London With Teen

I sometimes wonder if

Americans are fooled by our accent

into detecting brilliance

that may not really be there.

Stephen Fry

The London Eye Ferris Wheel

Last week, I suddenly found myself in London with a young travel companion who–though smitten by the British accent–did not come to visit the Queen nor her crown jewels, completely determined to avoid museums at all costs. Some shopping maybe? Not that either.  So what else was left to do? Plenty, it seems!

Keep an eye on the London Eye

 Skip the endless queue and buy tickets ahead online for the 3:30 pm guided tour

London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom
+44 871 781 3000

London Eye and bridges

Trot through Hyde Park on four hooves with these beauties of Hyde Park Stables

 63 Bathurst Mews, London W2 2SB, United Kingdom +44 20 7723 2813

Hyde Park Stables Horseback Riding London

Boudoir high tea, Madame?

Have a party designing your own at

Biscuiteer’s Boutique in Notting Hill

194 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2ES, United Kingdom
+44 20 7727 8096

Biscuiteer's Buotique at Notting Hill London

Watch a show at the grand Royal Albert Hall

Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP, United Kingdom
+44 20 7589 8212

Cirque du Soleil Royal Albert Hall London

I spy a spider!  Watch the modern Sherlock Holmes British TV series to whet teen curiosity for this icon of mystery

Sherlock Holmes London

From the London Eye, a sunset stroll over the Charing Cross pedestrian bridge takes you to my favorite hotel in London:

The Corinthia

Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2BD, United Kingdom
+44 20 7930 8181

Corinthia Hotel London

My teen had no interest in a guided tour so I’m passing on a recommendation by a Powerful Goddess client: Context Tours for their guides with excellent academic backgrounds so you need not wonder if what you’re hearing is just another fairy tale.

And if you’re in town at the right time, Vauxhall disco roller skating happens on weekends and The Magic Circle has a once a month event open to the public.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your favorite  tips when you keep calm and travel to London with teens. xoxox

Keep Calm and Carry On London

 

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Love, Lies and Valentine’s

To make Valentine’s really special,

I’ll tie my man up

so I can watch whatever I want on TV.

Tracy Smith

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If you’re not watching the 50 Shades of Grey movie this weekend, here are some New York Times articles and book recommendations especially compiled by a favorite blog fan for our reading pleasure.  How lucky are we to be so loved!

1. The 10 Best Modern Love Columns Ever 

   I love #2 on this list: Laura Munson’s “Those Are Not Fighting Words, Dear”

2. The 36 Questions That Lead to Love

   Even those who have been married too long may not know each other’s answers.

3. “Love and Lies” book by Clancy Martin

   Adelle Waldman reviews this memoir/essay on truthfulness, deceit, and the growth and care of erotic love.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how well you shall love (thyself) this Valentine’s.  Many hugs and kisses to you and our favorite blog fans!  xoxox

Don’t bore your Valentine with lingerie–

give him/her the gift of lasting memories with Powerful Goddess Portraits!

To purchase a Gift Certificate for a divine portrait session that brings out a woman’s best,

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

or contact:

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Carnival of Venice

If you can visit Venice

only once in your life,

make it Carnivale!

S. Birke

Share this link to watch on Youtube http://youtu.be/szPv4UIFFzg

Shouldn’t you be in Venice right now?  What better place for adults to remember how to play and have fun than Carnivale–the world famous winter event that attracts revelers and tourists from every corner of the world. Before fasting and introspection, the ten days before Lent is an endless round of parties and feasts for the eyes anywhere you turn! How can you possibly keep a serious face when you’re surrounded by people who take costume even more seriously, preening strangers who revel in the anonymity of masks, robes and cloaks, cheerfully posing for any passing camera?

2015 Calendar 

Events, parties and masquerade balls

 http://www.venice-carnival-italy.com

Where to stay

The Gritti Palace

 http://www.thegrittipalace.com

Hotel Danieli

 http://www.danielihotelvenice.com

Aman Canal Grande Venice

 http://www.amanresorts.com/amancanalgrandevenice/home.aspx

Where to see the most costumes

Masks and costumes congregate in various sites around Venice. Weekends are the busiest. They usually start the day posing in front of the gondolas outside the Doges’ Palace at St. Mark’s Square.  You can follow the revelers when they change venues and stroll elegantly to the Arsenale, a church around the corner or take the ferry to San Giorgio and Burano Islands. Those who prefer the more authentic period costumes hang out at Caffe Florian for tea in the afternoons.

Venice Carnival 2015 runs until February 17.  If you’re not the type to dress up, done a mask at least. This year’s theme “The Most Delicious Feast in the World” celebrates Italy’s culinary traditions and triumphs so if you insist that masks and costumes are really not your kind of eye candy, feast on delicious looking Italians instead!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how a mask helps you tell your truth. xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Thicker Skin

The cause of trouble is that

the stupid are cocksure,

while the intelligent

are full of doubt.

