Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Calling all buttercream lovers: these Christmas Tree Cupcakes were made especially for you.

It's the time of the year to get festive with our desserts! These easy Christmas Tree Cupcakes is generously topped with homemade buttercream. Your sweet tooth will thank you later! #christmasdessert
A huge thanks to Bulk Barn for sponsoring this recipe. We’re incredibly proud to team up with our family’s go-to store and create this delicious holiday dessert – all opinions are 100% our own.

It’s time to put up the tree!

How early do you put up your Christmas tree? Our family aims to get our home holiday-ready by early December.

This year, we were right on schedule. On the first weekend of December, our tree was mounted and decorated, Joe installed our outdoor lights, and our pantry was stacked with holiday-friendly snacks.

Of course, I got busy in the kitchen, whipping-up some thematic desserts.

It's the time of the year to get festive with our desserts! These easy Christmas Tree Cupcakes is generously topped with homemade buttercream. Your sweet tooth will thank you later! #christmasdessert

I’m proud to present my Christmas Tree Cupcakes. These cupcakes are generously topped with fresh buttercream to get its holiday look. To complete a dozen of these cupcakes, I had to double my usual buttercream recipe. Given their height, they obviously take more frosting than usual. Luckily, I can turn to Bulk Barn and purchase everything… well, in bulk! I normally go for 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar for my standard batch of cupcakes, but this recipe in particular requires 4. Bulk Barn always has incredibly competitive prices (psst: you can sign up for their newsletter to receive weekly coupons here). I love how I can control how much or how little of an ingredient I can purchase. Plus, their reusable container program allows me to bring my own jars and shop their wide range of products. It’s environmentally-friendly and prevents from any messy transfers when I get home. Double win? I think so!

It's the time of the year to get festive with our desserts! These easy Christmas Tree Cupcakes is generously topped with homemade buttercream. Your sweet tooth will thank you later! #christmasdessert

Here are the easy steps to create these Christmas Tree Cupcakes:

How to make the cutest Christmas tree cupcakes - and it's made up of pure, delicious, homemade buttercream! Merry Christmas to your sweet tooth! #christmasdessert

How to Make Christmas Tree Cupcakes

What You’ll Need

Yields: One dozen cupcakes, prepped and decorated just in time for the holidays!

Before starting the decorating process, ensure that your cupcakes are completely cool to the touch.

Using an electric mixer, beat together softened butter, confectioners’ sugar and milk. Start with one tablespoon of milk and add another if the mixture is still too stiff.

Gradually increase the speed of the electric mixer to high. Continue beating the ingredients until everything is well-incorporated, smooth, and forms semi-stiff peaks.

Add Kelly green gel food colouring into the buttercream frosting. Beat with electric mixer until it’s completely tinted. Feel free to add more food colouring to achieve your desired shade of green.

Scoop the buttercream into your piping bag (with Wilton tip #21 attached).

To pipe out a buttercream Christmas tree, start in the centre of the cupcake and in a circular motion, create a base that covers the entire top portion of the cupcake.

Still working in a circular motion, work your way up with the buttercream by creating smaller circles. Then, release the piping bag when the buttercream is about 2 ½ inches tall.

Decorate the buttercream frosting with sprinkles (I like to add a gold one on top).

It's the time of the year to get festive with our desserts! These easy Christmas Tree Cupcakes is generously topped with homemade buttercream. Your sweet tooth will thank you later! #christmasdessert It's the time of the year to get festive with our desserts! These easy Christmas Tree Cupcakes is generously topped with homemade buttercream. Your sweet tooth will thank you later! #christmasdessert

Do you know anyone that adores homemade buttercream? If so, be sure to share this recipe with them! Their sweet tooth will thank you later – promise.
The cutest holiday dessert idea: Christmas Tree Cupcakes. These easy holiday cupcakes are topped off with a generous amount of buttercream frosting. Perfect for anyone with a huge sweet tooth! #christmastreecupcakes

Christmas Tree Linzer Cookies

Turning to Linzer cookies to uphold family traditions.

Chistmas tree Linzer cookies to add a festive touch to your holiday sweet table. Everything about the Linzer cookies are homemade - from the almond flour down to the jam! #linzercookies

These cookies are so closely connected with our family… and I didn’t even realize it.

I do a lot of baking during the holidays. My sister and I take turns hosting Christmas for our entire family, but I always make the sweets, regardless of where the party’s taking place.

I have always been a fan of Linzer cookies, but I never took the leap to make my own. This year, I decided to change that. So one morning, I excitedly turned to my husband and said, “Okay, this weekend, we’re doing it. I’m going to bake my first batch of Linzer cookies.

Chistmas tree Linzer cookies to add a festive touch to your holiday sweet table. Everything about the Linzer cookies are homemade - from the almond flour down to the jam! #linzercookies

So on a cold Saturday morning, I got up before the fam to get my baking started. I was really into it! In the middle of my baking session, my husband came in the kitchen and it dawned on him, “Oh! Linzer cookies?! My grandmother used to make these!” It was then and there I realized I had very large shoes to fill. Joe constantly talks about his late grandmother’s cooking, and every time he tells a story about her, we both get pretty emotional.

Once my batch was complete, Joe quickly grabbed for a cookie. I was sweating. What would he think? I mean, this was my first try at Linzer cookies, so I was kind of going at it blindly. After his first bite, he looked at me with loving approval. I was incredibly touched, but felt even more proud when I noticed him reaching for seconds.

Chistmas tree Linzer cookies to add a festive touch to your holiday sweet table. Everything about the Linzer cookies are homemade - from the almond flour down to the jam! #linzercookies Chistmas tree Linzer cookies to add a festive touch to your holiday sweet table. Everything about the Linzer cookies are homemade - from the almond flour down to the jam! #linzercookies

I always loved the look of Linzer cookies, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to go the traditional route with almond flour, fresh jam, etc. I had considered creating a similar looking treat but using my surefire recipe for sugar cookies. But then, I went back to the drawing board and reconsidered my decision. It was time for me to leap into a new recipe – and I’m so glad I did.

