Subject: My Top Tips for Keeping the Heart Fires Burning

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Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

~ Lao Tzu
Remember the TV show Hart to Hart? I recently saw a rerun, and it got me thinking about love. 

Perfect timing for a Valentine's Day newsletter, right?

Jennifer and Jonathan Hart were the perfect couple. They had good looks, an exciting life and lots of money. I know, it's Hollywood, but hear me out.

Jennifer always looked at Jonathan with pure adoration in her eyes. It was like he was the only man in the room. And Jonathan was a huge flirt. He was always saying something to make her feel special and desirable. The chemistry those two had on screen was pure magic. 

Real life may not be as perfect as Jonathan and Jennifer Hart's lives, but it can come close. All it takes is a little heart-centered effort.

My husband and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary last week. I consider myself blessed that we still love each other, and are still in love. Don't get me wrong, our marriage isn't perfect. We have the same squabbles everyone else has like when I leave my work stuff all over the house or he's watching Rocky for the 95th time. And who doesn't have disagreements about how money is spent?

So how do we keep the heart fires burning? Here's a few things that work for us:
  • Communication - You know that saying, "you only hurt the ones you love?" It's true. We take our loved ones for granted, and say things to them we wouldn't dream of saying to anyone else. In our house, we have a way to stop that dead in its tracks. If I say something that hurts my husband's feelings or is unkind, untrue or just plain mean, he can ask me to reframe it - and vice versa. It starts with this: "Can you pitch in around here? I'm not the only one who lives here. And by the way, your dog is hungry." And gets reframed to this: "Can you give me a hand picking up the living room? We can probably get it done faster if we do it together. If you want, I'll get started while you feed the dogs." Same message, better communication. It might feel weird at first, but I promise you it works. Have a discussion with your other half and see if they'd be interested in giving it a try. When you hear something that doesn't sit well with you, ask for it to be reframed.
  •  Appreciation - When you've been with someone a long time, it's easy to forget the things you first did when you were trying to impress each other. Little things like thanking my husband and telling him how delicious my dinner is when he cooks (which is often) or telling him what a great father and grandfather he is. Mostly because it's true. But I also want him to know how much I appreciate what he does for us. Don't save your gratitude for special occasions - spread it around and see how much better your relationship can be.
  • Flirtation - Just like a plant, relationships need to be nurtured. Don't let your love die on the vine. Send a text with something flirty or sweet nothings like "thinking of you." A hug and a kiss at the end of a long day is nice too. Or leave a love note somewhere unexpected like the bathroom mirror, lunch bag or dashboard of the car.
A little bit of effort goes a very long way in making your relationship stronger. In one of my favorite personal development books, The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy says that he kept a journal and wrote something in it every day something that he was thankful for and appreciated about his wife. He gave it to her a year later. What an amazing gift. I imagine she felt every bit as loved and desired as Jennifer Hart!

Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day - I hope it's filled with love, gratitude and a little bit of Cupid's magic.

Are You Local?

I love discovering new things that help improve and maintain good health. My latest fascination is with Essential Oils. I had no idea how easy they are to use and how effective they are. I've been trying them out on myself and my family for about four months now and give it two thumbs up.

If you're local we have essential oils expert, Ashlie Pappas from Omaha, visiting this month to share her expert advice on how to Make Over Your Medicine Cabinet. If you'd like to come, call or reply to this email to save your seat.

When: February 23, 2015
Time: 7:00-8:30 PM
Cost: Free
Food Focus: Chicken Tamale Pie

My husband made this Food Network recipe last night and it was delicious! You'll need a cast iron skillet for best results. We purchased one from Bed, Bath & Beyond for short money. For a dairy free option, leave out the cheese and sour cream.


3 cups diced cooked chicken (about 12 ounces)
1 1/2 cups prepared salsa
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (optional)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream, for serving (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat the chicken, salsa, beans, 1/2 cup of the broth and the chili powder in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stirring, until simmering. Stir in the scallions and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal with the remaining 1 cup broth and 1 cup water in a medium pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring, until very thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and butter. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Spread the cornmeal mixture over the filling and bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream. Enjoy!

Fun Stuff Free

It's that time of year again - time for the Clean Sweep!

What I like about this exercise is it helps me to see where my energy leaks are. When certain aspects of your life aren't going well for you, it really is an energy drain. By tackling a few things here and there, life becomes more manageable and also more enjoyable. Have fun!
Thanks so much for checking in. If you know anyone who might enjoy my monthly newsletter, please forward it to them or invite them to sign up. ~ 617.678.4088
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