It's official: Spring is here you guys!
This week we are feeling the warmth, the sun is shining and I feel so much closer to one of our favourite seasons in the city with the kiddos. Don't you just want to jump, like me?
With Spring, the transition from season to season is bringing many things: the prettiest flowers, longer days, that sweet warm breeze and yes, that unwanted, cold.

The temperature swings are most drastic in our city, and our little Nico and Oli usually welcome the new season with symptoms.
In partnership with our pals at Boogie Wipes
saline nose wipes, today I'll show you 3 handy, smart and useful tips to prevent colds and get ready to enjoy all the sunshine.

Cold-free hygiene, yes! We got this 

Teaching kids how hygiene is important can be easy!
  • Washing hands, ALL the time: and I mean this, not only between seasons but every single day. Soap and running water are your lil' ones BFFs especially if they go to daycare and touch pretty..  Much.. Everything. Did you know that the act of just rubbing your hands together for at least 20 seconds will eliminate the germs? Show them in a cute way how washing our hands is the best way to be clean, happy and cold-free!

  • Teaching them prevention is key with good hygiene: you need to make it fun and real so it sticks, right? I know you'll ask, but, how? Here's a cute way: sprinkle a bit of glitter on your kid's hands and wash it without soap. Right after, wash it with soap and show them the difference. Glitter could represent the germs they're exposed every day. If they don't get quite yet how they spread the germs, use the same glitter on your hands and then touch their belly, shoulders and cheeks, they'll automatically understand why it's so important. Here's a great video to show you exactly how to do this 

Always have by your side your next-level saline water wipes, Boogie WipesⓇ Saline Nose Wipes by Your Side

I can't even explain each of you HOW amazing these wipes are. We've been fans of Boogie WipesⓇ saline nose wipes for a-while, they are pretty much, life. Here are a few tips why they are the best and why you need to get them even if the cold symptoms aren't at your home yet:
  • Infused with natural saline, Boogie Wipes® saline nose wipes make it easier to wipe away mucus, like - win, win - instant jackpot!

  • They’re alcohol-free and made with aloe, chamomile and vitamin E, and I love how they're such a gentle alternative to dry tissues.
  • You can find them everywhere (yaaaay!) They are available at pharmacies, supermarkets and department stores in Canada.


Let's boost our immune system now, shall we? 

Yes! Having a strong, solid and healthy immune system is the number one priority when we welcome any new season. Here's our holy grail of "heya Spring, we got this":
  • Probiotics, probiotics: they are good for everything! All the active cultures found in yogurt are all healthy bacteria keeping germs at bay in our lil' ones' tummies. Taking them on a daily basis, they help to alleviate stomach-problems and we are less prone to develop colds, yay! 

  • All the fruits, all the Vitamin C: They are magic when you need a boost, magic! Healthy food is real medicine, have you heard that? the best options: oranges, blueberries & kiwis.

  • They need a solid night sleep: kiddos need between 10 hours of sleep daily, and the quality of that sleep is the most important. Try to organize a quiet and smooth bed routine, We usually take a hot bath, read a book, talk about our day and hug while we go to sleep. 

So, how do you avoid colds at home?

Thank you, Boogie Wipes
Ⓡ saline nose wipes for sponsoring this post and partnering with HeyMaca.
All opinions and tips expressed here are entirely ours.


Independent coffee shop crawl, let's go!
This time, I recently visited 4 quiet, beautiful and intimate spots that can be a perfect excuse to visit with your toddler, as I did with Nico during his Spring break. Even though I finally decided (very last-minute) to register Nico at school camp, I sneaked in some days picking him up earlier to share some moments together. My hubby has been away the past week, so tiny mama-cute boy moments are forever appreciated, right?

I've been trying to do everything this week, like cleaning, cooking, taking care of both Nico and Oli, shooting content, following the crazy news happening at my home country and trying to focus to have the will to write here as much as I can.

I swear I'm doing my best, and my two weekly blog posts will be back soon, so soon!