So, what is a Linzer cookie? I had done thorough research before whipping up my first batch. A Linzer cookie mimics a torte/shortbread. It has very little leavening agents (ie.: no baking powder/soda) and some recipes eliminate the egg altogether. I opted to add an egg yolk to my Linzer cookie recipe. I like the idea of eggs in my baking to act as a binding agent. The egg yolk really helped with keeping a good, firm consistency on my Linzer cookie dough.

Chistmas tree Linzer cookies to add a festive touch to your holiday sweet table. Everything about the Linzer cookies are homemade - from the almond flour down to the jam! #linzercookies Chistmas tree Linzer cookies to add a festive touch to your holiday sweet table. Everything about the Linzer cookies are homemade - from the almond flour down to the jam! #linzercookies

Linzer cookies also include almond flour. For my recipe in particular, I opted for freshly ground almond – easily made by grinding whole, raw almonds in my food processor. The addition of ground almond to a shortbread recipe is game-changing. It gives it a wholesome, fragrant flavour. It’s exactly this flavour profile that makes a Linzer cookie so special.

Another family connection we have to the Linzer cookie is its jam aspect. My father-in-law adores making homemade jam, and I decided to use one of his jars for our Linzer cookies’ filling.

One thing’s for sure: the Linzer cookie will be a part of our family cookbook. It’s just so fitting!

Here’s how to make your own Linzer cookies:

Here's how to make the cutest Linzer cookies for the holiday season. These ones are so festive because they are shaped like Christmas trees! #linzercookies

How to Make Christmas Tree Linzer Cookies for the Holidays

Ingredients & Tools

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour + extra for rolling
  • ¼ cup ground almond (about 10-15 raw almonds ground in the food processor)
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 small drops Kelly green gel food coloring
  • ¾ cup strawberry jam
  • Confectioners’ sugar, sifted (for dusting)
  • 1 Christmas tree cookie cutter (about 3 inches long and 3 inches at its widest point)
  • 1 miniature heart-shaped cookie cutter, about 1 inch in size

Yields: 7-10 Linzer cookies (depending on the size of your cookie cutters)

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolk and granulated sugar until creamy.

Add butter to egg and sugar mixture, followed by the vanilla. Mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, ground almond and salt.

Slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix until cookie dough forms.

Add green gel food coloring and knead with your hands until dough is completely tinted.

Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove dough from fridge. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll out cookie dough until it’s about ¼ of an inch thick.

Cut out 14-20 Christmas tree shapes. Place each one gently on the lined baking sheet.
Using the miniature heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a heart in the center of half of the tree-shaped cookies.

Bake for 8-10 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Using an offset spatula, spread jam in the centre of the whole cookies. Top off with a cookie with the heart-shaped centre.

Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and enjoy!

Chistmas tree Linzer cookies to add a festive touch to your holiday sweet table. Everything about the Linzer cookies are homemade - from the almond flour down to the jam! #linzercookies Chistmas tree Linzer cookies to add a festive touch to your holiday sweet table. Everything about the Linzer cookies are homemade - from the almond flour down to the jam! #linzercookies

Have you ever had Linzer cookies before? What kind of jam would you use if you made them?
Looking for a holiday cookie to bake this year? These Christmas Tree Linzer Cookies will impress your guests and fill their bellies! So adorable! #holidaylinzercookies

Gift Guide: How to Create the Cutest Baby Outfits

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and also, the best time to dress your little one in the cutest baby outfits!

Need some help for gift ideas for your little one? In this gift guide, I'm highlighting all the ways you can build the cutest baby outfits with fashionable pieces that make great gifts! #holidaygiftguide
A huge thank you to AidenAston for sponsoring this post. We couldn’t be more ecstatic to share our holiday gift guide with one of our family’s go-to clothing brands.

Highlighting some of my favourite baby fashion pieces.

I’ve always loved the idea of loungewear. As a work-at-home-mom, it’s vital that I get dressed every morning (it helps me stay productive all day long), while staying comfortable and cozy.

It’s no different for my little one. When we’re home, we like to get out of our “jammies” first thing in the morning – it keeps us from feeling sluggish throughout the day. On some days, jeans and stiff shirts just don’t cut it. I strive to invest in fashionable pieces made with quality materials; they have to be functional while staying on trend. It may seem like a tall order (and more often than not, very hard to find for the kiddies). However, this year, our family made a new fashion discovery, and I’m beyond excited to talk to you about it.

Lo and behold: AidenAston Clothing. They’re a Montreal-founded company that boasts stylish designs using quality, organic fabrics.

Ever since I visited AidenAston’s retail location (right in Montreal’s high-profile Fairview Mall), I fell in love! AidenAston’s collection is everything I look for in children’s clothing. When I discovered their line, I was incredibly eager for my little guy to sport their pieces.

Just in time for the holidays, I put together an AidenAston gift guide – so that you can build the cutest baby outfits for your little ones!

Holiday Gift Guide: Create the Cutest Baby Outfits with AidenAston Clothing!

Baby outfits are so much fun to put together. Now that I’m a mom, I think my favourite part to gift giving is being able to build little outfits using the cutest pieces – we all know that baby clothes are the best to work with!

Need some help for gift ideas for your little one? In this gift guide, I'm highlighting all the ways you can build the cutest baby outfits with fashionable pieces that make great gifts! #holidaygiftguide

1. That Floral Touch

I may be a “boy mama,” but I’ll always appreciate a good floral print, and AidenAston offers a fantastic collection of flower-inspired pieces. This flower dress is too cute for words. I love the ruffle collar and how the skirt balloons out just perfectly.

