Frolicking Into My Fifties Spring Tour

Frolicking Into My Fifties Spring Tour

I am turning fifty in May. What’s the big deal? So are dozens of my close friends, thank god. Well, it is a big deal for us. We ponder what this next decade and life are going to look like for us.

My spring tour includes the following 10 destinations for sure:

Daytona, Boston, Newport RI, Sedona, Santé Fe, Chicago, Houston, Texas Hill Country, Jamaica, and San Diego

What are your favorite places to travel?

Most of you that are close to me know I travel for business and my business is in airports, namely Dallas Fort Worth Airport. But the cities on my Frolicking Fifty list have very little to do with business travel. In fact, only two cities have business conferences that will turn into days of frolicking.

Daytona Beach

Joanne, Lileigh, Sabrina, Steve, David and Kelye in Daytona Beach

In April, I visited Daytona Beach, Florida to celebrate one of my oldest best friends turning 50, Joanne. We go back to the 4th grade, so we have known each other for 40 years! Growing up, her family invited me on many trips, like Daytona (where we just were), and Arizona where I fell in love with Sedona. When I reflect on those four decades together, we were in and out of each other’s lives because we only went to elementary school together for two years. We were in different middle schools, high schools, and colleges. But we were each other’s maid of honor and I am the godparent of her daughter, Lileigh. We also consider her youngest daughter, Sabrina, as my godchild. Joanne and I think that in some cosmic way, she is a part of me, not just in looks but personality too. Our life is such an amazing love story.

What’s your favorite old friend love story?

Godchild Stephanie

In early May, I head to Boston and Newport, RI with my niece/godchild, Brittany, my sister-in-law, Robin and oldest friend Susie. I love that my niece wants to spend time with her aunt/godmother. We are going to an Orioles/Red Sox game at Fenway ballpark. We will surely be “hitting” some fun pubs and making more travel memories together. After Boston with family, Susie (kindergarten and up) is picking me up and we are heading to Newport to celebrate both of our fiftieth birthdays. When we were growing up, Susie and her family adopted me as well on family trips, mostly camping. My husband Steve and I are the godparents to Susie’s daughter, Stephanie.

In the middle of May will be plenty of local celebrating with family and friends nearby. Carol, founder of Wholistic Woman Retreats, is putting together a fun patio party downtown Frederick – celebrating is a key component of our community and we do it so well!

At the end of May, I head to Sedona and Santé Fe, where I will be turning and celebrating my 50th birthday with my husband, Joanne, and family. Steve is taking me to my favorite destination, Sedona, for a few days where I always get and feel centered. It’s the vortexes, I am telling you, and maybe a spa treatment! Then we drive to Santé Fe for Lileigh’s graduation and may head to Colorado for Memorial Day weekend. Sabrina and I will celebrate our birthdays together, as she is turning 16 the day after me, my mini-me cosmic daughter. Who knows, some frolicking might even include a hot air balloon ride. We are still mapping out our adventure for the big milestone weekend.

Texas Hill Country

Debbie Hill frolicking in Texas Hill Country

What are your favorite adventures?

The frolicking tour continues as we head to Chicago in early June. This time it’s a U2 concert, on my bucket list for sure by age fifty, and I will be FIFTY! Joanne bought me tickets for my birthday, so we are meeting up for more play time.  Later in June and July, I head to Houston for an airport conference and then off to Texas Hill Country. Red wine will certainly be involved. Texas Hill Country wine region is making a pretty big statement. Of course, everything in Texas is big! It’s not just the wine, it’s the rolling hills – combine that with Debbie Hill and you are packed with fun.

What’s on your life bucket list?

The finale of my frolicking days for the sake of my fiftieth celebration will be in Jamaica and San Diego with my best college girlfriends and more time with my best girl Jenny! All my college roommates, including Natalie, Christy and Erin and close sorority sisters like Barb and Jenn will be in Jamaica. It doesn’t get better than that, yeah man! California dreaming will be the last stop with a hospitality conference in San Diego and off to finish with best friends Jenn and Todd in Orange County California, where they live. We are entertaining enough for each other, so anything else that happens will just be extra in our world. We are such a compatible travel team, as we have been to Jamaica, Mexico, Italy,  Austria, and Germany, to name a few places. It just makes sense to wrap up this fiftieth celebration with our peas in a pod.  

                                                                 Who are your peas in a pod?

