Author Archives: Lara

About Lara

I'm a stay-at-home Mom and run my own business. I am married to a wonderful and supportive man, who helps makes my dreams a reality. We live on a small farm and enjoy the simplicity of country life!

How to Reverse Cruddy Eating in 90-Seconds

I don’t know about you, but some days I just feel cruddy. And what do I do when I feel cruddy? I eat cruddy.

It is easy to underestimate the power of how our body and surroundings make us feel. For example, some days I start my day by wearing workout gear and sneakers. The body is always firmer after a long night of rest and a new pair of clothes feels refreshing. Life is good, right?

After a morning of dropping kids off at school, then hurrying home to frantically do housework, make phone calls, fill orders, and tend to my toddler, I am back in town to pick up my son. After lunch, reading time, and tucking the kids in bed, it’s 1:00. As I debate how to spend the kids’ nap time, I walk in circles through the house realizing I am accompanied with a film of greasiness on my face. The house is warmer now since the sun is in full swing, and because I forgot to turn on the fans and adjust the temperature, there is no air movement in the room. The stillness gives me hot flashes which only contribute to making me feel “off”.  Once I realize I’m feeling sluggish, I notice the workout clothes, which once jumpstarted my day, suddenly serve a different purpose: great stretchy clothes to encourage gorging on food followed by an afternoon nap in bed.

How I spent the rest of these cruddy days is so vivid in my mind because that was my life when I became a stay-at-home mom over 7 years ago. I would wake up from that nap, feeling even worse because I wasted my kid-free time by eating and sleeping. I would feel lethargic from then on, resulting in a throw-in-the-towel mindset by eating poorly and being unproductive and moody until I rolled into bed later that night.Reverse Cruddy

So how did I fix this vicious cycle? These days, I listen to my body and no longer let my surroundings control me. If I can tell I am getting warm or feeling sluggish, I reverse these feelings by taking a 90-second shower. That’s right, I stop what I am doing, jump in the shower to cool off and wash my face (I don’t necessarily wash my hair) and I put on a fresh pair of clothes. Giving my body a quick rinse makes me feel better instantly. I am amazed how much it changes my mindset, productivity, and eating for the rest of the day.

I realize if you are not home during the day, this would be impossible to do. I encourage you to look more closely at your surroundings and see what triggers you to feel cruddy. Maybe you need to light a refreshing candle in the afternoon at work or bring a small fan for your desk if you struggle with the stillness in the air (like I do!). Whatever it is, many times it is an action that only takes a few seconds. I would consider that time well invested if it keeps me feeling better the rest of the day, wouldn’t you?

What triggers your cruddy feelings, resulting in cruddy eating? What is one small step you can make today to reverse these feelings?

Lara

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Filed under Peace w/ Food, You

Is the Halloween Candy Tormenting You?

If my kids are eating Halloween candy, then you better expect to see me eating it too. But not only will I have just one or two with them, I’ll take it a step further by secretly grabbing more and stuffing it in the front of my hoodie pocket after telling them, “You’ve had enough!” Once they leave the room, I’ll secure my comfy spot on the couch only to find myself surrounded with dozens of candy bar wrappers just a few moments later…Oh and a large, empty cup of milk of course.

Any time Halloween rolled around, that is what my days looked like in years past. Reflecting back, I would gorge myself in Halloween candy because 1) I knew if I didn’t, someone else would eat all the “good stuff” …or…2)I just let it torment me by being easily available and felt guilty for throwing it out or giving it away. So what did I do? I mindlessly ate it.

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SOURCE

Now that I have peace with food, this is what my relationship with Halloween candy looks like: before even looking at the mountainous options in the bowl, I think about what sounds good. Then, I approach “THE BOWL”. If I’m in luck, and find a Butterfinger or Twix, I take a couple. If I can’t find what I was looking for, I usually don’t take anything at all. I don’t want to waste my calories on something I wasn’t craving in the first place.

From there, I put the bowl away in a cabinet. I then grab my glass of milk, sit down (preferably without kids needing me at the moment—so I may have to postpone this for after they go to bed) and I savor what is in front of me. I mean, TRULY SAVOR it. And once I take that last bite, there is a great sense of satisfaction because my mind went through a start to finish process.  Yum.

On the other hand, if I were to sit in front of an endless bowl of candy, or see it staring at me across the room all day, I’ll never feel like my mission to eat and enjoy it is complete. So I’ll just keep eating it, resulting in feeling more and more sluggish with every bite. And at that point, I am not savoring anything. I’m just eating because it is available.

If it is too tempting knowing the candy is just a cabinet door away, it may be more helpful to pick out your absolute favorites and then donate the rest. I’ve also been known to even throw it away! Yes, I do. And I have to close my eyes when I see the chocolate bar go in the trash. BUT,  if I was only going to eat it because I felt guilty for throwing it out—even if it was going to make me feel sluggish later, causing me to eat more due to feeling depressed—it probably isn’t a good enough reason for me to keep it around.

So there you have it! I hope some of these ideas can help lessen the torment you may have been experiencing in the last week!

Until next time,

Lara

 

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Filed under Peace w/ Food, You

When Tragedy Strikes

This is a tough one.  No one wants to face a tragedy, yet you may encounter one in your lifetime.  How is one to handle these events?  How do we cope with the pain, suffering, and feeling of helplessness?  Not to mention, how to avoid the fear of it happening again…

First, we weren’t meant to do this alone.  Long ago, we were sent someone who would save us.  Someone who came to reassure us that we don’t have to walk our path alone.  God knew life on Earth would be difficult, and He wants to help lighten our load.  He began restoring our confidence by sending His very own son, Jesus.

Does knowing we have our faith mean it takes away all of our pain and sadness?  Unfortunately it doesn’t, but it does provide enough comfort to keep us going.  To keep praying.  To not lose sight of what God has called us to do: trust in Him and continue to live out the life set before us.Sun-through-the-clouds

Secondly, we can’t live in fear.  I know it is easier said than done. But do we really have a better option?  If we are realistic with ourselves, life will consist of steady highs and lows (regardless of how hard we try to control them). So, why not have something constant to lean on through it all?  God is here to take care of us.  At times it may not seem like it—especially on Earth—but if you keep your eyes on the eternal promise, we are assured He has a place more amazing than we can imagine, waiting specifically for us.

If you are going through a difficult time right now, remember that God is right there with you.  He wants to pick you up and carry you. Let Him.  And don’t stop there.  When He speaks, hear His voice….

“Hang with me. I know this is tough. I am here with you. Your eternal rewards will be great, I promise. Never lose sight of me. I love you. ”

I’m praying for you. Keep the faith-

Lara

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Homemade Christmas Potpourri

I know I shared this a couple of years ago, but I just had to share this again for anyone that may have missed it!  I LoVe this homemade potpourri!  It is super easy to make and will smell up your entire home for the holidays!  Try it out and let me know what you think!

3 Cinnamon Sticks

3 Bay Leaves

¼ C. Cloves

2 Lemon Wedges

1 Orange Peel

(Top 3 ingredients are found in the dry spice section of the grocery store.)

CoMbiNe all of these ingredients in a small crock-pot.  Add water to cover top of all ingredients.  Leave on low temperature.  As the smell fades, continue to add water and various ingredients to keep the mixture moist for a continuous yummy smell!  EnJoy!

*Be sure to unplug your crockpot at night because all the water will be gone by morning and the potpourri will be burnt!

*If you are ready to start a new batch, drain the water and set out the old potpourri to dry.  Even as dry potpourri it smells AWESOME!  Place the dry potpourri in a pretty bowl on a table as another way to smell up your home and extend the life of your potpourri!

Need a quick X-Mas Present idea?!  Throw the ingredients into a basket or mini-crockpot and give as a gift!  Include a printed version of the recipe by clicking here!

~Lara

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Filed under Holiday, RANDO•RAMA

Okay for ME, but NOT for YOU…

I am hard on my kids.  Too hard, a lot of times, which always makes me regret it once I stop and think about how I’m treating them.  Instead of choosing my battles, I decide to take on every battle!  That is what SUPERMOM is all about, right?  Keeping a tight leash on your kids and setting the bar super high?  After some ReFleCtioN this week, maybe I should start looking for a new role model…

As Christians, we know how miserably we fail at numerous tasks and actions throughout our day, yet when we glance up at God we are reassured that He forgives and loves us no matter how much we are being a disappointment.  It is so comforting to know that when I make mistakes, at least someone still has my back…because HE knows we are human and are far from pErfeCt.

