4 Ways to Snack Healthier, Better, and Tastier

Eating right doesn’t have to be a chore. After months of trial and error, I figured out 4 ways to snack healthier – without compromising flavour.

…and seriously: I am so happy to not have to give up snacking. *score*

Eating right doesn't have to be a chore. After months of trial and error, I've figured out 4 ways to snack healthier - without compromising flavour.

This is not a sponsored post. I received my Hot Air Popcorn Popper courtesy of Hamilton Beach – all opinions are my own. 

After giving birth, I wasn’t one of those women to “swing” back into my pre-pregnancy bod. I was eating poorly, lacking sleep, and lost all willingness to exercise.

I felt drained. Of course, I needed to cut myself some slack. Being a new parent, I knew there’d be adjustments. But after a few meltdowns (and yes, these included crying sessions in changing rooms where sales associates had to cut me out of dresses), I was ready to make a change.

I found myself a nutritionist (who is also a trusted friend) and together, we’ve been going through a well-rounded eating plan. And really, there’s not much to it: no sacrificing, no strict regimes… just smarter (and realistic) choices.

And yes: it includes snacking.

Here are some winning food-combos that will have you snacking healthier, better, and tastier:

Veggies + Hummus
Easy to prepare, easy to pack, and you could go cray-cray with your veggies variety. My personal favourite: green peppers, radish, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes.

Granola bar + handful of nuts
This is the snack that my nutritionist started me on. I was a little worried that it wouldn’t suffice. Boy, was I wrong! I often go for Kashi Bars (as she recommended) and 1/4 cup of unsalted cashews for my mid-day treat. I also love the idea of keeping a granola bar in my purse so that I have something to munch on if I’m on-the-go.

Hard boiled egg + piece of fruit
Yup, one simple egg can really keep you going when you need a pick-me-up.

Popcorn
You’re seeing correctly. I was ecstatic I was when my nutritionist suggested popcorn as a healthy snacking option.

Eating right doesn't have to be a chore. After months of trial and error, I've figured out 4 ways to snack healthier - without compromising flavour.

But wait, back it up: popcorn? Salty, buttery, warmly-popped kernels that can be deliciously washed down with an extra large soda?

Not exactly.

This is where a popcorn maker comes in.

So yes: forego the heavily poured-on butter. Flavourful, delicious popcorn is still a possibility: you just have to be creative.

Lucky for me, I recently received Hamilton Beach’s Hot Air Popcorn Popper. It has helped my snacking game tremendously.

It is so easy to use. I can make myself a snack in just a few minutes. Want to know just how simple? This is how it works: pour in your desired amount of kernels, plug it in, and watch it do its thing.

So whether baby is taking a nap or sitting in his high chair, I can multitask and prepare myself a delicious helping of popcorn. Yes, Hamilton Beach, you have made healthy snacking a possibility for a new mama. I applaud you.

Here’s how I flavour-up my bowl of popcorn:
– 1 tbsp of paprika
– 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese
– pinch of Himalayan pink salt
– 2 to 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Eating right doesn't have to be a chore. After months of trial and error, I've figured out 4 ways to snack healthier - without compromising flavour.

What do your snacking habits look like? How are some ways you can snack healthier?

Prepare yourself for… a giveaway!
In partnership with Hamilton Beach and my good friend Marielle of ladymarielle.com, we’re giving away a Hot Air Popcorn Popper to two lucky readers!
Hamilton Beach Canada: Hot Air Popcorn Popper

Eating right doesn't have to be a chore. After months of trial and error, I've figured out 4 ways to snack healthier - without compromising flavour. Eating right doesn't have to be a chore. After months of trial and error, I've figured out 4 ways to snack healthier - without compromising flavour.

Tips for Trick-or-Treating with Infants

Give us something good to eat! (Even if we’re teething.)

Make trick-or-treating a good ol’ time – even with your little one!
Trick-or-treating with little ones can be fun, safe, and enjoyable for all!
Last year, I remember being pregnant and just not wanting to go outside for Halloween. It was cold, rainy, and I was incredibly fatigued.

Now baby’s arrived… and that totally changes the game! You can surely bet that for this Halloween, we are so eager to get outside and introduce Leo to a world of costumes, candy, and Jack-o-lanterns. Trick-or-treating… here we come!

