Why Did Target Take Away the Little Red Shopping Carts?

My little guy and I were very happy when about a month ago we went in to our favorite Target in Medford, NY and saw these cute little red shopping carts. What a great addition to the store. We could not wait to try them out. Being that my toddler likes to be independent, these were a great way to teach him about shopping.

We love our Target in Medford, NY!

We always start our trips off with a pit-stop at Starbucks. I always say it was a genius move on Target to add Starbucks to thier stores, much like these little shopping carts. We get a chocolate milk for the little guy, and mom gets her chai tea latte. 

So off we go for our shopping trip. He is loving his independence. Now I know some people complained about these carts, saying that people were getting ran over, and that kids were out of control. Not once did my child run someone over, or go crazy and run into things. 

Chocolate milk in hand and off he goes. We love shopping at Target with the little red shopping carts. 

Chocolate milk in hand and off he goes. We love shopping at Target with the little red shopping carts. 

Honestly, we come to Target quite often, even if it is to grab a quick item. This day we only needed orange juice, but because my little guy was so well behaved, because he got to walk around with his own cart, we stayed longer and actually purchased more items because we were having a great time. Here he is helping mommy get the orange juice. 

So there are kids in the store pushing these carts around and that is a problem? Why? Kids are always in the stores running around or they are in their parents shopping carts and throwing a fit because they are bored to tears. On this day we saw several parents with their little ones pushing carts. All the kids were well behaved and having fun shopping along side their parents. 

My little guy had a blast in the Halloween area, his imagination was running wild. He wasn't screaming at me to leave, he wasn't crying to see something. Guess what that means Target? It means I shop longer in your store and purchase more items. 

My toddler having fun with the Halloween section at Target with the littel red shopping cart. Medford, NY

So who is complaining? You have always been my number one store. I love how progressive you are with the non gender toy idea, the pride merchandise, and many other things you do to try and make your customers happy, You have taken on much larger battles than this one. Why let a few individuals ruin it for a lot of parents who adore these shopping carts because it lets their children enjoy the shopping trip as well?

Perhaps you can keep the carts and have them out during the week in the morning and afternoon hours when it is less busy?  When there isn't a chance that a toddler with a shopping cart won't "run" into someone else?  I have not seen any of these issues that people are complaining about, and honestly, I feel on the weekends, it is some of the adults that I need to look out for. 

I said my opinion. I hope that we can make a compromise somehow. We really do love Target. This was such an awesome addition for us Moms and Dads with little ones. 

Time to check out!


Long Island Family Photography Portrait Session

I just adore this family. I have come to know their family over the past two years. They have done Christmas photos, Fall photos, Marketing photos, and now Spring photos with me. I love taking them to new locations on Long Island and capturing their portraits. They already planned their summer beach photo session with me for next year. I love compliments about my work, and the best kind is repeat clients and referrals. 

I love how their outfits coordinate. They always work with me on wardrobe suggestions I give them and because of that they always stand out and look amazing in their pictures. 

Can you stand how cute this brother and sister duo is?

You Won't Believe How a Boudoir Photo Shoot Changed Everything After a Tragic Event.

Andrea took these photos for herself, of course, and also for her fiancé, Michael. Michael is her partner and her world. he is everything to her. She quotes song lyrics to him- I think I was blind before I met you. She had been married before and thought that love for a spouse had conditions and limits, that it was nothing at all like the love for children or love in movies. She divorced her first husband and met Michael on an internet dating site. It was immediate and encompassing, total and true. She told him she loved him after one week. They fell in love during hurricane sandy, powerless for two weeks, cold and happy, spending every night together. He never left. It was then that Andrea began to watch him sleep. It became a favorite pastime and a way to help her calm down from the day. He has the most beautiful eyelashes and she would count them while he slept. They adored each other. 

Years went by and they decided to have a baby; a real life tangible object of their love. Michael Junior was born and is as perfect as his daddy.

           Last summer, when Michael, Jr. was one and half years old, on July 15, Michael was driving home from a long, hot day at work in Riverhead. He had a car accident on Nicholls road. His truck flipped over twice, into the median, and he was thrown from the car to land in the middle of the other side of the highway. Michael broke his cervical spine in three places. He suffered a hematoma in his brain. He broke his clavicle and many ribs. He was not breathing well enough on his own and was put on a ventilator. He was in a coma for weeks while they attempted to bring down the swelling in his brain. Eventually they had to do surgery to remove fluid from his brain and for two weeks they struggled to bring down his brain pressure. For two weeks they didn't know if he would live or die. When they finally managed to control the swelling they discovered that he had absolutely no left side sensation or movement. They told Andrea that he may never walk again. They also told her the injuries to the frontal lobe were so severe that they couldn't tell if he would speak, or remember her, or his children. She nearly lost him so many times in the ICU. And she never left him. From the moment of the accident she became his primary caregiver. Her incomplete nursing education allowed her to take some care of him in the hospital. She cleaned the blood from his body. They allowed her to bathe him. That became her favorite ritual; she could touch all of his skin, not just parts not covered in by tubes and a hospital gown. She learned that you don’t realize how badly you need the person you love to touch you, or to feel them, until you cant anymore. She helped to turn him to prevent sores, she exercised him arms and legs. she did more for him- things that no man ever wants his wife to have to do. But she did it all because no one else could do it well enough, because no one loves him the way she loves him. And because love is an action. True love is a verb. She swore to him that he would never be alone. She would never leave him, no matter what. 

