Nice to meet you.



5th grade teacher

full-time mom

voice teacher

photography studio owner and instructor


blogger and retreat leader

author (my book!)

…and now…back to teaching 3rd grade and happy as a clam to be inspiring kids and having them inspire me.


If I was going to get real here, I would tell you that the pace of life for families in this country isΒ (for me)Β an ill-fitting shoe. I’ve been trying to squeeze my loving husband, two beautiful teen daughters, naughty dogs and me into this shoe, knowing full well that I was shopping at the wrong store all along.

I crave simplicity.

I horde joy and all the experiences that can invite it in.

I look for inspiration at every turn and always want more time to find it.

I yearn for a tranquil heart in all situations (even hard ones).

I focus on health and love having time to be creative with food and exercise.

I’ve always wanted to live an ExtraOrdinary life so that at the end of the road I will know that my family and I took every chance for adventure and fun…and that we loved without limits, always remembering what mattered.

* * * * * * *

I truly believe the key to happiness in all of these areas is SIMPLICITY.

Every day counts and every day we have a new chance to begin a simple road again. Join me in paring down and powering up!



18 thoughts on “Nice to meet you.

  1. Pingback: It’s time. | theextraordinarysimplelife

    • Thanks, Dan! Your podcasts have been such a support for my vision for our simplifying process. I need to write an iTunes review! Will do that today. Thought about you and your love for tiny houses as I wrote my tiny-house-lust post yesterday. A girl can dream πŸ™‚

      • So can a boy! There are so many amazing designs out there. When I lived in Japan, I was amazed how efficiently they utilized the space. I know we’ll be able to do that someday, too. We like the outdoors, so a nice “outdoor room” entertaining area will make up for the smaller interior. I’m also kinda have my heart set on a rooftop deck!

        Have you watched any of Kirsten Dirksen’s video’s on YouTube? She runs *Fairtrade. Some of her small/tiny home vids are great!

        Thanks for the iTunes review, if/when you get to it! Every little bit helps! BTW, we’re opening up to guest posts so if you’d like to put a little about your story together we’d be happy to run it and send some traffic your way.

        Take care, Lara!

      • I would be grateful…you’ll see it comin’ at you this week. Thank you so much! You two are such great cheerleaders for those of us getting started. I hope the review came through on iTunes–I couldn’t see it after I posted it. I will check out Kirsten’s bids… new stuff to peruse πŸ™‚ have a rest of your week! Lara

    • Do you mean the “Ignite the Heart” retreat? I went back to teaching and haven’t done one in awhile. I’m thinking maybe summer…I will put your name on my email list for the retreats. Thanks, Julie!

  2. Lara, It’s so exciting to read about other people who are pursuing a simpler life. My husband and I embraced the concept many years ago while traveling the world and it’s made such a positive difference in our lives. I’m lovin’ reading about your journey and ideas, and so glad to see that you were just Freshly Pressed – Congrats! Richly deserved. All the best, Terri

    • Fabulous photos on your blog, Terri! Just lovely. Thanks for the kind words—it was pretty exciting today! I love that this message resonates with so many people. I think it’s so, so important for our mental health. Looking forward to following your journeys as well—fun!!

  3. I really enjoy you blog. It’s great to see someone fulfilling my lifelong dream of seeing the world via an Airstream. So far, instead of an Airstream we have a tent trailer and instead of the United States it’s mostly been Canada…but we’ve had a lot of great adventures along the way and put more than 500,000 km on the mini-van. I look forward to following your pursuit of a simpler life.

    • My husband’s dream involves our tandem and a small tent πŸ™‚ Being that he’s 6’6″, I’m thinking the Airstream might be a little more comfortable! Ha! Here’s to putting miles on that minivan! Good for you.

  4. Hi Lara! I just wanted to say that your blog and thoughts are really interesting and inspiring. We are also a family of 4 (our girls are younger though) who needed to make our life smaller and simpler so we moved from London, UK to Umea, north Sweden, and japp, life feels a lot easier and simpler…also thought that your post with ’10 tips’ was great! I am really into the whole ecological existence at the moment and this kind of thinking goes hand in hand with a healthier planet as well, so thank you! best regards Maria

    • Hi, Maria! Thank you for your kind words. I’m so enamored with Swedish life…it just seems simpler and lovelier than what I’ve got goin’ on πŸ™‚ What is the biggest change for you since moving from the UK? Thanks for visiting!

  5. Hi Lara! well the biggest change for us is that now we have time as a family and the pace of life is so much more manageable, -London was just way to hectic with little kids whereas here society is set up to support families with cheap but excellent childcare, paid parental leave and education. Moreover; as we live up north the nature is amazingly clean and spacious, so for us as a family we have gained a lot. Sacrifice? well we have both given up successful careers for jobs less prestigious and we are no longer surrounded by the vast cultural exchange that London has to offer, but hey! life with our little ones is more important and the the time never goes back so carpe diem!

  6. So excited to come across your blog (via Becoming Minimalist)! I am a NW gal living in NYC…with a part time place in Washougal near family!

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