Tips for Trick-or-Treating with Infants

Just walk around!
I know candy is one of the best parts to trick-or-treating, but baby won’t actually know what he/she is missing out on. Halloween is a time to get festive, so put on your spooky gear and allow baby to observe the decorations, the ambiance, and all the fun costumes.

Spook-up the stroller
Perhaps baby’s not into wearing his/her costume? Maybe you decided last-minute that you’d take a festive stroll around the neighbourhood? No worries! If you’re not up for a disguise, you can add a few touches to your stroller to get into the Halloween spirit.

Work it, work it – model that cute costume!
Rather than going door-to-door, visit a mall or a local museum dressed from head-to-toe. I don’t blame you for wanting to show off your cutie-patootie!

Trick-or-treating with little ones can be fun, safe, and enjoyable for all!

I know many parents who’ve expressed the “tackiness” in taking a baby door-to-door for candy. Rest assured, Leo and I will be having our own treats this year (teething biscuits and pumpkin puree for the win!), but remember: each family has their own preferences. Do whatever’s best (and most fun!) for your little one! Whether you’ll be seeking treats or just roaming the streets on the 31st, I hope you all have a fun, festive, and amazing Halloween!

Photographs by Laurie-Anne Thuot Photography (and be sure to follow her on Instagram here!)

 

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Morning Routine

The clock is racing! Here are a few of our tips to speed up the process and get through your morning routine!

Tick tock: pick up the pace with some of our simple tips. Liven up that morning routine of yours!

The way my mornings unravel is the ultimate reflection on how the rest of my day will be. I wake up and set myself an expectation to complete specific tasks. I aim for a healthy breakfast, a made-up bed, a clean kitchen, and to look presentable for work/meetings/events.

Despite a crazy household, schedule, itinerary – whatever your case may be, I’ve got 5 simple steps that can keep your morning routine going and flowing.

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Morning Routine

Who’s Working Wardrobe?
As simple of a task it may seem, laying out your clothes the night before can save a lot of “Hmms…” and “Does that even match?” first thing in the morning.

Know Your Face
If you’re one for sporting some makeup, practice a 5-minute “glam routine” until you get a look down pat. Mine mainly consists of mascara and undereye concealer.

Not a Dirty Dish in Sight
I strive to get all of the dishes and kitchen clean-up done the night before. Waking up to a sink full of dirty plates can be a real eyesore.

Everything Has Its Place
Whether it’s Leo’s pacifier or my car keys, I make a conscious effort to put everything back where they belong. This way, I can just grab whatever I need and make my way out the door.

Breakfast Sandwiches are Ultra-Convenient
I’m a sucker for a good breakfast. I’ll rarely take things to-go and actually take my first-meal-of-the-day very seriously. Hit me up with some bacon, eggs, and a hot cup of coffee, and I’m totally your gal.

The clock is racing! Here are a few of our tips to speed up the process and get through your morning routine!

Of course, feeding my family an abundant breakfast on a daily basis is not-so realistic. Breakfast sandwiches are often my go-to because they offer versatility, good taste, and convenience.

Up until recently, I was assembling my breakfast sandwiches the traditional way: fry the egg, melt the cheese, toast the bread, etc. But then I found myself with Hamilton Beach‘s oh-so famous Breakfast Sandwich Maker… and you know what?

Total. Game. Changer.

The clock is racing! Here are a few of our tips to speed up the process and get through your morning routine!

In 5 minutes, I can make a breakfast sandwich that’s sizzled to perfection with any ingredients that I want. No hassle. No mess. It’s just a fun game of layering! Everything is literally made within the sandwich maker itself. I love that I can crack the egg directly on one of the cooking plates and I leave the rest to my new, nifty machine.

When I made my first sandwich, I immediately fell in love. It saved me so much time for prep and cleanup that I was actually looking for something to do.

The clock is racing! Here are a few of our tips to speed up the process and get through your morning routine! The clock is racing! Here are a few of our tips to speed up the process and get through your morning routine!

Retailing at $39.99 CDN, Hamilton Beach has totally changed my morning routine… for the better. I can’t wait to try different ingredient combinations (next stop: red bell pepper).

How do you keep it speedy in the morning? What do you usually put in your breakfast sandwiches?

The clock is racing! Here are a few of our tips to speed up the process and get through your morning routine!

