10 fun kids birthday ideas!

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we are in full birthday fever over here! my bear is turning the BIG 6 and i am in full b-day crafts mode! i am up to my eyeballs in glue, green paint, dinosaur stickers and scraps of paper! haha! we like to make a lot of our own decorations, cakes, treats and invitations, but it is time consuming! whoa! details of bear’s party prep coming soon… but, today i am sharing some wonderful ideas i found while looking for inspirations online.

BIRTHDAY INVITATIONS

DIY happy face birthday invitation from bear & lion

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sprinkled mini birthday hats from jacks & kate

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oreo pops from makoodle

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DIY no sew birthday banner from small for big

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happy birthday balloon card from the thrifty ginger

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felt crowns from kojo-designs

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ice cream cake from one charming party

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balloon wreath from fast daze

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M&M pretzel peanut butter banana’s from the sweet spot blog

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DIY pixie/ candy stick from kara’s party idea’s

although we like t get crafty, we do like to keep things on the simpler side of things, that’s why these ideas included here i love! those banana pops are a perfect party munchy, and you could use other nut butters, or nutella if you had guest with a nut allergy. and those crowns, LOVE the bold colours!  

xo, mama lola

this moment.

as inspired by souleMama; one photo from our week, no words, only an image to sum up our time as a family. one that captures a moment in time and is a visual reminder of where we were at this time in our lives.

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please feel free to leave a link to your this moment from this past week in the comments.

xo, mama lola

35.

i will be 35 on the 28th of december. happy birthday to me!

this is the first year in a while i don’t really feel like i’m getting older. turning 30 felt like a huge deal, and the birthdays proceeding that one have all had an aging quality to them. but, this year something is different. but, i’m not really sure what.

it’s been a year of great personal growth for me. i have come accept many qualities about myself rather than focusing on how to change things, i have learned to live with them. for some, i guess that kinda thing comes easily; not for me.  don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of traits and quirks and details i would love to improve about myself, but there are some things that just are the way they are. which is ok.

in the past i have blogged a lot about focusing on myself and learning how make myself a priority. this is a skill that i have made leaps and bounds in this past year, clearly made easier as the kids get older. hard times forced me to really look at myself, how i make decisions, why i do the things i do, say the things i say and so on. i have come to understand that i have great deficits in my confidence, self-esteem and belief in my own abilities, but i trust that with time those will improve. to balance out the hard stuff, i have placed great efforts into my personal relationships. i have tried to be social and active within my community and make connections with people. i have tried to be good friend, giving more of myself to people outside my family. i am a work in progress, and some areas require more work than others.

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as i enter the second half of my thirties, i feel optimistic. the first half was filled with babies, illness, tremendous worry, sleep deprivation, anger, and enormous stress. i am hopeful that i can leave those aches and pains behind me and move on towards new, perhaps a slightly less bumpy road. i feel grateful for so much, especially after the ice storm that hit southern ontario. with so many people freezing in their homes for days (my parents included), surviving through the holidays in unexpected ways, i will continue to try not to take my life for granted. i have said it here before and i will say it again, and i will keep saying it, because taking ones family, friends, home, cars, food, running water and everything else for granted is so easy.

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i love my birthday and this year my three guys have all sorts of secrets tucked up their sleeves. my mummo shared my birthday with me, and since she has passed there is a loneliness about it. even though my grandmother and i weren’t very close, because she lived in finland while we were here, and trying to have a telephone conversation with someone losing their hearing was next to impossible!  i will remember her fondly on the 28th and share stories about her to my kids.

i am excited to turn 35 and look forward to the adventures this new age brings.

 

 

xo, mama lola

DIY stamps!

