Tuesday, 31 January 2012


I'm no vegan, but when I found myself with a bunch of extra ripe bananas and no eggs last weekend (and with an urge to bake something), I couldn't help but dive into this recipe for egg-free, gluten-free banana bread.

I'll admit, the consistency is unlike any banana bread I've ever eaten (it's more of a bread consistency than a loaf or cake-like consistency of standard banana breads), but the taste is just like any other.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Banana Bread
recipe adapted from bcliving

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 bananas, over ripe
1/2 cup honey
3 tbsp. olive oil or any mild tasting oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease loaf pan using oil or butter.

2. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Add honey, oil, and vanilla. Mix well; the more liquid-y the better.

4. In thirds, add the dry ingredients to the wet. Do not over mix.

5. Spoon into loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.


Monday, 30 January 2012



Last week marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year, so I thought to kick of the (Chinese) new year it might be nice to do a tribute to the Asian-inspired (Japanese, actually)kimono jacket that seems to be popping up everywhere. A must-have addition to my spring wardrobe? I'll take two.

R and I returned from our tropical vacation yesterday. We had an amazing time! And while I'm glad to be back home--to have bathed in our own shower--I can't wait to get away again.

I think I was made for the hot sun (and it's just way too cold here at home).

Keep an eye out for vacay follow-up! I'll be posting some pictures in the next week or so.

Happy Monday!

images via nasty gal, anthropologie, and urban outfitters

Friday, 20 January 2012


And what an exciting weekend salute it is! I'm ducking out for the next week, ladies and gents. It's time for a much-needed vacation down south full of sun and warmth. St. Lucia, here we come!

This past week at Tomfoolery & Bright:

getting in shape at home with BodyRock
make your own Vietnamese Beef Pho
and how I like to protect my skin during the colder months

See you in a week, friends! 

images via summer love, little girl, big worldtropical paradiseand pinterest

Thursday, 19 January 2012


And it seems like it'll be here for a while. As the temperatures continue to drop, less and less of me wants to leave the house. I'll get up and out for my morning workout, but when I should be heading to the library to do research, I'm curled up at my desk at home doing work (s'okay, right?).

Well, when I do eventually have to attend a meeting, appointment, audition, or class, I pile on the layers. And this includes tending to what can become dry, cracked, and chapped skin due to the blistering cold temperatures and even worse windchill. Now, I haven't always been so attentive to caring for my skin and moisturizing, but over the holidays--when I had time to moisturize twice a day, everyday, and then some--I noticed what a difference it makes when you actually take the time to hydrate your skin. And what a glow! So, now--and especially since it's become so cold and dry outside--I've been slathering on the lotion in hopes of preserving that youthful glow we so desire. 

Here are my favourite products that I like to use on the regular to maintain my skin's moisture and keep that healthy glow even through the otherwise drab winter months.

Bonus: there's only a few and they're all totally affordable.

St. Ives Intensive Healing Body Lotion is my pick for an all-over body
lotion; be sure to moisturize right after a shower, $6.

Carmex Lip Balm is my go-to for chapped lips (aside from good ol' Vaseline,
of course!); it's got this great cooling effect that I just love, about $3.

Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion is a newer discovery of mine, and
while Aveeno products can tend to cost a little more than say, St. Ives, they're
totally worth it; I use this lotion mostly for hands and feet, $7.

Vaseline is the answer to all of your dry/cracked/chapped skin woes, there's
no need to buy expensive lotions; Vaseline is the ultimate moisturizer, it
doesn't clog pores, and it's unscented (perfect for those sensitive skin types), $5.

What are your favourite moisturizing products that help you get through the cooler months?

images via google

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Pho is definitely one of my favourite foods. It's warming, delicious, and perfect for a cold wintry day (or any day, for that matter). For those of you who aren't familiar with Pho, it's a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef or chicken. The soup includes rice noodles and is often served with mint leaves, lime, and bean sprouts. What is important about Pho, though, is getting the broth right. Generally, the broth is made by simmering beef bones (but I've made it without and it's fine), charred onion, charred ginger, and spices. Once you've got this down pat, the rest is easy.

