exercise.

growing up, playing sports was just a way of life.  being the youngest of three kids, i spent most of my childhood being dragged from one hockey arena, skating lesson, or soccer field to another.

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i have tried my hand at just about every sport, some more successfully than others, but one thing that stuck is that my love for being active.

now that i’ve stopped figure skating competitively, i’ve tried to find other ways of getting my exercise on.  for a while i became an avid runner and even completed a half marathon.  eventually, though, i outgrew my running phase (surprise, surprise) and tried my hand at a gym membership.  like so many other people, it was a daily struggle to motivate myself to get my butt to the gym –that is until i tried out a spin class.

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it only took one class for me to become hooked on spinning.  i never sweat so much, silently curse and hate my life, as much as i do when i’m pedalling away for a solid hour on that bike.  but, that feeling at end of the class, when you feel accomplished and motivated, is more than enough to keep me coming back 4-5 days a week.

since i typically have my mornings free of work, i head to the gym first thing and start my day off with a spin class.  some people love working out at night, but being the morning person that i am, i love to get all my day’s activities done as early as possible, so i have my evenings free.  now that i have gotten into a solid routine, i rarely ever miss a spin class and actually feel guilty when i can’t make it.

i cannot say enough good things about spinning:  you work harder than you ever would on your own, you spin off hundreds of calories, your legs and butt get a great workout, and it’s fun way to get in your cardio in.

i may not be the next lance armstrong, but as i ride along in the saddle –the music pumping, sweat dripping, legs burning, and heart pounding –i really feel like i could take on the world.

 don’t forget to follow me on twitter & instagram: @the fitpalette

“take care of your body.  it’s the only place you have to live.” -jim rohn

friday favourite.

this week i can’t live without: this ‘vanilla icing’ candle.

the most amazing scented candle.

the most amazing scented candle.

since i live in canada, i miss out on so many of the great things the u.s. has to offer.

us canadians have smarties, ketchup chips, maple syrup, and a timmy’s on every corner, but the states has liquor that can be purchased in convenience stores, better target stores, chick-fil-a (i may be a little too obsessed with this place), and most importantly, yankee candle.

whenever i head across the border, i always make sure to stop at yankee candle to pick up some new candles for my room.  i got this ‘vanilla icing’ scented candle the last time i was in buffalo and since i gave up chocolate, chips, and cupcakes for lent, the smell of this candle (although a serious tease) is the closest thing i’m getting to eating something yummy these days.

don’t forget to follow me on twitter & instagram: @thefitpalette

 “thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  happiness never decreases by being shared.” -buddha

painting.

i’ve always been very creative, whether it be through fashion, design or actually making art itself.

one of my grandfather's paintings we keep hung up.

one of my grandfather’s paintings we keep hung up in the house.

i’ve grown up with artistic genes;  my paternal grandfather was an architect and painter, while my maternal grandfather a carpenter.

my simple sketches line the spare bedroom wall.

my simple sketches line the spare bedroom wall.

my black & white photography.

my black & white photography.

for years i’ve been really interested in photography, sketching, and painting, but kept it mostly a secret until recently.  knowing my love for this type of stuff, my sister and brother-in-law gave me this ‘sensu’ paintbrush & stylus for christmas this year.

sensu paintbrush.

sensu paintbrush.

most of you probably don’t know what’s so special about this paintbrush.  well, sensu was developed to be reflect an authentic paintbrush to use with any painting or drawing app on an ipod/ipad.  my favourite app is ‘procreate’ and you probably won’t believe it until you try it, but painting on this app is exactly like using paint and paper.

my favourite painting app 'procreate.'

my favourite painting app ‘procreate.’

playing around with the thousands of colour and paint/sketch/inking options.

playing around with the thousands of colour and paint/sketch/inking options.

since i have a pretty unpredictable schedule and am usually on the go, i found it so hard to find time to sit down and paint, but now i literally just throw my ipad and sensu in my purse and whenever i have time (think about all that wasted time on the subway!) i pull it out and create away.

one of my paintings, now available on my etsy shop.

one of my paintings, now available on my etsy shop.

thanks to sensu, i’ve been able to create so many fun paintings that i can’t wait to share.  since i’ve had such a great response to my artwork, i’ve recently opened up this etsy shop where you can take a look at my work.

one of my favourite paintings, available on my etsy shop.

one of my favourite paintings, available on my etsy shop.

i’m always looking to grow my store, so check back regularly for new pieces of work for sale.

don’t forget to follow me on twitter and instagram: @thefitpalette

 “creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.” -einstein 

 

 

 

mid week moment.

it’s hump day.

on wednesdays we are only halfway through the week and can just barely begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel that is the weekend.

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in order to conquer my mid-week blues, i always try to find something or someone to help me over that hump.

this week, i’ve turned to justin timberlake.  has anyone heard his new song ‘not a bad thing’?  well if you haven’t, you’re missing out, my friend.  it’s no secret that i’ve loved jt ever since my boy band lovin’ days (back when frosted tips, overalls and pigtails were cool), but this song brings my love to a new level.

my most favourite part of the video i captured from his 20/20 concert.

my most favourite part of the video i captured from his 20/20 concert.

so thank you mr. timberlake for bringing me lots of joy today.  happy hump day!

don’t forget to follow me on twitter and instagram: @thefitpalette

lemon raspberry muffins.

i’m the first one to admit that i am a picky eater.  and i’m ok with that.

delicious lemon raspberry muffins.

delicious lemon raspberry muffins.

until a couple years ago, i refused to eat potatoes or rice.  i didn’t like steamed vegetables.  i hated when my food touched.  seafood was a definite no-no. i ordered subs that consisted of lettuce, cheese, mayo, and sub sauce.  the list could go on and on, but you get the point –we’re talking real plain and picky here.

i’m happy to report, that although it’s still a work in progress, i’ve begun trying new foods, and have even grown to love potatoes…(i know, baby steps).

in my attempt to diversify my food portfolio (but, don’t be fooled, i’ll never abandon my love for crackers and cheese), i’ve started to become more comfortable in the kitchen and actually enjoy preparing my own meals.

