FEELING CLUTTERED, STUCK, OVERWHELMED? HOW TO BREAK THE HAMSTER WHEEL!

A few days ago I shared a post on Instagram, in hopes to rid myself of the negative energy I was feeling. I believe that writing and sharing things out loud can help tremendously with internal conflict. In this post, I briefly open up my heart about feeling completely cluttered lately and finally realizing what I had been doing to myself for several months.

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I SAID YES TO THE DRESS! - EXPECTATION VS REALITY

I SAID YES TO THE DRESS! - EXPECTATION VS REALITY

I have been to the moon excited about this step, finding the dress of my dreams, a dress that was totally "me" and something I could see myself wearing to walk down the isle to that amazing man of mine.

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MY EXPERIENCE IN GREECE WITH JOURNEY - TRAVEL WITH PURPOSE

MY EXPERIENCE IN GREECE WITH JOURNEY - TRAVEL WITH PURPOSE

I have been home for a few days now, I'm still sort of fighting this jet lag, I really had no idea what it was until now. I get it, haha. I've spent the majority of the last two weeks traveling with a company called Journey, we first headed to Athens to volunteer in a refugee camp, the rest of the time was spent traveling to some of the Greek Islands. 

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The Big Night - I Said Yes!

If you know me personally, you know that movie going is one of my favorite things to do. On Friday, January 27th we headed to the movies with some friends, as usual, or so I thought! Thinking back on it now, I don't know how Steve, my Dad and so many others, kept it so together that day, and on our way to the movies. Heck! I don't know how they kept all of this under wraps for weeks, I'm usually very good at noticing anything out of the norm, but he really pulled off the perfect proposal, flawlessly. So did our friends that were present at the theater, you guys kept so cool and collected, ha! I remember walking into the theater, sitting down and getting comfy. Steve said he needed to use the restroom, and he was gone. I had not seen my friend Alexa in a few weeks, she was sitting next to me, all I wanted to do was talk to her, in the video you can see that she had to bring my attention to the screen!

Not only did Steve go above and beyond for everything that went into the proposal itself, but when we left the theater (no, we didn't stay for the feature, haha) we were surrounded by some of our closest family members and a little bit later realized that around 30 of our closest friends were waiting at a restaurant nearby, my heart felt so full of happiness and gratitude that night.

The night was beyond any expectations I ever had, I feel incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. We have been blessed with a loving family and circle of friends that we adore to no end.

Steve, thank you for this incredible night, I have been on cloud nine for years by your side but what you did here is truly exceptional and I thank you for that, for loving me unconditionally and for making me smile everyday. It's a beautiful life by your side.

Special thanks to:

Cinepolis USA
 

First Watch Restaurants
 

Coastal Performance

 
Provident Jewelers
 

Jess Ivie -  Anchor Weddings

Above The Clouds. A Note From Gabby

I took a little photo trip to the mid-west a few weeks ago, my good friend Jennifer Parker, the lady behind Edible Politics needed some shots (and we needed to catch up too!) so I hopped on a flight to Chicago, one of my favorite places! More on that coming soon. The trip was productive, therapeutic and the places we visited were beautiful. It rarely felt like work, there is something magical about doing exactly what you love, it feeds the soul. On my flight back home, I felt totally rejuvenated and uncluttered. I had been working non-stop, really spreading myself too thin. I'd been kind of in denial about needing a break, only because I'm enjoying - and I'm very thankful for - the opportunities that have come my way, specially this past year. In mid air, on that flight, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and felt a great sense of peace. This note is a reminder to give yourself a break, nurture your mind and your soul. To surround yourself with people that aren't afraid to want more. To work hard for what you want and enjoy the process.

xoxo

TAKING BACK CONFIDENCE - 5 MONTHS POST SURGERY UPDATE

The recovery part of my surgery was long and uncomfortable. I had a hard time adapting to what was happening, not only on the inside but outwardly also. The post-surgery process took a toll on my confidence. I felt like I wouldn't get back to "normal" and would notice only little changes in how my eye looked as the time progressed, thinking that time wasn't healing me fast enough. Maybe time did not matter and my eye would never feel or look "normal" again. These thoughts were abundant, heavy and unwanted.