2. The Basics

When it comes to dressing your bundle of joy, there are just some basics you can’t do without. AidenAston’s body suits are extremely soft and super easy to take on and off.

3. Elevate the Onesie

Onesies are key in any baby’s day-to-day wardrobe. Unfortunately, so many of them are way too complicated to put on. Made with their signature organic cotton, AidenAston’s Long-Sleeve Kimono Body Suit is super easy to wear (with its innovative collar/neck hole, there’s no need to tug and pull over baby’s head). Genius!

4. Cozy, Comfy

Talk about loungewear! AidenAston’s jogging pants were Leo’s first piece from their beautiful collection. They’re comfy but still offer a unique style. We get compliments on these wherever we go!

5. Go Festive!

Okay, I couldn’t not include AidenAston’s beautiful Holiday Collection in this gift guide. This time of the year is all about festive pyjamas, and AidenAston’s line is irresistible. The Nutcracker Pyjama Set is cute and sophisticated, while their Christmas PJ set brings all sorts of joy to my heart.

Need some help for gift ideas for your little one? In this gift guide, I'm highlighting all the ways you can build the cutest baby outfits with fashionable pieces that make great gifts! #holidaygiftguide Need some help for gift ideas for your little one? In this gift guide, I'm highlighting all the ways you can build the cutest baby outfits with fashionable pieces that make great gifts! #holidaygiftguide Need some help for gift ideas for your little one? In this gift guide, I'm highlighting all the ways you can build the cutest baby outfits with fashionable pieces that make great gifts! #holidaygiftguide

Be sure to follow AidenAston for updates and promotions via social media through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

What’s your favourite piece from my list? Any items that you’d like for your little one’s closet?

Healthy Hair Tips

Looking for ways to take better care of your locks? My healthy hair tips are simple and basic, but highly effective.

My simple tips on healthy hair maintenance are simple yet effective. Check out the steps that I took to achieve healthy hair post pregnancy. #healthyhairtips
A huge thank you to NIUCOCO for providing the products within this post. All opinions are 100% my own and I’m so glad to have discovered this wonderful brand!

Well, hair we are (see what I did there?) and I’m ready to share my surefire tips!

Entering motherhood put my body through a lot of physical changes. I’m not going to lie, pre-motherhood (and pre-thirties) was easy breezy for me in terms of self-care. As a teen I didn’t suffer from acne, I had a fast metabolism, and my hair fell shiny and long (with very little effort).

But things have changed over the years.

Pregnancy can heavily effect a woman’s body, and I am no exception to the rule. Soon after giving birth, I realized that I needed to put more efforts in maintaining a healthy head of hair. A few years prior, all I had to do was wash, brush, and go – motherhood was my “aha” moment in taking better care of myself (and my locks!).

My simple tips on healthy hair maintenance are simple yet effective. Check out the steps that I took to achieve healthy hair post pregnancy. #healthyhairtips

Over the last few years, these are the steps I have learned to take in order to keep my hair looking its best:

Healthy Hair Tips: How to Keep Your Hair Healthy and Looking Great

7 easy steps to maintain strong and long hair. These tips are simple to follow and will help you achieve very healthy hair. #healthyhairtips

Snip, Snip: Give Your Hair a Trim

Regular visits to your hairdresser will do your hair some good! Depending on your hair’s overall health (and whether you’d like to grow it out or not), your hairdresser will have the best recommendation on how often you should get it trimmed.

Towel Pat and Don’t Towel Dry

Whoa, hold your horses with that towel rubbin’! Our hair is actually very susceptible to breakage, so be gentle with it. All the friction from rubbing your hair dry with a towel can cause frizz, dryness, and weakness.

Drink Your H20

Drinking water is always a crystal-clear solution for our health. Getting your daily recommended intake of H20 helps strengthen your hair, giving it a better chance to grow.

Careful When It’s Wet

Your hair is more fragile when it’s wet, so be sure to brush gently when coming out of the shower.

My simple tips on healthy hair maintenance are simple yet effective. Check out the steps that I took to achieve healthy hair post pregnancy. #healthyhairtips

It’s All in the Product

Your hair is as healthy as what you put on it. Over the years, it’s taken me a while to find the perfect hair product. Recently, I discovered NIUCOCO and I’m so incredibly happy that I did.

NIUCOCO is a premium hair collection that produces salon-grade results while using all-natural and non-toxic ingredients.

Before using NIUCOCO, my hair was extremely dry and had tons of split ends. NIUCOCO’s Hydrating Shampoo has helped tremendously. It has a milky, natural formula and is created with cold-pressed coconut oil. The shampoo’s natural plant extracts help nourish and produce moisture, which is perfect for dry and damaged hair like mine.

My simple tips on healthy hair maintenance are simple yet effective. Check out the steps that I took to achieve healthy hair post pregnancy. #healthyhairtips

NIUCOCO’s Smoothing Conditioner is the perfect complementary product to its Hydrating Shampoo. A big tip: remember that conditioner is best applied from the hair shaft, down. There is no need to condition your scalp – skipping this step can really help prevent product build-up.
My simple tips on healthy hair maintenance are simple yet effective. Check out the steps that I took to achieve healthy hair post pregnancy. #healthyhairtips

A Good Serum

After discovering NIUCOCO’s impressive line, I added a new step to my daily hair regime. NIUCOCO’s Renewing Hair Serum has been a game-changer. I can apply it to my hair whether it’s dry or wet – it helps contain my frizziness and control its dryness.

My simple tips on healthy hair maintenance are simple yet effective. Check out the steps that I took to achieve healthy hair post pregnancy. #healthyhairtips My simple tips on healthy hair maintenance are simple yet effective. Check out the steps that I took to achieve healthy hair post pregnancy. #healthyhairtips

Be Careful With Hair Accessories

As mentioned prior, our hair can be very fragile – so be careful with what hair accessories you use and how you use them. I try to avoid elastics with metal pieces because they often pull at my hair strands.

