Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Do you ever wonder how celebrities get their super tight bodies? How they stay slim with their crazy busy schedules? How they manage to keep off extra weight during the colder seasons? Well, here's how!

(I was amused).

But really, how about some inspiration from those celebs that really do work hard to get their rockin' hot bods:

Noted for maintaining her lady-like curves while still building muscle,
Jessica Biel does double duty with exercises that work multiple muscle groups.

Fergie blasts fat with loads of cardio (and all that

In addition to golfing and surfing, Cameron Diaz stays trim by training
with her beau, Yankees star, Alex Rodriguez.

Eva Longoria keeps her petite frame tight with the help
of a personal trainer, eating healthy, and tons of water!

Model and actress, Minka Kelly, works hard to keep her 5'5" frame
in tip-top shape, but even she can't go without sweet treats
(her fave is peach cobbler).


On another note, check out the sidebar for a link to my tri-training fitness log. Plus, keep an eye out for training-specific tips and advice.

images and video via youtube and google

Monday, 30 May 2011


Get Julie's (of Sincerely, Jules) casual chic look.

For Julie's original post, click here.

Done and done.

images via sincerely, jules, delia's, seychelles, clare vivier, aritzia and pinterest

Friday, 27 May 2011


Dear, sweet weekend, I thought you'd never come.

Sushi with friends.

Toronto Botanical Gardens

We sing.

Junk to treasures.
Amidst the obvious plans for this weekend (reading, writing, film watching, reading), I do have a few not-so-blah things lined up: sushi with friends, a visit to the Toronto Botanical Garden (fingers crossed that it doesn't rain), karaoke, and best of all, R and I are taking a day to get out of the city and into the country for our annual antiquing trip to St. Jacob's. Whether you know it or not, I'm big into thrifting and antiquing, so I couldn't be more excited!

Happy weekend, y'all!

What do you have planned this weekend?

images via free people, google, and pinterest 


Sexy backs--for spring, summer, fall, winter...whenever, really.

Low-cut backs in fun summer prints.
Criss-cross backs and drape-y day-to-night wear.
From backless summer dresses to sleek and sexy open-back blouses.

Bright backless numbers--for wherever you may go.
images via summer love, we heart it, pretty stuffand know your rights  

Thursday, 26 May 2011


I'm getting me one of these. These as in the oh-so-famous chalkboard walls. Some people may think they're overdone (and they are appearing and reappearing everywhere), but I think they're pretty awesome.

Since R and I are only renting our apartment, there's not much we can do to the place since (1) it's not in our lease, we'd have to get permission and (2) do we really want to put that much money into a place that we're only renting? That said, R re-tiled the kitchen floor back in December, so it looks like we've already stepped on some toes...ahem, so what's a little paint, right? A little black paint?

We've already re-painted the base boards, trim, doors, and fireplace a clean white--just to freshen things up (particularly in the bathroom, which was looking a little dreary and is now bright white and beautiful--pics to come shortly). But now it's time for a little kitchen make-over.

I'm seeing a fresh coat of white on the French cabinetry, maybe some new hardware--draw pulls, handles--and of course, I'm really itching to put in a chalkboard wall.

As a galley kitchen, the far wall of the kitchen would be the perfect place for a chalkboard wall. To justify my blackboard wall further, it is just one wall, and what's to say that it can't be painted over white when we decide to move out. Shouldn't we love the place we're in now? Despite only renting our apartment, should R and I go ahead and decorate how we want?

So much to ponder, yet so little time (before I whip out the brushes and get to it).

What are your thoughts on chalkboard walls?

images via design sponge

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


I keep hearing that 'doughnuts are the new cupcakes', and while that's not the best news for me (as I'm in the midst of getting a cupcake business up and running), I can't help but be intrigued by what appears to be a doughnut craze.

So, what peaked my interest? None other than Jelly Modern Doughnuts. Located in Calgary, Alberta, Jelly Modern is a must-stop this summer (or next week, whenever). I've never been to the place, but I've heard great things about it--as in, I came across Jelly Modern via another blog, carefully studied its website and am in doughnut love.

Jelly Modern is the doughnut reinvented, using quality,
local ingredients to perfect sophisticated flavours.

Since I'm on the other side of the country, though, it may be a little while until I actually get to dig my teeth into some sweet doughy goodness, oozing with deliciousness.

