Courage, happiness, and kitchen sink pasta
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There is a morning inside you
waiting to burst open into light”


Happy Saturday, <<Name>>, and for those of you in the US, Happy Labor Day Weekend!  I know that Fall doesn't officially arrive for another few weeks, but I always associate Labor Day Weekend as the final paragraph of summer's story.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all about living in the moment, but as we teeter on the edge between seasons, I begin getting impatient to turn the page. 

Maybe it’s because I love fall so much. This is my sixth year in Ohio and I get to experience Fall unlike any way I ever did growing up in Texas. I'm looking forward to the glorious beauty of changing leaves and crisp night enough to sleep with the windows open! 

In some ways, I’m seeing signs from Mother Nature that she's getting impatient to turn the page, too.  The leaves of the trees are beginning to soften in hue and all the ornamental grasses have begun to turn golden.  On Wednesday afternoon, we played a round of golf and it felt kind of odd to be wearing long pants and a pullover to play in August!
But in other ways, I’m seeing Mother Nature dig in her heels to hang on to a few more drops of summer days

After  some hot and humid days, we got a little breath of cool air, and then back to the eighties it went!

I love that paradox that Mother Nature tosses out each year.  It reminds me that though seasons are inherently similar, each year holds explicit uniqueness and beauty. 

To be honest, as I write this note to you, my Labor Day plans are up in the air. I had planned one last summer hurrah, but the hurricane in the Atlantic will probably be changing that. 

I know many of you will be doing those end-of-the-season BBQs while others of you may be traveling to see friends or family (or a final summer fling). Be safe. And if you're in Florida, sending you lots of love and prayers.

So, what about you? Are you ready for fall or wanting to seize the last drops of summer? Can you find a way to connect in person more and online less? In what ways can you drink in the beauty of the shifting seasons? 

What paradoxes are you living with?  Is there a project you're just dying to dive into this fall? Can you begin it over the long weekend?

What can I do to help? 

I love hearing your stories and helping you find the resources you need to create a life you love.

With so much love...........


From the blog:  Nine Simple Ways to Cultivate a Happier Life and Stop Overthinking It

If you want to know what’s standing in the way between you and a happier life, I’d tell you it’s a combination of those big life events that add to the stress of life. And all the little irritants. Sometimes, those small things add more to feeling stressed and unhappy. But, darling, it doesn’t have to be that way. Especially when you find yourself dwelling and overthinking everything.

Let’s be honest: the world is full of miserable and unhappy people. Your social network feeds are full of people bitching and complaining about the injustices of society – like Starbucks being out of pumpkin muffins,  their company’s policy against being on Facebook during work, or the audacity of the airline making them wait ten minutes for baggage.

Every time you talk to your best friend, she complains about her husband.  Every time you walk into a meeting, people grumble about their work load. And let’s not even mention the news! Some days, it can feel like you’re surrounded by toxic inputs.

In a society where we are expected to want the next big thing – the newest gadget – to strive for more, it can be a challenge to find contentment and satisfaction.  But you have a choice. You could take up the mantra “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” and proceed to grumble, complain and bitch.

Or you could choose not to.  You could choose to find something to be happy about, instead.

I know that the washed and perfumed masses may try to squash your joy.  I understand that your friends and family members may remind you of past failures.  It isn’t that they want to cause you pain, it simply means that they are struggling with pain of their own.  Or they’re afraid that if you don’t complain together, then you will lose your bond of friendship.

Don’t let the fears of others inflect you. And prevent you from stepping into your happiest, sexiest self. And don’t let your own past fears stop you from creating a happier life, either.

The voices of the past may tell you that you don’t deserve to be happy. They may insist that you must be thin, rich, and beautiful to maintain happiness. Those voices, my dear, are wrong. It’s simply your inner critic trying to convince you to stay stuck and small.

Don’t get lost within the idea that you are too damaged or broken to deserve happiness.  No one is broken and the “damage” isn’t damage at all:  it’s part of what makes you, well, you.

You are perfect as you are now in this moment, and if you are miserable on the inside, no amount of money, no number on the scale and no amount of plastic surgery will make it go away.
How do you deal with those voices and people?

Here are nine tips help you to cultivate more happiness in your world:

One –   Take Responsibility for Choosing a Happier Life

It is no one else’s job, it is yours.  If you look to the outside world for it, you’ll always be reaching for happiness instead of being happy.

Darling, the fact of the matter is: you are responsible for your happy.

Two –  Gratitude will Always Make Your Life Feel Richer

Every night before you go to bed, write down at least three things you are thankful for.  Going to sleep with gratitude on your mind will bring you a more positive approach when you wake to a new day.

Three –  Cutting Out Toxic Inputs will Always Be Helpful

Turn a blind eye to all things media. Un-follow the Negative Nellie’s from Twitter, un-friend (or hide) the Facebook friends that only complain, and turn off the evening news.

Four –  Distancing Yourself from Toxic People Will Lead to a Happier Life

Don’t chime in when a co-worker complains.  Don’t participate in gossip.  Smile and walk away from negative social interactions.

