Friday, 29 July 2011


We're headed for a long weekend, folks. But before we get there, here's a re-cap of what happened at Tomfoolery & Bright this past week:

an ode to the exquisite words-nor-pictures-can-do-the-real-thing-justice Paris
'33 Ways to Stay Creative'
the Olsen's exclusive new T shirt line, StyleMint

and since tonight is pizza night, here's the recipe for my favourite pizza dough ever--my own (or Martha's, same thing):

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe

3/4 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1/8 cup olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. coarse salt
2 cups whole wheat flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place water in a large bowl and sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Brush another large bowl with oil.

2. In bowl with yeast, whisk oil, agave, and salt. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to oiled bowl; brush top of dough with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands, knead dough until smooth, about 15 seconds. Using your hands, stretch dough until it forms a large disk, and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is large enough to fit the pizza pan, about 1/4-inch thick.

4. Add toppings of your choice to the rolled dough. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling on top and/or the crust has turned a golden brown all around. Let cool before slicing, and enjoy!

Makes 1 large pizza.

Try This: If you prefer a thinner crust, after you have kneaded the dough, divide into two balls and roll from there. Because the crust will be considerably thinner, the time it takes to bake your pizza will decrease to anywhere between 12 and 15 minutes.

As for toppings, this is where you get to be creative and go wild! I love a basic margherita pizza: tomato sauce, fresh buffalo mozzarella, and large, fragrant basil leaves from my garden. But also, I love a good chicken sausage and caramelized onion with gouda--so delish. Experiment with different ingredients and see what yummy combinations you can come up with!

After enjoying your healthy, delicious homemade pizza, get out there and enjoy the sun! As the days already begin to get shorter, it's only a matter of time before we're wearing scarves again.

Stay cool this weekend. Cheers!

images via whole living, dude, you're hot, and pinterest

Thursday, 28 July 2011


What better way to celebrate the anticipation of fall (and an updated fall wardrobe) than with a new T--or two, or three?

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen recently launched their exclusive T shirt collection, StyleMint and I couldn't be more in love. Using soft, quality fabrics, the girls put a modern twist on a classic fit, creating a basic, stylish T that's flattering to every figure. 

To be a part of the perfect T revolution, just head to the StyleMint website and follow three easy steps:

1) Share your style and create a style profile by completing a short questionnaire 
2) Using your style profile, StyleMint will recommend your top T shirt styles
3) Shop! for all of your favourites--yep, it's that easy


Prince in Blue Water

Melrose in Navy

Oh, and I forgot to mention--these Ts are totally affordable, too.
So, what are you waiting for? Get T'ed.

images via stylemint

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


This week promises to be a busy one.

I'm enrolled in driving classes for the next four days (yeah, tell me about it). I'm a twenty-something just getting her driver's license and learning how to drive. Isn't this what we do on our sweet sixteen?

Long story short, I never got around to it when I was in high school (I was doing much cooler things--true story, ask me about it sometime), then I moved to the city where transit gave me access to almost everything, and now here I am. So, while I spend my week in a classroom with fresh chickens just bursting with excitement to get out on the road, here's a little (unrelated) something that brought a smile to my face on a recent visit to the blog, A Piece of Toast:

I like the effort to make number 24 stand out. Appropriate.

image via a piece of toast

Monday, 25 July 2011


Okay, so I'm not going to start writing all of my posts in French, but I just got back from Montreal on Friday and the other night, R and I went to see Midnight in Paris, so you can understand why I  might be a little smitten with the French--the idea of France, Europe, ya' know?

I was visiting my good friend C in Montreal, Quebec and she's bilingual, so she was able to translate if need be. However, from trying to read signs in French and order food--Je voudrais une poutine grosse = I would like a large poutine (which is all you need to know in Quebec)--I was able to make out a bit of the language. I even did a boxing class all in French, and even if my girlfriend hadn't been there, I think I would've been okay.