Yet WHY do I hold my kids to a different standard?  When they don’t do what I ask, or spill a cup FULL of pop on the floor, I repeatedly get on to them and ask why they didn’t listen or be more careful!!  Not only that, but I bring it up AGAIN when their Dad comes home and maybe even AGAIN before they go to sleep, in hopes that I am getting my point across!Scolding

When I make the same exact mistakes (just in adult form!), does God TrEaT me like that?  Never.  I always feel Him looking at me in a calm way, his eyes telling me that I need to pick myself up and go on.  I know I let Him down but I also know that once I acknowledge my weaknesses to Him, He moves on and doesn’t keep throwing it in my face. I really appreciate that about Him.

So why is it okay for me to fail God but not okay for others to fail me? As cHalleNgiNg as it will be, I am going to try to be as understanding and calm with my children as He is to me.  Sure, I’ll still get on to them and discipline when needed, but then I need to let it go and hope they make a better decision next time.  We know that kids won’t always do the right thing, but thankfully God doesn’t give up on us adults either!  With every year I get under my belt, I can see I’m going to need all the help and forgiveness I can get!

-Lara

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Filed under Faith, Getting Real, God, Life, Parenthood, Relationships

“Before” and “During” Pictures of our House

It has been a while since I updated you on our HOuSe!  As most of you know, last summer we had our house lifted and moved to our new farm.  It traveled over 100 miles!  Here is a picture of what it looked like shortly after it was moved and set back down on a new basement foundation:July 2012

Over the past 16 months we have added on a new “front” to the house.  In August I began painting the exterior–which still needs to get finished–but already has helped improve the overall look.  We have many “phases” of the house we need to complete before it becomes our “dReaM” home.  Since our current garage is used as my office/woodshop, our next plan is to extend the garage and have a porch which will connect the new garage and current front door area.  Not sure how soon this will happen, but in the meantime I am enjoying each new phase of seeing it come together.

Sept 2013

Sept 2013

Many of you wonder how our house has held up after traveling such a long distance.  There were only a few hairline cracks in the sheetrock above the interior doors but besides that, you’d never know it went through such a haul!  We continue to feel blessed about the entire process of the move and are glad we stuck with our CrAzY idea ;)  We couldn’t be happier in our new location and look forward to making more memories in the first house we ever purchased (just with a different landscape)!

To read about the MOVING journey, click below in the following order:

read Why Move A House? , Demo Work , Moving Day, Moving Our House and Did We Make the Right Decision?

Cheers,

Lara

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Filed under At Home, RANDO•RAMA

How I am avoiding a stressful Christmas this year…

I know…it is only September…but I already have half of my Christmas shopping DONE!  The motive for starting so early?  I’m tired of stressing out during the holidays!

christmas countdown makie

SOURCE

The reason I’m starting so early has to do with money.  If I began now, I could spread the cost of gifts over the course of several months, instead of spending a large sum of cash in November and December.  Since we do a monthly budget, I didn’t want to go WAY over in December (and throw the budget out the window), all because of Christmas.  I figure if I SpReAd OuT my spending, I could easily pay $50-$150 in Christmas gifts and it wouldn’t make much of an impact each month.

The last couple of weeks I started searching for a few gifts.  To my surprise, I was able to purchase several of my items half-off, just by shopping on eBay and Amazon!  If I would have purchased those same items in a couple months from now, I’d be bidding against NuMeRouS (stressed) Christmas shoppers, which would make the bidding prices go uP Up UP!!!  I have already saved significant cash on gifts, which allowed me to start working on the items I was planning to purchase next month.  Can’t beat that!

The other obvious advantage is avoiding to shop (and panic) at the last minute.  I feel less rushed doing it this way and can also make sure I get what I really want (since items are IN STOCK in September!  ha!)

Christmas can be the last thing on your mind since we haven’t even hit Halloween, but if your past experiences left you in financial ruins and stress, it might be worth considering!

Happy Shopping!

Lara

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Filed under Finances, Holiday, Life, RANDO•RAMA, Uncategorized