Celebrating with my godchildren, oldest friends, college friends, family, and husband is such a blessing – I truly value growing from my roots. I have heard the fifties are the best and I already see that frolicking into my fifties will be the BEST of friends, family, beaches, ballgames, milestone celebrations, red rocks, red wine, rolling hills, spas, concerts, and best of all, travel – my take away in life is TRAVEL OFTEN! We are always traveling and on a path – fifty feels a little like a fork in the road. What I know is, traveling is better when frolicking with family and friends, no matter what age you are. I thank everyone that makes this a happy, lifelong adventure, including my mom, who I know is always with me for the ride.

What do you look forward to celebrating in your life?


Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach, and training professional. Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate help her clients develop, spark action, and grow a successful career/business and life from the core. Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website:




Be Unique

Be Unique

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” –Dr. Seuss

As children we accept this simple truth — we are uniquely created individuals. Too often, as adults, we forget. When does this psychological sabotage happen and why do we stop embracing our Youniqness?

Typically this perspective change happens unconsciously. Studies have shown the average brain processes 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. That’s 48 thoughts per minute. Which means that we need to ask ourselves how many of these thoughts are negatively impacting our perspective through false comparisons or unrealistic expectations?

Our DNA, the genetic code that dictates our gender, appearance, and propensities, determines much of what makes us unique. It is present in every one of our 10 trillion cells. If you removed a person’s genetic code and stretched it out, end to end, it would reach from the earth to the sun 100 times! This vast assortment of code is combined in an infinite array of possibilities. As a result, no two people are the same. We are each an original design of a master craftsman.

So, why were we made with so much genetic diversity? Is there some sort of implicit purpose to our uniqueness? What did our Creator have in mind? If we were created this way, why do we try so hard to be like someone else?”

Comparison does not equal inspiration. Comparing our ‘average’ life to another’s ‘highlight reel’ often causes us to feel worse about ourselves rather than encouraging us to be better. It is in grasping this understanding that we can begin to appreciate another woman’s beauty without allowing it to take away from our own. To celebrate another woman’s success without it diminishing what we’ve accomplished. To recognize someone else’s intelligence without feeling inadequate.

The word unique means “having no like or equal.” As unique individuals we have no equal, hence no need of comparison. Instead, we can embrace our very own DNA. Let us learn to appreciate and communicate that we are Designed, Necessary, and Able.

We are Designed. As an architect brings his masterpiece to life through imagination, creativity, and adoration, we have a designer who made us with great creativity and love. You are not an accident. You are a unique design; a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

We are Necessary. Each one of us has special character traits, strengths, and skills given to us to fulfill our purpose. Whether you are a hard-working mom, employee, or CEO, you have been gifted with specific gifts that make you necessary to your world.

We are Able. We all occasionally struggle with doubt and fear. These can cause us to question our abilities or value to our world. Often these doubts are compounded by past mistakes, struggles, or perceived failures. This can make us afraid to try again or too tired to put in the hard work it may take to accomplish our goals. Being ‘able’ requires us to accept ourselves. It empowers us to accept that we cannot change the past, but are able to affect the present and build our future. When we begin to embrace our true DNA, we are more able to celebrate our attributes, live authentically, accept ourselves and love others.

October’s Be Unique Evening Retreat will delve deeper into discovering, understanding, and embracing our unique DNA. Please consider this your invitation to join us! Click here for details


Today’s author: Affiliate Coach, Liz King-Reihm, works with women of all ages to create healthy lives through mental, physical, and spiritual wholeness. She helps women discover their potential with both personal training as well as life coaching. For more information about Liz you can visit her website :, email her at [email protected], or call (240) 397-6437 with specific questions.


Creative Play…for Adults

Creative Play…for Adults

What did you like to play with when you were a child?

Did you enjoy coloring, painting, molding clay, or building with blocks?

As you grew, did you nurture your imagination…or did you let your creativity drift away as the years passed by? It would be understandable if you did. Our tendencies to be original or to think-outside-the-box can be reduced as we grow up and are taught to fit in and conform. What would it be like to let yourself play creatively again as you did when you were younger?

If you had the chance…what would you do? Would you dig in the sand or dirt, or splash in water? Would you build a fort out of blankets, shining a flashlight underneath its sagging walls and imagining that it’s your own private world?