The little things that are different about my eye now are so small, and probably only visible to me but non the less, it was difficult. Today marks 5 months since the surgery, it felt as though I would never get here. I feel very thankful, most days I don't think about it and don't notice anything different in the appearance of my eye. Some days I do, and during those days I try to think positively about it, I loudly say I am grateful to have my sight, to be healthy and to continue to live my life submerged in the visual arts. I guess situations like these tend to humble us and open our eyes a bit more. When we truly take the time to observe our lives, I think most of us would say we are immensely fortunate. This is not something to take for granted, it is something to put to use, for a greater purpose.

Curve balls are a sure thing in life, it's only a matter of when. Remember to remain positive and to be open minded. It's a beautiful life, it's now your turn to remind others of this also.

EMERGENCY EYE SURGERY - SEEING THE SIGNS & EMBRACING CHANGE

 Photo Taken May, 19th 2016. One Month Post Surgery.

Photo Taken May, 19th 2016. One Month Post Surgery.

Growing up and as an adult, my eyes have received their share of compliments, I blame it on the sweet genes my parents passed down to me. We all have a few favorite things about ourselves, along with the other few we wish we could change. For me, I love my eyes and they way they look, how they slightly change colors from light brown to hazel and almost green, depending on light and mood. It's taken me so long to share this, not entirely sure why but I've sort of been vacillating a bit on whether to share it or not.  A few months ago I started to see some blurry lines in my vision, only in my right eye. I became a little concerned, but not enough to make me act quickly. I made an appointment to see the eye doctor which was about two weeks away, I was okay with that, I was busy and really wasn't too worried. Suddenly, on a Monday morning, I woke up to find small shadows in my vision, the shadows and the blurry lines got my attention, I became concerned and a little scared. I called the doctor and they got me in the very next day. When these things happen, you always think that it's going to be something minor and you'll be back to your important projects in no time, that you're going in as a precaution and everything is going to be just fine. This was not the case, my eye doctor noticed something strange going on, he had an idea of what it was but needed to send me to a Retina Specialist immediately to confirm. I was given an address and was told to go there, right then.

I arrived at the Retina Specialist by the end of the day, they stayed open just to take a look at my eye. I spent a little over an hour doing some really interesting tests and after a while, the nice doctor entered the room and introduced himself. The first thing he asked was my age, followed by a concerning "You're too young to be in here Gabby, have you had any trauma to the eye area"? I knew something was wrong from his demeanor. He told me I had a retinal detachment, that this needed to be fixed immediately and that I was going in for emergency eye surgery first thing the following morning. Suddenly, the two big deadlines I had and the filming project I was working on that week had jumped down in my list of priorities, I couldn't do anything about it.

The next day we drove to Miami, to The Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. The overall experience was incredible, this hospital is rated number one in the world for these types of surgeries and I'm so happy that I was able to get this done here and fast, thanks to my doctor's contacts. The surgery went well but the recovery ahead was going to be a bit painful. I remember how painful the car ride home was and it makes me cringe, the worst pain I've ever felt. This whole thing was obviously something that I wasn't expecting, I had nearly perfect vision prior to this and my eyesight in the operated eye would never be the same. I had Scleral Buckling Surgery which would make me more nearsighted. This was something that I had to really adapt to as the weeks went by, my eyesight in the right eye was extremely blurry and I couldn't see much, only shapes and shadows. It was stressful and disheartening. I was told by my doctors that I would recover some of my sight as the weeks progressed but that it would never return to pre- surgery sight. Again, I had to adapt and accept it. The doctors also explained that my retina was detached very close to the Macula area, which is the center of the eye, and had we not acted as quick as we did, I could have lost my sight entirely.

Today, about four months post surgery, I am able to see much much more. I no longer only see shadows and shapes, I can see everything but with a blur to it because I am now nearsighted in that eye. Both of my eyes see in different ways, unless I'm wearing glasses or contacts, with those, I have perfect vision again (yay!). It is so amazingly cool the way the human body is designed, and the way the brain also adapts to the information it receives. I'm in awe of the experience and the things I've had to learn during this process. I am told that my eye will continue to heal for about 6 months to a year post surgery. This whole experience has served as a reminder. A reminder to listen to your body, to never get so caught up in your work or routine that you neglect yourself. It has reminded me that change isn't always the end of the world and that we must adapt and re invent the way we do some things to get through the obstacles that life throws in our paths. I've learned quite a bit, a lot about acceptance and balance. With that said, pay attention to the signs and take care of yourself because without YOU nothing on your lists will matter, put yourself first and conquering your goals will become a little easier, trust me.

NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH - BREAK OUT THE BUBBLY!

Hello Beautiful People!

I am so very excited today! I get to finally unveil my new website. It is something that I've been working on for a few months now & I am so in love with what we were able to create. Click on the featured video for more information.

I truly hope you enjoy it, so many exciting things are happening, I am stoked to take you all along for the ride with me!

Love,

-Gabby

ON CROSSING PATHS WITH MURAL ARTIST RYE QUARTZ

A few weeks ago we headed down to a photo session at Artists Alley, located in Delray Beach, Florida. The place is a community of artists, located along a small strip of establishments. These artists range from painters to sculptors and many other art forms in between. During my photoshoot with Jennifer LeGrand we crossed paths with this incredible artist and then a magical small collaboration happened.

Rye Quartz is an international muralist with over two decades of experience. He was in the middle of a big project but was interested in what we were doing and was all about being part of it! I love seeing this in our creative community, the desire to contribute, to give, to grow. This is what makes our collective so great.

You can find him here.

The artwork on the wall: Kiss by Rye Quartz.

Thank you Rye.

_________________________________

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OUR TRIP TO THE CAPTIVATING CITY OF CHICAGO!

Hello friends, good day to all, I hope your week is going fantastic so far!

We took a little trip to Chicago about two weeks ago. It was a spur of the moment, amazingly awesome trip. In my early photography years, I spent a lot of time looking for inspiration and beautiful places around the Unites States and the world, I always seemed to stumble upon Chicago. Since then, it was high on my list of places to visit.

I had always wanted to visit The Windy City, see the architecture and super famous Cloud Gate at Millennium Park, better known as "The Bean".

The city has completely exceeded my expectations, from start to finish.

We stayed in the heart of downtown Chicago at The Palmer House, a charming, regal, beautiful hotel. The lobby looks like a gigantic royal ballroom, it takes your breath away, every time. The hotel is full of history and there is a rather romantic story behind it. If that sort of thing interests you, you can read more about the hotel here.

In my search for information about this then mysterious city, I had heard that Chicago was a foodie's paradise. The rumors were true!

We had a lovely lunch shortly after our arrival, the place is called Seven Lions on Michigan Avenue, very close to our hotel. Seven Lions has a really cool, hip vibe, which we loved and the food was different and super tasty, not the usual american restaurant. Another place we visited was an Italian place called Acanto on Michigan Avenue, it was more of a new age, modern Italian place and they made me what I think is the tastiest drink I have ever had, it is called #18. We also paid a visit to a very famous steak house, Gibsons, not my favorite steak ever but really quite the experience. We had the biggest, mightiest piece of ice cream cake ever at Gibsons. So mighty, that we shared it with the table next to us!

Overall, Chicago's food experience was second to none!

Here are other places we visited, which were just as delicious:

Hot Woks Cool Sushi on Michigan Avenue.

Corner Bakery, if you are into having the BEST croissant of your life.

Bandera on The Magnificent Mile. 

Chicago offers so many options of things to do, it was one of my favorite things about the city. So much to experience!

We visited the Museum of Science and Industry, it was such a fantastic experience. If you are into science, weather, how things are built and space science (among many other cool things) then this is that place you should definitely visit while vacationing in Chicago. I was amazed and in awe, but then again, I am a closet nerd.

If you are into fitness, you have to go to The Magnificent Mile and visit the Under Armour Store. It is fantastic, trust me.

I would have to say the highlight of the trip, the highlight of so many highlights was seeing the wonderful "Bean" and Millennium Park. For as long as maybe six or seven years, it has been a dream of mine to visit the city and to see this cool, mysterious thing called Cloud Gate. It is larger than I had envisioned and much more mesmerizing up close.

During our trip to Chicago we explored, indulged, walked, ran, screamed, and at a point stood outside in -13 degree weather just to get "the shot" always with smiles on our faces and bellies filled with laughter. There is so much to see, just book the flight and walk outside!

A resolution came to mind for this and the coming years, to travel more. To experience places like these for the first time, camera in hand and Steve by my side.

My iPhone tells me I walked around 40,000 steps during the trip, I will always remember where each step took me during our wonderful trip to the captivating city of Chicago.

Follow me on Instagram to come along on new adventures! @emagenphoto