DIY, stamps, gift tags, gift wrap

about 10 years ago i made some simple potato stamps and decorated tissue paper with hearts and x-mas trees. every christmas my mum and i still use the few sheets that are left for each others gifts. there is something sweet about the personal, creative touch, don’t you think?
so, now that my 5yo bear is a super-keen-artist-dude,  i think he’s ready to make some fun stamps. after researching ideas for this blog post, i too am eager to roll up my sleeves and get creative. we’re going to stamp everything from gifts tags, wrapping paper, cards and whatever we else will find.

you can make stamps for any and all special occasions!

here is a round-up of ideas, how to’s and examples of what other creative types have made.

upcycled wine corks from soap deli news

 

cork stamp from makita studio

 

DIY extra large letter [foam] stamps from the cheese thief

 
festive potato stamps from juggling act mama
 
 

carved rubber stamps from minna may

 

wine cork mustache stamp from bespangled

 

DIY stamps (random shapes) from play based learning

 

potato stamps from kanelstrand

 
rubberband stamps from sas + rose
 
 

butterfly stamp from can’t stop making things

 

eraser stamps from gathering beauty

 

hand carved stamps from gennine’s art blog

 

arrow tail shirt print from whimsy box

 

i’m in stamp heaven: gift tags from caro’s heaven

 

christmas stamps from claire belle makes

 

my local grocery store had erasers on super-duper sale, and i bought a large handful of them! i’ll share our stamp creations soon!
DIY, stamps, gift tags, gift wrap
xo, mama lola

lion’s 3rd birthday party!

last weekend we celebrated my youngest boy, lion. it was such a wonderful weekend spent with family and friends.

we had dear friends come and spend the night before the party at our house. the kids had an awesome time playing, finding inch worms, climbing fences, playing games, while us adults had an opportunity to catch-up.

this is how it started! BEER!
every time dear hubby or i are drinking beer’s, lion wants to try it. he loves the taste of beer and keeps going after the bottle, it’s funny at first, but then it becomes a little concerning! haha!



we played. did gymnastics. chatted. laughed. watched tv. ate. drank. and laughed some more!


we had such a fun time together!
the kids were delighted to have so much time to play. then the next day was PARTY TIME!!! 
i tried to keep things simple food wise; fruit kabobs, crackers, cheese and gravlox salmon, watermelon, and cookies!



the kids LOVED the pinata!


after the games it was time for business.
CAKE!!!
we made lion a layered ice cream cake. it was so yummy and perfect for a hot summer birthday!


and just on cue, as soon as we all sang happy birthday to my littlest guy, i got all choked up with emotions and tears. i looked over at my mom, and saw her looking at me with tears in her eyes. haha! they were tears of joy and pride, but this is what we do in my family; we cry about everything!

HAPPY MONDAY!



xo, mama lola

this moment

as inspired by souleMama; one photo from our week, no words, only an image to sum up our time as a family. one that captures a moment in time and is a visual reminder of where we were at this time in our lives.


these photographs were taken on lion’s 3rd birthday, july 8th, 2013. we had had a lovely sushi dinner and then headed to the wading pool downtown. the kids ran and ran, laughing and splashing the entire time! it was such a wonderful way to end our birthday celebrations!

still can not believe he is three…

xo, mama lola

make a paper mache pinata!

pinata, birthday craft, lion head

my lion turned 3 and i decided it would be fun to have a lion head pinata at his birthday party. i did some research on pinterest on how to make the perfect pinata, but decided that we would just do our own thing… i mean, how difficult could a paper mache lion head really be???

well, as with most of our projects things didn’t go as smoothly as i hoped. but, the end result was surprisingly marvellous, dontcha think?

