the gift

sometimes when you do something for someone, you aren't sure how it will be received. I took some pics of the "O" family awhile back and mom had a hard time getting back to me with prints she wanted-where DOES the time go???? Her bday was over thanksgiving and I just now got to give her gift to her. I reworked the photos of her girls and the family and framed them for her. Her response when I gave them to her was priceless. Thank you "L" for making my day. It truly is better to give than receive!! Merry Christmas. xox

busy busy busy

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a long time. I am finally crawling out from under the pile of work I have for which I am extremely thankful. I got three calls this week from moms in distress over what to do about "the picture" for the holiday card. While my own cards are undone-the cobbler's children wear no shoes-I did my best to shoot their families and provide for them what anyone deserves-a moment in time preserved. Thank you "L" family for welcoming me into your beautiful home and sharing your gorgeous children with me. Enjoy!

Miss "J"-her eyes are the windows to the world.

Miss "L" is so calm and serene.....being the oldest gives her a certain air of sophistication.

Mr "J" is ALL boy and mischief. See that little glimmer??? Don't blink-you'll miss him! He moves quickly.

And the family together-time goes so quickly and it is important to savor the moment especially during this holiday season.

xo, shawn

it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...........

and it's looking like it around here too. Piles of paper, computers and cables everywhere, when things slow down, I plan to......yeah, I know, I've said that before........................

I was out shooting these past weekends and the "D" family is adorable. They showed me their secret meadow here in Wilton and it is gorgeous. Though fall did not yield the usual bright colors, we found some great light!

At first "C" wasn't into getting his photo taken...........................

but then he began to ham it up!!!

Miss "C" was a delight, all smiles during the entire session. She just beams!!!

This shot reminds me that it is important for mom & dad to be photographed too!
ahhh, if only they stayed like this all the time!

Holiday Show

Speaking of Holidays, I will be involved in a 7 vendor holiday show on Thursday, December 3. The event will be from 9:30-2:30 and 6:30-9:30. If you are in Wilton and would like an invitation, email me at

'tis the season

to be jolly....though the retailers keep making it sooner and sooner that we should "think" about the holidays. The day after Halloween is the new "official" start to the holidays. Scary!!! Again this year I am trying to enjoy each day of the season and trying to remember the reason for the season. I am excited about a grass-roots program I am working on called Help Portraits. With the help of the local FCA, we will find families that are in crisis who would not otherwise be able to have a family portrait taken. I am donating my time and working with a local printer to donate the prints. If anyone is interested in donating an 8x10 frame, please email me at I can't think of a better way for me to give back than this!!

making wine

Tonight's the night. We are finally ready to press!!! After 6 days of fermenting and punching down the wine grapes, we are ready to see the juice and should have our first taste of the fruits of our labor!

chasing the sun

Got to see this family again last night-though we were chasing the sun a little! Miss "L" got her braces off and couldn't wait to smile for me! We went to Weir Farm and we caught some gorgeous end of day lighting but then the sun slipped behind a giant cloud and some trees. Luckily they were all good sports and we made a dash to Ambler Farm where we were able to catch an amazing sunset! Anything in the interest of photography!!! Check out that sunset in the window in this last shot!

curry soup

It's that time of year again when homemade soup sounds sooo good. I had a sick one home so there was time to make soup. I did cheat a little with the CurrySimple sauce, but oh, this soup was goooood-and SPICY!!! Serves four.
You need:
2 boneless chicken thighs cut into one inch chunks
2 boneless chicken breasts cut into one inch chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
2tsp curry powder
2tsp cardamom
2tsp ground coriander
3 cups chicken broth
carrots cut into 1/4 inch rounds
medium red onion, coarsely chopped
red bell pepper, chopped
pineapple, chopped (optional)
curry simple base (see picture)
2 limes
Peel carrots and par boil until firm, but slightly soft. Slice into 1/4 inch rounds set aside. Chop onions and bell pepper coarsely. Set aside. Cut up chicken, and salt and pepper. Heat oil in simmer pan or large pot over medium heat. Add chicken and cook about 5 mins until chicken is brown turning to get all sides. Then add the spices and saute another minute until fragrant. Add chicken broth, carrots, onion, bell pepper, pineapple and the CurrySimple. Simmer about 20 mins. Finish with fresh lime juice and serve with limes and cilantro for garnish. Be careful, it's spic-Y!!!!


