Happy Fathers Day

So much love and respect for this man. He’s the twins hero, their best friend, such a hard worker, a committed husband and incredible and loving father. So thankful for the example he is to them daily. Happy Fathers day to you babe and all the other dad’s out there! 13442407_10102746640507781_2250983739089173629_n

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Healthy Toddler Trail Mix

Since I’ve gotten on track with my own health, I’ve become a lot more conscious about what I’m feeding my kiddos too! It’s so easy to grab a granola bar or some cookies for a snack when running out the door, but all that sugar adds up so fast and I think it’s so important that we teach our kids about proper nutrition from a young age! I’ve been telling the twins that when they eat their veggies and fruit, it will make them big and STRONG and they associate that with being able to ride a skate board (since I told them it’s for big kids when you’re older and stronger) so it seems to be working! 😛 But seriously, with two VERY picky toddlers, I’ve been trying to be creative and find things that they enjoy AND are healthy. With park season in full swing, I was looking for healthy snack ideas I could grab and go with. Because I don’t have time to make homemade muffins every day, this easy snack mix was the next best thing and the boys LOVE it! I think they’ll always love cheerios and dried fruit is like candy to them so win and win!  So here we have:

  • pretzels
  • dried peaches
  • dried apple
  • regular raisins
  • yogurt covered raisins
  • cheerios

You can be so creative with what you include but I’ve seen so many on pinterest with chocolate, marshmallows etc., and while thats ok for a treat once and while, I tried to keep this one as healthy as possible! 🙂

 

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Marriage: Love Maps

My husband and I both did our undergrads in the same city we now call home. When we first moved into our residence buildings we didn’t know much about the city at all other then where the malls and movie theatres were.  Over time, we got to know the best spots to eat, fun dessert bars and cafes, the best parks and bike trails, and shortcuts through the city. We became so comfortable and soon fell in love with this little city, so much so that we decided to settle down and start a family here after we got married.

Becoming familiar with the map of our surroundings is very similar to a term that John Gottman calls Love Maps in his book “7 Principles for Making Marriage Work“.  It’s the idea that to love someone you have to know them.

When Ron and I first started dating over 10 years ago (crazy I know) we spent A LOT of time together. We were in highschool and we were young and in love? Thats debatable because I truly don’t think you even know what love is at that age haha. We drove to school together, ate our lunch together, spent most evenings together hanging out at one of our homes. A new relationship is so wonderful and new and you want to learn everything you possibly can about the other person. I think it’s safe to say that in spending all that time together we did get to know each other well. We both had a detailed map of the other. We knew each others likes and dislikes,  each others greatest fears and what made the other laugh.  But over time, people change. They grow and they develop new thoughts and new interests. I am no where near the person I was 10 years ago and neither is my husband. We have both changed in SO many ways.

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It takes work, it takes time, it takes effort. Especially after you throw careers and kids in the mix. New stressors, new circumstances, new challenges, not NEAR enough time to spend getting to know each other, I mean really knowing each other. Not just his favourite color, sports team and what he likes on his sub. I don’t think those will ever change. haha I’m talking the thing that makes him most anxious, his newest passions and life goals, the co-worker that pushes his buttons, and how he would really like to spend his free Saturday.

In his book, Gottman says:

Emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar with each other’s world. I call this having a richly detailed love map – my term for that part of the brain where you store all the relevant information about your partner’s life. Another way of saying this is that these couples have made plenty of cognitive room for their marriage. They remember the major events in each other’s history, and they keep updating their information as the facts and feelings of their spouse’s world change.

So. This is something that we’ve been seriously working on. Because just like the next couple, we don’t have it all figured out and we get so caught up in the every day motions of life that we often forget to keep working at getting to know each other and putting in the effort to stay intimately familiar with each others lives. So little things like making a point to ask each other about our days over the supper table, having what we call “couch time” to connect for even a few minutes each day, going on walks together, regular date nights (not movies!) and both of us making more effort to pay attention to the little details, the ones that get overlooked but are oh so important.

I truly believe that we should never stop learning about the other no matter where we are in our relationship. Building that love map, just like a real map, is the key to truly knowing each other and then being able to love each other in the way that you each need to be loved.

Have a blessed Monday and thanks for reading!

xo Natalie

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21 Day Fix Banana Muffins

Baking is something I love to do (I’m a lot better at it then cooking…ask my husband! haha). But I stopped for a while because I didn’t trust my self-control after a batch of cookies or muffins exits the oven! :S

Lately I’ve been focusing a lot on finding balance in my life. You need to be a little stricter with yourself when you’re aiming for big goals but once you reach them, it’s all about maintenance and balance. I have to remind myself that its OK to have a muffin – especially when it has no flour or sugar! This recipe was super easy to throw together and SO yummy! Not to mention HEALTHY.

  • 3 banana’s (ripe)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups quick oats
  • 2 scoops of vanilla shakeology (if you don’t use shakeology, you can use another vanilla protein powder or substitute with 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line with silicone or foil liners, or you can use coconut oil to grease the muffin tin.

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until mixture is smooth.

Divide mixture evenly between 12 muffin tins.

Bake for 18-22 min.

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Mondays are For Fresh Starts

A lot of us are so influenced by the people that surround us that we don’t even stop to think about doing things differently. Everyone else works for somebody else (not saying there is anything wrong with this but if you are unhappy, DO something about it). Everyone else hates Mondays.. So many people choose to own cars that aren’t paid for, choose to live in houses that put them in debt, and wear clothes that they put on their credit card thinking this will bring them happiness. In the mean time, their debt continues to accumulate, and they are left feeling forced to work in a job they aren’t passionate about just to pay for all this happiness. Would you not rather travel around the world, create a business you are passionate about, and have time for the things you love? Or are you ok with owning a bunch of STUFF that won’t mean anything some day? I used to hate Mondays too. But now it’s one of my absolute FAVOURITE days of the week! I just LOVE fresh starts. I love getting back into routine and writing down my goals for the week. It brings me so much joy to be at home with my boys but I also love the work I do that doesn’t FEEL like work to me because I love it so much!  If you hate Mondays, maybe it’s time to change something?!3524c7779ee0d16c601eaf6c186458c3

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