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“ All the world is made of faith,
and trust, and pixie dust.”

J.M. Barrie


Happy Saturday, <<Name>>!  How are you doing on this (seems to be chilly most places) day?  As for me, I am happily in "re-entry mode" after two and a half weeks of travel. JB had back to back trips for work and I was grateful to be able to tag along with him.

Our first week and a half was spent in (mostly) San Diego.

We traveled in for a long weekend before work began in order to spend time with family (like brunch at the Hotel Del (which is where "Some Like It Hot" was filmed". And do some activities with friends (Like the Navy VS Notre Dame game. Go Navy!). We were getting ready for the "tale-gating" portion of the day when you got my last love note.

When work began on Monday for JB, I dove in with client calls. That seems to surprise folks that I keep a "work as usual" schedule when I tag along on JB's work trips. Well, I do as many client calls as possible. I don't get quite as much writing done as I'd like, though....

While we were in California, I did a quick overnight trip to Orange County for a project for work (I can't wait to tell you about it soon)...

After our time in California, we headed to Honolulu where JB was part of a 4-man team teach a class at Ford Island (Pearl Harbor).

I would love to tell you that we did all the things in our down time whist in Hawaii. But to be honest, we wandered no further than about a mile from the hotel. After already being on the road for more than a week - and with the work demands we both had - we were, frankly, worn out.

All of our energy went towards ensuring our work was attended and that our clients and colleagues for cared for. Then we ended each work day with a quiet dinner  with just the two of us.

Beyond getting to the hotel from the airport (and his team going to class), we did everything by walking to spots near the hotel.

Waikiki is a big city filled with high rise hotels, restaurants, and shopping. The main strip along the beach has shops like Hermes, Dior, and Harry Winston. All shops I am happy to window shop at, yet would likely never purchase from.

I know....when you go to "paradise" you should BE in paradise. Yet, the agenda for the time traveling was mostly work related.

To counterbalance that, we committed to the aforementioned relaxing dinner together each night. Most nights, we chose spots that gave us great food and a view of the ocean. (Though we did indulge in dinner at Hy's Steakhouse, which is a 42-year institution on the island).

We've learned that  no matter how stressful thing may be, as a couple, we need that time to reconnect each day.

And each morning, I chose to seize the magic. After sharing our first cup of coffee together, I headed to the beach to watch the sunrise when JB and his team headed to Pearl Harbor.

The moments of sunrise and sunset happen each day in all of our lives. And so often, we don't notice it. And, the moments where the light hits just right are fleeting.

Like: three to five minutes.

And when I went to the beach for the sole purpose of looking for the magic in that three to five minutes of time, I always saw something special each day.

Sometimes, it was the play of the light. Other days, it was an encounter with an interesting person. And other times, something along the shore. Like this sand castle.

I looked upon it with both awe and appreciation for the faith. So much hard work to something that could be smushed or washed away by the ocean.

Such magic upon the shifting sand under the magical light of sunrise.

And then, after these moments to begin the day, I headed back to the hotel to begin the work for the day.

And speaking of work, I'm diving into re-entry (aka LAUNDRY!)

So tell me, darling: What about YOU?  How do you mange the mix of responsibilities and opportunity? Are you able to carve out time to reconnect to your partner or  friend? What about taking those moments to witness the sunrise or sunset?

How do you seek magic and remind yourself of faith and hope?  What are your priorities as we inch towards the final days of 2018? What goals and intentions do you want to accomplish before January?

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 -I am taking two  new clients this fall. Reach out if you're ready to dig into making your life feel more nourishing and loving.

From the blog: Which Room to Declutter First to Prepare for the Holidays (or Any Season)   Two days after Halloween, I had an email from Starbucks announcing the Holiday Drinks have arrived. Everywhere I turn – be it in person or online – everything is screaming “The Holidays Are Coming”.  And, that, my dear may be causing you to feel a little panicked. Especially if your house is on the cluttered side. It can feel overwhelming to begin. So you might be asking yourself which room to declutter first.
I know that a part of you wants to whip the entire house into shape. Yet, darling, trying to do it all  right now? That can be a sure path to feeling more overwhelmed.

