Thinking about the future.....#ImWithHer

 

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Quick note: I usually don't use this blog as a political platform. Today is a different day. I'm heartbroken for my country. The Orlando shooting has made me tender and this Witch feels the need to speak out. Please forgive me in advance..and if you feel the same way, please let me know. 

 

 I'm pretty fired up and ready to hit the campaign trail for HRC . I am sorry if that makes some of you feel that I've let the "cause" down. I am , however following Bernie Sander's lead. He will come out with guns blazing against Donald Trump and campaigning for HRC as soon as this is wrapped up. He's pretty much said so.

We who love him but have switched candidates will continue to forward his policies. He doesn't want his legacy to be the one that let Trump win and destroy what's left of this country. He's fought hard for us. We shouldn't let him down. He is amazing. 

For those of you willing to bargain that 4 years of Trump won't make that much of a difference and somehow you'll be able to pick up the pieces? I leave you to those thoughts. You are entitled to them no matter how much you want to gamble with an entire countries wellbeing, not just your own. Remember... The only thing standing between Obamacare and no Obamacare is Barack Obama and the Supreme Court. Millions of people could lose health insurance... leaving them to the mercy of big pharma. Ouch. It's not perfect but for millions of Americans it's better than nothing.

I'm sick of the bullying phrase being used by the Sanders supporters that somehow, by pointing out that history could repeat itself and that a Trump Presidency could be terrifying and devastating to the very fabric of our country that those of us who have switched our allegiance are "trying to scare you , or using fear tactics". That's what you're doing...bullying those of us who have decided that we'd rather have a President who may not be perfect, but isn't a misogynistic, radicalized, racist liar who by the way, could decide to declare Martial Law at any time because these terrorists are becoming homegrown.

It might interest you to realize that the reason that the Senate and Congress have refused to authorize the AUMF against Isis, is because Republican leaders were terrified that somehow Barack Obama would declare Martial Law ( which he could do ) and declare a third term for himself. Do you think for one second that a GOP led Senate and Congress would hesitate to authorize that act with a Republican President? How about the possibility of three Supreme Court Justices that could be appointed? All of you who are so worried about Hillary being involved with big banking? Have you looked at the top 1% percent of this country? What makes you think that it won't get worse if you hand the Presidency to Trump by default?

Last point before I hit publish and lose at least 30 friends. ( I hope not but so be it ) if you decide that somehow a vote for Jill Stein or someone else instead of the Dem candidate is your last stand? Are you ready to accept what happens? What's your plan? Are you really happy to watch the EPA gutted, your Muslim and Mexican friends and neighbors deported?

BTW? Do you honestly think that peace activists and political activists won't be targeted and jailed? Do you think they won't have a great place to stick us, called for profit prisons? Because you will be targeted. It's already law, thank you Bush /Cheney. Watch the Patriot act be strengthened and abused. We are labeled as "Domestic Terrorists" They'll just enforce it now...much like Trump has decided to boot the Washington Post from his events. I'm wondering if those of you who are calling for the equivalent of anarchy will be up to the job once it occurs. Revolution is never pretty. We'd all better learn to shoot assault rifles.

That being said, wouldn't it be more prudent to stick around and work on the off year campaigns...just not the high profile ones? That's what the tea party did... And that how all of of us are responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. Make no mistake. If you're wondering why he's in power? It's because we let it happen...all of us.

So I guess I'm saying, be careful what you ask for... Use your vote wisely. If you're my friend and you decide to split? I love you anyhow.

Oh Goddess... Here we go....

 

Picture from CNN


Redecorating the Soul ~ Are you Ready to Fall Madly in Love with your Life?


11269490_10206427049372557_5643436669307990368_nRedecorating the Soul was born one day last year when my dear friend Jane came bouncing into the Western Reserve Herb Gardens where we both volunteer and said, “Beth…I’ve got to tell you about this amazing dream that I had last night!”
 
My friend Jane is an absolutely fascinating woman and when she speaks, I listen.   We sat down on the chiseled stone block that borders on the entrance to our part of the garden. She began to tell me about her dream; a splendid and dramatic experience in which she was visited by elves, fairies and dwarfs who were walking in and out of her heart, carrying chandeliers, paintings, mirrors, dishes, draperies and gorgeous silken rugs.

Ever curious, she asked them what they were doing. “Why we’re Redecorating your Soul”, the elves laughed!   “ Your inner décor has gotten a wee bit dated and you haven't washed your windows in centuries!"

As she told me the details, I began to notice that a change had really come upon her. She's always laughing and twinkly because she's quite Irish elf herself,  but on this day she was absolutely effervescent. The experience of having her soul completely redecorated from the inside out had totally reconnected her with her life's work and her passions!
 
 Needless to say, I was completely enchanted and intrigued! Then the light bulb went off!
 
 I asked her what she was doing with the idea. “Why nothing” she said. I came in to tell you because “YOU need to do something with it.”

735185_992422987497199_5196359956439727154_nSo I went home and told Jim about it and he loved the thought of it as much as I did. We began to talk about, dream about it and play with the concept. Redecorating from the inside out? Why not? How much fun would it be to structure a Life/Wellness Coaching conversation that is ontological in nature around the concepts of Creativity, Beauty, Spirit and Home.  Soon our new program Redecorating the Soul was ready to be born.  
 
So tell us. Are you ready to fall madly in love with your life…yourself and each other? Are you ready to recreate your life as the work of art that you've always wanted it to be?
 
It would be our great honor if you'd consider us as guides for your journey! 

Let's get started!


Stirring the Senses ~ Are you ready to fall madly in love with your life?

12308728_993969770666934_1250093835347661667_nDearest Beth,

I need to write this letter to tell you how much I appreciate your help this last 16 months. I was hell bent on gracefully navigating this transition from an abusive marriage I was afraid to leave to a joyful, calm and gracious single life. You taught—or reminded me how capable I am. Because of you and almost without too many melt downs I am in love (add the explicative of choice here) with my life.

I would highly recommend you to anyone who needs to be reminded how life can be if you remember, “Something inside me knows how to do this.”—Paul Williams. This has been my mantra since I heard him speak these words. You showed me that it is possible and probable to achieve.

You may share my words with anyone who needs your presence in their life. You are a gift.

Write on,

Maggy Brown, March 2016

 

 I love the portrait above of my client and dear friend Maggy. It represents to me a woman who has fallen back in love with her life so completely and joyously! I so appreciate her generosity in letting me share it and her wonderful thoughts about our work together with you. To me they represent what is completely possible when someone decides that their life is totally worth the soul work that it takes to begin transforming themselves into something entirely unrecognizable and amazing.

She completely embodies her awesome tagline: Writer, illustrator, blogger and accidental mentor.  Click on her portrait above to see what she's up to!

The seeds of this program, Stirring the Senses were planted when one day I woke up and looked in the mirror. I was no longer that 19, 20 or even 40 something. My clothes weren’t doing what I wanted them too and a full night’s sleep was scarcer than hen’s teeth. My sex drive (normally the one thing that I could depend upon!) simply disappeared. I was sprouting stray hairs and pimples. The weight around my middle simply would not budge. I didn’t care at all about how I looked, even putting on lipstick was too much work. I definitely looked frumpy, but more relevant to this conversation, I felt frumpy and I really didn’t want to. I was nasty all of the time and found myself apologizing daily before I'd get upset about something, simply so my husband knew that I knew how difficult I was becoming.  

 

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It wasn’t about Jim. I’m blessed to love a man who loves me exactly as I am. It was all about me and how I wanted to look, feel and who I wanted to be moving into the next part of my life. It was all about my fear and my inertia. It was all about dealing with the why's of choosing to stay with my head in the sand instead of learning to take the risk to become happy. 

It was a difficult period of time. I closed a family business that had been a lifelong dream of mine. Soon after that  I was faced with the death of both of my parents and helping my son grow up and successfully leave the nest. Those challenges left me exhausted, drained and confused about who I was.  I wasn't loving my life at all and I knew that something needed to change. Choosing happiness is harder work sometimes than it seems. Manifesting the best possible outcome for your life takes courage and I wasn't sure that I had anymore of it to spare.  

That was when I decided to become an Institute for Integrative Nutrition Certified Health Coach. I'd been a "sort of - kind of" LifeCoach for many years but it was time to take it up a notch. I think that tends to happen when you wake up and you find yourself over half a century old! I threw myself into the program with everything I had.  

Then the unthinkable happened......

Suddenly, Jim decided to become an IIN coach too. Oh boy. You can dance around bad habits like sugar, alcohol and fat as much as you want  until you've got the man you love suddenly occupying your kitchen and buying juicers and superfood powders. 

That was just the beginning.


Together we made the choice to turn men/andropause into one of the sexiest and most satisfying times of our lives and you can too! We look and feel better in our fifties than we ever did in our 20's! I'm not saying that it was always easy because it required some hard work and more than a little courage on our part, but it was worth it!

Just ask my husband who was really patient and loving through the whole process of my menopause - once he understood what was really going on with me! The best part? He's been right there the whole time, making us fresh fruit smoothies and vegetable juices. He was the one who was smart enough to figure out how we could become the snowbirds we are now, living all fall and winter long in sunny San Diego so that we didn't have to rely on medication for the seasonal affective disorder that just wreaked havoc on our hormones from Autumn until Spring. He pushed me to discover how I could create a career that I loved using all of the tools that I'd learned along the way.  


Another result of my personal journey on the hormonal roller coaster, was that I was led to Dr. Sara Gottfried's book "The Hormone Cure" After loving what I read and practicing her protocols on myself, I chose to become trained to coach her methodologies so that I could add these brilliant techniques to what I already knew about creating optimal hormone balance through primary food and wellness management. I opened up emotionally about what was happening to me and began to talk about what I really wanted out of my life. I began to examine everything and put it all on the table; even my marriage. I became absolutely determined to have the life that I’d always wanted, every delicious bit of it. I'd been blogging for years about all of the things that I loved, but it was time to get on the court and really play with them full out.

During that time I wrote my first book Stirring the Senses, which was a lifelong dream fulfilled. Even more thrilling was that I got to present it to the world on the Lincoln Center Stage in New York City at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Fall Conference in 2014. OMG! 

So, if you're looking to create a life for yourself that's bigger than you've ever known  and filled with the tools to unlock any dream that you've ever had,  Stirring the Senses is the tool that will inspire you to cultivate that state of mind! 



So tell me!

Are you Ready to fall Madly in Love with your life?

Love your body and feed and clothe it beautifully in just the manner YOU choose?

Enjoy a juicy, passionate and sensuously rich lifestyle that leaves you completely alive and ready for anything!

Provide sustenance for your body, nurturing for your soul and a wonderful connection with your family and friends!

Give yourself the blessing to taste, use, experience and enjoy whatever you'd like, indulge yourself and love the results while denying yourself nothing.  Stirring the Senses will give you access to the power of choice, and you'll finally get the results that you truly desire in the realm of passion, creativity, health, joy and beauty! 

As a result of doing this program you will:

  • Set and accomplish goals in a way that is empowering and exciting
  • Create a vision board for your life and health
  • Work to achieve and maintain your ideal weight if that is your desire
  • Understand and reduce your cravings
  • Increase your energy levels & feel great no matter your age
  • Feel Great Naked!
  • Learn about new foods and how you can easily incorporate them into your lifestyle
  • Learn to grow some of your own foods if you've got the desire to do so
  • Improve your personal and emotional relationship with food
  • Create an overall image for yourself and your home that you absolutely love through color, style, art, music, makeup, fragrance and fashion
  • Create work that you love
  • Discover the confidence to create the life that you truly want


For information about my full coaching program (3 to 6 months) or to schedule an introductory Gift Session,  please go to  Read More about Our Approach



Milady's Pantry ~ A Luscious Midwinter Mushroom Soup

 

12809592_10208503822490587_1667076627467386098_nMushroom soup is one of those things that I absolutely love to make and eat, especially during the winter months. For a vegetarian, mushrooms are a delicious and meaty flavored substitute and they really satisfy me when I'm craving something a little denser and chewier than normal. This soup is so simple to make and it's wonderfully rich, earthy and fragrant!

For this soup I started out with a large box of cremini mushrooms, about 4 cups worth and sauteed them in butter with onions and shallots. If I had a selection of mixed mushrooms I would have used those as I love the different flavors they impart. Once they were soft, I added about 8 cups of water and three tablespoons of my favorite "No Chicken", chicken base. Then I added a tablespoon of a dried herb mixture with more shallots, lemon zest and tarragon, three tablespoons of fresh pesto and let it all simmer for about ten minutes. After that, I took all of the mushrooms and put them into the cuisinart, gave them a quick pulse and added them back into the pot. A can of coconut cream ( I do think that Trader Joes makes the best!), a quick stir and five more minutes of simmering time and it's ready. 

I garnished it with shredded parmesan and black pepper and served it  for lunch with a crusty,warmed and buttered baguette. Tomorrow night I'll serve it with a simple salad and a bit of brie. Maybe a glass of white Bordeaux too...Life is good...very very good!

For more Outlander Musings please visit : Milady's Outlander Love Affair on Facebook


Enchanting Objects for your Home ~ Pet Portrait Collages by Maggy Brown



We all love our pets. I don't know about you, but I'm practically obsessed with with my cat and dog. They've got the best of everything. I spend a fortune on just the right dog food and my pup Nora's collection of toys and bedding rivals anything that I've ever bought for myself.  I didn't used to be this way, but my husband blames our son Alex. You see, he did the unthinkable. He grew up and left home, but before he did that, he bought me two puppies knowing full well that he'd be quickly replaced as the object of my laser focus.
 
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Meet Tallulah Jane and Miss Nora
Aren't they adorable? It wasn't long before they'd taken over the house and my wallet. Sadly, we had to find Tallulah Jane a new home, because she just didn't get along well with our cats. She found a lovely family filled cat-free home, but my heart was absolutely broken when she had to go. I hid this picture away for months because I couldn't bear to look at it.
 
Enter the divine Ms Maggy Brown, Childrens Book Author and Artist.
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Maggy Brown and her Angel Lola

Maggy is my dear friend who is just little bit larger than life. Actually, she's led an amazing life! How many people can you say that you know decided to pursue all of their dreams by running off to Italy, accidentally becoming a runway model in Milan and eventually marrying a totally hot Italian man and adding the title "Marchesa" to their name? She's the only one. She's funny, fearless, quite brilliant and absolutely one of loveliest women I know. She eventually moved back to the United States and soon after found herself living in the lovely historical village of Chagrin Falls.
Somewhere in the last 18 years she decided to write her memoir (you can read more about it here!) and  reinvent herself as the author and artist that she'd always known herself to be. She began to write a series of educational children's books , about her adorable Jack Russell Terrier named Lawrence who had quite the knack for brilliantly avoiding really difficult situations! In the first Lawrence book, "Lawrence the WonderDog outwits the Bullies", we find Lawrence brilliantly battling the Rottweiler twins with his brains , not his brawn. After she wrote it, Maggy found herself at different schools in the area, talking to young children about schoolyard and cyberbullying. She discovered that Lawrence with his street smarts could be a great teacher for kids dealing with those complicated emotional issues. So, armed with an enormous memory of tales still untold, she's kept on writing and inspiring young children everywhere!
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Maggy illustrates these books herself with beautiful images created from torn papers, paint and fabric. Soon she needed subjects for her latest book,
"Lawrence the Wonderdog gets Vaccinated" so she started reaching out to her friends.
Of course as soon as we all saw what she was doing her phone started ringing off  the hook with people begging her to make one for them and a wonderful cottage business was born!
Here are a few that she's done so far, with her feline muse "Uncle Buzz"  keeping a watchful eye on things!
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 I had just found the picture of my pups and asked if she would consider creating
a pet portrait collage of them just for me and here is the result!
Absolutely adorable ( I mean my God look at all that tartan!) and it means so much to me because I can look at it and think about Tallulah without feeling so sad. I don't know how she does it, but Maggy seems to be able to capture the personalities of the animals she's painting. I think that she's just got that magic about her!
 
