"The Big Reveal (50th birthday shoot)!" - Patty's Story

Day 180 – The Big Reveal (used with permission from Patty's social media post). After reading this blog, we hope you'll be inspired to be a part of her upcoming 100-day Challenge, beginning April 1, 2022. (Details following her story).

Okay so technically this post is exactly one month late. Unfortunately, shortly after Jeff’s (hubby's) birthday our lives were turned upside down by the loss of a very close friend, so things got delayed. It’s long but you won’t be disappointed when you reach the end…I promise!

So, I’m finally going to reveal what the big “MOTIVATION” behind my whole entire journey was and what started it all. And before anyone starts freaking out Jeff knows about this post and actually has been on me to get this done for some time now, as he finally knows what the journey was all about. As he not only got a very beautiful book for his birthday but he also got my entire journey copied and pasted into a document and put in a 3-ring binder with the pics and comments from each post for his birthday! And boy…after seven very long months was he surprised to say the least to find out what his gift finally was.

If you remember back at the beginning…I had made the last college payment after eight years and felt a huge sense of FREEDOM after that. The very next day was my 9-year anniversary with Young Living which meant I had achieved all FIVE of my 10-year goals an entire year early. A couple weeks later (February 14th) I was turning 50 and my new motto was “50 is the new sexy”! So, after feeling like I had put my life on hold for the sake of others it was time to go on a search to find myself again…

NOW it was time for ME!!!

And this is when it all happened…the week of my birthday I had shared with a couple of friends that I wanted to do something way out of my comfort zone and if there was ever a time I was going to do this one crazy special thing it was going to be the year I turned 50. I decided on my birthday that I wanted to do a boudoir photo shoot for Jeff’s birthday this year, which would give me exactly 7 months to prepare for it. Funny thing, no more did it leave my mouth and my friend happens to say… “I happen to know one of the owners of the top Boudoir Photography Studio in the U.S. and they’re located right here in Minnesota.” Okay, so that was the easy part. I checked out their website and was so incredibly impressed and it was everything I was looking for. Since I was turning 50 I wanted to make sure I was expressing myself in a very classy, beautiful, fun and elegant way that was extremely tasteful. Done.

Then the work began…I was not going to take this lightly and I was going to also work in some light cosmetic removal of things that I have always wanted to do as well. So this was obviously my reason for starting the exercise regimen and weight loss. I have always been a pretty healthy eater and fairly fit person, but I just could never commit to the exercise part no matter how hard I tried...

BUT making this decision to do this photoshoot gave me the push I needed to be committed, and as hard as it was, it’s thanks to all of you for keeping me accountable and being such great cheerleaders, especially when I decided to share my journey by posting about it, which was NOT an easy decision for me for many reasons.

The biggest part of this whole thing for me was that I wanted my experience to be as completely authentic and real as possible for my photo shoot with very little editing, except for obvious things (just really wanted my skin tone evened out and a couple scars and bruises taken care of)…so the work began. I know I couldn’t do any kind of crazy workouts or intense exercise regimen due to my fibromyalgia (or I would be paying the price and then I would quit), so I decided I would just stick to walking and biking. I created my goal, the path I was going to take and how I was going to achieve it. The weight loss was never a big part of my plan at the beginning cause frankly I really didn’t want to WORK…THAT…HARD…and just committing to exercising daily was going to be hard enough work but when I posted the first time on day 15 and realized I had already lost 12 lbs in 15 days then things changed a bit. I was like HOLY CRAPSNACKS…I wasn’t expecting that at all, and frankly that was ½ of the weight right there that I had gained in the last 5-7 years, so then this also became part of my goal now, too.

Then you guys kept watch, joined me and kept me accountable so THE…JOURNEY…BEGAN.

Now, things get fun. In early June, I decided to finally call the studio to make my appointment and get it on the books so I knew when my final journey goal date was…the day of the photo shoot!

Okay so I have to share this part, 'cause frankly it’s just too funny not to. When I called to make my appointment, I had shared with her that I am not a big fan of driving in Minneapolis and so asked where they were really located hoping it was like the outskirts of Minneapolis instead, and she said, "Well, it depends when you need your shoot done, 'cause we’re actually moving locations.” YEAH, exactly what I wanted to hear. We pinned down my date when I would need my shoot done by so I had time to go thru the proofs and pick out the ones I wanted in the book and have the book here in time for Jeff’s birthday. We got the date down and then I ask, "So where am I driving to?" She said, “Hanover - have you heard of it?” You can just imagine the laughing and gasping I was doing. “Say what? Did you say you guys are moving to Hanover?” “Yes," she said, have you heard of it?” As I am trying to control my laughter, “Why yes I have heard of it…I have actually lived here for the past 27 years and own a business in town for the last four years as well!!” Seriously, this is the best part of the whole back story and it still makes me laugh!