Bertrand Russell

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“Are we allowed?” my children might wonder aloud amongst themselves and I’d get mixed feelings. Because while parental rule is far easier unchallenged, I quietly applaud when they demonstrate defiance and daring, little or no hesitation in going for what they want, and not cowering in the face of authority. Home is mere practice for life’s realities after all.

With three teens, every day is an exercise in pushing against boundaries, questioning or ignoring rules, and learning to bounce back after a “No”–all this even before considering their experience! I love that their personalities differ and how this helps them figure out whose criticism is constructive, whose is plain one upmanship.  Recognizing the types of people you can never please–usually the ones with loud and definitive opinions–eventually teaches us not to let anyone rain on our parade. That even if no one else is, we can always make the choice to take our own side.

I confess I want to pull my hair out listening to them bicker, each one absolutely certain that he or she is right. What saves me is the chuckle I get assuring them they are far too young to sound like an old, married couple.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share who/what helped you to grow thicker skin.

xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Unbroken

War does not determine

who is right–

only who is left.

Bertrand Russell

angelina-jolie-annie-leibovitz

I don’t like war movies, yet with Angelina Jolie blazing a brave new trail behind the camera as producer and director of  Unbroken, how can I resist?  The story revolves around the life of Olympic athlete Louis “Louie” Zamperini and is based on the nonfiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.  From this first venture in film making, Angelina is already poised to win Best Director by the Critics’ Choice Movie Award tomorrow.

Maybe I’m not going to see the film for the sake of story. While my daughter loves her movies for her good looks and heroic roles, I suspect I go as a fan of a woman who forges her own path doing what she loves and growing in whatever direction her soul beckons, personal demons be damned!  I’ll likely be imagining what went through her head behind each scene more than paying attention to what’s in it. From bad ass teen to awe inspiring woman and mother, Angelina embodies survival, resilience and redemption herself.

On this page is Angelina as photographed by one of my favorite photographers, Annie Leibowitz, another woman of quiet strength–but that’s another blog post.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how you’re bad ass awesome!

xoxox

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 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Breaking Free

Man was born free,

yet everywhere he is in chains.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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What’s a New Year without new beginnings? Same old, same old.  Unless you are courageous like this Powerful Goddess who enjoyed a good laugh celebrating the dawn of her new possibilities!

How different would 2015 be if we declared ourselves perfect as the day we were born, unfettered by beliefs, convention and expectations? Fearless except for the innate fear of heights and loud noises.  Imagine being guilt free in following your desires, in satiating your ravenous appetites, in heeding the truth you hear in your heart.  Imagine not having to explain, rationalize or defend your choices.

What would be different if you paid more attention to synchronicity and all the good life brings?  If you decided you are your own fun company, best lover, and doting parent? If you said YES to everything and forgave yourself for anything?

This year, may we all dare something new, stop insisting on being happy all the time, and see ourselves with kinder and more loving eyes.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share how rosy this year can be when you declare everything is right with you!

xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Enough Coffee, Tea and Milk!

Why is Santa so jolly?

He knows where

all the bad girls live.

George Carlin

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What could happen if we all decided to be naughty and leave Santa champagne instead of the usual milk and cookies?  He’d probably lose his love handles, run Rudolph ragged on a wild joyride, and mix up the addresses of our chimneys. Nothing wrong with any of that–worst case, we just might end up finding better gifts under the tree!

Whether you’re traveling (with reindeers) or not, enjoy nibbling on these happy holiday travel treats:

Quick research. If you need an urgent answer or information re your destination, use Twitter as a de facto customer service line for travel companies and hotels.

Get a room upgrade. Be a loyal brand customer, be nice to front desk agents at check in and say “Thank you!” via social media after a great stay.

Tip generously.  At a crowded bar, get attentive service the rest of the evening by tipping generously with your first round of drinks.

Pack these Apps. Viber to call/text globally where there’s Wi-Fi and avoid roaming charges.  Lonely Planet Fast Talk to search by situation or look up local words/phrases. XE Currency for international exchange rates. MPassport to find accredited doctors near you.

Volunteer vacations. Give back while on holiday with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, Globe Aware Volunteers, Habitat for Humanity, or Earthwatch.

For a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities for  your teens: Transitions Abroad

Travel insured. Tip the scales in your favor with Berkshire Hathaway’s Aircare.  At a fixed rate of $25 purchased 24 hours before your departure. this travel insurance offers generous compensation for flight/bag delays and missed connections.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your travel tips for Santa and have the merriest Ho-Ho-Ho’s wherever you go!

xoxox

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

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