"You never know how strong you need to be, until being strong is the only choice you have left."

Boudoir Shannon Lee Photography/ Long Island

       After some weeks he was woken from his coma. He remembered her, she thought, but couldn't move his left side or speak. The deficits would gradually show themselves. He ended up spending two more months in the hospital- one in the ICU, and then transferred to a rehab where he could learn to speak and hopefully walk again. Andrea was there every single day for months. She did everything she could for him. She fed him, held him while he cried, helped him try to speak, try so sit up on his own for even just a moment. Those months she spent more hours than she can recall just staring at him, praying praying praying while he slept, and counting his eyelashes while his body fought to live. She felt her presence could tether him to the earth somehow, keep him for slipping off and leaving her forever.   


Rehab went well. Michael is truly the strongest human Andrea has ever known. He was scheduled to come home. It was around this time that Andrea was diagnosed with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She wasn't eating, sleeping. She was unable to focus and cried almost all of the time. Her eyes were always swollen shut. She began to fear everything and had trouble driving. Every sound of an ambulance passing caused panic attacks. Every mention of a car accident eviscerated her. She ate lunch in the hospital one day, early on, when news of Michael’s accident came on the cafeteria television. She saw his ruined truck. She pictured his ruined body. She prayed God to take her, if He was determined to take him. Inside she was in pieces, and it only now, with his homecoming, could she begin to get whole. But it would be so much harder than she thought to emotionally recover. Michael finally came home. It was joyous, but frightening. Andrea had nursing training, so his care would be left to her, and she was afraid she would make a mistake, or that he would get hurt while she tended to their baby. She realized on the day he came home, as she helped him to slowly walk into their home with his cane and neck brace, that she had gone from wife to caregiver. She didn’t mind. She would do everything he needed and he would be ok. She was determined. As he slowly got better, things began to return to normal. Day to day life became what would be their new normal. Michael went from patient to husbands but Andrea still found herself stuck in the role of caregiver. The role of caregiver is not a sexy one. Their intimacy suffered. She did not feel beautiful. She did not feel like someone to be lusted over. She felt like a nurse.

Andrea believes God gives us what we need when we need it. At church she was approached by a friend who asked her if she would like to take boudoir photos that she was hosting at her house. She showed Andrea photos of her own, and they were so lovely that she decided to try it. At least it was an excuse to wear lots of makeup and some high heels. Andrea did not have high hopes for the photo shoot or the outcome. The stress and pain of the last year had her self esteem at a severe low. The trauma had broken her, therapy and yoga was only slowly helping her to recover some soundness of mind. She spent a week picking out the perfect outfit. She spent a week picking out her makeup. The shoot was a fantastic, uplifting experience.  Shannon made her so comfortable. She made her feel so sexy, like a woman again. Andrea felt like someone worth looking at, someone worth wanting, someone worth something. She was sexy again.     



           Since the shoot she has been amazed at the change in their intimacy. She accepts his compliments. She allows herself to be appreciated. She allows herself to get lost in their moments. Things have been so different for her. Upon seeing the photos, life has only gotten better. She walks taller. She feels beautiful when she leaves the house. She feels like a woman who has birthed three children, cared for a man from near death all the way back to living. She is a woman who has balanced education and motherhood; she is a woman worth something. She had no idea a simple photo shoot could change so much of her perspective, and then, her life. Sometimes we need to see ourselves the way other people see us, through a true lens, not a lens clouded by pain, trauma, self doubt, criticism and hurt. Sometimes trauma keeps us from seeing who we truly are. She was so wounded that all she saw when she looked in the mirror was damage- bruises, exhaustion, and pain. She can now look in the mirror and see the beautiful woman in the photographs. At first she kept thinking, wow, look at how good I look in these photos. But, no. She knows the truth now. She isn't only beautiful in the photographs- she is just beautiful, and she has always been. She is worthy of good things and she always has been. Life is about perspective, and thankfully God sent her the perspective she needed to love herself again. He sent her the perspective she needed to help cover the scars of trauma with the moments of joy, graciousness, and intimacy with the man she has loved since the beginning of everything; since God placed her on the earth with a love for Michael just waiting for its moment to arrive, and a love that will continue into their forever.


Christina came to me a couple of months ago and inquired about doing a boudoir shoot. She had just had a baby boy recently, and was thinking that this would be a great way to renew her confidence. Like most of us, becoming a mom is an amazing journey, but sometimes we are not use to our new bodies. 

I was so happy to get her inquiry and said she absolutely had to do a session and that she is beautiful and that I will help her see that. As a Long Island Photographer who specializes in boudoir photography, I love what I do, and I love empowering woman and helping them see their true beauty; mirroring back to them what the world sees. 

About a month went by and then she said she wanted to book her session. I was so excited to have the opportunity to work with her. She showed up to my studio, her "stomach was in knots." We chatted a bit and then we got started. 


What I witnessed unfold was a beautiful and confident woman, her eye contact with me gave me shivers. She showed me her confident, fun, and sexy sides. When I started to edit her photos I was blown away at her beauty and how I was able to capture it.


We did a same day reveal. As I watched her watch her personalized slideshow, tears rolled down her face. "I am excited about how beautiful I look!" She also mentioned how she wished she could send these to her ex because she wanted him to see how beautiful she is. My darling, you are and have always been this beautiful. You remember that. Thank you for allowing me to capture or beauty with my camera. I cannot wait to give you your album so you can remind yourself at how I see you and how others do as well. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.