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March 2016

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.  



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.
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.
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!
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!
 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!

 Treat yourself! If you're interested in having a Pet Portrait done for yourself , here is the link!   

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