Tell me, what steps do you take to keep your hair healthy?

Be sure to follow NIUCOCO on social media via FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more hair inspo!

My hair changed drastically after giving birth - here are my foolproof tips in maintaining healthy hair, even after having a baby! #healthyhair

Our Winter Family Vacation at Fairmont Montebello

Need ideas for a winter family vacation? Take a look at how we uphold our annual family tradition at the beautiful Fairmont Montebello.

Fairmont le Château Montebello makes for the perfect winter getaway. There are so many reasons why we love it as our annual winter family vacation! #familytravels
A huge thank you goes out to Fairmont le Château Montebello for accommodating our beautiful winter trip. All opinions are 100% our own and we couldn’t be happier to partner with one of our all-time favourite hotel + hotel chains!

…because winter vacations can be tons of fun, despite colder weather!

Our family’s all about travel. Travelling allows us to interact with more languages, explore new destinations, and learn about other cultures. Discovering the world is the best adventure out there – and this is why we invest so much in it.

When Joe and I became parents, we took it upon ourselves to start an annual winter family vacation. I experience very heavy winter blues, so we find ways to break up the harsh season. We fill up our calendar with fun, family-friendly activities. Each week, we give ourselves something to look forward to.

Our family is well-travelled and I must say, our winter family vacation is one of our favorite getaways of the year. It’s never too intricate nor does it have an overly-packed itinerary. We often make our way up north in Quebec (we’re located in the Montreal suburbs) and take an extra long weekend to unwind and relax.

6 reasons why Fairmont le Château Montebello is the perfect place for your family's winter getaway.

Where To Stay For Your Winter Family Vacation

Fairmont properties and resorts are extraordinary. They’re a chain of luxury hotels and they boast 75 properties across 24 countries.

For our annual winter family vacation, we love staying at Fairmont Le Château Montebello. Located in the heart of Montebello, Quebec, this Fairmont property is the largest wooden structure in the world.

Here are a few reasons why we consistently choose Fairmont Le Château Montebello as our destination for our family’s annual winter getaway:

Why We Spend Family Winter Vacations at Fairmont Le Château Montebello

Rustic-Chic

Fairmont Montebello offers an incredibly cozy setting. Upon entrance, guests will immediately spot its famous stone fireplace (centered right in the lounging area). Surrounding the fireplace are large couches, wooden furniture and overall, a beautiful rustic-chic ambiance – the perfect setup for any winter getaway!

Fairmont le Château Montebello makes for the perfect winter getaway. There are so many reasons why we love it as our annual winter family vacation! #familytravels

The Ultimate in Comfort Food

Mouthwatering meals are what many of us look forward to whilst on vacation. Fairmont le Château Montebello offers a renowned breakfast buffet – and a dish you absolutely cannot miss?! Their homemade Montebello crêpes. Sheer, sheer perfection.

Fairmont le Château Montebello makes for the perfect winter getaway. There are so many reasons why we love it as our annual winter family vacation! #familytravels

Fairmont le Château Montebello makes for the perfect winter getaway. There are so many reasons why we love it as our annual winter family vacation! #familytravels

Well-Lit for the Holidays

During the holiday season, Fairmont Montebello is decorated from top to bottom. Be sure to take a photo in front of their outstanding Christmas tree, which stands at 25 feet high.

Fairmont le Château Montebello makes for the perfect winter getaway. There are so many reasons why we love it as our annual winter family vacation! #familytravels Fairmont le Château Montebello makes for the perfect winter getaway. There are so many reasons why we love it as our annual winter family vacation! #familytravels

Newly Renovated Rooms

Recently, some of Château Montebello’s charming rooms became even more beautiful (if that’s even possible!) with a tasteful and bright renovation. We were lucky enough to stay in the one of them and was it ever a treat!

Fairmont le Château Montebello makes for the perfect winter getaway. There are so many reasons why we love it as our annual winter family vacation! #familytravels Fairmont le Château Montebello makes for the perfect winter getaway. There are so many reasons why we love it as our annual winter family vacation! #familytravels

Winter-Themed Activities

Château Montebello is no ordinary destination. The resort is surrounded by woods, hiking trails, and a gorgeous river. Because its property is so large, it can accommodate to all sorts of activities. During the wintertime, your family can participate in ice skating, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, and more!

It’s So Unforgettable!

So, if you ask me, the best way to spend a winter family vacation is to head to a place that has it all. Château Montebello is the ultimate destination at any time of the year, but you’ll be so glad that you headed there during the winter season.

During this time of the year, they have plenty of winter-friendly packages that’ll be perfect (and totally accommodating) to your upcoming winter getaway!

Have you ever found yourself thinking hard of winter family vacation ideas? I hope this guide helps you out! What’s the one feature about Château Montebello that you love most?

You can also check out my other Château Montebello guides here and here.

This is how our family spent the perfect 4 days at Fairmont Montebello - our #1 destination for our annual winter family vacation. #wintervacation #travelquebec

Meringue Snowmen

These meringue snowmen will totally melt your heart.

Whip-up these super cute Meringue Snowmen cookies this holiday season. They're sweet, adorable and super fun to make with the kids! #meltedsnowmencookies
We’re thrilled to partner with Bulk Barn for this recipe! They’re our go-to shop for all of our baking endeavours!

Today, I’m sharing my foolproof recipe on how to make your own meringue cookies for the holidays.

I’ve talked about meringue cookies on the blog before. For those of you loyal readers, I’m sure you’ve come across my Valentine Meringue Cookie Sandwiches as well as my Meringue Ghost Cupcakes.

For the Christmas season, I just knew that I wanted to whip up something thematic. Below, I’ll show you how to make meringue cookies and how to decorate them for the holidays.

Rather than baking traditional sugar cut-out cookies, I opted for meringue cookies. I love experimenting with different recipes by adding different elements to them. Rather than just serving straight-up meringue, I figured decorating it with a variety of treats would give them some originality.

Whip-up these super cute Meringue Snowmen cookies this holiday season. They're sweet, adorable and super fun to make with the kids! #meltedsnowmencookies

Of course, I headed to Bulk Barn to purchase the bulk (no pun intended!) of my ingredients.The concept of Bulk Barn is simple: their aisles’ boast large bins of products that are available for direct consumer purchase. They carry all sorts of items: from flour to chia seeds, chocolate chips to candies, and spices to teas. I love that I can control the amount of each ingredient I choose to purchase. They’re all about taking environmental endeavours, so they encourage the use of containers and jars as you shop.

I also love the fact that they constantly have sales and promotions. If you sign up for their newsletter, you get weekly access to their coupons – and it’s really worth it if you’re constantly baking delicious treats.

Whip-up these super cute Meringue Snowmen cookies this holiday season. They're sweet, adorable and super fun to make with the kids! #meltedsnowmencookies Whip-up these super cute Meringue Snowmen cookies this holiday season. They're sweet, adorable and super fun to make with the kids! #meltedsnowmencookies

These Meringue Snowmen will surely be a hit at your upcoming Christmas party. Here’s how to make them:

These snowmen meringue cookies will surely melt your heart. They're incredibly adorable and full of flavour! #meringuecookies

How to Make Meringue Snowmen

For the meringue:
2 egg whites, room temperature
¼ tsp lemon juice (cream of tartar would work, too)
½ cup granulated sugar

For the buttercream frosting:
½ stick butter (approx. ¼ cup), softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp milk

To decorate:
Black decorating frosting, with Wilton tip #3 attached
Orange decorating frosting, with Wilton tip #3 attached
3 mini pretzel sticks, broken into quarters

Yields: One dozen meringue snowmen

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Using a stand electric mixer, start beating egg whites and lemon juice on slow speed.

Slowly add granulated sugar and increase mixer’s speed to high. Beat for at least 10 minutes or until stiff peaks start to form.

Scoop meringue into a piping bag and pipe out 12 “blobs” on the lined baking sheet (note: they don’t need to be uniform since they will look like “melted” snowmen – they should be about 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter.

Bake for 2 hours. Once time is up, turn off the heat and keep them in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the buttercream frosting: using an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugar and milk.

Once the buttercream starts to take shape (ie.: is smooth and forms semi-stiff peaks), scoop ¾ of it into a piping bag with Wilton tip #5 attached.

Remove meringue cookies from oven and allow to cool. Frost a buttercream circle on the top of each meringue cookie.

With the black decorating frosting, pipe out eyes and buttons.

Using the orange decorating frosting, pie out a carrot nose.

Dip the pretzel pieces in the remaining buttercream and place two on either side of each of your meringue snowmen cookies.

Whip-up these super cute Meringue Snowmen cookies this holiday season. They're sweet, adorable and super fun to make with the kids! #meltedsnowmencookies

Whip-up these super cute Meringue Snowmen cookies this holiday season. They're sweet, adorable and super fun to make with the kids! #meltedsnowmencookies

What do you think of these meringue snowmen cookies? Is it something you think your family would enjoy?
These meringue snowmen cookies will be the showstopper at your upcoming holiday party. Check out our step-by-step instructions on how to whip them up! #meringuecookies

Simple Tips to Stay Hydrated This Winter

The winter season is a harsh one – and these simple tips can help you stay hydrated all season long.

The winter season can feel like a long one. Read up on our foolproof tips on how to stay hydrated all season long. #staydrated
This post contains affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase from our links. Thank you for supporting Fabulous Habits and being a part of our community!

Our newest contributor, Steph, has the 411.

You guys… I’m so incredibly eager to announce that Fabulous Habits now has a new contributor. Steph is a dear friend and incredibly well-versed in the self-care space. I’m a firm believer in the power of multiple voices. This blog has always been dedicated to making every day fabulous, whether it be through food, parenting or travel. With the help of Steph, we aim to share more in the world of beauty and health. So please, welcome her as she shares her surefire tips on how to stay hydrated all winter long. (Psst: you can check out her Instagram here!)

The winter season can feel like a long one. Read up on our foolproof tips on how to stay hydrated all season long. #staydrated

Without further ado, I introduce you Steph – I hope you enjoy her tips as much as I do!

Staying hydrated goes beyond water intake. While drinking your h20 is vital, you also have to think of other beauty aspects like masks, moisturizers, etc. Here are surefire tips on how to stay hydrated all year long.

Steph’s Simple Tips to Stay Hydrated This Summer

Saying goodbye to summer is hard, not only does the nice weather turn cold, but our skin often suffers because it has little time to adjust to the dry and cold temperatures. To me, the best way to keep your skin looking healthy and glowy is to bathe it with moisture and keep it hydrated. Here are my seven tips (and products) to keep your skin looking its best.

Water

Don’t get me wrong, I think this one is quite obvious, but you can easily forget to drink enough water throughout the day. Hydrated skin definitely starts from within which makes drinking water throughout the day that much more important. A tip I use to drink more water is to make sure I’m using my favourite water bottle. Whether it’s a cute tumbler from Starbucks or a pretty S’well bottle, you’re more I find you’re likely to drink more water out of a bottle you love.

Body Oil

For a long time, I never used body oils because I was a little skeptical and thought it would leave my body feeling oily. This fall I decided to try the Shea Moisture Bath, Body and Massage Oil, and was pleasantly surprised: it smells amazing and keeps my skin feeling moisturized all night long. If you’re going to use a body oil, I suggest applying it at night so that there is no worry it transfers.

