we’re home.
finally arrived yesterday just before dinner.
the last couple of days of our road trip were trying to say the least. the kids, especially bear was feeling fatigued. and i get it, so that’s why we got home slightly earlier than planned.

our two week summer roadtrip out to the maritimes was such an adventure and i am so glad we pushed through with such stamina. even when the chips were down with rough weather or fighting siblings in the back seat, we got through it! dear hubby was the coolest of us all, but that’s just the kinda guy he is and anyone who knows him won’t be surprised to hear that! two weeks of just the four of us, all day every day, was a bit demanding at times!

[ Quebec City, Quebec ]

the kids did better in some ways than i had expected, but they did throw some wicked, earth shaking tantrums when i least expected it, as well. the routine of our home life was completely dismantled on this trip, which is the nature of a roadtrip, but that left my two little boys scrambling for regularity at times. plus, throw in a time zone change of an hour and well, as many parents know, time changes can be very stressful for kids.
that being said, dear hubby and i are already planning our next trip! we will take the lessons we learned on this trip and move on new adventures. (i will actually make a detailed list of what i would change in an upcoming post.)

this was our first real holiday as a foursome and what a thrill it was to explore new parts of our vast land with my guys. it was such fun watching them help set up the tent or snuggle close every night as family. although the kids probably wont remember much of this trip. i will and so will dear hubby. for us this trip, was about being a family, being in the moment and being together. I must admit though, as much as camping was a lot of fun, I think next time we would definitely take a caravan with us instead just because it does make life a lot easier and supplies some much needed comfort when everyone just needs to unwind. I’ll be looking at Auto Finance Online to see what deals we can get on a caravan big enough for us all.

[ St. Andrew’s, Nova Scotia ]

today is sunday and we are hunkering down, getting back into the groove of things. the boys are wild with glee as they rediscover their toys and are reintroduced to books left at home. i have been super aggressive about getting our laundry done, and with five loads already washed, folded and put away i am now left with washing three sleeping bags. phew! it’s been kinda wild! dear hubby is airing out our stinky camping stuff and will tend to our tent as it so desperately needs a good soak! and, the car needs a supernclean too. we may just take it in to for a partial detailing, as there is a slight odour lingering. yuck.

[ Random beach on the Atlantic, Nova Scotia ]

i took about 1500 photo’s and feel rather overwhelmed at the thought of editing and sorting them! obviously many of them are not worth keeping or posting, but stay with me as i eventually organize the photo’s into slide shows or something.

and our house. sweet, sweet peppermint patty as we lovingly named her, stood waiting for us when we pulled in the driveay. we arrived to clean floors, cupboards and fresh sheets on the beds, all things i carefully did before our trip. and boy am i glad i did! my garden outside is a bit of a disaster, though. while we were away there was lotsa rain and the weeds have taken over, making the front look very wild and unkempt. I will have to get out there for a few hours and atleast try to tone down the jungle!

[ Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia ]

the list of things to do is growing, as we have busy week ahead. Bubba and Patty are getting married next saturday, so we are in full wedding mode now. We all have various responsibilities at the wedding and reception, so not only do we have to look fancy and clean, we have to have our ducks all lined up! Bubba and Patty have been getting their ducks lined up too for this wedding, they want to make sure they have everything done and dusted before the big day. I think they had recently been discussing a possibility of a prenuptial agreement, I’m not too sure, but I know they’ll go for a great law firm to help them walk through it. A friend recommended Family lawyers in Mayfair business – Peters and May as a suggestion, so we’ll see how that goes!

happy to be home.
happy to have watched the closing ceremonies of the london olympics.
happy to see friends tomorrow.
just happy.

xo, mama lola

my garden.

my dream has always been to have my own garden. when we moved into our house, i was so excited about the prospect of being outside and digging in the dirt, that i completely forgot in those fantasies that i was about seven months pregnant! in those days i was consistently exhausted from being pregnant, chasing after a two year old bear and living with the tumour on my pituitary gland. any one of those circumstances alone is tiresome, but triple the effect and it’s kinda amazing that even got out of bed daily!

so, to my shame and shagrim our garden was a disaster. my parents would visit, and within an hour or so my mom would be out there trying to make sense of the weeds. it was embarrassing. we didn’t have any of the right tools for maintenance either. check out the grass in the second picture; dear hubby would try to cut it with scissors! oh, boy!

