An Ordinary Day...

Wednesday, April 12th started off as an ordinary day. The alarm sounded off at 6:00 a.m. like it always did. Reggie did his work day morning ritual, showering, grooming, selecting a suit and accessorizing with the perfect accents for Read more

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


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


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


An Ordinary Day…

Posted on by Gigi in Reggie's Stroke 4 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

post surgery ICU

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

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



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…





Posted on by Gigi in My Life 1 Comment

Those of you that are on facebook, know I am pretty active, I post often and enjoy keeping up with friends that I may not see or chat with via phone, but non the less it is nice to see their comings and goings. Today is “throw back Thursday” and I love digging in my pictures and pulling something up from the past to post, so  I came across these pics from  summer of 1988, the year before Reggie and I got married.

Gigi @ 29

Gigi @ 29 pretend wife

Reggie @ 36

Reggie @ 36 Pretend Husband

We had gone on an amazing 18 day trip to Hong Kong and Taipei, stopping off in Kauai on the way back. We were not engaged, that’s another story, but Reggie my BF at the time felt the need to tell people we were married. The interesting thing about that was that people we met wanted to know details about our wedding, I guess being a young couple traveling abroad together they assumed we were honeymooners. So the conversations would go something like this: “So when did you all get married?” “Did you have a big wedding?” “Where did you get married?” you get the gist…

I smiled and watched Reggie fumble as he told “stories” of our wedding and reception, and I just nodded and would say “Yes, uh hum…a big wedding- yept- Honey what was the name of the place???” or “When IS OUR anniversary?”…we still laugh about time I was a  “pretend wife”.

A romantic I am,  I came upon this poem, by Pablo Neruda, NIGHT ON THE ISLAND that speaks to that time…


Pablo Neruda

I have his book of love poems, you should pick it up, the poems are in spanish and english.

favorite love poems

favorite love poems

Happy Thursday,








Is Marriage Forever?

Posted on by Gigi in Weddings 2 Comments

A month ago we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, definitely a milestone for us. This past weekend my in-laws celebrated their 90th birthdays and 71 years of marriage.

Mom & Dad Sampson 90 years young...

Mom & Dad Sampson
90 years young…

When my mother-n-law was my age they had already be married 36 years! We’re at an age where we are now going to weddings of our friends children, while at the same time many long term marriages are dissolving.

Kyndall & James

Kyndall & James

lovely couple

lovely couple (our friend’s daughter)

My in-laws got married when they were 19, when I think about my early relationships I know I would have had a least 1 maybe 2 divorces under my belt by now. Being a late bloomer, I had no clue what I even wanted in a relationship or partner, but somehow I knew that some of the choices I had made were wrong on so many different levels. At 30 I was certainly not the 20 something year old going in a million different directions, being the “pleaser” in one sided relationships. I had gained the confidence to know I was a “prize” and did not have to settle, just because…

Doing the math I don’t think we will be around to celebrate 70 years, but I will embrace each day like it is our last.

Gigi & Reggie

Gigi & Reggie 25 years anniversary

I was in awe of my in-laws and their lasting love–something that is becoming so rare. Check out this short clip of my father-n-law’s tribute to his wife.

Marriage like any other relationships take work, you have to be an active participant and make things happen. You and your partner have to be willing to change and grow and continue to accept one another, be honest, and most of all be willing to forgive. Any one who has been married a long time has experienced “rough patches”, but the key is being able smooth them out. You have to understand who this person is you married…and not try and transform them to who you didn’t marry. You have to know what is worth fighting about and when to just “shut up”.

For example I LOVE to TRAVEL, if I were to wait on my husband to plan a trip we would not go anywhere, but since I know that I make sure I am proactive and plan things. I did not marry the person who is going to surprise me and whisk me away to an exotic location, and that is okay.

Patera Elephant Farm

Patera Elephant Farm

I also know that some marriages end. Some are impossible, just BIG mistakes. I came from a broken family and now that I am an adult, I see clearly why my parents could have never stayed married–sad but true. I am grateful that my mom was able to relocate with 4 kids to California and start a new life.