In the meantime, hope this guide will help you discover cute places and sip a coffee or two.

SSENSE Cafe 

This hidden spot is on the fifth level of the new SSENSE store at Old Montreal and is serving breakfast, lunch, and snacks all day. This space is absolutely dreamy, with a communal concrete table and a ton of natural light, and lots of grey, chrome and minimalism everywhere you look.
Recommended: A cappuccino (I usually have them with a double shot) and SSENSE didn't disappoint.
Tip: Go there early, so you'll pick a premium spot in the communal table.

Venice Old Montreal

An oldie but a goodie spot we never get tired of it. The OG and first Venice in the city is the one we visit the most and we love their healthy but delish options on the menu and its colourful vibe.
Recommended: Nico loves the margarita pizza and I love the edamame with a coffee, usually a latte or cappuccino.
Tip: During the weekdays is way easier to get a table, just make sure you visit for a snack, after crazy lunch hours. 


Gypsy Cafe

Coffee shop during the day (and totally family friendly)  and bar during the night. Gypsy is the new kid on the block in Plateau, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch or a simple coffee in you're in the vibe for a caffeinated break. Plenty of plants, rattan and tiles (YAY tiles) are present in this coffee shop, with a very wanderlust meets sunny California to cheer all of us up.
Recommended: they serve oatmilk cappuccinos (YES!) and I loved it. Also, we snacked a bit and loved the fries.
Tip: It's a refreshing, summery-all-year-long kind of spot, perfect for any situation: if you want a snack or work, I loved it in here.

Le Petit Dep

This coffee spot is for sure love at first visit for us, and it's been around for a while in Old port, with a charming mint facade and a daily fresh selection of pastries, all homemade and adorable! They're so sweet with kids, we keep visiting them so often.
Recommended: Any mini salad (are delish!) and of course, their coffee.
Tip: they have a mini-store inside with local products and produce, perfect for any gifts you need to buy any time of the year. 



It's no secret that we all love mini pinatas, and for the first time, I decided to make them this year for International Women's Day!

On March 8, we celebrate what being a woman means by sharing achievements, ups, downs, and cheering up a community of girl bosses that I heart the most, was the priority this week, am I right?

Girly pinatas are THE way to spark up your Women's Day, gifting a heart or a star, telling your bestie she's one of a kind.

Making them is super simple, just gather your besties and let's, let's gals!

materials 

Very thin cardboard
Scissors or exacto knife
Paper: you can use crepe, felt or tissue (we used felt for these ones)
Hot glue gun
Letters (if you want to include them)

How To


  1. We decided to do hearts and stars, so the first step is to draw and cut with scissors the shapes using thin cardboard. You'll need one for the front side and one for the back of each pinata. 
  2. For each shape, you need to cut long strips and tape them together with hot glue from top to the bottom. This will be the structure of the pinata.
  3. The fun part starts now: decorate! Cut long strips of the felt paper, fold and cut to create the fringe. 
  4. Start adding glue to your cardboard shape and cover them with felt paper starting at the bottom.
  5. Wrap the pinata with your pre-cut fringe until it is all covered. 

You can fill them with treasures and little gifts, confetti and surprises.
I know you asked more and more DIY tutorials, and kicking off the year with this fun one was the best way to start!

They are incredibly fun, easy and stress-free to do! I can't wait to experiment with new shapes and bigger sizes, oh my!


Happy girl boss day, sweet ladies!



Nico turned 6 only 3 months ago and it feels like he's growing into a little teen slowly. He started kindergarten (I'm still crying, trust me) and we integrated new traditions and habits into our family routine, like doing weekly activities and understanding that school brings some rules we never had before, including how we use tech and screen time on weekdays and weekends.

Like most parents and friends, we try to control and keep a balance between screen time and other activities, and I know how hard it can be (at first, I was that mom saying only 30 minutes! that's it! and yes, I'm so guilty of saying all this before I was a mom of two...), and honestly, my work became 80% digital on the phone or laptop or computer, so it would be totally unrealistic and misleading to pretend I have a strict relationship with technology at home.

