30 Women Over 30

“Always leave things better than you found them”

Meet Kimberly, the stunning mother of two girls (Presley and Gracelyn… her husband LOVES Elvis!). Kim is a retired probation officer, full-time Supermom, and Entrepreneur with Arbonne. Fun fact - she just earned a BRAND NEW MERCEDES! While Kim absolutely LOVED her job as a probation officer (she’s always been a helper, fixer and strategist), she is still able to use her passions and skills with Arbonne and help people be the best version of themselves by taking control & transforming their health & finances.

However - her DREAM job is neither of those! Kim envisions her life as a professional organizer, tackling the world one room at a time and helping people clear their clutter. SIGN ME UP!

In Kim’s spare time, she has a love hate relationship with the gym so sometimes she’ll go, sometimes she wont! She also loves organizing and having things in places they are easily located and put away. I’d like to adopt kim to live with me!

She also loves to scrapbook and make crafts- which is about as relaxed as she may get. She has a tough time slowing down! Kim is a sushi lover (much like myself, yay!) and if you buy her a drink, go for the hard liquor!

IF this busy mama and entrepreneur can catch some time to read, she really enjoys personal development books.

One of her favorite quotes is:

“Always leave things better than you found them”

Kim admits that her insecuries are with her body— it's an ongoing love and unlike relationship, however she is workign towards self love by daily gratitude & affirmations and surrounding herself with like-minded and inspirational people. Just being around Kim for her shoot was incredible and if she can attract friends and a network as uplifting and positive as she is, she is set for life.

I asked Kim what message she wishes to share with her 13-Year Old self and this is what she said:

“Life will be amazing. These experiences will grow you into an amazing and strong woman. This too shall pass.”

Kim is inspired by her parents and grandmother. Growing up, she recognized that her father never complained and always looked at the upside and her mother was always there for her and taught her how to be competent and to take care of things when she’s on her own. Her gram had incredible listening skills and so much unconditional love to spread (plus she made some killer chocolate chip cookies.)

Having this photoshoot done was a way for Kim to take a step oustide of her comfort zone and try something new. She was amazing to work with and honestly we couldn’t stop laughing the whole time. She is an incredible person to know and I’m thankful I had the opportunity!

HMUA: Makeup by CG

“I want to see myself in a different way.”

This beautiful woman is a July baby (summer like me!) and currently lives in New Fairfield CT with her husband of 9 years although they are high school sweethearts- so they’ve actually been together for 19! Together Kelly and her husband have a beautiful 6 year old daughter and a 4 year old son.

Kelly is a waxing specialist who is living her dream by owning her own salon which just became a reality this past year!

When she isn’t engulfed in the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship, Kelly enjoys having lunch with friends, shopping or going to the park with the kids (primarily family time). To her, relaxing is snuggled up with the kids watching tv. (She really loves the Chicago series!) Kelly is a tea drinker and her all time favorite meal is spaghetti.

What brought Kelly into the studio was my 30-Women-Over-30 portrait series. She’s never been comfortable in a 2 piece and is very self conscious of her stomach and legs- but she is working on looking past that and loving herself - every single part of her. She wants to see herself in a different way and she wants to know that she can be and IS sexy. Sometimes seeing yourself through someone elses eyes (like my lens) is just what you need to realize your beauty.

HMUA: Christen with Makeup by CG

“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

Besides my family, my biggest “WHY” in photographing women is to give them a safe space to celebrate, to strip down, to feel empowered and to reconnect with themselves. They have an opportunity to see themselves through the eyes of everyone around them by what I am able to capture through my lens.

This rings true when I had the honor of working with this stunning mother of two boys, Jennifer, another amazing woman who stepped up to be a part of my 30-Women-Over-30 portrait series in which I am showcasing real every day women in their glory.

Jennifer is an 80’s baby born October 5th, making her a Libra. A Libra born on October 5th is perhaps most well-known for their thoughtfulness and always seems to be helping others and displays great patience in doing so. I felt this in every moment I spent with Jen during her experience with us- she had such a kind spirit about her and so incredibly patient and down to earth!

Jen is a phenominal single-mom living in Brewster, New York with her 2 young boys, ages 8 and 5. They are her life and keep her incredibly busy in between her job as an insurance company manager. Although her dream job was to be a teacher or nurse, she fell into this field out of college and she hasn’t left since.

Her spare time is filled with whatever her boys have going on and it’s pretty rare that she gets a lot of free time to herself (so this makes us EXTRA elated that she chose to join us for a day to really take a breath and pamper herself).

IF Jen DID get more spare time, you would find her spending time near the water. It brings so much peace to her (and I can absolutely relate to this!) She is on the hunt for her ideal way to relax and is currently trying to get back into reading each night which allows her to escape for a while! If she’s in the mood for a netflix binge, you’ll catch her watching the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - because she can relate in a way to the main character!

Jen’s favorite drink of choice is coffee, and her all time favorite meal is… coffee?! Girl - she’s my spirit animal.

