A tough news week...
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“ Don't try to comprehend with your mind.
Your minds are very limited.
Use your intuition.”

--- Madeleine L'Engle


Good morning! How are you, my dear <<Name>>? Has Autumn finally arrived in your neck of the woods? After weeks and weeks of temps in the 80's here in Ohio (very unseasonably warm), we finally dropped down into the 50's for the highs. Hooray!

Though I always love the activity of cooking, it seems like the final arrival of cooler temperatures this week has been inviting me to linger. To chop another onion or pull out the food processor. I'm compelled to scour my cookbooks for a dish that requires a dozen meticulously timed steps for a meal that will have a broader depth of flavors me to take that up a notch instead of looking for the quickest way from raw ingredients to being on the table.

Last night, I made Coq au Vin. To be honest, it isn't a recipe I would have attempted five years ago. It required not just chopping of some veggies and tossing them in the pot with some meat to cook, but several steps of putting ingredients in and pulling them out, lighting simmered vegetables on fire to flambé, and cooking it in the oven for hours.

It was a delicious and wonderful treat on the first really cold evening of the season. Both the preparation and the eating.

The old me wouldn't have been able to enjoy much of it. Or probably wouldn't have attempted it.  I would have been intimidated by trying a "French" recipe. I would have thought the recipe took way too long to create. I would have been stressed at the sheer number of steps. I would have been crazily afraid to light the brandy on fire. I would have worried that two hours in the oven would dry it out. 

Then, I would have freaked at the results.  You see, when I began to plate our dinner, I realized that when I de-boned the chicken, it was purple (which doesn't look like any of the photos for Coq au vin that I've ever seen). And I might not have had the courage to serve it.

But I rolled with that purple chicken, served it with some wilted spinach (and some rice for JB) and we enjoyed every bite.

What's changed is two major things about me. One is my ability to trust my intuition. Cooking is both a science and an art. We all begin with a basic recipe (for a dish, for a business, for our life) and then we begin to shift it a little here and a little there until it feels just right. I also know that I can use my favorite ingredients for generic ones - like multicolored carrots instead of just orange ones.

By trusting my intuition, it means that I am more able to step into doing the things that scare me (not just in the kitchen)!

The other thing that's changed? I've loosened my grip on perfection. I know that no matter how closely I follow someone else's recipe, I'm likely to get a little different result. Each of us is different, and when it comes to cooking or living our lives, it's never going to be a perfect copy of what someone else has done.

And let's be honest.... would we WANT to be a "copy" of someone else? Tried that and was miserable. It's much better to just be original self.

As far as my intuitive call for extended kitchen time? I think it's my body's connection to the world and nature. We can't deny that the shifts and nature, full moons and eclipses affect us. 

Autumn is all about burrowing into ourselves. It's about preparing for the changes that winter brings. It's about the signal to our bodies that we are entering that cycle of shedding so that new ways can be born in the spring. We crave heartier foods and seek ways to warm ourselves from the inside out. We also instinctively seek to slow down - to linger over a cup of coffee and sink into a comfortable chair with a good book. 

It's the natural transition...of crossing from one season to the next as we prepare for yet another...

What about you, darling? Are you listening to your body's needs to connect to the season? Are you ignoring the reality of needing to slow down a little and burrow into yourself? Are you trying to follow another person's recipe for life (or business) and not understanding why you aren't getting their (seemingly) perfect results?

Are you willing to trust your gut instead of looking to others for tell you what next step to take? How excruciatingly painful would it be to live and never trust our intuition?. How can you lessen your grip on the need for perfection?  In what ways can you embrace your own "purple chicken"?  What can you do that scares you a little? How can you more boldly step into your own fears?

What are your priorities as we inch towards the final quarter of 2018? What goals and intentions do you want to accomplish before January? What might compassionate discipline look like for you?

Though I'm not visiting your in-box each week  know that I'm just an email away. I love hearing your stories and helping you find the resources you need to create a life you love.

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

PS - Clutter Busting begins TOMORROW. Join me and tidy up before the holidays!

