The Journey – September 4, 2017

I am finishing up my 60th year on this planet and have spent the last 10 of those overweight. It all started when my knees and feet– damaged many years ago  from overuse — began to rebel. My once active, rapid lifestyle dwindled into a sedentary marshland. I failed to adjust my food intake accordingly and — well — you know what happens next.

I’ll be 61 this November and I’m sick and tired of living this way. I recently started work at a huge hardware store and  figured I’d lose weight simply because I was now the polar opposite of sedentary. I walk to work, granted not far, but still I hoof it. Then my day is spent walking from one end of this huge store to another, combined with regular lifting and toting. You’d think the pounds would fall of, right? WRONG! In fact, I’d gained seven pounds at the end of my first 30 days. Something was clearly out of order.

Time to reevaluate.

I happened to be shopping for lunch containers on Amazon when I discovered containers for a program called 21 Day Fix. I was immediately intrigued. I knew I’d lost all sense of proper portions and my new job had me trekking through the drive-through windows far more than I should, simply because my feet ached so terribly that I couldn’t begin to countenance standing while cooking a meal.

The original 21 Day Fix plan is from Beach Body, but there are many spin-offs to be had. Logic dictated that the program made perfect sense and I didn’t have to mess with weighing, measuring and those other hassles that come with most weight control programs. I started the minute my rainbow-hued containers arrived. It’s so simple as to be a bit ridiculous. Really. As in, doh, why didn’t I think of this before?

Once you determine your nutrition requirements (information included in the plan), you simply eat the appropriate number of containers . Each color represents a food group. Simple. No. Really. It’s just that simple. Didn’t take a nutritionist to see that this plan would give me the well-rounded nutrition I needed, the control I craved and the simplicity that was mandatory.

Best of all? When you eat the right foods you can eat a rather impressive amount of food. I’m not hungry. I am able to incorporate a sweet treat at night — every night. I can even have a glass of wine, if I’m willing to sacrifice one of my carb allowances — which frankly, I seldom am.

I completed my third day. This morning I weighed and realized that I’d lost 3.8 pounds in just two days. The real motivating shocker though was to discover that I’d lost an entire inch from my arms, waist, hips, thighs and calves. AN INCH!

Need I say more?

Stay tuned.

How to Manage the Monster Purse


When the Monster Purse Threatens to Devour

We all love them — those over-the-top, huge, monster bags. I’m convinced  there are sea monsters living inside, that steal my goods and carry them to the depths of my cavernous bags. So, how do you keep them from devouring your money, makeup and other tiny treasures? Small bags within the purse.

You can find them at any thrift or resale shop. Small cosmetics cases, clutches and more — often for as little as a couple of dollars, and many in great shape. They’re well priced because people just don’t carry small purses anymore. We are determined that the hubris of our lives must follow us wherever we go, and so has grown the popularity of monster bags.


However could I leave the house without a full set of makeup. You know. On the off chance a torrential downpour wreaks havoc on my carefully constructed face. And horrors! My hair! Must have at the least a brush and some mousse or hairspray. Keys, of course, to every conceivable keyhole, inside and outside my domain. And don’t even get me started on what happens when there are small children in tow.

It’s a juggling match, but one that the bags-within-the-purse method manages well. I have one for makeup. I’m an Ipsy fan and so this month, my makeup bag has a huge set of red lips on it.

I keep my keys on a grappling hook and attach it to the strap of my bag. This serves dual purposes. I’ve never lost my keys since I adopted this habit, because they are there in plain site and I just feel “off” of they aren’t attached. And, no more digging about in the bottom of my Hermione Granger sized bag for desperately needed keys. Don’t you just hate that moment of panic, feeling about blindly in the dark, when you can’t find anything but loose change, gum wrappers and dust bunnies. Oh yes. I have a money bag too — not to be confused with my billfold — this one is only for cash. I find that all that change tends to reduce my lovely billfold to a misshapen mass of leather and causes it to wear out prematurely.

It’s easy to keep those monster purses under control with a little thought and organization.  If your carry a designer bag that you may want to sell at a later date, this type of organization will protect the lining , adding to its resale value. You may even want to add a small bag for trash, then you don’t have to worry about a dust bunny bite.

New Direction as reFresh Boutique Focuses on Online Store

online store

reFresh Boutique Builds Online Store

The doors are closed and the lights are out, but that is not the end of reFresh Boutique. More and more, online sales are dominating the market; pushing out the likes of Penny’s, Macy’s and more. It’s a different world that we are entering. I have to confess I have concerns about our future as a society as we become more and more isolated, more and more autonomous. However, whether I think it is a good thing or not, I have to get on board.

Many of my clients hate online shopping — saying that they have to touch, examine, try on. The important thing in this modern world of the online store is shopping with someone you trust. reFresh Boutique is synonymous with quality. Clothes are clean and in like-new condition, or they were not put up for sale. That will not change. My name is behind everything I sell it is important to me that reFresh be recognized as a safe place to shop.

