Gestational diabetes, the unknown world I experienced four years ago during my last trimester with Oli.
My world turned upside down when the scary, long glucose test was positive (and I had to take it twice to be sure, ouff), so yes, positive, at 32 weeks pregnant of my baby girl.
At first, I didn't know what to expect from this to be 100% honest.

Family history? none. A very close friend living with diabetes? none.
So this was clearly a new learning curve for this mama and the one that changed my habits, forever.

Here's what I learned from those days and what wonderful local companies like Sun Life  are doing to create awareness on how to stay healthy & active with an innovative type 2 Diabetes prevention program that I had the chance to experience a few days ago in Montreal.

Educate yourself first and learn how to prevent diabetes

After living a few weeks with gestational diabetes, I learned so many things, including that 1 in 3 Canadians are currently affected by Diabetes, but did you know that type 2 diabetes can be prevented? Fortunately, here are some smart tips you'll love to be healthier and yes, you can start little by little.
  • Learn how to control your portions: this was key to start with and it was a huge lifestyle adjustment for me and my family. We started to do snacks throughout the day with loads of veggies, fruits, and protein. 
  • Stay active: I walked more, I joined the gym and started pilates at least 3 days a week. Physical activity is key to control our blood sugar levels while keeping you relaxed and trust me, happy.
  • Sleep and be merry: I know, being a mama of two and sleeping 8 hours sounds like mission impossible, but having a solid night sleep as a routine will help prevent diabetes, yes, for real. 

What about our kids, what should we do?

Preventing diabetes in kids is as important as during pregnancy. The rise of type 2 is everywhere around us and the more I educated myself of the risks and complications during my pregnancy, the more conscious I was to teach them little the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and here's what you can do, now:
  • Skip (as much as you can) juices: We have that rule at home and we try to stick to it as much as we can. Juices are full of sugar and there's nothing better than eating real, real fruits. 
  • Make exercise, and have tons of fun: Take long walks to the park, play with the snow, bike to your school, are some of the family rituals we do every week, showing both Nico & Oli that being active can be also ultra fun! 
  • Encourage less screen time and more real activities: More crafting, more drawing and more real human experiences will also nourish their mental development, without any doubts. 

Now that we know how to prevent diabetes, how's Sun Life helping? What's Sun Life Dunk for Diabetes?

Proudly, I had the chance to meet, see and hear what's all about the Sun Life Dunk for Diabetes initiative during their special and first initiative launched in Quebec last week and I have to say, BRAVO! This program is the first one of its kind in the province, in association with  the NBA, the Toronto Raptors, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada and Sun Life, as a great organizer and host, will help kids to understand the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle and how to prevent Type 2 diabetes, including:
  •  A complete six-week program, where kids will participate in a draft party (just like the NBA draft) and they'll celebrate with Raptors personalities, signing their commitment with a contract to a new, fun, healthy living. 
  • Each week, these lucky participants will learn challenges (all basketball inspired), healthy nutrition education all encouraged by Sun Life advisors and videos featuring Toronto Raptors players (how cool is this?)
  • This program is such an inspiration to bring awareness and education to little ones of the Dawson Boys and Girls Club in Montreal. 



Want more information about this initiative? Just run here.

Always remember, we can control everything and our health should be our number one goal.
We can't buy it anywhere but we can build strong, active and beautiful kids along the way. 

Endless thanks to Sun Life for sponsoring this post and showing us this initiative in our city.
All opinions expressed in this post are entirely mine. 


I know, I know, it's THE trendiest and most millennial healthy option lately but in all honesty, WHO can resist to a yummy avo toast? definitely not me!

I'm such a picky eater when it comes to this avocado trend, and to find the best options is Montreal (asked by a ton of friends all the time) was my goal this week.

Last year, I did a major post with the essential and best places in the city, and this year, I'm bringing back allll my recommendations in the city with the best of everything, starting this week with my top 5 delicious avo toasts, yay!

Stay tuned for more, I can't wait to discover the best of our city, together!


September Surf Cafe 

Hands down, September serves one of the best avo toasts I've tried in Montreal.
Why this place: It's cozy, airy and you can do both work or a casual meal during the day.
What's special about this toast: They have a homemade avo sauce that is the perfect mix of salty, sweet and spicy, served with sunflower seeds and a boiled egg (or fried if you prefer). Seriously, guys, I could have this every single day. Try their oatmilk cappuccino if it is your first time here.