 

Shopping Local with Sour Bags and Totes

Love me a good local brand: Sour Bags and Totes is original, durable, and ultra-adorbs!

“Go local,” they said. Let me tell you: the task is easy when brands are as cute as Sour Bags & Totes.

The world is a small and funny place. I first discovered Sour Bags & Totes while I was (aimlessly) browsing Instagram. After a few short scrolls, I realized how adorable the brand was. I noticed nifty, one-of-a-kind bags that used recycled and up-cycled materials. I was intrigued. I made it a point to keep an eye out for more of their collection.

Lo and behold, a couple of years later, I learned that Sour‘s owner and I shared a mutual friend. Lucky for me, I had the chance to meet the girl boss behind the popular Etsy shop – and the rest is history.

Love me a good local brand: Sour Bags and Totes is original, durable, and ultra-adorbs!

Shopping local is easy in cities like Montreal. We’re surrounded by talented artists that come up with the most fascinating brands and beautiful product offerings. In fact, from September 30th to October 1st, Sour Bags & Totes will be teaming up with other shop owners for a Mini Pop-Up event.

With 14 artisans present, this Mini Pop-Up event is something you’ll want to check out. A little bit of everything for everybody, you’ll find that “going local” is the best way to shop!

Check it out, September 30th to October 1st:
Loft Créatif

5775 blvd St. Laurent
Montreal, QC

Love me a good local brand: Sour Bags and Totes is original, durable, and ultra-adorbs! Love me a good local brand: Sour Bags and Totes is original, durable, and ultra-adorbs! Love me a good local brand: Sour Bags and Totes is original, durable, and ultra-adorbs! Love me a good local brand: Sour Bags and Totes is original, durable, and ultra-adorbs!

You can also check out Sour Bags & Totes directly on their Etsy shop and give them a like on Facebook and a follow on Instagram!

Love me a good local brand: Sour Bags and Totes is original, durable, and ultra-adorbs!

Strollin’ Around with Baby Jogger City Select LUX

Leo's loving the fact that he gets to test out the newest in Baby Jogger with their City Select LUX

Leo’s out and about testing some new wheels – and he’s liking Baby Jogger‘s new ride: the City Select LUX.

As a part of our daily routine, Leo and I go for walks first thing during the day. I always love catching the cool weather that the morning has to offer; a gust of light wind and the shimmering sun: it’s totally my type of setting.

Leo and I usually find ourselves headed straight to the park during our walking trips. In fact, we stroll around in our City Premier so when we heard that Baby Jogger came up with something brand spankin’ new, we were intrigued.

Baby Jogger is best known for their line of durable, modern, and versatile strollers. Our City Premier has followed Leo since he was a wee little one. Let me tell you: it has not let us down. I can go from bumpy roads to parks covered with gravel and sand and all the way to shopping malls (for hours at a time) with no complaints from either myself or baby.

At the City Select LUX event, we saw exactly what we expected from Baby Jogger. We witnessed the announcement of a beautifully designed stroller that keeps both children and parents in mind. Convenient, sleek in design, and perfect for multiples, this stroller is making me want another little one… soon! And trust me, Joe is completely aware of this.

Check it out here! Photos by PBNJ productions

Leo's loving the fact that he gets to test out the newest in Baby Jogger with their City Select LUX Leo's loving the fact that he gets to test out the newest in Baby Jogger with their City Select LUX Leo's loving the fact that he gets to test out the newest in Baby Jogger with their City Select LUX Leo's loving the fact that he gets to test out the newest in Baby Jogger with their City Select LUX Leo's loving the fact that he gets to test out the newest in Baby Jogger with their City Select LUX Leo's loving the fact that he gets to test out the newest in Baby Jogger with their City Select LUX

Autumn 2017: A Much-Needed (but no pressure) To-Do List

A carefree, no pressure to-do list for this autumn

Setting myself a to-do list with no pressure and no expectations.

I sit in my chair and realize that September has already come around. Peek-a-boo! Make way for fallen leaves, pumpkin spice, and ankle-high suede boots.

I figured the perfect “welcome to Fall” post would entail of fashion must-haves. I took to the computer for some much-needed research only to find myself lacking any sort of inspiration. Yeah, there are definitely things on my “want” list, but I wanted to go a bit further.

