Get Busy, Get Happy

When I quit my job as a teacher and became a stay-at-home mom I thought my life was finally going to be everything I wanted it to be.  I could wear pajamas all day if I wanted to, didn’t have to keep track of time, and be present for every second of my daughter’s childhood.  Sounds like a pretty gReAt LiFe, right?

Don’t get me wrong, it has been great, but I quickly learned something after being at home all the time. If I go many days where I’m not being productive or focusing on something that makes me excited (not counting my children), I experience tHe FuNk.  This resulted in days, maybe even weeks where I felt like I was stuck.  I lacked MoTiVaTiOn to do anything, I wasn’t excited about much, and I found myself spending more time focusing on all the flaws and negative things going on in my life.  This, of course, resulted in being a harder wife to live with and a mom that isn’t wasn’t very peppy.  There is so much truth to “Happy Wife, Happy Life!”

The same applies to kids! Encourage activities they can value and see the “fruits” of their labor 🙂

Even though staying busy makes your life a little more hectic, it can keep your mind from dwelling on the bad.  I always tell Doug that I currently work harder than I ever have but I’m also happier than I’ve ever been.  If I keep my mind busy on things that satisfy me, I am less likely to struggle with self-confidence issues, negative thoughts about others, and things that bother me.  This of course results in being a better and happier mom, wife, ChRiStIaN, friend, etc.

Sound familiar?  If so, pick yourself up by finding the quickest way to turn around your day.  Whether it is taking a bubble bath or painting your toenails a crazy color, do something to reverse the funk and change your way of thinking. If your outfit makes you feel sluggish, then go put on your favorite one!  If your house feels dirty start by burning your favorite candle. Maybe you should give yourself a few minutes to jot down a list of “bucket list” items–things you have always wanted to accomplish–and write out an action plan for the one you want to start pursuing first. Or if your mind is getting the best of you, and you can’t kick a bad thought, go turn on a fun song, have a talk with God, or do something to distract your thoughts for a while.  You know the drill—get busy, get happy–and from there it should become contagious!

Your Lara

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.

*BONUS* DAY 31- Peace Coaches

pay it forward

So, here you are.  You’ve completed the 30-Day Peace with Food Challenge. You have a buddy to take the journey with and maybe even a posse, but still you have your doubts.  Will it stick?  Can you do it?  Will Peace with Food even work for you?

If that describes you, relax.  There is one more very important source of support we need to tell you about and it is us, your Peace Coaches.

That’s right.  We are your Peace Coaches and we are here for you.

We’ll help you navigate the choppy waters that you’ll no doubt encounter (we all do) and help you find your customized lifestyle that will give you peace.  But it will require patience.

And we know how hard that can be.

When we gave up the artificial props of weight loss (aka a diet) it was scary.  There were times we wanted to turn back for the quick fix, but we had made a promise and we were committed to see it through.

You will make it through too.  If you don’t quit.  And do you want to know the really exciting part?  This is actually the best part of all – as you begin to climb up the peace scale you will become a Peace Coach yourself.

Now don’t panic.  Being a Peace Coach isn’t difficult.  It simply means you help others in whatever way feels most comfortable to you.  Maybe for you that will be getting a posse together or it may be something simple like just encouraging someone to keep going.  This is how you Pay it Forward.

So as you see your #PEACE climb, CeLeBraTe, but then begin looking for someone you can help coach to live with greater levels of peace.  You can make a difference in someone’s life.  Welcome to the team, Peace Coach.

Could you do us a HUGE favor? And give us your feedback on the 30-Day challenge? Please take the quick survey by clicking here.

Your Peace Coaches,

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 Take-Home Message:

As soon as you move up the peace scale you become a Peace Coach.  That is how you Pay it Forward.

Time to Celebrate!


A new beginning!  We can’t begin to tell you how excited we are for you as you set out on the Peace with Food journey because we remember WELL our new beginning.

It was April 24, 2012.

That is when we drew a line in the sand and said no more diets.  And almost three years later it is a decision we will never regret.  Life-changing.  Sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

So, are you ready for this new beginning?!  How are you going to celebrate?

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Do something that is significant to you.  Have fun with a friend or posse.  If you prefer it more low key, just stay home, veg and do something that you enjoy.  Watch your favorite movie.  Write out your goals for the upcoming year.  Make a Live-It List (our version of a bucket list).

Do whatever speaks to you.  Robynn actually wrote out a contract and signed it.  You don’t need to do that unless you want.  (We’re including a Fresh Start Pact at the end of this post in case you are one to like writing it down!)

Dream about where you want to be a year from today.  See yourself living in peace and make a plan to take small steps daily to develop the habits and skills necessary. Remember the famous U.S. Army General George Patton’s quote:

The best plan today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow.

So don’t worry if the plan isn’t perfect.  It will unfold for you as you go.  For now, celebrate this new beginning – living a life full of peace.  Are you ready?!

Let the party (and your new life) begin!!

