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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Minimalist Challenge

My best friend Britt was telling me last week about how she had recently been going through her house and getting rid of A LOT! I told her I had been doing the same, trying to tidy and get rid of some things as fall approached. But she said that she was REALLY scaling back and wanting to live a real minimalist lifestyle, getting rid of so many of the kids toys and things that she had been hanging onto “in case”.

Well shoot. I have way too many “in case” bins in my basement so this sounded so intriguing. I HATE clutter, like despise it. But for some reason I can never seem to get away from it. It follows me everywhere, in every area of my life. My closet, my inbox, our SUV, the twins playroom, our kitchen (probably the worst!), our front closet, my computer desktop etc., etc., etc.,  Clutter. Everywhere. I’m one of those people who can’t think and my creativity is stunted when I’m surrounded by clutter so what do I do? I hide it. I shove it in drawers and folders and pack it away in closets to deal with later. Our house doesn’t look cluttered from the outside. In fact it almost always looks tidy and minimal. But don’t open any cupboards or drawers because I never actually get rid of most of it. :S :S :S

So earlier this week, I was sorting through the twins fall wardrobe, taking out what didn’t fit them anymore and ordering some new items online. I went down to the basement with a pile of clothing to add to the “2 year old bin” and I impulsively dumped about 80% of all the clothes I was hanging onto out of the bins and brought them to the local Good Will. I set aside one box for consignment and picked out my absolute fav items in case we have another baby boy some day but everything else GONE. I was nervous at first as I handed the bins over to the man in the unloading garage. This isn’t new for me. I often make trips to good will with “small” bags of things but nothing this drastic. :S And let me tell you, I drove out of the parking lot feeling SO good, so much lighter, like I had dropped a bunch of weight.

SO I decided I need to do more of this. A LOT more of it. I’m dedicating the month of September to de-cluttering my life. Literally every area of it….my closet,  the toy room, my kitchen cupboards, my computer, and yes even my calendar. I want less clutter in all areas of our lives and more doing life with intention. For some reason September has always felt more like the start of a new year to me than January anyway so I always love using this month to get organized and prepared for the seasons ahead. So who’s with me?  I’ve created a 20 day checklist that I’ll be starting today, yes on a Friday because there is no better time to start then now right?! Just one thing a day to keep me going with what I have started. Some days will take a minute, some maybe an hour. If you want to join me, download my 20 day minimalist challenge HERE! !

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Happy minimalizing! xo

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Bowling and Ice-cream

These two bowled for the first time today and it was the cutest thing to watch. Thennn ice-cream!! My boys watch me work out every morning and sometimes they join in too! We eat healthy balanced meals around the table together and they know that my “treat” is normally my chocolate shakeology. It’s become so important to me to set a good example to them when it comes to being active and making healthy choices but I also want them to know that it’s totally ok to enjoy a treat once and a while. It just means you work extra hard and eat extra clean the rest of the weekend. I’m all about balance and making special memories because come on guys, you only live ONCE! unnamed

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How we Survived an 11 hour Car Ride with 2 Toddlers

I blogged our trip to Boston/Cape Cod last week over here! In order to get there though, we had to drive 11 hours. Yes. 11 hours in an SUV with 2 toddlers yikes! I was so nervous about the trip as the twins are normally melting down after a 2 hour trip to visit my grandparents. It was so much less expensive for us to drive than fly though, so we were determined to make it work. 3 nights before the trip, I spent a good few hours on pinterest and other blogs looking for tips and tricks for keeping toddlers entertained during travel. I made myself a good little list and the next day, off to the dollar store I went!

I bought a package of small brown paper bags and bought them each little zippered bag! I told them about their special bags the night before the trip so this got them excited about the “long” car ride and all the fun “surprises” I had planned for them!

I basically planned out the whole trip with a different activity to introduce each hour, planning a park break/picnic at lunch hour and knowing they would nap for 2-3 hours in the afternoon. I kept their bags in the front with me and passed things back to them but with older children, they could probably be more in control.

