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“Do whatever is in the power
of your will to
“make the season bright.”
Light the lights. Light candles.
Light up our hearts with your smile,
your dancing eyes
and your beautiful soul.
See the irony in a crisis,
and have as much fun as you can,
whenever you can,
for as long as you can.

–Alexandra Stoddard

Good morning my dear <<Name>> and Happy Saturday to you! As I write you this love note I am sitting by coffee by the firethe fire with my 2nd cup of coffee in my hand.

I've always been a morning person and most of my life have been wanting to "get busy" as soon as my feet hit the floor. Something that still to this day astonishes JB as he is SO not a morning person. And I know made my mother a little nuts when I was a kid.

Yet, more and more these days I'm finding that while I still love the mornings, it's not about rising early to get things done. As I get older, the more often I want to sit with my coffee and allow my thoughts to wander rather than tackling my to do list. Especially when I can do it by the fire or by one of our Christmas trees with a cup of coffee in my hand and a blanket over my lap. HEAVELY! 

It isn't that my to do list is shorter. It's just that I am realizing that this year especially a lot of soul work is incubated in this space of being and thinking.

One thing I've been thinking a lot about is this love note.

I've been writing to you for almost ten years now. At first I wrote weekly. And then a couple of years ago, I my deskshifted that to every other week. My goal has always been to connect.

To share how I am traversing this thing called life in hopes that my experiences and what I'm learning help you feel not so alone in your experiences. If, along the way, I can inspire you to take some action that leads to loving yourself and your life just a little more than you did before then all the better!

Because sometimes the spark we need to shift something comes from seeing someone else do something differently from us. Or the comfort we need is to see that others are dealing with similar challenges and we aren't alone.

I know how valuable that is. Just yesterday I was telling a girlfriend on Voxer that often I feel like "everyone" is managing the lengthy COVID lockdowns SO much better than I am...and she messaged back "AS I heard that, I was eating PIE CRUST. Not pie, just a pie crust I sprinkled with cinnamon, baked on it's own,  and ate". And yep, that made me feel like I wasn't lone in managing my soul in these long days.

But before I regress too far away from the subject of this missive to you I want you to know up front that has welcome!always been my goal. Because we always learn from the stories of others.

And because I believe it's important that being in your in-box demands I am stand within my integrity to show up when you expect me, I want you to know I'm changing the timing.

Beginning in January 2021, this love note will only go out once a month. 


This isn't a decision I've made lightly. And honestly? I've been pondering this change for over a year. Most business coaches would tell me that to connect (and hopefully sell) I need to show up MORE. But because I've always valued connection over sales, I hope that showing up less allows us to connect more.

Yes, it seems like an oxymoron to say I'm going to show up less often but hope we connect more deeply.

But like me taking more time in the mornings to just BE before DOING, reducing the amount of email you get from me offers both of us a chance to virtually sit together and savor our time rather than the cursory same-old-same-old note that you've been getting from me for years.

And to be honest, I don't know exactly what I'll be including each month. I know that there will be a love note christmas tree OH Christmas Treeand I can't imagine not including a recipe to nourish your body along with your spirit. 

If you've ever read "Leaving Church" by Barbara Brown Taylor, Taylor tells about a time she was invited to speak, and her host assigned her this topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now.”  Those are the things I'd like to add. Because while I can always tell you what's challenging me, I want to call out the small things that are helping keep me afloat.

Taylor says it’s too good a question to not revisit every once in a while: what are the things—big or small—that are saving us? 

I've been longing to tell you what is SAVING me...how I am finding ways to nourish my spirit and manage the challenges. Most of the time, these things seem too small to write an entire love note about. Yet, they'd make a good bulleted list.

            ---Like how an impulse buy of a giant measuring cup (it holds 2 quarts) was the most useful thing in my kitchen this past month.

            --And how sing a sparkly mask chain my friend made has helped make running essential errands SO much easier. Plus it's so pretty!

            --And how putting up ALL our Christmas decorations this year - including fulling blinging out two trees in the house has made me joyous. 

            --And how enchanting the first snow always is to this Texas girl.

While those things seem incredibly SMALL when you look at the news, to me they have been HUGE.

So you'll still get this note in two weeks ( on Dec. 19th)  And beginning January 9th, 2021 this missive will arrive the 2nd Saturday of the month.

And on that note, my dear, I am going to rinse out my coffee cup and grab a fresh glass of water. I hope snowy nightyou have an amazing week.

And if I don't tell you often enough, I am ever grateful for this space in your inbox.

I hope no matter how you celebrate in December that you do it up in a way that lights you from within. As the quote I shared from Alexandra Stoddard reminds us let's do whatever is in our power to make the season BRIGHT. Because bright invites love, kindness, and joy.

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 18th!  If coaching is on your list for 2021 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.

OK - I have to admit that this while this may not be a true "holiday" cookie, I love to include it because it's a riff of a classic that will always feel familiar for picky eater. Or folks who don't eat a lot of sweets Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies.

So that your cookies come together, you want all your ingredients at room temperature. So, the night before pull out 2 sticks of salted (yes: salted) butter to soften. And when you get up, pull 2 eggs out of the fridge and put them somewhere safe.

Whisk together your dry ingredients. You need two cups of flour total.  I know some flour can be challenging to find this year so I am baking with a "White Whole Wheat" as that was all my store had the last time I purchased flour. I usually bake with 1/2 sprouted wheat flour and 1/2 all purpose. So work with what you can find. 

Then whisk in 1 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp baking soda. Set it aside.

Cream your softened salted butter with  1 cup of sugar and ½ cup dark brown sugar (packed) on high speed for about two minutes (I like it to get very fluffy). Then add 1 tsp vanilla extract and your room temperature eggs, adding them one at a time and allowing them to become fully incorporated before adding the 2nd egg.

Add your dry ingredients and preferably hand mix until the flour is barely incorporated. 

Basically, mix all the wet ingredients to your heart's content. And then barely mix once you add that flour. Overmixing causes the gluten protein in the flour to stick together making the cookies tough. 

 Add 1 bag of Dark Chocolate Chips (I prefer bittersweet over semi-sweet) and 1 cup of Heath Toffee Bits (without chocolate coating). Gently stir until fully incorporated.

Then, cover this and pop in your fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 36 hours. By allowing your dough to rest it allows the flour to absorb all the flavors.

When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375. Prepare your cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Drop by tablespoons (I use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop for even cookies) on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Cookies can be made up to 4 days ahead or frozen (after completely cooked) for up to four months. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Volume 10-Issue 25

December 4, 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.
 
Becca

Insight

“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

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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

Elizabeth

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

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.

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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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Brandi

Brilliant


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

Get the Mental Oil Changed


I appreciated the real guidance and suggestions that were given. For example, Debra didn’t just say it is important to rest, she gave real examples of what rest looked like to her, and in turn, helped me think of ways I could put it into practice.

Years ago someone told me, “You would never drive a car without putting in gas, getting the oil changed, replacing the fluids, why on earth would you go through life without mental and physical checkups.”

Working with Debra is great way to get the mental oil changed. I feel ready to go another 50,000 miles.”


Jeanette McGurk - Writer & Artist
tend your heart

Also in the Blog

Even some of the wisest people I know are feeling worn out, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Even those folks that have done a lot of self-development work are just too tired to manage the basics of self-care. Who has time to tend their own heart and soul when they are just trying to keep it together?

Click here to read==>  Six Ways to Tend Your Mind and Soul During Challenging Times
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