From the blog: Motivation for Clearing the Clutter from Your Home By Knowing Your Personality Type

If there’s one thing I know intimately, it’s how one moment my house is spotless. And then the next second there seems to be towering piles of clutter. In every room. You probably notice them right before the doorbell rings. Or you finish a big project for work.  And you can’t take on more minute of the mess. But where do you begin clearing the clutter from your home?

Especially when, frankly, you’re feeling frustrated and wonder why this always happens to you. Why does your house go from tidy to hot mess seemingly overnight?

Sister, I feel you. As I write this blog post, I am hiding in my office. Away from the tiny puddles of clutter throughout my house. Yes, even after knowing that my life is always better when my house is neat and clean, I still have my moments. Those times when the last thing I want to do is begin clearing clutter from my house.

Like right this moment. JB is traveling for work and I have been home alone for almost two weeks.  My list of projects is a mile long. And since none of those projects involve decluttering, my house is a bit of a disaster zone. Well, except my office, which is perfectly neat and tidy.

Of course, I’m laughing at myself since the article I am writing is about “how to begin clearing the clutter from your home.”  Unlike the past, though, I’m not stressing out about the clutter.

What has been key to me being able to have a tidy house most of the time? And not stress out when the house naturally gets a little (or a lot) messy?

Knowing your clutter personality type opens the door to understanding how to begin clearing the clutter from your home.

Like any kind of awareness, knowing why you tend to be messy allows you to find that deeper motivation for tackling clutter once and for all. Or, at least, knowing how to get a quick handle on things when things pin out a bit.

Do any of these sound familiar? And if so, does it help you understand why clearing the clutter from your home is challenging?

When it comes to clearing the clutter from your home, which one (or combination) are you?

The Hustler: Not only do you have a full-time job, you also have a passionate side gig. You love working and are always on the grind. Unfortunately, that leaves little time for clearing the clutter from your home on the regular. You have too much stuff you’d rather be doing.

The Treasure Hunter: You are seeking a way to fill a hole in your life and shopping does that for you. And, sure, a new sweater or purse makes you feel better. For a little while. Stuff builds up, and you spent a lot of money on it, so you keep it. Clearing the clutter from your home would force you to come face to face with all the ways you still are seeking love and satisfaction.

The Overnight Success Seeker. You find yourself searching for the next big thing. You buy exercise programs, workout equipment, and special kitchen appliances for the perfect body. Only to abandon them all when it doesn’t work. You honestly never tried that hard

The Consummate Saver: You save practically everything. You know, because you might need it again. Sometimes you worry you have too much stuff stashed away. And just when you think you should begin clearing the clutter in your home, you can’t seem to do it. Because you are equally worried that if you ditch anything, that will be the moment you need it.

The Social Butterfly: Not only are you working, you have Activities. You know: yoga class, book club, and a regular bunco night. And, of course, your kids are just as booked (over-booked) as you! The only time you consider clearing the clutter from your home is when you are hosting book club. Or you kid’s girl scout troupe.

The Super Busy & Overwhelmed: You are not just busy all time. Nope, you are completely overwhelmed with everything: work, laundry, the kids. Well, just face it, you’re overwhelmed with life. Your house is a hot mess because you are unable to figure out a system of any sort. Like where to store stuff. And, if you’re honest with yourself, you end up buying items you already own because you can’t find the one you already have. Other than guilt, you try to ignore the mess. But deep down, you know life would be easier if you would tackle the hot mess before you.

The Creative: You are enthusiastic about life. And you love creating things: art, meals, and crafts. Cleaning isn’t very creative to you at heart. So you create and play, often leaving a path of destruction behind.

Let’s be honest here, sugarplum: no matter what your personality type? Clearing the clutter from your home will provide blessed relief.

Remember, if you’re like me, you probably identify with more than one of these types. Because a lifetime of being messy means you’ve probably cycled through many of them. And, darling, here’s what I’ve learned during all the years of battling my natural tendency to be messy. Clutter distracts us from the life we most desire to live. It manifests in different ways, yet physical clutter always leads to mental clutter.

