Meal Planning for 4

If I’m being totally honest, meal planning (mostly suppers) is a challenge for me. Especially now that we have kids.  Finding healthy, clean recipes that the twins will also eat is no easy task. Sometimes we modify meals for them which I’m totally fine with. For example, I might make some pasta or potatoes to go with their salmon instead of the giant Kale salad Ron and I are eating. Or mini homemade pizza’s with the same toppings that we’ll have in our stuffed peppers. The boys are pretty good with trying new things but sometimes not as excited as I hoped they would be about that awesome new casserole I was so eager to make. Anyone relate?!

Our family eats oatmeal on repeat for breakfast every day day with the exception of waffles or a bagel with fruit a couple times a week for the twins to switch it up. We normally eat different versions of salad’s for lunch and the twins currently rotate between grilled cheese, and peanut butter sandwiches 😛 with a side of fruit or veggies! The most important thing we keep in mind with our planning is that everyone is having healthy balanced meals with the correct servings of veggies, fruit and protein. It’s definitely not always perfect but we try!

Since my goal this past weekend was to find a few fun new supper recipes for the fall that are delicious yet still healthy, I thought it might be fun to share this weeks meals with you!




Stuffed Pepper Caserole


Salmon and Autumn Kale Apple and Quinoa Salad


Chicken Fajita Sweet Potatoes


Chicken Tortilla Soup


Healthy Turkey Chilli

Thanks for reading! To grab one of these awesome menu planner notepads, with a tear off grocery list (my FAV part of it!!)  head over to Jack and Ella Paper and use discount code NATALIE20 for 20% off your order from now until Monday Oct. 31st! I just LOVE this planner so much as it makes meal planning more fun but it also pays off huge to be organized and prepared for the week ahead!

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Apple Picking

Fun traditions that we started in the boys first year keep getting more and more fun as the years go on. While we were at the orchard picking apples on Monday, we were laughing about how we lugged our 1 month old twins there 3 years back. Ya we were completely crazy. They screamed for most of it and we had to change two poops in the back seat of our car.  But we were so excited to finally have a family to do fun things like this with so we made it happen! This year, the boys were talking about apple picking for about 3 weeks leading up to it. Maybe because I kept reminding them that fall is the BEST SEASON EVER and talking about all the fun things we would be doing or maybe it’s because they actually think it’s so much fun! Either way, we’ll be dragging them to the orchard even when they’re teenagers because we’re awesome parents like that. 😉

We met Ron over his lunch hour and it didn’t take long to fill a bag! The twins ran from tree to tree asking to be lifted for the perfect ones they found that were sooooo high! They both got a kick out of the second last picture below of Ron holding Sky up in the tree because “it looks like he lost his head in the tree” they said.

So far we’ve been eating apples for breakfast lunch and dinner and we’ve made one apple crisp! The twins are determined to make a pie this weekend so we may try that! Lot’s more baking is going to take place in order to get through this big bag of apples!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! xoxox IMG_4218IMG_4242IMG_4243IMG_4245IMG_4244IMG_4246IMG_4241IMG_4247 (1)

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Happy 3rd Birthday Skyler and Bryson

Happy Birthday my 3 year olds. The two little souls that are responsible for making me a mama. I can’t believe how the years are just flying. Yesterday I was getting so emotional looking back at your newborn photos but even though I keep not wanting each stage to end, truly every new stage is better than the one before.  It seems to get more and more fun as you get older and become two little people with unique personalities. You’re both such joyful little boys and make people smile wherever we go.

I love that you’re my little buddies now and we can have conversations about the world while we’re driving in the car. You’re both so observant and inquisitive. Both of you love sports like your daddy.  Golfing is your favourite. You currently ask to go mini-golfing about two times a day and apparently you both want to be pro-golfers as a profession? Ok, we’ll see about that.

The bond you share with each other is the best part of who you are. The gift of being twins is such a special thing and you are so close and loved by the other in such a unique and special way. It’s the coolest thing to watch.

Even though you both agree now that you’ll stay with me and snuggle me forever, I know that one day I’ll have to let you go. That you’ll spread your wings and fly and whether you’re near or far, I’ll be standing on the sidelines cheering you on.  But for right now, I will cherish these special moments the Lord has given me to be a vital part of your lives. To love you, to guide you and to enjoy each moment and stage of life with you.

As I tell you each night before “covering you in” as you both call it, I love you to the moooooon and back! So so excited to celebrate you both today Skyler and Bryson. Happy 3rd Birthday. xoxoxox

Outfits: Leggings – Os and Oaks,  shirts – Whistle and Flute,  Denim shirt – Carters

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Zuccini Ravioli

When I was at the market last Sat with my friend Stace, she mentioned this amazing zuccini ravioli she’s made a few times. We eat a lot of zuccini in our home so I grabbed a couple and attempted it first chance I had! It was amazing. The recipe is from Delish and I found it really helpful to follow the directions on the video when it came to slicing and wrapping the ravioli!

Here’s what it’s made of:

3 medium zucchini

2 c. riccotta

1/2 finely grated parmesan, plus more for garnish.

