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“Happiness cannot be traveled to,
owned, earned, worn or consumed.
Happiness is the spiritual experience
of living every minute with
love, grace, and gratitude.”

--Denis Waitley

Happy Saturday, dear,<<Name>>. We are officially entering a new year - and new decade. And though I know that the momentum of a New Year and all the energy of folks diving into goals and resolutions can Happy 90thhelp you get traction, I am not worrying about any "new year" stuff for another week - or maybe three.

 On New Year's Eve, JB's mother turned 90. And, as in years past, we gathered together as a family to celebrate. And, in fact, we are started gathering around December 26th with a final departure date for most folks on January 5th.

My first day back in the office is on January 13th. Yep. Not for another full week.

If you're a life coach, making the choice to not be fully engaged in social media, promoting blog posts, selling services, and reminding folks that the time to seize their goals is NOW can be, frankly, downright scary. Because, yes, you need to meet folks right where they are. And ensure they know that you are there me and storm troopersfor them - RIGHT THIS MOMENT. 

You know what I mean - to "strike when the iron is hot". But to be honest, I am not waiting in the wings. I am doing what I would advise any client or potential client to do: LIVE your life to the best of your ability.

Ensure that you take advantage of every moment to experience joy and happiness NOW. Without waiting for time tables or ensuring that you work towards goals based on a timetable of outside expectations and calendars.

I do know that making new year's resolutions at the same time as others can be helpful. There will be people who begin the new year in earnest because they are caught up in the slip stream of the new year.

And I also know that you also have to have faith and trust and a bit of pixie dust that you can begin your year - and a new goal - at any time. That, on average, most folks abandon their new year's resolutions by new yearFebruary.

That's exactly the reason to not only set some intentions right this moment. But to get some help to stay on track. Because while getting some support now can be a good idea, getting support a month from now can be even more helpful.

Please do both. Take advantage of all this beautiful new year, new decade, new you, new goals energy. Seize every last drop of it.  And then, get some support to be there when you begin to lose interest or momentum. Lay your goals out in a way that you can take some baby steps now. And big steps by March.

Because, in all honesty, I know that you can achieve whatever you desire. With faith and a little elbow grease and the support of people in your corner.

So tell me, darling: What about YOU?  Does the New Year/New You stuff excite you? Or stress you out? How do you like to begin the New Year? What would choosing to start your year on a different date look and feel like?

And what mindsets do you need to shift in this coming year?  Are you in need of talking through these things? What are your priorities for the first quarter of 2020? What's something you could do well, however, getting some help would allow you to really take it to the next level?

Remember 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...........

PSS - I am taking ONE or Two new clients beginning January 15th. If coaching is on your list for 2020, feel free to  book a Discovery Session now and we can see if we're a good fit. If not, I am happy to refer you to other coaches I know.

From the blog:  Eight Ways to Love Yourself When the Holidays Left You Feeling Unloved  Once we’re beyond the rush of Christmas, it’s not unusual to feel a little let-down. Those post holiday blues, so to speak. But the thing is, often women feel something beyond the blues. It’s as if you give and give to everyone else, but by the time the New Year approaches, you’re left feeling wrung out. And frankly, like no one else loves you. That’s why, darling, it’s important to take steps to love yourself.

Because despite how much we can give to our families, it often doesn’t feel reciprocated.  You feel taken advantage of or as if you aren’t a priority for anyone. Which is why it’s super important to make yourself a priority to YOU. While I know this is easier said than done, when you take some concrete actions to remind you that even when you feel unloved and unappreciated, there is someone that always loves you: YOU.

Here’s eight ways to love yourself after the holidays have left you feeling kinda blah.

love Yourself my Dear

One – Buy That Thing You Wanted for Christmas

Yes, I know you gave everyone hints. Or even came right out and said “I want THIS for Christmas!” Yet, no one delivered. And yes, I know that you got your hubby that video game he wanted along with a new leather jacket. I also know that Santa delivered everything your kiddo had on her wish-list, including the hard-to-find Little People Frozen Castle.

I know that you really believed that if your husband/best friend/mom/sister/daughter got that one special thing for you, then you’d feel loved and appreciated. And while buying it yourself may not give you the feeling you wanted to experience come Christmas morning, sugarplum, it’s time to stop waiting for others to give you what you want. It’s time to love yourself enough to give it to yourself. So, buy the purse, coat, necklace, etc for your own damned self.