The Peace Coaches


Take-Home Message:  Celebrate your new life!



Click here for Day 1!




My Fresh Start Pact
Living at Peace with Food

It’s a new beginning!

On this date, ________________________________________

I, ___________________________________, am committing to a fresh start!

Today I am drawing a line in the sand and kissing diets good-bye for life!

Today I take 100% responsibility for my life.

From this day forward I will focus on #PEACE.

I will Follow Peace rather than fads, diets, or what everyone else is doing. Instead, I will find what works for me and what gives me peace.

I commit to gaining the skills that will lead to Peace with Food – skills that are transferable to all other areas of my life. I will live my best life ever – a life full of peace!

It is with excitement to begin my Peace with Food journey that I sign this pact!

Date     _____________________________________

Name ______________________________________

(You may also want to have your posse sign this pact for an extra measure of accountability.)


Click on the link below for the PDF Version of the Fresh Start Pact:

Peace with Food Fresh Start Pact

Pick Up Toto…AND RUN!!

best plan

If you’ve ever seen the Wizard of Oz, you know that Dorothy was on a mission to find the Wizard. Throughout the journey she was presented with road blocks and, many times, the best plan in those situations was for Dorothy to simply pick up Toto and run.

Isn’t that the way life is? We try to follow a straight path, but regardless of how much we plan and prepare, we’re always faced with some type of obstacle or challenge along the way? Either that or being aware of potential road blocks cause us to give up before we even try! If you can relate to either of these situations, consider this…

 A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
~George Patton

Often times the best medicine is to take action NOW instead of waiting for that perfect “someday”. Because we all know what happens to those “somedays”…We’re still waiting for many of them, aren’t we?Pick up toto

When it comes to Peace with Food, we hope you’ll be encouraged to start taking those small steps toward peace at this very moment. Don’t over think it, just do it. You can start small by committing to read our stories and strategies (blog posts) on a daily bases. That is all you have to do. We used the same approach three years ago. We took a few minutes out of every day to experiment ways to have peace with food. Nowadays, it is something we do that takes very little thought. By taking one small step today, you are planting a seed that, over time, will evolve into a lifetime of peace. And who doesn’t want that?!

Don’t miss your window of opportunity because you are waiting for the perfect moment. Start now.

The Peace Coaches

Find What Fits

find what works

Have you ever tried to put on someone else’s clothing and found they were too tight or too loose?  Maybe the fit wasn’t the issue, instead it was the style.  It just wasn’t you.

The same holds true in eating and exercise.  As you begin experimenting with what works best for you, there will be some approaches that are too tight. They will prove to be way too restrictive.  Some will be too loose. They don’t provide the appropriate boundaries to keep you in check.  And lastly, there will be plenty that are just not your style.

Don’t worry if it takes a little time to find the perfect fit.  The important thing is that you keep trying until you find what works best for you.  With each failed attempt you can cross one more approach off your list.  As the saying goes:  No harm, no foul. One step closer to finding what does work.

This is one of the Peace with Food mantra’s:  Find what works for you.

This approach is applicable not just in the areas of eating and physical activity, but in every other aspect of our lives.  Just because “everyone” else is doing something (which is never really the case), that doesn’t mean that we need to be involved in what they’re doing.

Are you feeling pressure to do something that your friends, family, or colleagues are doing?  If so, take the pressure off yourself and find what works for you.


Just follow peace.  When you do, you’ll begin to find those things that are the perfect fit for you.

The Peace Coaches


Take-Home Message:

Find what works for you.




Why Diets Don’t Work: Reason #3

Reason #3:  Diets don’t last.

Let’s admit it. Diets are horrible at giving us a plan that will keep us in the game for life. Sure, we may be able to stick to a diet for a few months, but even if we do, it never sticks because we get tired of the control it has over our lives. Remember the popcorn and water diet that Lara went on in college to lose a few pounds? A week later she threw her hands up in defeat because the diet actually caused her to GAIN weight! That’s right, gain! And when this happens don’t you want to scream, “So forget it!” and turn to food out of frustration? There it is, another diet that didn’t last…

Or how about those times you were 100% committed–you were diligent with your workouts, healthy eating, and calorie tracking, and you were able to shed a significant amount of weight. Life was good in regards to dropping pounds, but then what happened? If you are anything like us, you were ready to start having a “normal” life once you lost the weight, but once you got there, you had no idea how to do it. It left you at at a dead-end.Diet Maze

Diets don’t give you the tools to succeed, they just give you the quick fix to lose the weight, leaving you empty-handed, LOST, on how to maintain the weight for life.

So, if diets have no staying power, no ability to keep us in the game, how can we win at a game we are not playing?

We can’t.

Time for a new game plan.

Something we can do for life.  And something that we can be happy about doing.  That’s Peace with Food.  

Are you ready to let go of dieting and try something you can do for life?  Reclaim your life and get back in the game!

lara-robynn1 (1)

Take-Home Message:

Peace with Food is something you can do for life and it is also something that will give you peace and happiness.