Here’s the activities I packed:

  • Melissa and Doug Water Wow – my friend Noelle lent these to us and I was so thankful because the twins LOVED them and thought they were actually “painting”. It’s basically a pen you fill with water and it has a brush on the end. The books can be used over and over again so by the time they finished the last page, they could go back to the start and do it again.
  • Travel Scavenger Hunt – In this pack, was a travel scavenger hunt I found on pinterest (there are so many you can print off!) and I bought them fun spider man stickers from the dollar store to stick on each thing they found. They got it for the most part but there did end up being stickers in A LOT more places than just the boxes. haha.
  • Treats – in a few bags, I packed a healthy snacks like fruit to go and yogurt raisins and a few of them had some actually candy like a lollipop or gummy bears (balance!!) Saved these bags for when they were starting to get bored and wrestless as a yummy treat would change their attitude around immediately!
  • Finger puppets. I grabbed these from the dollar store as well and LOVED them. We told them to make up a story about our holiday and it was a riot.
  • Good old Crayons and coloring book. We got them each new coloring books so they were excited about that!
  • Movie and Popcorn – we borrowed a portable dvd player and this was a LIFE SAVER. After our picnic in the park around noon, we got back in the car for popcorn and a movie. It was a great wind-down activity and they thought this was SO cool to be able to do in the car. They both fell asleep shortly after and napped for a good couple hours.
  • Tablets – we have an I-pad and another small tablet and we loaded them with new games before we left. I saved this for a last resort and when they woke up from their nap it was a great way to keep them entertained for the last stretch before we stopped for supper!
  • Melissa and Doug Lace Toys (not pictured) – these are great for fine motor skills and the twins loved them!
  • Small toys/books – we packed a couple bins to keep between their seats for easy access! Worked great.

 

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Overall, the twins did INCREDIBLE!!! It totally payed off to plan ahead and be prepared. Before we left for the trip back, we stopped at Target to stock up on some more treats/new activities. They were a little more restless/grumpy on the way back but aren’t we all?! We just made a few more stops and park breaks.

Hope all you travelling families might find this post helpful for any long car trips you might have make this summer! And most of these activities totally work for a train or plane trip too! Happy travelling!!

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The Comparison Trap

I posted a quote on my facebook like page yesterday that went something like this: “The number one reason people quit is because they look at how far they have to go instead of how far they’ve come.” I shared this to inspire but mostly because it inspired me. I read it somewhere else earlier that day at just the right time.

See until yesterday morning, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. I am back down to my wedding weight, I’m feeling strong and confident again, I bought my first pair of shorts in 4 years (yes I lived in jeans and sun dresses for a bunch of summers).

But then I took the twins to the park for play group yesterday morning and when I wasn’t chasing the boys around or chatting with a friend, I found myself doing something horrible. Yes, horrible. I was constantly comparing my body to every other mom in the park…   “Ugh how does she not have a SINGLE ounce of cellulite on her legs?!” “I thought I was looking good but NOT compared to that girl!.” “I workout every single day and I overheard her say that she doesn’t at all and look at her!.” and it went on and on. So bad right? But I’m just being real with you guys. I know that for a lot of us girls, this body comparison thing is an ongoing battle but for me, it seems to have gotten kind of worse as I have been focusing on getting healthy and fit. Kind of ironic I know. But now that I’m actually working at toning and strengthening and clean eating on a daily basis, I am proud of the progress I have made and the changes that have occurred. BUT, I have to be SO careful not to become overly critical of myself as I continue on this journey. It’s so easy to get sucked in by the comparison trap and get down on myself because I’m not as “slim” or “fit” as someone else. But yesterday afternoon, while I was having a giant pity party for myself and contemplating a big bowl of ice cream to make it all better, I caught myself. I read that quote and realized that the only person I should be comparing myself to is myself. I need to keep my focus on my own progress, not anyone else’s. I need to remember that the next mom’s journey has NOTHING to do with my own. Different story, different genes, different body type, NOT me.

So wherever you’re at, I’m encouraging you to just take it one day at a time. Love yourself and keep pushing forward towards YOUR goals. Accept your flaws, (even the cellulite covered legs that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon) and recognize and be PROUD of all you’re doing! If you’re committed to getting healthy, that’s all that matters. I needed that reminder yesterday and I’m choosing to share it because maybe someone else needs it too?

 

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Thanks so much for reading! xo

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