Two – Invest in Something that will Upgrade the Quality of Your Daily Life

Is there any particular area of your life that feels lacking? Or a moment in your day that can use an upgrade? As a way of choosing to love yourself, upgrade it. Buy the espresso maker if you want to enjoy a nice latte at home. Purchase the lighted make-up mirror if you want to have a better experience putting on your make-up. And invest in a beautiful set of dishes to feel a little spoiled when you eat your dinner.

This can go to experiences as well as items. If you have a long commute every day, find a new podcast to inspire you. Or subscribe to Audible. If writing in your journal is something you want to do more of, find a pen you love to write with. And find a journal that you love writing in. Though we often overlook the little things, they go a long way in improving our mundane, everyday experiences.

When you invest in little ways to make your daily life more beautiful and pleasurable, you’ll find that it’s easier to love yourself no matter how tough times may get.

Three – Schedule a Mental Health Day within the Next Six Weeks

One of the biggest complaints I hear from women is that they have no time to themselves.  So, love yourself enough to remedy that. Schedule a vacation day on a random Thursday in February. Or a Tuesday in March. And actually take time to just chill out.

Do not keep the kiddos home from school. And no, don’t tell your dear hubby to take off that day, too. Rather, it’s about having a day to do whatever you desire to do: go to a movie, get a manicure, or sit on your couch with a novel all day.

Four – Schedule a Lunch Date with your BFF

There’s something about spending time with our girlfriends that lifts us up and allows us to feel loved, nourished, and important. And, if you can manage it, as a way to love yourself – and your dearest friends – schedule a girl’s getaway. Science tells us that spending time with long term friends improves our mental health and boots our feel-good hormones.

Besides, who but our BFF can we confess how rotten the holidays felt? It can be the mirror we need to remind ourselves how important we really are in the scheme of our world. Our friends can help remind is to do the work to love ourselves. And mirror that back to them.

Five – Make Note of Less than Stellar Experiences

For the love of all that his holy, if you had a rotten experience this holiday season, ensure you don’t next year. Did you hate the office Christmas Party? Make a note on your calendar for next November to decline the invitation. Did your sister-in-law make Thanksgiving a big drama fest? Write yourself a reminder right now to do something else for Thanksgiving next year. Oh. And if you discovered that come December 1st you were too tired to do any more Christmas shopping, make a note to begin shopping in September.

Also, make a note on the day after Labor Day to schedule all your appointments for the holidays: haircut, manicure, eyebrow wax, and more.

When we are further away from an event, we tend to forget the crappy moments. Dig into your memory now and as a way of loving yourself, ensure you don’t repeat untenable situations next year. Avoiding them can go a long way to feeling more loved and nourished in the next holiday season.

Six – Get Rid of Crap You Don’t Really Love or Need

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in more than a decade of being a life coach it’s that clutter gets in the way of us loving ourselves and our lives.  So, set a timer for twenty minutes, grab a trash bag, and go through one area of your home. I like starting with my closet or bedroom. Toss stuff you don’t love, doesn’t fit, or you don’t need into the bag.

Though this may not seem like a way to love yourself, what you’re doing is shedding what’s in the way. Excess stuff distracts us from living our best lives. And when you’re already feeling unloved and unappreciated, having stuff you don’t need in the way can bring you down.

Seven – Upgrade One Item in Your Make-up Bag

After having teenager daughters, I know how adding to their make-up collection can make their holiday. But how about yours? Though it may feel as if putting on make-up every day is a waste of time, in all honesty, it’s a way to boost your confidence. So, rather than put on the same, old, cheapie make-up day in and day out, upgrade something. Maybe it’s a better wearing foundation or new blusher. Perhaps it’s the investment in an eye shadow palate that pops. Or maybe it’s finally buying a red lipstick that makes you feel on top of the world.

Choosing better quality make-up can go a long way into feeling like you love yourself instead of just tolerate yourself. Ya know?

Eight – Make a List of All the Ways You Are Awesome

Though I’d love to tell you that a conversation with your spouse or kiddos is the path to feeling more loved and appreciated, in all honesty, happiness and love of self is an inside job. To bolster your opinion of yourself, make a list of all the ways you are an awesome human being. If it’s helpful, remind yourself of all of your triumphs through the years. The first prize in the science fair when you were in fifth grade to being the only one to ace the first college exam.

Write these things down. By hand.  A big, long list of all the ways you rock. This allow you to remember that you are worthy of love, affection, and kudos even when you’re feeling taking advantage of by others. Because the truth is what you think of yourself matters more than anything else. Especially when it comes to being able to love yourself.

While not everyone can have the holiday of their dreams – because reality – that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a way to love yourself no matter how rotten your holidays felt.

