nature hikes and romps!

this passed friday bear didn’t have school so we joined a group of friends and headed for the hills. for a hike, that is. we packed a massive bag of sunflower seeds to feed to the birds, and snacks to share for the people. 

the kids had such fun. they discovered all sorts of interesting natural phenomena like fungi of various sizes and colours, different kinds of lady bugs, all sorts of pine cones, spruce cones, leaves all sizes and shades of red.

all of the kids mostly ran for the two hour hike, although they did pause to enjoy the sounds of frogs and other natural elements occasionally. us mums, chatted, held the assortment of walking sticks, rocks and other teasures picked up along the way, and enjoyed the freedom the forest allows you to feel.

although, after the hike we were all tired, there was something wonderfully rejuvenating about the woods. the peace, the calm, are both so soothing to the mind. the kids went wild, but in the vast space among the trees, their loudness is drowned out, allowing the bird songs to be heard through the trees.

this weekend was thanksgiving here in canada. we headed to the cottage with a few family members to close things up; bring in the docks, rake some of the various paths, chop wood and stock the logs for our visits this winter. the boys soaked up the fresh muskoka air, enjoying the company of their grandparents and auntR. 

i love watching my kids outside. their senses kick into high gear as they frolic between the trees. they are filled with such curiosity and wonder, which is incredibly contagious, especially when in the natural world.

there is a marshy area a short walk from the cottage. the kids’ grandma found cranberries growing there and that is what lion is inspecting in the moss!

the sun was high and warm, hot even. we got all of the work done and ended another season at the family cottage. it is such a wonderful place.

(i was there too!)

i didn’t take any other pictures this year,which is quite unusual. 
i was partly busy and distracted, but also completely exhausted and distracted.

have you spent some fun times in the woods lately?

xo, mama lola

quick halloween ghost project!

 i found some old white sheets in the basement and decided to get crafty just in time for halloween. this is a super simple, super quick project, but super spooky too!


  • old sheets or fabric of your choosing
  • thread, needle
  • scissors
  • to give the fabric a rougher, spookier look i tore the sheet into squares
  • i gathered whatever was left over and made little bundles, that i tied into head shaped balls
  • i sewed on the faces free hand with a needle and red thread, super quickly. the less precise they look, the better i think
  • i held the fabric tightly to make the fabric taught and flat, making it easier to sew
my kids love these ghosts! i’ve made four and they are hanging around spinning around on their own. it’s kinda spooky, actually! everyone who has seen them has adored them! 

quick and easy and perfect for halloween!

i made a small round-up of spooky halloween decorations that can be found HERE. some of those projects were the inspiration to this ghost!

xo, mama lola

thanksgiving crafts (gobble, gobble)

canadian thanksgiving is right around the corner! here are some wonderful kid-friendly crafts to help get ready for the festivities. 

pine cone turkeys from a pumpkin and a princess

thanksgiving thankful tree from preschool crafts for kids

groovy gobblers from let’s explore

napkin rings from easy crafts for kids

stained glass leaves from mom vs. the boys

fall wreath craft from mom of 5 kids


xo, mama lola

apple picking is wholesome fall fun!

the weather this fall has been perfect. every day has been about +20c with sunny with bright days and stunning blue skies. we have played outside an enormous amount, trying to soak up as much vitamin D and warmth before the cold, dark winter blankets over us. and, that my friends will happen soon!

we went apple picking as a way to enjoy the sun. we had an awesome morning picking apples from the orchard, then going on a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and choosing various gourds to represent each of us!

there’s nothing like biting into a fresh, crisp apple that is just ready for picking!

now that we have a glorious variety of apples, it is time to try out some of the yummy apple recipes i included in my round-up a few weeks ago!

and, i will leave you with this picture of a tiny lady bug. there are gazillions of different kinds of lady bugs flying around right now, not sure why, but it kinda fun!

how is fall treating you this year?
have you been apple picking this season?

xo, mama lola

spooky halloween decorations!

halloween crafts, spooky crafts

the leaves are changing colour, the nights are getting cooler and that means… halloween is almost here! here are a few super fun, super easy and super spooky DIY craft projects to scare the pants off of everyone!