yes, the cab grapes are FINALLY in!!! We can't wait to get working on our first batch of Napa cabernet. The Chilean cab/syrah/malbec grapes are all aging nicely. This week will be a busy one of fermenting, punching down the grape skins and waiting. Lovely smells will be floating around our house. I can't wait!

what a day

The other day I was out to shoot the "H" kids. Mom went off to do some errands while the kiddos and I had some fun with my camera. Earlier that day I was concerned about the weather-a grey day, but then the sun popped out just in time for a spectacular golden hour.


I'm still processing images from snap shot sessions. Loving the fall colors, beatiful "tweens" and the time of year! Cannot believe we are almost to Halloween. Where does the time go? It is exactly why you should document your loved ones!!

beautiful thing

Yesterday I kept noticing a little activity near the window as I was tidying up the house. I glanced quickly several times trying to figure out what the activity might be this time of year. "Must be bumblebees" I thought. Then the activity seemed to intensify and as I looked closer could see hundreds of little "beetles" flying around. I quickly opened my door to investigate. What did I see?? Thousands of beautiful ladybugs flying around landing on our house. It truly was a sight to behold. I guess they are supposed to bring good luck. If so, we will be one lucky family!!!

home remedies

I like simple, functional home remedies. Like putting powdered dishwasher detergent in your dirty pots and skillets to remove stuck on food....and like toothpaste to get rid of a pimple. I used the old toothpaste remedy last night, seeing an opportunity while hubby is traveling to really load up the toothpaste to get rid of a stubborn bump....most likely the result of a chocolate binge I had this weekend. This morning was filled with the usual activities, lunch-making, child -waking and organizing. One of the children missed the bus so I threw on my "gym attire" to take her to school. Rushing through the rest of the morning I quickly gathered up my "to do" list and headed out the door for some much needed groceries. I stopped in at our local Starbucks for a little caffeine lift and the server had a nice smile. He just kept looking at me. "I must have a glow" I thought. So, as I buckled my seat belt in the car, I checked myself out in the rear view mirror-to my horror.......that toothpaste remedy still firmly in place. UGH!!!! And it's only Tuesday. Note to self. DO look in the mirror no matter what before you head out for the day!

we did it!

yep. it took two days and 15 hours, but our team walked over 39miles to help put an end to breast cancer. I have never experienced the kind of overwhelming emotion I felt when I crossed the finish line with our 9-member team. It was simply awesome. Now I am going to rest up a little before he holiday flurry of activity begins. Some new holiday cards in the works. xo

getting ready

for the AVON two day walk! I can't believe it's almost here-and I can't wait. All those hours training and walking.....they will hopefully come to fruition in my ability to finish the 39.3 miles! Thank you to all my friends who have donated to the Avon walk in support of this great effort. Our team has now raised over $30,000! I am so proud of the women in our group, they too have trained and fundraised and together we have helped to fund mamograms for underpriveleged women, raise money for research to help wipe out this terrible disease. HOORAY for Wilton's Save the TaTa's!!!! Go Girls!

can't wake up on a "9"

This morning I did NOT want to get out of my warm, soft, fluffy bed. It was 39* outside for crying out loud! AND I am still suffering from staying up so late at a Yankee game at the new stadium for my son's tenth birthday. That Yankee stadium is AMAZING! Anyway, back to the "9". My husband has been torturing me all week, slamming the lights on full brightness to try and wake me up. Sure, he was helping-but did those lights need to be so BRIGHT????? Anyway, when I looked at the clock, I told him I still had one more minute because I don't like to get up on the "9". He laughed at my logic........but I got one more minute in that warm bed!!

one more

You forget how quickly they move when little ones are this age! Miss "K" kept me on my toes. We made the most out of some stormy, windy weather. You'd never know it from these smiles!

out shooting today!!

Love this family. They were so fun and we actually got a work out walking the golf course in search of the "perfect" spot. Thank you "A" family.