To better manage the way those feelings of anxiety can bubble to the surface when you think about hosting Thanksgiving. And getting Christmas perfect.  Or throw the best New Year’s Eve Party ever. Well, darling, you must approach your clutter in a methodical manner.

Let’s be honest: the holidays should be a time of beauty, kinship, and peace. Yet, the current feelings of society make this period feel rushed, anxious, and challenging. Don’t let clutter in your home rob you of how you want to feel. You should be able to experience Thanksgiving with love and gratitude. Christmas should be filled with joy and delight. The New Year should be approached with hope and anticipation.

Honestly, darling, your entire life should be loving and nourishing. Not stressful, anxious, or overwhelming. A tidy home can help you make that happen.

Rather than feel overwhelmed, here’s some suggestions on which room to declutter first based on your individual plans for the holidays.

Which room to declutter first if you’ll be traveling for the holidays.

They say there’s no place like home for the holidays. For some folks, that means heading back to your parent’s (or grandparent’s) home for one – or more – holiday gatherings. For others of you, a vacation is what you’re asking Santa for. No matter if you are traveling to visit with kinfolk, friends, or as an escape from the everyday, traveling during the holidays means you need to pack your bags.

If this describes you, then the first room to declutter is your closet.

Traveling demands you wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Your closet is the place you prepare to face the world! By decluttering your closet of anything that is out of style, doesn’t fit, or is worn out? This gives you a better place to start. You can see what items in your wardrobe still work. And what you might need for all the activities you’ll be doing while traveling.

Which room to declutter first if you’re hosting a holiday party

Getting excited about busting out your best china and serve-ware? Looking forward to family and friends gathered around your table as you carve the Turkey? Want to make a big splash with a fun – or elegant affair? Then the first room to declutter is your kitchen.

The kitchen is the centerpiece for any gathering. Whether you will be cooking, having a pot luck, or having your gathering catered, you’ll be in and out of your kitchen even more than ever.

Clean out your junk drawer. Organize your gadget drawer. Ditch any dishes you don’t love, including a great-aunt’s china. Clean your fridge from top to bottom. Spiffy up the spice cabinet and tidy up the pantry. By getting your kitchen into tip-top shape first, you’ll have better footing  to get a head start on everywhere else in your home.

Which room to declutter first if you’re hosting guests during the holidays

Will your folks be coming into town to be there when your kiddo’s open their presents from Santa? Is your son and his new wife spending their first holiday together with you? Out of town friends coming in for your big New Year’s bash?

If this sounds like you, then the first room to declutter is your guest bathroom. During the average course of our lives, we tend to stash extra stuff in our guest bathrooms. From extra toilet paper to cleaning supplies to worn out linens.

Yet, when guests stay overnight, they will be using that bathroom. And I know you want to put your best foot forward. Clean out every cabinet. Safely get rid of expired medications, worn out linens, and make the bathroom guest ready. Then, right before your guests arrive, all you need to do is a swish and swipe rather than a full blown overhaul.

Which room to declutter first if you’re celebrating the holidays at home

Will you be sharing most of the holidays with just immediate family? Are you estranged from your folks or just too far away to travel to see them this year?  Does socializing sound like the last thing to do for a happy holiday season?

Then, darling, the first room to declutter is your living room. Whether you put up a tree with all the trimmings or go minimalist for the celebration. Or if celebrating the holidays in the coziness of your own home sounds like an absolute dream. Then you will want your living room to feel inviting and welcoming.

Begin by getting rid of any paper clutter. Ditch any decorative items you don’t love. And get rid of furniture that makes your home feel crowded or completely outside your vision for your home. You have a clean slate to decorate for the holidays. And the perfect place to watch holiday movies. Or sip cocoa by the fire. And just the right setting to toast the New Year.

Which room to declutter first if the holidays are about reconnecting with your partner

Are you and your spouse like ships passing in the night thanks to work demands? Are you both so busy with the moving pieces of daily life that you feel, well, disconnected? Finally getting to take some time off for the holidays? Longing for a little romance? Do you just need to reconnect and get on the same page?

It sounds as if the first room to declutter is your bedroom. Unfortunately, our bedrooms become dumping grounds, strewn with the detritus of our busy lives. We pile our nightstands with work. Or get in the habit of working from bed.