Jennifer’s favorite quote is by the great and powerful Oprah Winfrey: “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”

Jen has had an incredible journey over the past few years both emotionally and physically. She lived at an unhealthy weight for quite sometime, and when she went through two major life changing events (the loss of her father and her divorce) she realized there are things she can’t control and things she CAN. That was when she decided she needed to take care of herself. Jen took the step to have gastric sleeve surgery in 2017 and admits that this procedure has changed her life. She is now able to do things with her boys (run and chase after them) that she wasn’t able to before - and let me tell you (as a mom too) this is what life is all about- our children are EVERYTHING to us and to be there for them without limitation is SUCCESS.

“When my boys hugged me and got excited because they were able to wrap their arms completely around my waist is a day I knew I am getting better.”

Jen admits that it's hard to see herself the way she is now because she still has the image of herself 130lbs heavier in her head. She takes pictures often to show herself how far she’s come. It’s a journey for her but she’s growing every day through it and let me tell you, this woman is breathtaking.

I asked Jen what message she wishes she could tell her 13 year old self about body image and self-love.

“Do not let anyones view or opinions of you dictate how you feel about yourself.”

I wish someone could have told me that at 13 too. To this day I can still remember the kids at school making fun of my eyebrows and facial hair. I’ve never stopped tweezing since! It’s amazing how negative words hold so much skin in our lives.

HMUA: Makeup by CG

“A little crazy, a little strange, a lot of caring and always there.”

Fun fact about this amazing woman… she’s a manager at Sikorsky, she’s a hockey referee and she’s expecting! ANY DAY NOW! She married her best friend and love of her life just over a year ago last July (2018) and now her and her husband will be growing their family by two little feet!

I met her last year for the first time at her wedding while I was second shooting for Hanging on a Moment Photography and absolultely adored how easy going Samantha was as a BRIDE! She grew ALL of the florals for her flower arrangements and they were stunning - OH SO STUNNING! That is where her passion is - flowers and gardening- and it shows at her home because she has gardens upon gardens and even an indoor garden to keep those beauties safe during the harsh months! We had such an amazing time capturing this beautiful woman in all of her glory as part of our 30-Women-Over-30 portrait series!!

If you think you can… YOU CAN.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to photograph this beautiful boss-babe, Sarah Michelle, owner and CEO of Honey Map Agency as part of my 30-Women-Over-30 campaign, and it was such a pleasure to get to know her a little deeper than what I’d already learned through our public networking events.

Sarah is a March baby - an Aries… which means she’s creative, fiery, independent and stylish. Having met her, I can attest to all 4 of these qualities! Sarah lives in Columbia Connecticut with her two beautiful snuggly dogs, and works in her DREAM JOB as a CEO Business Consultant.

While she’s pretty busy with clients, networking and helping other business owners find their brands and identities, when Sarah gets some free time, she takes advantage of it by exploring local culture, reading, hiking, trying new coffee shops with friends, watching terrible TV, singing in her kitchen, and exercise.

If she just needs to relax, she’ll enjoy a good book or really anything she can read (her favorite book is Glass Castle, and she also loves memoirs and self-help books). Sarah will also sing, sleep, write, talk to friends, meditate, pray, or find other creative outlets to unwind.

Also- she’s my spirit animal- a coffee lover just like me- and she loves Gilmore Girls (which maybe is also why she’s a coffee drinker like me?) . Her all-time favorite meal is really anything that has lots of starch and carbs- if she had to choose, she’d like chicken, potatoes, asparagus and homemade bread and butter. (literally, the Queen would not approve- fun fact: Queen Elizabeth doesn’t allow potatoes, rice or pasta in ANY dishes prepared at Buckingham palace!)

Sarah opened up with use about her insecurities about herself and her past which has been a major stepping point in the woman she has become today. She grew up in an abusive home and somehow continued into an abusive marriage. Everything she’d ever done or had been was criticized. It has taken years for her to feel ok with being herself. Most of her life, her insecurities were that she felt obnoxious to others or that she frustrated people. She was (and still is at times) insecure in that she doesn’t know what she’s doing and will mess everything up. (spoiler alert! I don’t think anyone really does!!) . Physically Sarah is very insecure about her body. This is so important to know because WE ALL FEEL THIS. We all need to hear someone else share this to realize we are not alone and it’s ok. Sarah’s gone through some personal therapy and growth along with some long talks with God to better understand how much He loves her. Running her own business has taught her a lot because it requires confidence. She has also spent a lot of time researching and understanding abuse and trying to replace her community with healthy people (ALSO HUGE! Surround yourself with people you admire and those you trust). Sarah is inspired by people who can stand securely, and perhaps she doesn’t have one specific role model in life, but she feels a connection to Leah from the Bible- she was unloved and undesired and wrestled through dismissing her need for praise in place of total contentment and acceptance from God.

I always ask my clients to share with me what they would tell the 13 year old version of themselves if they could go back in time. This was Sarah’s response:

“I could write a book. Beauty is subjective. Know that God made you the way you are and that He doesn't make mistakes. Don't give other people power to dictate your beliefs. You are beautiful and amazing because you are different. Don't trade your unique beauty for fickle and undependable temporary praise.”

This photoshoot was a way for Sarah to remind herself how strong and fierce she is…to remind herself that she can be beautiful and desirable without any other human having to desire her.

HMUA: Makeup by CG