Another beautiful Day

In New England that is drop dead gorgeous out right now....comfortable 70*. So much to be thankful for....I feel like I'm getting into the thankful season with fall in the air and with thanksgiving around the corner. I am particularly thankful to those of you who have donated to help raise almost $2,000.00 for breast cancer research and testing. Oct 10th and 11th are right around the corner and walking 40 miles will give me ample time to reflect on the things for which I am grateful. But today, right now, sitting in my back yard, with the leaves softly coming down, I am thankful for today.

purging old stuff

I have been feeling a little blocked lately, and I know it has something to do with old stuff piling up around me. I am finally making some headway into the piles of old junk, donating to our local Minks to Sinks, clothing and toys to charity. It feels so good to free up all that space both physically in the house, and mentally on my to do list!!! I hope this will pave the way for creativity. I sure feel like I have more room to breathe. xo


it's friday-and I'm so glad I can sleep in just a little tomorrow. Big walks scheduled for this weekend and thank goodness for GF's willing to get up early to keep me company. The walk is almost here. The fall weather is absolutely gorgeous. I live here through the winter and blistering heat/humidity just for the one week of fall and one week of spring that takes your breath away.

sore feet

finally put in some hours on the pavement today and yesterday. I am so THANKFUL to my GFs who met me at 6:15am (ok, I was late......6:34am) to walk. They helped to keep me company for 8 of my 12miles Sunday. Then today I met up with some more GFs and walked almost another 10 miles!!! That is the most I've done in a week, let alone two days. 26 more days to go.

jingle bells......

These two were great to work with. I can't wait to see what comes out of the fall snap shot sessions!

yes, things are getting into full swing here. taking bookings for fall snap shots, holiday this creative time of year. Here is one from last year's snap shot session.

never forget

Today marks the anniversary of 9/11. Still, after 8 years, the memories of that day are crystal clear. Today I thank the service men and women who are serving our country either here or abroad. What a tremendous gift they give us-the gift of freedom through their bravery. America: the land of the free because of the brave.

new addition

First, I was so excited to hear this couple was expecting and then I was so excited to be asked to do their birth announcement! Such a cutie. Mom and Dad supplied the photo. Thank you J & C.

Right now I'm gearing up for the holidays-so many beautiful papers. Get ready to see some new things!! Little peaks on their way.



A sense of serenity comes over me when I look at this shot. Love the way the clouds lined up for this one!


ahhh, the labor day weekend just another memory-but a wonderful one at that. It was a picture perfect weekend here in the northeast-cool nights warm days and endless blue skies with puffy white clouds. The lake was spectacular and nice way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. I finally got up on one water ski!!!! It has been over 15 years and while difficult, the sense of accomplishment was fantastic.

Now it's time to gear up for the holidays. I know this past year has been especially difficult on the finances and holiday cards may be a luxury. This year I have several options from which to choose-hoping to strike a balance between practical and elegant. I will have flat panel cards and some "special styles" where my vendors have offered some great pricing which I will pass on to you. A new way to print your photo and holiday message allows you to customize your card at a substantial savings! Anything I can do to help spread beauty into our every day lives!



Last year I offered some cool flat panel holiday cards to my photography clients. They were such a hit that this year I plan to include them in my fall holiday snap shot packages. Enjoy!

walk, walking and more walking

yes, it's true....I was somewhat of a slacker this summer. Too much time spent running from baseball to the lake.......too many fun times playing cards w/friends and kiddos......unfortunately I did not walk much. And the Avon Two-Day walk is coming five weeks to be I am walking and walking and walking to get my dawgs ready for 39 miles. Gulp. I know I can do it-but how will the feet handle it? Yikes!

Fundraising is going well, almost $1200 and need $1800 to qualify. It is such a worthwhile cause. Just today I was getting a "tune up" at the salon and was speaking to the aesthetician who found a lump in her breast, went to her doc who found two more and is now nervously in the waiting period to find out what will be next. She was so sweet.....we talked about the Avon Walk and, as I was checking out of the salon, she gave me a handful of money from the day's tips. It really moved me. I know what I am doing is small in comparison to what the brave women who have breast cancer do every day. At least I feel I am making a small contribution.

magazine coverage

A while back I was interviewed for an article in our local magazine on "Designing Women". Laura Hussey did a lovely job conveying the attitude that I have toward business, and how shawns things came to be. I feel very lucky to be included in this bunch of extraordinary women!

whine, wine, wine.............

