judgement, the one you can spill your heart out to, the one who hears your silent tears over the phone without you saying anything. She is your “rock” you can call her anytime of day or night and you know she will answer.

2. “The Wikipedia”– She knows everything about anything…She is the strategist, financial expert, human resource person, educator, advisor, left-brain,  trouble shooter, your go to for figuring things out, the ultimate problem solver–she is bright, smart as a whip and can help you navigate a situation like no other.

3. “The Prophet”– She is the truth dealer, your spritual advisor, the one who will tell you “right’ from wrong” your conscience and the one who prays for you and with you.

4. “The Fashionista”– the one who will tell you when it is time to retire the mini, or when to bump it up ie. you are falling into “old lady” lane. The one who will tell you that it is time to change the hair do or color the greys. Your honest stylist who wants you to look your best.

5. “The Cheerleader”– not to be confused with a “groupie”.  She will encourage you, support you in your goals, help you to be the best “you” that you can be…She will be happy for your successes and keep you motivated to constantly do better.

6. “The Leader”– She keeps everything together, organizing things, ie. bookclubs, spa retreats, girl get togethers, ski trips etc. she keeps you in the loop and makes sure you get out and do things.

7. “The Trainer”– The one that will keep you and your butt on point. Your workout bud, the one when you are sitting around being lazy who will call you and do a workout with you, or the one who is a role model who inspires you by their dedication.

8. “The Comedienne”– The one who just makes you laugh and makes you smile.

9. “The Young Cub”- The one you nurture and take under your wing and she keeps you “hip” and up to date on social media etc..

10. “The Historian”-The one who has known you the longest. She knows your past, you don’t have to bring her up to speed, she knows all the dysfunction of your family, ex-boyfriends, the weird jobs, etc.. she understands you and your history.

You may have a couple of goddesses that are in your life that have all these qualities or maybe you have a village. What kind of goddess friend are you? I have bits and pieces of all these.

Your goddess circle will change throughout your life some will be in your life for a season and some will come into your life and stay forever, just be open to receive and willing to give–

I’ve always loved this Sade song, which is about losing a friend, I’ve lost a couple and the words to this song sum it up…

Goddess Gigi

Goddess Gigi

Happy Monday,

XOXO,

GIGI

 

 


I HAVE OVER 1,000 Friends…

Posted on by Gigi in friendship 2 Comments
GIGI FB

GIGI FB

I have over 1.000 friends…Really? Wow? No Shit?

On the eve of my 25th wedding anniversary, I thought about how fortunate I am to wake up with my best friend. We celebrated a 27 year friendship, we dated 2 years before getting married. 27 years is a true test of friendship, you know the good the bad and the UGLY…it has all come out at some point.

In this age of social media it is easy to confuse what real friendships are…we are able to connect with “friends” all over the world, People from grade school, college, old boyfriends, distant relatives etc.. We can peek into their lives, and start to feel as if we really know them.

I’m a people person, I love interacting with others, chatting and finding out commonalities. Bringing people together is something I love to do, whether it is for book club, a ski trip, spa weekend  hike, or just because, I enjoy connecting people. At the end of the day though, you have to ask yourself the question if you were in a bind who could you really call on? Since I’ve hit my 50’s I feel as though I am going through an enlightenment period, I crave relationships that are not “work”, that flow and uplift- it is difficult to be a mindreader, I need transparent relationships. In my 30’s and 40’s I was tolerant and a really good chameleon, I thought I had a lot of friends, but in actuality I did not, I was just good at being whatever I thought a particular “friend” wanted me to be…

So I came up with this list of questions to determine some of the basic criteria of a friendship.

1. Do you know where your friend lives? Sounds crazy but, I once had a “friend” and to this day I don’t know where they live.

2. Have you been to their house? Inside?

3. Could you tell your friend “anything” or do you have to sensor?

4. Can you make a mistake and be forgiven?

5, Can you be yourself without judgement? Or do you have to “fake the funk”?

6. Can you share you deepest darkest secrets?

7. Can you call this friend anytime?

8. Do they have your “back”?

9. Are they “loyal”?

10. Will they tell you the truth?

If you answered “No” to most of these questions these peeps more than likely are not friends. If you were having your last meal on the planet and you could have a dinner party with 4 guests, who would your select? And why? Something to think about…oh and none of the 4 can be family members…

Most of us have loads of acquaintances, workout buds, club members, co-workers, church members, neighbors etc. that we interact with on a regular basis, and then there are our social media friends…which I love btw, my social media friends are a virtual village, a status update about anything will get a response or some information or a referral or perhaps a simple prayer for whatever your current situation.

