Opening Weekend!

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Pure Barre Portsmouth opens this week!  Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective way to change your body. A total body workout, Pure Barre lifts your seat, tones your thighs, abs, and arms, and burns fat in record-breaking time.  The class experience is transformative and our new space is beautiful.

Opening Weekend Classes start April 13 – 16.  Classes are FREE by donation.  Please bring $10 for the charity or cause of the day.  100% of the proceeds will go directly to the charity or local cause of the day.

There are only six days left to purchase the Pre-Opening Special, 5 weeks unlimited for $99 at http://purebarre.com/nh-Portsmouth/

The studio and retail boutique are located at:

2454 Lafayette Rd, Unit 37

Portsmouth, NH 03801

Hope to see you this weekend!  https://www.facebook.com/PureBarrePortsmouth

Start your transformation.  Start today, right where you are, exactly how you are.

Join the Synchro Stars!

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Try Outs for Eastern Level Teams and Synchro Skills Try Its

The 2018 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships will be January 17-21, 2018 in FORT MYERS, FLORIDA.  The Synchro Stars would love to invite YOU to join one of our Placement Clinics for the 2017-18 season:

Group A Try Outs

  • Working on Juvenile MIF to Senior MIF and age 11 and above.
  • Sunday March 26th 6:50pm to 7:50pm
  • Sunday April 9th 6:50pm to 7:50pm
  • Conway Arena, Nashua NH

Group B Try Outs

  • Passed Pre-preliminary MIF or Preliminary MIF
  • Sunday March 26th 4:40pm to 5:30pm
  • Sunday April 2nd 6:50pm to 7:50pm
  • Conway Arena, Nashua NH

Group C Try Its

  • Working on Basic 5 and above, never passed MIF (moves in the field) USFSA test
  • Sunday April 2nd 4:40pm to 5:30pm
  • Sunday April 9th 4:40pm to 5:30pm
  • Conway Arena, Nashua NH

Please register online and there will be no need to fill the paperwork when you arrive.  Need more information?  Please visit http://synchrostars.org/.

 

Giving Tuesday

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Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people you love and are getting ready for the holidays. 2016 has been a really unusual year. It’s important to remember that there are lots of good people working hard everyday to keep our communities strong and restore our faith in humanity. Today is #GivingTuesday and here are five non-profit organizations that would love your support:

  1. You Can Play works to promote a culture of respect and inclusion for all. Sport teaches us teamwork, goal setting and the pursuit of excellence. You Can Play helps us understand we are ALL on the same team. https://donate.youcanplayproject.org/page/contribute/donate-now
  2. The Women’s Sports Foundation was established in 1974 and is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring girls’ access to sports. WSF provides safe and equitable sports opportunities so that all girls receive the significant health, education and leadership benefits both on and off the field. https://secure3.convio.net/wsf/site/Donation2?df_id=1960&1960.donation=form1&JServSessionIdr004=bkrl5u1gw2.app306a
  3. WinterKids helps children develop healthy lifelong habits through fun, outdoor winter activity.  WinterKids has helped over 100,000 children discover skiing (downhill and cross country), ice skating, and snow tubing through unique education programs. WinterKids believes that snowy fields and frosty trails make the best classrooms. More than 5,000 students in Maine and New Hampshire participated in the WinterKids Challenge last year, completing at least three different outdoor, active lessons. Your donation to WinterKids will help kids get outside, get active, and have fun: http://www.winterkids.org/help/donate/
  4. Scott Hamilton is one of my heroes. He is an Olympic Gold Medalist, Network TV skating analyst, actor, performer, producer, Emmy Award nominee, best-selling author, role model, humanitarian, and a cancer and brain tumor survivor. His positive attitude and commitment to excellence are an inspiration. The Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation is dedicated to funding world class research and quality care to improve cancer survivorship. CARES stands for Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship. The cancer alliance builds strong partnerships with leading institutions, cancer support groups and researchers from around the globe. The foundation focuses on early detection, advanced diagnostics and leading-edge cancer treatment in a fight to significantly improve cure rates and quality of life. https://scottcares.org/donate-scott-hamilton-cares-cancer-research-support
  5. NPR http://mainepublic.org/donate-mpbn-0 I spend lots of time in my car driving to skating practices and love listening to NPR – especially funny episodes of Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! I appreciate the multiple perspectives on issues and events and proudly support non-profit public service journalism. (Also if anyone reads this, I’d really like an NPR sticker for my car.)

The antidote to fear and hate is love and action. When you feel overwhelmed, do something good. Make a donation, volunteer for an hour or two, meet a friend for a workout. It’s also really important to unplug. Turn off your computer, television, phone, and go play outside.