With the summer quickly ending, we begin to re-focus our attention to the wine-making process. For the most part, after the active fermentation is over, it is wait, wait, wait....and hope, hope, hope. Hope that we have made a good choice in timing, aging, oaking. We have a nice blend on the oak barrel now and will be switching it out and loading that barrel back up with syrah. In our first round, we made cab and zin, then ordered the chilean grapes cabernet, syrah and malbec. We plan to do some blending, but first will age separately to allow the grapes to manifest their true flavors independent of one another. It is very exciting to taste at this point because one can begin to see what is to come. While we wait, we are figuring out what grapes from California to buy. Doing so many varietals last Feb gave us our share of challenges, so I think we might focus soley on cabernet. It will allow us more latitude. It is exciting and will be a busy fall once the grapes come in.....but that smell of fermenting grapes is truly amazing!!!!

is it really almost over?

I can't believe we will be meeting the teachers this week for the new school year. Where did the summer go? It seems like yesterday the kids said goodbye to their teachers as they skipped to the bus one last time. Now, as I watch the kids gear up for fall sports, I long for the lazy days of summer that somehow did not seem to materialize this year!

Even though this summer seemed to fly by quicker than the rest, I am thankful for so many little gems that surfaced. One such gem was the retirement of the silver sparkler boat. Who knew you had to "winterize" the engine????? After finding out the engine was cracked, we decided the best route was to get a new boat. Chalk one up to experience. We certainly won't do that again. While a little painful in the pocket, the boat has sure been fun! The kids loved tubing with their buddies, jumping off the swim platform, and cruising at sunset. As ambivalent as I was about the boat, I enjoyed a not-so-elegant run at water skiing, feeling thankful that I did not break anything in the six times it took to actually rise out of the water. Note to self: Things sure don't lift out of the water like they used to!!!

I found another little gem in the conversations we had over cards and wine. Quiet evenings in the summer spent with friends and family discussing small, but not insignificant dreams, hopes and goals in life-this to me is the ultimate gem to uncover-deep conversations that do not mainifest in the day to day interactions, but when given time, can unfold like a beautiful rose when time seems so endless. I think this is what I will miss most about the summer ending.

For things at shawn, I am working to nurture my creative soul. I am touched by those of you asking for more-more new products, more creative ideas. I am very thankful to Laura Hussey for the beautiful piece she wrote about shawnsthings in this month's Wilton Magazine in "Designing Women". What a privilege it is to be included with such talented women. I look forward to the fall season with childish anticipation, as though I am waiting for Santa at Christmas time. I can't wait to see what presents I will open as my clients trust me to execute their visions. I look forward to the gift of the connections that will be made this year!



Is it here yet? I think so. The weekend was finally one of those beautiful, perfect weekends and we spent it at the lake. Was it relaxing? Not exactly. We thought the peeling ugly wall paper in the bathroom would be easy to take off. Overall, it was.......but then we went on to ugly bathroom wall paper number 2. Not so easy. Add to that priming,! But now we can enjoy the lake a little more with two more things off our list! Hubby also built a dock. We did get time to relax and the kids practiced jumping off the swimming dock-they are getting so good at this and can do it for hours! Made a new cocktail-even though I missed our annual Wilton fourth of July contest, I still made the cocktail entry and-I think I will use it next year!!!! Tasty. Summer ball is in full swing and while it takes a little away from lake time, it is always enjoyable to spend a beautiful summer evening watching my son do something he has such a passion for!

I am working on some new things for the fall. Some workshops and Snap Shot sessions. New paper lines are arriving soon and I am excited with what the designers are doing this year! I am also actively looking for retailers to carry my stationery line. Look around in Wilton. Sea Beans has some shawns things and hopefully Wilton Stationers and Open House. If you are at a store and want to see my things there, ask them to contact me!!

Most of all, enjoy this summer. Time goes so quickly. For me the summer brings with it a huge span of time that feels overwhelming. While it allows me to think up plans, I think up too much and I do not execute. So this summer, if you can do just five things, what are they? Write 'em down, call up the peeps, make it happen!



