hi there. again. i think.

i have a had a really tough year.

well, 2 years actually. tough in a way that has made it hard to come to my blog and share. tough to get creative. tough all around.

i’m not quite ready to get into the details of the rough days in this super public place, even though this is my place to share anything.  for now, i am choosing privacy for the time being on the me side of things, but am hoping to increase posts with the family side of things. cuz life has been BUSY!!! and when i say busy, i mean BUSY!

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i don’t even know where to begin!

i’ll start here… my last post from march was about the volunteer work i was doing with the refugees fleeing war torn syria. sadly, my volunteering ended with the syrian newcomers project quite abruptly at the beginning of spring. the wheels of bureaucracy had a very specific direction they wanted to turn, which meant the clothing warehouse had to closed.  all of us volunteers were caught off guard by the news, but so it goes, sometimes you just have to go with the flow.  i am proud of the work i did, of the men and women i worked with to sort mountains of clothing and household items donated by the wonderful people of our city.

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and then there’s the big, fun news…

we sold our beloved peppermint patty in the spring and bought a new house closer to the kids school, on a quieter street. we were sad to leave our first wee house, but are thrilled with the new name-yet-to-be-decided house that sits in a better location, providing more space and the thing that the kids love the most is that they each get their own room!

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we moved to the new place in july and enjoyed our summer getting to know the house. it came with a super awesome hot tub, which we have put to good use a lot since moving in. we haven’t made any cosmetic changes yet, opting to live here first to figure out what exactly what we need vs. ant to do.  our walls are currently all various shades of brown (poo brown) so we will slowly start by changing those. and when i say we, i mean me. hahaha!

more details of the new house to come for sure.

 

a few days after moving went on a fantastic canoe camping trip to killarney provincial park.

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it was such a great trip. yes, there were tears, but there were mostly smiles and jokes and fun times. camping like this is an enormous amount of work for all, but we came together as a family and conquered the bugs, showing them we could have a blast no matter how much they bit us! we’re already making plans for another canoe camping trip for next summer.

school started in september for the boys. they are thrilled with their classes, enjoying school and their buddies so much these days. it really is such a satisfying sensation to watch your kids gain all sorts of new skills, absorbing knowledge and creating strong bonds with their peers.

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next up, coming soon…

pictures from out AMAZING family vacation to costa rica. we just got back late monday night and i am super pleased with the pictures i got. costa rica is such a beautiful country, rich with nature and the people there are super lovely. we stayed at an all-inclusive for the first time EVER, which felt like paradise. there was no meal planning to worry about only delicious restaurants to visit and taste test. we enjoyed beautiful fresh fruit and fresh baked sea food right from the sea! the service was incredible with staff always meeting our needs with a smile.

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costa rica is such a beautiful country, rich with nature and the people there are super lovely. we stayed at an all-inclusive for the first time EVER, which felt like paradise. there was no meal planning to worry about only delicious restaurants to visit and taste test. we enjoyed beautiful fresh fruit and fresh baked sea food right from the sea! the service was incredible with staff always meeting our needs with a smile.

here i am with my glorious sea salt parched hair, smudged mascara sucking back my super delish strawberry daiquiri! YUM!

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anyhow, i am hoping to get back to the swing of things here.

i know i have said that before, but maybe this time it will be my time for an actual comeback!!!

xo, mama lola

summer, summer!

summer is officially HERE and the kids are done school on thursday … WOOHOO!

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summer holidays brings with it a new set of routines and feelings. the warm breezes inspire different play, the hot temperatures make us crave different foods and all of that tends to slow us down a bit. this summer i have not made as many plans, hoping to inspire a more relaxing, spontaneous summer for my kids. you know the kind where we hear about some fun event happening and just go, or hop on our bikes and decide to spend the day by the river catching bugs! 

we do have a family camping trip booked for killarney, which is said to be the most beautiful place in ontario. i am excited to experience it with the kids filling our days with hikes, swimming and whatever other adventures we can find. 

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as the kids get older, i think in their free time they need less scheduled structure, because they experience so much of it school. i remember my summers growing up in finland were days of play with my friends. we would get into complicated long games and spent hours outside climbing trees, biking and running. my friends and i would take our barbie’s and my little pony’s outside, creating elaborate adventures for them too. sometimes we would show up at someone’s house asking for food or a drink. i had a lot of freedom, which was really great.

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the world is different today. society is different.

but, i am keen to loosen the reigns and find ways for the boys to find independence. i want them to have fun. lots of fun this summer. and, i want to have fun too and the freedom to do some of my own things too!

HAPPY ALMOST SUMMER VACATION EVERYONE! 

xo, mama lola

well, i failed!

 


quote, inspiration

source

ARGH!

well, i royally failed that minimalism challenge i started in january. remember that? BAH!