I know we want to have perfect holidays. And ones where we feel loved, cherished, and incredibly important. However, the reality of life is that things will fall short of our expectations. When you make the decision to love yourself no matter how others behave, you’ll find that life feels so much better.  So, end the holidays with a bang and find ways to love yourself. You’ll be ever grateful now. And next year, too.

I'm a big fan of comfort food that has a freshness to it. It's one of the reasons I love cooking with fresh herbs and citrus, especially during the dreary days of winter!  It's one of the things I love about this recipe for Rosemary Lemon Chicken!
rosemary lemon chicken
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.

Juice 2 lemons, then quarter the rinds and set aside.

Mix together in the bottom of a large zipper bag: 2 cloves garlic (minced), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, several grinds of fresh black pepper, the juice of 2 lemons,  and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. 

Take a sprig of rosemary and snip the leaves with a pair of kitchen scissors into your mix (about 2 tablespoons). Close the bag and combine by kneading the mixture with your hands.

Take a boneless, skinless chicken breast and chop it into bite sized chunks. Open the zipper bag and drop chicken in and then knead the mixture into the chicken to coat.

(You can do this the night before if you like and put the entire bag in the fridge. If so, don’t forget to bag the lemon rinds and refrigerate, too.)

Put a tablespoon or so of olive oil in the bottom of an oven-safe skillet or dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. Add your coated chicken to the hot pan (I dump the entire bag into the skillet, leftover marinade and all)  and stir around until all of the outside edges are seared. Remove from heat.

Add to the chicken : the reserved lemon rind quarters,  ½ cup of chicken stock, and 2 small sprigs of rosemary. Cover and put in the oven for 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Volume 10-Issue 01

January 04, 2020

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.
Hello from Debra

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.


“No matter what age or stage we are, sometimes life just isn’t everything we want it to be. This course offers amazing insight into some of the many reasons why.

Deb Smouse has prepared an intensive program to help decipher the ways we can derail our own happiness, and, most importantly, lots of concrete tips and tricks for getting back on course to Finally Love Your Life.”

Becca Rowan, Author

a year of support

Make 2020
YOUR Year with
a Year of Support

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


Gotten More Courageous 

Finally Love Your Life is an authentic and deep yet practical and fun program all wrapped up into one.  Debra’s extensive knowledge coupled with her emotive writing and ginormous heart provide the tools, support and space to explore and discover, evaluate and play. 

As a result of class, I was able to dig in and shift some major challenges that were keeping me stuck in annoying and frustrating patterns.

I also realized how little time I was devoting to having FUN and making time for simple pleasures.  With these insights and some easy changes, I have grown, gotten more courageous and have way more delight and joy in my life.

Michelle Reinhardt
small acts of kindness

Over at YourTango

When your partner makes you so mad you could spit nails, it’s easier to deal with your anger when you recall the times he’s fixed you that cup of tea when you were feeling stressed, or jumped in and done the dishes when dinner is over.

READ ==> Why Small Acts of Kindness Matter

Facing Teeny Cracks of Vulnerability

My working relationship with Deb began a number of years ago through an online course in which we both participated – post-course, we agreed with a few colleagues to an online accountability relationship for positive steps we were all taking in our lives. During that time for me, Deb established her attention to detail and her accountability to both contribute input and to positively listen to each of the persons involved with the group. After that group ended, she and I personally kept in touch loosely over our blogposts and those posts of other online friends.

When Deb posted her “Sex Kitten” course for the first time, I was totally taken with the clever title and provocative content offered for positive and long-reaching advances in one’s personal and in one’s very personal life. I dialed in for a personal conversation about whether or not we were a match regarding present and future ambitions of mine and…….“the rest is history!”

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, Abstract Artist


Also in the Blog

The holiday season can feel challenging. Whether it's because of the added stresses and demands on your time. Or the darker days due to winter's approach. Gratitude can help.

Click here to read==>  Cultivating Gratitude May Be the Answer to the Challenges of the Season


I would just like to state for the record that Debra Smouse is a genius and an awesome listener, to boot.

In one phone conversation with her, I was able to verbalize, and thus realize, something that had been on the tip of my brain for weeks.  Her simple way of listening and asking led to a proverbial light bulb moment that has stayed with me for days and has helped open up new, clearer avenues of thought and feeling.

~Brandi Lee, Photographer, Small Business Owner

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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.

Ordinary Desire

Also from the Blog

Just because your desires and small or seem too simple when you compare yourself to others doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

Rather, it's the sign that it's time to shed the shame of wanting ordinary desires.

Read ==> Having Seemingly Ordinary Desires Doesn’t Mean Your Playing Small

Copyright © 2020 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

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