Dear Hoopeston

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Dear Hoopeston,

Thank you for one of the best weeks of my life.  Every single person I met in Hoopeston is the nicest person I have ever met.  From the moment we arrived in Indianapolis, we were all greeted with such warmth and kindness by the chaperones, we all instantly felt like royalty.

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(If you’ve never been to the Sweetcorn Capital of the World, you have to go.  Hoopeston is a town of about 6,000 people, established in 1871. In honor of its agricultural roots, Hoopeston has been celebrating the end of harvest with a National Sweetcorn Festival since 1940.  The Hoopeston Jaycees organize an incredible festival every year, famous for it’s free hot buttered sweetcorn.  It is the BEST sweetcorn you will ever taste.)

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I loved my host family the Noslers. Dave and Debbie spoiled us rotten and even hosted a fun party after the preliminary competition.  My roommate, Elissa Taylor from Maryland, is one of the most talented women I have ever met.  Her vocal performance was amazing.  All of the host families open their homes and their hearts and made the experience so special.

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Thank you to my glamorous chaperones Christy and Heidi!  They picked us up each morning, kept us organized, and delivered us to exciting destinations all over Hoopeston.  The car rides were fun daily tours.  They also gave us valuable advice on which rides were the best on the midway and which ones might make you woozy.  (Life lesson for future Sweethearts:  definitely listen to the chaperones.  We jumped on the crazy awesome ride they warned us about, and of course they were absolutely right.  We wobbled off the ride super dizzy.)  Thank you to Head Chaperone Angie Totheroh too!  Happy harvest!

The Crabtree Family puts so much love into our week. They worked especially hard this year with their committee to continue a time-honored tradition.  Thank you Cliff, Michelle, and Katelin for everything you do to sustain this treasured program.  Thank you to Co-Director Dana Kuntz and Choreographer Pam Hibbert for an amazing show.  Thank you to Callie Lankford for your hard work as Chairman of the 73rd National Sweetcorn Festival!  And thank you to the Hoopeston Jaycees and Jaycee President Bradley Hardcastle.

One of my favorite mottos has always been, “The person having the most fun wins.”  I can promise you, all of us had the most fun. The people of Hoopeston rolled out the red carpet…every gathering and every meal was amazing (you’ve heard about the casseroles, but they are even better than you can imagine)!

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Photo credit:  Alabama Sweetheart Elisabeth Chramer (the next Miss Alabama USA!)

We met the sweetest people and I learned so much about the history of Hoopeston, the traditions of the festival, and life in a farming community.  Did you know you can hire a farm manager to help with planting and cultivating crops?  Do you want to know what makes sweetcorn taste so good?  The kernels have a high natural sugar content if harvested at exactly the right time (when the kernels are moist, soft, and sweet).  This is also called the milk stage, if you poke a sweetcorn kernel, the juice inside is milky.  Sweetcorn is rich with health-benefiting antioxidants, minerals, vitamins (high in fiber, niacin, folate, and vitamin A), which is good to know because I ate ALOT of delicious sweetcorn at the festival.

On Friday we met with the judges for Private Interview. It was a fast, high energy, challenging interview. The judges were fantastic. They had done their research and we talked about New Hampshire, politics, STEM education, technology, figure skating, the politics of figure skating, and so much more. The time flew by. I can honestly say it was one of my favorite interviews ever. I am so grateful to have had that wonderful experience with the National Sweetheart Judges:  Leanza Cornett, Dr. Glenn Harman, Carrie Lakey, John A. Morris, and Brenda Vaughn.  Thank you for donating your time, expertise, and passion for pageantry!  And thank you to the Judges Committee:  Denise Scharlach, Anita Reutter, and Tara Scharlach.  The judges selected an incredible National Sweetheart. Florida’s Victoria Humphrey is a total sweetheart, a beautiful dancer, and she has been accepted to FIVE medical schools. It was an honor to share the stage with Victoria and the twenty-seven state Sweethearts.

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After Interview we went to explore Downtown Hoopeston.  We visited some of the wonderful sponsors, did a little shopping, and saw the giant tractors.  We also had a fun photo shoot with Joe Whiteko.  Joe is a HUGE part of the Sweetheart experience. He’s been a member of the Sweetheart Family for many years and takes the most beautiful photos capturing all of the fun adventures.  Thank you Joe!  We are “friends forever!”

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Saturday was a gorgeous sunny day for a parade.  I was a mermaid to represent Hampton Beach State Park and my costume was covered in seashells, sea glass, pearls, stones, a seashell crown, and even a sparkling tail.  There were so many fun interactions and shout outs, “Hi Kat, I like your pretty tail.”  “Hey New Hampshire!” “Are you mermaid Elsa?”  “New Hampshire has an ocean?”  At the end of the parade route we jumped off of our Corvettes and gathered to watch all of the bands, troops, cheerleading squads, dance teams, animals, church groups, tractors, politicians, Miss Hoopeston 2016 Holly Morgeson, former Miss Hoopestons, and visiting royalty go by. It was a postcard perfect parade.