(*excuse as i hide my face in shame.) it’s a little frustrating, especially since the challenge was pretty simple… you know, minimal, that i couldn’t get my shit together and just do it.

i just couldn’t remember to check what the next days challenge was, follow through or do anything challenge related for that matter. i completed a handful of days before total and utter failure! i have no excuses, but i can rhyme off a million reasons i failed, ready?

i am: forgetful, scatter brained, clueless, easily distracted, lazy, unmotivated, great at making lists but terrible on the follow through, tired, busy, and so and so on. you get the idea!

quote, inspirational quote

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quote, JFK quote

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i’ve been struggling lately with keeping on track. staying motivated. remembering. sometimes it’s an uneasy feeling, you know, feeling like you’re flailing a little. i’m riding this wave with the hope that it is temporary.  i am typically the kinda gal who remembers everything, and when i say everything i mean EVERYTHING . i can tell you what i was wearing when i got lenny kravitz’s autograph in 1994, what my grades were in grade 11, what song was playing the first time i slow danced with a guy, what DH was wearing the first time we kissed all those years ago… i remember birthday’s, anniversaries etc etc. but, as of late all those bits of information seem to be filed further in my brain, harder to retrieve and sort.

do you have any great tips or tricks that help you to remember to do things? to keep you on track, so you’re not always running around at half speed, because you’re scrambling to remember… what am i supposed to be doing?

 

this final quite that i am sharing, is really how i feel most of the time.

quote, so much to do

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good luck with all you have to do! all those pesky responsibilities, birthday gifts that need purchasing, cars that need their oil changed and crafts that are waiting completion!

happy monday lovelies!

xo, mama lola

minimalism challenge, are you up for it?

the new year puts a lot of pressure on everyone. a new year, new chapter, clean slate so it’s time to get all those things on your to-do list done: lose weight, change eating habits, start hitting that hot yoga studio regularly, stop yelling at your kids, go to bed on time, stop drinking caffeine, stop eating sugar… blah, blah, blah! although, most of these goals are great, but when you start them all at once it is a bit overwhelming… right?

keep it simple, winter,

 

so one day as i was wasting time on pinterest, i saw this (see pink chart below).

a super easy, fun, DO-ABLE 30 day minimalism challenge from into mind!

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um, how much do you love the minimalism, the simplicity of this challenge?

anyone can do this. ANYONE.

are you in?

 

sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring about big change… right? i am starting this challenge tomorrow january 27th, 2015. i don’t want to wait for a new month so start when i am motivated NOW. i will of course share my successes and (epic) failures as i move through the days of this challenge.

let me know if you’re going to join me!

 

 

xo, mama lola

x-mas countdown!


 

this morning i was out and about when i overheard someone say “NOVEMBER 25th” and my heart almost stopped. gasp!

is it really ONLY

a month until christmas?!?!?!?!

i don’t feel as panicked about the holidays this year, but truth be told i think i’m in denial. we are still doing renovations in the kitchen (c’mon IKEA deliver our cabinets already!), which has really thrown me off my game. my days are filled with pockets of time where i paint ceilings, or folds laundry, or clean away the drywall dust that is snowing at my house! i am not quite ready in my mind, and i’d love to pull out some decorations to get us in the mood, but with all the drywall dust that is snowing at my house it’s just not realistic… YET!

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source: painted pattern

as always, i have lots of ideas of what i’d like to paint, felt, sew or craft for gifts; i have projects i’d like to create with the boys, but there really aren’t enough hours in the day, or days in a week! bah!

that being said, i am cutting myself some slack this year.

and, i’m not just saying that. i really am.

no, honestly!

i get caught up in the to do list forgetting to enjoy things more. this year i really want to enjoy things… who cares if we end up buying x-mas cards instead of making them? does that make me bad mum? i don’t think so. i am the only one who sets these impossibly high standards for myself and sometimes it’s ok to do things differently!

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get this free printable from upcycled treasures!

so, bring it on, the countdown on… here’s what my to do list looks like this week. hoping to paint tonight, tomorrow after lion’s school trip to the grocery store i will check my gift drawer for advent calender items for the kids.

to do list

 

i will leave you with this silly…

 

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print by: stacy rajab

 

hope you are feeling on the ball this season! feel free to share your tip and tricks for staying organized!

happy counting down, friends!

xo, mama lola

stamping with food & natural treasures!


stamping with food, stamps, nature crafts

my kids love to paint and be creative. so, when we headed up to the cottage for the may long weekend i decided to plan a fun activity for the boys to try out. there are so many posts and pins about painting and stamping with food. i was a little weary at first, as the thought of wasting perfectly good food for crafts seemed so arrogant, but i found ways of negotiating around. for example, only painting with the tops of peppers and bottom of the celery stem. we also gathered some lovely natural items we found on the forest floor, like a bird’s feather, cedar branches and various leaves.

