Time to Hang Up the Gloves-Goodbye Kickboxing Classes

gloves for kickboxing classes

My kickboxing gloves may have seen their last punch. While I am sad to see them go, I just recently realized that the activity I love is causing me more harm than good.

I have been enjoying kickboxing for about five years, maybe more. I like cardio-kickboxing and kickboxing with bags. Both give me a physical workout like no other. Not to mention, the mental workout is addictive. Through the years I have worked out so many frustrations in my kickboxing classes that it seemed more like therapy than exercise. Whether I was punching air or slamming a bag, I loved visualizing the target in my mind.

Every class made me feel good. In the moment, I’d get a killer workout and afterwards I enjoyed the mental clarity that comes from a good sweat.  Recently, however, my lifelong back issues seem to be exacerbated by my beloved kickboxing classes. The biggest problem is that, while I’m in class, I feel great. The adrenalin is pumping, I’m in the zone and I feel strong and powerful.

But now, I’m the one feeling beaten down for days, sometimes weeks, following my classes. I only realized that my kickboxing classes were the problem when my loved ones called my attention to it. Because I never felt pain during class, it never occurred to me that the kickboxing classes were, in fact, the problem.

When I gave up running because of my back, I knew without question that running itself was the source of my pain. Somehow, I just never made the connection to my kickboxing classes which now leaves me with the difficult choice to give up an activity that I really enjoy.

The reality is, I don’t see any way around it. I’m getting older and my body just can’t do the things it used to. So sadly, I must say goodbye to my boxing gloves. Kickboxing, along with running, jumping rope and jumping jacks, must be a thing of my past in favor of lower impact activities that won’t leave me quite so broken.

Alas, getting older is tough, but after just one week free of kickboxing I already feel relief.

“Don’t be afraid of change. You might lose something good, but you’ll gain something better.”

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Don’t Forget Your Fruits and Vegetables: Guest Blog-Karen Robie Talks Juice Plus

Juice Plus with the benefit of over 30 fruits and vegetables


I am excited to introduce today’s guest blogger, my friend, Karen Robie. Karen is a busy wife, mom of three teens and a representative of Juice Plus. Juice Plus is a great option when getting enough fruits and vegetables into your family’s diet seems an insurmountable task.  

“Eat Your Vegetables!!!”

by Karen Robie

Karen alongside her Tower Garden


Imagine you are six or eight years old, sitting at the dinner table.  You are staring at a plate with all the ‘good stuff’ gone.  All that is left is steamed broccoli, sauteed spinach or something equally distasteful to your six-year-old palate.  And your mom utters the unforgettable, “Eat your vegetables!”

Now, I am the mom.  And I’ve uttered that classic line many times to my own children.  It was two and a half years ago, when a friend introduced me to this concept of berries, fruits and vegetables in a capsule called Juice Plus.  There was no way we were eating enough fruits and vegetables every day.  She said she had a proven solution with some first rate science behind it.  I said yes because it was an easy and affordable way to get the benefits of over 30 different berries, fruits and vegetables – every day in winter, spring, summer and fall!

After a month or so we were noticing some very positive changes in our family’s health.  Colds didn’t last as long or seem as severe.  We all had better looking skin, fewer allergy symptoms and our son’s asthma was gone.  Not to mention more lasting energy throughout the day.  There were 35 medical studies at the time (37 now), showing that this mix of berries, fruits and vegetables in a capsule can do everything we experienced and more!  Studies on lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels and improving circulation.  Also, better cancer outcomes and healthier teeth and gums, among others.  It sounds magical, but it’s not.

Every family has a health history and I didn’t want mine, any more than anyone else wants theirs. I wanted to rewrite it.

As time went on, I just couldn’t keep all of this to myself. I started telling people about it. How could I not?? It was about 2 years ago when I decided to join the business with that same friend and I have never looked back. Making a difference in this world is so important. What if we can impact the health and wellness of hundreds of people? Thousands? That is what our team is doing now. I love what I do and I love the mission: inspiring healthy living around the world. Being able to have more time freedom and flexibility with my family and to be able to say yes to the fun things in life: travel, good food, activities, sports, etc., all while helping others has been amazing, and very gratifying!

What’s next?

Just continuing to share this mission and helping more and more people wherever I can, realize their dreams.

To see more info. or check out the research, please take a look at my website: 


Thank you Karen for sharing your Juice Plus journey. I can’t wait to learn even more about it at the North Andover Farmer’s Market where Karen will be in person representing Juice Plus and Tower Garden (another cool way to get your fruits and vegetables, but this time, you grow your own!)

Look for Karen on 7/30, 9/10 and 10/8. The Farmer’s Market runs from 10am-2pm.

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Young Living Essential Oils – Information Events

Young Living Essential oils

I’ve always wondered about the benefits of essential oils and now I have the chance to learn more about them from my friends at Daring Spirits.

Elizabeth Guilbeault and Barbara Holbrook are hosting a few casual summer get-togethers featuring Young Living Essential Oils. Here are the dates and some details…

June 26th: Essential Oil Basics

Learn clever ways to use essential oils especially in summer…

  • Peppermint is an excellent oil to add to cooling spray/wipes and it’s a go-to for staying alert on long summer road trips.
  • Lavender is a favorite for post-sun skin care and creating a homey environment while on vacation.

July 24th: House and Home

Summer is a great time to streamline the house-cleaning routine with a single plant-based cleaner that works in almost any situation. Young Living’s Thieves line offers a variety of options including these favorites…

  • Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier – great for picnics and snacks on the go.
  • Thieves Fruit and Veggie Wash – takes farmer’s market goodness to a new level.

