My first success with “traditional exercise”

I don’t know if you have ever heard of but for the first time EVER I have actually been able to do traditional exercise and have peace with it. I’ve been doing it since January and have never stuck with a workout program this long (I usually only last 2 weeks, max!).
Brianna has several 90-day challenges, but if you ever wanted to give it a shot, I would suggest starting with her “challenge 3.0“. The reason why I LoVe her workouts so much is because she actually filmed them in “real time” so on Day 1 she is the heaviest she has been, and week by week you, and her, start to see changes in your body. It feels like you are working out with a friend b/c she totally “gets it” and where you are at. I usually can’t outlast the typical workout programs because I feel like the trainers can’t relate to the pain I feel during a workout, because they are in tip-top shape on the video! It’s intimidating! With, I feel like I can keep going b/c if she is struggling at least she can understand how hard it is for me too!It is hard to explain, but you just have to go check her out if you have any interest. I go at my own pace and try to work out Monday-Friday. It is nice because I just pick up where I left off, and each week you do completely different workouts, so I don’t get bored with them. The actual workout is usually around 16 min, and then there is a warmup and cooldown. So really it is only around 20 minutes of your time.I save the following link in my browser, and then click on whatever day I am on: Workout Finder

Once the day pops up, go down to “Are you Ready” and click the youtube link. Then do the workout!

I also just write my reps down on a piece of paper (or you could order her “success journal”), which is motivating b/c you can see how much stronger you are getting each week 🙂

Absolutely, NO obligation to check her out. Just wanted to share since I’ve enjoyed it and thought you, or someone you know, might enjoy it too!

Your LaraTake-Home Message: Find an exercise that works for you, your preferences, and your lifestyle!


Declutter Your Home, Once and For All

Over the last year I have felt somewhat of an urgency to get my house in order. Although I have peace with food, I don’t feel like I have peace with the clutter that has accumulated in our home. As a result, when I my surroundings make me uncomfortable, it is easy to turn to food!

So, to avoid that from happening, I needed to do something. Luckily, my neighbor and friend asked if I would be interested in reading this book:

Instantly, I was hooked. I think I read it in a couple of days, and within an hour of reading I began to declutter. I can’t even begin to give it justice, but here are some of the highlights that struck a chord with me:

-Families will easily pass on food recipes or heirlooms from generation to generation, but one thing that never gets passed down is teaching your children how to deal with clutter. (Luckily, this book tells you how!)
Folding your clothes can save so much space and not be so hard on your clothes. (I don’t like to fold, AT ALL, but I have to admit, after applying her technique I was shocked how much extra space I had in my dresser drawers and in my closet. Not only that, it allows you to see all of your clothes at once, versus having them stacked on top of one another and never really utilizing the clothes at the bottom.)
Decluttering by category is KEY! (She strongly advises not to declutter by room and instead, to declutter by putting all like items together, particularly on the floor so you can see everything at once. I was unsure about this, because I always declutter by room, but I have to say, this was life-changing! I never realized how many like items we have scattered throughout the house!)
-Last, but not least, as you look at every item, ask yourself, “Does this sParK jOy?” (This may sound strange to some of you, but it made perfect sense to me! I couldn’t believe how many things I have in my home that don’t actually spark joy when I see or touch it! I probably loved this concept so much because it is similar to how we ask ourselves, “Does this bring me peace?”)

Here are some examples of decluttering by category. I laid out every hat or accessory we had in the house:


Isn’t that awesome?! We reduced hats and gloves significantly! And I think my husband thought it was much easier to narrow down his hats after seeing them all spread out on the table 🙂

I recruited the kids to help me with the next category: children’s books! This is all of them…


We ended up filling this entire tub full of books to donate in hopes they will sPaRk JoY to someone else! I was so proud of my kids for suggesting this!


In the meantime I have done all craft supplies, office supplies, and the clothes in my closet. I have always been a fairly tidy person, but this book has taken my “stuff” to a whole new level. It was freeing to read that I didn’t have to hold on to everything. She breaks the book down into electronics, shoes, greeting cards, gifts, and more. It’s a great resource if you feel like you are stuck with your current decluttering strategy and need something to help bring more order and PEACE into your life! Enjoy!!