To-do lists give us a sense of ownership and accomplishment. I create one nearly everyday. Between household chores and nutritional goals, I feel incredibly satisfied after crossing off each item one-by-one.

The following goals, however, will be different.

Ladies and gents, here is my Autumn 2017 to-do list. Or you know, let’s make it a “I-will-try-and-do-it-and-if-not-it’s-really-no-big-deal list.”

A carefree, no pressure to-do list for this autumn

Okay, so it’s not too long. But remember: no pressure. Here’s to a fun, successful, and leaf-crunching Fall season.

What will you all be up to?

Snuggle This Muggle – Leo’s First Stay with Fairmont Hotels

Getting comfy in our new wizarding PJ set at Fairmont Hotels!

Getting comfy with our newest wizarding PJ set.

Wow. Time has flown and everyone was completely right: parenting has got me busy every day and every night.

Since Joe’s birthday fell around the same time as Leo’s 6-month celebration, we figured we should take full advantage. And so we packed our bags and drove out to the mountains for a quick weekend getaway. Spending two full days to relax together as a family was all we were looking for.

Lucky enough, we stayed with Fairmont Hotels and Leo got snuggly with his new pyjama set, gifted from his Auntie Dolores. Both of us being Potterheads, we’re hoping to pass down the wizarding passion to our little Leo!

Getting comfy in our new wizarding PJ set at Fairmont Hotels! Getting comfy in our new wizarding PJ set at Fairmont Hotels! Getting comfy in our new wizarding PJ set at Fairmont Hotels!

 

Laurie-Anne Thuot x Fabulous Habits: My Fashion Photo Journey

Fashion photo session with the oh-so talented Laurie-Anne Thuot

My first fashion photo session since giving birth – captured by the one and only Laurie-Anne Thuot.

For the last 3 years, blogging has been a huge part of my day-to-day. One of the reasons I started Fabulous Habits was so that I could share stories about the things that interested me most. While my friends seemed to always have open ears for my animated and passionate stories, I felt like I could broaden my audience; and so I decided to step into the blogosphere.

Over time, through this website, I’ve built relationships with incredible artists, (fellow) bloggers, and various companies. Every single one of them has always left me in awe with their product, talent, and/or skill.

Laurie-Anne Thuot Photographe x Fabulous Habits: My Fashion Photo Journey

More recently, I came across Laurie-Anne Thuot‘s work (as seen here on our family portraits). Since our first photo session with Laurie-Anne, I’ve been blown away with what she does. Artistic, outside-the-box, and incredibly patient and humble, Laurie-Anne has captured so many of our precious moments (including Leo’s baptism!).

I am happy to present the first set of photos in my collaboration with Laurie-Anne Thuot. In fact, this is my first fashion photoshoot since giving birth to little Leo. I’ve been through a great deal of changes over the last few months, and I am psyched to have Miss Thuot capture all of the emotion, styling, and settings for this photo journey.

Here we go!

Fabulous Habits x Laurie-Anne Thuot

Fashion photo session with the oh-so talented Laurie-Anne Thuot Fashion photo session with the oh-so talented Laurie-Anne Thuot Fashion photo session with the oh-so talented Laurie-Anne Thuot Fashion photo session with the oh-so talented Laurie-Anne Thuot

These pieces from Aritizia are everything I look for in creating an outfit. It’s clear that I gravitate towards neutrals. I’m just in love with how the materials flow, keeping comfort and style a possibility.

Fashion photo session with the oh-so talented Laurie-Anne Thuot Fashion photo session with the oh-so talented Laurie-Anne Thuot

Aritizia blouse / Aritizia shorts (similar here)

Fashion photo session with the oh-so talented Laurie-Anne Thuot Fashion photo session with the oh-so talented Laurie-Anne Thuot Fashion photo session with the oh-so talented Laurie-Anne Thuot

Solid-Foods Galore! 5 Must-Have Baby-Feeding Items

The best baby-feeding items for your little muncher.

The sweetest baby-feeding items for your little muncher.

Who’s ready to eat?! If your little one is just about ready for solid food, there are a few baby-feeding items that you’ll want to pick up.

The best baby-feeding items for your little muncher.

