Tag Archives: Holidays

This Incredible Thing Called Peace

Thanksgiving in the palm of your hand

I was walking down the aisles of my grocery store today just minding my own business.  My thoughts were on the next errands I had to run, trying to estimate the time it would take for each and determine if I would be able to complete them before my 1:00 p.m. appointment.

As I pushed my cart, I was met with the blitz of holiday food conveniently placed where it could not be missed.  There, in the center aisle, were the ingredients for your favorite Thanksgiving feast.  Green bean casserole with French fried onions, dressing, pumpkin pie, cookie mixes, Velveeta cheese with RO*TEL,  You name it, it was probably there.   And all I could do was send up a whisper of “thanks”.

For a brief moment I was reminded of my dieting days, the days before I had this incredible thing called Peace with Food.  Back then, I couldn’t go to the grocery store during the holidays without facing one of two options:

  • Option 1 – Go off my diet and indulge which would inevitably result in me spiraling out of control.
  • Option 2 – Resist the incredible urge to buy these “off-limit” tempting foods.  The result of this option?  Resent my diet for making me feel deprived which would eventually cause me to throw off all restraint, indulge, and spiral out of control.

Two different options.  The same end result.

But thankfully, that was before Peace with Food.  Now I am no longer tormented with the grocery store or with the foods frequently flashed before us during the holidays. That is because  I now know that I can have whatever I want, just maybe not as much as I want.  And with this freedom to enjoy the foods I love, surprisingly I really don’t desire them that much and when I do, I now know how to enjoy them in moderation and then move on, feeling content and satisfied.

Yes, I am thankful for many things this Thanksgiving and Peace with Food is definitely one of them.





Take-Home Message:

With Peace with Food, you have the freedom to enjoy the foods you love in moderation and then move on feeling content and satisfied.





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Filed under Peace w/ Food, You

Season of Food

Hi Suede Sofa Readers! It’s been a while, dear friends–thanks for sticking with us.

Robynn and I LOVE the holidays. Absolutely LOVE them. But we also know that the holiday season can present it’s own challenges, one being FoOd. Since the holidays are right around the corner, we have decided to spend the next few months discussing food, weight loss, and body image. We are going to share ways to have peace in those areas without having to be on a diet, dreading exercise or giving up your favorite foods. Sounds good to be true, right? Well it is true, and you can have it. We hope you’ll join us, for what we are calling theSeason of FoodBut why wait for Thanksgiving? Let’s get started today by sharing a little Q & A. These are answers we gave before we learned how to have peace with food.

What do you dread the most about the holidays?

Lara: There is hardly anything I dread I dread about the holidays–I absolutely LOVE them! But now that you mention it, I guess I don’t look forward to gaining a few pounds due to all the good food. Either that or I dread feeling like I have to deprive myself of my favorite holiday treats so I don’t gain weight.

Robynn: Before I started having peace with food I lived in one extreme {a.k.a insanity} or the other.  The first extreme was depriving myself of my favorite holiday foods because I was on a diet.  The other extreme was rebelling against dieting by giving myself permission to indulge on anything I wanted which only caused me to gain weight and feel cruddy about myself.

 Can you remember a time when you overindulged during the holidays?

Lara: Can I remember A time? Are you kidding? I have countless memories of spending the holidays eating so much I was stuffed before I went to bed and still suffered from a eating hangover the next morning. It’s obvious that you ate too much when you still feel full after waking up the next day. Egh!

Robynn: As I stated above, Yes!  Too many times to count.  However, with the skills Lara and I have learned that living with peace may not mean perfection but I have a much greater success rate.  :)


Do the holidays ever present challenges for you? If so, we’ll be sharing what we’ve learned and how to maintain peace during the season of food!

Until next time,

Lara & Robynn

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Filed under Peace w/ Food, Uncategorized, You

Valentine’s Day Handprint Crafts

Maybe it’s the first grade teacher in me, or maybe it is just simply the Mommy in me trying to bottle every minute of my kids being LiTtLe, but I am hooked on handprint crafts!  When my son was born I made about 20 handprint turkeys for Thanksgiving and sent them out to family and friends.  Since then there hasn’t been a holiday that has gone by without the creation of a handprint project to proudly hang in our home to remember how little their hands once were and to remind us how quickly time goes by.  Maybe my Handprint Memories post last Christmas prompted some of you get out the paint and start MaKiNg SoMe MeMoRiEs…if not, here are some easy Valentine’s Day ideas to get you started!

This year my 5 year old son was able to paint the L and the E after I traced them!

This year my 5-year-old son was able to paint the L and the E after I traced them!


I found these wood hearts at my local craft store and stamped them with the “special name” that my kids say I call them the most!



You can also do a family handprint craft!


Here’s one my sister did last year and gave out as Valentine’s Day gifts from my niece!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)


Filed under Good Life, Holiday, Junk Drawer, Kid Stuff, Life, RANDO•RAMA

Are You Generous?

This year I am trying to put more focus on ways that I can be GeneRouS. If this is an area that you struggle with, the holidays offer plenty of opportunities to GiVe. Offer to help an elderly neighbor with their holiday shopping. Buy a giftcard and give it to a stranger. Have a love for music? Go carol a family and friend that is in need of a pick-me-up. Can’t think of anything you want for Christmas? Instead, donate the money to a family in need. It doesn’t take much to brighten the life of another. Be creative and have fun with it!

Make this holiday season the BEST one yet by being generous and reaching out to anyone that you meet!


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Filed under Holiday, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships

Gift Giving

Believe it or not, this is one that I sTruggLe with.  Birthdays, surgeries, baby arrivals and house warming gifts are just some of the few events that leave me defeated due to lack of creative ideas and planning ahead for special moments.

Before I continue with my point, it might be helpful to share some of my history.    Growing up, my family didn’t CeleBraTe birthdays with gifts.  Don’t get me wrong, I have extremely fond memories of birthdays…Mom made our favorite meal, we got a custom decorated Dairy Queen ice cream cake and we ended the night watching a movie as a family.  BUT, we never had the big piles of presents…in fact, it was very rare that we associated gifts with birthdays.  I knew other kids who did that, but I never thought anything of it because I felt my birthday was special and uNiqUe the way we celebrated it.

Because I didn’t grow up getting many gifts I think that is why I have a hard time buying gifts for others.  Now that I am older, it seems more challenging because everyone around me seems so thoughtful and I find that people give gifts for almost any and every occasion!  In some ways I have learned to be better about gift giving.  I try to have a basket of goodies on hand that I can wrap up in a pinch and give to someone as the occasion arises.  Robynn gave me some great aDviCe—buy people things that they can consume (candles or a specialty food item) that way if they don’t like it they aren’t obligated to keep it around.  This was helpful because just trying to think of what to give always served as an extra road block.

More importantly, give from the HEART.  Anymore, if I don’t have time to make a trip to town I just tuck some money in a card and put a cute piece of paper around it saying “This $ is only to be spent at Dairy Queen for your Birthday”.  Even though it isn’t an official gift card, it’s the thought that counts.  In the end, isn’t that what gift giving is all about?



Filed under Family, Friends, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Traditions

{Get A Head Start On The Holidays}

For the past few years I have scrambled to get my ChRiStMaS cards out before DeCeMeBeR 24th.  My problem wasn’t that I had the cards sitting around the house and just didn’t get around to it, but rather it was racing to get pictures taken and then have the cards made.  Last year I only received my cards 2-3 days before Christmas.  After spending hours addressing them the eve of December 23rd, I decided that was it.  Then and there I resolved that I would get Christmas pictures taken in June and create my Christmas card in July.  I was tired of self-imposing stress on myself during what should be a JoYoUs HoLiDaY.  And that is what I did.

This year I’m getting my cards at Tinyprints.  I haven’t ordered them yet, but I plan on ordering them by the 18th of this month because if I do I will get a 25% discount, (yet another benefit of ordering early!!)  Now that I have Christmas cards checked off my list I’m thinking of Christmas planning, shopping, etc. that I can take care of now so that when the joyous holidays do come I can enjoy every minute of it.

Is there something you can do now that will free up your time and energy for the holidays?  They will be here before we know it!!



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Filed under Holiday, RANDO•RAMA

Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees

{Subscribers–if your email link did not work today, we apologize.  Tomorrow it should be back up and running!}

Our family is planning a BiG trip to Disneyworld this summer!  It will be the first visit for both of my children and we can’t wait to see the excitement on their faces as they meet their favorites…Tinkerbell and Mickey Mouse!  With a big trip like this comes a BIG price tag.  I don’t want my kids thinking you show up to Disneyworld and say, “HeRe I Am!”  I want them to understand that our family has worked hard to save and plan for such a special trip.

Like many kids, mine have so many toys they don’t know which one to play with first.  For upcoming holidays and birthdays I have asked my family to give my children Disney gift cards instead of toys.  I bought each of them a small Disney sandwhich keeper at my local dollar store and my kids now use them to save all of their “DiSNeY MoNeY.”  Between Halloween and Thanksgiving they already have a nice collection of gift cards from family and any money they got from trick-or-treating went into their sandwich keepers too.

We’ve been discussing different things they can use their “Disney money” on when go on our trip such as souveniers, special snacks, extra activites, etc.  As young as my children are they are really understanding why they are saving their “Disney money” and it makes me happy to know that they are learning such a ValUAbLe lesson so early in life!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Finances, Life, Parenthood, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships