Friday, 25 May 2012


In addition to flip flops and short shorts and ice cream cones and iced coffees and camping and profuse sweating...the recent warm weather has brought excitement to some of the things I enjoy most during the summer (despite that the official first day of summer is weeks away!).

Physical activity / When the weather's warm and sunny, all I want to do is be outside. And, what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than with a footy game? This is my second season playing with the Lady 'Roos Australian football team. Last year, I was asked to play one game, but then enjoyed it so much that I decided to join the team. Now, I don't think summer would feel the same if I wasn't a part of the team. It's an awesome workout, it gets you outside, and bonus: it's a social experience! There's always socials outside of training and games; it's like a great, big family! If you're in the area, come watch our third game of the season tomorrow at 1pm at 1000 Mohawk Road, East Hamilton. It's free! And better, if you want to join the team, message me for details--we're always looking to recruit!

Festivals / I love summer in Toronto for endless festivals and events (many of which offer free entertainment and if you're lucky, food!). Whether it's Luminato, Taste of the Danforth, Woofstock, or the Beaches International Jazz Festival, there's always something to see or do in Toronto during the summer. This summer, I'm particularly excited about an ongoing event that my friend G recently told me about. It's the Toronto Underground Market (or TUM), and it's a social food market for the community to sample the food of Toronto home cooks, some professional and others not. G and I officially have a date for TUM's June 9th event, and while I'm looking forward to tasting what others have cooked up in their kitchens, I'm also curious to see what kind of sweet treats the vendors/budding entrepreneurs will have to share (and what competition might be like, were I to go through with my plan to pursue a small confectionery business of my own!). You can bet I'll do a follow-up post on the event.

R&R / And of course, a little rest and relaxation. While the warmth and sun can energize us and make us want to get outside and get active, at the end of a long summery day, doesn't it just feel the best to kick back with a light dinner, your favourite cocktail, your favourite book, your favourite person? R has been working very hard lately--me, not so hard, but I like to think I'm conserving my energy for something to come...err...? Regardless, I think we'll be taking in some easy relaxation this weekend. I'm thinking: laying in the sun and reading a good book? Right now I'm reading The Only 127 Things You Need by Donna Wilkinson. I'll let you know how it is when I'm finished reading. So far, the book has been a review for me.

What are you looking most forward to this summer (or even this weekend!)?

images via the thrifty gourmet cooks, pretty stuff, sequined serpent, and toronto underground market

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


After making this recipe yesterday, I couldn't not share it with you. The recipe is for gluten-free banana bread, but what I find so exciting about this recipe is that it uses only one type of flour (brown rice flour), yet still retains a moist and sturdy (and fluffy!) texture like that of a standard banana bread. 

A lot of gluten-free baking calls for the combining of multiple flours in order to achieve a texture that is comparable to goods containing wheat and gluten. Different flours are combined depending on their individual compositions and in relation to whatever end-product is to be achieved. The problem with having to use multiple flours is that it can be costly (key words: can be--some flours are relatively inexpensive, especially if purchased in bulk) and quite frankly, a little bit of a hassle--do you really want to always have to combine three to five flours together to achieve the perfect mixture? 

Here it is, my best homemade gluten-free banana bread to date (if you don't tell your taste-testers, they won't even be able to tell it's gluten-free):

Gluten-Free Banana Bread with Chocolate Chunks
adapted from eat life whole

2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten 
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease bread pan with coconut oil.

2. In a large bowl, combine rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon.

3. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, bananas, applesauce, agave, vanilla, and coconut oil. Add banana mixture to dry mix and stir until well combined. Fold in chocolate.

4. Pour batter into prepared bread pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Makes 1 loaf.  

Friday, 18 May 2012


As always, here's the past week at Tomfoolery & Bright:

get that flawless face for summer with Lisa Eldridge 
my recipe for Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes & Olives
easy substitutions in the kitchen
and old and new insta-photos

It's supposed to be a hot one in Toronto this weekend! And, you can find me downtown at The Bay and at Yonge & Dundas Square promoting a new fragrance by Hugo Boss. Usually, I wouldn't feel the need to tell you about the work that helps pay my bills, but since there's a contest involved (and a $20 gift card to The Bay!), I thought that I'd fill you in on the details. 

BOSS Bottled. Sport. is the name of Hugo Boss's new fragrance for men. The inspiration behind the fragrance is "high tech, energetic, and fundamental to preparing for any challenge that lies ahead." Okay, maybe the marketing is a bit goofy, but you get the point. The scent is clean and fresh. 

And, while this one may be for the men...ladies, the talent behind BOSS Bottled. Sport. is Jenson Button, World Drivers' Champion 2009. Still not sure? Well, for one, he's the handsome chap featured in the video above. But also, he's the youngest British driver to ever start a Formula 1 race.

(Apparently if you're into racing, he's a popular guy!)

This weekend, myself and the rest of my promotional team will be downtown promoting the new fragrance, handing out samples, and encouraging people to enter a contest to win a VIP trip for 2 to the Montreal Grand Prix, as well as handing out $20 gift cards for purchase of the fragrance. If you aren't in the area this long weekend, though, and would still like to take part, enter the contest here. Good luck!

Whether you're in the city or at the cottage, have an amazing long weekend!

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video via youtube


1/ we play games & we win bouncy balls
2/ handmade thank-you notes 
3/ post-race meats, cheeses, veg, and bread (best)
4/ signature asam laksa from Salis Noodis
5/ comfy weekend brights
6/ green tea and Fashion
7/ the only birds I'm not afraid of

Follow me on Instagram: @genevievekng !

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Thursday, 17 May 2012


Have you ever wanted to make buttermilk scones and then realized that you didn't have buttermilk? What about banana bread and no eggs? Well, the first step for either of these baking dilemmas would be to go to the grocery store and buy a carton of buttermilk or a carton of eggs. But, what if you just want to work with what's in your kitchen?

At Joy of Baking, Stephanie Jaworski provides guidelines for numerous baking substitutions. Within these guidelines, Jaworski lists the ingredient requiring a substitute, the amount of this ingredient, and its substitution. What's great is that, in many cases, Jaworski lists multiple substitutions, giving you, the baker, options when deciding which substitute you'd like to use.

Whether or not you're a baker, and whether you're looking to try one of the many recipes from Joy of Baking or you have something else in mind, this ingredient substitution chart is bound to come in handy. Check it out!

Do you have any of your own good baking substitutes?

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image via joy of baking

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


The past few weeks were hectic, tying together any loose ends pertaining to my thesis. That said, I think it's important to eat proper meals in order to fuel the energy we use during the day. This doesn't mean that you have to spend hours in the kitchen. There are tons of ways that you can actually minimize your time spent in the kitchen during the week (I call Sundays "prep days," during which I chop, slice, and cook food in advance and store in the refrigerator for meals from Monday to Friday). And, even if you can't always find time on the weekends to prepare snacks and meals for throughout the week, it's just a matter of grabbing a super simple recipe that takes minutes to prepare.

Here's something I whipped up in no time:

Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes & Olives

6 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 small red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cocktail tomatoes, halved 
1/4 cup large green olives, halved
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions begin to soften and garlic is fragrant. 

2. Add chicken and tomatoes to skillet. Cover and let simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. You may turn the chicken part way through.The tomatoes should begin to soften and stew slightly. The liquid from the tomatoes will help to cook the chicken. 

3. Once chicken is cooked through, add olives and season with salt and pepper. Stir and combine all ingredients. Serve and enjoy! 

Makes 2-3 servings.

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Monday, 14 May 2012


Maybe you're incompetent like me when it comes to most things make-up. Maybe you're not. Either way, Lisa Eldridge has tips and tricks for applying flawless, gorgeous make-up that will last you a lifetime.

Lisa is one of the most highly regarded make-up artists in the beauty and fashion industry today, making her signature look ("fresh, flawless skin and an understated modern approach to beauty") a favourite of supermodels, celebrities, and magazine editors alike. 

Lisa's most recent video tutorial is for a natural summer glow.

What's fantastic about Lisa's videos (and her web blog, for that matter) is that she names every product that she uses for a particular look, states the reason why she is using this product as opposed to another product, shares multiple or alternative uses for that product, and even sometimes lists the places where you might be able to find the product, especially if it isn't a commonly known brand or it isn't a product usually found in most drugstores, department stores, or high end cosmetic boutiques. That said, many of the products that Lisa does use--or at least in the video tutorials that I viewed--can be found at any of these outlets. There are only a few British products that us North Americans might not be able to find and/or would have to purchase online. This being the case, Lisa suggests alternative products in place of what she might be using in some of her videos. In this way, she is very flexible and versatile.

And, I haven't even began to describe just how much I love Lisa's looks. Since watching some of Lisa's basic tutorials and videos for everyday looks, I have gained so much confidence in my make-up application and in achieving that flawless skin look that she's so famous for developing. I don't wear a lot of make-up on a regular basis. In fact, I'd rather wear less. But, it's amazing what a few little coverage tricks can do to perfect your facial skin and help to conceal any blemishes or dis-colouration.

So, if you're looking for some guidance in the beauty world (or maybe you just want to see what's got me so chatty and excited!), check out Lisa's video tutorials for make-up application. The woman is brilliant and informative.

I think my work here is done. 

Happy Monday!

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info, video, and image via lisa eldridge make up and youtube

Friday, 11 May 2012



R is away this weekend, so I've packed my weekend with dinner dates, lunch dates, trips to the farmer's market, lots of yoga, and an extra special call home to Mum. 

What are you up to this Mother's Day weekend?



Last minute or not, here are some of my favourite ways to show Mum how much you love her:

1. The Classic, Breakfast in Bed / as a kid, I loved doing breakfast in bed for Mother's Day. Now that I live nearly all the way across the country from my Mum, breakfast in bed becomes a little difficult. Some alternatives? Make a batch of homemade granola (try Grain-ola with Goji Berries & Mango) and ship it home, so that Mum can enjoy a bowl of granola on Mother's Day morning. Not a fan of the breakfast in bed thing at all? Take Mum for brunch or make brunch together at home.

2. Girls' Spa Day at Home / be good to Mum, yourself, and your coin purse. What I like about a spa day at home is that you don't have to go anywhere and it can be a really budget-friendly gift. Pick up supplies for at-home pedicures. All you need is a tub for soaking your feet (I found one for a couple of dollars at my local Dollar Store), a foot scrub if you wish (or just a pumice stone to soften those feet!), a nail file, and nail polish. An alternative to toe separators? Twist toilet paper and fit it in between your toes. And, for facial masks? Check out this site for homemade skin care that uses natural ingredients and sounds good enough to eat!

3. The Hobby Box / this is great for anyone and for any occasion. What's your Mum's favourite hobby? Does she like to garden, sew, craft? For this gift, all you need is a storage box like the ones pictured here and all the basic goodies that will make that hobby box great. If Mum is a gardener, throw in some seeds, some new gardening gloves, a new trowel, and even things like sunscreen and a hat. For the sewer, package sewing remnants like fabrics, pins, needles, scissors, trim, ribbons, anything you can think of--and this doesn't have to cost you a lot, either. Most fabric stores always have sales and discounts. And, for the scrapbooker, there's always Michael's. They'll have everything you need. Want a little less expensive option? Check out your local Dollar Store. They often have cute scrapbooking materials, and for a lot cheaper!

4. Floral Arranging with Mum /  what girl doesn't like flowers? My Mum absolutely loves flowers. She has a huge garden that she loves to tend to during the warmer seasons. But, every now and then, I'm sure she loves to receive a big bouquet of flowers. Show up at Mum's on Mother's Day with a whole bunch of different flowers and have a flower arranging party! I'm big on spending time with loved ones and doing an activity, rather than just buying them a gift. This flower arrangement gift definitely gets my approval.

5. Farmer's Market Experience / does Mum like the farmer's market? Take her for a day of browsing the stalls, grab a coffee, and pick up some things to take home and make a meal together. Again, I think it's important to actually spend time with Mum on Mother's Day. That said, this option isn't always available to those who live far from home. Another option for Mother's Day giving that would involve spending time together but can be done at any time? The Coupon Book. Need I say more?

What are your Mother's Day gift-giving ideas?

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images via a cup of jo, we heart it, rhythm of the home, an apple a day, and pinterest

Thursday, 10 May 2012


Just because you're celiac or avoiding wheat and gluten for other health or dietary reasons doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a good pasta dish. In addition to gluten-free pastas that are made with brown rice or corn, spaghetti squash makes a great alternative to the standard wheat pasta.

This recipe is so easy to make, not to mention it's delicious and satisfying! It combines the sweet and tangy flavours of a classic tomato sauce with the light creaminess of non-fat yoghurt. It uses few ingredients and is healthy, too!

Creamy Tomato Chicken with Spaghetti Squash & Spinach
slightly adapted from paleOMG

1 medium sized spaghetti squash
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced
1/2 cup non-fat plain yoghurt
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 bundle of spinach, stems removed and washed
1 tsp. dried leaf oregano
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out seeds. Place cut side down in a baking dish with tall sides and add about 1-inch of water. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until spaghetti squash is tender.

2. Once spaghetti squash is cooked, remove from oven and let cool.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, adding the yoghurt and tomato sauce. Mix together. Let simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Add chicken and spices, simmering for a couple of minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

5. Using a fork, thread the spaghetti squash and add to the chicken and sauce mixture. Mix together and serve! 

Makes 2-4 servings.

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image via paleomg 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


Long distance running may not be on my radar, but no one said anything about not participating in race events that are colour-filled or muddy!

The Color Run came up in conversation over the weekend when my sister was visiting. There's no denying this race. It's short and sweet, and would be one heck of an experience! Although it may be classified as a race, The Color Run seems less about speed and more about fun. What's more exciting than running 5km with your friends and having a colour party in the process?! Check out the The Color Run website for more information and event dates. I'd love to register for a race during the late summer or early fall--anyone want to join?!

Then there's Mud Hero. You may have heard about Tough Mudder or even the Spartan Race--Mud Hero is similar. 

Now, initially I heard about Tough Mudder and thought it sounded totally cool. I then visited the Tough Mudder website and decided that it looked a little too dangerous/life threatening/I would probably fall into a pit of fire and die (?). I am very klutzy person and prone to accidents, so the less physical risk involved for me, the better. That's why I'm determined to participate in Mud Hero. It's only 6km and 17 obstacles, as opposed to Tough Mudder's course that is three times as long and has a greater number of obstacles that are far more challenging. Okay, maybe one day I'll test my toughness at Tough Mudder, but for now I think Mud Hero would be a good fit for me. Instead of being miserable throughout the entire course (as I predict I'd be for Tough Mudder), I think that I might actually have a lot of fun participating in Mud Hero. 

The Toronto event takes place on August 25th, so that gives me plenty of time to gather a group of friends and participate as a team!

Have you ever participated in any fun athletic events like The Color Run or Mud Hero? Tell me about it!

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images via google and the color run


Okay, I lied. I'm back two days later, but with a race recap!

On Sunday, I ran my first half marathon, and what a fun experience it was! With no expectations and not exactly sure of how to pace myself (I was running with friends until I lost them, then I was lost without anyone to help pace me...), I finished just under 2 hours at 1:57. Considering I had never run this distance before, I was quite pleased with my finishing time. More than this, though, I was happy with the way I completed the run. 

Having never run 21km, I was concerned with how I might handle such a distance. As my friends who were also racing told me, the first few kilometers would feel easy. They did. We were all moving at a slow and steady pace. It really felt like a warm-up. From 4 to 12km, I felt super strong, with a little hunger pain at 8km (I didn't want to try anything new the morning of the race, so I stuck to my usual pre-run banana for breakfast). At 12km I felt so good that I think I ran the next couple of kilometers a bit too hard (running up a slight incline at 12km is also where I lost my friends). By 14km, I had to back off a little until about 16km, at which point I told myself that I only had 5km to go (piece of cake, right?). With only 5km to go, my legs were starting to feel tired, but I knew I had already run so far, that 5km was nothing. At this point, everything about the race was mental. I ran on, at 18km telling myself that I was nearly there, and at 20km, sprinting for the last 1km to the finish line. I probably wasn't sprinting very fast, but I gave it my all and was really content with my efforts. So much so, in fact, I don't think I'd run it again....Really, though! It took two days of lots of stretching and soaking in Epsom salts for my legs to fully recover. I don't know that my body could handle another race like this one, or even if it could, I don't know if I'd want to put that kind of stress on my body again! That said, I'm really glad that my friend T encouraged me to run the race. Now I can say that I've run a half marathon and be proud about it. 

Thanks to all of my running buddies for being so supportive throughout the training process--I couldn't have done it without you! 

Do you have any race experiences? I'd love to hear about them!

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images via google

Monday, 7 May 2012


It's not exactly the way knotted tops were worn in the '90s, but the easy-chic, slightly undone feel that comes with that tied up top has been making a comeback for the past couple years now. What an easy way to turn an otherwise plain top into something that's effortlessly cute!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend--I'll be back tomorrow with a weekend update, plus delicious new recipes! 

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images via the glitter guide, see jane, my style pill, and  mail online

Friday, 4 May 2012


This past week at Tomfoolery & Bright:

my must-have bag for summer
oh right, I'm done school (!)
a fabulous recipe for Grilled Hawaiian Chicken 
and my top ten for a healthier, happier you

I'm running my first half-marathon this Sunday.

Yep, you read that right. I signed up for the race months ago, but didn't want to say anything in case (for whatever reason) I didn't go through with it (eep!). Well, it¢s happening...and I am totally excited (insert scared face hear). My friend T and I are running Sunday morning, and then that afternoon we have a footy game to play. Yeah, it is a really bad idea. Needless to say, I am going to need one heck of an Epsom salt bath on Sunday night (and maybe one Monday, too)!

If you are in the city this weekend and looking for some free fun, why not come check out some footy? The ladies' game kicks off at 1pm, followed by two men's games at 2 and 4pm. If you're interested, shoot me a message for more details!

Also exciting, my sister is in the city this weekend! She is actually here for CrossFit training, but either way, it's nice to have some family visiting.

What are you up to this weekend?

images via dashing dish, sequined serpent, fit, healthy, strong, and pinterest


It may be wet outside, but that doesn't mean bikini season isn't nearby. How do you like to get beach-ready? 

Whether it's hitting up your local gym, working with a personal trainer, grabbing a buddy and some equipment and squeezing in a workout at home, or finally, taking care of that dreaded spring cleaning, there are so many different ways to be active. And, this goes for diet as well. Getting ready for beach season doesn't mean you have to eliminate anything from your diet or skip meals. What might work for one person does not necessarily mean that it's going to work for you, either. 

For me, getting in shape is about being healthy. Yeah yeah, we all want to look good, but this is really just the cherry on top of the sundae--how about getting fit, eating right, and feeling good about it? Because let's face it, you can have a great body, but if you don't have the confidence to flaunt it, then it's worth nothing.

Aside from maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, and the obvious: skip the soda, don't eat junk, reach for veggies, not potato chips, drink lots of water, only eat when hungry...tested and approved, here are my top ten steps to a healthier you:

1. Don't over-exercise / based on personal experience, I know the downfalls to exercising too much. First, you get run down. Okay, if all you're doing is working out and maintaining a diet that (somehow, perfectly) supports all of your workouts, then you might be able to do something extreme. But how long will it last? If you aren't able to get enough rest in between workouts and eat properly to support whatever workout you're doing, you won't see results. This, my friends, will only lead to frustration. Your body needs rest. Finally, over-exercising can lead to injury. Luckily, I've never really had to experience this, but you can imagine the injuries associated with over-training.

2. Eat to live, don't live to eat (and get the most bang for your buck!) / we've all heard this one before, and it's in reference to portion control. Portion control doesn't mean you have to measure everything you consume down to the calorie.  Although, depending on your diet and nutrition goals, perhaps measuring your food is important to practice. Get the facts (see 8) and find what works for you! On a budget? No problem. This doesn't mean you can't eat healthy. Buy whole foods like fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. As for protein? Beans, legumes, and eggs are all inexpensive sources of protein.

3. Stay positive / and what better way to stay positive than with a workout buddy? Grab a friend who has similar goals to you. Check out videos and workouts online to do together at home or at the park. I like BodyRock and the girls from Tone It Up! Most importantly, though, motivate each other! It's amazing what a little partner work can do to improve your workouts, and your self-esteem!

4. Fad diets are so last year / find a diet that works for you! Today, there are tons of different diets that we can pick and choose from: low-carb, Atkins, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo. But no one diet is going to work for everyone. It may take some time to figure out what diet works for you (it took several years for me), but let me tell you, it's well worth figuring out!

5. Sustainability / based on my experience, most people are impatient. And when it comes to losing weight/gaining weight/getting the body or health they want, people are no different. When making changes to your fitness routine and diet, it's important to make sure that these changes will function for the long term. In hopes of seeing instant results, people will restrict themselves of certain foods (and therefore, certain nutrients) or try to exercise a lot. What good will these changes be, though, if after you've lost the weight/gained the weight/achieved the body or health that you were looking for, your body starts to crave those nutrients you were restricting and you get an injury from working out too hard? My advice is to make gradual changes to your diet and fitness routine, and long-lasting changes.

6. Don't compare / everyone is different, find what works for you. You can look towards images of beautiful women in the media, but remember all the work that goes in to making these women look this way. Every body is unique. So, while you can turn to pictures of women in magazines and determine whether you find them beautiful or not, it's not healthy to obsess about their bodies and the way they look. Again, it comes back to finding a diet and fitness plan that works for you and most importantly, makes  you feel great from the inside-out.

7. Indulge / don't restrict yourself. Whether it's a rest day that you're keeping yourself from taking or a brownie that you're resisting biting into, it's important that you allow yourself these things (or whatever the equivalent might be for you). You might try to eat healthy all of the time, but it's important that every once in a while you treat yourself. And, if you're trying really hard to stick to a new diet or fitness routine and fall off the horse, don't worry. Don't feel guilty, don't beat yourself up. Just get back up and get going!

8. Don't play dumb / get the facts, read! I could go on in length about the lack of nutritional literacy prevalent in society, but let's keep this short and sweet. Nutritional information is constantly bombarding consumers, is often confusing, and sometimes contradictory. Read a lot and refer to numerous sources. And again, find what works for you.

9. Find a support group / I don't mean AA, although if some sort of weight loss support group works for you, then by all means, do it! What I mean by "find a support group" is to simply surround yourself with people who care about your health and well-being, people who care about your health goals. This is different than a workout buddy. This is anyone/everyone who will support your goals.

10. Love yourself / this one sounds so easy, but when you think about how critical we are of ourselves on a regular basis, it should come as no surprise that I would include this as one of my top ten steps to a healthier you. Make an effort to eliminate self-criticism, trust yourself, forgive yourself, acknowledge your efforts, and take time for yourself.

What are your best tips for a healthier you?

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images via brown dress with white dots, the littlest rebel, mojo's movement, get fit or die, fitness magazine, miss alyssa dawn, and pinterest