My mother and father early 1960's

My mother and father early 1960’s

Every marriage is different and each one has a different formula to keep it going. My humble advice is to always work on “self” being the best “you”, stay “market” ready, be interesting and continue to grow, be in tune with your partner, keep it “sexy”, know that it is okay if you give more sometimes and lastly always make time for each other.

Have a wonderful weekend, we will be heading to Temecula for a wedding (daughter of one of our dear friends).




I HAVE OVER 1,000 Friends…

Posted on by Gigi in friendship 2 Comments


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







Posted on by Gigi in My Life, Thoughts 10 Comments

Last week I celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary, unfortunately it was the same day of my brother-n-law Jimmy’s untimely passing. We flew up to Stanford Medical Center to join family in spending our last moments together, showering Jimmy with prayers and song. It was a sad day, one I will never forget, and  I pray I never have to experience my own child dying before my eyes.

Wedding Day july 23, 1989

Wedding Day july 23, 1989

We eloped to the island of Kauai and had a simple ceremony witnessed by my dear friend Blaine and her then husband Bob. The  small chapel was filled with strangers that Reggie recruited from the hotel. I was worried that no one was going to be there, so this was his solution, run around the hotel inviting everyone to come to our wedding unbeknown to me of course.  This was Reggie’s second marriage and at the time we felt it was best to have a low key ceremony, of course the inner bride is alive and well inside of me and is jones-ing for a 25th wedding vow renewal next year with all the trimmings.

Reggie & Gigi

Reggie & Gigi


Fast forward 24 years; we have been blessed with a daughter and a son, we have both lost siblings, survived bankruptcy, abuse from the IRS, stroke, acquired a new office 100 miles away, fishetarian, vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, a kitchen remodel, plus or minus 15 pounds, reading glasses, interesting family dynamics, marathons, triathlons, the end of the long silky perm era, and oh I can’t forget menopause and we are STILL TOGETHER!

 Reggie & Gigi

Reggie & Gigi

Our marriage is very similar to training for a triathlon. Swimming, biking, and running are the events you have to somewhat master in order to complete the triathlon, in marriage you also have to participate in all the parts, you can’t pick and choose , and expect to finish the race. There will be some parts you like and some you will loathe. You may at times get discouraged and want to quit, but you know just like that early morning ocean swim, once you get wet you are fine. When your training is consistent, you become stronger, just like in marriage when you are slacking in a few areas you have to work harder or else before you know it you will just settle for mediocracy accepting “whatever” as your norm.

Malibu Tri 2011

Malibu Tri 2011

Crossing the triathlon finish line, you are overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment, the excitement trickles through your entire body, you quickly forget about the hours you put in, the setbacks and injuries. In marriage you have to keep “training” for those peaks, and remember the “dating” phase and DO what you DID then, that made you want to close the deal. The “training” is a lifelong commitment that can be truly rewarding, so if you have been a little lack, dust off those running shoes and go for a spin around the track.

Reggie & Gigi

Reggie & Gigi



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Posted on by Gigi in Inspiration 4 Comments




I’ve been recreating myself for 50 or so years. Sometimes I think about what would my life had been like if I had chosen a more traditional career path- one in which I would be around the corner from retirement.

I bounced all over the place, from IBM to peddling Chocolate brownies, I have worked retail, at a nudest colony, taught aerobics, and dabbled in Interior design a bit. Now reinventing myself as a photographer, a newbie learning the craft simultaneously, my past skills only being the master of my little point and shoot camera. At times it is daunting, the thought of starting something that most photographers my age have been doing for 25 + years.

Gigi photographer

Gigi photographer

I have learned in my years on this planet that it is more important to a least attempt to try something you are passionate about, than to wake up one day and wonder WTF where did my life go and what have I done that I was excited about.


Reinvention is important for all aspects of your life, not just the career piece, staleness can set in your relationship, marriage, work outs, image, and there is nothing attractive about being dull. While it is easy to be a “creature of habit” we all are guilty of that at times, it is not that difficult to keep things fresh and interesting.

WAYS TO REINVENT YOURSELF–most of these I have done numerous times…Reinvention is a way of life for me!