 

stamping with food, natural stamps, kids crafts

to get started i had all of our supplies ready and waiting for the kids.  i cut the food items, placed a few colours of paint on some tupperware container lids, got our paintbrushes out,  set out a container of water for rinsing the paintbrushes, placed paper under rocks so they wouldn’t fly away and made sure my camera battery was charged! haha!

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stamping with food, art outside, kids crafts,

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stamping with food, kids crafts, art outside, nature crafts

painting, like eating, is so much better outside. the mess is easier to deal with and there’s something wonderful about listening to the birds sing while being creative. we also lucked out with a sunny day with only a light breeze. there is so much inspiration in the nature that surrounds us.

 

i hope you get a chance to do this craft with your kids!

xo, mama lola

here & now: a VENT!

this here & now has a slightly different tone than previous ones. i have some beefs i want to get off my chest so here goes…


1. you know the swedish home furnishings store, IKEA? well, it’s IKEA not Ikea, like many people think. IKEA is an acronym, like SCUBA. i have just sent an email to house & home, a home decorating media biggy with it’s own magazine and tv channel and website ecetera. anyhow, they keep referencing IKEA as Ikea and it is driving me batty! with all those fancy (pretentious) designers and that absolutely over the top lynda reeves, and nobody knows. really? REALLY? i’m curious to see if they get back to me, or better yet publish my snarky email! ha!



2. this vent is more close to home. bear has started not liking what is served at dinner. i made alphabet soup from scratch with lots of veggies and beans and the always fabulous letter pasta, and he refused to eat it. usually he inhales it. he apparently wanted soup we could mix sour cream into instead. then one day he asked for pasta for dinner, so that’s what we made and he refused to eat it. yesterday i made stir fry which he did not eat. today when i asked him what he wanted for dinner, he said…. rice. really? REALLY? 


*****


we’re into tree climbing around here these days, all thanks to margaret atwoods’ children’s book up in a tree. it’s a delightful read that bear has requested over and over again, with a slightly vintage twist. the story is about two kids who live in a tree. sweet.

i am feeling better now. thanks for reading.
here’s to a relaxing, but fun weekend!


xo, mama lola

here and now: i feel…

~ tired. but that’s nothing new.
~ excited. a friend from finland will be visiting us in a week.
~ thirsty. too lazy to get a glass of water though.
~ pleased. we are finally crossing lots of items off of our to-do list. 
~ sad. my garden is the pits this summer; too much sun, not enough water.
~ hopeful. our baby-sitter starts next week. fingers crossed the kiddos take a liking to her!
~ nervous. both of our neighbours have put their houses up for sale. yikes!
~ happy. we had a good day.



thanks for reading!





xo, mama lola

here and now: i feel…

new month. feels like a new chapter.

i want to take this opportunity to send out some love to the various supporters of my blog. i have started to accept sponsors and there are a handful of buttons on the blog from some small, mama businesses. please check out their services or products and help support mama-preneurs!

i love lists. writing them thrills me and brings a sense of satisfaction. ‘to do’ lists are my faves, especially when i can have sub-categories and doodles with arrows and stars for added emphasis or clarity. here is a list of where my heart is at.

here and now:
i feel proud of my bear wearing his glasses like a champ.
i feel scared for our future. i remain hopeful, but the nerves are kicking in. pow!
i feel sad that roo is gone. i miss him every day.
i feel irritated with the rain. although, i know now in may i will be grateful.
i feel exhausted looking at the windows around the house that need to be washed.
i feel regret that i am not pursuing a more creative life. .
i feel envious of others. it’s that whole the grass is greener thing messing with me.
i feel lucky to have my friends.
i feel love for my cubs and dear hubby.
i feel like for myself. augh… related to the aforementioned note above regarding greener pastures. like may not be love, but sure is better than 
where i was a while ago. 
















































xo, mama lola

here and now.

i am taking today’s entry’s concept from another mama blogger who i love to read.
here is a descriptive list of where i am right here, right now: 


i am….


~ listening to bear sing to himself up in bed.


~ feeling the rush of our busy weekend evaporate from my skin.


~ loving my friends deeply and wishing i lived closer to many of them and their kiddos. (heart)


~ touching my wet hair. i always shower in the evenings as i think it saves my sheets!


~ drinking water; i am parched.


~ content with life, although stress is seeping its way in through the cracks. 


~ hoping dear hubby will rub my feet tonight. he used do it nightly, but after two kids and work   and stuff he only does it a few times a week. poor me, i know.


~ waiting patiently for the big budding lilac bush by the front porch to blossom.


~ enjoying the longer days.


~ wishing for slightly warmer temperatures as we have work to do outside.


~ remembering that a year ago we bought our house, our sweet miss peppermint patty.


~ figuring things out.

lion almost walking at just over 9 months!
bear learning to walk with the vacuum at almost 10 months too!
bear LOVED the drawer under the oven around 10 months;
lion has not figured it out yet, let’s hope it stays that way!

*big difference in picture quality due to big difference in camera quality. 




xo, mama lola
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