cottage thanksgiving.


we enjoyed a beautiful weekend at the cottage for thanksgiving.  it’s taken me a while to organize pictures and edit them, as our reno at the house has forced me to stay away from our home all day for a few days! bah! but, better late than never right?!


the weather was awesome! sunny, with a few misty moments and crisp fresh air. the leaves were a beautiful array of bright colours.  we got a lot of work done, including rearranging the wood shed, piling wood from wettest to driest. it’s very physical job, but there was 4 adults doing it,so it went well. the chipmunks were just as busy as us, running around with their wee cheeks full of grub to last them through the winter.

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with two vegans, four vegetarians and three carnivores our dinner was super delicious! we had all kinds of yummy, healthy foods that we were all so very grateful for, including tofu and bok choy sauteed in pineapple sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing (veg and not), baked squash, roasted chicken and shrimp n’ scallops sauteed in lime juice and cilantro. our bellies were too satisfied, hahaha!


thanksgiving table


my MIL found an old SUPER COOL hockey table under one of the beds. it’s wooden and dear hubby used to play against his grandfather back during his childhood. the kids loved playing this for hours and hours, so much so in fact that bear started a family tournament. he made a list with everyone’s names and then various family members played against each other. it was a lot of fun!


cottage hockey tournament


there was a huge rain storm a few weeks back that washed out a lot of roads in and around the cottage. the top of the cottage driveway happens to to be located at the bottom of two hills, and there was a lot of damage. there have been issues for years and the county is always promising to fix the problems. so when we arrived on friday afternoon we found these huge boulders at the entrance of the driveway, massive diggers sitting on rocks and culverts dug out again. quite shocking and depressing, because these huge gouges are very damaging to the wildlife in the area.


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the portage down to the lake that runs from the road next to the cottage property line, was seriously damaged during the rain storm as well. this was a big concern to me, purely for selfish reasons as that’s where we do best tobogganing in the winter! we’ll have to wait and see what the construction ends up looking like.


hope you had a lovely weekend with whatever fun you got into on the long weekend!

xo, mama lola

fave soup round up!


we here in southern ontario we have enjoyed a lovely fall with warm temperatures making things feel more like summer! but, it seems as though things are taking turn now as cooler temperatures are settling in, grey skies are taking over. this kind of weather makes me want to pull out my crock-pot and dig up all my belly warming recipes.


fall soup round-up 2

about a year ago i started a soup exchange with some neighbourhood friends. once a week everyone cooks up a batch of yummy soup and then we exchange a big mason jar of soup with one other person. it’s such a life saver, because i often freeze the extra soups for busy weeks when there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get dinner done!


here are a few of my favourite soups that i made for my friends…



i went to the library and found a bunch of soup recipe books for inspiration. this week i made a super delicious minestrone soup that i adjusted slightly from the original recipe to accommodate my ingredients and taste! i’ll be sharing that recipe here on the blog soon!

happy soup-ing!

xo, mama lola

DIY halloween garlands!

spooky halloween garlands

it’s time to think of halloween and get crafty!

i am going through a bit of a day of the dead phase; googling images and projects with the theme. i think this fall i will try to make a felt skull garland. i just love the bright colours, patterns and the combination of flowers and skulls!



halloween garlands

hissy fit halloween garland from pink martini’s and pearls


halloween garlands

DIY pumpkin garland from 36th avenue


halloween garlands

day of the dead felt sugar skull from casa artelexia

(these aren’t actually a garland, but i love the colours and thought the skulls could easily be attached to make one)


halloween garlands

tissue pom-pom garland with sugar skulls from paper source blog



spooky halloween garland from paper crave


halloween garlands

halloween tassle garland from the flair exchange


halloween garland

halloween spook banner from organize your stuff now


halloween garland

creepy spider garland from redheart


halloween garland

jack skellington halloween string garland from disney family


which garland is your favourite?

october starts next week! WHAT?!

it’s true, so let’s get brainstorming, plug in those glue guns and get crafting!


xo, mama lola

lion started kindergarten.

oh my, what a huge milestone we have reached as a family, but really it’s one our littlest has achieved with such confidence and joy. yes, as a family we got to this goal, but really it’s our lion who has started school with serious zest! i’m so proud of him, i could burst! as a teeny baby, as soon as lion became aware of his big brother he has been working hard to catch up to bear. he has always wanted to do and be just like bear, in that adorable little brother way, which as his mum is heartbreakingly cute to see.