I recently had the opportunity to explore my creative side by playing with acrylic paints at an evening program hosted by Wholistic Woman Retreats. I have an eye for color and design, but I certainly don’t consider myself to be an artist. There are many others who are more gifted than I am in that area and I am okay with that.

Before I went to the event, I gave some thought to what I would like to paint. In my mind’s eye I envisioned a tree in autumn. Inspired by the beautiful fall colors outdoors, I wanted to capture these images on the canvas. I thought a fall tree would be a perfect representation of the changes that were occurring in my own life. I was thinking how I wanted this painting to remind me that changes can offer beauty even in the midst of loss and necessary endings. After the leaves wither and fall to the ground, the tree trunk still stands strong with a certain serenity as it waits throughout the winter months for new growth to return in the spring. I wanted to be beautiful and strong like a tree.

I was optimistic that I would be able to paint the tree in my mind’s eye with guidance from artist Shari Grandstaff and life coach Laura Hall. Laura taught us how to set our expectations and encouraged us to give ourselves permission to release any creative blocks that existed.

I gave myself permission to have fun!

It had been a gray, rainy day and I was feeling a bit gloomy when I arrived. I wanted to shake off the shadows that were hanging around the edges of my heart and mind. I chose to be playful and enjoy this activity instead of striving to make it a ‘project’, which would inherently feel stressful to me. No one would be grading my painting…except possibly me… so I decided to set the bar low and adopted ‘just have fun’ as my mantra.

I dumped out the contents of my materials bag which contained a variety of tools; fat and thin brushes, a sponge, decals, modge-podge, and glitter. I listened to basic advice offered by Shari and decided to dive in. I began by using my sponge to make the background color yellow. My gray mood began to lift as soon as I applied the bright paint to the white canvas. When the canvas was completely covered with yellow paint, I turned my attention to creating a sunset sky as a backdrop for my tree. Our palette contained only primary colors, so I began mixing red and yellow to create the orange shades that I desired. I chose a brush to apply big strokes of orange on top of the yellow and felt myself smile as my whole arm swung back and forth applying the paint. I blended spots of red into the yellow and orange and gazed in wonder at the beautiful array of colors before me.

The transformation within me was even more impressive. My spirits lifted as I focused on nothing more than creating and applying colors. I heard other painters around me asking questions and giving each other advice, but I concentrated on my own creative experience. Although it was tempting to look at what others were doing, I didn’t want to lose my momentum.

Once the sky was a beautiful blend of sunset colors I decided to paint my tree trunk. At this point in the process I asked, and listened to, the advice of others on blending colors to make brown. As I began to swirl colors together on my palette I realized that it was more challenging than I thought it would be. Soon, however, I had a satisfactory shade for the trunk and began to apply it to the canvas. I changed the side-to-side strokes that I had used for the sky to vertical up-and-down strokes for the trunk. I must admit that I got carried away as I kept applying more and more color to capture the look that I wanted for the trunk. The base of the trunk grew massive and the upper branches spread out across the entire canvas. My tree took on a life of its own as I lost myself in the rhythmic painting. It felt both soothing and expressive as I applied layers of paint to the trunk.

Eventually I had to make myself stop painting because my idea of a slender tree was now long gone and in its place was a massive, old, tree. I took a break from painting the trunk to dab leaf colors throughout the branches. It was coming alive for me now. I added some fallen leaves around the base of the tree and noticed how the autumn scene I envisioned was emerging.

When I stepped back and surveyed my work I was slightly taken-aback by the contrast between the image that I had started with and what was now on the canvas before me. I shook my head with a smile and admitted to myself that I had gotten carried away with the sheer joy of applying paint to the canvas. I proceeded to ask Shari for advice about slimming my tree trunk and she helped me use modge-podge and pinks in the background sky to blend and narrow it.

Painters around me offered encouragement when I lamented about the size of my tree, telling me that it looked like a ‘Wise’ tree. I tilted my head to one side and decided that they were right.It wasn’t the tree I planned to paint….but it was a fine tree nonetheless. In fact, in some ways it was better than what I had originally imagined.

How often do other parts of my life turn out differently, yet perhaps better, than I imagined?

With childlike grace I tried not to judge what I had created. I released my original idea of what I wanted it to be and accepted it for what it was. As I did so I reminded myself to repeat this practice in other arenas of my life as well. It’s okay to begin with an idea in mind, but as I begin to create something new I need to be open to it becoming something different….maybe something better.

