lion’s 3rd birthday party!

last weekend we celebrated my youngest boy, lion. it was such a wonderful weekend spent with family and friends.

we had dear friends come and spend the night before the party at our house. the kids had an awesome time playing, finding inch worms, climbing fences, playing games, while us adults had an opportunity to catch-up.

this is how it started! BEER!
every time dear hubby or i are drinking beer’s, lion wants to try it. he loves the taste of beer and keeps going after the bottle, it’s funny at first, but then it becomes a little concerning! haha!

we played. did gymnastics. chatted. laughed. watched tv. ate. drank. and laughed some more!

we had such a fun time together!
the kids were delighted to have so much time to play. then the next day was PARTY TIME!!! 
i tried to keep things simple food wise; fruit kabobs, crackers, cheese and gravlox salmon, watermelon, and cookies!

the kids LOVED the pinata!

after the games it was time for business.
we made lion a layered ice cream cake. it was so yummy and perfect for a hot summer birthday!

and just on cue, as soon as we all sang happy birthday to my littlest guy, i got all choked up with emotions and tears. i looked over at my mom, and saw her looking at me with tears in her eyes. haha! they were tears of joy and pride, but this is what we do in my family; we cry about everything!


xo, mama lola

summer beach day in kincardine.

if you have never been to kincardine, ontario, you should try to make it a destination for a day trip or longer vacation. we try to visit kincardine once a summer, which is a tradition that started way before we ever had kids.

the beaches are amazing. on one side of the main pier it is sandy and soft, the other it is rocky and pebbly. the waves that crash the shores are always cool as the water in lake huron never gets too warm!

the main strip in town has a variety of stores and chip stands, so there’s yummy grub for all! we left home in a hurry that morning, and i forgot to pack the kids’ bathing suits (duh! slaps palm to forehead) sowe had to stop at a box store to buy new bathers for the kids! haha! 

the kids love kincardine. it is small and during the busiest of times, it was still pretty calm. there is enough to keep them busy and happy for the day. even dear hubby got to work on his new thing, his strength training. which is lots of jumping without a running start. he’s getting pretty good at it!

we played at the different beaches, ate picnics on the different beaches, found a playground with lots of other kids for the boys to play with, we drove around the town a little so lion could nap and bear could have some quiet. we left just before sunset.

it was a completely nearly perfect day.
you see lion sh#t in his brand new swim trunks at one point! hence the naked bum. it’s all good, these things happen even on the best of days!

these are my instagram pics.
to follow me there CLICK HERE!

can’t wait to do it all over again next summer!

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. 

bear’s first day at tennis camp.
no anxiety just excitement and fun!

i would love it if you left a link to your { this moment }. 

xo, mama lola

learning to be bear wise.

i am scared of bears.

i live in a country and a province that has bear. black bears, to be specific.
we’ve been at the cottage and i have seen several on the property on a couple of different occasions in the last 5 years. once, when bear was about 9 months old, he and i were playing in front of the cottage when i felt like someone was staring at us, and bam, when i turned around i made eye contact with a black bear up a hill, in and among the forest about 50 metres away!

this is my sweet little guy moments before i saw the bear.

immediately i grabbed my wee baby, ran inside, ran to the window and saw the bear sniffing the ground we had just been standing on. with my adrenalin kicking i tried to find my camera to get a picture, but my hands were shaking so much and my heart was pounding in my chest… it was hard and scary…

this was the picture i got of the bear making it’s way up the driveway. my dad gave a s#it for even trying to get a photo of a bear. you see, i stepped out of the cottage, just a little to snap this photo.

i have always been slightly nervous about bears.
at treeplanting we had bears visit our camp all the time. some people even had their tents ripped open by bears, but luckily this happened when they themselves were out in the clearcut working! ha! at treeplanting there are lots of rules about how and where to keep your items with scent, because shampoo’s and even a tiny lip balm container can attract bears. their noses are so incredibly efficient and curious!

a black bear.

