Playground Chatter with Debra Marmion, CarpeDM Career Coaching

Welcome to Playground Chatter! Our blog series, where we get to profile and chat with some of the best executives in town! Sure, we could ask about all their fancy business stuff but since we are fun monsters, we want to know how they spend their spare time on the playground of life!


Your Name: Debra Marmion

Your nickname? DebDog, Debbles and Turtle (don’t ask)

What is your grown up job? I own a recruiting and career coaching agency, CarpeDM Career Consulting, INC.

How can we find you? You can find me on Linked I( and I have a blog ( I make business pretty simple. My kids keep pushing me!  Actually I do have Pinterest and Houzz. Addicted!

Facebook: One last thing for me to manage

Twitter: I am getting close but for business purposes.

Instagram: No way

Pinterest: Yes


Deb Marmion


Tell us where you spent your childhood years. Is there one year you remember most? I was a military Brat. I moved 11 different times in my first 15 years of life even overseas! Dad retired in Tucson, AZ and that is where I call “home”. When we lived in Tucson, we moved 5 times. Why??? We got bored!

Favorite part of the playground to hang out in? The swings..I am queen of “underdogs”.

Lunch pail, brown bag or did you buy lunch? Had a purple tin Donny Osmond lunch box.

What would be your ideal recess today? A great hike with family or friends and a nice cold beer afterwards. Spa will work too! But I like to get outdoors more…

Does your company encourage recess for their employees? Absolutely. CarpeDM has an incredible “flex” schedule. Lol! We are a small team that is made up of a team who are at the point in our lives where we thrive on work/life balance. It is great!

If I deemed you Playground Monitor for the next 15 minutes, how would you rally your employees? What activity would everyone participate in? I would rally them by doing that JibJab video of my team to get their attention that it is time for Recess. I love the game “two truths and a lie”…Every time I play that game, I always learn something new about a person. Duck, Duck Goose would be another favorite.

What rules did you learn on the playground that you still utilize today? Always share. 🙂

When does time disappear for you? Talk about your hobbies. A cup of Joe or glass of wine with my circle of trust…you know who you are. Time literally slips away even our phones. We are just present and talking about everything and nothing. Believe it or not, when I have everyone home for dinner. It is precious time for me. They are gathered around the kitchen bar as I cook and no one is on any deadline. The next one would be a great book. I read about three per month and at night when everyone is asleep…so nice.

What is one area of your life where you need more recess? Indulgence….I am learning to treat myself more but that has always been a hard one for me. The other day my daughter asked me, “Mom, it’s Saturday! What are you doing today?”. I said I had to do the laundry, clean the house, run some errands, and that was it (I was actually looking forward to it) Then she said, “what are you going to do for you?” Wow, brilliant…left me speechless. I am pretty practical, even when it comes down to my clothes. My 14 year is a fashionista and has been since she was in the womb. She is always dressing me. She says I am too matchy matchy. I him and haw too much when it comes to treating myself to something. Right now, I have been staring at this purse for three weeks and haven’t made a move yet. Again, do you have that Therapist handy? J

What is your authentic intention (that thing that you really, really want to do or accomplish?) What are you doing to get there? My mental intention – Mindfulness. I have been working really hard on this and it really lets the “what if’s” become more and more insignificant. It allows to capture moments and really experience them. My other intention, I will hike Mr. Whitney and then move on to Machu Picchu. With my husband and two kids.

What can you do to design your life to better incorporate more recess? (Pinky Swear). I am a creature of habit so the first thing I visualize is me scheduling Recess in my Daytimer (oops…just dated myself) but my deep “Inner Deb” says to just be spontaneous and do it. I have already adjusted somewhat this year and the recess I have allowed myself has been fun, creative and spontaneous…not routine!


