mouth watering cranberry recipes!

cranberry recipes 1

i love cranberries!

they are such a wonderful tart flavour and can be used in so many different kinds of foods.  during the holiday season cranberries are especially popular in all sorts of goodies. here is a wonderful round-up of cranberry recipe ideas, ranging from butters to bars to salads!

cranberry butter

 cranberry recipes, christmas recipes, cranberry

the view from great island

this cake looks so scrumptious and like the perfect breakfast treat to kick off christmas day!

cranberry buttermilk breakfast cake

cranberry recipes, holiday treats, cranberry baked goods

alexandra’s kitchen

i love bark! this chocolate bark looks beautiful, but i bet is tastes way better than it looks!

cranberry and pistachio chocolate bark

cranberry bark, christmas bark, cranberry recipes

love and lemons

salsa from cranberry’s? AWESOME! gotta give this recipe a try this holiday season! great for a party!

cranberry salsa

cranberry recipes, cranberry salsa

kate’s healthy cupboard

cranberry salads are pften paired with walnuts, which is a no-no in our family as DH has a walnut allergy. this salad recipe is intense, but i bet so worth it. don’t those candied almonds sound lovely?!

cranberry and avocado salad with candied spiced almonds and sweet white balsamic vinegrette

cranberry recipes

honest cooking

i want to share my bar recipe. these cranberry blueberry bars are perfect as hostess or teacher gifts!

cranberry blueberry bars

cranberry blueberry bars, cranberry recipes, christmas treats

bear & lion

 

let me know if you have a favourite cranberry recipe and share it in the comments section!

xo, mama lola

DIY gift tags!

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i loooooooooooooooove a good gift tag!

i always often make my own, especially at x-mas time. the fun thing about gift tags is you can personalize them if you want, make them in any shape or colour, use a myriad of materials… or not… i prefer to keep them simple, but that’s just me!

i made these adorable wee tags out of cereal boxes.

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i cut up the cardboard, used a hole punch , lettered, painted and doodled the cards… and VOILA! if the back of your cardboard has some brand name or ingredients list on it (like mine) just trace your name tag card onto some pretty paper, cut it out and glue on!

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DIY gift tags

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this is just the first batch!

the next set may have some interesting embellishments on them like felt or sparkles or….
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… stay tuned!

 

xo, mama lola

dried orange slices for christmas.


 

are you looking for a easy christmas project? these dried orange and lime slices are easy, although theu do take a while to bake.but, once they are done they make for lovely decorations, gifts, wreath accents, or whatever!

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first i sliced my oranges and limes. then i placed them on a cookie sheet and baked them for about 5 hours at 170F. some people suggest using a cooking rack to bake them on, but mine is packed away because of the reno. i did flip the citrus slices every so often ensuring even drying and sprinkled some clover into them. my house smelled AMAZING!

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here are some beautiful ideas from other’s to show how use the dried slices creatively.

 

i love the look of the oranges with the greens here in a garland by buckets of burlap. this garland could be hung outside on railingor around a window. simple, but gorgeous!

orange garland_thumb

 

this jar of simmering spices is a wonderful gift idea! sheryl of the lady behind the curtain suggest offering it as a hostess gift, which i think is a great idea!

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i just love the look of this lovely wreath using dried fruits and other natural pieces from crafts 2 cherish. the textures and colours are beautiful!

wreath

 

if you do decide to make dried citrus slices, just make sure you give yourself plenty of time!

enjoy!

xo, mama lola

green christmas inspiration.


i realize it’s only november, but let’s be real here, everyone is already thinking about the holidays.

 

here is a visual aid to help when shopping for various green branches this holiday season. it’s helpful to know the names of the different varieties nurseries use. my favourites include pine branches and cedar.

 

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flores del sol

 

look at these lovely GREEN christmas ideas. they are so simple, but beautiful none the less. sometimes keeping things simple is better!

 

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odessa may society

 

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little things bring smiles

 

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frolic

 

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vintage house

i am working on posts for red, silver and gold christmas inspiration as well! check back for those holiday posts!

are you as inspired as i am to go clip a few branches and get creative?

happy crafting!

xo, mama lola

cottage thanksgiving.

cottage

we enjoyed a beautiful weekend at the cottage for thanksgiving.  it’s taken me a while to organize pictures and edit them, as our reno at the house has forced me to stay away from our home all day for a few days! bah! but, better late than never right?!

 

the weather was awesome! sunny, with a few misty moments and crisp fresh air. the leaves were a beautiful array of bright colours.  we got a lot of work done, including rearranging the wood shed, piling wood from wettest to driest. it’s very physical job, but there was 4 adults doing it,so it went well. the chipmunks were just as busy as us, running around with their wee cheeks full of grub to last them through the winter.

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with two vegans, four vegetarians and three carnivores our dinner was super delicious! we had all kinds of yummy, healthy foods that we were all so very grateful for, including tofu and bok choy sauteed in pineapple sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing (veg and not), baked squash, roasted chicken and shrimp n’ scallops sauteed in lime juice and cilantro. our bellies were too satisfied, hahaha!