Whether or not you've eaten Pho before, I highly recommend this recipe. I've made it several times now--always with extra broth for freezing--and it always seems to satisfy my Pho cravings. Enjoy!

Vietnamese Beef Pho
recipe adapted from Steamy Kitchen

1 onion, halved
2-inch nub of ginger, halved lengthwise
3 quarts water
1 package Pho spices (1 cinnamon stick,  1/2 tbsp. coriander seeds, 1 tbsp. fennel seeds, 3 whole star anise, sprinkle of cardamom, 3 whole cloves--in mesh bag)
3/4 tbsp. salt
1/8 cup fish sauce
1/8 cup agave nectar
1 lb. dried rice noodles
1/4 lb. flank, london broil, sirloin, or eye of the round, sliced thinly
big handful of mint, cilantro, and/or basil
1 lime, cut into wedges2-3 chili or jalapeno peppers, sliced2 big handfuls of bean sproutsHoisin sauceSriracha hot sauce

1. Turn your broiler on high and move rack to the highest spot. Place ginger and onions on baking sheet. Brush just a bit of cooking oil on the cut side of each. Broil on high until ginger and onions begin to char. Turn over and continue to char. This should take a total of 10-15 minutes.

2. Fill a large pot with cool water. Boil water, and then add ginger, onion, spice packet, agave, fish sauce, salt, and any beef you'd like to cook through ahead of time. Simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the beef meat and set aside (you'll be eating this meat later in the bowls) Continue simmering for another 1 1/2 hours. Strain broth and return the broth to the pot. Taste broth and adjust seasoning - this is a crucial step. If the broth's flavor doesn't quite shine yet, add 2 teaspoons more of fish sauce, large pinch of salt and a bit of agave). Keep doing this until the broth tastes perfect.

3. Slice your flank/london broil/sirloin as thin as possible - try freezing for 15 minutes prior to slicing to make it easier. Remember the cooked beef meat that was part of your broth? Cut or shred the meat and set aside. Arrange all other ingredients on a platter for the table. Your guests will 'assemble' their own bowls. Follow the directions on your package of noodles - there are many different sizes and widths of rice noodles, so make sure you read the directions. For some fresh rice noodles, just a quick 5 second blanch in hot water is all that's needed.

4. Bring your broth back to a boil. Line up your soup bowls next to the stove. Fill each bowl with rice noodles, shredded cooked beef and raw meat slices. As soon as the broth comes back to a boil, ladle into each bowl. the hot broth will cook your raw beef slices. Serve immediately. Guests can garnish their own bowls as they wish.

Makes 4 (generous) servings.

image via the kitchn

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Happy Birthday, Mama! Here's to the best Mom in the world--I love you!

Oh, and a couple of Happy Belated Birthdays to Z, my sweet kitty cat, and to Elvis (it was the King's birthday last Sunday)!

image via omahype


With a busy schedule, it can be difficult to maintain an active lifestyle and exercise on a regular basis. While I make it a point to get active and workout each day (okay, 6 out of 7 days of the week), as soon as I start to fill up every minute of my schedule, it can be hard to stay on top of things. Especially when school is in full swing (like now), I can't always make it to boxing, zumba, or my new favourite, pilates. And on the ugliest/coldest/most miserable of days, going for a run seems like the worst idea ever. I'll go if it seems like a wise choice, but when the roads are icy or it's just too damn cold, I'll opt out. Instead, I like to pop in a DVD or boot up the ol' computer for an at-home workout.

About a year and a half ago, I invested in the P90X workouts and at first, was an avid P90Xer. The workouts were fantastic for when I wasn't able to make it to the gym, and working out at home was a huge money-saver. Occassionally, I still like to do the P90X workouts--just last night I did a short yoga series. However, I think the main reason I stopped doing the P90X workouts all of the time is because it got boring. I think the videos would be fun to do with someone, but when it's the same workouts week after week (on your own) it can get a little tiresome.

That's why I like BodyRock, a website dedicated to bringing readers daily workout videos, fitness tips, and advice. What's great about the gang at BodyRock is that they're constantly providing new workouts, new ways to tone and condition that keep your muscles having to change and adapt. Oh, and I love how their workouts aren't too long. In fact, some of them are only ten minutes (non-stop, of course, but I've done these ones and they can be really effective).