What a beautiful, relaxed, metropolitan, artistic city! The wine was delicious and priced right, the meals inventive and tasty. There are endless possiblities in the terriffic city and beyond!! We had a fantastic time visiting the wineries in the Pendes region. Such beautiful people!


I'm back. No, I haven't fallen off the face of the planet-just deep in the end of year activities, sports, life, kids.........only two more days of school left and I will let out a big, huge, loud SIGH of relief! This spring seemed especially brutal with baseball/softball schedules for the kids. Throw in a trip to DC, Barcelona Spain, and Charleston, and a big birthday for hubby and we are TIRED!

The half-caf coffee thing is working out well. I finally got over the headache and sleepiness!!

We continue to make wine, receiving our first real grapes in April from Chile. We now have chilean malbec, cab, and syrah. We have our cab/zin blend chilling out in the american oak barrel. This has been quite an adventure! We are anxiously awaiting our first "blend" that we will release to friends at the holidays. Next up, California cab in the fall!!!

Some really great things are cooking up at shawn. I will have some workshops in the fall, special photo ops for holiday cards and seniors beginning in Augst and you will be able to look for more retail opportunities to find shawns things!

For now, I am counting the days until I can sit in my jammies and drink coffee (half caf) and play clue or monopoly with the kids.


Help, cutting down on coffee!

Here's the deal: too much coffee is not a good thing! That fresh roasted coffee is soooooo goood, but I found myself drinking way too much.....I am reading "The Core Balance Diet" by Michelle Pick. It is very interesting.....of course she is suggesting perhaps I drink too much I'm giving it a whirl. Cutting down to half caf. If you see me sleeping in the pick up line at'll know why!!! Seriously, with all the training I've been doing for the Avon Walk, it is only logical to me I should consider what fuel I am putting into this body!

joe anyone?

We are still making wine-in fact we are making a cab and a zin. For wine, you must be patient. The zin is already on it's way to becoming a pretty good glass of wine, but for the cab, it needs more time. Grapes will soon be in for our experimentation with the "real thing" as the first two batches were made with grapes that had already been part of the way processed. But what has this to do with coffee you might ask? Well the "patient" part of the wine making had my husband wanting to make something else. We LOVE coffee so it is only natural to want it freshly roasted......hmmm, where do you find coffee that has been fresh roasted around here??? After some research we bought a coffee roaster and some green coffee beans and we had our first cup yesterday truly fresh-roasted coffee. It was tasty! Joe anyone??

Avon Walk for a Cure

I am excited to say that I joined a team to walk in the Avon Walk for a Cure for Breast Cancer. It is a two day walk in NYC where I will walk a marathon and a half: 26.2 miles the first day, and 13.1 miles the second. The training will be intense as I've been told it is often more difficult to walk a marathon than it is to run one (I don't know about that!) I am happy to be finally doing something to help put an end to this terrible disease. Please visit my personal page by clicking on the link below. You can even make a donation online. Just follow the link and it will take you to the secure page. Thanks! xo


The four day birthday weekend started with lunch, bookgroup girls and fresh hand-dipped chocolates from Wilton Treats. Then, I enjoyed dinner Saturday night at my favorite restaurant where they had a gorgeous flower arrangement and champagne waiting for me! It finished yesterday with my children waking me up with coffee and breakfast in bed and handmade cards! When I came downstairs there was a beautiful sign that read "Happy Birthday Mom" (handmade by the kids of course). All day I received many phone calls and visits with birthday wishes which, to me are some of the best gifts. I got a new camera lens from it! We finished with a homemade chocolate cake that my daughter baked and frosted for me. I really had a special birthday thanks to everyone and their simple, thoughtful gestures. xoxoxoxo

four generations

Thank you to the "D" family for letting me invade their birthday celebration. Four generations of the family were together and they gave me some time to shoot some pics. Enjoy!

brrrrrr-really, really cold!

Thank you so much "O" family for coming out in the FREEZING cold. What was supposed to be 45* and sunny turned out to be 32*, cloudy and windy. The conditions were less than optimum, but they hung tough and we got some amazing shots!

As you can see, we did move inside and got some beautiful shots with the lighting inside. Thank you "O" girls for being so patient! Hope you like the shots! xoxo