To My Younger Self

Youth is the gift of nature,

while age is

a work of art.

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

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As my highschool senior counts the days to flying the nest, I count nuggets of wisdom that might be useful to our younger self in the journey through less than sunny weather. A few favorites from and additions to Andrea Reiser’s list “47 Things I’ve Learned In My 40’s:”

Happiness has different faces. Gratitude is a choice.

Stop comparing your insides to everyone else’s outsides.

Laugh lines are worth it. Don’t waste a day without laughter.

Our body obsessions are invisible to others–until we point them out so Ssssshhh!

Experiences are infinitely more memorable than stuff.

Busy is overrated.

Take one day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time.

You can disagree with someone, but it doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

Being right is overrated.

Everything happens for a good reason, no matter how unclear that good reason may be for awhile.

Take a risk and seize the opportunity, it may never present itself again.

And as this Powerful Goddess reminds me “I AM ENOUGH!” to bloom where I’m planted, whatever the age, no matter the weather.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add what sees you through.

xoxox

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xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

The 5 Classiest Cocktail Bars of NYC

I drink 

to make other people

more interesting.

Ernest Hemingway

Thank Goddess It’s Friday! Alcohol may not like me, but I do love the concept of extending “Happy Hour” to “Happy Days and Nights” where there are high ceilings, fancy chandeliers and lovely decor and/or views to go with it.

My absolute favorite for elegance is The Baccarat lobby bar, a glamorously French interpretation of the American long bars of old. It is the sparkliest new addition to New York City since cut crystal and its picture can do all the talking. The Baccarat Hotel is right across the Museum of Modern Art.

Baccarat Bar

Baccarat Hotel, 20 West 53rd Street, NYC

(212) 790 8800

Baccarat New York Bar

The Top of the Standard with live jazz most nights is Art Deco with virtually 360 degree views of Manhattan–even the Ladies’ Room has a view! Get there before dinner or stay and enjoy their light menu so you don’t have to  bother with queues for “The List” after 8:00 pm.

Top of the Standard Hotel

848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014
(212) 645-4646

Top of the Standard Hotel

The lobby lounge of the Mandarin Oriental is my favorite for views of Columbus Circle and Central park. Get there before sunset to see very far.

Lobby Lounge of the Mandarin Oriental

80 Columbus Circle, NYC

(212) 805-8800

Mandarin-Oriental-Lobby-Lounge

Spyglass is a small space on the 22nd floor of the Archer Hotel with a personal view of the Empire State building. Fancy toasting your latest international caper with James Bond as you sip Joe Goglia’s specialty cocktails and mill among a better dressed crowd.

Spyglass

Archer Hotel, 22nd Floor, 47 W 38th St, NYC
(212) 730-0538

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The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Hotel is pink and sexy with velvet seats and pretty waitresses. Get there before 10:00 pm to skirt “The List.” You can order from the menu of the Gramercy’s restaurant, Maialino, if you get hungry,

Rose Bar

Gramercy Park Hotel, 2 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010
(212) 920-3300

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Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your favorites. Cheers! (Photographs courtesy of Google Images.)

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Ala Anna Karenina

My mother never breastfed me–

she said she only

liked me as a friend.

Rodney Dangerfield

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While I admire Anna Karenina’s fashion sense, I stand on the opposite side of the tracks in my belief that there is absolutely no man worth dying for. But for a daughter who is joy and beauty inside and out? Let’s talk…

This Powerful Goddess dedicates her portraits to her mom and best friend, the woman who chose 8 months of bed rest when doctors foretold that with her advanced age and history of miscarriage, she would never carry a baby to term. Certainly not the first (nor last) underestimation of a woman’s courage to choose life, yes?

In this Anna Karenina inspired concept to honor her Russian heritage, this Powerful Goddess proudly wears her mother’s green eyes and a touch of her Asian features.  With her mother’s elegant hands, she writes, “My mom taught me to be kind, honest, and caring, to value life and family above all. I never keep secrets from her knowing that she doesn’t judge and will always be supportive. She gave me the ability to see beauty wherever I go. I admire her tenderness and strength, her wisdom, and her naiveté in loving fully and giving generously. I owe her my life and so much more. I love, you, Mama!”

Sniff, sniff! May all our daughters be as appreciative of us…

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share what you love best about the woman who chose life for you.

Happiest Mother’s Day to all and the Happiest Birthday Ever to my gorgeous Anna Karenina!

xoxox

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Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Makeup and Make Not

My mother’s idea of

natural childbirth was

giving birth without makeup.

Robin Williams

Comedy Central’s Amy Schumer parodies our beauty standards in this video “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup.” We’re in on the joke if we admit how compulsively we submit to the judgment of others, particularly to the itinerant male gaze.

“You look better without makeup,” my husband used to tell me as a young bride and I’d stare back at him incredulously. I was blind to his point of view so his compliment bordered on ludicrous.

Having been raised with Western beauty as the ideal, my small eyes were the biggest thing I wished I weren’t born with. Kids with “normal” eyes teased, “Do you see half as much as we do?” My grandmother offered the best use of my first paycheck, “You should have slits done on your eyelids!” Too chicken for a cosmetic procedure my paycheck could not have covered anyhow, I piled on five layers of eye shadow each morning in a futile attempt to make my eyes look wider, bigger, less Asian. Several women in our family wore a similar patch of black eyeliner on the eyelids, mimicking that fold of skin our slanted eyes forgot to have. For most of my youth, no force on earth could have convinced me that almond eyes are beautiful.

Then my kids started rolling in. The second child was enough to make me feel sufficiently outnumbered and spread thin. Only two hands to get two kids dressed, fed and rushed to school? Something had to give! I lay down those makeup brushes in surrender.