Giving Nico (and recently, Oli) limited time to watch TV and use our phones is totally appropriate. We all know technology has become an essential tool in our daily lives, right? and knowing the importance of it, this year we are proud to have our family join the TELUS family to echo its call for responsibility when it comes to building a safer digital world. We can, and should, all help put an end to cyberbullying. 

Here are some tips I've been using at home with Nico as well as little rules we have set up for how is screen time can be used:

what we do on weekdays

Mornings: We start our mornings with a simple rule: no screen time during breakfast and before school/daycare. They understood this pretty quickly and we found ways to keep both Nico and Oli occupied like picking their clothes, helping mama serve breakfast and table or packing the lunch box. 

Evenings: While I cook supper, they usually select one TV show so I have time to set up everything. At the table, no tech is allowed (and yes, mom and dad play by that rule too!) so we can all chat about our day, how we made a difference in others’ lives today (our friends at We inspire us to embed those questions in our day-to-day), and more.  It is my favorite part of my day, I'm always looking forward to it! After we eat, wash our hands and leave everything clean, they have a bit more time to play before bath and books at bedtime. 

what we do on weekends


Our winter weekends have been quite busy this year, and they both do swimming lessons and art school, so  in between activities we allow Nico and Oli to share our one and only tablet. There's no wifi when we leave our door so we uploaded a bunch of Disney movies they both love, and Nico plays with drawing apps from time to time. When we eat out, if we run out of ideas and options, we pull out our phones and play some Netflix for them.  

How we face unexpected situations 

It's been a while since Nico mastered how to play with our console and he recently visited some friends and family who started playing online with their consoles (and I just discovered there's a huge Fortnite fever, I had no clue about it) and yes, we are not there yet, just not yet. Three rules are super simple when it comes to playing: He can do it for one hour, online gaming isn't allowed and only games according to his age like lego and Minecraft creative are available.

Once, he asked what's all about online gaming and we talked about the fact there's a huge online world and different consoles out there connecting people we don't know. We explained that he's too little to experience this, in an open and sincere conversation.

For Nico and Oli to be able to respond when they witness cyberbullying, we have to help them become a good digital citizen. Those simple rules, easing them into using technology, and teaching them how to be how to be compassionate with others is essential!.


COMPASSION ONLINE AND IN THE REAL WORLD

As part of its effort to end bullying, TELUS partners with We Day. This year, thousands of youth heard about cyberbullying and its impact during We Day. For many of those youth, it was a start to an important conversation. And for the second year, I had the chance to experience a full day learning from others how we can make a difference, online and in the real world. The WE movement is dear to my heart. It encourages us to come together and create a better world, anywhere you are: at school, at home, at work, we can all bring a real positive change to our day-to-day.

This magical event is hosted across our country and for the seventh consecutive year, TELUS is proud to help inspire all these young leaders by supporting them as a co-title partner of WE day (high five, brilliant team!).

When we have a shared vision to help engage and empower youth to harness their innovative ideas, make positive changes and help them become strong community leaders, only good things grow both locally and globally. It makes the world a more colorful, happy place! And you know me and colors, right? This event is such an inspiration for the next generation and as a grown-up, you leave it with tons of ideas on how you can help youth in your life become more compassionate and engaged!



It’s possible to raise tech savvy kiddos that will be a force for good online and in the real world. We are thankful to be able to leverage tools like TELUS Wise and We families to help us find ways to talk to our kids about giving back and about online safety. One quick and easy thing you can do as a fam is take the TELUS Wise pledge. Sign the pledge online and tell the kiddos what you are doing. Then have them draw their own little pledge on how they will help others and be kind and stick it on the fridge as a reminder!

How do you deal with technology with your little ones?
Let's start the conversation and educate them together!

Endless thanks to TELUS, for sponsoring this post and hosting us during We day.
All opinions and tips expressed here are entirely mine.





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! 



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