 

thanksgiving table

 

my MIL found an old SUPER COOL hockey table under one of the beds. it’s wooden and dear hubby used to play against his grandfather back during his childhood. the kids loved playing this for hours and hours, so much so in fact that bear started a family tournament. he made a list with everyone’s names and then various family members played against each other. it was a lot of fun!

 

cottage hockey tournament

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there was a huge rain storm a few weeks back that washed out a lot of roads in and around the cottage. the top of the cottage driveway happens to to be located at the bottom of two hills, and there was a lot of damage. there have been issues for years and the county is always promising to fix the problems. so when we arrived on friday afternoon we found these huge boulders at the entrance of the driveway, massive diggers sitting on rocks and culverts dug out again. quite shocking and depressing, because these huge gouges are very damaging to the wildlife in the area.

 

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the portage down to the lake that runs from the road next to the cottage property line, was seriously damaged during the rain storm as well. this was a big concern to me, purely for selfish reasons as that’s where we do best tobogganing in the winter! we’ll have to wait and see what the construction ends up looking like.

 

hope you had a lovely weekend with whatever fun you got into on the long weekend!

xo, mama lola

make your own bead keychains!

 

for father’s day the kids made these awesome keychains for their grandfather’s.

aren’t they amazing?

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all they used were various sized beads, pipe cleaner and a metal ring. we have purchased beads from all kinds of sources like thrift stores and garage sales, which tend to have wonderfully strange beads in the mix for a low, low price!

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the kids created all sorts of different patterns with the beads.

once they were finished beading, we wound the two ends of the pipe cleaner tightly around the metal ring. i think it’s good for an adult to do this part to ensure the ends are attached tightly.

 

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the grandfathers loved them… OF COURSE!!!

making these took only a short time. these colourful keychains are a perfect gift idea for anyone! and, they could make perfect zipper tags as well!

xo, mama lola

painting flower pots!

now that the growing season is here i want to share a favourite project that my boys love to do… paint terracotta flower pots!

painting flower pots, mother's day, gift idea, kids crafts

it’s a wonderful way to be creative, while also learning about how things grow. my kids made each of their grandmother’s a painted pot for mother’s day and planted a geranium in them. they were so proud of their

 

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all you need are some pots, paints, brushes and we used a spray sealant to try to protect the pots from water.

i love using ice cube trays as paint trays instead, as they don’t tip over easily and the paints can be mixed well in the deep slots. my kids often paint outside as the tidying up is so much easier. plus, if they get paint all over it’s not a big deal!

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TA-DAA!

check out these lovely flower pots!

painted flower pots, kids crafts, mother's day, gift ideas, gifts for grandmothers painted flower pots, mother's day, gift idea

i love how carefree the kids are when painting. they do not get inhibited with concerns about what other’s may think of their creations. they just create completely in the moment, enjoying the paint and colours, but most importantly the process.

happy painting and planting to you!

xo, mama lola

naturally decorated easter eggs

easter eggs, naturally decorated easter eggs

easter feels like it’s late this year, but with this epic winter i think it’s kinda fitting.

although, i do love all of the pastels associated with easter, i wanted to collect a few crafts that were more natural. i just love all of the crafts below. they are all simple in colour, concept and look, which i think will make a bigger impression in the end. i am keen to get my kids to help with these project and once the snow melts we can go pick some lovely leaves and flowers of our own.

easter eggs, eggs decorated with seeds, easter

how to decorate easter eggs with seeds via diy enthusiasts

easter eggs, growing easter grass in eggs,

holiday wheatgrass eggs via momtastic life

easter eggs, decorating eggs, flowers

decorated eggs via a daily something

easter eggs, decoupage flowers,

decorate eggs with pressed flowers via the magic onions

which one of these projects will you make?

thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

xo, mama lola

a weekend getaway… without the kids!

HELLO OTTAWA!

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we were invited to a family wedding in our nations capital. after lots of humming and hawing, and figuring out how to do it all without the kids in tow, we came up with a rather exciting plan! the wedding also nicely landed a week after our 7th anniversary, so it was a great excuse to celebrate US! dear hubby and i decided to fly to ottawa on porter airlines, stay in a lovely hotel in the center of the city, celebrate the beginnings of a beautiful marriage, take in a few sights, and then hop on a train to come home. it was a great trip filled with delicious foods, lots of walking and a calm that is hard to find when the kids are around.

we climbed onto our wee plane at 9:30am in toronto and landed in ottawa at 10:15am! AMAZING! i barely had time to read my book!

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we arrived at our hotel early, but luckily we were able to check in early. lucky, because the finnish men’s hockey team was stomping all over the american team and ultimately won 5-0!!!! it meant bronze for my finn’s! then we had to rush to eat, as we had a wedding to get to!

and, this was our lunch. we found this awesome deli where the “bread” part was made of scones. i had this yummy salmon scone sandwich with a salad.