As the evening ended I carefully painted my theme words for the past three years into the leaves to remind myself of their wisdom and guidance. With that I called it done.

My painting now sits on my mantle at home and each time I gaze at it a smile comes to my face…I feel lighter and brighter and a warm glow of acceptance fills me. I know that it’s good enough…and so am I.IMG_6574

How do you want to play today?

Wonder and joy awaits you when you give yourself permission to be creative.


This article was written by Carol deLaski, a professional certified coach, speaker, author, and co-founder of Wholistic Woman Retreats. She specializes in strengths development for businesses and individuals. To contact her email [email protected].



Love Your Life…3 Questions to Ask Yourself Every Day

Love Your Life…3 Questions to Ask Yourself Every Day

Those of you that know me personally, know that I love my life.  Sure, I’ve had moments when things weren’t going the way that I wanted, but for the most part my life is good!  I’ve been wondering lately if I’m just lucky or if there is something I’m doing that helps me love my life.  What I’ve come up with is that yes, there has been a little luck involved (I was born in a free country during a time where modern day advances make so many things easier – think indoor plumbing, I’ve never had to fight for an education and  my parents taught me to believe I could do anything I put my mind to,  but the bigger impact has come from the questions I ask myself on a regular basis.  I believe these questions are important to ask yourself everyday.  On days when you love your life as well as on days when you don’t love your life.

So, what are these questions you might ask…well, they are the 3 questions that I ask myself every day and instead of keeping you in suspense, as I’m not one for drama, lets just cut to the chase.

  1. What is my life trying to teach me?  When you go to bed each night, review your day.  Think about the ups and the downs that occurred.  Try looking at these moments as life lessons that are there to course correct you and show you the way to loving your life.  One of my favorite shirts that I own right now says, “Do More of What Makes You Happy”.  What makes you happy?  What was it about the “ups” in your day that felt right to you?  How can you bring more of that into other situations?  For example, I find I’m happier when I’m outside, which is why you will often find me sitting on my back porch with my computer instead of inside at my desk. This is especially helpful when the computer work is something I’m not looking forward to.  What was it about the “downs” in your day?  What are they trying to teach you?  Are there relationships that need more boundaries?  Are you trying to go it alone when you really should be asking for help?  Is it time to let something go that you’ve been holding onto?  Be curious and then wait.  The answers will rise up to meet the question.
  2. What am I pretending not to know?  I believe we all have an inner knowing.  Oftentimes we don’t like what that voice inside of us is saying, so we ignore it.  Oprah Winfrey says, “Difficulties come when you don’t pay attention to life’s whisper. Life always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you’ll get a scream.”  Learn to listen to the whispers.  It makes life so much easier!  I find this question helps me access the whisper.  I encourage you to give it a try.  What are you pretending not to know?
  3. What can I do differently tomorrow?  This question is about knowing that everyday is a new day and it gives you the opportunity to be something different than you were yesterday; to do something different that you did yesterday.  At my core, I believe that life is both a classroom and a laboratory.  As soon as I learn that something isn’t working, I go into my life and start experimenting.  I set different intentions.  I try something new.  Albert Einstein says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Stop the insanity!  If your life isn’t working; if you aren’t loving your life, TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT!  It doesn’t have to a big something.  Little changes can have big effects especially when they are carried out consistently over a period of time.

If you are experiencing a challenging time in your life, why not give these questions a try.  If you need a little extra help, look for someone that can help you figure out what is getting in the way of you loving your life.  You deserve it! You deserve to love your life!


Do you love your life? As a certified professional coach since 2009, Laura Hall has been helping people just like you make changes in. As a mother of 2 girls, Laura has a special interest in coaching parents, so if you still have children living at home, ask Laura about her Wholehearted Parenting programs. Laura can be reached via email at [email protected] or feel free to visit her website


Sip and Savor Life: Life Lessons from Wine Country

Sip and Savor Life: Life Lessons from Wine Country

Red, red wine and feeling fine… but there is more to the story. A recent business trip took me to the beautiful rolling hills of Napa and Sonoma Wine country. The first part of my trip was business related, but once the work was done, my niece and and I were able to visit some of the areas wineries and partake in wine tasting. When tasting wine you learn to “see, swirl, sniff, sip and savor” the wine. What struck me on this visit was how using these techniques can also apply to life.