It looks like I may have to try out some local doughnut favourites in the meantime...so what's on the menu? Apparently the simple French-inspired restaurant, Delux, has some fantastic doughnuts offered on its 'Cuban Brunch' menu. That Thobors Boulangerie Patisserie Cafe has some of the best doughnuts in the city should come as no surprise--have you seen what else they offer? Om nom nom (I'm drooling just thinking about it). Also noted for delicious doughnuts is C5 Restaurant Lounge, which offers a prune beignet with mandarin sugar and citrus glaze as part of its sophisticated dessert menu.

Which will it be first? Well, considering it's (nearly) swimsuit season, perhaps I should pace my sweets intake, but Thobors is looking extra delish.

Check out Jelly Modern on the web for more details, and if you happen to be in western Canada anytime soon, maybe stop by Jelly Modern for a doughnut--or two.

images via jelly modern

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


 Day 1 of my tri-training was yesterday. Success? Yes. Perhaps.

I started my training with a short 30-minute run. I haven't ran in a while, so I felt a little 'bottom heavy' (know what I mean?). By my last leg, though, I was feeling great. The sun was shining, it was warm out--gorgeous weather for a run.

And then BAM. Before I know it, I'm skidding across the pavement outside a neighbourhood restaurant, giving diners a show.

It was the first time that's ever happened to me--the first time I ever collided with a sidewalk at that speed, that intensity (I wasn't going that fast, but it was fast enough). Ugh.

So, what happened? My laces. They're really long and so when I tie them, there's always huge loops. I was running, zooming along...right, left, right, left, right through the left's loop and whammy. Surprisingly, my hands were scratch-free. My left thigh on the other hand, a little banged up--but I'll live.

Once I re-tied my shoes and brushed myself off, I turned around to a table of eight shooting glances towards me in suprise/shock/concern. It was an open-window concept at this particular restaurant, so I shared a few laughs with the table, thanked them for their concern, and wished them a happy holiday Monday. Then I was off again!

Today is day 2 of my training and I will be heading to the gym for a much-needed boxing and conditioning class.

Each day, I will be posting my workout to the right under 'tri training'. Of course,  I will be altering the training plan from Women's Health, so for the official plan, see here. Also, I hope to add a page to the site specifically for this 12-week challenge, so that I can share my progress with you (and hopefully yours with me) as often as I like, without taking up an entire post each week. Stay tuned!

images via think fit, fighting for fit, and google 

Monday, 23 May 2011


For fun and easy spring/summer pieces, all eyes on: Hallelu.

It's hippy meets vintage with notes of preppy and sometimes grunge--it's the perfect take on an easy summer look.

From this season's bright pop colours to simple whites, Hallelu has it all. Check out Hallelu's online shop for a unique selection of dresses, tops, bottoms, shoes, and accessories, all inspired by the brand's boutique in the coastal town of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

On a side note, I've added a box on the right (see below 'current inspiration') to keep track of and share with you my summer get-fit challenge--which starts today. Click here to see my post on triathlon training. And stay tuned! Every Tuesday, I'll have a brief update as to how the training program is going and what challenges I may have encountered, etc. etc.
Happy Monday!

images via hallelu

Friday, 20 May 2011


It's Friday--what do you have planned for the weekend? And if you're celebrating Victoria Day, the long weekend?

Unfortunately, a family member passed away last week, so R and I will be flying out west for the funeral and to spend some much needed time with family and friends.

Otherwise, I have a ton of reading for school to do, as well as three films to watch for one of my classes (one of the courses I'm taking is all about Hitchcock films--pretty awesome, actually). For Monday, I have to have watched Rope, Shadow of a Doubt, and Vertigo. I don't know when I'll find the time, but that's not really a huge concern right now.

Right now is about staying sane.

About getting an extra hour of sleep, because my past three weekends have been occupied by work and...work.

Having no place to go. Or at least pretending to have no place to go--even for just a moment.

And appreciating the simple things in life.

images via google, design is mine, and so much to tell you


I had to use the hunkiest photo I could find. 
 Curtis Stone--if you're not familiar with this hunky chef from the 'land down under', well then, get with it. If you're into food, handsome looking dudes, and handsome looking dudes who cook food, then you'll probably really like Curtis Stone.

