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“Wear gratitude like a cloak
and it will feed
every corner of your life.”


Good morning and Happy Saturday, my dear <<Name>>. How are you this wonderful (and hopefully not too Pumpkinscold or damp) November day?

In the United States, next week is Thanksgiving. Which is meant to be a holiday that celebrates harvest, family, and being grateful for our blessings.

But to be honest, it seems as if we skip straight from Halloween to Christmas Sales. If your email in-box is anything like mine, it's already full of holiday sales. I understand that the original call to "Black Friday" was the moment when retailers finally came into the black, but that has changed.

This Black Friday and other shopping nonsense has gotten a bit out of hand. Look, I like a bargain as much as the next gal. But this feels...grabby, greedy, and needy.  I mean, when did all the restaurants begin with "Black Friday" specials? And this year it seems so much EARLIER than even last year.  I am deleting, light and lighton average, 100+ emails a day from retailers I've shopped at over the last decade.

SO. Much.Email and noise, right?  So, I'm keeping this love note as short as possible and instead of sharing big lessons I'm learning (there's always space for learning new lessons) I'm just going to to share a single reminder:

We are a little over a month from a new year and a new decade. My Word of the Year book has been a part of my coaching practice since the beginning.  I sent that email out on TUESDAY of this week. If you don't remember getting it, look in your in-box for  an email titled: My Free Holiday Gift for You: The Ultimate Guide to Your Word of the Year for Word of the Year Book2020. (If you can't find it, here's a link to that email)

And on that note, my dear, I am going to go make a fresh cup of coffee and make my grocery list for our Thanksgiving dinner.  I hope you have an amazing week. And if I don't tell you often enough, I am ever grateful for this space in your inbox.

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:  Having a Good Life Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Dream of Having More

One of my core beliefs is that if you curate your daily life to feel both loving and nourishing, then you’ll discover that not only will you be happier. You’ll find that peace of heart that you are living a good life. And, of course, isn’t that what you’ve been working towards? Yay for you, right? I’m sure you feel pretty grateful about your life. And my dear, that’s a wonderful thing.

You deserve to have your dreams and desires become a part of your reality. You actually feel like those hashtags you use on Instagram. You know: #blessed or #lovemylife. It feels good to walk your talk. I am thrilled for you. So, I want to warn you about something super important, ok? So, listen up.

Just because you have a life that you truly do love doesn’t preclude you from dreaming about having more.

Dream Big, Princess

This is the time of year when many folks begin thinking about new year’s resolutions. And, my darling, I want you to dive into your hopes, dreams, and desires with your full mind, body, and soul.

And while I was thinking about my own goals for 2020. And was preparing my Word of the Year book for subscribers, I couldn’t help but remember the times that I cam in contact with someone that wants to punch holes in your dream.  Yep, we all know those dream killers. Especially folks in our lives that we love, yet somehow make us feel like our desires or silly. Or worse, make you feel ashamed that you dare think about something more since you’re already so “Blessed” or “Lucky”.

I know I’m not alone in feeling judged when I express having new goals and desires. And someone else points out that I have a good life with the implication that I am a bad person for wanting more in my life.

Yes, my darling, I’ve been there. Bopping along in my life feeling excited about a new project. Or making progress on a new goal when a naysayer appears in my life and have uttered those sarcastic phrases meant to make you shrink into a smaller version of who you can be. Because the moment someone utters “You’re so lucky” or “Well, that must be nice”? I begin to question myself, my dreams, and my simplest of desires. Yes, that inner people-pleaser in me becomes afraid that the other person thinks I’m a spoiled brat. Or full of myself.

Because this kind of interaction comes with the implication that you should settle for what you have right now. It has a double-edged meaning to it: how dare you desire even more!

When someone criticizes our choices, we are tempted to stunt our own growth. Especially when they point out how “lucky” or “blessed” we are. Implying that because your life seems good from the outside, you are greedy or ungrateful if you desire more. And the thing is, because humans are wired for connection, we often tamp down the desire to be bigger and bolder. Because, what if people don’t like us? What if they withdraw their affection? (Hint: Anyone who withdraws their affection from you isn’t worthy of your time.)

Remember that you can have an amazingly good life. Full of all kinds of lovely things and marvelous achievements. And still desire to have more.

This is one of the reasons I love the word of the year process. Because when you choose a word of the year, coming in contact with a person who wants to punch holes in your dreams. Or feel shamed for pursuing big goals even though you have a really good life, it can be hard to stay on track. And sometimes, even if you know that you can reach for bigger goals and dreams, it can be easy to self-sabotage.

That word is there to guide and support you. And remind you what you really long for.

When you have a good life, you may feel that wanting more makes you ungrateful for what you have.

I want you to completely understand that when it comes to curating a life you love, I’m a big fan of gratitude. Being grateful for your blessings and lessons helps re-wire your brain to think more positively. Yet that doesn’t mean that wanting more is being ungrateful for what you have.

This is where fear and the tendency to self-sabotage can come into play. You may tell yourself that you are just being practical.

There’s that fear that desiring more means that “the other shoe will drop”, and not only will you not get what you longed for? You’ll screw up the delicate balance of life. And end up no longer liking it, let alone loving your life.

Don’t give into fear, my dear. You can love your life. And still desire more. So, dream big, my dear, when it comes to pursuing your desires in 2020.

And in fact, sometimes I think that achieving our goals invites our soul to grow even more. To achieve more. And experience more. Maybe even shoot for a goal so big that we are sure to make some mistakes or fails along the way.

Here are a few specific reminders about having a good life and wanting more:
  • You can be in a healthy, happy relationship. And, you can desire to have a stronger partnership.
  • The home you life in may be practically perfect in every way. But that doesn’t meant that you shouldn’t think about redecorating. Or moving. Or even traveling.
  • You can do work that really lights you from within. And, you can desire to be more successful.
  • Body acceptance may be the your jam. Yes, my dear, you can accept your body for all it’s perfections and imperfections. And still desire to drop a few pounds. Or get in better shape. Or want to get Botox or a face-lift or a tummy tuck. It’s your body, my dear. And loving yourself doesn’t exclude you from wanting to change or shift something.
  • You can love being a mom. And a wife. And still want to be more than just a mom. Or more than someone’s wife.

You can love everything about your life. And still follow those strings of desire. Because you know that there is more to experience. More to be. And things to create.

You are a beloved Child of God and deserve a nourishing life. You can have a good life. An incredibly fabulous life that you love and adore. And yes, you can still deeply desire for even more. Because, darling, now is the time to begin your journey into your desires.
I've been doing my best to be more conscious of gluten and carbs in my diet lately. No, I'm not allergic to gluten, but I have noticed a difference in how I feel when I reduce the amount of gluten in my diet (hello getting older and little bits of arthritis). So, because of that, I've been playing with some different side dishes to replace my love of pasta. And last week I stumbled upon what's become one of my favorites: sauteed cabbage for the win!cabbage with bacon and carrots.

Sorry I don't have a fancier name for it!  But I had half a head of green cabbage left over from making beef stew and didn't want it to go to waste. 

Always begin with prep. Take two or three carrots: scrub them, peel them, and dice them into pieces no larger than a half-inch. (Alternatively, you can also use 1/2 cup of pre-shredded carrots). Dice 1/2 of a yellow onion. And last, but not least, take half of a head of green cabbage and slice it into pieces that are small enough to eat (I like to vary the sizes - between and inch to 1 1/2 inches).

Set all your veggies aside.

Take half a package of bacon (I am partial to Applegate's No-Sugar Bacon or Wellshire Farms No-Sugar dry Rubbed Bacon). and slice the pieces into 1/2 inch pieces.  Put the bacon in a cold pan and begin cooking on medium high heat. 

When your bacon is beginning to brown, add your diced onions and then a light sprinkling of kosher salt (as in, literally, a small pinch of salt as it helps bring out the water in the onions). Stir and when the onions begin to soften, add your carrots.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cover for about a minute.

Now, add your diced cabbage and stir well so that you get a nice mix of bacon and carrots scattered throughout your cabbage. Next, add 1/2 cup of either broth (I use Vegetable  or Chicken stock) or water. Cover and allow the cabbage to wilt (about 2 minutes).

This goes well with sauteed chicken, pork tenderloin, or even pork burgers.

You can also make this a full one-dish meal by adding a variety of meats: rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, slices of your favorite smoked sausage, or a cooked pound of ground pork.  Or even leftover turkey from your Thanksgiving feast.

If you add additional meat to the skillet, you will need to do this after you add the carrots. And you may also need to add about a teaspoon of olive oil. And THEN add the cabbage at this point.

This also stands up well to left-overs being stored in the fridge for a couple of stays. Simply warm it up in a pan on the stove (not the microwave!)

Volume 9-Issue 24

November 23, 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.
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.”

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a year of support

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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.

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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

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


Love and Sincerity

“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.

Her written communication is always that of a lively, three dimensional storyteller, as she pours her personality on the page, never leaving you disappointed.

Driven by the positive result of being relentless in her own life, Debra always captures your attention with thought-provoking topics and a working action plan for your life, both personally and professionally..”

~Elizabeth Rago Writer – Storyteller – Small Business Owner

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