first day of kindergarten
now, that he gets to go to the same school as his big brother… HUGE! from the get-go lion has been brave and eager to go, marching confidently into the kindergarten classroom forgetting to even say bye to us, his bleary eyed parents! here in ontario kindergarten is all day, every day and to acclimatize the newest students they start off with only two hours of school on day and then they get a day or two off, go for a full day, more days off and then they go full steam. it’s called staggered entry and for younger siblings it can be confusing and difficult, because their older sibs are still going to school, going through those routines and so lion’s start to school was kinda long. of course, every school is different when welcoming new students and that is ultimately what makes them all so unique! for example, one of our friends who lives in Raleigh has recently enrolled her daughter at a fantastic independent school and they were just so welcoming, it made adjusting to a new life and routines with her family so much easier. you can check out the school she has chosen for yourself here: RAVENSCROFT.ORG. above all, there are some great schools out there and finding the right one for your family is crucial.

finding a preschool that understands the needs of your child is so important too! have I ever told you that my lion still naps? yes, still at 4 years of age! so, i only send him 3 days a week. i did the same with bear as well, as i think all day, every day school for such little people is too much to handle. on the days lion does not go to school he plays in the morning or goes to swimming lessons and then crashes for 2-3 hours.

first day of school

his teachers have shared no concerns and say he is a pleasure in the classroom. one of the teachers was bears teacher for two years and she remarked that it is incredible how different my two boys are! and, it’s true. bear struggled greatly with transitioning into school and i think he was quite jealous that his brother was allowed to stay home with mum, while got shipped away to some scary new place. (read more about bears first days of school HERE) lion now has a huge advantage being the little brother, as he is already very familiar with the school routine. he knows what drop-offs in the morning and pick-ups in the afternoon look like, he recognizes some of the teachers, he has been inside the school a million times over the years and he has his big brother at school down the hall. these are all huge advantages that bear never felt, making him anxious and scared at school often.


i am so proud and excited for my kids this year. they are happy, they are growing up and experiencing new adventures together, which is what i always wanted for my kids!

xo, mama lola

vegetarian thanksgiving menu!

don’t be fooled that thanksgiving is just for meat eaters, because there are lots of wonderful, interesting and delicious vegetarian menu options out there!


below i have compiled recipes that look appetizing and will get your mouth watering!
i love all the textures and colours; you can almost smell the scent of the yummy foods wafting in the air.


thanksgiving menu from oh veggies
from gourmande in the kitchen
roasted garlic mashed potatoes from steamy kitchen
vegan stuffing from novel eats




:: GRAVY ::
vegetarian gravy from two lazy gourmets



i deliberately did not include salads, cranberry sauce, roasted veggies or beans, or any squash recipes as they kinda speak for themselves as being veggie! i did make a squash round-up at the beginning of the season, which you can check-out HERE.

which recipe will you try?
i have pinned a few of these with christmas in mind!

happy cooking!

xo, mama lola

halloween fun!

we had a fantastic halloween this year! the kids were so psyched and everything seemed to fall into place perfectly!

lion decided he wanted to be a robot. so, he and i made him a simple costume out of a some vent-tube stuff from home depot, a cardboard box, a cereal box, spray paint, and various odds n’ ends we found at home. he loved his costume and i was so pleased with the way it turned out. 

bear wanted to be an astronaut. i had seen on pinterest several posts about how to make the jet pack out of empty pop bottles, but i wasn’t really sure how the rest of his costume was going to look like. but, thanks to a quick trip to the local thrift shop at the end of a dae night,  it too came together swimmingly! we found a super shiny vest and short set, which were perfect!

the boys had their own halloween parties at their school’s. that meant i had to do some creative back-n-forth driving to participate in both, but it all worked out, and i was so happy to join the fun!

after dinner it was time for the main event to get started : TRICK OR TREATING! with their boots on and their thrift store pum’kin buckets in hand, we headed on out. 

it was a dark and stormy night… no, for real. the downpour was ghastly, but making it worse was the incredible winds! i was holding onto the brolly with all my might and still it tried to fli inside out on me! but, the kids didn’t even notice that they were getting soggy!

once back home in our warm home, we all quickly changed into our pajama’s, made some tea and then checked out the mountain of candy. the kids received an enormous amount! maybe people were extra generous due to the weather, or maybe t’s cu they were just so darn cute, but whatever the reason the boys were delighted!


how was your halloween?

xo, mama lola

welcome, november.

a view  up at the trees and the sky from my backyard.

we are shockingly now into the eleventh month of this year. 
a year filled with so much change but also sameness, a year with new habits, but with the old ones still clinging on. 
it has been a year of re-connection, of resurfacing. 

i have been feeling a little retrospective, nostalgic and sentimental as of late. last november was a particularly difficult time for me and my family (i will not get into any details). i know there are people around us who are holding their breath to see how we fare as we reach this new unremarkable, but painful anniversary.

and for anyone who might be wondering…
we are just fine. better than fine, in fact.
DH and i are splendid. just recently he brought home a lovely bouquet of fall flowers; a small token from his big, loving heart. sure, we have our ups and downs like all couples, but nothing we cannot handle.
our boys are better than splendid. they are growing and learning so much; all i want to do is push the pause button so i can drink up more of their childhood before it’s too late. 
time moves so quickly.