As I get older (I’m about to break the speed limit) I realize the importance of genuine friendships. You are fortunate if you have a couple of “real” friends, and just because you have know someone 20 plus years, it does not necessarily mean that person is a close friend. As I break the speed limit “55” I will continue work on self, being who I am, addressing my flaws and being the best friend I can be…

Happy Thursday

XOXO,

Gigi

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I LOVE YOU- FRIENDS…

Posted on by Gigi in My Life Comments Off on I LOVE YOU- FRIENDS…
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In my 54 plus years on the planet, my life has been enriched with a plethora of friends that have had a profound impact on my life. One I have know since 5th grade, one I have met in the past year and others that I have met throughout my adult life. I am the woman I am today because of the phenomenal friends that have been in my life contributing to this crazy, veggie obsessed, light seeking photographer, yogini, real book reader, sometimes obsessive compulsive knitter, chef, swimmer, biker, hiker, dancer, writer–without you all-my life would be so different.

Many of you have shared secrets with me, traveled with me around the world, cried with me and laughed at all my crazy stories, even if you heard them ten times before. Some I chat with daily, sometimes twice a day and others from morning til night, some of you I speak with once every 6 months or so, but regardless we pick up as if it was yesterday. I’ve shared many meals with all of you and shared numerous bottles of champagne. Some of you are “shoe” buds, who are interested in “sole” searching at anytime.

Just as important, I’m happy I’m a friend to many incredible women and in their life as well. We have raised children together, met “new” significant others, shared opinions and differences.

I’m glad you all have embraced me with all of my imperfect parts, my weak moments and my vulnerable ones. I’m not perfect, but you can count on me–I will be there, and if I get “mad” you know it is only for a minute.

I thank all of my friends for making my life complete I love you all…

Tell your friend you love them today…Happy Thursday!

Xoxo,

Gigi

here a just a few of my “friendly” pics…there are so many…

buds

buds

Gigi, Greta & Michelle

Gigi, Greta & Michelle

Housewives of ASPEN

Housewives of ASPEN

BACO ladies...

BACO ladies…

not our mama's 50...

not our mama’s 50…

Our Chariot

Our Chariot

 

 

 

 

 

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NOTES on FRIENDSHIPS and OTHER SITUATIONS

Posted on by Gigi in friendship, Thoughts, Uncategorized 1 Comment
Friends

Friends

I used to think commonality was the key to a lasting friendship. I believed that some how “like” interests were a sort of permabond adhesive that nothing could dissolve. Granted many times similar interests are what attract us to another person but being able to reveal your true self with no judgement is really important for longevity. Relationships are so complex and those that stand the test of time don’t happen magically.

sadness

In my many years on the planet I have had my ration of break ups, and they are never easy, especially if you are the break-up-ee as opposed to the break-up-or. All breakups are difficult whether it is a lover, husband, friend, or sometimes even a family member. No one likes to feel rejected, and most of the time regardless of the reason someone walks away feeling this way.

Zapatos

shoe friends…

I will soon celebrate 24 years of marriage on July 23, I have been married long enough to witness many divorces, engagements, marriages, long term dating situations, 2nd, 3rd, 4th marriages, a few “love at first sight”, online dating unions, some successful blind dates, and some awful breakups. For me time was always the best healer of a broken heart, moving forward and remembering the good experiences that brought you together, instead of focusing on the negative factors and trying to figure out the “why”.  My marriage is constantly shifting, every 5 or so years our family dynamic changes, a child goes away to school, a child comes back home, career change, financial problems, extended family situations, health challenges, menopause, man-o-pause, any given period some challenge presents itself and we have to work together to find a solution.

GIGI FEED BODY & SOUL

GIGI FEED BODY & SOUL

I read this piece “Break Ups” on Cindy Fernandez’s blog. In the piece there is a passage by Oriah Mountain Dreamer that really spoke to me. The author says:

“I want to know if you have touched the center of your sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. “

Read the entire piece here.

I have so much admiration for Cindy, whom I met a couple of years ago, she changed my yoga “relationship”,  transformed it from an occasional workout to a lifestyle. I was enlightnened, humbled, inspired and most of all challenged, all at the same time. I always left her class in a state of pure bliss, “open to infinite possibilities”. I miss her so much.  My yoga journey is still in its infancy stage, I enjoy my  tiny breakthroughs here and there.

558634_3815716349898_1591086403_n

She has since relocated to San Francisco, spreading her yoga love all over the bay area, check out her schedule here.

What’s your take on friendships? Breakups?

Xoxo,

Gigi

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Where Does the Mind Go, When it Decides to Leave?