Right, and have I mentioned that the BodyRockers are totally ripped? Of course, they pride themselves on maintaining a (strict) healthy diet, so if you're doing the BodyRock workouts and eating garbage, don't expect to look as good as these ladies. You have to work for it!

Check out BodyRock for tons of great workouts, fitness and diet advice. If you're looking for a new challenge, why not try their 30 Day Workout Challenge? They guarantee that it will take your regular workouts to the next level, regardless of your physical fitness.

Now, get movin'!

image via bodyrock

Friday, 13 January 2012


This week was busy with auditions, trying to set meetings (and keep them, sigh), booking jobs, and doing research. As for Tomfoolery & Bright, here's what went on this week:

a re-cap of the holidays and ringing in the new year!
sugar and how it's making us fat
an advertisement that may make you think twice about consuming soda
and LC's workout wear essentials

It finally (for better or for worse) snowed today, so I think R and I will be spending a quiet weekend close to home. What are your plans for the weekend?

Have a lovely weekend!

images via salt water wishes


Back in November, I posted about my favourite workout gear--which included picks from Lululemon and American Apparel. Well, look who recently posted about her favourite workout attire (also featuring Lululemon and American Apparel!): none other than Lauren Conrad.

For tips and advice on fashion, beauty, cooking, decor, and so much more, check out Lauren's blog here!

Now, let's hit the gym!

images via google

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


After yesterday's post on how sugar is making people fat, I thought this advertisement was fitting.

Maybe you'll think twice the next time you reach for a cold soda.

video via youtube

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


I've mentioned before that I'm writing my thesis on nutritional literacy and consumer perception of health and nutrition products, with an angle on sugar consumption, specifically. Now that I am finally able to focus solely on this topic, I can share with you some of my findings. For my research, I have read a number of articles and books (and still have many more to read) in which I have uncovered information that I believe the average consumer is not aware of. An example is this weekend, when at a shoot, the photographer seemed to know a lot about nutrition (so much so, even I was being challenged! and I thought I knew a lot), while the make-up artist appeared to know very little. With everyone brushing off their running shoes, heading to the gym, and trying to get back in shape for the new year, I thought it was fitting that I give my two cents. Here are my thoughts on sugar and getting fat.

Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It is a book by scientific writer Gary Taubes, in which he argues that certain kinds of carbohydrates--not fats--have led to our current obesity epidemic. The book is an extension from his earlier book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, and which makes such an argument easily accessible to a wider, nonscientific audience. Taubes reveals what he refers to as bad nutritional science of the last century and the good science that has been ignored, particularly insulin's regulation of our fat tissue. I highly recommend giving this book a read.

Another book I have been reading (and which offers a straight forward explanation of the topic I'm about to discuss) is Living the Low-Carb Life by Jonny Bowden, who also--and very necessarily--looks at insulin and its function when it comes to the metabolic breakdown and distribution of fats within the body. Basically, when an excess of sugar is consumed, there is an increase in triglycerides and cholesterol. Here's how it works:

When a meal heavy in sugars is consumed (high in carbohydrates), part of the excess sugar will be converted to the storage form of glucose, glycogen, much of which will be stored in the liver. Because the liver doesn't hold a lot of glycogen, if there is still excess sugar--which there almost always is after a high-carbohydrate meal--it is packaged into triglycerides (fats). The high level of insulin accompanying the high-carbohydrate meal stimulates the production of cholesterol, which then packages together triglycerides into little containers called VLDLs (very low-density lipoproteins), most of which become LDLs (low-density lipoproteins) or "bad" cholesterol. Thus, high levels of insulin ramp up the production of cholesterol in the liver and high levels of sugar consumption ramp up the production of triglycerides, neither of which are good. 