 [ source : government of yukon pages ]

this summer the boys, dear hubby and i are driving north in ontario for our summer road trip. we are heading up to thunder bay to where dear hubby and i met and fell in love! we plan on camping a bit, and i can honestly say that i am already a little worried. so, i did a little bit of research on google about bears.
i found this map.

source ]

it’s pretty good i think, doesn’t really make me feel better, but at least it’s a clear visual of what i should expect. and, i should expect bears.

dear hubby bought be a book “bear attacks; their causes and avoidance” after one of my bear sightings at the cottage. i read the book cover to cover, and really came to the conclusion that there isn’t much you can do to avoid a bear, or a black bear specifically. if they are hungry, or feel threatened they may attack. bears do not typically eat people, but again, if they are hungry enough they sure will. what really worries me is the realization that it is difficult to get away from a bear, especially when with kids; bears are fast runners and excellent climbers. where do we go to get away?

plus that whole making noise to deter bears, well, it doesn’t necessarily work either. it can make the bears curious and draw them TO YOU, instead of scaring them and deterring them AWAY FROM YOU. that day at the cottage when bear was a babe and we saw the bear, i was actually singing super loudly and clapping in the hopes of scaring the furry beasts, as a few months earlier i had seen another bear sniffing the baby stroller we left outside!

clearly i have not shared my concerns with the kids. they know there are bears in the woods, because it comes up in conversation, the way the habitats of all sorts of animals do. but, i will not share my fears with them either, especially since my 5YO bear, is quite anxious at times already. hopefully we will not see any bears or evidence of them, but that being said… any night we sleep in a tent i will be laying there eyes wide open listening closely to each creak and tweet in the forest. 

wish me luck!!!

xo, mama lola

millions of peaches… 20 awesome peach recipes!

we LOVE peaches! and, when they’re in season we devour baskets of them! to get ready for the world’s best peaches, which will be in season in a matter of weeks here in southern ontario, i have collected some awesome peach recipes, from pizza’s, to sorbet’s to salsa’s!
i did include a crisp and a cobbler for good measure, as well!
YUM… here we go…

 gouda and peach frilled cheese from winthrop chronicles
 carolina peach margarita from garden and gun
 bellinin sorbet from the hungry australian
rustic grilled peach pizza from love cook eat
peach cake from i heart eating
grilled peaches from the snails view
 lavender peach cobbler from the baking bird
 blackberry peach crisp from the key ingredient
peach dumplings from LGB studio
molasses glazed salmon, sweet n’ spicy peach salsa from grab a plate
sweet peach pancakes from spicy southern kitchen
 fish taco’s with pineapple peach salsa from kristine’s kitchen
peach tart from the patterned plate
peach, mango & carrot smoothie from eat, drink & be merry
 peach salad from feasting at home
peach wine coolers from annie’s eats
summer peach rolls from my recipes
peach jam from better homes & gardens
mmm… my mouth is seriously watering after compiling this peachy list of yummy peach recipe’s. let me know if you try any of them or if you have a must-try peach recipe of your own!
xo, mama lola

themed thursday: road trip activities & games! (part 3)

keeping kids content, quiet and busy is an important part of the SANITY piece for parents road tripping with kids, to preserve your sanity even further, you could consider a service like Comfort Drive where a safe driver will ensure you safely get to your destination whilst taking care of your kids. It is super important to plan ahead a bit and to know what kinds of activities will keep your kids happy, especially for those long hauls!

we don’t have DVD players in our car (by choice) and don’t have tablets, so we rely on the kids to entertain themselves and each other.


  • felt boards are super fun and a wonderful way to get the kids’ imaginations going. they are basically story boards for kids to create worlds with, where all sorts of adventures can take place.