1. Change your diet-side bonus you will reap all sorts of benefits–I was raised on the standard american diet and have gone full circle ending up vegan.

Sexy vegan food

Sexy vegan food

2. If you have been wearing the same “hair do” for the past 15 or so years it is time to change it up–I’ve been long dark & straight, asymmetrical bob, and currently natural curly and light.

long dark hair

long dark hair

3. If your relationship/marriage is becoming “routine” FIX IT FAST be creative do some of the things you did in the beginning, continue to date and do new things with your partner.

 Reggie & Gigi

Reggie & Gigi

4. Switch up your workout- or bodies get used to a workout and you have to shock it by doing something else, especially if you are trying to lose weight. I have done everything from spinning, to pole dancing, yoga, zumba, pilates, swimming, boot camp, and I am always willing to try the next “thing”.

love yoga

love yoga

5. Do something you have always wanted to do-ie. sky dive, marathon, triathlon, travel, move, whatever it is make and plan and make it happen.

My First Tri

My First Tri

6. Learn something new, a language, cooking class, art class, the point is challenge yourself.

7. Freshen up your image, sometimes just doing something different with your exterior self will get the ball rolling.

8. Don’t be afraid–just DO IT.

Gigi the Dominatrix

Gigi the Dominatrix

Start this weekend…Happy Friday Everyone!





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


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.


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.


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.



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.


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?



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Friends How Many of us Have them?

Posted on by Gigi in Well-Being 15 Comments

Friends how many of us have them


Ones we can depend on


How many of us have them


Before we go any futher, lets be




I read an article in the Sunday New York Times, a few weeks ago about how difficult it is to make friends as we get older. I reflected on my own friend journey as an adult, and thought about when did I meet most of them. When you really think about how many “new” friends do you have and how many friends do you have from childhood? Is this friend thing different for guys? Reggie has a few acquaintances, his reluctancy to come on board with technology has made communicating a bit of a challenge, he is starting to text a bit, rarely checks email, and goes on facebook occasionally. His friend circle consists of guys he sees on the basketball court, one running partner and one brother that he talks to on the phone quite often.

I on the other hand am very social and enjoy interacting with with my girlfriends. My friendships have shaped me into the person I am, helped me to grow and at times really tested my limits and patience. I met my friend that I have know the longest when I was 10 and we have remained in contact for more years than I care to remember. High school (see my post below) was a difficult period in my life, but thanks to facebook I have reconnected with many of them. During college a few of my long term friendships blossomed, women I am still close with today, one of which I met my husband through. Friends that I have 20 plus years of history with are like mini marriages, you have gone through so much together, the good and bad and the ugly. They know things about you that you don’t even want to remember, they met the “jacked” boyfriend that you were crazy about that newer friends just heard about.


Moving on to adulthood, living in LA, working various jobs, living in roommate situations, I picked up a couple of  more lifers, some of which currently live in different parts of the country, but friends non the less.

Once I got married and my daughter was born my circle was filled with other stroller pushers. Between mommy and me groups, spouses of Reggie’s colleagues, social clubs, Jack and Jill, mothers from school, friends from interior design school, sister-n-laws, and neighbors, there was a friend explosion. I made the most friends during this period. Soon my children were developing their own friends and sometimes mothers that I bonded with, my children now were not as close with those kids, causing for some awkward times. And kids can be so honest with “I don’t like her, mommy!”.

Young Friends

Currently I am fortunate to have a sisterhood of women in my life who I admire, who inspire me to be my best, women who it is okay to agree to disagree. Like all relationships sometimes friendships are challenged, or interests change and the relationship slowly fades away. You may have to reflect when a friendship ends, and say that friend was in my life for this reason and I am grateful for the moments we shared. The glue that holds my friendships together vary like night and day, some love shopping, some never shop, some live each day to workout, others are weekend warriors, some are active in their churches, and others can’t recall the last time they have been, some are married, some are not, some have children, some eat ribs and some eat carrots, some ski, and some do ballroom dancing, some do yoga, we are all different, but we enjoy each others company just the same. I love my friends, I would be lost without each and everyone of you.



Do you find it difficult to make friends as an adult? I would love to hear your friend stories.





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