My word for 2016


I always pick a word for the new year. Do you do this? It helps to keep me on track when things get crazy and there’s the first sign of “how is this all going to get done?” in my life.

I like commitment because it applies to all areas. I’m not the best cook in the world and it’s easy to let our busy evenings and sporting events keep us from sitting down together. My hub and I are seeing how fast the count-down is going to empty nest syndrome, so we’re making an effort to have dinner at our table 5 nights a week with our girls. I am committed to planning ahead so that food is shopped for, thawed and in the crockpot.

I’m committed to creating engaging, interactive lessons for my 3rd graders. They love learning this way and I love teaching with creativity and enthusiasm. We all win when I put in the extra effort to make our class experience amazing. I am determined to have these little people look back on this year as the best in their school careers…it’s that important.

I’m committed to collaborating with colleagues and administration to better our school. We’re heading into a new building in a couple of years (fingers crossed our bond will pass). The planning is intense, but fun. I’m excited to be a part of the architectural committee.

I’m committed to getting my school related business off the ground. The plan is for the book to be finished this winter so I can offer it on Amazon. I have four interactive units that need to go up on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I’m excited to create tutorials in several areas that are working in my teacher life. It’s time to man-up and do all the necessary things to get it done.

If you could choose one word for 2016, what would it be?

Here’s to an amazing year full of good health, wonderful accomplishments and fulfilling relationships,


What if you had an affair…with your creative passion?


I’ve been reading Big Magic by one of my heroes, Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s been awhile since I’ve nodding so violently in agreement when listening to an audible book. She speaks immeasurable truth and I feel so vindicated in my practice of negative self talk when it comes to the practice of engaging in creativity.

There is one particular idea about how we treat our creative life that stopped me in my running tracks today as I listened to Gilbert’s wise words: Treat your relationship with your chosen medium of creativity like a love affair. She laments about how passionate, desperate humans behave when engaging in an extra-marital affairs. They always find time for each other no matter how busy they are—they’re not afraid to steal that 15 minutes kissing on the stairs. She argues that it should be the same with our creative passions. Fifteen minutes to hammer away at a piece of music or compose a paragraph or paint a sunset should be stolen whenever it can be. Our creative endeavors are worth that kind of zealous planning and scheming. We need to be in love with our pursuits to the point of “getting down to it” in every nook and cranny moment in our busy lives!

I felt this in the early days of my photography career. I wanted to spend time with my camera like nobody’s business. I took it everywhere, red marks on my shoulders and all. I sponged up all the info I could online about my new “man”. I read and read and read, especially while babies was napping and spent far too many dollars on developing roll after roll (it was 1999, after all), nervously wringing my hands all the way to the photo place. Would my $15 be worth it? Were there any shots worthy of hanging on my walls?

Then digital came into the picture and it got even worse with how much time this boyfriend was taking away from my mom/wife duties. I woke up wanting to play and shoot and download (Yee-haw! No more costly rolls to develop) and pretty much revolved my every waking moment around who, what and where I could shoot.

It was blissful and I stole every moment for my new passion/business. It was easy because I was in love with it. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this kind of desperate love for a hobby. I miss it. I’m thinking I need to have an another affair.

What are you in love with? What would you do if you didn’t even get paid for it? Are you treating this passion with the zeal that it deserves? It might be time to steal some moments on the stairs! Being in love is awesome–especially when it helps you to feel successful, talented and useful.

Your cheerleader on the journey,


My book is available here!

4 Reasons why having “too many interests” is a good thing


I have a confession to make.

I am a serial project starter. I am an idea person. I write down so many ideas on random receipts and paper scraps in the middle of the night, my beside table is looking recycle bin-ish. There are blog post and book ideas…projects and workshops I want to plan for my students and my women/girls programs….ukulele songs to play and art pieces to make with pictures from summer travel. There’s a novel in the works right now with my notes scattered over my desk in piles. ACK!! It’s enough to make the goal-oriented want-to-be-organized part of me slap a forehead in exasperation.

Yet, I’ve decided not to consider this a bad thing. I’m putting this under the “Be Who I Am” column. When I really ponder this state of my union, I’ve always been this way. At 44 I’m fairly sure I will not have some deep epiphany about sticking to one project for long periods of time. I shall not spend one more second pounding a square block into a circular hole.

So, with this in mind, I’m committed to seeing the positives of having multiple interests:

  1. I’m never bored or saturated with one project/idea.
  2. When I get stalled with a goal, I take a break and make process towards another and feel satisfaction.
  3. I meet a lot of interesting people and read a lot of good books because my interests are diverse.
  4. If I listen closely, my heart chooses the “what and where” with projects. Listening closely is a great way to learn to trust yourself. I don’t know about you, but I could use more of this in my life.

What an awesome thing if we could all embrace who were are completely and stop apologizing for it.

I’m ready to do this—how about you?!

Your cheerleader on the journey,



My book is here! Yippee!

The best way to communicate when there’s conflict

We’re emotional creatures and sometimes we’re really good at cooking up unnecessary drama with others. We can take an interaction with someone we care about and blow it up to all kinds of awful before even trying to ask the person in question about it.

We could improve our relationships with people tenfold if we took two simple steps to healthy communication: PT & K. Watch this video and find out what it can do for you! It’s changed my life for the better.

Your cheerleader on the journey,



My book is available here.

How healing a rift can open your heart


I love the quote, “Where fear has blocked me, let love release me”. I don’t think anything blocks a person more than having a rift or broken friendship with another person. I didn’t realize how blocked I was until I started the Summer of Healing.

Now, mind you, I didn’t know that this summer would have such a dramatic title and that I would feel compelled to blog about it, for cryin’ out loud, but I after the release of all of the ick (resentment, anger, frustration, exasperation, etc), I just wanted to write out loud that letting go and reconnecting has been transformational for this ever-evolving SuperGirl heart.

Lest you think I’ve been holding grudges against everyone and their dog, there were a couple of strange situations in the past ten years that yielded “I used to know that person. Not anymore” deals. Like I said, lots of ick. In one situation I did the reaching out and I am so glad I did. It wasn’t just me in the mix, but our whole family and the reunion was nothing short of amazing. Lots of tears (me) and hugs (all of us). I felt released and renewed, happy to have these people in my life again.

The second situation was not one I planned. I do believe God pushes our hand sometimes when he knows what we need to do and we don’t do it (because we’re human and stubborn). It was a total fluke, “Why are you here?” type of thing and there were more relief  tears involved. A lot of talking and healing and forgiveness. Again, my heart grew lighter…floaty, even.

My only regret is waiting this long. It’s a trite statement, but life is indeed incredibly short and I kept asking myself, if I heard that something terrible had happened to any of these people. what would I say or feel? The immediate answer was regret for not reconnecting sooner and sadness for the rift happening in the first place. Sometimes we have to play the what if tragedy strikes? card.

It’s good that wisdom comes with aging, because I’ve got a lot more wisdom-gathering to get to. It’s good stuff, and I’m grateful for it.

Is there anyone you need go to bridge the gap? Is there a person in your life you wish you still ‘knew”? It’s not too late.

Your cheerleader on the journey,



I teach at Brave Girl University! Join the fun!

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My book is available! Brave Girl University is launching!


It’s a big day and I am thrilled it’s finally here:-The book is ready for purchase

-My classes are available on Brave Girl University TODAY. Yippee!



“Book jacket” deets: This e-book is a compilation of the things I did to get turn my life from good to extraordinary. After a very rough patch right after my 40th birthday, I decided I wanted something different. I went for it with gusto and this book is the step-by-step method I took to turn this ship around. Now I truly am living the life I’d always imagined. I want to share the do-able steps of how to get there with other women! It’s not as daunting as you think.

In this book there are four categories: attitude & outlook, goal-setting & productivity, communication, health & fitness. With humor and storytelling, I let you inside the laboratory that was my vida loca during all of this research. I write about the mistakes, the triumphs and the secrets to how (in 4 years) I stepped into the light I knew I was meant for.

Channeling SuperGirl Reviews:

If you are struggling to figure out how to use your gifts or how to take back your life…you are going to love Channeling SuperGirl!  Lara’s writing style is fun, witty and relatable.  You will laugh out loud one minute and then take notes the next.  Lara has brought together practical advice that will motivate you to start doing the work and making the changes to have the life you have been dreaming about.   -Jeanne Oliver, Castle Rock, CO

Channeling Supergirl is a heartfelt book, filled with practical advice for busy people on how to achieve their dreams.  Lara shares her life journey in an honest and humorus way that  helps us readers feel supported and inspired.  -Holly Smith Manzanita, OR

Lara’s wit, humor and knowledge shine in this book with her steps to deal with this accelerated world with all its competing priorities in your quest for a better life. Her warm and clever style of writing is endearing while guiding you on your journey to a figure-out-able life that you desire and deserve. This book is truly a gift to woman everywhere of every age!
– Cecilia Scott Weatherford, TX

‘Love this book.  Wise and activating words! Some ideas that rang true as I read: I love Lara’s honesty- her willingness and effort to explore change.  It’s like trying on clothes in a fab boutique with her.  Personal guidance: “nope, that doesn’t work” or “ooooh, that is accentuating your best!” Lara’s candid account of the steps to freedom gives me power to move in that direction. “Being brave to just be me” phrase hit home.  It does take courage. “Micro-movements” is just what I need to hear.  I have 5 paintings started with big ideas.  But no action plan.  I love the idea of micro-stepping in that direction.  It just might be my impetus to a brush in my hand—or at least closer to the canvas!  Great ideas                             -Christine Neil, Vancouver, WA

Your Cheerleader on the journey,



I teach at Brave Girl University.

My Ebook is here.

Follow passions, even when they don’t make sense


We all have our “Look! Something shiny!” This is the interest or passion that lights us up (or for some, the passion that is ignored because life gets so busy). Visiting a place that fuels your passion can be life-changing.

For me, it was all about what my inner SuperGirl wanted. She wanted to be Georgia O’Keeffe with an adventure in the Southwest. I wanted to see the New Mexico terrain through O’Keeffe’s eyes and feel the same feelings she felt when she painted, using my camera to capture them. O’Keeffe was fearless and true, grabbing her artistic abilities and participating 100%, bettering the world with her creations. I’ve always loved her. So I did what any artist stalker would do—I flew to Santa Fe (visited Taos too–my new favorite) with my friend, Cecilia, who feels the same way I do.

I was hooked. I felt I belonged in the middle of New Mexico canyons more than any other place I’d visited before. Now, mind you, I do not make my living painting landscapes, nor do I plan on doing so—BUT this does not diminish my passion for this place or this artist. It just is and that’s enough for me to board a plane away from my family for four days.

I went again this year…and booked my trip for next year. I think this may qualify as a yearly pilgrimage. Kinda like people who beeline it to Graceland each spring to hang in the Jungle Room.

What’s your “Look! Something shiny!” ? Do you pay attention to it even it doesn’t make sense in your life? There doesn’t have to be a reason to take the trip, join the class, make the art, read the book, cook the meal, etc. It’s important because it means something to you.

Your cheerleader on the journey,



My book is coming out September 1st! 

5 Secrets of extremely productive Women


Hi, my name is Lara and I’m a recovering procrastinator.

I can find 200 random un-done chores to do when there is a looming deadline. Laundry that’s been stashed under the bed for years is magically found and dealt with…those pesky food remnants in the sink get scrubbed on…junk drawer items get categorized by their sharpness. I would do anything but actually sit my tuckus down and get STARTED on the task at hand. Anyone with me?

This, of course, was before I tapped into my inner SuperGirl. The girl who had big plans and frankly, my grown-up self wasn’t gettin’ movin’ on them fast enough for her. So, I did what I always do when there’s tension between us—I researched what smart women do to achieve big things. The list below is how I overcame my fear of going big with goals because they seemed too large to conquer.

1) Create a much smaller to-do list –  I always had a million-and-one item list and I never felt like I made any progress. Let the small stuff go (feeding/driving your children is not small, btw 🙂  ) and focus on one or two things that would absolutely ROCK if you got them done. I use the Awesome Note app recommended by  the fabulous Chalene Johnson. I break down the goal into To do this month/ To do this week/ To do today lists in the app and I literally check my list every hour during a weekday. Procrastinators need check-ins to hold them accountable. I just made this app my accountability partner. It has made a HUGE difference.

2) Be ruthless with internet and social media trolling – I gave up FB for a year or so and got tons done. Go figure. Now that I’m back on, I only read the feed at night for a few minutes before going to bed. I’m a morning person and no work gets done at night anyway, so I’m good with that. I found one of the best ways to do computer work (especially writing/blogging) is to go to a place where there’s no wi-fi and lots of white noise. Works every time! Productive SuperGirls do not live through everybody else’s images and posts. They are too busy taking massive action toward creating their own awesome!

3) Separate work sessions into hourly increments – I run out of creative steam after 60 minutes or so. I’ve learned from others that hopping on the internet or paying bills, etc is not a good resting activity when you’re working. The brain really needs to just BE for 5-10 minutes before launching back in. Taking a walk is the best way to work through stuff and also physically prepare to sit again. Do some yoga poses…knock out a few sit-ups…throw the ball for your dog. These are all excellent opportunities to decompress.

4) Become unreachable – I’ve already mentioned turning off social media when trying to write or do computer work. The same goes for your phone. Nothing can interrupt a string of brilliant ideas like an incoming text or phone call. Pretend you have a crabby flight attendant standing over you waiting for your phone to be in airplane mode. Every time I’ve sequestered myself from devices and physically hidden away from family, I knock it out. I think that’s why I get up at the BCOD (butt crack of dawn). No one wants a piece of me at 4:30 am. I can get so much done! I’m thankful that one of my super powers is early morning processing. I can’t say the same for anyone in my family (read: do not talk to teens prior to getting in the car).

5) Create a time line for a big goal with a paper calendar – This idea is actually something I tried on a whim because I tend to be a paper/pencil person with long-term planning. I bought a cheap “school year” calendar at the Dollar Store (it’s actually the $1.08 Store because we have tax here in WA–ha!) and mapped out a plan for a big goal I’ve got brewing for spring of 2016. I realized it is not going to magically materialize at the end of the school year. It is going to take small steps each and every week to make it happen. I’m also a big picture person, so laying all the months down on the floor to see what actually needs to be done is incredibly helpful.

**One bonus strategy (if you’re a writer or blogger) is to SIT YOUR TUSH DOWN IN THAT CHAIR AND NOT GET UP. Anne Lamott (my absolute favorite writer in the whole wide world) has the best advice about this in her book Bird by Bird. I’m a believer because when I just SIT MY TUSH DOWN IN THAT CHAIR the words do eventually come. They need routine to surface.**

Your cheerleader on the journey,



5 healthy (yummy) snacks for busy women



Have you ever been in a situation where you really, really, really wanted to make good food choices, but there were few options and you ended up putting something in your pie-hole you really wish you hadn’t?

Hoo-boy, that was me alright. I finally realized that I just had to take the Girl Scout route and BE PREPARED with a purse full of tasty (relatively good-for-me snacks).  So..I did some research and being that I’m about 80% Paleo these days (it started with the Whole30–totally worth doing, btw), the snacks needed to be low in sugar (or lower in sugar) and not have lot of crap-ola listed on the label.

These are my faces…and SuperGirls, I would never recommend anything I didn’t think was delicious. ‘Promise.

1.  Nick’s Sticks– I eat these around 10:30 at school (recess!) so I don’t have ravenous hunger at lunch. They also fit in the bottom of your purse nicely.

2. Go Raw Sprouted Super Cookie and Raw Pumpkin Seeds- I can’t tell you how much this company has added snack-wise to my repertoire. The coolies are the dessert I’ve been missing and the pumpkin seeds are my salty treat.

3. Go Raw Live ChocolateHeavens to Murgatroid, this stuff is good! I just need one little square because it’s so rich and I am good. to. go.

4. Quest bar– chocolate is my favorite. I’ve heard the CEO of the company speak on several podcasts and I love the guy–he has such an awesome vision and I think it would be a pretty rad company to work for (yes, I said rad–that word is way under-used!). They have a huge fan base (many of which are in the fitness industry). Yummy bars and good for you too.

5. Raw Rev Bars- anything that claims to be a “live food bar” must have something going for it, right? Think nuts, seeds, fruit particles. It’s all good.

I’m a big Amazon Prime gal. The hub claims that every day a package arrives…hmmm…I dunno about every day, but okay…a lot. Most of it is food. I order all of this stuff on line because it’s free shipping…and sometimes these items are hard to find. Whole PayCheck and New Seasons (a local whole-food-esque market) carries a lot of this stuff, but it can go quickly.

Let me know what you think of these items if you give them a try. The bottom line is that it’s very hard to tap into our super powers when we’ve got tons of sugar and random preservatives festering in our bodies. Let’s face it—we’re going to snack. That’s just the way it goes…at least snack smarter. It’ll make a big difference in the ‘ole waist line and in your energy supply.

Your cheerleader on the journey,




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