  • last year i used cookie sheets as the board, this year i stumbled upon these adorable magnet boards at chapters. they come with magnets, but we will bring along our super, awesome 3D dinosaur magnets, which you can learn how to make HERE.
  • i also found a bag of magnet letters at value village for 99 cents.

these are the magnets i made last year for a road trip. kids LOVED them and they are still in circulation!
we made other magnets as well, which are still in use on our fridge! CLICK HERE and it will take you to how to make these awesome toys!


  • i love the idea of pictorial scavenger hunts. since my kids will be 3 and 5 years old, they won’t be able to read a long list of words. but, one with pictures is right up their alley! here’s one by the bird feed NYC, which is great, so i will use their concept, but will gear the lists towards our trip more, using specific road signs i know we will see, wildlife, sites and things. the kids can work together, which i love!
[ source ]


  • what’s a road trip without family sing-a-longs? here’s a few very fun songs that my boys really love, “old mcdonald had a farm“, “ABC“, “the wheels on the bus“, “the ants go marching “, “
  • we do also have a stack of CD’s, MP3’s and sirius radio to choose from for when we need to give our vocal chords a rest. i love to mix it up as well, playing classical, bluegrass or top 40, but sometimes it’s also good to just drive in silence.


  • my kids, especially bear, loves to play eye-spy when in the car. we still play the colour instead of the spelling version of the game! counting games are also great! sometimes we just count all the red cars we see, or all the transport trucks and so on.
  • other classic faves are (found HERE at MSN): 20 questions, license plate bingo, word chain and more!
  • older kids may like mad-libs.

  • each boy brings his fave stuffed animal.
  • we bring about 10 books and just cycle through them. sometimes along the way i will buy a new book as a souvenir for the kids.
  • markers, paper, colouring books, activity books and a few stickers.
  • small toys like cars, animals, people so the kids can create little imaginary worlds.
  • buckets n’ shovels.
  • deck of cards, UNO, other small travel sized games.

here’s what our dudes looked like last summer on our trip to the canadian maritimes. each had a plastic basket for toys at arms reach, a bin of books in the middle and it worked great.


  • and parents, don’t forget to pack some extra creativity, flexibility and patience. keeping kids peaceful in the back can be tricky at times, and sometimes when the volume of the screaming increases, it’s worth it to stop and get out for a bit. i realize this makes the trip longer, but that’s where being flexible comes into play.
  • on our longer stretches of driving, we actually would start after dinner. kids would play, have stories and would eventually fall asleep and we would drive until midnight or so. until we found a motel. it was a great way to make good time!
  • before getting in the car to drive we made sure the kids had a chance to run some beans out. whether at a motel or camp site. and we made sure the first leg of driving was short, as it’s not a very fun way to start the day. but, truth be told, maintaining any real schedule was impossible. all bedtimes and nap times flew out the window and we just had to let the kids sleep when they were tired!

what are some of your family’s favourite songs and games to play?

xo, mama lola

CANADA DAY crafts!

[ sources: moose and mounties & mountie skating ]

school is almost out for our kids here in the land of the moose, beaver and bear, which means it’s almost july 1st, which means it’s almost time to PARTY!!!! us canadians have a reserved, conservative reputation, but we should also be known for throwing a great party and bringing people together. as a land

here’s a wee round-up of canada day crafts to get the spirits up for this festive celebration.

what are your plans for canada day?
will you be wearing a red toque, drinking canadian and eating beaver tails? haha!
xo, mama lola

nothing beats family fun!

this weekend we didn’t really have any set plans. there were a million ideas floating around and items on our to-do lost that needed attention, but then i realized the local multicultural festival was happening so out we headed!

the weather was ideal for spending hours outside riding fair rides and eating ice cream. we did find some yummy indian for dinner, as well!

bear was a little grumpy about going, but got over his anxiety as soon as we arrived!

afternoons like this that happen spontaneously, when everyone is in a good mood and the weather cooperates seem to happen every 10 years or so! i am so happy that we had this fantastic day together, especially since bear has been full of extra sass and attitude recently. 

and, there was a firetruck!

the firefighters were handing out baseball cards. one of them asked the boys if they were blue jays fans, and they just stared back at him totally confused! we are not a sports family, so no, our boys have no idea who the jays are, but, they got a deck of cards anyway! woohooo!

we saw lots of friends.
we had a wonderful time.
and left right before the kids lost their cool. got home, watched a few cartoons and headed to bed!

how was your weekend?
what did you do?

xo, mama lola

my natural first aid kits.

