The Unusual Selfie

 

The best advice I’ve received is

”No one else knows

what they’re doing either.”

Ricky Gervais

 

All our friends, family and Facebook’s facial recognition software already know what we look like so how about we give them something more interesting to see than just another selfie?

Here’s how I made these Unusual Selfies without needing a selfie stick:

Get a Folio Case for your smartphone. Coach.com has a fun selection in leather to hold your cash/cards as well as protect your phone’s glass surface. More importantly, it serves as a stand to angle and prop up your phone so you can use its timer (and AF lock) to compose the shot before you jump into the frame.

Google knows everything.  In researching my travel itinerary, I stumbled upon another mom’s blog which mentioned that Dubrovnik is a film site of HBO’s epic series Game of Thrones (GoT). My sons are great fans of this show so I thought it would be funny to impress them and sign myself up for a GoT themed city tour there.

Prep the prop. As inspiration for this GoT tour, I decided go as one of the show’s main characters, Daenerys, aka “The Mother of Dragons” who wears the best costumes among its lead cast.  I packed a fantastic 3D print replica of her Mother of Dragons necklace as well as three custom painted dragon eggs from Etsy.com.

Dubrovnik is King’s Landing in GoT, the capital of the story’s 7 Kingdoms. It has imposing medieval fort walls flooded with tourists. You’ll have a better chance of enjoying the place all to yourself if you visit in winter. Finding a quiet spot can be impossible so keep an eye out for locations  with relatively few passersby.  Be patient and wait for a lull in the crowd to get a clear background.  From the pier, for example, I walked along the base of the fort until I found an outcropping of rocks facing the sea that also happened to have an angle of the castle known as the Red Keep in the show.  I took time positioning the dragon eggs and iPhone until I got the shots I wanted to tell my story—an especially poignant one for a mother of three (dragons) who have all flown the nest. Rain clouds were perfect for the mood and a scarf billowing in the wind added the effect of dragon wings.

If someone offers to take your picture, all the better!  At the Iron Throne (GoT souvenir shop at Boshkoviceva 7 in the old town), my GoT tour guide impressed me with the filters on his Samsung even as he envied how my iPhone takes creamier pictures in daylight.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your best selfie trick without a stick.

Xoxox

 

 

xoxox

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits with a

Powerful Goddess Gift Certificate

for a most memorable photo shoot for up to three people!

 

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

 

Pleasure and Pain

 

If I’m lazy and I can’t come up with a costume,

I would just wear a slip

and write ‘Freudian’ on it.

Julia Stiles

Of all the holidays in the year, I can definitely live happily without Halloween. At a Halloween party I attended last year, it dawned on me that there is simply no good reason for ugly people to dress any scarier! But since I love fantasy,  pretty costumes, and aspire to be wholly human, I concede that it is necessary to embrace the  scary and dark parts of ourselves along with the beautiful, the fleeting moments with the enduring, death with life, pain with pleasure.

From one of the books on personal power I recommended in my previous blog post, Pema Chodron’s  When Things Fall Apart:

People have no respect for impermanence. We take no delight in it; in fact, we despair of it. We regard it as pain. We try to resist it by making things that will last–forever, we say–things that we don’t have to ssh, things that we don’t have to iron. Somehow, in the process of trying to deny that things are always changing, we lose our sense of the sacredness of life. We tend to forget that we are part of the natural scheme of things.

Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality. Many cultures celebrate this connectedness. There are ceremonies marking all the transitions of life from birth to death, as well as meetings and partings, going into battle, losing the battle, and winning the battle. We too could acknowledge, respect, and celebrate impermanence.

But what about suffering? Why would we celebrate suffering? Doesn’t that sound masochistic? Our suffering is based so much on our fear of impermanence. Our pain is so rooted in our one-sided, lopsided view of reality. Who ever got the idea that we could have pleasure without pain? It’s promoted rather widely in this world, and we buy it. But pain and pleasure go together; they are inseparable. They can be celebrated. They are ordinary. Birth is painful and delightful. Death  is painful and delightful. Everything that ends is also the beginning of something. Pain is not a punishment, pleasure is not a reward.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share your favorite fantasy. Trick or treat!

xoxox

 

 

 

 

xoxox

 

Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess Gift Certificate

for a two hour photo shoot of up to three people:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

Best Books for Grads (and Teens)

 

If you think you are too small

to be effective, you have never been

in bed with a mosquito.

Bette Reese

 

With June just around the corner, graduation has been on my mind–Tick Tock! I am sure my teen would rather get a sexy new car as his gift, but I’m equally certain our young men and women are much better served by the enduring wisdom imparted by those who have gone before them. May this collection of powerful books inspire and ignite a fire in their bellies to make their own dreams come true!

Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal.   For those who have grown deaf to their own parents’ talk, this book distills pearls of wisdom from the inventor of Spanx to finance whiz, Bloomberg and good old Warren.

 

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Why making a personal commitment to doing something hard at an early age grows our power to overcome hardships later in life.

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay. It’s never too early to plant seeds for your career and relationships early.

I Need Your Love–Is That True? by Byron Katie. How to deal with people who disappointment, frustrate, and anger you.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Demystifying the genie of creation as something more accessible than we’ve been led to believe.

7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. Begin with the end in mind, eat your biggest frog first, seek to understand another point of view,… Steven Covey’s son translates his dad’s pillars of humanity for the younger set.

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski. For a proper and enlightened understanding of female sexuality.

Free Women, Free Men by Camille Paglia. Straight talking and sharp shooting, Camille Paglia speaks of the kind of feminism that owns up to its power without hiding behind cries of victimhood. Real adult talk, at last!

The Four Agreements by Paolo Coelho.  Even those who have sworn off reading can skim this short and sweet manifesto simplifying how to live in peace with each moment.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to add your life changing favorite(s)!

 

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

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

 

Queen of Heart

Honesty is the key

to a relationship.

If you can fake that,

you’re in.

Richard Jeni

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Esther Perel, sex and relationship therapist and author of Mating in Captivity, says we often confuse love as a state of enthusiasm. “To love” is a verb, and verbs are dynamic implying action, intention, and responsibility. If our ability to love ourselves well determines our success in loving another, what can these verbs mean for our relationships?

To Give.  Is it better to give what we believe the other person should have or what that person wants? True giving is being attuned to someone’s needs, to make that person feel special and that they matter. Assuming your partner is not a self-absorbed despot, giving from a place of confidence and generosity frees us from the chains of expecting acknowledgement or getting something in return. With this we allow ourselves the freedom to feel complete joy and empowered by a simple action. Giving when we’re at low points of our lives can also be therapeutic, too, lifting up our own spirits when we channel our energy towards seeking out those who need our help most. Of course, giving to ourselves first is essential to replenish the well.

To Receive. How do you respond to a compliment or a kindness?  If you feel obligated to respond in kind or wonder what that other person wants in return from you, take a moment to feel worthy and simply say “Thank you.”  Being a gracious receiver is a gift in itself.  Allowing others to give to us lets them feel good about themselves, too.

To Take.  Women can learn a few things from male assertiveness and entitlement.  Assertiveness is what we need to land jobs, get a better deal in negotiations, and evolve our (sexual) relationships. Since only you know what pleases you best, share that knowledge with your partner. We save ourselves a whole lot of grief when we surrender to the reality that mind reading is not a very common talent.

To Refuse. From the kitchen, the boardroom and the bedroom, women do things to please others that they don’t necessarily want to do and end up not liking themselves for it. Say no without closing possibilities by giving options and alternatives. If establishing boundaries is essential for a healthy relationship, should it be a stretch to say “I feel free to be speak my mind around him?”

To Play.  Playing lets you be creative and dream together, circumventing the hardships of reality. The ability to laugh and play strengthens a couple’s bond, especially amidst the incessant demands of parenting. Being silly, mischievous and unpredictable is a big factor in keeping your sex life fun. The freedom to be unselfconscious around someone is empowering. When you feel like you’re in a stalemate, think of ways to create happy memories and new adventures together. Great for couples, but even more necessary around moody teens. I grew up hearing “The family that prays together, stays together.” As a mom, I now realize “The family that plays together, stays together” is big.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share what the sweetest  Valentine verb means to you!

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

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Holiday Red Carpet

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

and have a party with

someone whose life gave them vodka.

Ron White

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If I had a party animal husband or at least one who stays up past 8:00 pm, I’d know exactly where to go for glamour gowns and dresses.  It’s the very elegant yet cozy boutique run by Paula and Maria, a mother daughter duo, who personally attend to your particular taste and style. Their shop manager, Fern, is equally charming–all so fortunate to have daughters to create happy holiday memories with. There’s nothing like personalized attention and caring service by a loving family with great fashion sense.

This lace corset style top and most unique train skirt count among their favorite ensembles this season. Feel the warm welcome when you stop by to meet them and their handpicked collection!

The Engle Shop

102 Engle Street
Englewood, NJ 07631
(201) 568-1331

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Cleopatra’s Feast

She makes hungry

where she most satisfies.

Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra 

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Like this Powerful Goddess, Cleopatra’s charms went way beyond beauty.  She had a keen intellect, a theatrical sense of style, and a force of character that rendered her presence irresistible. She knew how to make an indelible first impression, a grand entrance designed to weaken the knees of an audience of one or of the entire town. Even before email and despite stiff competition while her lovers traveled far and wide enduring mortal danger to expand her queendom, she new how to stir the pot of fun to keep her man coming back for more.

What ideas does this legend inspire for an extraordinary Thanksgiving feast? Present your beloved with your glamorous Powerful Goddess Cleopatra portraits before wrapping yourself in bandages like a mummy.  Let him unwrap you with his teeth, licks and kisses required for each exposed part. Use the bandages to blindfold and tie him up later.

For now, click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to add your genius on how to make Thanksgiving memorable.

Gobble gobble!

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

Beautiful Promise

Like charity,

I believe glamour

should begin at home.

Loretta Young

beautiful carole kind on broadway

Two house seats and a backstage tour of Beautiful-The Carole King Musical

Though my teens may disagree and take the opportunity for granted, I value education as the path to a better future.  For the less privileged, giving children a chance at such a future eases the lives of the women who raise them.  So for Mother’s Day this year, let’s make it easy to surprise ourselves and our mom by bidding on the array of unique gift ideas on auction to support The Promise Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping underserved children with learning disabilities.

A glamour portrait party for you, your mom, and/or girlfriends are among the fabulous gifts you can choose from on Charity Buzz’s online auction to benefit the Promise Project.  Below are a few other exciting offers.  

A live silent auction happens on May 6th, 2014 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC, but don’t be shy about bidding online until May 13th. Thank you so much for empowering women, making children feel loved, and do tweet, share, pin, instagram your favorite picks!

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Lunch with Nicole Miller and take home a look from her new collection

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Two Tickets to the Spring 2015 Fashion Shows of Carolina Herrera or Badgley Mischka at New York Mercedez Benz Fashion Week this September

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Two nights in a Club Level King Suite at The Prescott Hotel in San Francisco plus dinner at Postrio Restaurant

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Two round trip Jet Blue tickets to fly anywhere in the US

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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