I couldn’t wait for the day to get here cause now I was even more excited to meet this amazing all female team and here I had been walking by it already every single day on my route as they were already renovating the place to get it ready for the move. The owners Angela and Chelsey are just absolutely amazing. They made me feel so welcome with the meet ups we’ve had before and after my shoot.

The day of my appointment I wasn’t even nervous in the least, more like beyond excited that the day was finally hear and that I had hit all of my goals I set out for myself along the way before the big day happened. My confidence was all good. When I arrived and Julie opened the door, her smile immediately put me right at ease and I knew I was about to have the BEST…DAY…EVER! As she did my hair and makeup it felt like we were old friends who have known each other forever. When Katya, the photographer, showed up it was the exact same feeling. The only thing I was actually nervous about was trying to pick out the outfits and shoes cause there was so much to pick from…their overflowing wardrobe is absolutely amazing ladies…they literally have something for EVERYONE and it will leave you speechless. So, to make my day of pampering even more special I decided…you’re the professionals and this part for me is just too overwhelming and I don’t want to waste one minute of my time picking out stuff…so since you know the sets and can probably take one look at me and know what would look good on me with each set let’s just go ahead and have you pick them out for me…BEST DECISION I COULD HAVE EVER MADE. She put me in things I may not would have ever picked for myself and colors not sure I would have worn otherwise, and guess what?…those were the ones that ended up being my absolute favorite.

I was literally pampered all day and I had the best time EVER.

Even though I did the full day shoot and it was just the three of us in the studio all day…I was so sad when the day came to a close but I wouldn’t change a thing about my day or any decision I had made. I started the day with a quick little biz shoot first and then the real fun began when I got that out of the way and they made me feel so incredibly comfortable and beautiful all day long.

It truly was thee most amazing thing I have ever done. Like I was on a high for weeks!

I originally picked the full day shoot thinking I would only ever do this one time in my life, but honestly it was so fun I would totally do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Seriously ladies, think back to when you were a little kid and you had always dreamed of being a princess one day…


Wouldn’t change how my day went for the world. I definitely figured out it wasn’t just about a pretty picture it was all about the entire experience. Ladies, their intake process is so incredibly detailed they have left nothing out…to what colors you like, if you would like lashes and extensions, what sets you’re interested in, down to asking what areas you would like tweaked or touched up, if you have scars you want to keep in the pics or edited out…seriously, there wasn’t a thing they left out of their intake process, down to even asking for a pic of how you usually do your hair…now I understand why they are the top Boudior studio in the country with over 15 years in the business and over 10,000 reviews by local women – including celebrities, television and radio personalities and producers…they have even been featured on Twin Cities Live on KSTP Channel 5 twice.

When I got my proofs back I was in tears and immediately messaged her back and asked how in the world they got all the photos edited so fast…her answer back to me had me bawling: “Patty, those proofs have not been edited…THAT’S…ALL…YOU and how hard you worked to make this day authentically YOU…that’s the real you girl…we only edit the pictures you pick out for the book!”

When I made this decision back in February to do this for Jeff’s birthday what I didn’t realize at the time was that I was also doing this for myself. Ya, it took me a while to figure that out and a couple of great friends to point that out to me.

Sugar & Spice Photography is a Minnesota based, all women-owned small business that has a passion for offering regular women of all shapes, sizes and age, like you and me, an absolutely empowering luxury, body positive image photo shoot experience – to remind us that we are STRONG, BOLD, BRAVE, BEAUTIFUL WOMEN that sometimes need reminding that we need to let our guard down and unveil our inner sexy bombshell!

One of my favorite phrases from their website…”Who We Are…we celebrate each woman’s individuality, helping them to look and feel beautiful, be playful and ooze sexuality with dignity, elegance and class!”

You guys, and THEY DO JUST THAT…they totally live up to this. Honestly, any one of my girlfriends will actually attest to that after they have seen my pictures. All my life I had felt insecure about my body and this amazing group of women have never made me feel so special, beautiful and sexy in my life! Seriously…for the first time in my life I actually can say that I feel beautiful.