I honestly don't know what to say about him. I'm never one to get excited about celebrities (ie. seeing celebrities in real life), but when it comes to a celebrity chef, I get pretty excited. Just last fall, I nearly ran up to a man in a crowded mall because I thought that he was Gordon Ramsey. Yes, Gordon Ramsey. So, you can only imagine my reaction to Curtis Stone--handsome-lovely-with accent Curtis Stone.

Curtis has had a couple of cooking shows, Surfing the Menu and Take Home Chef. In addition, he has been seen on television programs, Celebrity Apprentice and America's Next Great Restaurant. He offers a slew of fabulous (and healthy, sometimes indulgent) recipes and frequents the Today Show with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford. Oh, and can't forget how when asked about his love for cooking and how he got started, he pays homage to his Granny. Adorable.

What makes me like Curtis Stone even more? Oh, it's not that he has a part-Asian girlfriend (his girlfriend is actress, Lindsay Price) or anything--I'm half-Asian. Connection? Not really, but I can try to live vicariously through Lindsay. Maybe, maybe not.

Doesn't matter, though, because I'd rather be cooking for and sharing meals with my own, R--who, by the way, is also fan of Curtis. And who would probably not want me to tell you that.

Regardless, make sure to check out Curtis's website--there's tons to look at/explore.

Here's to cooking with loved ones. Cheers!

video and image via youtube and google

Thursday, 19 May 2011


I know I only do my laundry in the basement of an old apartment building (right now), but one day I'll be able to have a pretty (awesome) laundry room like any one of these:

And then maybe I'll start to like doing the laundry, too.

Clockwise from top-left: 1/ Super simple, plus, gotta
love that sink. 2/ With walls this colour, what isn't
cheery about doing laundry? 3/ Love the pale yellow
and white combined with the dark wood--it's fresh
country. 4/ Lots of wall storage, sink, rolling laundry
carts? Yes,  yes please!
 What do you think?

images via birch and lily, pinterest, and  room269

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Continuing with our superfoods series, we're shining a light on: blueberries--little sapphires of healthy goodness.

Blueberries have significant nutritional benefits--not to mention they're super tasty when in season! Packed with antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanidins, blueberries neutralize free radical damage to the collagen matrix (the ground substanec of all body tissues) of cells and tissues that can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemmorrhoids, peptic ulcers, heart disease, and cancer. Anthocyanins, the blue-red pigments found in blueberries, improve the integrity of support structures in the veins and entire vascular system. Anthocyanins have been shown to enhance the effects of vitamin C, improve capillary integrity, and stabilize the collagen matrix. For more specific details on the health benefits of blueberries, see here. Bottom line, though? They're mega good for you.

My favourite ways to enjoy blueberries? In pancakes for a weekend breakfast or brunch, with Greek yogurt and granola for an afternoon snack, or most commonly, in a morning smoothie!

Here's my favourite recipe:

Blueberry Protein Shake

1 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 scoop whey protein powder
drizzle of agave nectar, optional

1. In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

Makes 1 serving.

Try This: Off-season, blueberries can be quite pricey. Stock up on fresh blueberries when in season, clean and store in the freezer for later use. Or try purchasing frozen blueberries in your grocery's freezer aisle--when you're ready to use them, thaw for use in baked goods and sauces, or use them frozen in fruit smoothies. 

information provided by world's healthiest foods

image via smoothie web

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


In the most recent issue of Women's Health magazine, there's an article about triathlons--mainly how you can become a triathlete (not to mention get a smokin' hot body) by following their 12-week training plan of running, cycling, and swimming.

Hmpf. Sounds easy enough.

Well, even for me--who considers herself a 'fitness buff' and in relatively good shape--the whole notion of training for a triathlon is a little daunting. Okay, maybe a lot daunting.

But what's great about the training plan outlined in WH is that it starts off slow and becomes increasingly more challenging as the weeks pass--logical, right?--insofar that it becomes available for (pretty much) anyone to tackle. Okay, maybe make a few adjustments if you've never swum before or fall off your bike going uphill.

So, do I want to train for a triathlon? Yes and no. While I do want to train as if I were competing in a triathlon, I have no intention of actually entering a race (at least not today, but definitely some day).

All throughout high school, I swam competitively, and it was hands-down the best shape I have ever been in. Plus, for just $10, I can get a pass to my university gym for an entire year, where I can use the pool as much as I want--so why not start swimming again? As the temperatures continue to warm, I'm also spending more time outside running--ahem, even better: it's free. Thus, training as if I were a triathlete is more a challenge for me, a way to (re)introduce new elements of structure to my current fitness regime. Some of you might remember me saying that I was going to start training for a half-marathon sometime this summer. This is still very much the plan, but that won't be happening until at the earliest August, long after I've completed this 12-week 'challenge'.