  • i wanted it to be big, and a regular latex balloon just didn’t seem to be the right size or shape. so we used a clear garbage bag instead; filled it with air and shaped it a little by taping the corners down.
  • and off it started… lots of news paper ripped into various sized strips. dear hubby was in charge of the messy part, so he made a big ol’ bowl with flour and water mixed together (no recipe required).  just make sure you don’t make it too think and depending on the project lumps don’t really matter either. especially in a pinata as the end result is that it is damaged badly, and quickly!
the kids got in on the action too! it was soooooooooo messy, but luckily the paste is super easy to wash up!
  • where the bag was knotted became the opening and the bottom of the lion’s head. this made it easier in the end for painting as i was able to prop the head up with my easel inside it. a broom or stool leg would work just as well.
  • for the ears i took a toilet paper roll, cut it half, made a cone shape, stapled it once i had it  at the desired size. then the guys attached my paper macheing them on.
paper mache, pinata, lion head
  • before you start painting make sure your paper mache is thoroughly dried first. the paint will adhere better and it will just be much easier.
  • to paint the lion head i just mixed a few different acrylic paints together; reds, yellows, oranges. the tone was more red than i had hoped. i painted it very haphazardly, intentionally trying to create uneven textures and colours. i used straight black paint for the detailing of the facial features.
  • the lion’s mane is made of various colours of tissue paper; gold, yellow, orange, violet, burgundy and black to give it depth and vibrancy. the pieces were all randomly cut with pinking sheers to create texture. i glued them on individually, which initially felt daunting, but went much faster than i anticipated. i just used kids white glue.
paper mache, pinata, lion head, birthday activity

i will post pics later this week from the actual party and the kids hitting in, but it was a total hit!

i discovered this amazing paper mache website for tons of info on different paste recipes and more at the ultimate paper mache.
and, here’s papaD getting his lion groove on while wearing the lion head after the kids got the loot! it was totally creepy and weird seeing him dance with that head! but, i’ll save it for halloween, i think! might be fun the! haha!

this was such a fun project! good luck with yours!

xo, mama lola

my baby is no longer a baby.

as i write this, tears are welling up in my eyes. 
birthday’s make me a bit sappy, especially my children’s. 

it is hard to believe that my littlest guy, my lion, was born three years ago! his birth was a nightmare and i won’t get into that now, you can read more HERE and HERE. this post is about the happiness he brings. lion’s short life has been full of adventures, laughter and love. he has brought such joy into our life and i am so honoured to be his mama. 

lion is such a sweet little boy. his big blue eyes melt hearts where ever he goes, and his little voice is hard not to smile at. he is such a character; he loves to give kisses, loves to do puzzles and LOVES to help in the kitchen. his energy is always positive, even after a fall he typically bounces back quickly and says “me okay” . lion is very easy going, always keen to participate in whatever is happening, rarely throws a tantrum but, watch out as there is always a slight glint of mischievousness in his eyes!

it has dawned on me that i really do not have babies anymore. lion has been toilet trained (night & day) for almost a year, we took his soother away at 18 months, so there is nothing left from his baby days, which really emphasizes his big kid-ness. he is able to express himself, creating opportunities for adorable conversations. his speech is still a bit slurred, and now he has started stuttering, but i think with time they too will be outgrown. every day he is gaining more independence by striving for those big goals; having a big brother is very motivating and pushes him to try new things that maybe he wouldn’t otherwise. 

i am so proud of my wee lion.
he is loving, kind, smart and super silly.
he lives every day to it’s fullest effortlessly. 
he is so gentle and fierce, all rolled into one awesome little boy.


happy birthday to my sweet lion.
i love you.

(sniff, sniff… gotta go find some tissues now!)

xo, mama lola

wind catcher craft!

look at this fantastic wind catcher dear hubby received from lion for his earth day birthday back in april!

wind catcher, nature crafts

here’s how we made it!
i found the idea HERE at inspiration laboratories. first, the kids and i went on a nature hike by the river in search of natural treasure we could use on the catchers. i let lion pick and choose his own items and we gathered lots, because i figured more was funner and it gave us room to make mistakes or get even more creative!

at home we let the treasures dry out a bit before we set to work.

i tied up two sticks in the middle to make the X for hanging the other items from. lion painted his natural objects as carefully as any almost three year old would! even poppy wanted in on the painting action!

wind catcher, nature crafts, painting bark

then i tied up the painted treasures to the  X with string and voila!
dude could not have been prouder and dear hubby was quite impressed with this beautiful gift!

happy crafting and wind catching!

xo, mama lola
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