What can happen is something called insulin resistance, which essentially is when insulin is no longer effective at lowering blood sugars. Insulin resistance can make losing weight extremely difficult and can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Particularly for those who live a sedentary life, muscle cells will eventually resist the acceptance of sugars. In this way, they also become resistant to insulin. Instead, fat cells welcome insulin, fill up, and lead to weight gain. In the bloodstream, the VLDLs are carrying triglycerides, trying to rid of them. After the VLDLs have been dropped off at their corresponding tissues, most of them turn into LDLs or "bad" cholesterol. This, in turn, leads to being overweight, high triglyceride levels, high LDL cholesterol, and high levels of insulin forcing the pancreas to work extra hard. And this is how increased levels of insulin (due to increased levels of sugar) can lead to heart disease and diabetes.

If the pancreas becomes weak and can't keep up with the amount of sugar entering the body, the sugar will run out of places to go and will stay in the blood. Blood sugar levels will rise, leading to elevated insulin (and elevated blood sugar), high triglyceride levels, and abdominal obesity. The other thing that can happen when the levels of insulin in the blood become dangerously high is the increased production of cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol and adrenaline are added to the blood to counteract the "building up" effects of insulin and to attempt to bring the body back in to balance. However, cortisol breaks down the muscle, which further reduces the metabolic rate, while too much adrenaline can eventually lead to even more insulin, as insulin will eventually be secreted to combat the effects of too much adrenaline.

So, what to do? Well, in Bowden's text, he suggests a number of different dietary programs, all of which emphasize the consumption of proteins and fats in place of carbohydrates, and if carbohydrates are consumed, they should be those with a low glycemic index (something I'll discuss at a later date). But you're also probably wondering about what you can take away from this post, as I do throw a lot out there all at once, without really saying "Well, this is what you should do...". Really, it's not my job to tell you what's good and what's not, but this topic really interests me and I do think it's worth considering.

I still eat carbohydrates. They're everywhere. Almost unavoidable. Fruit is a carbohydrate. The carbohydrates that Bowden and anyone else who has researched the topic (many, many people) are concerned about tend to be refined, processed, those which enter the bloodstream quickly and send our blood sugar levels skyrocketing. It is these carbohydrates that are making us fat. But what about plain ol' fats, you ask? Well, that's another topic for another day, but simply put, stop consuming trans-fats. Consume more omega-3s and fewer omega-6s. And as for carbohydrates, toss that granola bar in the trash. It's probably only making your 4 o'clock slump worse.

But also, keep in mind, going low-carb is not the answer for everyone. It really depends on your nutritional goals, your day-to-day activities, and of course, your genetics. I guess, then, what I want most for you to take away from this is a warning. This is a warning about the potential health risks you could be exposing yourself to by consuming too many sugars. And the truth is, far too many people are unaware of these risks. Educate yourself!

Here's to a healthier, happier you!

images via  google

Monday, 9 January 2012

HAPPY 2012!

It's no secret. It's been nearly a month since I last wrote a blog post. And now, with friends and family hankering me to write some new posts, I'm back (and hopefully here to stay).

I'll admit (and so will fellow bloggers), it can be difficult to maintain a blog. If you want to maintain a high level of readership, you'll have to write frequently. At the same time, unless you're making money off of your blog, other things can get in the way (but no, never, nothing to get into the way of money-making). Life can get the best of us, and for good means. Sometimes (most times), it's good to step away from the computer and actually live life. And this, my friends, can make for fantastic blog material.

A lot has happened between the last time I wrote and now.

I am officially finished the course work for my degree, which means I am no solely focusing on researching and writing my thesis (phew! so glad).

The holidays came and went, with barely any snow to touch the ground. It was not a white Christmas, to say the least.

R and I spent our first Christmas together in what's nearly been 5 years together.

We rung in the New Year with my parents, grandmother, and brothers, playing Wii and sipping on boozy hot chocolate (okay, I actually fell asleep after dinner, only to be awaken 30 seconds before midnight with a flute of champagne and cheers).

This past weekend was my birthday, which I celebrated with dinner and dancing. For anyone who couldn't figure out the math equation sent out as part of the invite, the answer is 23. I turned 23.

And now, it's back to reality. Today marks the official return to school, but with auditions already piling up and appointments in need of attending, it looks like I'll be spending my first day of research at home.

To anyone I may have missed, Happy New Year!

Stay tuned as I make some minor changes/updates to the site, including new recipes to try, an updated Fitness section, and template tweaks!

images via the terrier and lobsterstraw cut, and imgur