Every 3-4 weeks, I'll post the next month's training plan. Here is the first month:

Since I am merely treating this training plan as a challenge for myself and not to actually train for a competition, there will be some minor tweaks made--but all in keeping with the intensity and endurance-building stressed within the plan. For instance, the only bike I own is an old road bike from the 70's, which is in major need of an oil--and paint--job, so any cycling I'll be doing will most likely be in the form of a spin class. Also, don't forget my love of boxing--where in heavens will I find time to box with all this running, cycling, and swimming?! I'll still be boxing a couple of times a week, but maybe in place of a spin class prescribed by the training program.

Remember, this training plan isn't for everyone--whether you want to train for a triathlon or not. If you do feel up for the challenge, start the workouts, but then find that they're too challenging or even too easy, adjust them to what you know you're capable of--after all, only you can judge what's the best for your body.

Also important, always exercise safely (this is hopefully common sense to you). If you're unsure of something--you don't know how to use a spin bike or you're weary of a potential injury--ask someone and/or seek help immediately. The worst thing that could happen is that you injure yourself.

And finally, have fun with it! Personally, I love to challenge myself and am always looking for new ways to improve myself. However, it can be difficult to take on something of this nature (and of this size!) alone, so ask a buddy to go along for the ride. If you miss a workout, don't beat yourself up for it. Just get back on track the next day.

Oh, and of course: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. When you're sweating as much as you will be when you're following this training plan, you'll need to.

So, what do you think? You in? The first official start day will be next Monday (for me, at least). Starting then, I'll include a daily update of how my training is going. So, join in the fun and we can work this one out together!

Countdown to Day 1 starting now: 6 days to tri-training.

For the full article on triathlon training from Women's Health, click here.

images via google and women's health mag

Monday, 16 May 2011


The hottest handbag this season isn't a handbag at all--but a clutch.

The oversized clutch is all the rage right now, and I'm dying to get my hands on one. I'm particularly fond of the Clare Vivier collection--I just can't choose which colour!

Flat Clutch 11.5" X 7"  $139

Foldover Clutch 11.5" X 11.5"  $149

Is a Clare Vivier clutch over your budget? It's okay, it's not really in mine either. As an alternative, check out Style Scrapbook for a tutorial on how to make your own oversized clutch.

images via clare vivier, tall girl tales, kingdom of style, and pinterest  


It was a family emergency. But I'm back--with a little reminder to myself, and to all of you.

(thank you, Dr. Seuss).

image via pinterest

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


I know that I just got here, but I need to take a brief leave of absence--will be back soon.
In the meantime, live freely.

Take care, lovelies.

Monday, 9 May 2011


Spring must-have? Sheer (and not-so sheer) blouses in lots of pretty prints.

Clockwise from top-left: 1/ A mix of florals and faded dots.
2/ Gilded satin--perfect for evening or a fancy-fied daytime
look, too. 3/ Love this whole outfit: the zebra printed blouse,
leopard print skinny belt, and puppy in tow. 4/ Love the bright
hues in this sleeveless number from Free People.

What are your must-have wearables for this spring?

images via pretty stuff, pinterest, free people, and musings in femininity  

Thursday, 5 May 2011


This week doesn't seem to end. I've been working a promotional job at the airport this past week and I'm utterly exhausted. It's only 8 hour days, but when you factor in my commute to and from the airport, plus having to arrive early for my shift, 8 hours turns into 11 to 12 hours--not to mention that for the 8 hours I am working, I'm on my feet the whole time. On concrete floors. Ugh. The things we do for money. My legs are killing me.

And while you might think I'd have a smile on my face since it's the weekend...I work. I'll be standing all day, for three more days (including today). Okay, so maybe I'm being more dramatic than I should be. As the image above reads, there are worse situtations than the one I'm in. There are worse jobs, worse physical circumstances.

But just while we're on the topic, let me cap off this week by sharing my current thoughts/feelings/loves/wants--pretty please?


I wish I was here. Drinking these, wearing that.

But for now, I'll settle for this. And this, and that.

Although, I could really use one of these right now.

A big squeeze, that is.