The winter season can feel like a long one. Read up on our foolproof tips on how to stay hydrated all season long. #staydrated

Another good way to use these oils is in the shower or bath. L’Occitane’s Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil is a body cleanser rich in almond oil. It’ll leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized. A definite must-have for cold months.

Cleansers

Cleansers are a very important step to keeping your skin hydrated in the winter because you want to make sure don’t strip your skin of all its moisture. I like to use a cleansing balm to remove my makeup and follow that with a milk cleanser. Milk cleansers aren’t usually too harsh for your face and leave a moisturizing touch to your skin. With this being the first step of your skin care routine, you want to make sure you have a good base for the products you’ll apply after.

Masks

With our busy schedules we often forget to pamper ourselves. Here are two quick masks you can do right before bed to have the softest skin in the morning:

The first is a hydrating overnight face mask. These are amazing because you can apply them before going to bed and you don’t have to worry about time (tip: apply one of these before getting on a plane, and your skin will thank you when you land). My favourite at the moment is the Origins Drink Up Intensive mask.

Foot masks are another great way to keep an often dry part of our body moisturized. With our busy schedules, we forget to give our feet the attention they deserve. Lately, right before going to bed, I apply a foot mask and the next morning my feet feel so soft.

Moisturizers

Moisturizing is something I didn’t do for a long time. One winter I decided to try it out and noticed a difference almost immediately. I usually moisturize right out of the shower with either with a body oil, a thick cream or a just shea butter. You want to avoid having your skin feel tight and almost flaky. This is why even moisturizing just once a day is so important.

A holy grail product that I use all year round, but especially in the winter, is Egyptian Magic. Just like the names says, it’s magic. It has a balm like consistency that melts in your hands. I use it on my face at night, but I also use it to help heal my skin if its irritated or dry. This is truly a must have in my house and a great stocking stuffer.

The winter season can feel like a long one. Read up on our foolproof tips on how to stay hydrated all season long. #staydrated

Face oil

I think we all know the importance of a good moisturizer, but sometimes a moisturizer isn’t enough. If you think your routine is missing something, try a face oil. My current product of choice is the Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil which is specifically made for dry skin. Some prefer only using these types of products at night, but with the colder weather, I definitely recommend incorporating it into your morning routine as well. I use two drops under my moisturizer to help keep the moisture in throughout the day.

The winter season can feel like a long one. Read up on our foolproof tips on how to stay hydrated all season long. #staydrated

Hair

Let’s not forget about our hair. It’s important to make sure we are using hydrating shampoos that wash the products out of our hair while keeping it hydrated. My current favourite is the Aveda Cherry Almond Softening Shampoo and its matching conditioner.

Another important step is to use a hair mask. You can choose how fancy you want to get and either make one at home or buy one. For an easy at-home hair mask mix one banana with two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey, and voila, you’ve got a hydrating hair mask.

From Steph’s list of tips, are there any that you’ve already incorporated in your day-to-day? What habits do you see yourself adding to your daily routine? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow Fabulous Habits on Instagram for more (daily!) updates.

These 7 simple tips will help you stay hydrated - and it goes beyond drinking that glass of h20. We're excited to share all of our self-care tips!

Marshmallow Snowman Treats

Time to liven up your cup of holiday cocoa! My Marshmallow Snowman Treats will melt your heart and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Your kids will love seeing these marshmallow snowman treats floating atop their cup of hot cocoa. Learn how to make them with our simple step-by-step instructions.
We are so pleased to partner up with Bulk Barn on this post. All opinions are 100% are own and we can’t wait to share this recipe with you!

Every serving of hot chocolate deserves a generous helping of marshmallows!

When it comes to holiday season planning, I can get pretty frazzled. I mean, can you blame me? It seems like there’s always something to think about: presents, food, parties, décor, etc. While this time of year is the “fun” kind of busy, I still like to develop recipes that are quick, simple, and help elevate my family’s Christmas experience.

Your kids will love seeing these marshmallow snowman treats floating atop their cup of hot cocoa. Learn how to make them with our simple step-by-step instructions.

On my weekly visit to Bulk Barn, I noticed that they sold marshmallows (and as a seasoned Bulk Barn shopper, it actually came as a surprise to me). Though not sold in “bulk form,” I fell in love with the fact that I was able to pick up one of my prime ingredients at one of my favourite stores. (I often bake rice cereal treats, so I tend to use marshmallows on a regular basis.)

From this visit, I was immediately inspired for my next holiday recipe: Marshmallow Snowman Treats. During this time of the year, our family’s all about hot cocoa. I knew that I could elevate our hot chocolate experience by getting creative with pieces of marshmallows.

So, how do you make hot chocolate fun? By topping it with a marshmallow snowman, of course! And how do you make a marshmallow snowman? Well, all it takes is a few ingredients and tools: marshmallows, candy melts, toothpicks, and miniature peanut butter cups.

Your kids will love seeing these marshmallow snowman treats floating atop their cup of hot cocoa. Learn how to make them with our simple step-by-step instructions.

Trust me, my Marshmallow Snowman Treats are the perfect topper to your cup of hot cocoa. Your kids will have a blast when they spot their new sweet buddy floating atop their favourite drink.

One of my tips in making these Marshmallow Snowman Treats is flattening out each marshmallow. I press down gently on each one and it gives me more “square footage” to work with.

Your kids will love seeing these marshmallow snowman treats floating atop their cup of hot cocoa. Learn how to make them with our simple step-by-step instructions. Your kids will love seeing these marshmallow snowman treats floating atop their cup of hot cocoa. Learn how to make them with our simple step-by-step instructions.

I don’t get to work with miniature peanut butter cups very often, but I love using them as hats whenever I make a snowman-themed dessert.

To accompany my Marshmallow Snowman Treats, I also put together my Marshmallow Snowflake Treats. Again, it’s all about elevating the Christmas experience. I wanted to give my miniature marshmallows a sparkly makeover. Both marshmallow treats really complement one another. They also make for great conversation starters at our family’s holiday get-togethers.