but, we’ve come a long way baby. the wildflower seeds that we threw into the yard have taken and now after a few years, they are growing beautifully and continue to seed more and more of the garden. i love them. their bold colours are so summery. my perennials are thriving and things are finally taking shape. we did cut down some trees on our property as they were leaning but we have replanted them. i didnt realise how long it would take to cut down trees on your property as it did take a couple of days but im glad its all sorted now. with this being said, as it did take a lot of time, if we had used the services of a tree surgeon, this job would have probably been done a lot better, a lot faster and would have saved us a lot of time. but at least we know for next time. when you take care of your garden, you realise how much time actually needs to go into it to get the look you are going for. saying that though, if you do want to give your garden a makeover, but are not sure where to start, getting in touch with companies who provide something similar to a Gresham Landscape Maintenance Service for example, could be something worth looking into, especially if improving your garden has been something you’ve been putting off.

this week my succulents are exploding with flowers.

the kids made some decorations for our porch (can you spot them?) and then ate apples!
check out their cute new hair do’s too!

it’s getting hot, hot, hot again here.

come find me and follow me on twitter (@bearandlionmama).

xo, mama lola

rained out…

unfortunately this morning our play date plans got washed away with the mornings down pour. so it goes in life, which reminds me flexibility is key in motherhood! so, instead of hitting the park the kids painted, played with their pop up tent, played cars, played lego and watched two episodes of “kipper”, all before 10:35am! that’s when i had to call dear hubby for some encouragement, it was going to be a loooooooooooooooong day!

after dinner tears.

after lunch and lion’s nap, the afternoon brought with it sunshine, and luckily we got to play in the backyard for a bit. the boys get so involved and engrossed in their play outside, more so than when inside. i think having the freedom to run around on an uneven terrain, listening to the sounds their environment creates, and feeling the warmth of the sun or the cool of the breeze on their sweet faces, adds a whole other layer to their imaginative play.

i love watching the kids play. i love listening to the dialogue coming from bear, as he narrates the going ons of the game to himself and/or to lion. i love listening to lion babble and sing as he follows his big brother around trying so hard to do all the things four year olds know how to do. and i love watching bear help his little brother when the littler one falls behind.
oh, brothers!

got more gardening done!
from tears to helping. what a guy!

i planted some herbs into you veggie garden, some white impatients for colour and some gladiolas, which hopefully will blossom in the grand flowers they are. fingers crossed things grow!

what do you have growing your garden or pots at you place?

xo, mama lola

flower power!

lion and i went to a nursery in the morning and bought more flowers to plant. lots of white impatients, some more lupines (my fave), rosemary, a butterfly bush and some sweet ground cover plants for which i forget the names. i would like some more ornamental grasses, but first things first…

weeds out! chives out!
(if anyone wants any chives our yard is overflowing with ’em!)

while we were out there a cement mixer pulled up and backed into the driveway across the street. another big truck miracle, and the boys were over the moon. they watched closely as the builders poured and smoothed the neighbours new porch! what unexpected fun!

the bad news from today is, i formed a terrible blister on the index finger of my right hand. it broke and reformed a few times through-out the five hours i was outside gardening. now if hurts like a mofo. excuse my language!

now, i get to relax and drink a well deserved beer.
hope those hard working ants are doing the same thing. FYI, when i packed up at 8pm there was no sign in of them! amazing!

xo, mama lola

friday, friday.

we have a fun weekend planned.

on saturday, a few friends and i are heading to the local women’s clothing swap without kids or dear husbands! last year i was so excited about the event and this year i am even more thrilled to be going. i have a lots of old clothes to contribute and am excited to revamp my wardrobe for a measly $8! last weekend was the kids clothing exchange and i unloaded a bunch of stuff the boys have outgrown and came home with a bursting with goodies.

i love these community events, because they bring people together and are so good for the spirit AND the environment!

[ i love this picture of bear.]
dear hubby is going to get his fancy new weed wacker out and wack some weeds with it! our lawn is over due for a trim and a cut, so let’s hope for sun. i am also hoping to get my fingers dirty with some beautiful fresh soil and a forsythia bush. i am going to go and buy myself one and plant it, since nobody else will!

saw these marimekko cons on pinterest and want them! they’re on sale at mother’s day is coming up, soon, so i’m going to treat myself. or maybe dear hubby will read this and treat me!

i have signed up to do NaBloPoMo for may, which means i will be blogging daily again starting tuesday. i kinda like the added pressure to write! plus, i think there’ll be lots of fun things to write about, especially since the theme will be PLAY.


xo, mama lola

starting new.

i don’t what happened to me. i’ve been intending to grow some easter grass this year, but somehow the time slipped away from me. so, i started it today. better late than never, right? bear was delighted.

then, my green thumb got an itch. so i started a few morning glory seeds and a few lupins. we’ll see if anything comes from them. i want to transfer them into my garden once the fear of frost melts away. i love morning glory’s. check out my stick markers. pretty clever, eh? idea from here.

