Join me at New Life Hiking Spa, Vermont, in May!

Speaker, Author and Journalist, Alicia Young will Present Evening Lectures at New Life Hiking Spa Opening Weekend for the 2015 Season

New Life Hiking Spa, which was recently listed #1 on the 2014 Spas of America list and is known as one of the top wellness vacations in country, is pleased to announce award-winning author and journalist, Alicia Young will present the evening lectures for the opening weekend at New Life Hiking Spa.

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Speaker and Award-Winning Author

Alicia Young, Speaker/Author/Journalist

Alicia Young is an award-winning author and speaker. We are thrilled to have her lecture at New Life Hiking Spa.

Mendon, VT (PRWEB) April 17, 2015

New Life Hiking Spa in Vermont is one of the leading wellness and destination spas in North America. Founded in 1978 by Jimmy LeSage, M.S., New Life is celebrating its 38th season and the grand opening of its new location in Mendon, Vermont. New Life Hiking Spa will open for the 2015 season on May 14th and the season will run through September 28th.

Alicia Young is a (US based) Australian international TV journalist, with more than fifteen years’ experience as a reporter, foreign correspondent and news anchor. She is a dynamic and engaging corporate speaker, drawing on her media background to weave stories around diversity, civility, social intelligence, global volunteer work and navigating change. Alicia has lived in eight countries and gained valuable cultural insights.

Her debut book “The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Grace: small touches with big impact – at home, work & in love”, has won 2014 Gold Honoree at The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, 2013 Winner at the New York Book Festival (Best New How-To/Self Help), 2013 Winner at the London Book Festival, 2013 Winner at the New England Book Festival, and multiple other awards.

Alicia has three new books coming out in June 2015. Among them is Two Eggs, Two Kids: An egg donor’s account of friendship, infertility & secrets.

Alicia will be presenting a variety of lectures during her stay at New Life Hiking Spa including: Is There a Book in You?, Parachuting into a New Life, and others.

About New Life:
New Life Hiking Spa is open each year from mid-May through the end of September. Approximately 600 guests from all over the world come to visit New Life in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

New Life has been consistently picked as one of the top ten spas in the world by SpaFinder Wellness Reader’s Choice Awards for hiking, outdoor adventure, solo travel, weight loss, affordability and fitness classes over the past decade. In addition, founder and director Jimmy LeSage, M.S., was chosen as one of the world’s top ten best spa managers in 2011. Yankee Magazine selected New Life Hiking Spa as the 2012 Editor’s Choice for “Best Place to Rejuvenate”. New Life has also been selected as New England’s top spa by Spas of America in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Most recently, it was on the 2014 listing with a #1 spot from all over America. The spa also holds an enviable spot on The Active Times’ 10 Top Health and Wellness Vacations for 2015.

More information can be found on

Alicia Young’s website can be found at, and her current book can be found on

News, coming soon!


Please forgive my popping out of the blue after this time. These first few months of the year have rocketed past in a blur.

I’ll have some news later today or this weekend, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

Thank you,


The Year of No.

[HAPPY NEW YEAR! I allow myself one re-post each year, around now. I offer it as a reminder to us all – myself included – of the need to become/stay comfortable with saying no when people or obligations tip the scale and become toxic. Please consider. Also, while I have you, we’ve just switched to the domain, and doing so meant we lost social media data on the posts. Please know how much we appreciate the tweets, “likes” and “shares”. – Thanks, Alicia.]

Could you organize the group gift?

Could you babysit this weekend?

Could you lend me some money (again)?

Meet Carla. She said yes to all these requests—this past weekend.

People who meet her see a dynamic, caring and accomplished woman.

They’re right.They’re just missing something—Carla is a people-pleaser. You won’t find it highlighted on her resume, or part of her online profile, but it’s there.

Carla struggles to say no. She is warm and caring at her core, so it’s no act—she wants to help. But then she feels resentful later, when her time is stretched.