At 6 months old, Leo definitely showed his readiness for pureed foods. We were lucky enough to be gifted with the best feeding accessories, so we were ready to go as soon as he was. With the “okay” from our doctor, Leo started snacking on bananas, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

During mealtime, here are the 5 items we couldn’t do without:

Long Baby Spoon
Look for feeding spoons that are made of BPA-free plastic. After feeding Leo for a few weeks, I found the longer ones easiest to use.

Blender
There are some fruits and veggies that just can’t be “mushed-up” with a spoon or fork. Our Baby Bullet has come in handy in getting Leo’s foods at the perfect consistency.

It’s All in the Bib
Look for bibs that can be washed and dried immediately (because who likes extra items in the laundry basket?). I like going for silicone/rubber bibs that have spill-pockets to catch all of our (mighty) messes.

Baby Containers
For days out, I fill up lightweight containers with Leo’s favorite snacks. I prepare them the night before and pop them in our diaper bag when we’re ready to go.

Sitting High and Proud
One item I was incredibly excited for was our Peg Perego Siesta High Chair. High chairs allow your baby to be included in family meals. Leo has a new-found independence with his Siesta high-chair: he watches me in excitement (and sometimes, with little patience) as I prep his food and formula.

Once you see the name ‘Peg Perego‘, you just know  that you’re looking at a product of high quality and design. The Siesta is one of their top-sellers and for good reason: it’s easy-to-use, has padded upholstery for extra comfort, and adjusts in ways you wouldn’t even think a high-chair could. It’s great for any of baby’s stages. The chair inclines in 5 different positions making it a great choice for newborns.

I love the back with its netted compartment: it makes it easy to store baby-feeding items. The 5-point safety harness is incredibly secure and a no-brainer to adjust and use.

The best baby-feeding items for your little muncher. The best baby-feeding items for your little muncher.

Is your baby starting on solids? What are his/her favorite foods?

Sit Back and Relax with Wazo Furniture

Sprucing up a slightly smaller office space with quality design through Wazo FurnitureAfter a few months of bad posture and uncomfortable seating, Wazo Furniture came to the rescue.

Recently, I talked about my tips on keeping an organized office. Little habits can keep your working space looking clean, presentable, and polished. Are you welcoming clients every week? Does your job entail of sitting in front of your computer for hours at a time? Regardless of what you do, an organized office can make the world of a difference. It’s time to meet those deadlines and reach those goals.

This summer, I downsized a little. We’re currently changing things around in the Fabulous Habits household, and one of them was rearranging my office. Regardless of size, there are ways to keep your working space organized so as to not hinder productivity.

As we rearranged, one thing was pretty clear: I was without a good chair (and for quite some time, at that). Unfortunately, I thought that my little bench was cute and worth the sacrifice of neck-and-back-strain.

Little did I know that elegant could also be comfortable. This is where Wazo Furniture comes in.

I had known about Wazo for quite some time. I would often stumble on their website and social media, “ooh-ing and ahh-ing” as I scrolled through images of their sleek chairs, sofas, and tables. Just by the looks of it, I knew that their designs would go perfectly with aesthetics of my home.

Sprucing up a slightly smaller office space with quality design through Wazo Furniture Sprucing up a slightly smaller office space with quality design through Wazo Furniture

Getting my hands on an Eames chair was my lucky day. Sturdy, refined, and modern, the Eames is just what I needed to tie up the looks of my new “mini office”. As I approach my workspace with a minimalist perspective, I know that I have to get key pieces in keeping it sleek, comfy, and coordinated.

The Eames chair is one of Wazo’s bestsellers. Solid without looking too clunky, they’ve designed it with style and convenience in mind. I love that it doesn’t take up too much space in my (much) smaller setup, but still makes a statement when you first enter the room.

You can only imagine how ecstatic I was to pickup my new chairs (I got a second one for convenience and extra seating). Their showroom was clean, properly staged, and had me excited for our next move. Hopefully, Joe remembered all the pieces I showed him. In all my excitement, I may have overwhelmed my husband with all my ‘furniture-wants’ the moment we walked in.

Sprucing up a slightly smaller office space with quality design through Wazo Furniture

Looking for more pieces to get inspired by? This is only the beginning! You can follow Wazo Furniture on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube. I for one am definitely looking forward to visiting Wazo Furniture again.

And also, for all you fabulous readers, with our special code FABULOUS5, you’ll get 5% off on your next purchase online or in-store! (Minimum $100 order – up until August 31st!)

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