kefir snack break. the kids love sippin’ away with their butterfly straws!

and finally, here’s tonight’s dinner. yum!

how was your day?
did you get outside and do any gardening?

xo, mama lola

spring sprung, i think.

bear received some flower seeds for his birthday. it was a whole set that came with plastic pots he decorated with a special marker and colourful stickers. since planting the seeds, bear has been planning what kinds of flowers he wants to grow in our garden this summer. definitely sunflowers, they seem to be his favourite!

i love that he has this strong desire to learn about flowers and growing things. these new curiosities have provided great opportunities to chat about growing food, farmers and what they do for us, about the environment and how we can take care of it. 

[ L-R sunflower, zinnia, marigold ]

lion also wants to be involved, but mostly just because there are fun tools involved. once it’s safe to plant seedlings outside i’ll let him plant a few himself. 

i’m trying to decide what plants i want to plant in our backyard, as well. it’s fairly shaded, which is great with the kids, because they can run around for hours back there. but, it’s tough to grow stuff. i’m hoping to get my hands on some giant or jumbo hostas to fill in some of the dull holes in the back. last mother’s day i received a hydrangea, so i hope it thrives this season. my mom gave me some ferns from her garden, but our friendly four-legged visitor loves to poop on them, and in doing so last summer he bent some of the pretty badly. hopefully they too survived horatio and the winter.

thanks to pinterest, i’ve found some great ways to take advantage of the limited amount of direct sunlight we get in the back.
like this vertical garden for our fence…

[ source ]
i like these pots, but would prefer just unpainted terracota pots with herbs growing in them.
[ source ]

i am eager to get digging and have dirty fingernails (well, not really dirty), but it is only march 14th and up where we live the rule is after may-2-4 long weekend it’s safe to plant stuff in the ground. that midas well be a million years from today.

what kinds of things will you plant this growing season?

xo, mama lola

may, it’s a funny time of the year.

May is a time of year when my feelings and emotions go a bit wild. I feel nostalgic, because that’s when I went tree planting and fell in love. I feel antsy and want to get outside and get my fingers dirty with dirt, but alas, it’s still a bit too early to plant seedlings. I feel excited to wear dresses and skirts, but am terrified of blinding the world with my phenomenally white legs. I feel happy about the warmer temperatures, but am terrified of the heat and humidity the summer heat waves have in store. Many people visit somewhere like Barnett Electrical: AC installation in Oklahoma City at this time of year in aticipation of the summer heat. Having air conditioning installed is a bit too organised for me though – I’m all over the place.

May is also a time of renewal and growth and I have discovered my love for gardening in recent years. I love to watch as the trees change from their winter’s sleep to a summer’s glorious green. I get excited waiting for the first bulbs to blossom and as the weather gets warmer everything blooms like a wave. Each waiting before taking its turn.

I think the clover took in the back yard! Yippiiiii! There are definitely some positive signs of three leafed growth and this makes me tremendously happy. Especially considering the white clover has a 40% failure rate. Keep ’em fingers crossed though, we’re not quite out of the woods yet!

I need these dudes in my life.

In May, the sun hangs out longer in the evenings, sitting all pretty-like in the horizon shining directly into bear’s room *. He doesn’t seem too bothered by the sun. He’s got rolly blinds and penguin curtains from my childhood, but something has changed his sleep habits this May. We keep finding him curled up on the glider in his room. Usually he’s got company too; a soft toy or two or five and blanket or two. Once he was under the seat cushion (which is actually meant for an IKEA sunchair!). So bizarre!
(* not that we’ve really had any sunny evenings.)

Imagine the cushion folded over him, that’s how I found him, snoring away!

That’s Lulu Rose, Bear’s bulldog under his butt!

Speaking of sleep… our beautiful hammock is nearing its end as a place of sleep for Lion. He’s getting too big and strong. It’s been a worthwhile investment and I cannot imagine ever parting with it. Lion sleeps there for a nap a day or so. He has also successfully been night weaned and I forgot to mention anything, because it was so uneventful.

I can’t tell if this engraved stone I found at a local park is sweet or scary.
Oh May,
you have once again really confused me this year!

xo, mama lola

flowers are to be admired.

we had a wonderful relaxing weekend just the four of us. we went on a mini adventure to explore a local garden nursery. we walked through all the various sections in the glorious sunlight, soaked in the warmth pouring down on us. walking through the rows of pansies, violets, geraniums, mums and whole slew of other beautiful flowers, it really got my fingers itchy for the earth’s soil. it’s still a bit too cold to plant anything into the ground where we are. However, if and when it warms up, I can’t wait to plant some beautiful flowers and plants. I’ve already been looking into some plant pots from RediRoot that offer plenty of room for the plants roots and aeration to produce a well branched, fibrous root system for a healthy plant. bear kept commenting on the bright colours and interesting shapes the flowers presented; he is already an avid gardener able to recognize a small handful of flowers, like brown eyed susans.

the nursery had some funky garden statues on sale for $159.99 that bear became enamoured of. look, they’re the same size!

bear’s new dwarf buddies.
when we got home we maintained our gardening groove. after a veggie dog lunch outside we got to work. my guys built a wonderful path from the patio to the shed. I am determined to spend more time in our garden and especially using the shed, after we were advised on getting some solar shed lights to help light our outside space. our hope is to save the grass a bit as the lawn area is quite muddy, and to be honest, I don’t like how it makes the rest of the garden look. Fortunately, my friend had this problem of her own recently, and decided to have this Installation de Tourbe, or Installation of Peat, added to her garden instead. As a result, her high quality natural lawn can now be easily maintained, as well as looking perfect surrounded by her garden shed and flowers. But, we really do want to try and save the bit of grass that we have. Either that or we’re going to somehow look at more space for another shed from the likes of EasyShed Garden Shed manufacturers and enjoy oursevelves some more gardening storage. we bought some white clover to see into the lawn as it is quite low maintenance. unfortunately it has 40% failure rate for getting it going, so fingers crossed everyone!

eventually i hope to plant lots of shade loving plants, like hostas, into that space by the fence as it is quite covered by the trees during the day. if anyone has any suggestions of other shade loving plants that require minimal rays and minimal work, i would appreciate the help.

in the ergo with daddy.

my littlest cub had a tough weekend. although he enjoyed his time watching his big brother dance with dwarfs and build a path, his teething pain kept him quite sensitive. lion would instantly cry if he was set on the grass or floor, so dear hubby and i took turns holding him. i did most of the holding, since with teething comes a lot of nursing! but, this is the strange part: lion is teething his first incisor, which is weird as he does not have any of his other top teeth!


* in reference to recent events, i will leave you with a quote i saw on a friend’s facebook profile today and wanted to share it with you here. we here in canada are settling into the night wondering what tomorrow brings. it is, after all, federal election night.

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King, Jr

xo, mama lola

what a fantastic weekend!

this weekend we were outside getting a great start to the upcoming gardening season. i raked heaps of last year’s mucky leaves and dear hubby emptied, layered and re-organized our two compost bins, while our wee beasts played in the glorious sunshine and warm temperatures. as we cleaned up debris we were witness to the start of new life and the regeneration after winter’s bitter cold. spring really is all about the renewal of life and is such a big part of the cycle.
it is re-energizing.
we have one little, yet beautiful, crocus in full bloom in our front yard. it has many companions just waiting to reveal their bright faces to the sun. my chives are working hard too.
we have lived in this little house of ours for almost a year.


and now something completely different…

ok. i have to tell you guys about this great event i went on saturday morning. i saw some local friends posting about an event on facebook: “women’s clothing and accessory exchange”. a clothing exchange you ask? well, the way it worked was, all the clothes were donated and if you attended the event and brought a bag of donations you paid $5 to get in, if you donated nothing then you paid $10. then, and this really was the best part, you got to pick and choose through all the clothes, shoes, purses, belts, jewellery and take whatever you wanted. just like that, no questions and NO $$$! the only catch was that all the donated items had to be spring themed, which honestly is not a catch, but logical really. i came home with some pretty home-made mitts, some cute tees, light knitted sweater things, a few dresses, oh and a totally awesome turquoise and red belt! this whole event was so amazing; not only is it affordable for someone like me (no $$$, unemployed hubby), it recycles other people’s goods which is fantastic for the environment, but it also builds local community. there were two rooms, one for the goods and the other where local crafters and artisans had donated things for the silent auction, there were comfy chairs where one could drink the coffee or tea offered or snack on some of the yummy treats, while others tried on clothes and modelled outfits asking for opinions. just writing about it is killing me, the atmosphere was so comfortable, fun and light. 

this was a great way to start my saturday morning. i went alone, without any babies or kids or a husband to herd and watch for. i took my time, chatted with a few familiar and some unfamiliar women, gave some fashion advice (i know, me haha!), and had a chance to re-charge my batteries. 

check the velour pants. sexy mama!

and one last question: should i open an etsy shop? this is where my head is at. with dear hubby’s work situation i gotta make some money for my family and working outside the home seems unrealistic at this point. opinions? other income ideas?
xo, mama lola
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