The good news, though, is that if you begin to focus on the physical clutter, all other kinds of clutter become easier to conquer. So, make the decision to begin clearing the clutter from your home.

Here’s where to begin clearing the clutter from your home based on your personality type.

If you’re The Hustler, remind yourself that there’s no space for new to enter your world without making space for it. Not only does physical clutter make your house untidy, it makes your mind cluttered, too. When you understand that clearing the clutter from your home makes you even more successful? You’ll be more motivated to get started.

If you are the Treasure Hunter, make peace with this fact: the true treasure in life is YOU. That beautiful mind and soul of yours that in order to success, you need space for your ideas.

If you’re the Overnight Success Seeker. Darling, there is no such thing as overnight success. However, if you want to make major project towards your goals, clear what’s in the way. Beginning with your physical world can be the key to sticking to those goals of yours. So, begin by clearing the clutter from one space in your home in one key space. Try one of these: your closet, your kitchen, or your bedroom.

If you are the Consummate Saver. Oh honey. I feel you to the North Pole and back. I used to save everything. What cured me of this was having to clean out my mother’s closet after she died. I didn’t want my own children to have to do that.

The Social Butterfly: Of course you want to welcome folks warmly into your house. But isn’t it best if you can expect someone in without notice? Begin by clearing the clutter in your living room and entry hall. Being able to open the door without embarrassment has always been a great motivator for me.

The Super Busy & Overwhelmed: I’m going to be honest with you, sugarplum. You have got to cut some things out of your schedule. Tidy up your closet, your bedroom, and your kitchen. And for the love of all that is holy, hire someone to clean your house. Getting ready for your house cleaner will be just the motivation you need to begin clearing the clutter from your home.

The Creative: Now, this, my dear, is the type I identify with the most! My secret to making it work: setting boundaries for myself. I create to my heart’s content during my work hours, and then give myself 30 minutes at the end of each day to tidy up. This is the time of JB’s commute. And when JB is coming back from a longer trip, I set aside an hour. And hire my cleaning lady to come in the day before he comes home.

Darling, the one thing I know is that if you want to live a life you love, you must begin clearing the clutter from your home.

And the beauty of awareness and honesty – by knowing your clutter personality type, it allows you to understand why you tend to be messy. Or, like me, leave a path of destruction behind me. It also allows you to find just the right motivation to finally clearing the clutter from your home. Or finding a system that works for you. Yes, fabulous, amazing YOU.

Clutter Busting begins on Sunday, October 14th!

The cool temps finally arrived here in Ohio and that's making me want to make some hearty meals that will be perfect on a cozy meals. Especially ones that I can freeze batches of for those nights I just don't feel like cooking.

One of my favorites is the deep flavors of roasted green chilies.

Like this New Mexico Style Green Chile Stew.  I've cut the recipe down for manageable size but it's easily doubled or tripled. And though I made it on top of the stove, you can also do it in the crock pot.

Take a 2 1/2 to 3 pound Boston Butt Roast (pork roast with a little fat) and cut the meat into 2 inch cubes. Season the meat with cumin and garlic powder and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Cover the bottom of a heavy duty stock pot (I love my enameled cast iron pot for this) with olive oil, put the heat on medium high, and brown the meat in batches. Pull out and set aside.

In the same oil, saute two diced yellow onions until they begin to soften. Add two crushed cloves of garlic and four sliced carrots and saute another minute. Return the meat and any accumulated juices back to the pot, then add 2 diced tomatoes (or one can of diced tomatoes), two peeled and diced potatoes, and six cups of chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for one hour.

At the hour mark, add 2 cups of diced roasted (no seeds!) Hatch Green Chili peppers and the corn from 2 cobs back into the stew. Simmer for another forty-five minutes.

You can use frozen organic corn. And canned green chili peppers.

If you prefer to make this in the crock pot, brown your meat and saute your onions, then layer everything in the crock pot in this manner: onions, carrots, potatoes on the bottom, add the browned meat and juices, add tomatoes, corn, and green chilies atop the meat, and then gently add the chicken stock. 