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Before long it was time for the competition.  We didn’t have our phones backstage, so I didn’t realize how many people were watching the webcast.  Thank you to everyone in Florida, Maine (thank you for the flowers Rob, Missy, Spencer, Max, and Joey!), Massachusetts (so happy you found the webcast Grandma & Grandpa), New Hampshire, and Ohio who sent love and support.  Thank you to Kimberley Haas at the Union Leader, Ron Cole at Foster’s Daily Democrat, and Aaron Lapierre & Karen Kiley at Townsquare Media for the social media support.  Happy Birthday Aaron…I loved your awesome blogs!  http://shark1053.com/dovers-kat-howland-goes-for-the-gold-this-weekend-at-national-pageant/

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to participate.  It was everything you promised and so much more.  Chris, it meant the world to me to have you there in Hoopeston.  Mom, I’m so happy we could share the incredible Sweetheart experience.  Over the past year I’ve learned that life is a little like a roller coaster, you never know how the ride is going to turn out.  So hold on tight, enjoy each thrilling second, and remember that what’s really important is choosing the right people to share the ride with.

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I will always cherish the beautiful experience of meeting the wonderful people of Hoopeston and bonding with the incredible Sweetheart Class of 2016 while representing New Hampshire on a national stage.  Hoopeston, you are a community like no other.  I love you.

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With love and honor,

Kat Howland, New Hampshire Sweetheart 2016

P.S. Could someone please send me some Scotcheroos?  Or the secret recipe?  They were delicious!

The Sweet Life

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I’ll be leaving for the National Sweetheart Pageant bright and early Wednesday morning and I’m really, really excited.  I love adventure, travel, tradition, sweetcorn, parades, country fairs, making new friends…and this is all of those things in one fun weekend!  I have the honor of representing New Hampshire along with twenty-seven amazing national finalists competing for the National Sweetheart Crown.

Meet all twenty-eight state representatives here: http://www.newsbug.info/hoopeston_chronicle/national-sweetheart-pageant-map/html_bb17bb3a-6b34-11e6-89ce-5ba8c1f185c9.html

New Hampshire has had incredible Sweethearts over the last decade:

  • 2015 Sarah Tubbs
  • 2014 Holly Blanchard
  • 2013 Kendall Wipff
  • 2012 Erica Millett
  • 2011 Rebecca Rendina
  • 2010 Megan Lyman
  • 2009 Meghan Lamontagne
  • 2008 Justine Barker
  • 2007 Natalie St. Cyr – Winner of the Patricia Musk Talent Award
  • 2006 Kristin Finn

I feel very grateful for the opportunity to join this Sweetheart Sisterhood.  Thank you for the encouragement, love and support.  You can follow all of the excitement on social media with the hashtags:  #Sweetheart16 #NHSweetheart #SweetheartStrong

And watch the competition LIVE at 7p on Saturday, September 3rd and Sunday, September 4th:  http://citylinktv.com/channel/hoopeston-productions-protected/

#FitTipThursday

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Fitting fitness into your daily routine is the key to a healthy, active lifestyle. My favorite fitness tip is, “The person having the most fun WINS.” Explore lots of different sports, make time to play everyday, have fun, and work hard to progress and improve to reach your personal best.

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Set big goals. In 2015, I helped award medals at the Gate City Marathon. In 2016, I ran it!

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Workouts are more fun with friends!

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Start small. Work hard. Dream BIG. My skates have taken me from my hometown rink to skating with Team USA in France, Germany, and Austria.

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Perform with passion.

If you are looking for a fun family fitness idea, a new skating season is starting!  Visit your local arena or learn more at https://www.learntoskateusa.com/

Olympic Spirit

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I loved watching the world celebrate excellence together during the Summer Olympics in Rio.  There were so many beautiful examples of teamwork, effort, humanity, and triumph.  My favorite moment was watching American Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin encourage each other to continue after a collision during the 5000m.

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D’Agostino finished the race with a torn ACL and meniscus.  Hamblin was waiting to embrace her at the finish line.  Their sportsmanship represents true spirit of the Olympic Games and they were honored with the Fair Play Awards from the IOC.

Did you know D’Agostino is one of the most decorated athletes in Ivy League history?  She won SEVEN NCAA championships at Dartmouth College, including indoor, outdoor and cross country titles.

For more inspiring athletes, don’t miss the Paralympic Games in Rio, September 7-18.  More than 4,350 athletes from 160 nations are expected to compete in 22 sports, including para-canoe and paratriathlon, both which debut on the Paralympic program in 2016.  Learn more about our #TeamUSA athletes at http://www.teamusa.org/us-paralympics/paralympic-athletes.