Your kids will love seeing these marshmallow snowman treats floating atop their cup of hot cocoa. Learn how to make them with our simple step-by-step instructions.

Okay, so are you itching for the recipe now? I bet you are! Best news is that both of these marshmallow treats are incredibly easy to whip up. Here’s how:

Looking for a cute recipe for the holiday season? Don't have a lot of times on your hands? Then these Marshmallow Snowman Treats are your solution! Whip them up with the kids and elevate your next cup of hot cocoa. #marshmallowsnowmen

How to Make Marshmallow Snowman Treats for Your Cup of Hot Chocolate

Ingredients for Marshmallow Snowmen

Yields: 6 marshmallow snowmen

Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

Slightly flatten each marshmallow by pressing down on them – this step is optional but I like to do it to make the marshmallow slightly larger.

Insert one toothpick through two marshmallows. Be sure to have a small portion of the toothpick sticking out from the top.

Insert one miniature peanut butter cup through the tip of the exposed toothpick.

In a microwave safe bowl, microwave orange candy melts in 30 second intervals, mixing between each interval.

Pour orange candy melt in a frosting bag with Wilton tip #5 attached. Frost a “carrot nose” on each marshmallow.

Your kids will love seeing these marshmallow snowman treats floating atop their cup of hot cocoa. Learn how to make them with our simple step-by-step instructions.

Microwave brown candy melts in a separate bowl (in 30 second intervals as well). Pour into a frosting bag with Wilton tip #3 attached.

Pipe out eyes and buttons on each marshmallow treat. Serve in a large cup of hot cocoa and enjoy!

Ingredients for Marshmallow Snowflake Treats

Microwave white chocolate chips for 20 seconds or until completely melted.

Dip top of each marshmallow into melted chocolate and then dip into bowl of blue sprinkles.

Set carefully on lined baking sheet and allow to set completely.

Serve and enjoy!

Your kids will love seeing these marshmallow snowman treats floating atop their cup of hot cocoa. Learn how to make them with our simple step-by-step instructions. Your kids will love seeing these marshmallow snowman treats floating atop their cup of hot cocoa. Learn how to make them with our simple step-by-step instructions. Your kids will love seeing these marshmallow snowman treats floating atop their cup of hot cocoa. Learn how to make them with our simple step-by-step instructions.

Do you like topping your hot cocoa with marshmallows? Don’t forget to sign up to Bulk Barn’s newsletter so you can catch their weekly sales! (Trust me, totally worth it!)

How to make a Marshmallow Snowman topper for your cup of hot cocoa. Happy holidays!

Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials

Life with toddlers is an exciting journey, so be sure to pack these diaper bag essentials for before your next adventure!

What are the things you have to take with you on your next adventure with your toddler? Don't stress too much! We got you covered with our list of diaper bag essentials. #packingdiaperbags

You can never be too prepared.

I remember, when Leo was first born, I would try to fit everything into my diaper bag – and then some. As we transitioned into the toddler years, I learned exactly what our family’s diaper bag essentials were; helping me from overpacking and, most importantly, avoiding any, “Oh-we-should-have-brought-those!” moments.

I would like to think that my diaper bag checklist has been refined in over the last two years, so I wanted to share what we take along with us when we’re on-the-go. Of course, packing for a toddler is much simpler than getting ready with a newborn. Diaper bag checklists have to adjust according to the baby’s age and their primary needs.

Before I list out our diaper bag essentials, I think the best concept for being diaper-bag-ready is following the “grab and go” rule. The items I keep in our diaper bag are solely for the diaper bag, so plan accordingly. I highly recommend purchasing that extra hat, shirt, bottle/sippy cup, etc. to avoid taking things in and out of it. The only things I refill are diapers and take out any food items (ie.: bottles and sippy cups) if they need cleaning.

Curious to know what’s in my diaper bag? The list isn’t too sophisticated, but these items are the essentials that ensure we are ready for all of our adventures:

Our list isn't too sophisticated, but it definitely highlights all of the diaper bag essentials. Never leave home without these key items in your toddler's diaper bag! #diaperbag #whattopackinadiaperbag

Our Family’s Diaper Bag Essentials

Hat or Toque

Depending on the season, we will choose to leave either a baseball cap or a winter hat in our bag, even if my little guy is already wearing one. This should be one of the items you have “extra” of, that’s dedicated solely for your diaper bag.

Extra Change of Clothes

Speaking of that spare hat, we also always pack a t-shirt and bottoms because, you know… toddlers are toddlers! Of course, if you end up using the spare clothing items, be sure to replace them in your diaper bag as soon as you get home.

Sippy Cup or Bottle

Staying hydrated is key for anybody – no matter how old you are! We always have a bottle or sippy cup on-hand. This also makes it easy when we dine out as a family and the restaurant doesn’t provide kid-friendly cups.

What are the things you have to take with you on your next adventure with your toddler? Don't stress too much! We got you covered with our list of diaper bag essentials. #packingdiaperbags

Our UPPAbaby Changing Backpack comes with an insulated bottle case that’s easy to clean. We just slip our bottle right in, which makes it so much easier to find in the bag!

Diaper Duty

Whether your toddler is potty trained or not, diapers/training pants are vital to have in your bag. I use a separate case for wipes and our trusty backpack by UPPAbaby comes with its own changing pad. Be sure to double check if diapers or wipes need refilling so that you’re always ready to go!

What are the things you have to take with you on your next adventure with your toddler? Don't stress too much! We got you covered with our list of diaper bag essentials. #packingdiaperbags

Snacks

Some notable snacks include: raisins, granola bars and cheese crackers. Just like diapers and wipes, be sure to always check if snacks need refilling/replacing (ie.: whether they’ve passed their best before date, packaging is ripped, etc.)