2471 Rue Notre-Dame West
Open every day from 7am to 5pm

Arthur's Nosh Bar

It's NO secret Arthur's is my forever favourite brunch spot, where I go every week, bring all my friends and family, and love the most. Their dedication to every single detail, fresh ingredients, staff friendliness, and impeccable menu makes it the best option if you want brunch, lunch or a simple snack.
Why this place: It's the only nosh bar in the city and I've blogged a few times about them, like here and here
What's special about this toast: Served with a rich hot sauce, fresh cucumbers and greens, they make sure it is as dreamy as the rest of the menu. SO-freaking-good!

4621 Notre Dame West
Open every day from 8 am to 3pm, weekends from 9am to 4pm
 


Cafe Pista

A longtime favourite in the heart of Rosemont, Pista's mint vibes, perfect branding and cozy decor makes my heart (and I'm sure yours) so happy. I confess I haven't been there in quite a while, but their menu is one of the best in the coffee shop scene of Montreal, including their avocado toast.
Why this place: all the things above, plus a super chill vibe. I usually go there with a friend for a quick meeting and snack, and YES, you need to try the food.
What's special about this toast: I always add their salmon gravlax to the mix, and OH MY GOD, god bless this. It comes with a sourdough toast, fresh greens and a boiled egg.

500 Rue Beaubien Est
Open every day from 8am to 7pm

Cafe Melbourne 

Aussies, you guys are my heroes when we talk brunch. Melbourne cafe is drop dead serious when it comes to excellent brekkie options.
Why this place: I included this spot in the best options when you visit Montreal, it's cute with an amazing location, close to pretty much everything.
What's special about this toast: it has grilled halloumi, I repeat: grilled halloumi you guys!!! They have these magic homemade spices they add to the smashed avocado, that makes it super tasty. It's served with macadamia nuts and a boiled egg, all the yums!

4615 Boul. St-Laurent
Open Thursday to Tuesday (closed only Wednesday) from 8am to 4pm. Weekends start at 10am.

What's your special ingredient in your avocado toast? I'm dying to know!

Happy brunching or snacking, friends!




Last minute shopper, raise your hands! (guilty over here and a professional procrastinator)
In only 3 days, we'll celebrate Valentine's Day and if you had in mind the typical red roses, chocolate, and massage gift cards, this gift guide will show you how you can be a bit more creative and cute with your Valentine, wooot wooot!

Today, I browsed 10 sweet ideas so you can save time running from mall to mall minutes away from the big day.
Don't celebrate Vday? You can treat your fave Galentine, duh.

Scroll all the way down and chin-chin, happy love day, love birds!

01. Why you're so awesome
02. Pastel standing planters
03. Pastel wall clock
04. Block monogram necklace (I have one!)
05. Fishs Eddy dinnerware set
06. Unwind every day journal
07. Rose all day candle
08. Pink colourblock travel wallet
09. Jumbo heart floatie
10. This is only the beginning notebook

41 days, 2 hours and 15 minutes until Spring, that sounds close enough, right?
According to our groundhog friend, we'll all have an early Spring this year, and to set up the mood, a tiny cocktail is a must these days.

I'm just dreaming over here of sunny days and to finally say, GUYS! Spring has sprung!, I can't wait to see flowers everywhere in my dreamy Montreal, and indeed I can't wait to sip some delish sparkling fresh cocktails with my girls.

I confess this winter has been quite hard for me (and for most of my friends as well). So let's get ready and enjoy this sparkling cucumber mint lemonade, with a bit of gin if you're in the mood for a boozy treat. 

It's so fresh and pretty, I promise you'll have more than one.


Sparkling Cucumber Mint Lemonade 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lime, pressed
  • 2oz of cold sparkling water
  • 2oz of fresh lemonade 
  • 1/4 thinly sliced cucumbers 
  • Mint
  • Optional: Gin, approximately 2oz

Directions

In a short serving glass, mix the fresh lime juice with sparkling water, lemonade and mint. 
Garnish the cocktail with very thin cucumbers and limes
Add a splash of gin, and voila! 



My heart? Did you ask me how my heart is?
Broken.

It's been quite a while since I don't write about, just... ME. 

About my feelings, my mornings in bed, and the rollercoaster that we are experiencing the past days.

If you ask me now, are you okay, Maca?
My immediate answer is a hard no, I'm not okay.