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unfortunately i have no pictures of dear hubby and i looking dapper at this wedding. but, boy did we look great! dear hubby wore his gorgeous black velvet blazer, which was perfect for this winter wedding setting! i wore a sparkly grey dress, but i was warm enough because, i wore the wrap my mum made me for our winter wedding on 2007. one side of it is a beautiful green/ purple silky material, but the other is a natural white wool where my mum embroidered the leaves all sorts of trees. it is unbelievably beautiful, and i was so happy to be able to use it again!

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it was a splendid wedding! lots of laughter, great stories and piles of love! congrats sarah & mike! xo

mello’s diner was an awesome breakfast spot for the morning after from the wedding! yummy food with fast and courteous service!

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once our bellies were full we started walking through ottawa. we soaked in the sun and enjoyed the seasonally warm temperatures. we walked from ottawa, ontario to the hull area of gatineau, quebec. look at that glorious sun!

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after walking we arrived at the canadian history museaum also known as the canadian museum of civilization. i have to admit this is one of the best museums i have ever experienced. everything about it was fantastic! please, go check it out if you can!

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this is the grand hall. and, WOW is it ever grand! it is a hall will enormous totem poles that were carved by strong, creative hands. the totem poles  stand proud holding onto the stories their makers wanted to share. they are breathtaking.

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at the far end of the grand hall has a set of curvy stairs. above the stairs high on the ceiling is a stunning mural “morning star” by alex janvier. the colours, the energy and the rhythm was exhilarating. it was impossible to get a good picture of it, but trsut me when i say, it was stunning!

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canada hall is one of the permanent exhibits at the museum. it is this fabulous meandering walk through the thousands of years of history our land holds. the layout is unbelievable, as you walk from one century to another, it feels as though you are outside walking along the streets of a prairie town during the 1900’s or strolling through a 60’s airport waiting lounge littered with ashtrays and funny payphones! it is great for people of all ages and i look forward to the day i can take my boys there!

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ottawa is a wonderful city. not too big, busy or overwhelming the way many big cities are. so much history, beautiful architecture and plenty to see.

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this is our parliament building. it’s where the big wigs make, um…. mostly terrible decisions on our behalf. haha! but, it is a beautiful building with lots of history.

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and, rideau canal.

daytime.

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nighttime.

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this was the hotel we stayed in. the lord elgin. it is in the center of town walking distance to the byward market, parliament hill, rideau canal and so much more! it was built during the war in 1941 and there are so many wonderful details left from that time period.

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on the morning of our departure, we went to the byward market to load up on delicious goodies like montreal style bagels, bearvertails, coffee, and lunch for our train ride back to toronto.

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this was our lunch on the train. a couple of different deli salads and some yummy grilled veggies with rice ‘n beans.

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on the train i was feeling super anxious about seeing the kids. i have never been away from them for so long and i was missing them deeply. this three day, two night separation felt like an eternity, but i know it was something we all needed. the kids had a wonderful time with my folks, which i knew they would!

here we are arriving at union station in toronto.

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on this mini-getaway we traveled by car, ferry, plane, city bus, taxi, train and subway! oh, and let’s not forget by foot as well! with our trusted pack from our worldly adventures from way before the kids were ever even thought of, we did what we do so well together. we traveled. it may not have been to another country, another continent, or anything super adventurous, but it was a trip where we arrived at our destination hand-in-hand with big smiles on our faces eager to explore. there were no strict schedules or time constraints, no kids begging for attention or melting down from low blood sugar. although, dear hubby was hit with a cold, we still had a great time just the two of us.

HAPPY 7th ANNIVERSARY to US!

xo, mama lola

dinosaur cake! ROAR!

for bear’s 6th birthday he had requested a dinosaur cake. we went on the internet and looked at ideas, but everything looked super complicated and out of our cake-making league. so, DH and i decided to make a scenery cake, instead of an actual dinosaur. we used carrot cake for the land and volcano, everything was heavily slathered with icing from a container and we added weird rock looking candies, raisins and cinnamon sticks all over for interest. for lava, we used strawberry jam and we made a dino’s nest with cadbury’s mini eggs! the dinosaurs themselves are plastic toys.

the kids were amazed and i have heard back from many parents about this awesome cake! haha!

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INSTRUCTIONS:

1. bake 2 cakes of your choice. any type of cake is fine, as it’ll be covered with icing anyway. our fave is carrot cake and the kids all loved it! find the recipe HERE! we baked one 9″ X 13″ for the land, and one 9″ X 9″ for the volcano.

2. cut up the smaller cake into triangular pieces and build your volcano. it doesn’t have to perfect, as it’ll be covered with icing, jam and dinosaurs!

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3. slather a thick layer of icing all over the volcano and land. i left it very imperfect, hoping it looked more realistic!

4. we added candy, raisins and cinnamon sticks for various landscape features. we also made a nest with dino eggs!

5. add the strawberry jam last. i just spooned it on top of the icing trying to make it look like spewing lava. kids thought it was pretty cool!

6. i made a simple tree out of two pipe cleaners; one green one and one brown one. i couldn’t find and plastic trees, so my pipe cleaner had to do!

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here’s the birthday boy blowing out his candles! so cute!

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check-out the adorable name tags i made for this birthday party HERE.

and, coming soon are details on the other dinosaur crafts we got to for the party!

xo, mama lola
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