Hand Sanitizer

Alrighty, so this one is meant more for me. Messes happen and, while I rely on wipes to get the little one clean, sometimes hand sanitizer is a must if I’m dealing with things that are plagued with germs. (Poop explosion, anyone?)

Your Toddler’s Toy of the “Moment”

I try not to overload our diaper bag with too many of them, but a good toy or two can help every once in a while. Just as I rotate activities at home, I also tend to rotate the small toys I put into our changing backpack.

What are the things you have to take with you on your next adventure with your toddler? Don't stress too much! We got you covered with our list of diaper bag essentials. #packingdiaperbags

Sunscreen

It’s always better to be safe! I pack a kid-friendly sunscreen for my little one and a regular one for the rest of the fam.

It’s All in the Bag!

Of course, the type of diaper bag you pack is at the core of it all! I’m a huge sucker for accessories so I’ve run into a few diaper bags in my years as a new mom.

To date, I’ve been most impressed with my UPPAbaby Changing Backpack. It’s lightweight and never feels overfilled. Plus, its multiple compartments help me stay organized. I know exactly where everything is – which is key when you’re in a rush and need something right away.

The material used to make the UPPAbaby Changing Backpack is water-resistant. I’m in awe of its durability and ease of use. I can also clean it with a simple wipe. The bag comes with stroller straps, so I can just clip it onto my UPPAbaby MINU stroller, allowing me to save room in its already spacious basket.

What are the things you have to take with you on your next adventure with your toddler? Don't stress too much! We got you covered with our list of diaper bag essentials. #packingdiaperbags

I hope my diaper bag essentials will inspire you to approach packing for a toddler with some minimalism. To sum it all up:
Things to Pack in Your Diaper Bag
• Extra hat
• Extra change of clothes
• Sippy cup or bottle
• Diapers and wipes
• Changing pad
• Snacks
• Hand sanitizer
• 1 or 2 small toys
• Hand sanitizer
• Sunscreen for the whole family

What are the items you can’t leave home without?

Got your diaper bag list ready? Don't worry, we got it for ya! Here is the ultimate guide for diaper bag essentials! #diaperbagessentials

Candy Cane Cookies

This year, indulge in these sweet candy cane cookies – perfect for any Christmas spread!

Struggling on deciding which cookies to make this year? These Candy Cane Cookies will surely catch everyone's attention at your upcoming Christmas party. #christmascookies

Ahh, the possibilities of sugar cookies.

Cookies are truly the epitome of the Christmas season. This year, I intend on gifting a container tin filled with cookies to my neighbours. I think it’s a great way to get to know them – especially because we’re new in the area.

When it comes to Christmas cookies, I’m always torn on which ones to make. Chocolate chip? Gingerbread? Linzer?

Struggling on deciding which cookies to make this year? These Candy Cane Cookies will surely catch everyone's attention at your upcoming Christmas party. #christmascookies Struggling on deciding which cookies to make this year? These Candy Cane Cookies will surely catch everyone's attention at your upcoming Christmas party. #christmascookies

Sugar cookies are a great option because they’re incredibly versatile. My candy cane cookies are a fantastic treat for this time of the year. They give a fun twist (literally!) to the traditional Christmas dessert. Full of flavour and colour, these little delights are tons of fun to make with the kids.

Struggling on deciding which cookies to make this year? These Candy Cane Cookies will surely catch everyone's attention at your upcoming Christmas party. #christmascookies Struggling on deciding which cookies to make this year? These Candy Cane Cookies will surely catch everyone's attention at your upcoming Christmas party. #christmascookies

So, how do you make sugar cookies? Well, good news is that my recipe is extremely easy to whip up – and yields impressive results! Recently, I’ve been having fun shaping and molding my sugar cookie dough. Traditionally, sugar cookies are cut out into shapes with cookie cutters. However, I think giving them a 3D shape has given my recent batches some uniqueness (like my Witch Finger Cookies and Bone Sugar Cookies).

Struggling on deciding which cookies to make this year? These Candy Cane Cookies will surely catch everyone's attention at your upcoming Christmas party. #christmascookies Struggling on deciding which cookies to make this year? These Candy Cane Cookies will surely catch everyone's attention at your upcoming Christmas party. #christmascookies

Without further ado, here’s my surefire recipe for sugar cookies – more specifically, Candy Cane Cookies! Here’s how to make ‘em:

How to make the cutest candy cane cookies - an easy recipe that's perfect for the holiday season! #Christmascookies

How to Make Candy Cane Cookies with the Easiest Sugar Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp red gel food colouring

Yields: 2 dozen cookies

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and egg. Add peppermint extract.

In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.

Slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until cookie dough forms.

Wrap cookie dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Remove chilled cookie dough from fridge and let sit for 5 minutes.

Divide cookie dough in two and color one of the halves with red gel food coloring. Knead until completely tinted.

Roll out both cookie dough colors into small spheres, about 1 ½ inches in diameter.

For one cookie, you’ll need one sphere of each color. Roll each one into small logs, about 3 inches long and half an inch in width.

Press both cookie dough logs together at the top, so they’re attached. Twist them around each other.

Roll the cookie dough twist so that they’re completely incorporated with one another – this will create a smooth candy cane cookie and results in a “rod” about 5 inches long.

Continue for the rest and place each one carefully on lined baking sheet.

Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes. Serve with your favorite cookie buttercream dip.

What kind of Christmas baking do you like to do?
Struggling on deciding which cookies to make this year? These Candy Cane Cookies will surely catch everyone's attention at your upcoming Christmas party. #christmascookies Struggling on deciding which cookies to make this year? These Candy Cane Cookies will surely catch everyone's attention at your upcoming Christmas party. #christmascookies Looking to fill your sugar cookie tin this holiday season? Try out this recipe for Candy Cane Cookies - so delicious and so adorable! #Christmascookies

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