reindeer cookies!

we made these super cute. super yummy, super easy reindeer cookies after school one day. it was great way to get some christmas cheer into dull monday afternoon, as we also had our CHFI holiday music cranked!

reindeer cookies b

the recipe is from pillsbury, CLICK HERE for deatils. there’s no mess, it’s fast, easy and the kids LOVE the whole process so much!

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just a few tips :

  • remember to buy the small pretzels as the cookies expand A LOT as they bake, so you need to be generous with the spacing or the “antlers” can fall off when you’re removing from the cookie sheet.
  • get your christmas helpers to decorate fast, because at the cookies set the candy eyes and noses just wont stick!
  • we used swedish berries and M&M’s for the eyes and noses. more colourful!
  • this is the only time i buy cookie dough in a tube, and i just let it go! haha! you should too!

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we actually baked these gems a few christmas’ ago when bear and lion were three years younger than they are today… man, have those kids grown up a lot in that time! so amazing! check out the adorable pictures HERE!

ENJOY!

reindeer cookies 4

reindeer cookies 2

xo, mama lola

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

kids felt christmas tree crafts!


 

the other day i pulled out my colourful felt scraps to get crafty on a snowy afternoon. my wee lion was sick from school so it was the perfect time to get creative!

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i cut out some very asymmetrical christmas trees, which my lion then decorated. he cut out various shapes from the felt and delightfully glued them to the felt trees. he was so happy  and pleased with the outcome… as was i!

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christmas tree felt crafts

(i cut out the starts for him.)

then i found scrap burlap in the depths of my fabric collection, and he made a beautiful nature scene with rocks and a bright blue sky (how finnish of him!) all on his own. bear came home from school and started to make a christmas scene of his own!  i did quickly zip around the edges of the burlap squares with my sewing machine to help prevent fraying.

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aren’t they so fantastic? not sure we will use them as wee holiday table cloths or hang them up as decoration on a wall.

i LOVE, LOVE setting out various crafty supplies and watching the creativity flow out of my boys. what their imaginations produce is sometimes so different from what i would have thought of. kids really are cool (when they are not whining or fighting about what’s for dinner!)

xo, mama lola

wednesday, wednesday to do list!

well, it’s wednesday and i’m sipping a lovely flavoured coffee i treated myself to yesterday. it’s hard to feel motivated when all i want to do is curl back into bed. so, to try and get the ball rolling i made a to do list.

i like lists. they help me. keep me organized. motivated. on track.

usually!

 

today’s to do list:

1. hit the gym

2. shower 

3. tidy kids room

4. tidy the office

5. vacuum main floor

6. book hair appointment

7. put away laundry (it’s all folded and has been sitting in the basement for days!)

8. sew, sew, sew!

 

i think that’s all i can realistically fit in for today. i’ve already actually done two things from my list: i hit the gym and have showered! i included them to make myself look and feel better… lame, i know! hahaha!

DH finished putting in the kitchen floor last night so i gotta get things tidied and vacuumed before all the kids come home from school. i look after some kids after school a few days here n’there and i like to tidy before they come, and clean once they have left! haha! our reno is now in the fun stages of pretty things being built and stuck to place. all the dirty work like plumbing and ripping out drywall is a distant memory at this point! i will share pictures of the reno soon…. promise! things are really looking and feeling different at our house!

 

christmas tree 2

 

we even got our living/ dining rooms in order for x-mas. our tree is up and decorated. there are some other festive things out on display, although our IKEA kitchen is stacked in the dining room corner… but that’s all temporary!

time to get to work!

HAPPY WEDNESDAY PEEPS!

xo, mama lola

white christmas ideas!

white christmas ideas

white is one of my favourite colours for the home.  white holiday decorations are fresh, bright and work well with all other colours! at christmas time white is festive with all the connections to snow and ice, and looks so great with the traditional colours like all the deep reds and rich greens.

here are some of my favourite ideas after looking online and on pinterest for inspiration.

white xmas 1

sarah louise matthews

white christmas ideas 2

a beautiful mess

white christmas ideas 3

the house that lars built

white christmas ideas 4

wit & whistle

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bear & lion

i hope these beautiful projects inspired you as much they did me!

may your day be merry and bright!

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!

quote3

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

DIY felted bowls!

i’ve always loved felt products, the texture and colours they hold are beautiful. this holiday season i’ve decided to make lovely felt bowls from roving wool. last year i made felted soaps, which were my first efforts working with roving wool. i immediately fell in love. there is something so simple about felt, but the surprise colour combinations and patterns you get from wet felting is wonderful.

felted bowls, felt crafts, christmas crafts

you don’t need any special supplies except for the roving wool. i found mine in packages with 4 different colours for $14.99 from michael’s craft stores, which fits in perfectly with the budget of $25 or less for a homemade holiday event i joined. see details at the bottom of this post on that!

 

WHAT YOU NEED:

roving wool

balloons

panty hose (any colour)

scissors

hot water source

dish soap

bowl/ cup

 

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. blow up your balloon. if this is your first time working with roving wool i recommend starting smaller. my balloon was about 20 cm’s in diameter.

 

2. choose which colours of roving wool you want to work with.