Have you ever suffered a little bout of the “the disease to please”? Sure, there are short-term payoffs when we say yes: we feel good, we see the other person’s relief, we hear and feel their appreciation…then later, it hits: how am I going to juggle this?

What’s a Savvy Girl to do?

She starts with a little naval gazing: how many times has she found herself in this position recently (be honest, then pass the chocolate.)? What motivated her? Was it pressure or guilt (more chocolate)? Did it stem from a desire to be liked (break out the Belgian truffles)?

Practice saying no. It seems like petulant toddlers are the only ones allowed to declare “No!” with utter defiance.

Let’s reclaim it.

Say no to small things at first, then work your way up.

If you’re not up to that, buy time: say you’ll think about it, or you’ll need to check, and you’ll get back to them; then email or text, if you’re not comfortable yet saying no in person or on the phone.

Anticipate the guilt trip and the broken-record responses, so that you’re not blindsided by them.

Respect and protect your free time.

Remind yourself that you can support your friends, but you don’t need to take on their problems.

Make this year about saying no.

Then get ready to say yes to the things that you really want to do in your free time.

What sort of things do you find are sticky to say no to? What works for you?



What’s your wish for 2015?

A new year stretches out before us, fresh and crisp.

I appreciate we arrive at the end of the year with feelings as individual as we are.

Some of us will be eager to wave goodbye to 2014, replete as it may have been with sadness or loss. My wish for you is that gentle, loving healing be ushered in.

Others carry forward hopes for new jobs, or for someone special to arrive in their lives. My wish for you is for new people and opportunities to cross your path.

Whatever wishes you carry in your heart for the New Year, I wish you:

The creativity to find it.

The strength to pursue it. And …

The mindset to relish it.

In short, we all deserve more time to dance or paint or whatever makes our heart sing.

Here’s to a joyous 2015! What is your wish for the New Year?



[UPDATE: December’s Savvy Girl Hall of Fame nominee is Malala Yousafzai, teenager and co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize! She received this inspiring and prestigious award Dec 10 in Oslo, Norway.]

My Year: 2014 by Numbers

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the previous twelve months.

My Year at a Glance – 2014 by numbers:

46 individual flights (final round trip starts tomorrow)
90+ days in hotels
1 home renovation kick-started
4 new member organizations
8 speaker exhibits (conferences)
1 wedding vow renewal (not ours!)
2 new TMs (trademarks)
Goals exceeded on speaker platform.(Thank you, God!)
1 new book idea (more news as it comes to hand)
1 grateful heart.

I’d like to thank each of you for your support and encouragement this year. My wish for you this Festive season is joy in your heart, a spring in your step and peace through your day.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah (if a little late! Happy Kwanzaa!





Savvy Girl Hall of Fame Nominee: Nov 2014


I’m overseas at the moment, with very patchy internet. Please forgive my not posting a photo, but I’d like to tell you about November’s nominee for the Savvy Girl Hall of Fame:

Poet, Abigail Mott!

I had the real pleasure of meeting Abigail recently in Denver, CO.

Picture this: a gorgeous, ceative and delightfully quirky girl in a knitted hat, sets herself up on the sidewalk. She sits at a little desk, atop which is perched an old fashioned typewriter. Snowflakes are falling gently and holiday lights are twinkling.

Passers-by can provide any subject, and Abigail composes an original poem, then and there! She draws on her jaunty outlook and a bank of  words to tap away in a beguiling staccato.

It costs just a latte or two, and even the cost is a suggestion only.

Look out for Abigail at the 16th St mall!



ps: I’ll post that photo as soon as I’m home!