[DISCLAIMER: i am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice.
please consult your own health care provider for specific advice. ]

we have two first aid kits.

the big white box that we purchased at the pharmacy that has a lot of the bigger supplies sits in our car. i know people have automatic external defibrillators similar to this Samaritan PAD 350P AED, however we decided that we didn’t need one, but we may get one in the future. for now i have added some of our own more natural first aid remedies to it. sometimes arnica is a better choice over advil, and sometimes a few drops or sprays of rescue remedy can help cool nerves.

a first aid kit should include:
  • bandages of various sizes and ideally latex free as latex allergies are becoming more common.
  • gauze, small scissors, tape and bandage wrap.
  • cold pack that gets cold when you manipulate it is a great idea for bruises or swelling.
  • polysporin, insect bug ointment, antiseptic towelettes.
  • non-latex gloves, like vinyl ones.
  • CPR mask/ pocket mask.

Like I mentioned before, I am not a medical professional, so we wouldn’t have all the equipment like wilson cases, wilson case or a large carry case. I also haven’t had any first aid training, unlike all the medical professionals out there. They have to get extensve training to learn the basics in first aid, to even having to deal with some of the most extreme circumstances. By doing research into something like cpr training Coast 2 Coast, this is where their training begins. This sort of knowledge is important, as it can potentially help you save a life. When it comes to myself, what I do have are the essentials to help anyone in any situation they may find themselves in. As long as we have the basics, we’ll be fine. Our second first aid kit is a small pouch with only the bare minimum of essential “aids”. these are items that come in handy for us, especially if on a hike or even just out on the town. having tweezers are great when a sliver happens, then dabbing it with a little tea tree essential oil and depending on the size of the sliver and if happened in conjunction with a fall, some arnica may help (caplets or topical cream). lip balm is great for sunburn lips or a dehydrated person.

in the picture above i also included:

  • a hair tie and bobby pins for those windy day emergencies!
  • a tampon (great not just for surprise menstrual flow, but also severe nose bleeds… stop giggling!)
  • sting swabs and antiseptic towelettes, not super natural, but potentially very helpful.
  • i included the rescue remedy tincture and spray bottles just to show options. i prefer the spray, as do my kids.
  • i also included the arnica topical cream and caplets, but walk around with the caplets more, unless one of us is nursing a bruise or an ache of sorts.

* We are an allergy family and that is why I have included benadryl even on our natural first aid kit list. We have the kids liquid and adult capsules with us, just in case one of the boys gets hit by an allergic reaction. We understand the nature of our family’s allergies, so I am not suggesting everyone walk around with benadryl, this is just what works for us.

* Make sure you check the quality of the products in your first aid kit regularly. Ensure packages are still sealed, that items have not deteriorated, especially if they’ve been sitting in a car for a long period of time. And, double check expiry dates! Medicines, creams and potions lose their effectiveness after a certain period of time.

* Recently I have also been thinking about investing in some N95 masks to protect my family. Airborne particles like viruses and bacteria can make you seriously ill, but a medical-grade face mask can protect you. If ever a virus broke out, a mask could be helpful. Anyway, a friend of mine told me that if ever you want to buy an N95 Mask Canada has some amazing websites where you can find a range of different types of face masks that are perfect for filtering out harmful particles from the air. I will definitely be doing some more research to find the right masks for us.

* I carry a small amount of money in our small first aid pouch. A few coins and a small bill, enough to able to us make a phone call, buy water or a snack.

What do you carry with you in your first aid kit?
What did I miss and should include in ours?


xo, mama lola
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