Your bedroom should be for sleeping and sex. To allow the holidays to be a time to really reconnect, then whip your room into shape. Anything related to work gets banished from the bedroom. Put away any piles of clothing. Clean out your dresser drawers and clear that nightstand, with the goal of having an empty drawer. Pare your bedroom back as much as possible.

Then, add some romantic touches: fresh flowers, candles, upgraded linens, or new art that feels sensual.

No matter what your plans for the holidays or beyond, using your plans to determine which room to declutter first allows you to set the tone for home.

Once you begin with the first room, it allows you to build some momentum to tackle other rooms in your home. Be methodical in your approach. Remind yourself that you deserve to experience the holidays as stress free as possible.

Soon, your home will feel like a respite and you can welcome the holidays – or any season – with open arms.

Now that you know which room to declutter first as you prepare for the holidays…Are you seeking a way to nourishing your mind? Consider signing up for my free  The Advent Series.

Beginning Sunday, December 2, 2018, The Advent Series is being offered with two bonuses:

I don't know about you, but I like to have an alternative to pumpkin this time of year.  Here's a recipe for a great fall-like muffin for those rushed mornings (or an afternoon snack): Apple Cider Muffins.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups apple cider to a rapid simmer over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 1/4 cups sprouted-wheat or whole-wheat pastry flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon,  and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce and 1/3 cup buttermilk.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream 1 stick of softened butter  and 2/3 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add two eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated, scraping down bowl between each addition.
Add flour mixture, alternating with applesauce mixture, in three batches. Fold in 1/4 cup reduced apple cider.
I prefer to make these in paper cups, though you can heavily spray your muffin plan with baking spray.  Fill muffin cups until 3/4 full and bake until puffed and set, 25 to 30 minutes. If you don't have a convection oven, you may wish to rotate pan halfway through. Cool pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

While muffins cook, combine 1/3 cup of sugar with 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of cloves (I mix in a small Tupperware container so I can shake it up to mix).

Working one at a time, remove muffins from pan and lightly brush all over with remaining reduced cider and the lightly sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture.

Store in a sealed container, or freeze individually wrapped muffins for “grab and go” snacks or breakfast. Or as an alternative addition for the Thanksgiving dessert table.

Volume 8 -Issue 23

November 10, 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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Over at YourTango

Going through a dry spell? Can't remember the last time you had sex?

If you want to reignite that spark and resurrect the intimacy that sex brings to your relationship, check out these five tips.

Read 5 Ways To Start Having More Sex In Your Marriage over at YourTango

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

Nourish Your Spirit

Would you like a journey through the season and feel not only connected with your heart and soul, but leaves you feeling more joyful?

The Advent Series Begins Sunday, December 2, 2018

As a holiday gift, this course is offered at no cost. And you will not be added to any other mailing lists.

In addition to preparing for 2019, you will be nourished by the wisdom and voices of eight additional authors including: Andi Cumbo-Floyd, Becca Rowan, Jenn McRobbie, Karen Milito, Kayce Hughlett, Melissa Bartell, Molly Totoro, and Theresa Reed


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?

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.

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

Also in the Blog

Have you gotten stuck in the trap of comparing your life to strangers on the internet?

Click here to read==>
Honestly Declare "I Will Love My Life" by Ending the Comparison Game

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.

Best Decisions

Enlisting Deb’s coaching services has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. She is truly an expert de-tangler. I started out with a “Declutter” course at the recommendation of a fellow writer, and as soon as she began offering Make Your Inner Sex Kitten Roar, I was intrigued. I appreciate her honesty, encouragement and her openness. She has a way of seeing things that you can’t see for yourself and is a whiz at breaking bigger dreams into manageable chunks that will get you to where you want to be faster than you thought possible.

I had a very tough few years and have been wanting to get my “oomph” back. Well, with Deb’s help, I’ve found it again! My husband agrees with my assessment and has seen a noticeable change in me since working with Deb. To quote him, “I don’t care how much it costs, keep working with her, because it’s working!”

Rachel B. Kain, Writer & So Much More

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