theme thursday :: useful household tips for keeping a clean(er) home!

for today’s THEME THURSDAY i’ve pulled together some handy household resources. Sometimes the house cleaning just gets away from us and that’s okay. If it happens often it can be worth looking into someone like ServiceMaster of Lake Shore to help you deal with it. In the meantime I’ve come up with some tips and tricks that work well for all sorts of problems that may arise in your home, from pesky stains to frustrating houseflies to ridding odours. plus, all of these easy solutions are kid and pet friendly and won’t hurt your bank account! GOTTA LOVE THAT! remember that keeping your home clean is important to your families health so keeping on top of everything is impreitive. if you’re not able to find the time to clean with everything that’s happening in your life, there’s no shame in getting a House Cleaner Marietta. for now though, here is my list of stuff that can make your cleaning life easier:

i organized the list by rooms in your home.







let me know if you have any tips or tricks i can add to this list.
i’m also working on an organizational post!

xo, mama lola

april ice storm!

We were hit with a pretty bad ice storm on Friday. The freezing rain was unrelenting causing massive trees to snap their branches, thousands of people all over were without power and who knows how much structural damage the storm caused.

The picture below is of our porch railing. It looks as though the water is dripping off, but that’s all ice. Everything outside was coated in a layer of ice; cars, trees, sidewalks, buildings, everything. When I went into the backyard later in the day, as the temperatures began to warm up, the ice started to melt off the trees and was crashing around me. The ice had molded around the branches and so it was all in these funny half-cylinders.

Our backyard looked as though it was covered in shattered glass. So eerie and weird. I am glad we had minimal damage and only were without power for a few hours! I feel for those people who have had more damage to both their houses and cars. One of my friends had to contact some of the most popular roofing companies austin has to offer after her roof was badly damaged by the weather. Water can cause so many problems where your property is concerned so if you notice any damage to your roof after a storm, it is vital that you contact someone to carry out any necessary repairs. This could be as simple as doing a quick google search into something like hail damage roofing austin, for example, to find a professional who can get the roof repaired and looking as good as new.

If it wasn’t for the fact that my friend needed to get her roof repaired due to the consequences of the storm, she would never have noticed that her gutters had taken a big hit too. She’s never had her gutters cleaned before and she probably had a lot of debris in there, and with the added pressure of the ice, it forced a break in her system. I thought that having her roof fixed was bad enough, let alone needing to have the gutters repaired too. In the end, she decided to contact someone similar to this Clean Pro Gutter Cleaning Chicago company who were able to repair her gutters to their former function, as well as giving them a good clear out at the same time. It turns out that there was a lot of debris in there so it has been recommended to her that she gets them cleared out every couple of months so that the likelihood of this happening again is slim. This is probably something that we should do as well, just to ere on the side of caution.

That being said, at least it’s relatively straight forward for car damage, as they can look around for different auto hail damage repair firms to repair any damage. Houses however sometimes need restructuring if they suffer heavy damage which is far more serious.

Here’s hoping that is the last of the cold, wintery weather and that spring will now arrive in all its warm glory.

xo, mama lola

~ earth day ~

earth day crafts, kids crafts, earth day

earth day around the corner.

how will you discuss this important day with your kids?below, i have compiled 10 fun projects you can do with the kids. projects that will hopefully initiate some kind of dialogue about planet earth, how we must care for and why. some of the links i included are from adult artists (like the painter rocks and sticks), but kids can have a blast looking for the materials and then decorating them. this list is just a starting point, like a brainstorming session.

earth day, crafts, earth day crafts, kids crafts, natural ctafts

1. stained glass earth [ mom on time out]
2. tree craft fro toddlers [momma rambles]
3. glitter earth handprint [apples and abc’s]
4. painter sticks [molly goldberg]
5. stick wreath [sf girl by bay]
6. painted rocks [sand between my toes]
7. living centre piece [live renewed]
8. gnome house [the gardeners anonymous blog]
9. terranium tutorial [pieced pastimes]

jenny, over at the jenny evolution has compiled a fantastic collection of books  (HERE) to get the discussion about earth day rolling with your kids. “the giving tree” is on her list; it’s a book i can’t read to the kids without crying! gets me every time!


to me, earth day is not just about the planet, but also focussing on the details that make up our beautiful round home. the trees, the soil, the sticks, the worms, the varying weather and so on. 