Your Lara

Take-Home Message: Find what things are negatively impacting your peace level and make necessary adjustments. Reach out for help if necessary!

Put Your Blinders On

Last week I talked about wearing your blinders when focusing on a goal. I thought I’d take it a step further this week… Do you make decisions based on the people around you?  DeeP dOwN did you decide to buy a new car because all your friends and family recently upgraded theirs?  Did you put your kid in t-ball because you felt the pressure from the other parents?  Have you recently felt the need to go on an extreme diet because you bumped into an old classmate that lost a bunch of weight? Whether it is what you buy, the vocation you choose, how you raise your kids, or the way you live your life, we must ask ourselves this question: If I couldn’t see others and what they are doing, would I still be making the same decisions? 

So many times we forget to think on our own because we are heavily influenced by other people.  Doug (my husband) and I talk about this a lot.  In our decison making we have to constantly remind ourselves that, if we didn’t care what others thought, would we still go down the same path? It is in these situations it is important to know yourself. Take buying a home for example.  Would you have purchased your home if you didn’t know what type of home everyone else lived in? Without thinking about it, you went house hunting feeling obligated to want certain things because you knew what other people have.  Even though they weren’t there, the influence talked you into buying an expensive home, and you are left with the stress of keeping up with the payments.

The same applies to peace with food. Are you going to ignore what exercise and foods are best for you, only because everyone else is on the latest workout and diet plan? When you are at a crossroad to make a decision, ask yourself WHO you are doing it for. Like a race horse with blinders on, tune out what’s going on around you and focus on what YOU want.  It isn’t always easy, but living YOUR life will be the ultimate pRiZe when reaching the finish line.  Your Lara
Take-Home Message: Regardless what everyone else is doing, do what is best for you.

How my tile grout taught me an important lesson about life

Typical me. I was on a mission to do a quick clean sweep through the house. To swiftly pick up everything off the floors and tidy up the entire house. My second room was the guest bathroom. I mopped, grabbed the dirty laundry, and decided I needed to move on…until…I got a wild hair to deep-clean the grout on the floor.

Well guess what?

As I began scrubbing, the grout started to come off!Grout2

My head immediately started to spin. I’ve always wanted darker grout in here, so it doesn’t look so dirty all the time. If I just keep scrubbing I could probably remove all the grout right now!  Then, I noticed the trim around the tub. You know, if I’m going to remove all the grout, I might as well rip out the water-damaged baseboards!

Lara…what was the goal today? Was it to start remodeling your bathroom???

Nope. The goal was to efficiently tidy up the house so I could move on with my day.

Sometimes we have a goal, but once we get rolling we become distracted. Whether you surf the Internet for a healthy recipe and you end up reading an article on how you aren’t exercising enough, or you decide you are going to try being more patient with your kids but a T.V. interview shares the importance of doing more crafts with your kids, reading to them more, and setting aside more one-on-one time, FOCUS ON THE GOAL and what you set out to do in the first place.

This is hard to do, I know. There is so much information out there, and unlimited reasons to get distracted. Do yourself a favor and put your blinders on. Keep you eyes straight ahead and get one goal under your belt before you begin entertaining something else.

Your Lara



Take-Home Message: No matter how many distractions you are presented with, FOCUS on the G O A L and accomplish what you set out to do first.

Carrot Fries

Looking for an alternative to French Fries? Last night we tried these Carrot Fries!

carrot fries

I was eXciTeD to find that I actually LOVED how they tasted! There are healthier versions out there, which don’t include sugar, but I’m all about having P E A C E and the thought of switching from regular french fries to this recipe was more likely to result in success. And it did–I really like them!

  • 1 12lbs carrots (I used a 1 lb. bag of baby carrots and cut them in half)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped (I used dry parsley flakes instead)
  • 1 pinch pepper
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a shallow pan with foil.
  2. Using a sharp knife, slice away the tip and end of each carrot; peel each completely.
  3. Cut carrots in half crosswise, then cut lengthwise, then cut lengthwise again.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the carrot sticks, olive oil, rosemary, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir until all are evenly coated.
  5. Place carrots in pan, spreading sticks out as much as possible. Bake for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature.

What healthy alternatives have you had good luck with? I’d love to try it!!

Your Lara