1 /2 c of shredded mozzerella

1 1/2 c marinara sauce

1 egg lightly beaten

1/4 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup of thinly sliced basil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

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  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Make the Noodles: Slice two sides of each zucchini lengthwise to create two flat sides. Using a vegetable peeler, slice each zucchini into thin flat strips, peeling until you reach the center. These are your “noodles.”
  3. Make the Filling: Combine ricotta, parmesan, egg, and 2 tablespoons basil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Assemble the Ravioli: Lay two strips of zucchini noodles so that they overlap lengthwise. Lay two more noodles on top, perpendicular to the first strips. You should end up with a “T” shape. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the zucchini. Bring the ends of the strips together to fold over the center, working one side at a time. Turn the ravioli over and place in the baking dish seam-side down. Pour marinara sauce around the zucchini. Top ravioli with mozzarella. Bake until the zucchini noodles are “al dente” and the cheese is melted and starting to brown on top; 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Top with more basil and parmesan and serve.

From Delish.

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A Season of Slowing.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. 

So good. There’s a season for everything.  For growing and learning, for hustling but also… for slowing. Right now, I’m slowing. And it’s a challenge for me you guys. A really big challenge. I am such a busy body. My mind literally never stops and my husband does not understand why I find it so so difficult to sit down and rest. Poor guy. He works a 40 hour work week and he wants to spend his down time having down time…relaxing with a cold brew watching football or hockey or just sitting in the backyard. I, on the other hand want to plan out what house project we’re going to tackle next, talk about what we’re going to do on our next free Saturday and brainstorm new business ideas together. Any entrepreneurial spirited friends out there relate?!?!

For those of you who are new to following, I’ll give you a little background on my story…I’m a teacher. Ron and I did our undergrads together at Western University before we got married and then I did teachers college the following year. While I was waiting to get on the supply list, I began to pursue photography, something I had been doing as a hobby for a while. After second shooting a season of weddings with a friend and begging my best friends to model for me, I began to book my first portrait sessions and then a wedding and it wasn’t long before I had a business up and running. I fell in love with working for myself. I loved the flexibility with my schedule and hours. I was the one who decided when I wanted to work and when I didn’t. We were talking about starting a family soon and I knew I wanted to be at home with my babes in their early years so this was perfect. My business was growing and I was setting myself up to do just that.  I was soon able to quit my part time job and focus solely on my business.


Photography has been perfect for this season in my life. It’s allowed me to be at home with my boys during the day when my husband works. We shoot weddings on Saturdays together during the spring-fall but we currently limit our bookings so we still have plenty of weekends to do fun family things during the warmer seasons. It truly has turned into a dream job for me.

But going back to my non-stop busy body self. There’s a lot of downtime with photography. I don’t shoot for most of the winter and other then editing, there’s not a lot of extra work to do when I’m not shooting. So once my boys got to a stage when they weren’t as needy and were able to entertain each other for longer periods of time, I began to itch again for a new creative outlet. Over the past 2 years, I have done a handful of other side gigs along with photography. From writing a mom blog with my best friend, to online fitness coaching, to teaching courses at our church and beginning to work on a podcast project with my husband…I’ve been hustling constantly. Obsessively chasing after my goals and not stopping until they’re reached (the dangerous side of a driven entrepreneur).

But then wait, my goal in being a work-from-home mom in the first place was so that I could watch my kids grow up. So I could work less and spend more time being a part of every new milestone, every new chapter, every fun new season of their lives. I long for my number one goal to be raising a family and I do not want to lose sight of this without realizing it while I’m hustling too hard at other things. I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been filling too much of any “free time” I’ve had with new projects, new goals, new dreams for the future. I truly didn’t (and still don’t) know how to just be. 

I don’t regret any of the past projects I’ve worked on as each experience has shaped me and grown me. I have learned so so so much about myself, about working along side others, about being a leader,  about the importance of personal development and I could keep going on. My most recent endeavour of fitness coaching helped our family to really get on track with a healthy, active lifestyle, something that has improved our quality of life in so many ways. It kept me accountable for 9  months which has really helped to solidify those new habits. But the crazy thing is that when I was telling my husband that I was feeling this chapter of coaching may be coming to an end for the time being, he said “oh so what will you be filling that extra time with now?”  That’s what got me.  He expected me to dive right into something new because thats what I always do. That is what my family and friends think of me. They know full well that I don’t know how to slow down. That I always have to be working towards something new and I don’t stop until it’s done.

I mentioned in my last post about minimalizing, that it included our calendar. So while my mind is currently exploding with new ideas and dreams, (HA) I am committing to press the pause button and just “be” for the next 5 months. To not fill all my time with working when I don’t have to, but to have more time to say yes to spontaneous hangouts with friends and family, to have more un-planned Saturday’s where we can wake up and decide hour by hour what we’ll do next. To really pray and seek the Lord’s direction for our family and for any future business endeavours. To read and learn and grow and read some more.

They’re will be more seasons of hustling I know.  More seasons to go hard with goals and chase after dreams. But for right now, I’m putting those dreams on hold and committing to a season of slowing down and learning to “be”.  Hold me accountable will ya?

Thanks for reading.

xo Natalie

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