feel free to add links in the comment section to your earth day themed projects! 
i would love to see what you have been or will be up to!

xo, mama lola

nemo, the big winter storm.

well, nemo turned out to the the worst storm our area, southern ontario, has seen in five years. it was an intense 24 hours, with incredible snow fall dumping about 30 centimetres of the white stuff. the kids and i went outside in the morning to play and shovel, and you can see from the picture below that a lot of snow sure did fall! bear had a snowday from school, which is not so common around here.

lucky for us, we love snow!

in the afternoon i headed downtown to get my hair done. i desperately needed the alone time, since i hadn’t really left the house in a couple of days, because of all the sickies at our house. i gave myself plenty of time, because i was unsure of what to expect in terms of driving and parking conditions. it was a slow drive, about 30 kmph, but i made it with time to spare so i got a coffee and headed to the local bookshop to peruse.

the pictures below i took with my phone after my appointment. lotsa snow still coming down, terrible visibility, but the quiet the snow brings was so amazing. we never lost power or felt any stress from the storm, which i am grateful for. we shovelled a lot, discussed the weather all day, watched some snowploughs do their thing and basically stayed warm and cozy.

today, we woke up to bright white snow and gorgeous blue skies! so for those of you being blasted today, hang in there and stay safe!

it’s a perfect day to prepare for bear’s birthday party tomorrow! it’s going to be a super fun weekend for us!
what do you have planned?

xo, mama lola

we headed north.

i’ve been away for a few days in a place that lacks easy access to the internet. we were up north, at the cottage with friends enjoying the fall weather. fall is one of my favourite times of year up there, with the leaves changing colour, the cooler temperatures that mean you have to have the fire going all day and all night. this weekend was pretty wet, but the falling rain that echoed on the steal roof was such beautiful sound, nobody complained about the rain. 

the kids loved being outside. we went for a nice hike up to the lookout point, which we discovered was also the perfect place to build a fairy hut. back at the cottage, we put them to work in the damp air. food always tastes so much better outside. so does beer. especially after filling the woodshed with fresh chopped logs. thanks for your hard work everyone! 

dear hubby and i have been following the tv show “so you think you can dance”, but because we don’t have cable at home, we have always been a little behind on the competition. on saturday, before dinner we watched the show on dear hubby’s laptop and saw the highly anticipated finale. it was such a thrilling show; we cried and laughed and then as the winners were announced, my screaming and excited clapping took off. i felt such joy and relief when my faves won the competition!!! cheers!

the kids always play so well together. we didn’t bring too many toys up, but the kids found lots to do regardless. they ran around all over the place, read stories, collected countless sticks for all sorts reasons and made some pretty amazing mud! 

hope you had a great weekend.

happy monday everyone!

xo, mama lola

the elements

this morning when we woke up the sky was falling. it was raining and hard! the kind of rain, where i was willing to get everyone dressed and ready for the day, pile them in the car and drop bear off at school. and that was the plan, but then dear hubby braved up and decided he would just walk to school with bear. (tuesdays are his school drop off days.) i was so pleased, because i didn’t want to slide into the car routine so easily and quickly. school has only been on for a week and it’s only about 15 minutes away!

this afternoon, it was my turn to pick up bear and brave the ominous dark clouds sitting in the horizon. i got lion and myself decked out in our rain coats and rubber boots and off we went. luckily, it wasn’t raining as hard as it was this morning.

when i was growing up in finland, i always walked to school. rain or shine or snow, i had to walk or bike. but, there was this one exception. it was winter 1986/87 or so and the temperature had dipped down to some record breaking lows. they were in the mid -30’s celsius for days (maybe weeks) , my dad was away on business is venezuala for a month, so my mom decided to drive some of my friends and i to school. and let me make a point here, i was NEVER driven to school, it’s just something that never happened. ever. so anyhow, it was so cold and about 5 of my little friends came to our house and we all piled into the car. the seats were  frozen solid and the cassette tape (probably paul simon’s, graceland) in the player sounded all wonky. cars are all plugged in overnight in finland, so that they will start the next day, but it had been so cold, even the plugged car had difficulty starting! yikes! my mom and i still laugh about that morning.

