how to make fruit sushi!

fruit sushi collage 1B

my kids LOVE sushi! their favourite is the raw salmon. but, a lot of kids don’t share their enthusiasm for this japanese cuisine, so that’s why for bear’s 6th birthday i decided to make his class at school some yummy fruit sushi! i prefer these treats to cupcakes and cookies, as there are less concerns with allergens, these sushi bites are healthier and hey, they’re totally memorable too!!!

INGREDIENTS!

sticky rice (read instructions on package as they vary depending on brand)

mango, kiwi or any desired fruit

seaweed sheets

a bowl of water

* plus you will need a rolling mat

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fruit sushi 4

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. cook sticky rice as directed on package. let it completely cool down before using. cut fruit into strips, about the same thickness as an average adult finger.

2. place your rolling mat down on a flat surface, put a seaweed sheet on top, and then place your sticky rice on. try to  ensure it is spread out fairly evenly.

3. place desired fruit onto the rice and using your mat, roll the ingredients making sure they  are held together tightly. i found i had some excess seaweed at the end, so i cut it off and “glued” the edge of the seaweed sheet to the roll, by dabbing them in some water.

4. cut the roll into bite sized pieces. if they are lose and fall a part (this happened a couple of times for me) i just used more water to re-seal the seaweed ends. and, voila!

5. i served these to the kids in bear’s class as is, and some of them devoured lots. other’s were a little apprehensive about the seaweed, but i would say majority of the adorable kindergartner’s tried at least one!

HOW YUMMY DO THESE LOOK???

fruit sushi 2

 

xo, mama lola

cute pom pom crafts!

 

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before christmas i shared a tutorial on how to make basic pom poms a few different ways; check it out HERE.

pom poms

 

recently i’ve been trying to think projects that are slightly out of (my) box and then it hit me pom poms! these soft, plushy, cute things can be made of any funky colour or colours; can be made big or small or HUGE; and you can use them for a whole lotta fun activities (just check the list fox & owl shared, link below!)

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pom poms are good for from fox & owl

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look at these adorable little pom pom animals! so adorable! a must try! how to make animal pom poms from mr. printables

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these sweet chicks are perfect for easter! easter pom pom chicks from chellsen clan

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a pom pom garland like this colourful beauty could be used at parties or in a kids room or wherever! pom pom garland from everything etsy

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how cute are these rings? perfect bling for anyone wanting to be fancy! pom pom rings (with video tutorial) from sew crafty kids

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i think i may need some of these for myself! love! pom pom hairpins from sugar bee crafts

so, which of these pom pom projects are you going try? i just love the all!

xo, mama lola

10 fun kids birthday ideas!

bdayfun collage 3

we are in full birthday fever over here! my bear is turning the BIG 6 and i am in full b-day crafts mode! i am up to my eyeballs in glue, green paint, dinosaur stickers and scraps of paper! haha! we like to make a lot of our own decorations, cakes, treats and invitations, but it is time consuming! whoa! details of bear’s party prep coming soon… but, today i am sharing some wonderful ideas i found while looking for inspirations online.

BIRTHDAY INVITATIONS

DIY happy face birthday invitation from bear & lion

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sprinkled mini birthday hats from jacks & kate

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oreo pops from makoodle

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DIY no sew birthday banner from small for big

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happy birthday balloon card from the thrifty ginger

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felt crowns from kojo-designs

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ice cream cake from one charming party

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balloon wreath from fast daze

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M&M pretzel peanut butter banana’s from the sweet spot blog

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DIY pixie/ candy stick from kara’s party idea’s

although we like t get crafty, we do like to keep things on the simpler side of things, that’s why these ideas included here i love! those banana pops are a perfect party munchy, and you could use other nut butters, or nutella if you had guest with a nut allergy. and those crowns, LOVE the bold colours!  

xo, mama lola

this moment.

as inspired by souleMama; one photo from our week, no words, only an image to sum up our time as a family. one that captures a moment in time and is a visual reminder of where we were at this time in our lives.