August 14th: Healthy and Fit/Personal Care

Young Living is about more than essential oils. Explore wellness solutions — while enjoying essential oil-infused water and sangria! Join Elizabeth and Barbara for an evening inspire you to make some simple changes with powerful effects.


To RSVP and get the address of the Get-Togethers, email info@daringspirits.com. Barbara or Elizabeth will get back to you ASAP. Also check out the Essential Oils Resource Page at www.daringspirits.com and the Amplified by Essential Oils page on Facebook.

Young Living Essential Oils decal


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Birkenstocks are back and I’m Glad

Ally’s Birks on the left and mine on the right – complete with splattered paint and the old toe ring that I reserved for wear with these sandals alone – I can’t believe I found the ring!

When my 14-year-old daughter walked downstairs one morning sporting a fancy new pair of Birkenstock sandals, I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow. First of all, I had no idea she had purchased these and I certainly never pegged her as an earthy-crunchy type.

My apparent shock at her uncharacteristic footwear forced the question, “Mom, what are you looking at – do you hate them?”

My answer, “No! In fact, I love them!”

Birkenstocks, Baby!

At this point, I ran out to the garage where I was pretty sure I’d tossed my old Birks several summers ago after a random painting project. I was so excited to share in Ally’s new found love of Birkenstock footwear, I nearly tripped running out the door.

Upon my enthusiastic return, Julia took one horrified look at Ally’s and my feet and said, “What are you two doing? Those are awful.”

And so, the Birkenstock camp discussion ensued. I explained that you either love Birkenstocks or you hate them. Julia made it clear she was in the hate camp. I took a quick trip down memory lane recalling when I first slipped into my own hippie sandals. This was in the early nineties, fresh out of college, post-1980s neon and the grunge movement at it’s peak. Then, my sister’s reaction to my new, crunchy look was the same as Julia’s…not a fan.

Then, and even now, I liked the transformation I felt when in one moment I’d be happily dolled up in fancy heels and the next minute I was running around in my Birkenstocks and tattered cutoff shorts. It was like having a free-spirited alter-ego.

I, personally, am happy Birkenstocks are back. The other day I wore my 25 year-old pair out in public feeling on trend, nostalgic and comfortably undone.

What Camp Are You In?

Are you glad or mad that Birkenstocks are back? Before you scoff, take a look at all of the new styles, colors and patterns at Birkenstock.com. They have a shiny snake collection and I think the white ones are great.

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Stitch Fix Second Chances – My New Online Wardrobe Stylist

Thank you to my good friend, Lysa Pelletier-Gibbs, for styling this shot for me.
Thank you to my good friend, Lysa Pelletier-Gibbs, for styling this shot for me.


I’ve known about Stitch Fix for a while. My friend Maureen (Hi Mo!) has been using the service for a long time. The idea intrigued me, but I didn’t give it a try until last year when my sister, Karla, and I decided to try it together. I was pretty excited and liked the idea of having an online wardrobe stylist because 1) I needed clothes and 2) It allowed me to make choices without a salesperson hovering over me. I do like to shop, but I tend to go for specific items and rarely deviate from my basic style. My wardrobe was/is unbearably boring.

My First Fix

Enter Stitch Fix – my new online wardrobe stylist. If I’m being totally honest, my first Fix was a disaster. The note from my stylist was addressed to the wrong name and the clothing didn’t suit me at all.

To be fair, the style profile I set up may have been a little confusing and I didn’t set up a Pinterest board like they strongly suggest. My initial reaction was to give up, which I did for about a year. Meanwhile, Karla was getting Fix after Fix full of great clothes. Her online wardrobe stylist, ErikaK, had her look down and I was jealous.

My Second Fix

After much encouragement, really relentless pushing, Karla convinced me to give it another try. I requested her stylist and got a really good Fix.

The thing about having an online wardrobe stylist is that you have to be a little flexible. While there were items in this fix that I didn’t need, or weren’t what I would have selected for myself, I kept all five items because if you do that you get 25 percent off the total cost. This is in addition to the $20 service fee deducted from whatever purchase you make.

The cute handbag, shown, is very close to one I have, so I gave that to Karla. The navy striped sweater is also similar to one I have, but I kept it because it’s longer, softer and has a great zipper detail in the back which opens to a cool, sheer panel.


FullSizeRender 3


The army green jacket was a keeper by my standards and my girls and even though the pink pants and print button down shirt are not things I would typically buy, I’m glad I kept them. I desperately need to mix up my look and try styles, colors and patterns that I normally wouldn’t. Having someone else make choices for me is fun and prevents me from coming home from the mall with all of the same old styles.

When I finalized my order for this Fix, I was able to send a note for each piece detailing what I liked and didn’t about each one. According to Karla, this is a great way to provide your stylist with more information about your specific likes and dislikes.

So, as I wait for my next Fix, I’m again excited about having an online wardrobe stylist.

Good to know…

You can specify the price range you are willing to spend in all categories – pants, tops, accessories, etc .  You can let them know what you don’t want (i.e. jewelry and handbags) and you can request outfits for special occasions. They send you picture cards for each item in your fix with outfit suggestions – I love this! If you decide to return everything from a Fix you still pay the $20 service fee.


outfit cards from my Stitch Fix online wardrobe stylist
Outfit suggestions


Check out  Stitch Fix to learn more.

Outtake – Thank you Lysa!

Check her out this Friday at the WOW, Winning Opportunities for Women, 21st Annual Conference at the Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury, MA. She’ll be talking fashion and style.


Here's my girl, Lysa, laying down this look! Thank you my friend. Yes, I stood on a ladder to get this shot.
Here’s my girl, Lysa, laying down this look! Thank you my friend. Yes, I stood on a ladder to get this shot.


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