Hopefully the rest of you are all headed towards a lovely weekend of relaxation, whether that means a Mother's Day getaway or a stay-cation filled with all the things you love to do in your spare time. Oh, and maybe a big squeeze or two.

Happy weekend! 


Les Rouges--I'm totally obsessed with redheads right now. There are so many gorgeous hues out there--if only I could pull one off! But with my olive complexion and dark features otherwise, I better stick to admiring the fairer maidens (sigh).

images via google


I'm currently obsessed with clocks. Translated: I wish I had more money, because then I'd buy every vintage clock from Clockwork Universe on Etsy.

Last weekend, R and I drove out of the city and into the country for a night at a cabin that my parents were renting for part of their stay. It was actually a boathouse-turned-cottage, and really quite cute. Unfortunately, I spent the majority of my time working on my last paper for the term. However, I did get to enjoy my first barbecue of the season, a lovely evening walk with the family, and a day of shopping in a nearby town. And by 'shopping' I mean mostly browsing in quaint country decor shops on the town's single main street (which by the way, I love that kind of thing).

Back to the topic of clocks, R and I spotted a retro wall clock that we both thought would be a great addition to our kitchen, so we scooped it up for just $30! Otherwise, I fell in love with a few items at a local antique store, including an antique bird cage, some old kerosene lamps, and an old wooden Coca-Cola crate, however, being an actual antique store, everything was quite pricey (although, I'm still kicking myself for not splurging on the Coca-Cola crate--it would have been a cute way to store magazines in the living room!).

I guess I'm just holding out for when R and I make our annual trip to Market Road Antiques in St. Jacob's in the next few weeks. Sigh.

Clockwise from top-left: 1/ In love with this collection of alarm
clocks. 2/ My new retro wall clock. 3/ A clean and classic-looking
wall clock. 4/ This is exactly what I need on my bedside table--I want! 

That said, I'm super excited about the lovely new addition to our kitchen, and am crushing on some other clocks to (hopefully) add to my collection--a girl can dream.

images via see me everywhere, clockwork universe, and ballard designs

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


 Among other health benefits, sweet potatoes are anti-inflammatory.

Sweet potatoes have got to be one of my favourite foods--okay, true: I have a lot of favourite foods. But that's beside the point.

As part of my ongoing superfood series, I'd like to highlight the power of sweet potatoes, in all their glorious wonder.

Sweet potatoes are known for being a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, as well as vitamin A. That said, it is important to consume sweet potatoes with some fat if you want to reap their full benefits--try extra virgin olive oil  mixed with a sweet potato mash.

To maximize their nutritional value, sweet potatoes should be steamed or boiled. According to research, sweet potatoes preserve a greater amount of anthocyanins with steaming, and boiling has shown better blood sugar effects.

For more details about the health benefits of sweet potatoes, follow this link.


Now on to the good stuff: what are the best ways to enjoy sweet potatoes?

Although the taste, texture, and nutrients of sweet potatoes may differ from the average Yukon gold or red skinned potato, they can be prepared in very similar ways. Sweet potatoes are great mashed, boiled, or baked. A Thanksgiving/Christmas recipe that my family loves is candied sweet potatoes (or candied yams), where the sweet potatoes are cut in 1/4"-thick rounds, laid in a baking dish, baked until tender, and then topped with mini marshmallows, which then melt for the last few minutes of baking. Um yum.

Sweet potatoes are also delicious in soups or stews. When baked whole, sweet potatoes are delicious topped with a couple slices of avocado or a spoonful of plain yogurt. 

My personal favourite, though, are sweet potato oven fries. They're becoming more popular in restaurants, however, sweet potato fries in restaurants are often deep fried or if 'baked', smothered in all the wrong fat. I have a great, healthy recipe for sweet potato fries that you can make right in the comfort of your own home.

Sweet potato fries baked with EVOO make a healthier party food.

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

2 large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
dried rosemary, optional

1. Cut each potato into about 1-inch thick slices. Cut each slice lengthwise into about 1-inch thick strips, and place in a large bowl. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, and rosemary, and toss to coat well.

2. Spread on baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes.

3. After 15 minutes, turn the fries and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.

Makes about 4 servings.

I like to enjoy my sweet potato fries with honey mustard. I just mix 2 parts mustard to 1 part honey--it's perfect.

Other options for dipping? Try chipotle aioli or curried mayonnaise (recipes to come!).

information provided by world's healthiest foods

images via with style & grace and google