I studied French all throughout high school (I also studied German for three years, Spanish for one, and Portuguese for another), but unless you use the language, you lose it. Reason number one why I should make a trip to France.

As wonderful as the language is, though, enough about that. Other reasons why France has swept me off my feet? Well, sadly, a film. I've never been to Europe, let alone France, so my idea of Paris, say, is limited. Yet, if I had to create a collage representative of what I thought Paris was like, a lot of the images in last night's film would have been included. The architecture, the pretty little details of cobblestone  roads and ornate decoration, the fine dining, and yet, the elegant simplicity of the lifestyle.

I used to dream of traveling to Japan or Indonesia, but R would always mention how we should make a trip to Paris. While Japan and Indonesia still top my list, Paris doesn't seem like a such a bad idea after all.

I highly recommend seeing Midnight in Paris. I haven't seen many Woody Allen films, so if you're a fan, maybe you wouldn't consider this one of his finer works--personally, I have no idea, but I thought the film was fantastic. If you are interested in seeing it, definitely see it on the big screen. The images alone are gorgeous to look at. The film is romantic and smart, with a light and fun humour.  

Happy (day dreamin') Monday!

images via pinterest and strikes our fancy

Sunday, 17 July 2011


I'm off to Montreal, Quebec for a week of fun with my girlfriend, C. We met in second year university and we've been good friends ever since. Last fall, C moved from Toronto to Montreal, though, for a job with the Weather Network (she's a brainiac, into meteorology and all that weather stuff). And while I couldn't be happier for her, I do wish she lived closer! That said, I can't wait for my visit. We have plans to do some hiking, yoga, and biking in Old Montreal--an action-packed week! Fingers crossed that the weather holds out for us--ahem, C, work your magic.

See you all soon!

image via leslie miles

Friday, 15 July 2011


If you've been away, here's what you missed this week at Tomfoolery & Bright:

a decorating feature on Spoonflower
my recipe for Sweet & Spicy Tofu Stir Fry
EmersonMade's India Collection

And keepin' cool in our underwear (among other things).

But now it's time to kick back and relax--it is the weekend, after all. So, find a patio, an ice cold drink, maybe a friend or two, and enjoy the sun (I know I will).

Happy (hot) weekend, loves!

images via pinterest, flickr, and  you must create

Thursday, 14 July 2011


It's too fabulous not to mention.

As my very first fashion-related post, I featured EmersonMade. Now, the brand is back with Emerson's India Collection, and it couldn't be more stellar.

The airy light fabrics (India cotton, if you must know), bold colours, and pretty little details all equal perfection. And what better way to escape to somewhere exotic this summer than with a simple wardrobe piece? Ah, the tunic. Take it to the beach for a laidback look or dress it up with a blazer like Emerson does. 

The possibilities are endless. 

images via emersonmade

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


It can be difficult to cook in the summertime, mainly because we want to avoid having the stove on as much as possible--I cannot wait until R and I own a barbecue! It can be especially tough battling the smoggy, summer city heat when you don't have air conditioning--again, I cannot wait until R and I have a barbecue!

With no barbecue and no air conditioning, R and I like to keep rising cooking temperatures to a minimum. However, with no cooking at all, salads and sandwiches can get a little boring. Alas, we turn to our friend, the stove/oven in hopes that she can offer us something more exciting.

To ward off high heat, I've been trying to use the broiler more and more to cook meat and roast vegetables (purpose: it doesn't require a lot of time, so the oven is on and off in no more than 20 minutes). However, as an alternative to fast and therefore less-time-with-the-heat-on roasting, a good stir fry can be a quick, healthy, and delicous meal.

Take, for instance, my lunch yesterday:

It's nice to switch things up, and this stir fry served with rice or your favourite
grain makes a nutritious and balanced meal.

Sweet & Spicy Tofu Stir Fry

4 oz. extra firm tofu, sliced in 1-cm thick sticks
1/2 sweet bell pepper, julienne
1/4 cup carrots, julienne
extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
pinch of crushed red chili flakes
2 slices jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
minced cilantro (optional)

1. Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Drizzle pan with olive oil (enough so the tofu won't stick--if using a non-stick skillet, add a bit of oil anyway to flavour tofu and veggies) and add tofu. Heat through, turning, until tofu is a golden brown.

2.Once tofu is heated through and golden, remove from pan and set aside. Add sliced peppers and carrots to the pan, lower heat to medium. Cook through, constantly moving the vegetables around so as not to burn or overcook them. Once vegetables are tender, remove from heat.

3. In a bowl, arrange vegetables and tofu on 1 cup rice (I like brown or wild rice). In a separate small bowl, mix agave, soy sauce, and red chili flakes. Adjust the flavour of the sauce to your liking. Pour sauce over tofu, vegetables, and rice. Garnish with minced jalapeno pepper and/or cilantro, and enjoy!

Serves 1.

Try This: In place of tofu, try boneless skinless chicken or turkey breast. Also, as this is a basic stir fry, feel free to use any vegetables you like--some of my favourites are peppers, bean sprouts, and bok choy, but you can really use whatever you have on hand!


I wanted to do a small feature on an exciting (not-so-new) website that I came across (not so long ago). It's called Spoonflower. And it's a website dedicated to bringing together independent fabric designers from around the world. Spoonflower makes it possible for individuals--that includes you and me--to design, print, and sell their own fabric designs. Don't believe me? See for yourself. It's pretty wicked if you're into that sort of thing (and I so am).

While I haven't had a chance to dabble in my own fabric design (yet!), I've done my fair share of browsing other designers' products--I placed my very first order just the other day and I couldn't be more excited! 

Swatches of a few of my favourite prints from Spoonflower,
including a few that I've order for my own projects!

I picked up some geometric prints, along with some other fun designs for some new living room cushions and/or decorative bedroom pillows.

I ended up with a modge podge of designs (as you can see) but that's besides the point. The important thing is that I managed to walk away with just a few purchases and not the entire website. Take a look--you'll be totally smitten, too!

images via spoonflower

Monday, 11 July 2011


What better way to beat the heat than stripping down to your skivvies?

They're calling for hot and sunny all week (hot hot hot), so it looks like I'll be writing papers in my undies for the next handful of days. Ah, such is life without air conditioning--hey, I'm not complaining. I was meant for this hot and humid, sticky, delicious weather.

Bring on the lemonade.

Happy Monday, friends!

images via pinterest, ffffound, photo donuts, and we heart it

Friday, 8 July 2011


What is it with girls and trying to lose their butt? I know girls who work out just so they can get rid of that extra junk in the trunk, but ladies, news flash: dudes dig that (or at least the multitude of dudes I know).

I won't lie. I used to be one of these girls, insecure about carrying a little extra something in the back. In fact, one summer I ran so much that my bottom slowly began to disappear. At the time, I really liked it--but my boyfriend did not. He would joke that I was losing my ass, that I should run less, etc etc. And truth be told, it took me a long time to be convinced by his words and change my perspective.

So what did help to change my perspective? Well, besides my boyfriend that is, and of course, paying homage to my Portuguese heritage (my dad is Chinese, my mom is Portuguese, but I was definitely blessed with the butt genetics from my mom's side)...for all the crap that we see in magazines of celebrities with these 'perfect' bodies and of stick-skinny models, there are a few instances where we might like to commend these magazines for shining light on certain assets (pun totally intended). Take Kim Kardashian, for example, who aside from being a famous socialite and reality television star, has become a household name all thanks to her ass. She's a curvy(er) girl than what we've become so accustomed to seeing in magazines and in entertainment news, but let's face it, guys like that--or as I said, most guys?