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please feel free to leave a link to your this moment from this past week in the comments.

xo, mama lola

valentine’s day treats!

valentine’s day is all about sweets and treats! to get inspired for valentine’s day i looked for fun baking and treat making ideas i could get the kids to help with. some of these goodies are more time intensive than others, and some will definitely require adult super vision. i can’t wait  to show my after school girls these delights and they too will love making these treats with us!

valentine's day, treats,

valentine’s day also happens to be my bear’s birthday, so i think i’ll make some of these for his party. i especially like the arrows! which one is making your mouth water?

valentine's day, treats, heart treats

heart shaped rice krispy treat from the magazine

valentine's day, treats, arrows, heart arrows

cupids arrows from organize your stuff now

valentine's day, treats, marshmallows, hearts

marshmallow valentine’s day treats from the sweet life

valentine's day, treats, donuts, hearts

valentine’s day donuts from love from the oven

valentine's day treats. treats,

valentine’s day cookie from haniela’s

valentine's day treats, XO's, cookies, red and white

hugs n’ kisses treats from delish.com

valentine's day, treats, wafers

chocolate dipped wafers from flour on my face

valentine's day cookies, treats, chocolate heart cookies

chocolate cake mix cookies from sally’s baking addiction

 

so, which valentine’s day yummy-goody-treat will you make for your loved ones?

or maybe you’ll make all of them! haha! either way, ENJOY!

valentine's day, treats

 

 

xo, mama lola

valentine’s day crafts

valentine’s day will be coming up quickly, so it’s good to have some crafts ready for the kids to get busy with.

valentine's day, kids crafts, heart crafts

i’ve incuded some really sweet crafts here; a wreath, some fancy jewelry and even a wonderful heart shaped birdseed treat for our outdoor friends! at our house valentine’s also happens to be bear’ birthday, so we tend to focus on that more. but, i do love to decorate with hearts, so i think i’ll make some suncatchers with my afterschool kids, make some of those pretty jars for our dinner table and o know the boys will love to make the heart bracelets for their friends!

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heart wreath from planet forward

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bird seed heart from no time for flash cards

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heart shaped bracelet from make and takes

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beaded heart from toddler craft

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paper mache jar candle holder from fabulessly frugal

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easy heart suncathcher from happiness is homemade

which craft will you make with your kids?

xo, mama lola

christmas is all about love and family.

i realize this is a little late, but we’ve been on the go this past week with birthday celebrations and an adventure up north at the cottage for new years! we had a wonderful christmas. there were some unexpected twists and turns, forcing us to be flexible, testing our patience, but after all was said and done, it was  a wonderful christmas in the end. it was one that reminded all of us of what really matter in life, and how fortunate we all really are just because we live in canada. the 24th of december is traditionally when finnish families celebrate christmas. so, typically the boys, dear hubby and i head to my parent’s house for a beautiful christmas meal and evening. my mum decorates the house so nicely and she works hard to prepare traditional finnish foods for us to enjoy. it is very special. but, this year toronto and much of southern ontario was hit by a terrible ice storm. lots of people were without power for many days, my folks included. so, on christmas eve my parents drove about an hour to join us at out house. but, i didn’t have time to prepare much, because honestly we were all expecting the power to be restored more quickly than it was. this is where that flexibility and patience came into play; dear hubby baked some yummy treats and i made some quick appetizers with smoked salmon, baked a yummy gnocchi (recipe coming soon here) and we bought several delicious cheese; it wasn’t the kind of christmas meal my mum would make.

DSC_0222b DSC_0226b we started the evening with a glöggi toast cheering our family and health. we ate, while my parents shared stories of christmases from their childhood, which the kids were fascinated by. then, it was time to open gifts. oh, the kids had fun, fun, FUN! at the end of our evening it was clear that christmas is really all about love, family and being together.  even though our plans were quite different, unexpected and even stressful leading up to christmas eve, we all still had lots to be thankful for. we had each other, we were safe, we had resources to get food, to drive and shelter (even if it was cold for some). eventually my parents layered up and headed back to their freezing house, deciding not to stay with us, as they had stayed with friends the night previous. they were worried about the house as a city owned tree was dropping branches right on their property. but, even though christmas wasn’t what we had wanted or planned, we were all grateful to be together and share in a warm, loving evening together.

DSC_0234b the 25th we spent together as a family of four. we went tobogganing with neighbourhood friends to test out the fancy snow runner the kids received from joulupukki (santa claus). it was a quiet day of fun, games and love. again, reminding me of the meaning of chistmas for our family. spending time together as foursome, without any distractions or obligations, was truly special. then, on the evening of the 25th my mum phoned to say their power had been restored and we all hooted and cheered! it was a small, belated, christmas miracle!

on the 26th we headed to see dear hubby’s family. first we had a small tea party with his folks. we used dear hubby’s grandmother’s fancy tea cups, which was fun and special. we opened gifts and had a chance to play before heading to visit with extended family.

DSC_0285b i’m not sure why, but i didn’t really take many pictures this christmas. i was more focused on being involved in all the special moments, i suppose. sometimes i feel like an outsider when i end up taking pictures from the periphery.

i hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family, celebrating whatever traditions matter to you.

i will share some wonderful pictures from our time up north soon!

xo, mama lola

hiya january.

hiya january

well, hello there january! check you out looking all pretty and new.

a fresh new year, a clean slate, the start of something new… well, not really since all my baggage from previous years are still following me around where ever i go.

bah.

i will be posting about my resolutions soon! did you make any new years resolutions this year?

xo, mama lola

35.

i will be 35 on the 28th of december. happy birthday to me!

this is the first year in a while i don’t really feel like i’m getting older. turning 30 felt like a huge deal, and the birthdays proceeding that one have all had an aging quality to them. but, this year something is different. but, i’m not really sure what.

it’s been a year of great personal growth for me. i have come accept many qualities about myself rather than focusing on how to change things, i have learned to live with them. for some, i guess that kinda thing comes easily; not for me.  don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of traits and quirks and details i would love to improve about myself, but there are some things that just are the way they are. which is ok.

in the past i have blogged a lot about focusing on myself and learning how make myself a priority. this is a skill that i have made leaps and bounds in this past year, clearly made easier as the kids get older. hard times forced me to really look at myself, how i make decisions, why i do the things i do, say the things i say and so on. i have come to understand that i have great deficits in my confidence, self-esteem and belief in my own abilities, but i trust that with time those will improve. to balance out the hard stuff, i have placed great efforts into my personal relationships. i have tried to be social and active within my community and make connections with people. i have tried to be good friend, giving more of myself to people outside my family. i am a work in progress, and some areas require more work than others.

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as i enter the second half of my thirties, i feel optimistic. the first half was filled with babies, illness, tremendous worry, sleep deprivation, anger, and enormous stress. i am hopeful that i can leave those aches and pains behind me and move on towards new, perhaps a slightly less bumpy road. i feel grateful for so much, especially after the ice storm that hit southern ontario. with so many people freezing in their homes for days (my parents included), surviving through the holidays in unexpected ways, i will continue to try not to take my life for granted. i have said it here before and i will say it again, and i will keep saying it, because taking ones family, friends, home, cars, food, running water and everything else for granted is so easy.

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i love my birthday and this year my three guys have all sorts of secrets tucked up their sleeves. my mummo shared my birthday with me, and since she has passed there is a loneliness about it. even though my grandmother and i weren’t very close, because she lived in finland while we were here, and trying to have a telephone conversation with someone losing their hearing was next to impossible!  i will remember her fondly on the 28th and share stories about her to my kids.

i am excited to turn 35 and look forward to the adventures this new age brings.

 

 

xo, mama lola

almond cranberry biscotti recipe.

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this is a fantastic recipe from the joy of cooking. my dear hubby is the one who bakes this holiday goodie at our house! the word biscotti is italian and means twice baked biscuits. the name perfectly describes how you ultimately bake these yummy treats, TWICE (or so)! biscotti is a wonderful holiday gift, as it is easy to make and lasts a long time. it is a bit time consuming, but well worth it in the end, in my opinion. so, let’s get to it.

INGREDIENTS:

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon anise or almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
(* although we typically bake and cook without eggs, this recipe was made with eggs. at our house biscotti is more of  an adult treat, so our egg sensitive bear will not be nibbling on these)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. combine oil, sugar, eggs, zest and extracts together. then stir in flour, baking powder and salt.

2. add chopped almonds and dried cranberries. mix well.

3. shape two loaves out of the dough on parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 375F for 25 minutes.  allow loaves to cool then cut on a diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.  then, bake slices on sides for 10 minutes and turn over and bake for another 10 minutes.

4.cool on a rack. serve with a cuppa tea or coffee and dip biscotti in the drink.

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enjoy!

xo, mama lola
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