but, i welcome november with strong, open arms.
bring it on, i say.
i’m ready.

xo, mama lola

thanksgiving & fall crafts!

i thought i would put together another thanksgiving/ fall craft round-up.
thanksgiving is coming up, the colours are changing in the trees, so clearly fall has arrived!


check out these great projects!
recycled paper acorn banner from crafting a green world
leaf jar candle holder from kidz world
hanging leaf garland from full circle
woven placemats from mind bites
leaf masks from 5 orange potatoes


i really like the leaf garland and think we might make one, before we get overwhelmed with christmas crafts.  

i will try to squeeze out a few more fall crafts while i can!

xo, mama lola

the blah’s.

it is mostly dark and grey outside, with spurts of warm sun here and there. the temperature is dropping outside and we are down to single digit temps now. fall has wrapped it’s soggy, wet arms around us tightly and will not let go.
fall is here to stay.

this time of year is a time for transitions. we are shifting seasons up here in canada, and at home we are shifting gears. my kids are slowing down, sleeping a little longer, wanting to play inside more and i’m just waiting for the sickness to kick in. i have brought out extra sweaters and layers to help keep the chill away. we turned on the furnace, as +16c seemed a little cold as an inside temperature!

apparently, we’re not the only people who have had to do this, as our friends in America have recently had to do the same. in the midst of it all though, they came to notice that their furnace had broken and they weren’t accessing the warm air that they needed to warm their house (or themselves) up. luckily, they contacted this Denver furnace repair company as soon as they noticed the problem, and the contractors were able to fix the problem before it got any worse. thank goodness for that! no one wants to spend their days freezing cold after all. I’m just glad that ours appeared to be working efficiently. My friends here suggested that Heat Pumps could be a good alternative for furnaces. Well, my family is considering the same for coming winter!

and, me? well, I too am slowing down, wanting to cozy up inside and I too am feeling lethargic. actually, i have felt tired and not quite myself for a couple of weeks now. i have started to take an iron supplement, a multi-vitamin, i exercise somewhat regularly, eat pretty well, but something is making me super exhausted. there are days where i feel like i am a narcoleptic, doing everything in my power not to pass out.
sounds funny, especially since i’m only 34 years young!
but, quite honestly, it feels unsettling.

my friends are suggesting i go see my family doctor, just to find out exactly what is going on. but, when will i find the time? between school drop-off’s, grocery runs, vacuuming at home, nap time, it’s really hard to squeeze in an appointment for me. also quite frankly, i am a little reluctant. the last time i felt crappy for a long period of time and talked to my doctor we discovered my pituitary gland tumour. now, i don’t want to sound dramatic, but i am a little nervous about what she might tell me. i know it’s my job to look after my health now i have a family – and i think i do a good job at it – but for some reason, i’m nervous this time round. when we found the tumour, i took the right steps, i asked my doctor “what is group critical illness insurance?” and got my family covered, took on all the advice the doctor gave me, have been back for reguarly check ups, etc. but this time, it just seems like something bad is going to happen. is it better to know, of course it is, because knowledge is empowering, but i feel like we are finally finding some kind of peace and calm at our house. i don’t want to stir the pot.
i don’t want to go looking for a problem or issue.
and, i don’t want to seem like i’m wanting attention or sickness…

maybe it’s just the fall blah’s.
yeah… it probably just is.

xo, mama lola

toilet paper roll spiders for halloween!

it is almost halloween, which means we are in full spider, witch, pumpkin’ craft mode!

last week i splurged and bought some silly supplies from the craft store… things like more googly eyes, tons of pipe cleaners, black felt and orange glitter! definitely a halloween theme going on here! 

so, here is what lion and i made… SPIDERS! this craft is perfect for the younger kiddo’s, as there is nothing creepy or scary about these spiders! 


  • 1 toilet paper roll
  • scissors
  • white glue
  • coloured construction paper
  • 1 big pom-poms
  • 2 googly eyes
  • 2 black pipe cleaners
  • a sewing needle
[ busy at work at our messy , but FUN art table. took this pic with my phone.]


  1. cut toilet paper roll in half, cut construction paper to fit around each toiler paper roll half
  2. clue the paper onto toilet paper roll, and decorate. lion just used markers, but use your imagination here!
  3. take one pipe cleaner and cut into 4 equal parts (i folded the pipe cleaner in half, and then in half again to get the right size)
  4. poke 4 holes on each side of the decorated torso. i used a larger sewing needle and wiggled it around to make sure my pipe cleaner would fit through. attach legs and bend into spider-y pose!
  5. glue the pom-pom into one end of the roll, then glue on eyes!
  6. voila! a halloween spider!

we will be making lots of these and attaching them to our big cobweb! 

xo, mama lola
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