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 Treat yourself! If you're interested in having a Pet Portrait done for yourself , here is the link!   


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Milady's Outlander Love Affair ~ Celebrating Passionate, Sexy, Monogamy!

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I'm amazed by this absolutely beautiful Entertainment Weekly cover. I'm thrilled by it actually but possibly not for the same reasons as many. I'm a life coach and my mantra  is " Do you want to fall madly in love with your life?" My niche is love, lifestyle and passionate sexy marriage and here we have an amazing image of an married couple that's pretty much out of the closet as just that. A committed married couple that are totally hot for each other. She's not totally naked, he's not totally clothed. They've been very careful to avoid the power over factor that's usually present in a photograph like that. You can see that they're complete equals. They want each other and badly. They connect physically and it allows them to walk through the world together and separately, especially when life throws them quite the curve ball. 

If you've not read the Outlander series then you might look at the picture and think, wow that's sexy. If you have read the series then you already  know that Jamie and Claire Fraser totally adore each other, both emotionally and in the biblical sense as much as possible. Outlander was the first series that I ever read that made me feel absolutely wonderful about my own marriage and not like a dinosaur. I can't tell you how many times strangers will ask us if we're newlyweds. After thirty five years he still can weaken my knees with a glance. You don't hear as much about couples like us as you do about the ones that don't like each other or don't want to have sex anymore. I make a very good living helping men, women and committed couples achieve the kind of easy intimacy and passion that's obviously on display in the photograph above. It's a lot easier than you think. Great married sex has to do with everything between your ears. I get lots of clients because couples often forget that love is a verb.

That being said, it surprises me when I hear this photograph referred to as soft porn, or too over the top. To me it's just gorgeous, it's a portrait that tells the tale.  Outlander the TV show is full of sex and that being said, it's also full of emotion, love, drama and passion. It's an 18th century marriage, a period of time where there wasn't much else to distract us besides war, surviving and housework. When the candles burned down and the fires went out, there was one very good way to stay warm. Survival in a time like that was passionate and often deadly work.

As far as Outlander is concerned, you couldn't remove the sex and the bodice ripping without utterly destroying the context of the story and the context of the story at its core is 8 books full of a committed  and incredible love affair/marriage.  I don't know about you but I always wanted my marriage to be a grand amour, full of lust, love, passion, adventure AND commitment. I believed that it was possible and that's exactly what I ended up with.  Sex without any of that is just  friction and I got over that pretty early on in the 70's.

That being said, I'm kind of wondering if the objections to the photograph aren't because it pushes a hot button or two. I've never met anyone who didn't want to have a steamy, passionate AND loving relationship with their spouse. I know a lot of people who want that and either think that they can't ever have it because they're too old, or too married...you actually can't believe some of the reasons that I've heard that couples won't get naked together anymore. You wouldn't believe the calls I get from men who are heartbroken and confused because they just want to know how to create a passionate relationship with their wives that is mutually sexually satisfying. Like I said before, sex is so easy, but we make it so very difficult. Great sex has everything to do with vulnerability and communication. Great sex has everything to do with finding the time to forget about everything but your partner. Great sex has everything to doing with how generous you're willing to be and how well you know how to listen, take and give directions. 

Lots of couples think that sex is unseemly, (If I'm going to be honest about it, in my practice I find that it's mostly the women who find really explicit sexuality hard to deal with and often their confused husbands call me begging for help)  yet when I scratch the surface I can almost always find a guilty fantasy that they're having about someone else , or that they had (and felt really guilty about). Sometimes people are just afraid of the loss of control that really great sex brings. Some people are just lonely in their marriages because they haven't learned to ask for what they really want and they feel guilty about it. In the end we are responsible for our own pleasure and that's what makes Claire such a wonderful heroine. Here we have a woman who is sexually unrestrained. She isn't ashamed to ask for what she wants in and out of bed and she demands that Jamie does the same. No wonder they stay  passionate for each other for an entire lifetime. Without guilt and fear, there's so much more room for pleasure. 

In this society, women are conditioned by marketing to feel really uncomfortable with a body or face that doesn't fit the ideal. We don't need to look like Cait and our lovers don't expect us to. If you knew how many times my male clients told me, "She won't let me see her naked or let me touch her", you'd be astounded. They don't expect perfection. We do, to our detriment and it's keeping us from having the hot , lusty marriages that we want. One of the first pieces of homework I give out is just to get naked with your lover and eat dinner. Don't worry about the sex..just get comfortable with each other naked. Hold hands. Just breathe. Then talk about what you might enjoy. No expectations...just a fun conversation about pleasure. 

We DO look ridiculous having sex, especially really great sex. We scream, we moan, we sweat, but most of all we get bare to the bone. Great married sex lets the beloved look deep into the other and get lost. Getting lost is scary sometimes but it's also exciting. Getting lost in the sexual wilderness with someone we really trust and love allows us to find the way home again, stronger and even more self aware , fully expressed and in love. 

Jamie and Claire throughout the entire Outlander series remain committed and thoroughly and passionately engaged with one another. It's really something to celebrate, especially in this era of ruptured connections, divorce and easy betrayal. Yes, their blistering chemistry is a huge part of the story, but why shouldn't it be? In the end we are primal creatures. Our needs are simple. Food, Shelter, Family, Love. Jamie and Claire are a wonderful example of what it means to learn to be committed AND lusty for better or for worse. 

Yes, it may seem sensationalized to some, but is it really? To the Outlander virgin, yes...it's using sex to make the sale, but if we want 8 more seasons we're going to need all of the help we can get. Yes, they're physically gorgeous but us true believers know that's not the point. Besides...we know how it turns out. Let's celebrate that we've finally got an made for tv example of what a marriage can really be, that our favorite couple is being elevated to a level of stature that they deserve, because they're married and they can't keep their hands off each other. 

For an entire lifetime. Until death do them part. 

To me that seems like progress. 

For more musings from Milady's Outlander Love Affair, please follow us here!

 

 

 


Bewitching Words of Wisdom- Sunday's Soul Days

I found this on a friends FB page...I'm not sure who to attribute it too, but I thought it was perfect. I'm going for a long walk on the beach today, doing a bit of writing and relaxing, maybe some cooking and definitely a lot of cuddling. You can be sure that there will be chocolate and some really good magazines. I hope that your day is wonderful as well.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Milady's Roasted Chicken and Bone Broth!




It's an evolution of Sunday nights organic roast chicken into tomorrow's bone broth. I normally don't eat chicken any more, but for Sunday night when the kids come over I just couldn't resist making them one. The bone broth is filled with leeks, carrots, onions , fresh herbs and garlic and will cook for at least 12 hours and then turn into a wonderful 8 bean soup tomorrow.. So many blessings...Even though I'm in Southern California right now, my kitchen smells like winter and the hearth fire ....


Milady's Pantry~ A Midwinter Mushroom Soup to Warm You!

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I'm cooking up a storm tonight, but I wanted to get a jumpstart on the busy week ahead of me ! To that end , there's almost nothing I look forward to more on a snuggly winters eve than having a pot of soup ready to reheat in my refrigerator.

This is my favorite cream of mushroom soup which I make using a really lovely blend of frozen mushrooms from Trader Joes ( one bag), 1 sliced leek and about a cup of fresh herbs from my garden ( parsley , sage, rosemary and thyme!) , 5 cups of coconut milk, 2 cups of filtered water, 2 tablespoons of any no chicken chicken base and a truffled bouillon cube all blended until smooth in my Vitamix!

I let it simmer for about 20 minutes and added a 1/4 of a cup of sherry, a tablespoon of dried dill and topped it off with a fromage blanc and truffle oil swirl.

I'm going to serve it tomorrow night with a plate of fresh herbs, French radishes, slices of good bread, tomatoes and a beautifully runny Camembert that I brought back from San Francisco. Oh and maybe a glass of Chardonnay by my silly yet throughly enchanting faux fireplace...


Life is very very good indeed......