Posted on by Gigi in Aging, friendship 2 Comments

I have been incredibly busy these past weeks. Between traveling and shotty internet, my blog has suffered-but I’m back. I’ve missed coming to this “place” sharing my thoughts.

You don’t need to be a neurologist to recognize when someone’s “brightness” is slipping away. What I find interesting is the moment it happens cannot be identified. Was it Christmas 2012? Was it the first time keys were misplaced? Was that the beginning? hmmmmm… I’m in trouble!

I’m a girlie girl who loves being pampered, and the older I get the more pampering I need to keep this body running smoothly. My “beauty services” are necessary indulgences, that help maintain my sanity. For the past 18 or so years I have been trekking across town to the Westside once a week to partake in various appointments. Once I find a person I like I am a lifer, a dream client that  will be there “rain or shine”.

I remember the first time I went to Jessica Nail Clinic, a friend of mine treated be to a manicure for my birthday. I loved my nails and was happy to find a shop that  was into healthy nails and did not do acrylic nails, which were all the rage back then. Leni, my manicurist  and I hit it off and I quickly snagged a “standing” appointment and have been going ever since. I developed a unique friendship with Leni, so much more than a client/service provider relationship. We watched our children grow up, shared our proud moments, our daughters graduations, medical school, marriage, grandchildren and our mutual love for Michelle watches. You would be amazed of how well you get to know someone spending an hour a week together year after year. As soon as I sat down she knew if something was wrong with me. We had a secret “eye” language that we would use when snotty rude clients walked in the shop.  Leni shared my tears when I lost my brother, went through a pregnancy with me, and my significant birthdays, there were a few sprinkled in during that period. We became each others confidants, even though our worlds outside of the shop did not intersect.

Endure

 

I can’t pinpoint the moment I noticed something different, but slowly I observed this sharp proud Romanian lady slowly start to slip away to some strange space. At first it was little things like “do you want coffee?” I stopped drinking coffee years ago, but every week she would ask. Picking out a color became an ordeal, changing an appointment was almost impossible, thankfully someone would  always come to the rescue. The ladies at the shop are like family, most of them came to this country from Romania. I had to pay attention to my manicure and help her keep on task with the various steps. Sometimes I felt as if I could feel her embarrasment for asking me questions over and over. I thought about leaving, and going somewhere else, but I couldn’t, deep inside I knew it was only a matter of time. My manicures suffered, but I could not abandon her at this point, even though I noticed some of her regulars disappeared.

So last week I cruised up to Sunset Plaza, stepped inside and did not see Leni. I was told that she got the “flu” and retired and would not be back. I was overcome with sadness, that quickly deteriated to a waterfall of tears. Leni was only in her early 60’s and just like that gone. Of course I pressed for an explanation and I got it. I was told that her last day at the shop she got so disoriented that she could not find her car, and they had to call her husband. She had been at the shop for over 20 years, all I could think about was no good bye, no farewell celebration, just gone.

My favorite Jessica color is “endure”.  I will always remember Leni when I wear this color…

Do you have a special relationship with your hair stylist? Manicurist? Massage therapist?

Xoxo,

Gigi

Manicure

Nails

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CHAOS

Posted on by Gigi in My Life, Uncategorized 2 Comments

 

lily

cha·os  (ks)

n.

1. A condition or place of great disorder or confusion.
2. A disorderly mass; a jumble: The desk was a chaos of papers and unopened letters.
3. often Chaos The disordered state of unformed matter and infinite space supposed in some cosmogonic views to have existed before the ordered universe.
4. Mathematics A dynamical system that has a sensitive dependence on its initial conditions.
5. Obsolete An abyss; a chasm.

Originally I had a different post planned for today, something light and “happy”, but as I was driving home chatting with my girlfriend, our call was interrupted by another call from her sister, of course we quickly released the line as we were talking about frivolous things. Within seconds my phone rang again and my friend screamed “MY BROTHER DIED” and before I could respond the call dropped. I immediately thought about when I lost my own brother a little over 3 years ago, and all the complexities of losing a family member suddenly, a complete state of chaos. Death brings out so many emotions in all of us, relationships are compromised, you learn a lot about your family, sometimes you see a side you don’t even recognize.

Tomorrow I will be back, with a “happy” post. I know everyone says this, but don’t take your family and friends for granted, our lives are so fragile and anything can happen to us at any moment. Take time to tell your loved ones how you feel about them, if you are having a conflict try and resolve it.

Thank you for taking a moment out of your day to stop by my blog, and I love all of you…

Xoxo,

Gigi

sadness

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