Hope Springs in Maine

Never waste any amount of time doing anything important

when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under! 

C. Joy Bell C.

Hubby and I watched the movie “Hope Springs” after our family drive to Maine–no, not for Dr. Bernie’s couch. ūüėČ ¬†My mom will certainly need a big box of tissues watching Meryl Streep struggle to assert herself after years of submission to a self-absorbed and stubborn husband. ¬†Who doesn’t want to be treated like a queen and spared counting pennies? ¬†Who doesn’t want a husband who looks deeply into your eyes and listens with the heart when he holds you in his arms? ¬†Who hasn’t had to learn that we may or may not want to make things work out after we sail off with Prince Charming into the sunset?

Among the inspiring women I met in Maine are Kim and Denise, proud new owners of the most beautiful epicurean haven (http://EventideSpecialties.com) in Boothbay Harbor, ME. ¬†Their faith in the vision they nurtured for so long helped them move past the fears of “What if?” and keep moving one foot in front of the other towards making their dream come true. ¬†While holding down full time jobs elsewhere, they painted and set up the entire store themselves in happy bright green and maroon–colors that make you grin as you sample their international selection of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. ¬†Kim’s mom, Mimi, is a Powerful Goddess extraordinaire with her cheerful smile and curls, tirelessly helping around the store when she’s not doing the laundry for a nearby inn. ¬† These women are vital and active in defining their own success, radiating joy where they have to be. ¬†They are divine role models who show me the power of hope and living with purpose, that we can create our own happy ever after at any age.

Here are photos from our vacation. ¬†I would have loved to share rafting photos, too, but my hands were busy rowing and hanging on for dear life through Level 3/4 whitewater on the Kennebec River–a “must do” family adventure!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add you favorite family destinations around Maine and the East Coast.

Denise, Mimi and Kim at Eventide Epicurean Specialties in Boothbay Harbor, ME


Even the monarchs whisper, “Follow your bliss!”

“A Buck A Shuck” Oysters on Saturday nights at

Boothbay Lobster Wharf in Boothbay Harbor, ME

I’m alive and well after eating 4 dozen in 3 days–in a month without an “r.”

After whitewater on the Kennebec River, a relatively tame day on kayaks.

“Monkey C Monkey Do” in Wiscasset, ME for family adventure trapeze obstacle course and ziplines

The view of golf greens, yachts, sky and ocean from the pool at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, ME

Sunsets that take your breath away and inspire…

… to be the light where you are!

Hurray  for summer!

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947


Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


Herb Ritts at the Getty

The secret to creativity is

knowing how to hide your sources.

Albert Einstein

The Getty Museum ranks among the 20 Best Museums in the world, sitting very pretty atop a hill with panoramic views of the City of Angels. ¬†Catching the Herb Ritts: L.A. Style exhibit there was a definite highlight of my recent trip. ¬† ¬†I love a man who knows how to mix fun and play in drawing out the beauty in people. ¬†He and I share a love for spontaneity working with simple equipment and natural light, tasteful sensuality in strong forms, classical lines, and a woman’s back. ¬†With their graphic simplicity, Herb’s images can be read and felt instantaneously, many of them challenging conventional notions of gender or race. His iconic photographs of noted individuals in film, fashion, music, politics and society capture both social history and fantasy. ¬†As artists, our work documents time and place.

In planning a photo shoot, one of the fun things I do with my client is to create an idea board (using magazines pages, cellphone photos or Pinterest) to understand what’s beautiful and exciting to her. ¬†With her selections and themes in mind, I show her photos, paintings, sculptures, ads, etc., I find inspiring. ¬†Here are elements of Herb’s photos that I love:

I love sculpted hair, a dramatic pose, and elegant composition.

I love the sheen on skin, power form and movement, and

the clever use of high noon sun.

I love wind blown sheer fabrics.

I love abstract shapes and form.

I love creative shadow play.

I love the whimsy and humor of props. ¬†Herb used tumbleweed as tree branches…

….and a live octopus as dreadlocks.

The Herb Ritts exhibit at the Getty runs until September 2, 2012. ¬†Click on “Leave A Comment” (above left) to add your favorite sights, destinations, things to do in the City of Angels.

Hail, The Non-Olympians!

Whenever I feel like exercise, 

I lie down until the feeling passes.

Robert Hutchison

Today, I swam my first mile faster than Allison Schmitt–thanks to a lifejacket and the downstream current of the Kennebec River, Maine. ¬†One of the blessings of having three kids is that I can’t excuse myself from all family activities and had awesome fun whitewater rafting with http://www.NorthernOutdoors. ¬† Like a true Olympian, I set my eyes on the gold: ¬†if I survived this day’s epic adventure, the kids will let me have the rest of the family vacation in peace!