 

3. in a bucket or kitchen sink cover your balloon with warm water and dish soap. make sure you lather up the rounded side and not the knotted end. the soap makes it easier to get the felted wool off of your balloon. once lathered set in your bowl or cup with the knotted end down.

 

4. this is where the fun starts! start layering the roving wool on to your balloon. whatever colours you lay on first will be the inside of your bowl. i recommend using different thickness’s and lengths of the wool, and make sure you lay it all directions…. horizontal, diagonal, wavy, vertical. this ensures beautiful textures, colour combinations and better coverage.

felted bowls, felt crafts, crafts

5. the roving wool will be loose and resemble a fro, so it’s a bit confusing to imagine how it will shrink into a gorgeous bowl! but, it WILL! you will want to layer more rather than less, so just keep at it!

 

6. once you are satisfied with your layering, take your panty hose cut a section from the waste area wide enough to fit over your balloon. tie a know at one end super tight, then stretch the hose over your wooly balloon, trying not to move the layers. this part is tricky, so if you can get an assistant then do it! you want your balloon to look like the photo below. *

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7. now, place your panty hose covered balloon in your kitchen sink, gently add hot water and lather with mild dish soap. rub your hands all over the balloon to create gereat lather. do this for a long time. the friction is what causes the felting. you can turn the water off so as not to scold your hands. i found a rhythm… water, soap, rubbing, water off…. water, soap, rubbing… again, it’s better to felt longer, because then it will create a tighter bind. * in the above picture the roving wool left a loose edge to the bowl, so i just pushed it down while rubbing to create a more defined edge.

 

8. remove panty hose (undo knot or cut off). then roll ot off your bowl. do this very slowly and gently. i found that my wool and entwined into the hose, but with gentle pulling it came apart. pop the balloon to remove from felted bowl. now you want to rinse your bowl very well in cold water to ensure all of the soap is rinsed out and to finish the felting action.

felted bowls

9.  gently squeeze dry  and use a hair dryer to get it mostly dry. let sit over night before gifting.

felted bowls, roving wool crafts, felt crafts, christmas crafts

after making three bowls i still have some roving left over and i have a few ideas of what to make with it.

felt bowl, felted bowl, felt crafts, roving wool

roving wool crafts, christmas crafts, felt crafts, felted bowls

these beautiful bowls are a great homemade gift, with such minimal cost, but with HUGE impact…THEY’RE GORGEOUS!

they are made with love, consideration and creativity.

 

these sweet bowls can be used as flower pots, for example, or just as decorative pieces.

felted bowls, DIY felt crafts, christmas crafts, roving wool crafts

i just love the way the felted bowls turned out! one of my best projects if i do dare brag a little!

follow this hashtag >>>  ‪#‎CDNHandmadeHoliday‬  <<< and find other awesome homemade gift ideas for under $25! i can guarantee that the projects will be AWESOME as they are from super creative, super smart and SUPER AWESOME CANADIAN BLOGGERS!

 

happy felting!

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!

dried orange slices 2

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!

Simmering-Spices-Lady-Behind-The-Curtain-1

 

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.

 

christmas greens 1

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!

 

christmas greens 2

odessa may society

 

christmas greens 4

little things bring smiles

 

christmas greens 3

frolic

 

christmas greens 5

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

where is spring: i am losing myself.

i know much of the talk recently for so many of us has been this epic, long winter. it has been cold and snowy, and when i say cold and snowy i don’t mean your typical winter freeze! i mean exceptionally cold temperatures that have dragged on for months, topped off with exceptionally high snow fall, which has led to a winter of great efforts! initially, we all loved the winter activities we were able to jump into so quickly but, now i think my mental health is on the edge. i am trying to hold on, but i feel myself slipping into a sadness, a lethargy and a feeling of total, blah.

 

my insomnia is back. last night i was up until 2am, thinking and thinking about all sorts of things. i tip-toed downstairs, found my computer, sat down to blog a little, then i checked-out pinterest and after an hour decided to go back to bed. recently, the pain in my neck that travels all the way down the right side of my body is back, as well. i had it last spring and it completely immobilized me for a few days. i am trying to keep my head up, but sometimes it feels as though i am fighting against my own body.

 

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the kids are exhausted by the weather as well. last year at this time, we had enjoyed many warm spring like days wearing only raincoats or sweaters, instead of still piling on our woolies, snow pants and parkas. they are completely disinterested in tobogganing or going on winter hikes or going ice skating; they want to run and play without the restrictions of snow. i get it, cuz SO DO I! on the weekend is was pretty cold on sunday, but dear hubby got the kids out to play after some serious convincing, and the guys had a great time! i think their mental health is affected by this long, never ending winter as well. they are eager to get back on their scooters and bikes, fly kites and make some awesome mud pies!

 

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check-out their amazing work in -10c conditions, where the snow is covered with ice making it hard, instead of compact and easy to build with. they really got serious about building their igloo; bear stayed inside organizing ice blocks that his little brother was delivering to him. the team work they demonstrated was quite touching.

 

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i am hoping to find some energy and motivation soon.

i want to play outside, get dirt under my fingernails and watch as the trees all come back to life. it is impossible to even think about gardening, as there are snow mountains 2-3 meters high in our front and back yards. it will take a long time for all of it to melt!

 

how are you coping with this winter?

what’s the weather like where you are?

 

happy tuesday to you!

xo, mama lola
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