Allow those that you love – siblings, friends- to unburden themselves to you without attaching to their stuff.  Remind them that you love them.  Remind them that you want them to be happy.  Turn the conversation to a happy memory, a funny anecdote, or an exciting upcoming event.

Suggest to them a good therapist or coach – not as a judgment, but out of love. By the way, don’t get stuck in a phase of coaching them or giving them advice unsolicited.  Trust me on this 😉

Five – People with Hobbies Lead Happier Lives

Many of us spend the bulk of our time focused on work and running our households. And even if we had interests during our childhood, they often fall to the wayside. But the thing is, we need leisure time. And spending time on something we’re passionate about has shown to help us live happier lives.

Yes, I know that your job is important. And it can become your identity. And while I know that we need good work for our brains (and hearts), you also need more. So, no matter if it’s gardening, training your dog, reading, writing, sewing, or golf? Get a hobby.

Six –  Making Intimacy a Priority Can Lead to a Happier Life

The right love relationship can make happiness a state of exhilaration. But let’s talk about some things you need to remember when it comes to how your intimate relationships affect your level of happiness.

First of all, if you believe you’ll have a happier life IF your partner changed, then you will be unable to discover any satisfaction in your life. Because the only person you can change is you. That said, my dear, if you aren’t happy with who you are, then a loving partner can’t fix that, either.

And, my dear, if the state of your partnership is disintegrating, then you have a responsibility to yourself and the relationship to either change your attitude or your geography.

Seven – Allow Awareness and Acceptance to Help Light Your Way

I understand that you may desire things in your life to change.  You may want to lose some weight or write that book.  But begin by accepting where you are now, you will end the argument with reality and put your feet on firmer ground to begin creating change by choice.

Eight – Move Your Body – Especially Outside

If there’s one thing I’ve learned personally, it’s that our sedentary lifestyle can add to our unhappiness. We spend so much time behind screens: computers, television, and phones that our bodies suffer. We become stiff, achy, and and close in ourselves. Our bodies were designed to move. You will find yourself feeling happier when you make regular movement a part of your life.

And your grandmother was right: you need fresh air!  When you combine movement with getting outside, you’ll indubitably see your overall level of satisfaction with your life rise.

Nine –   Smiling Invites You and Others to Be Happier

A lot.  Smile at grocery clerks and people that you pass.   And sometimes, it’s the only kind gesture another gets in a day.  What do you have to lose except a little grumpiness? Smiles are catchy.

Though these tips can seem overly simplistic, cultivating a happier life is like planting seeds in your garden.

When you accept that it is not only OK to be happy, but that you deserve to be happy, you will transform. No matter how many Negative Nellies there are in the world that tell you that life is full of misery and woe, you can face the world with the knowledge that it’s okay to be happy.

You’ll find that the more abundance of joy you embrace, the more you will be able to shine your light of happiness to the world. And, my dear, when you do shine the light of brilliance on how to be happier, you’ll find that energy returned to you in everyday interactions. And looking in the mirror introduces you to the person who isn’t just finding the path to a being a little happier.

When you look in the mirror, you’ll discover  that the radiant person in the glass is that sexy, confident, and happy you.It will be a person who finds joy in life even when times get tough. Because cultivating ways to live a happier life goes a long way towards creating the life of your desires.
Though I spied the first local acorn squash at the grocery store last week, it still feels like summer. And, if you are like me, the last thing you want to do is heat up the house! I've been cooking more on the grill lately.

And a confession: I'm not a fan of cleaning the grill. So, what's a girl to do? Turn to her old pal: Non-Stick Foil.

This has become my go-to method for succulent and delicious Grilled Lemon Chicken:

In the morning before you head to work (or the night before) chop up a chicken breast into bite-sized chunks and toss them into a zip-lock bag. Add into the bag: 1/2 cup of olive oil, juice of one lemon, a splash of tequila (if you have it, no biggie if you don't), 1 teaspoon of Italian Seasonings, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and several grinds of fresh pepper.  Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken and put in the fridge for at least 4  hours but up to 24.

When you're ready to make dinner, begin by heating your grill.

Take a large piece of non-stick foil (you can get regular non-stick foil or extra wide non-stick foil made for the grill) and lay it flat on the counter or a platter. Carefully place pieces of chicken onto the center of the foil and then discard the marinade.

Take several slices of onion and place on top of chicken along with some fresh herbs (like sage, rosemary, or thyme) and then add several slices of lemon on the very top. (Frankly, you could skip the onion and/or herbs, but you need the lemon to keep your chicken moist!).

Take a second piece of foil and lay it on top of your chicken and then begin sealing each side, wrapping it like an envelope.  Make sure all the edges are crimped and sealed.

Place your packet on a hot grill (I set mine to medium) and cook it for 12 minutes. Then, gently flip it over and cook for another 7 minutes.