Follow reFresh on eBay and stay up to date on new offerings.  If you’re out and about and missing the URL, just Google reFresh Boutique on eBay and you’ll find the link easily.

In future posts I will be writing about how to shop online successfully. As well, I’ll be putting together outfits with links to their online store location.

Online shopping is fun and, when done with a little care, can be quite rewarding.


Life in a Virtual World – Second Life

second life

A Second Life  Can be a Good Thing

You may have heard me mention that I participate in a virtual world and have for over seven years now. My grid of choice is Second Life.  I was tagged today in a Facebook memory. So, certainly a number of fond memories came rushing back.

For five of my seven SL years I was the curator of an amazing art gallery that was part of a palatial build by my SL brother, Kaya Angel. It was a wonderful time in my life and I’m sure I will never forget it or my brother.

I curated art from artists all over the world for placement in nine galleries and a grand exhibition hall. I recast the galleries and hall every month. Each exhibition started with me stripping the galleries to their bare white walls and building an atmosphere that was uniquely fitted to the artists’ work.  Back when I was completely nuts about this, I’d turn over all of the galleries in one 36+ hour day.  In my tenure, I worked with nearly 400 international artists and created nearly 600 unique gallery designs and won three Avi Choice Awards for my work.

I know that many have no idea that such worlds exist so I’m including a YouTube video that includes my life there. By all means watch the whole video if you have the time, but if not and you are just curious about what Kylie was up to “in world” then check out position 8:06 – 10:22 as that is the section that Kaya devoted to his middle sister and her life at Angel Manor.  Thank you for this beautiful memory, Kaya.

Angel Manor is probably one of the most impressive builds in SL and now occupies nine sims. If you get a chance to go in world, be sure to check out Angel Manor and The Rose Theatre.

Kylie Addison Sabra

PS:  I am still a part of Second Life, but live a more private life decorating my home and SL gardening.


SALE – 30% Off Dresses & Suits – Ends Saturday


Time for a Sale

Sales starts Wednesday. Dresses, skirt suits, pantsuits — all are 30% off through Saturday, May 20th.

Includes items already marked for clearance. You enjoy big savings. I get to go shopping for new ones!

A good sale is the perfect reason for getting out and embracing or enduring this crazy, undecided spring weather. It’s retail therapy at a steep discount.

Sizes range from XS to XXL and come in a variety of styles from casual to formal. As always at reFresh, everything is in like-new condition and cleaned.


Breathe New Life Into Tennis Shoes — And Good Breath Too

Tennis Shoes

Tennis Shoes Are Like Teeth – They Need Polishing Too

You loved them to bits, maybe a bit too much even. And goodness don’t they show it. So how do you get your pearly whites clean again. And no. I don’t mean your teeth this time.

I recently received in a pair of Dansko’s cute little Mary Jane-style, floral tennis shoes. The uppers and insoles were in great condition, but aaaargh the whites were — well — not white.

I could shoot myself because it seems I’ve lost the all important before picture, but I’m going to share the secret anyway.

I tried washing them with cleanser and even using a magic eraser, but what brought them around to like-new condition was Crest™ Whitening Toothpaste. I just squeezed some out of the tube onto a clean cloth and buffed them. It was amazing how easily the shoes came sparking clean.

Prior to treatment they were stained with some sort of brown and yellow stuff. That’s the technical term — stuff. The typical stuff that tennis shoes seem to gather in their day-to-day lives.

As they were, they were simply not up to reFresh’s standards and I was going to have to take a loss and donate them. Imagine how happy I was about that.

Here’s the “after” photo. Good luck with your efforts. Oh! And they may even smell a little better.

Tennis Shoes
These sweet little Dansko’s are at reFresh for just $35.70 (Retailed at $119

Kylie Sabra


Sip & Shop Was a Fun Event

We held our first major event last night and it turned out great. I was only able to get pictures before people arrived because Scott and I were too busy throughout the evening to do more. I really do regret that. Next time! And there will be a next time. We are already planning one for early fall.

The food was plentiful and so was the champagne. The best part of the evening though was just getting together with friends — new and old.

Congratulations to the three drawing winners who are awarded $25 credit to their accounts:  Linda Browning, Sara Doyle and Julia Inge.

The Art of the Card


The Handwritten Card — A Lost Art

I received a handwritten card recently from a new friend and member of the Meetup group, Boutique Ladies. I can’t think of the last time I’ve received such a sweet surprise. With the advent of emails and smart phones, few of us take time out of their busy lives to sit down and write. Don’t get me wrong, I am delighted when I receive an email or text from someone just checking in to see how I am or just to say hello. But a note is magical.

I imagine her sitting in a quiet place — perhaps her dining table or a side table with a fringed lamp and a bouquet of anemones perched on a white lace cloth. I imagine a fountain pen. The scene unfolds before me as out of an Edwardian novel — a slower pace when ladies had time, and indeed it was one of their duties to correspond.

Our lives have become so filled with hubris. We are in a constant state of motion. I think I’d like to slow down a bit, perhaps pick up a fountain pen and some fine paper . . . or a card?