The Russian Doll

If my kids turn out good, 

it means I’ve been a good dad.

If they turn out bad, it means they

took after their mother’s side of the family.

Jeff Foxworthy

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This photographer feels most alive capturing moments with her camera that show the beauty in our world through people’s eyes/smile, architecture, nature, flowers… In her Powerful Goddess portraits, you can see she counts among the beauties of our world, more breathtaking in front of the camera!

Her father through her lens:

My father is the most positive person I know, very generous, smart and kind. He is full of anecdotes to make people laugh. I’m sure my passion for music and dance come from him. He can dance, sing and play the accordion. His love for adventure, change, and travel took him to live in Mongolia, Cuba, and Norilsk (Northern Russia.) He loves sports while I love his energy and passion for life. When he hugs me, I feel the love of a good father. He is the Sun! I have his smile, blondness, optimism, and boundless energy. Papa, I wish you could give all this to my kids as well! I love you so much!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what you love best about your dad or of being a dad. Happiest Father’s Day to the men we love! You know who you are… ;)

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 Graduate

The unfortunate, yet truly exciting thing

about life is that

there is no core curriculum.

The entire place is an elective.

Jon Stewart

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My not so little Drummer Boy is marching off to college–hopefully without lugging his drum set. Sniff! Have I told him everything I wanted to say? Will he remember to dare failure and never give up on himself? Will he get some sleep despite internet being on 24/7 at the dorm?

Because a mother’s wisdom may not always appeal to a teen, a favorite Powerful Goddess blog fan helped cull this collection of books that might be lifetime companions for someone starting out on life’s brave new solo adventures.

The Evolution Man or How I Ate My Father by Roy Lewis

Have the travails of teens and man changed much since our cave dwelling days? Human evolution explained as a domestic situation comedy.

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For all hopeful tinkerers and creatives who suspect creativity is the domain of a select few.  Might genius simply be the fruit of learning from the next failed step that you persist beyond?

How To Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention and Discovery by Kevin Ashton

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The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Life could be much sweeter (and sooner) when we ask for the help we need. Here’s why and how.

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The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay

For the generation of indulged youth, a friendly reminder that it’s never too soon to plant the seeds of relationships, career and finances.

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To honor my Drummer Boy’s Asian roots while impressing young ladies with his culinary skills:

Mangoes and Curry Leaves: Travels Through The Great Subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford

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Because he was born in a land that he has not visited since…

Frog In The Well: Portraits of Japan by Watanabe Kazan by Donald Keene

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To make the ladies swoon…

John Updike’s Collected Poems 1953 to 1993

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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz

Easily the smallest book of the lot, it is powerful in its specific practices  on how to live in peace with oneself, with the least worry and regret.

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The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat (Young Reader’s Edition) by Michael Pollan

If what we eat is what we are and think, shouldn’t we be more curious about our food–or what we consider food?

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The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

A non-fiction thriller lest science and obsession carry him away, leading him to forget he is a piece of nature’s whole.

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And whether you are have comfortably discussed the myriad aspects of the topic that simmers in their mind…

S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College by Heather Corinna

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Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your fave to this list. And give yourself a giant pat on the back for being the best parent that you are!

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

King and I

Alone is

such a nebulous state 

when one is queen.

Rae Carson, The Crown of Embers

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In the Broadway musical, The King and I, “Something Wonderful” is what the King’s First Wife sings to Anna (the English teacher who fights, tames and falls in love with him) to coax her into stopping the fight, to simply accept the King for who he is. These are the lyrics:

This is a man who thinks with his heart,
His heart is not always wise.
This is a man who stumbles and falls,
But this is a man who tries.
This is a man you’ll forgive and forgive
And help and protect, as long as you live.

He will not always say what you would have him say
But, now and then he’ll say something wonderful.
The thoughtless things he’ll do will hurt and worry you,
Then, all at once he’ll do something wonderful.

He has a thousand dreams that won’t come true
You know that he believes in them and that’s enough for you.

You’ll always go along, defend him when he’s wrong
And tell him when he’s strong, he is wonderful.
He’ll always needs your love and so he’ll get your love
A man who needs your love can be wonderful.

by Rodgers and Hammerstein

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what reminds you to accept and treat yourself this kindly.

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

Myanmar Meander (Part I: Yangon and Bagan)

This is Burma

and it is unlike any land

you may know about…

Rudyard Kipling

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Catch a fiery sunset at the golden Shwedagon Pagoda

A place uniquely preserved in culture with people still true to their native traditions, Myanmar (aka Burma) stays mostly untouched by modernity–except for cellphones and the quickly thickening deluge of tourists.  Go see this country sooner than later, while golden arches are still made of wood and gold leaf at sacred pagodas with no McDonald’s in sight! I loved traveling to this country where markets abound with fresh produce and natural herbal remedies, shoppers who carry their own reusable baskets, where people know only to cook and eat real food–a reminder of our almost forgotten connection to nature’s divine wisdom and benevolence.

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Helpful and kind despite economic hardships, locals still proudly wear their traditional longhis (i.e., long skirt wraps for men and women) in cotton or silk, as well as their native thanaka skin cream which also doubles as makeup and sunscreen.

As smitten with technology as we are

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Their legendary political heroine Aung San Suu Kyi

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Primarily Buddhist, alms giving is a daily ritual in this country.

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Monks at work

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Monks at play

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Someone’s not too thrilled by this makeup business… His mother’s market basket doubles as baby swing.

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When traveling to exotic locales, I prefer to head out of the big cities to get the real pulse of the country.  Bagan is an hour’s flight Northwest of Yangon. Morning flights make a clockwise circle of Yangon-Bagan-Mandalay-Inle Lake.  It’s always best to take the first flights out in case of delays.

To imagine small town Bagan, picture the entire stretch of Manhattan with nothing but stupas of all sizes. Early bird or not, rise for a ride with Balloons Over Bagan. At the bottom of this photo is the outer edge of one of the prettiest hotels in Bagan, the Aureum Palace.

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Grandma in tribal headdress, fierce as the dragon it is supposed to conjure

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Horse and buggy ride

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Sunset over Bagan

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Welcome to Myanmar!

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This series is inspired by the revival of “The King and I” on Broadway. While waiting for Part II of this travel guide, click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share what you’re curious to learn about other cultures.

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

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

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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

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