perfect fall apple recipes!

fall has arrived.
the kids are officially back to school. the trees are starting to slowly change colour and lose their leaves. people are taking about going apple picking and there’s even a crispness in the air on some mornings, oh yes, fall has definitely arrived.

this time of year i like to use my oven a lot for baking and dinners; we don’t have our furnace on so it’s a great way to warm up the house when needed. here are 10+ fall recipes to get your home smelling delicious and cozy this fall!

apple sandwiches from oh she glows
old fashioned apple crisp from blissfully delicious
apple chips from whole living
caramel apples from dot come women
orange cocoa apple bread from kitchen illiterate
spirit tree apple pizza from off the beaten palate
apple muffins from the girl who ate everything



apple pie bites from yummy mummy club

apple sauce from canning basics

(vegan) apple pie from the southern vegan

which one is your favourite?
let me know if you try out any of these recipes!

xo, mama lola

pressing flowers with kids.

pressing flowers, summer crafts

I remember as a little girl collecting all sorts of flowers and leaves and stuffing our old school, massive phone books with them. If I had an Instagram account, I would have definitely posted them on there instead of creating a book! I was never like in school due to my hobbies. I would have so needed to get instagram followers! Haha. those old phone books were ideal for pressing flowers, as you could fill them with quite a collection and the paper was perfect. plus, at our house any way we had a huge stack of yellow pages and white pages.

redtedart has a great tutorial on how to press flowers. it’s really not hard and you don’t need any special equipment, except maybe some patience as the flowers take a few weeks to press and dry properly. 

when travelling, i have picked a flower and placed them into the book i have with me. sometimes i have forgotten about them and rediscovered them a while later. what a lovely way to reminisce about an exciting adventure! 

the dainty squid pressed other wonderful natural finds, like mushrooms! 
go check out more of her beautiful pictures HERE!

this summer i will get the kids to collect and press a few leaves or flowers from our road trip. once we get back home, we can make something out of them!
xo, mama lola

butternut squash & ricotta pizza pie!

dear hubby has taken on the sunday dinner responsibility around here. since buying a bread maker from a friend a few months ago, he has started making his pizza dough in the maker. it’s easy for him, as long as he just has to plan it ahead of time.

this past weekend, dear hubby made a pizza that was one of the best he has ever made; a butternut squash and ricotta cheese delish pizza pie! i found the recipe on pinterest, but THIS is the site it’s originally from. the directions are so nicely and clearly spelt out there, tha i am not going to re-write them here. 
so, go check it out!

this time of year squash is bountiful, fresh and local for us, so we’ll be eating various foods made with it. in fact tonight for dinner for the kids, squash soup. dear hubby and i will skip the soup and go on a long over due date night!

happy friday everyone!

xo, mama lola

maple pumpkin oat muffins :: oh, my!

i came across this perfect fall, thanksgiving muffin recipe on pinterest. i’m not the biggest pumpkin flavour fan, but there was something about these muffins that made me want to try them. so, i did.

the recipe for the maple pumpkin oat muffins with maple glaze is directly from the hazel bloom.

yield: approx. 12 muffins.


Maple Pumpkin Oat Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
  • 1 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have butter milk, take one cup milk and mix in 1tbsp of lemon or white vinegar.)
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree – canned or homemade
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg (i used egg substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cinnamon-Maple Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, depending on your tastes
  • 3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line 12 standard (1/3 cup) muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, pumpkin, maple syrup, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk just until the ingredients are well incorporated. Try not to overmix!
  6. Bake for about 22 – 25 minutes, until the top of the muffins spring back when poked and a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.
luckily for me, i had some seriously cute help. lion was a wonderful mixer of ingredients!


i skipped the glaze part, as i thought the muffins were sweet enough and the sticky mess from the glaze was not something i wanted to to deal with.we all loved the muffins.
to all my canadian friends, go whip up a batch this weekend for thanksgiving this weekend! yum!

xo, mama lola

school gear!

here’s a quick look at bear’s must haves this fall for school with prices as we paid for them…

1. a new bookbag from MEC (HERE)
2. brand new super cool sneakers from H&M (HERE)
3. rad, red, chinos also from H&M (HERE)
4. fancy shirt, again from H&M (HERE)
5. light weight, easy to use rubbermaid containers (as seen HERE & HERE). i actually bought his on super-duper sale at the local grocery store!

xo, mama lola

(back) to school.

that is the sound of time going by too quickly! my kid is starting JK in a matter of weeks and i feel like i am not ready.

he will be getting THIS bag as his backpack from mountain equipment co-op. it’s a bit pricey;

i’m justifying it with the expectation that it will last longer than the cheap ones with various television and movie characters on them. plus, the school is strict about the size of bag and i think it fits their requirements, although it is a bit big for my lil’ bear. If I hadn’t bought this bag for him, I would have probably purchased this personalized photo backpack, not only due to their quality but because of their unique and special addition of having either his or a loved one’s face on it!

For now, though, I told him we could get some patches to decorate and personalize the bag.

we also ordered him a subscription to chirp magazine. i bought him one issue for our road trip and he loved it, and i think it’ll be a great way to make him feel big and special. who doesn’t love receiving mail?

and finally, we ordered some labels for all of his stuff for school. bear is pretty meticulous about his stuff, but he is only four after all and so easily distracted! now i just have to figure what kind of lunch bag to sew him.

this september bear is supposed to attend school full-time, but with the disastrous experience we had with the summer camps, i have decided to only send him three days a week. i think this is more reasonable and c’mon, it’s JK, which is not mandatory in the first place! his anxiety peeks during stress and separation from me, and i think come the holidays we will re-evaluate his attendance at school. maybe he will need more, maybe less.

he obviously doesn’t know yet that he will be attending fewer days than his peers and we will broach that conversation after school starts, i think. i don’t want to plant ideas in his head, i just want to answer his questions. bear has friends who are not attending daily, so it’ll make the discussion easier, i hope.

all of these transitions are so hard.

xo, mama lola

new york, NEW YORK! [part 3}

*my computer is still being repaired and i am desperately trying to complete my entries on an ancient macbook that is lacking any basic photo editing software. i have attached a few rough pics, but once my computer is back with me, i will edit and post more pictures.
we left canada on a roadtrip to the USA to visit family and attend a joyous wedding. details can be seen here PART 1.
our limits were tested on saturday during the noreaster storm. here is what happened in all of that snow PART 2.
when we woke up on sunday morning and peeked through the curtains to see blue skies and sunshine, i will admit i felt like crying. i was just so relieved! no snow, no storm, no weather issues to be seen anywhere. so, quickly we packed up our room, checked out and hit the streets of new york for our last day there. It’s fair to say that we have been feeling romantic whilst we’ve been here and I just can’t believe its our last day. There is just so much more that I wanted to do and see but time has gone so quickly. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to come back again soon. I can’t stop thinking about that day already! I should probably stop that and focus on our last day instead.

times square.

we felt optimistic and hopeful of our day and upcoming visit with dear hubby’s sister and her mister. we tromped up 7th street and headed for times square. once there, i was a bit confused why this obscene show of advertising and flashing lights was a tourist attraction, but there we were snapping away with the camera. bear was immediately over stimulated by the whole place and hid in the stroller with the sunshade pulled all the way down, while lion slept in the ergo. our mission was to see the zoo at central park, as promised to the kids. we were also meeting up with dear hubby’s sister for some quality time.

we arrived at the park to open gates and streams of people walking in. we had grabbed a lunch to go and were looking for a spot for a picnic. as we walked along the paths, the reality of the trauma the trees in the park had suffered from the previous day’s storm was devastating. If there had been any houses around they’d need to contact someone like Round Rock roof repair contractors for sure. Thankfully, it seemed that no one was hurt in the park from the damage.

fallen branches.

we were all shocked at the amount of damage to individual trees, but also to the park as a whole. bear and lion walked and ran freely as we explored the wonder that is central park. once dear hubby’s sister joined us we ate lunch on some rocks and then headed to the zoo.

a hilarious picnic in central park.

we got a bit lost on the paths and asked a park employee for directions, who surprisingly told us the park was officially closed, therefore the zoo was closed as well. we looked around at the hundreds of people walking, jogging, biking through the park, confused as there were no signs that the park was closed. so, we decided to just walk and go see the alice in wonderland statue.


from there we walked up to the guggenheim, across to lexington and there we hopped on the subway. i was a bit uncertain of getting on with our stroller, but dear hubby forced his way on!

by dinner time it was time to bid farewell to the city that never sleeps and head an hour north to dear hubby’s sister’s place. we took one last look at grand central station and its beauty and glory and then boarded our train north. the kids were tired, we were tired and we just wanted to get to the apartment.

train ride home.

well, as the train rolled into our station around 7pm the conductor warned people getting off the train to be careful as the town was still out of power. it was pitch black, slippery and cold. they had lost power saturday afternoon and there was still no sign of it returning. the town was eerie as we made our way up main street, guided only by passing car lights. the local pizza joint was open for business as they had an emergency generator. Quite often, in storms of this severity, businesses will sustain damage to their property which makes getting insurance quotes via Lending Expert all the more important if businesses don’t wish to lose out. up in the apartment, there were candles lit and the ambiance was cozy, even though we were all frustrated with the situation.

cozy night.

apparently many of the surrounding communities were all out power and there was talk that it may take until wednesday to have it all up and running again!!! we hunkered down for the night and slept under many blankets, in toques and the kids wore their finnish woolly suits. i had bear to snuggle close with, while dear hubby and lion kept warm in the other room together as the outside temperatures kept dropping to close to -10c.

oh, lou!
homesteader L crushing coffee beans with his handy mortar and pestal.

on monday morning we still electricity free, so dear hubby’s sister’s mister the ingenious homesteader crushed coffee beans with his mortar and pestle for a hot cuppa coffee in the morning! Luckily they had a gas stove so we were also able to make warm porridge and boil water. Who’d have thought that Grinding Coffee Beans for the best morning coffee could be done with a mortar and pestle; not something I would recommend to do daily though!
We visited a farm dear hubby’s sister worked at in the summer, which bear was so happy to experience.

walking through the farm.

it gave him the opportunity to run and play in the snow, which he has been waiting for since, well, forever. we saw pigs, sheep, goats and cows and a donkey. some beautiful chickens and horses. driving to and fro from the glynnwood farm we were again witness to the devastation from the storm; trees down everywhere.

that afternoon it was time to say our good byes and start driving back home to canada. we drove over half way and stopped in the town of bath for a sleep.

a sleepy lion with muumi mamma.
studious bear working on his activity book.

all in all our trip was an adventure that could only happen once in a lifetime. sure, NYC will be there, but the combinations of weather, no power and the wonderful joys we shared with our friends and family were unforgettable.

xo, mama lola
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