When enjoying a glass of wine, you start with “see”. You pour the wine into the glass and evaluate the color. There are a lot of grapes out there so you can imagine how many colors you can see with every bottle. People are a lot like grapes, not one grape is exactly the same just like no one person is exactly the same.

Next, you “swirl” your glass. Swirling increases the oxygen which allows the wine to release its bouquet and aromas. The lesson I took from this is that we should swirl and move more to get our oxygen flowing so we can appreciate the beauty and enjoy the smell around us.

Next comes “sniff” or smell. This is one of the most important steps. The first, second and third sniffs smell different. You can get more information sniffing the wine and should take little dog sniffs, not big long sniffs. In life this is helpful too – with more “sniffs” or information you get more clarity and satisfaction out of people and situations.

Now it gets really fun, it’s time to “sip” the wine. Generally we perceive three wine tastes: sweet, bitter and sour. As I sipped, I tried to pay attention to the overall taste as it lingered in my mouth. I have experienced sweet, bitter and sour relationships. Oftentimes in relationships you don’t know what’s going to show up and knowing these differences can help you be more prepared.

It seems we can learn a thing or two from drinking a glass of wine (red wine is my favorite) especially if we slow down enough and appreciate the process.

As I take the time to reflect on my recent trip, I’m realizing I learned a lot from my wine tasting experience. Here are some personal learning lessons I’m taking with me:

  • See what is in front of you. Not only did I enjoy the color of the grapes I drank, I also enjoyed seeing my niece and how much she has grown up. Yes, we are both aging, but just like I can enjoy a fully matured wine, I was able to see our aging process as beautiful.
  • Swirl for movement. We smiled a little more on this trip as we watched our wine “dance”. Swirling is important! We are meant to move. It invigorates whatever it is we are doing.
  • Sniff to breathe in life. Stopping to smell “the roses” along the way is important in life. It helps us fully experience the beauty all around.
  •  Sip to slow down. In life this translates to lingering more and rushing less. It’s about relaxing and enjoying the moment. I definitely experienced this in California.
  • Savor the moment. Spending time with my niece was a truly enjoyable experience. While we didn’t always agree on our favorite wine, we did agree that the moments we spent together were amazing. During the tastings, we learned to trust our own palate. This too can be applied to life. Trust yourself to know what’s best for you – you are the expert of your own life.  And in my opinion, if you want to truly savor your experience, add chocolate. It make everything more savory!When I returned from California this time (and I have visit many times), I put the “pairing” of wine and life together for the first time. I thought, if we can pause, see what’s in front of us, swirl enough to enjoy the next step and smell the aroma, life can be so much more.


Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach and training professional.  Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate are what help her clients develop, spark action and grow a successful career/business and life.  Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website:


New Ways to Be Calm

Today I want to write about our upcoming Wholistic Woman event: Be Calm when we will travel to Bon Secours Retreat Center to do a labyrinth walk and picnic.

I can’t actually write about doing a labyrinth walk… because I’ve never done one.

I have, however, experienced being calm. I actually think I’m a relatively calm person, especially since participating in coach training. I learned how I calm myself when I need to:

  • I listen to what I’m saying to myself (my self-talk),
  • I write it down,
  • I reflect on it,
  • I examine it’s level of truth, and I shift to what is really true.
  • I try to focus on what is important to me (my values) and what I want in life.
  • That calms me.

What does it mean to be calm? One definition I found said that it is “a condition free of storms, high wind, and rough water”, and I thought…that’s impossible in the turbulent lives we lead.

Another definition said that it is “a state of tranquility.” That’s attractive to me. I picture a pond that looks like glass, soft sounds in the background, crystal clear fresh air, and blue sky, I feel centered, whole, confident, and clear.

The main definition is “a quiet and peaceful state or condition, a peaceful mental or emotional state”. That sounds great! I want more of that.

How do we get there? I know I have techniques that work for me and I am open to learning new ones. I hear Bon Secours is a beautiful place with ponds, gardens, and an opportunity to reflect. I look forward to walking the labyrinth with other women in the wholistic community and looking inward to see what new level of calm I can achieve.

Please join me in this new experience! Click here for details and to register.


Today’s author: Lisa DiSciullo, CPCC, is a Certified Life Coach in Summit, NJ, with her own practice working with her clients as they are developing clarity, growth, and fulfillment in their lives. She is a founding member of the Wholistic Woman Retreats group and a Parent Educator with the Parent Encouragement Program. She can be reached at [email protected].