halloween crafts, halloween wreath, spooky, crafts
snake wreath from apartment therapy
halloween, crafts, scary crafts
voodoo dolls from felici events
lace ghosts, spooky halloween, crafts
lace ghost from a beautiful mess


halloween terraniums, spooky crafts,
spooky terrarium from creative blog
spider crafts, spooky crafts, halloween
spider sacks from modern parents messy kids
spider crafts, pumpkin spiders, halloween decorations
creepy crawlers from good housekeeping
spider wreath, halloween decorations, scary crafts
arachnophobia wreath from eclectically vintage


spooky, spooky!
get those supplies in order, because halloween will be here before you know it!

xo, mama lola

vegetarian crock pot recipe round-up!

this time of year, my crock pot is in full action. i use it a couple of times a week, for chili or soup or even for a hot breakfast! here are some delicious and healthy vegetarian crock pot recipes ranging from breakfast, soup to entree. YUM!



loaded baked potatoes from martha stewart

vegetarian chiliveggie chili from bear & lion

indian chole from while chasing kids

vegetarian soupafrican inspired soup from kalyn’s kitchen

overnight cinnamon apple oatmeal from chocolate broccoli
rice puddingrice pudding from bear & lion
greek yoghurt
greek yoghurt from the little red house

oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about these recipes!
let me know which one you’re going to try first!

xo, mama lola

lion’s first day of preschool!

i have been meaning to sit down and write about my littlest guy, but with all this back to school business, it’s been hard to find time. when your whole life turns into looking at a Child care finder, it can be quite a struggle to find the time to constantly be writing, especially when you have found so many great preschools. I did some research, and there are so many great preschools out there, I even looked at some of the best preschools in california.

but, new chapters have started up this september for lion. he is 3 years old now and started at his new montesorri preschool last week. i was a little nervous, because i didn’t want to push him into anything he wasn’t ready for. and, i was remembering the tears his older brother shed at those dreaded drop-off’s in the morning when he was in preschool. bear always clung to my thighs and had a hard time acclimatizing; apparently he didn’t talk for the first few months!

mandatory first day of school picture! lion was a little tired.

that being said, i wanted to at least provide lion an opportunity to have something of his own in his life. our life is quite busy with bear’s school; drop-off’s, pick-up’s, committee things, and so on.

i was quite nervous on lion’s first day. we had to drop off bear at his first day of senior kindergarten, before we could get to preschool. lion and i packed his backpack with a few important items before leaving the house. this step was very important to him, especially since his big brother was lending him his old backpack. and, big kids have backpacks, not babies.

so, we arrived at the school, walked in to the school hand-in-hand with dear hubby and lion just walked into his classroom, all non-chalantly, and he waved good bye! he was so eager to start playing with his new friends that saying good-bye was completely forgotten! i called him back for a quick hug and a kiss, then off he went. no tears, no apprehension, no anxiety, no worries! at least not from him.

standing proudly in front of the cubbies!

i on the other hand, went into what oprah called the “ugly cry”. i sobbed and sobbed in the car, tears streaming down my cheek. i was bursting with pride, but also feeling the bittersweet twinges of reality : my kids were growing faster than i could keep up!

two-and-a-half hours later when i went to pick up lion, he was all smiles! he gave me a huge hug with a sloppy wet kiss! he was excited to tell me about his morning, and i was so thrilled to share this moment with him. he sounded so mature, well as mature as a three year old can, as he told me about the puzzles he worked on and the painting he painted. the best part was that i could see that he was feeling proud and good about himself for enjoying his first morning at preschool!

i’m not sure if i could feel more proud of him!
how did your first days back at school go?

xo, mama lola

autumn vegetarian squash recipes!



i love squash. so does my whole family.
this time of year is harvest season and all the gourds and squashes are ready for the picking!

here is a round-up of various vegetarian squash recipes. some recipes are vegan too!


roasted butternut squash with goat cheese from anja’s food 4 thought
spicy asian spahetti squash from slender kitchen
black rice with acorn squash from vegetarian mamma
butternut squash lasagna from bon appetit
creamy butternut squash (vegan) pasta from dishing up the dirt

butternut squash soup from bear & lion


this time of year the thought a piece of yummy bread with hardy stew makes my mouth water!

i’ll let you know which recipes i’ll be trying!

xo, mama lola
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