Sixteen years later, it is now a mystery how I thought starting the day with heavy makeup was a bright idea. With three teens testing parental boundaries, small eyes see enough for me to handle. And will I swear off makeup completely?  Not likely! What’s the point (and the fun) of being a woman if we didn’t have options, my dear–and plenty of them!

In behalf of those who eschew makeup because they can, this Powerful Goddess glamorously bares it.  She is of that rare breed who firmly believes she is most beautiful without it.  Why, even the blind can see that! Ah-men.

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share how you honor your natural beauty. xoxox

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Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

xoxox

 © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

5 Simple Tips for Earth Day

 

I like to take out the recycling trash bin

because it makes me feel like

I’m actually doing something for the planet.

Mike Quigley

 

Earth-Day-Spring-bloom-Sharon-Birke

How can we love our one and only planet? Let us count the small ways…

Double duty. For your party giveaways, choose something beyond lovely to behold. Make it useful and–even better–reusable!  Decorate each with flowers and/or a candle and group these together as the table’s centerpiece. No guest ever goes home empty handed and nothing goes to waste.

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Photo from Google Images

Beg, steal or borrow.  In the age of technology that seems to have forgotten reading as a pleasurable pastime, I have had to give in to my son’s “only if it’s a new book” rule and, of course, little sis had to follow his example, creating her own towers of dust collectors. I’m relieved to report that last week, we celebrated her first trip to borrow books from the library. Finally!

antique-books

Photo from Google Images

Bring your own bags when shopping at the mall or at the grocery, picking up books at the library, etc. LLBean canvas totes are indestructible and forever my favorites. They can even hold each person’s  gift under the Christmas tree and save you from gift wrapping. Mix and match your favorite colors.

LL Bean canas totes

Style by recycle. It took me awhile to get past a bias against “used” until I realized the world has turned inexorably plastic. Find real wood and quality materials in furniture, home decor, clothing, accessories from antique, consignment and vintage shops. And, no, you need not buy the entire set…

antique-french-furniture-11

Photo from Google Images

Shorten the shower. 25 gallons for every 10 minutes. You do the math.

Click on “Leave a Comment” to add how you care for this planet that feeds us.

xoxox

Flower photo at top of page © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

To The Girls

What a wonderful life I’ve had!

I only wish

I’d realized it sooner.

Colette

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On Huffington Post, Nina Bahadur invites you to offer advice for girls as they travel the path to womanhood:

Author Courtney Summers launched the hashtag #ToTheGirls on April 14, the same day that her YA novel All the Rage was released. Her hope is that women will share their best pieces of advice to young women seeking guidance and affirmation.

In a blog post about #ToTheGirls, Summers urged her followers: “Take the opportunity to tell the girls you know — and the ones you don’t — that they are seen, heard and loved. Share advice. Be encouraging. Tell us about or thank the girls in your life who have made a difference in yours.”

Women on Twitter shared their best insight on confidence, romance, success, sex and more.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add yours to my faves:

@SaraZarr : You don’t have to grow up to be a mom or a wife if you don’t want to. It’s ok to not have kids, not want to babysit, etc.

@HaleShannon  Find and stay near the people who make you feel possible, larger, worthy, interesting, excited, comfortable, confident.

@coracarmack  It’s never too late. To do what you love. To change your mind. To change your life.

@syntactics : “I’m sorry” is for when you’ve hurt someone. It’s not for when you’re asking others for respect or the right to take up space.

@FeministFists  You have the right to take back your consent at any time during a sexual situation. Even if he bought you dinner.

@elloecho  The mistakes you made do not shape who you are. They are NOT who you are. Forgive yourself, love yourself, and let them go.

@SarahDessen It’s okay if you don’t have everything together. Life is a process. Keep learning, keep loving. Keep on.

xoxox

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Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

xoxox

Photography © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Power of the Pin-up

Her sexiness is natural and uncontrived,

and her exposure

is always accidental.

Dian Hanson, The Art of the Pin-up

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Gil Elvgren, I’ve Been Spotted, oil on canvas

Mad Men ends this week… Sigh! Who will not miss Don Draper and Joan Holloway, the epitomes of sexy in the 1960s? Way before their decade, who summed up sexy?

Gallerist Louis K. Meisel of New York City shares his extensive collection of the beautiful coiffed women next door, in stockings and garter belts, or in dreamlike settings captured in oil paintings, watercolors and pastels. The pin-up girl is said to have been born of war, when President Woodrow Wilson’s Division of Pictorial Publicity decided on her as the visual stimuli to persuade men to join the World War I.  Both flirtatious and innocent, mischievous and sweet, was this well- or scantily-dressed woman persuasive or what?!

While pin-up is deemed as the objectification of women, it is also a testament to the quiet power of femininity, sexuality, and a woman’s freedom to choose.  It is a recognition that women are agents of change simply by making the most of what she’s got (and have we got a lot!) in courage, style, looks,  strength, compassion, wisdom, intelligence, charm, wit and humor. And may the softness of our curves lead mankind towards making more love than war!

The Great American Pin-up Girl Returns opens at the Louis K. Meisel Gallery in New York City today, April 2 to May 2, 2015.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what you love about pin-up. xoxox

Haddon-Sundblom-Pinup-with-dogHaddon Sundblom, Untitled (Girl with Dog)

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Vaughan Alden Bass, Sugar N Spice oil on canvas

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Gil Elvgren, Low Down Feelings, oil on canvas

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William Medcalf, Permite Girl on Car Creeper, oil on canvas

 xoxox

Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

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