[ here’s a pic of me at about a year old, sleeping with my fur hat on. fur hats were big back then!]

here’s hoping we will brave any weather mother nature throws our way, no matter how wet,cold, windy or humid! 

how do you manage the elements? 

xo, mama lola

a hike.

our plans for this evenings family boozy dinner with friends was cancelled. unfortunately, one of our friends’ kids got sick; one of the unfortunate consequences of school, i suppose. all those germs incubating in those enclosed spaces, yuck! sending lots of love to our friends and let’s hope mr.T bounces back soon.

this morning i suggested going for a long walk along the niagara escarpment, you know, tiring out the kids so they’ll have a quiet afternoon and fall asleep quickly tonight. so, we packed snacks, our water bottles and then hopped in the car, driving south to the escarpment. today was one of those early fall days that starts off cool and crispy, but warms up in the afternoon. 

we had a great walk. we saw an incredibly beautiful waterfall at the start of our hike. the boys ran most of the way, with a break each, up on dear hubby’s shoulders. we gobbled up our picnic snack at dundas peak, while enjoying the warm sun on our faces. some of the trees are already changing colour, and i’m guessing at the height of autumn the view must be spectacular when the leaves are bright orange and red and yellow.

tomorrow we have our annual baby group photoshoot. here’s hoping the weather is as glorious as it was today; sunny and warm with a scent of fall in the air.

xo, mama lola…la.

friday evening we packed up the van and headed north to the family cottage. we stopped about half way for some cheap mexican fast food. the kids LOVED it!

and boy-o-boy am i glad we made the trek up! the drive up is pretty long and can be painful with the kids, but upon arrival all the stress of the trip up had been forgotten as we piled out and unloaded. the cottage is nestled in the forest, amongst the hemlock and by lake shore. there are chipmunks and the odd bear, deer and lots of birds to look for. and, as usual there were a million mosquitoes and black flies there to greet us! the mosquitoes devoured on bear, while the black flies preferred lion’s sweet blood. but, once bitten the bites didn’t seem to bother the kids, which was a relief!
we went swimming at the local beach in rosseau village (as the cottage beach is just too buggy) and the guys built sandcastles. but, by early afternoon it was time to head back to the peace and quiet of the cottage.

the cottage is a wonderful place to hideaway from the noise and static of the outside world. there is no internet or cable, just a radio. but we kept that off for a change. a few years ago someone in the family brought up a tv, so the kids did watch a little bit of bob the builder for a bit of calm.

unfortunately the serenity of the cottage is slowly being destroyed by development. there are huge mansions being built and in order to build them trees and habitats have to be bull dozed down. there was a huge eye sore built next door about 10 years ago. it has had several different owners and the most recent owners have torn down the entire mansion, ready to build something bigger, i suppose. the waste is heartbreaking, but the destruction of nature is even more devastating to witness.
what is wrong with people? We might look to go to the holiday parks in the Forest of Bowland one year as I’m told it’s unbelievably serene and quiet over there.

anyhow, we have friends who live close to the cottage so they came for a visit. i wish we lived closer– we miss the splatter’s so much!

their wee miss, is about the same age as our lion, so the kids had fun playing train tracks and later investigating the lake water. what a little beauty she is!

the drive back and return to the grind is always a difficult one.
i wish i could do THIS every day! jumping off the dock is too much fun!

we’re off to celebrate my FIL birthday with the family this evening. lucky grandpa will have all of his grand-kids there to party with!

see you tomorrow!

xo, mama lola

the owls at the park.

there is a lovely family of seven living high up in a tree at our local park. the five fuzzy babies belong to a mama and papa eastern screech owl, who have built a home high up in the maple tree.

this is not my picture, augh i wish! it`s from this blog. isn’t this family adorable?

after bear’s ballet we went to the park for a dinner picnic to see if we could get a glimpse of our new neighbours, and we sure dud. it was amazing! the owls were really high up and camouflaged by the new leaves on tree, so the kids couldn’t see them. but, i stood there with some avid bird watchers and there cameras with massive lenses, gawking away.

dinner consisted of the usual after ballet food, pinaattilettuja, some pasta salad with a yummy pesto and veggies, and fresh cut cucumber and strawberries. yum!

it was fun to eat and play at the park like that. a little bit of spontaneity and fun on a weekday evening before bedtime.

tomorrow is the start of our mother’s day celebrations!
fun! fun!

xo, mama lola
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