Ass inpsiration (Ass-piration)

So then, instead of running our asses off--quite literally--maybe we should embrace our booties. Since my change in perspective, I've shifted from trying to lose my ass to re-building it. I still run and cycle a lot, but for counteracting 'the loss of ass' (as I have officially termed the symptom), I credit squats. Lots of them.

Throw in some lunges, and voilá! A butt workout à la G--check out my current glutes workout:

Squats with 8 lb. dumbbells in either hand x 20 reps
Reverse lunges with 8 lb. dumbbells in either hand x 10 reps each leg
Jump Squats with two 5 lb. dumbbells (or 10 lbs.) x 20 reps

Repeat twice.

Although short, this workout really gets the booty burning (it's a total of 120 squats). For someone who considers herself in fairly good shape, even I was struggling to get through the last set. I think what really kills me are the jump squats--I absolutely love jump squats, but by the last set, I'm working hard to get through those last few.

So, that's what's keeping my ass in check, but what are you doing to maintain your behind or to get rid of it? You've heard my take on the subject. 

What are your thoughts on the whole flat-butt versus bootylicious debate? Are you pro squats to shape a perfectly plump derrière or are you running yourself silly?

image via the artificial vagina and the ny post

Thursday, 7 July 2011


Fact: store-bought iced tea--whether prepared or in an easy-to-mix powder--is chock full of sugar. Fact: there's a better, less sugary way to prepare and drink iced tea.

While iced tea (or sweet tea for our American friends) may not have as much sugar as soda, it is considered a 'soft drink'. And with good reason, as its sugar content doesn't trail far behind those fizzy sugar-saturated liquids.

I never was a huge fan of iced tea, but recently I've fallen in love with the refreshing summer beverage--no, not the sweet syrup(y) kind you can get at the grocery store or the nearest restaurant, but the kind you can make at home, where you can control the sugar content (so as not to add an unnecessary amount) and what kind of sugar (because, as I'll explain in a later post, this matters). See below for my go-to iced tea recipe:

White Lemon Iced Tea

1 1/2 litres water, boiled
2 tea bags (I use white tea, but you can use whatever you like)
agave nectar, to taste
1/2 lemon, sliced

1. In a kettle or pot, bring water to a boil. Place tea bags in a glass jar, jug, or pitcher (I use a wine carafe and it works perfectly) and carefully add the hot water until full. I'm basing the 1 1/2 litre measure off of how much tea I made--in my size of carafe--but depending on the size of your canister, you may need more or less water.

2. Let tea brew for about an hour, then move to the refrigerator to chill for a few hours or overnight.

3. Once tea is chilled, add agave nectar to taste and stir well. Add lemon slices and serve over ice.

Try This: If I'm just keeping chilled tea in the refrigerator for my own enjoyment, I like to keep it unsweetened. This way, I can sip a glass of cold tea in the evening (guilt-free) without the added sugar. When I want something sweet, I'll just add a bit of agave, stir, and enjoy!

While agave is my choice of sweetener, feel free to use crystallized sugar or even honey as a sweetening-agent.

image via that kind of woman


When I was a kid, I highly disliked breakfast--mostly breakfast foods. I could eat pizza or spaghetti in the morning, but I found eggs gross, and highly disliked mushy oatmeal. It became a chore for me to eat something in the morning, and my family became well aware of this.

Now, I love breakfast. I'm not really sure from where this love grew, but when I wake up in the morning, I'm hungry and I crave something yummy and nutritious to kick start my day (sounds about perfect).

Because mornings often consist of me rushing around, trying to get out of the house for an appointment or to the library to do research, or even just wanting to get right to work at home, I very seldom have a massive breakfast of eggs and toast, fruit and yoghurt, all of the wonderfully yummy things...ahem...pancakes and, every now and then I make breakfast for dinner or I'll prepare a big breakfast on the weekend of pancakes, sausages, eggs, nom nom.

For these breakfasts (or dinners), I like to whip up a batch of banana pancakes. But these aren't just any banana pancakes, these ones are whole wheat with oatmeal and pack a punch of protein with whey powder: I call them Tarzan Pancakes.

Tarzan Pancakes
adapted from Oatmeal Pancakes with Wild Blueberry Sauce at

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup soy milk
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/8 cup agave nectar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 scoop whey protein powder
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1 1/2 cups soy milk
olive oil/cooking spray

1. Soak oats in 1 cup soy milk (or whatever milk you like) in a small bowl for 15 minutes.

2. Combine flour, agave nectar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and whey protein powder in a medium bowl. Whisk in eggs and egg whites, then add milk. Stir until all wet and dry ingredients are well combined.

3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and lightly coat with light tasting olive oil or cooking spray. Pour about 1/2 cup batter per pancake onto hot pan and cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Flip and cook another 2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

4. Cook remaining batter in batches and serve with warm maple syrup.

Makes 10-12 pancakes.

I like to serve these pancakes with spicy turkey sausages and fresh fruit--yum!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


It's been forty days since I began my 'triathlon' training, so I thought I'd weigh in and give you the scoop on my progress thus far.

For just over the past month, I have been running, swimming, and boxing (hence the 'triathlon' training--there's been very little cycling). I've gone from easy 30 minutes of running to 40 minutes and am now incorporating interval training once a week. In the pool, I started at just 500 metres and have now moved on to 750 metres, although I feel a lot stronger and so will be increasing my distance in the coming weeks regardless of what the training program suggests. As for boxing, it's an amazing workout and I love it, but I will be shifting gears for the next couple of weeks and turning my attention to the good ol' gym, where I'll be conducting my own workouts (I did a 45-minute weights and conditioning session full of squats and shoulder exercises--my fave--and I'm definitely feeling it today).

So far, though, everything is great! I have definitely noticed an improvement in my endurance. While I feel strongest in the water right now, my running has also improved. I'm actually really enjoying the interval work as it's a great way to challenge myself (and burn extra calories). The interval training is also great for footy, as the sport requires short bursts of energy, ugh, so much.

Finally, I've learned a lot so far in terms of training--some things I knew before, but never paid attention to until now--such as:

  • Listen to your body -- after all, you only have the one, so you might as well take care of it. It's important to know when enough is enough, what your limit is. It's also important, though, to know your strength and that you can push yourself--just know when to draw the line.
  • Good/Bad pain -- for me, I associate 'good pain' with a burning sensation in the muscles. On the other hand, a 'bad pain' would be actual pain of the muscle, joint, bone, anything else? If an exercise is hurting or if you've just pushed too hard (maybe you even have an injury), take it easy. Try an alternative exercise or just plain rest.
  • Recognize an injury -- actually, don't just recognize it, do something about it! I've never broken a bone in my body, never had any serious injury. In fact, the worst might be when I was a four and a fellow-preschooler dislocated my shoulder (hey, she was an enormous and strong 4-year-old!)--otherwise, I've been very fortunate to never have any serious injury. A few weeks ago, though, I messed up my foot playing footy and all I wanted to do was ignore the injury, convince myself I was okay--big mistake! Take care of the injury right from the get-go to prevent it from getting worse.
Okay, so perhaps these tid-bits of 'learned' knowledge are common sense and/or things we've heard over and over again (including myself), but they're important and so I thought I would share them.

Otherwise, training is going great. I'm feeling strong, I'm recovering well, and I'm ready for the coming weeks and the many challenges ahead!

What physical or athletic challenges are you taking on this summer?

images via egotastic  and strong is the new sexy

Monday, 4 July 2011


From one sister to another, Happy Fourth of July!

And to celebrate, here's an homage to the all-American, fresh faced beauty--and style maven--Blake Lively.

images via pinterest and socialite life

Friday, 1 July 2011


To all my fellow Canadians, Happy Canada Day!

Here's to a weekend full of sun, patios, kicking back, relaxing, trips to the zoo, and best of all, spending quality time with loved ones!

How are you spending this celebratory long weekend?