Cook on high for four hours or low for seven to eight hours. DO NOT STIR until after the cooking time. After stirring, keep in on warm in the crock pot for another 20 minutes before serving.

I have NOT made this in the Instant Pot yet, but I may experiment with one batch soon.

You can serve this as is or top it with any combination of sour cream, cheese, or fresh strips of tortilla chips. It's good served over cornbread...and in soft tortillas as a taco filling.

This freezes for up to six months.

Volume 8 -Issue 21

October 13, 2018

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.

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:
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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 Clutter

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that you cannot welcome new things into your life if you don’t release some of the old stuff. You need to begin to purge things from your life.

Join me for 30 Days of Fall Cleaning and Clearing Clutter beginning Sunday, October 14, 2018

Just in time to get your home in order before the holidays!

You Won't Be Sorry

But the rest, the rest being with Deb’s counsel, has been an interesting, innovating, expanding chapter in my life as a woman, a spouse, a creative artist. My spouse and I have always had what I considered an excellent life together – I did not anticipate an even better and the more intimate relationship that we now find ourselves living into every day.

I’m no slouch in the confidence category but Deb has helped me face those teeny cracks of vulnerability that I sheltered, having helped me prosper mentally and physically at this stage of my life. My creative aspirations are blooming with no end in sight – LOTS more growth ahead for me.

I highly recommend a course with Deb or what she might call a non-course – that’s the arrangement we have now. Personal coaching on a regular basis – touching base on one’s own hiccups, one’s own dimension of daily life, whether it’s exercise, creative habits and/or reaching the next plateau or higher in all of the newness that still continues to unfold for me.

I highly recommend Deb’s methods and courses! You won’t be sorry you signed on with Deb as your super-person sidekick!

Dianna Woolley, Artist

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?

Become Besotted. With Yourself. With Your Life.

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.

Become Besotted will also help you explore your dreams and desires. It will serve you in monitoring your victories and shedding what isn’t serving you.

You receive an in-depth questionnaire and 12 months to unfold your story and fall in love...

Purchase here.

Also in the Blog

Want to know how to love your life? Here's a series of steps that can help you take action!

Click here to read==>
How To Create Action Steps to Truly Love Your Life

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

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 Email me for a complimentary chat to see if we are a good fit.

Muse & Cheerleader

I believe everyone could benefit from a good life coach. Yes, everyone. Even (and especially) other coaches! Debra is a coach who models what she encourages in her clients—deep soul searching, practical living skills, and solid business sense. Whether you’re new to exploring personal growth or someone who assists others along their own paths, Debra offers a style that meets you where you are.

Personally, I’ve done a ton of my own transformational work and continue to explore new pathways every day. While I wish I could say that I have ‘arrived,’ there really is no such destination for a lifelong learner like me or probably you. Debra is a friend and mentor who helps keep me on task, shed light on my blind spots, and untangle the stuck places that I can’t quite tackle on my own.

Throughout the time we’ve worked together, she’s nudged me forward with just the right amount of force and given me space to grieve my losses and celebrate my victories. She’s more than a coach. She’s a muse and cheerleader, and I am immensely grateful to have her on my team.

Kayce S. Hughlett – Life Coach & Author

Over at YourTango

If your internal critic is holding you back when it comes to dating, love and relationships, learning how to get rid of anxiety and calm the paralyzing self-doubts that are keeping you from finding happiness in your love life starts with healing your inner child.

Read How To Stop Anxiety From Crippling You In Relationships over at YourTango

From the Archives

What if I told you the key to overall happiness and satisfaction with your life was simply to decide that you are going to be happy? It hurts my heart to read the news though I won’t dive into politics or world events in detail here. It’s enough to say: yes, my darling, I know that the world is kind of a scary place right now.

Read: The Secret to Happiness: Decide to BE Happy.


Debra.  Your blogs and columns and coaching advice always seem supportive and like they’re coming from a place of love.

~Melissa Bartell, Word Ninja.  Bathtub Mermaid

Also from the Blog

HOW to love your life again when things go a little crazy or sideways.

Read ==> How to Stop Feeling Burned Out and Love Your Life Again
Copyright © 2018 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

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