(In this photo, the chicken is on the bottom part of the grill, and on the top rack are packets with corn and zucchini)

Remove and carefully open one end of your envelope to verify the chicken is cooked through. The aluminum foil can be handled pretty quickly after being removed from the grill, but the steam inside the packet will be HOT!

If it's not quite done, reseal and toss it back on the grill for another 3 to 5 minutes.

When done, carefully open packet and use a fork or tongs to transfer it to plates!

On the nights I cook on the grill, we usually keep the sides simple: a salad, some grilled corn (also wrapped in foil!), or other veggies grilled to perfection.

Now, cooking in the foil won't leave those beautiful grill marks, but on a busy night, it's a nice solution for cleanup to be just tossing the foil in the recycle bins!

Volume 9-Issue 18

August 31, 2019

Love Notes Published Every-Other-Saturday
Thank you, darling for the precious in-box space! 

See something you'd love to share?  I'd be honored if you forwarded this along to a friend.
Debra Smouse Love Note

About Debra

Debra Smouse is a writer, life coach, and Tarnished Southern Belle who is on a mission to help people create a daily life that is loving and nourishing.

A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams. Connect with her on social media:
Instagram | Facebook Twitter.  
Elizabeth Rago

Love & Affection

In a day and age where relationships are flat and a true connection to each other is a rare gem to be found, Debra’s genuine enthusiasm for life fuels your coaching experience. An ever-faithful ally and pillar of evolving ideas,

Debra approaches her clients with an intuitive ear, a foundation of love and sincerity, sprinkled with a touch of humor.

Elizabeth Rago
Modern Domestic Woman
30 Days to Clarity: Home Office

Your Home Office

Clearing Clutter & Creating Systems for Entrepreneurs and Others Who Office At Home

Working from home isn’t always easy. There are distractions abound – neighbors, the postman, the laundry, Netflix…. So, don’t let the clutter add to your distractions.

Working from home can give you a sense of freedom you’ll never find in a cubicle. So the creation of systems will help you feel free because you’ll be supported by a structure that fits your needs.


It begins Monday, September 16th  

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Hunka Burning Love

A Year of Support & Accountability

My most popular coaching package as it allows us to spend 12 months together. We build trust and get to know each other intimately.

This allows you go go as wide - or deep - as your stage of life demands.

You choose the number of sessions that fit your lifestyle (and budget) and we’ll create an amazing year together for a life you love.

Learn More or book a discovery session to see if we're a good fit.

A Joy

Working with Debra is a joy.

She inspires me, she supports me, and she gives me direction so I can identify my needs and my wants. But she doesn’t stop there. Not only does she assist me in laying the foundation, but she gives me the tools to actually achieve the life I desire. This is an ongoing process, not a quick fix. And it takes practice.

If I veer off my intended path, Debra has given me the structure, along with the tools to get back on track. Since working with Debra, my life flows more smoothly, I know where I’m heading and I know how to get there.

I feel better about myself and my life. I look forward to each day as an adventure!

–Susan Mushkin

Over at YourTango

Too much stress can make you overwhelmed and if you want to know how to be happy in life, it's time to learn how to manage it.

Read ==>  When Life Feels Like Too Much To Handle

Unbelievable Difference

Working with Deb for just a few months has made an unbelievable difference in my life.

With her encouragement, I made major progress on clearing the clutter in my physical life as well as in my emotional life, which paved the way toward creating a new vision for the life I want to live now.

Deb has an easy conversational style, rational down-to earth wisdom, and a warm sense of humor.

She got right to the heart of the things holding me back from living my best life, and has given me sound principles and practices I can carry forward into the future.

For the first time in a long time I feel excited about my life, and I have Deb to thank for that!

-Becca Rowan, Author

Clear Your Mind

Want to know how to clear your head?

One of the biggest challenges to loving my life is my own thoughts. One moment, I’m feeling on top of the world and then suddenly feel overwhelmed, thanks to swirling thoughts that soon become brain clutter.

Read  ==> Here’s How To Clear Your Mind When You’re Stressed To The Max


Your advice has always been spot on…….from helping me see how important it is to be thankful for my blessings to helping me remove physical and emotional clutter from my life. I am actually the most grateful for the times when you have spoken the truth in love and been honest with me when I wanted to continue to delude myself. Without those wise words, I would have continued to lie to myself and not had the breakthroughs I have experienced.

I’m not all I want to be yet but I would have ever found my path had I not met and worked with you. Thank you for your efforts in helping me find my life. I am forever in your debt.

~Basil Human, Engineer, Chief Operating Officer, Writer

Love Yourself & Track Your Goals

I believe that if you were to really get to know all the sides of someone, you couldn’t help but fall in love with them.

What if YOU were that person?

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Become Besotted will assist you in writing your story, a month at a time. An opportunity to get to know all sides of yourself and fall in love.

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Also in the Blog

What can you do when you begin feeling overwhelmed?

Read ==> Six Action Steps to Take When You Begin Feeling Overwhelmed
Copyright © 2019 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

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