I am not sporty. ¬†¬†The one thing I care to do with a pool is to strike a pretty pose or host a party. ¬† The only marathon I’d join would be sleeping. ¬†Even in watching the Olympics, game technicalities can’t distract me from the sheen of muscles, the gentle curves on impossible abs, and the colorful makeup on the women athletes’ determined eyes. ¬†As they struggled to calm their rush of adrenaline, I struggled to recall if ¬†my body was ever that lean in my teens? ¬† I was probably busy bemoaning how I didn’t have curves in the “right” places.

While the champions get all the glory and publicity, I’m interested in those who don’t get the gold. ¬†What makes these men and woman dedicate a lifetime to a chance at winning and mostly losing? ¬†What’s a life determined by the persistent ticking of the clock, the whistle, and measuring up? ¬† How do they get over losing by a millionth of a second or a single misstep after giving their¬†all?

And for mere mortals like us who don’t have the urge to compete, ¬†or can’t stick to the persistence required by strict discipline, deprivation and diet, are we to consider ourselves less than? ¬†In judging everything by a singular standard, are we blinding ourselves to the natural variations of strength and beauty as well as ignoring the effort it takes to participate in life without accolades? ¬† Does happiness have to be derived from supremacy and other people’s opinion? ¬† Can there be only one perfect tree in the forest?

In the adulation of youth and extraordinary achievement, are we more inspired to do better or dismay at our ordinary lives?  One thing I know is that Oscar Pistorius leaves me with no excuse to bitch about the size of my calves.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your thoughts on the Olympics.


© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947


Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Model : Katrina Amato
Styling : Rosy Justo
Makeup : Tomoko Miyamoto
Hair : Yulitzin Alvarez Funes



From Cinderella to CEO

I want to know what happens

after Cinderella rides off with Prince Charming.

Melissa Joan Hart

One of the magical benefits of turning 40 (or 50 and more!) is that we fit more comfortably into the shoes of “CEO of My Life.” ¬†We recognize that rules are all made up, so why not make a few of our own? ¬†We realize there’s no time to blame, just time to face up to the consequences of our (in)actions. We claim our power to relax and reinvent ourselves in ways that suit our values, goals, and reality. ¬†And even as we live under the tyranny of “gotta have it all” and “gotta do more,” we realize we can free ourselves when we are honest with our answer to “What really makes me happy?”
At the heart of Cinderella’s story is the belief in the power of transformation, the benevolence of helping hands, the importance of work done with love and great care despite adversity or while we’re mulling through our choices. ¬†As we age, we realize that when we don’t get invited to the ball, we can host our own party. ¬†When we lose a shoe, it’s ok to walk on bare feet–and sexy does not require the highest of heels! ¬†We look at the hand holding the magic wand and find that this hand has been our own, or at least, blessed by our choices.
Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to tell ¬†us what Cinderella’s story means to you today.
Book recommendation:
From Cinderella to CEO:  10 Lessons of Fairy Tales
by Cary Broussard

© Sharon Birke

Book your glamour playdate with me today!

201 697 1947


Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother


Evita on the Peso

Give me a balcony in every town and 

I will win their hearts.

A deposed president of Ecuador cites Eva’s success

The iconic Evita Peron has been honored in song, in film, on Broadway, and last week, on the 60th anniversary of her death, her face now graces Argentina’s 100 peso currency–the only woman to be honored in this very manly country’s banknotes.

From “Simply Irresistible” by Ellen T. White:

Pale, humorless, and uneducated, she used the only capital she had at her disposal–an uncanny ability to seem heaven sent. ¬†Some say Evita slept her way to the top, but if sex were all it took, any number of women might have taken her place. ¬†What was the magic dust she sprinkled on their eyes?

Evita’s lessons for every Goddess:

1. Take the higher road.   Keep a physical, as well as psychological, upper hand.  Always stand tall and establish a regal presence by throwing your shoulders back and keeping your chin up.

2. Create an air of quiet mystery. ¬†Evita had no talent for conversation, but it seems the less said, the better. ¬†Her unexpected silences made others a tad nervous and eager to please, yearning for more, curious to know what’s on her mind. ¬†Leave a lot to the imagination and set yourself apart from the reality TV crowd that’s eager to tell all.

3. Overdress for success. ¬†She charmed the masses by addressing them as “My descamisados” (shirtless ones) while maintaining a closet that was very far from empty. Even if you don’t own designer clothes or a crown, make an effort to look queenly. ¬†Always wear what makes you feel like a million–and never tell where you got it for less. ūüėČ

4. Choose your words. ¬† Evita’s rise to power erased records of her mongrel birth. ¬†Officially sanctioned accounts of her early years began to sound like myth: “Like Venus… Eva Peron was born from the sea.” ¬†Jobless? ¬†No, my dear, I’m between opportunities. Held on drug charges a decade ago? ¬†That was a wild experiment in spiritual growth. ¬†Divorced more times that you can count? ¬†I’m passionate and tend to leap before I look. ¬†As they say, “It’s never too late–in fiction or in life–to revise.”

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to tell us what makes you feel like a million.

 © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947



Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Makeup by Kristen Pickrell


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