If you have a CEO / entrepreneur / or all around cool kid we should profile, let us know at

Marsala – Pantone Color of the Year

Designers, event planners and creatives alike wait patiently at the end of each year for the announcement of Pantone’s Color of the Year. For 2015, the folks at Pantone have chosen Marsala. With it’s rich, hearty and natural earthiness, Marsala will translate through all areas of design, fashion and event production.

The Versatility of Marsala

  • Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation
  • Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great go-to color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair.
  • Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors
  • An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.

Pantone_Introducing_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_bannerThe event world will start to incorporate Marsala in design elements, flowers, menus and wine pairings. Be on the look out! This beautiful color will reign in 2015!

Permission – Wow Reviews!

thc_bookcover_finalWhen I wrote my first book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live, I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming support and positive reviews. To write a book is a very personal journey, and although I wrote very quickly (over 200 pages in 6 weeks), I found the process resonated with me long after. I’m very proud of the fact Permission seems to be striking a cord with readers and audiences as I share my story.

Here is just a sampling of some of the reviews I’ve received:

One may think that Permission is meant mainly to inspire and encourage young women to take command of their lives. Well, I am a male twice Nicole’s age and I am inspired and encouraged by this book, too. I recommend it from three perspectives. First, the storyline is so fascinating and Nicole’s writing style almost puts one in her skin as one feels the intense joy and pain of her personal and business lives. Second, important points are well articulated: like authentic intentions, followed by aggressive pursuing, risk, and trying are what brings good fortune, along with sound social advice, such as dropping basement dweller “friends’. Nicole’s ultimate success proves that her advice works. Third, the ‘how to do it’ portions are helpful.The theme, Permission, is all pervasive as we confront authority, ego, self-concept and will. I found the book persuasive and a good read.
-Rick Kaylor January 10, 2015


Nicole made me laugh and cry (at the same time) … she has a delightful way of telling stories that I could completely relate to. So many women (and men) will enjoy this book and probably feel exactly the same way. Nicole’s life has such inspiration and aspiration, I loved reading all about her experiences and successes. The fact that she has a great network of friends and family and a real “go getter” attitude has made me look at my life and give myself Permission to seek the life I want to live. Thank you for such a great read, I will tell everyone I know to read this book! – Kelly


Permission! is an engaging and inspiring read. Nicole Matthews’ voice is at once both strong and vulnerable, and offers those of us who feel like we have to do it all the guidance to lean on others to help us accomplish our goals. The raw, personal stories Nicole uses to illustrate her ideas for achieving success connect the reader in a way that makes this book hard to put down. -Christene

Check out the rest of the reviews on Amazon.

Thank you for all of the Permission support and love!

PS – Need a little more Permission inspiration – check out my Permission board on Pinterest!

Do You Want to Eat Well?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…no, we aren’t celebrating the holidays again already. It’s San Diego Restaurant Week – the best week to explore a cornucopia of culinary delights. With over 180 restaurants participating county wide between January 18- 24, we all have a chance to fill our bellies with delight. Participating restaurants offer a $10, $15 or $20 pre-fix lunch menu, and/or $20, $30, $40 or $50 pre-fix dinner menu. Reservations are recommended because this week is very popular!

San Diego Restaurant Week Here’s a list of the participating restaurants:

Let us know what is on your San Diego Restaurant Week agenda! Happy eating!


TSE 2015 – Where All The Event Planners Go!

If you were looking for anyone in the event industry last week, more than likely they were in Anaheim, California at TSE 2015 – The Special Event Conference and Trade Show; the largest industry conference for event planners, vendors and suppliers. I was very fortunate to have been selected to speak all three days. TSE is an annual tradition for the event industry. We attend for education, networking and inspiration. The trade show floor is a visual cornucopia of the latest and greatest decor, furniture and must-have products we can implement in our events. It’s also a great chance for us to network with friends old and new.

This year was particularly special because in addition to speaking all 3 days, I was also able to offer my new book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live at the Conference Bookstore. What a thrill to be asked to do a book signing during the conference, along side my dear friend, Marley Majcher – The Party Goddess!

My presentations included: