slumber party.

we had a family sleepover at our dear friends’ house. we haven’t seen these friends in a very, very long time and we were overdue for some quality time. they have three beautiful kids (18mths to 5yrs), so our kids were thrilled to have lots of company and new toys to play with.

we had our traditional evening dinner, which as always was exciting with all five kids and us four adults sitting down to the table to eat.  to my surprise it went remarkably smoothly, considering the details. i mean yes, oz fire did try to start a food fight by throwing random pieces of his dinner and our lion cried from the get go. but, us adults were able to chat and the big kids told summer stories and it felt really good to be with them.



then, the real party started after the kids were fast asleep upstairs.

we had one of those unintentional boozy, chatty nights that we used to take for granted back before the kids arrived. our conversations often have a reminiscent quality to them, but to balance things out we planned next summer’s adventures already! dear hubby and i are truly lucky to have such amazing, supportive friends like this. d’s the guy who hired dear hubby when he was laid off five months ago. and my sweet ray of sunshine is the voice i call during my life’s highest and lowest moments. we speak almost daily.




the following morning was tough. the men headed to their respective jobs, while us mamas stayed at home and mothered. luckily we had each other! it was a slow morning and we had big plans for the park in the afternoon, but just as ray of sunshine opened the door the sky, quite literally, dumped. oh, the rain. so, instead the big kids watched a movie and ate stove top pop corn.



cannot wait to spend a cottage weekend up north with them next month!
carling…..

xo, mama lola

camping quickie!

i had this whole camping entry planned, with stories of the fun we had and pictures capturing small moments of our good times weekend. but, somehow with so many pictures to edit i felt overwhelmed and left the whole blog world for a few days. here are a handful of pics from last weekend, as we head into a brand new one.
checking the tent at home and finally putting it up. daddy and his helpers.

the camp ground was on a first nations reserve.
an after dinner stroll down to the beach. the water was shallow and warm.
a lake front area on the reserve. beside the dock the view was magnificent and the rock beach was fun. bear found a rock that looked like grandpa E’s iphone!

this was a view from a lookout stop. obviously no photograph can capture the beauty and wonder of the view. it was beyond spectacular!

this weekend and next week are packed tightly with more summer adventures that include sailing, visiting best friends in the big city, play dates galore and sending my mom off to finland for a two week holiday! once things slow down a bit i am hoping to write some more thoughtful posts about community, poverty, pregnancy, health, post-partum, money; basically about things that i have witnessed or experienced this summer and made me think. think twice, even.


happy week-ending everyone!

xo, mama lola

wrap it up already…

i’ve been moving really slowly this week. i blame the heat and unbearable humidity; it goes straight to my head and zaps my brain. just like tequila shots. here’s a quick update on our goings on…

* saturday we hit downtown with the chariot and bikes to check out art on the street. it was a blazing hot day, but it was great event and we even bought a piece of art for the playroom (more on that later). then, we had bubba and patty over for dinner. the kids loved it. we miss ’em! we used to have dinner with them at least once a week before we moved.
* i have re-introduced coconut milk into my stir-fry recipe and am not sure why i stopped buying it. 
last weekend we hit our favourite beach for hours of fun. this weekend we’re going to hillside, a fantastic music festival close to home. 
* bear has been attending gymnastics camp with his buddy lil’C. they have gone every morning for three (glorious) hours giving this mama a small break. 
* bear is refusing to pee standing up at the toilet. not sure why. not sure how to rectify the situation as he was doing it just fine for a long time. 
* lion is teething his 7th tooth and wants to be held A LOT!
* i thought we were interviewing a potential baby-sitter today and after a quick tidy, dear hubby racing home, i checked my email and realized i got my dates mixed up. she’s coming next week instead apparently. shoot.


time to start drinkin’.
cheers!

xo, mama lola

family dinner.

we’re starting a new family tradition called FAMILY DINNER. original, i know, but i want to ensure that we have this routine running through our veins as the boys get older. as we all know, time slips through our fingers so fast and the next thing we know the kids will be packing up and moving on outta here. here’s where i got the idea.

i want my family to sit down once a month to a special dinner. one where the menu is planned, perhaps even displayed with someone’s best hand writing listing the food served, with flowers on the table, a clean (ironed) table cloth and thoughtfully prepared food. maybe i’m being overly romantic about this, but i just want us to be connected and present with my family, especially as the kids get older.


i think our first family dinner will be this sunday and it will not be burgers or pasta! haha! 
does anyone have a vegetarian suggestion?

xo, mama lola

sunday was party day!

yesterday, sunday, was party day for us. we hit two birthday do’s and lived to tell the tale!
whew!
the first party was a kiddo party for lil’miss C who turned the big 4. bear had a fantastic time in his own quiet, shy way. there were a lot of kids there he didn’t know or remember, so considering, he had a blast. then it was off to grandpa E’s birthday.

horatio.
check out horatio’s V-tongue!
playin’ with auntie K’s turtle puzzle and empties.
lion LOVES dogs.
this was a family do with lots of chatter, beer and laughter. the food was great and the strawberry cheesecake was fantastic [props to dear hubby for baking it]. 
lion sleeping on the couch before dinner was even served.
a birthday “ta-daa” for grandpa E; thanks for teaching everyone bear!
birthday cake with sparklers.



as we were leaving an incredible thunder and lightning storm rolled in and dumped buckets of rain on us. 

i caught a bolt of lighting!!!!!!!!

p.s. bear got a new hair do on saturday.

xo, mama lola

dinner is served.

i love to cook. my goal for each meal is try and maintain some kind of seasonal logic to the ingredients. we eat lots of root veggies in the fall and winter, but no lettuces for us during the cooler months. instead i stock up on various squashes, potatoes, cabbage, carrots and onions. there are so many different ways to prepare the simplest ingredients, like potatoes, which people dismiss as bland, fattening or a useless starchy thing. potatoes are in fact quite healthy and important to your health; like fiber they can even offer protection against colon cancer. oh, sweet potato! my favourite winter foods to make are various soups and stews. 

red cabbage, empire apple and tomato salad.
 locally grown garlic with flecks of last summers soil still on it. yum!
fresh, locally prepared ready-made pizza dough for only $1.89!



i also consider where the food was grown or produced when doing my shopping. i try to buy close to home, because i want to try and leave a smaller foot print. in the summer months we shop at local markets or try to grow our own veggies. for us organic often means it is not local, but luckily, we have a dairy that is fairly close to home and they make organic dairy products. eating lots of dairy is a huge part of the finnish kitchen and something i love and bring to our family’s traditions. recently i have switched from skim products to full fat, as dairy fat is not bad for us. just google it and you’ll see. 

bear has a healthy appetite. grrrr.

tofu and veggie stew.
lion devours hummus on local rye bread.



now that spring is in the air and the snow is almost gone, dear hubby and i are making big plans for our garden. last year we produced very minimally as i was VERY pregnant and it was bloody hot! this year dear hubby is especially excited as he read “square foot gardening” by mel bartholomew. we have limited sun in our backyard, which makes it ideal for playing in, but tricky to grow stuff in, so we have plans to remove a few patio stones next to the house and build a small veggie garden. i want to try and utilize vertical space as well as the horizontal land area. bear was thrilled last summer with the minimal gardening we did do, and i think this season he will be even more enthusiastic. oh, i can’t wait to dig my fingers into the cool earth and dig around planting various seeds and seedlings. 


and speaking of spring, here are some pictures to wet your palette…

~puddles~
chalk art. this is a snake.
umbrella’s.



feel free to share suggestions, recipes etc on the comments section.

xo, mama lola

pinaattiletut

pinaattiletut 



these delicious little spinach crepes are a finnish staple and offered as part of the school lunch program. in finland children are provided with a hot, nutritious meal during the lunch hour as described here. i remember in primary school my friends and i would compete to see who could eat the most pinaattiletut; our teachers were thrilled! bear loves having these delights for dinner and i think one day he and lion will compete to see who will cram more into their bellies. pinaattiletut are traditionally served with puolukkahilloa (lingonberry jam), which luckily can be purchased at IKEA



and, what about that pan or lettupannu! my mom brought that heavy cast iron beast from our northern homeland and i just love it. reminds me of finland so much. this amazing pan is also great for cooking the perfect eggs for bagels!


*please let me know if you tried the recipe!

xo, mama lola
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