Savvy Girl Hall of Fame Nominee: Oct 2014

Meet Madiá Gibson, a student at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania. She hails from Monrovia, Liberia and has lived in the US since the age of twelve.
Madiá studies HMardia Gibson Photo Oct 2014umanities―and takes it to heart. Recently, this dynamic, compassionate woman organized a campus fundraiser for Samaritan’s Purse (
The aim behind the event was twofold: to raise funds for this worthwhile charity, while educating others and soothing fears about Ebola.
She counts jewelry design among her many talents, and combined this with fashion, song and dance to create a wonderful night on campus.  Fellow students at Mount Aloysius modeled clothes and accessories with the confidence and style usually associated with New York Fashion Week! Mardiá’s efforts, with their help,  poured hundreds of dollars into Samaritan’s Purse. congratulates Mardiá on her Savvy Girl Hall of Fame nomination! She is now eligible for a prize to be announced in January!
Who will be next? Nominate a Savvy Girl – including yourself! – by emailing us at Please write “Savvy Girl Hall of Fame” in the subject line and tell us in 150 words or less why you are nominating this person.

The Savvy Girl’s Hall of Fame!

We’re excited to announce The Savvy Girl’s Hall of Fame!

At least once each month, we’ll be highlighting a Savvy Girl (or in this case, Girls). She could be in the headlines, or an unsung hero in her community. She could be a healthcare worker, an inventor, someone with a creative mind (across any and all platforms that encompasses).

She could be YOU.

In the meantime, please meet these truly inspiring women. Each suffered an acid attack: a crime breathtakingly heinous, agonizing and beyond cruel. Many victims retreat from their friends, their communities, their societies. The courage of the women here melts many of our everyday challenges into insignificance.  Today we’re hit with a river of distractions, online and elsewhere. This is not one of them.  I’d like to post their pictures for you, but I don’t own the copyright to the images, so here is the link:

Nominate a candidate for the Savvy Girl’s Hall of Fame. Tell me a little about them, and include a photo if they give you permission.

Looking forward to your suggestions!






Oversharing & Underthinking.

[I usually lean toward more uplifting stories… but here goes!]

Maybe you’ve seen today’s news story of a father who filmed his daughter’s birth—while driving to the hospital.

Oddly, it was introduced as a “feel-good” piece which was “guaranteed to put a smile on your face.” Says whom? As a former child protection worker and now a journalist, I’m appalled – not that one needs to be either of course, to be equally incensed. In case you missed it:

I appreciate birth is a magical moment. At the same time, there surely is no more delicate life than a newborn. Despite this, the father showed scant regard for his baby girl,  his partner—and anyone else on the road at the time.

His actions speak to a new low in the narrative of over-documenting and over-sharing.  Are we so fixated in our addiction and apparent right to record every moment, that we risk  lives to capture them? We’ve all seen and read stories where people have caused  fatalities while texting or otherwise preoccupied with their phones.

He should be arrested. Breathtaking stupidity can’t be challenged with a mere warning or lecture. One can only imagine how he’d cope if he had killed his infant, or left her destined for a wheelchair before she could ever take her first steps. Throw him in jail to make him miss the first few nights of his baby’s life. Better he be forced to reflect on his actions, which could so easily have left her dead.

#Arrestdriverdad #Arrestnewdaddriver

Your thoughts?

When a tweak can transform.

[Thank you for your patience. My (northern) summer break went a little longer than planned on the blogging front!]

You might have noticed: we’re a culture of makeovers. From people to homes to lifestyles, some of our highest rating TV shows, links and sites involve vivid transformations. A so-called “homely” girl emerges as a traffic-stopping beauty.  A dark and dank basement is re-purposed as a teen getaway or streamlined home office. And of course, those extreme weight loss programs milk our curiosity for the final unveiling.

But what if we don’t have the time, inclination or resources to indulge in a big change? What about tweaks with payoffs? What areas of our lives could benefit from small changes? I took a highly unscientific poll and here were some suggestions from your fellow Savvy Girls:

  1. I gave fake sugars the heave-ho.
  2. Started shutting down my screens an hour before bed. Less wound up, more relaxed as I catch some zzz.
  3. Turned off those pop-up emails, and instead, access it a few times a day. Cue: jump in productivity.
  4. I began saying no to little things, until bigger no’s became easier. I value my time.
  5. I don’t inhale food in the car. I eat meals sitting down, turn off distractions, and try to listen more closely to the other person.
  6. Each morning, I ask myself what I want out of the day. It sets a good tone. 

What works for you?