I was doubting to write about what's going on in my home country, if you guys would be even interested in opening this post, in reading what we have to say, but at the end, this is one of my only platforms where I can fully express how my heart is feeling, and how I'm planning to heal it.

January 23rd was not just a regular hump day, for Venezuelans, this Wednesday marked us forever. There was hope in the streets, new words and speeches resonated deeply within millions, that are just looking for answers, solutions, and new beginnings. I thought growing up was a piece of cake. I thought this world was sweeter and indeed I thought we are here for a very special mission, a reason.

Mine, was to believe in joy and happiness. 
I promise you we will heal. Soon.
I'll have my creative flow back. Soon.
Our scars will disappear. Soon.
The good intentions and plans will prevail. Soon.
And the happiness and joy I want to bring to this world, will be the flag of our new era. Soon.


Hang in there, Venezuela.
Hang in there.

Thanks bri, for the illustration




Madame Olivia turned 3 this past weekend - OH MY MAMA HEART!
We celebrated her day with a special breakfast wearing a pink party hat and a bunch of surprises all day long. For the first time in her little life, she realized what a birthday was, and she was excited about every single thing.
The candles, the cake (that she insisted repeatedly to have chocolate), her brand new outfit and her little gifts.

I swear it was the cutest experience, ever! Little girls are just so so much fun!
 

OUTFIT ONE

Pattern mix like a little girlboss!  Also, what's up with this blogger pose? I died laughing.

Sweater - Zara
Skirt - Gap
Tights - HM
Shoes - Zara
Fruit bag - HM

OUTFIT TWO

yes, mesdames, let me introduce you to: Olivia's "cellphone" (or my super antique Ipod, first generation, that I have no clue how it's still alive after so many years)

Dress: Old Navy
Sweater: Zara (used to be Nico's)
Tights: Marshall's
Pink Boots: Joe Fresh

OUTFIT THREE

Classic black and white outfit, for a cloudy day!

Neck warmer - Zara
Dress - Old Navy
Tights - Target

OUTFIT FOUR

Her birthday outfit! YAAAAAY!

Sweater I used to be bored - Mango
Dress - Mango
Jean Tights - Old Navy
Pink neck warmer - Sport experts


45 days already? but, HOW!?
Between the holiday break and getting back to our work routine, our studio has been quiet lately, I guess that's normal for everyone in January right?

Having a somehow "quiet" time will give us time to finish our studio decor (which I'm extremely excited about) along with some intense and long brainstorming sessions with our team (high five girl power!) on what to do, what to offer, what to shoot in this space of ours.

Here's our official update:


KITCHEN

Shelves are up and so are our colourful accessories that my lovely friend Joanna spray painted as soon as we moved in.
A new table is also here, heeeello new workshop era! Our long table can accommodate up to 10 people and it'll be the heart of our upcoming events and yummy eats.

LIVING AREA

Taaaadaaaaaa! these gigantic boxes you see, are our new furniture! I am beyond stoked to partner with Structube, a brand we ADORE to reveal our studio decor soon.
Hints? All the velvet, and eclectic colours you'll expect from our space: check!


STUDIO/PHOTOGRAPHY AREA

all-the-goodies-are-here-you-guys! I'm thinking the best (and easiest) way to install a white floor for our shootings, so I'm exploring vinyl options at the moment. If you have a crazy good idea, shoot it to me! 


Can't wait to show you our official reveal soon!



Happy first month of 2019!
Where are my burger lovers at?
I can't believe we are starting a new year, new goals, new everything, and you know our love for entertaining and yummy food right? On this second post in partnership with Yves Veggie Cuisine, we got our girlfriends and created the girliest plant-based burger bar, filled with fruits, veggies, cheese and all our long-time favourites.

We recently moved to our brand new studio (OMG), making this a perfect excuse to celebrate the move with close friends and family. I was stoked that we are able to cook and entertain now (more on that on the next studio update), so I covered our new long table filled with a beautiful spread with a ton of options to prepare our mini plant-based burgers.

I've tried Yves veggie burgers before and I loved discovering they provide a nutritious balance of natural protein, made from soy and vegetable sources, making it super tender, juice and flavoured (I didn't tell some of my friends they were veggie, and they couldn't believe it).

Below I added a list of all the ingredients we used to create our bar so you can stack your burger like a pro, and have ALL the fixins handy for your next celebration at home
These yummy buns!
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