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yesterday i made these lemon raspberry muffins (both delicious and easy to make), which were based off of this recipe i found on pinterest.

ingredients:
1/8 cup butter, room temperature (the original recipe called for 1/4 cup butter, but i substituted half of that with greek yogurt)
1/8 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk (skim if possible)
1.5 tablespoon lemon zest
1.5 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups raspberries (frozen or fresh)

for the crumb topping:
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tablespoons brown sugar

step 1.  wet ingredients.

step 1. wet ingredients.

step 2.  dry ingredients.

step 2. dry ingredients.

step 2.  mix wet and dry ingredients.  fold in raspberries.

step 2. mix wet and dry ingredients. fold in raspberries.

step 3.  pour mixture into muffin tin.

step 3. pour mixture into muffin tin.

step 4.  add crumbs.

step 4. add crumbs.

directions:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. line a muffin tin with liners and set aside. combine butter, unsweetened applesauce, greek yogurt and sugar in a large mixing bowl then beat for 1 minute (mixture will look curdled). add eggs then beat to combine. add milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla then beat to combine.
  2. in a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. add to wet ingredients in three batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch. add raspberries then gently fold into batter.
  3. fill prepared muffin tin cups 3/4 of the way full with batter.
  4. in a separate bowl mix crumb topping ingredients together with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of muffins then bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. serve with butter, a cup of fruit, or nothing at all because they are just that good by themselves. enjoy!
enjoy!

enjoy!

don’t forget to follow me on twitter and instagram: @thefitpalette

“people who love to eat are always the best people.” -julia child

 

spring shoes.

since the middle of winter, i’ve been daydreaming about the day when i no longer have to trudge around the city in heavy boots.  although that day hasn’t quite come yet, when the warm weather does finally appear, i can look forward to slipping my toes into these peep-toe, chunky-heeled shoe.

new favourite shoes for spring.

new favourite shoes for spring.

this type of shoe, which you can find in many variations (think perforated, sandal-style, metallic), is one of spring 2014’s biggest trends.  i love this look because not only is it super stylish, but the heel isn’t too high or skinny that your feet kill by the end of the day, and not too low that it looks like an ugly, grandma kitten heel (can you tell i hate kitten heels?).

amazing gold-heeled shoes from herve leger.

amazing gold-heeled shoes from herve leger.

three strap mulberry spring collection shoe.

three strap mulberry spring collection shoe.

even though my mother may disagree, a girl truly can never have too many pairs of shoes;  with this look carrying over into summer and fall, my collection of chunky heeled shoes has just begun.

a fun outfit idea.

a fun outfit idea.

don’t forget to follow me on twitter and instagram: @thefitpalette

“shoes transform your body language and attitude.  they lift you physically and emotionally.” -christian louboutin

friday favourite.

i can’t live without my: palmer’s cocoa butter ‘swivel stick’.

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please, tell me you’ve tried this chapstick before!  i literally cannot say enough good things about this product.  i know eos is all the rage right now, but after trying palmer’s cocoa butter, you will never look at an egg shaped lip balm again.

if you’re like me, you’ve probably never finished an actual tube of chapstick before it goes missing, but lucky for us, the ‘swivel stick’ is the size of a glue stick (and yes, when i pull this out in public, i often get weird looks from people thinking i’m putting glue on my lips. and no, i don’t care because my lips are smoother than theirs ever will be).  so, not only have i held on to this chapstick for months without losing it, but i have gone this whole winter stretch without chapped lips (congrats to me!).

but, wait!  there’s more; the amazingness doesn’t stop there.  although i (and my friends who are now hooked on this stuff) choose to use ‘the stick’ as a chapstick, it’s designed for full body usage.  got dryness, blemishes, or anything inbetween?  just slather this baby on and you’re good to go.

i’m not kidding you, go out and buy this (available at target or shoppers) and you too can have beautiful luscious lips this spring.

“people will stare. make it worth their while.” -harry winston

spring.

today is the first day of spring.

although technically the date tells us that spring is officially upon us, i’m not so sure the weather is on the same page.  despite the balmy, unappealing weather, the thought of at least knowing that it can’t stay cold for too much longer has already put me in a better mood!

the first look of spring.

the first dreary look of spring. because who doesn’t love grey skies and muddy water?

on the eve of every new year, i take a couple hours to reflect on the past year.  many people opt for creating new years resolutions, but knowing that these resolutions usually last about one hot minute, i instead choose to write a letter to myself that is categorized in three ways:
(1) what have i done this year that i’m proud of?
(2) what could i have done better this year?
(3) what do i want to accomplish in the coming year?
and at the end of year, i love to look back on this letter to see how my year actually panned out.

so, much like the new year, at the beginning of each season, i take a little time to reflect and make a quick list of things i want to accomplish.  writing down my goals holds me accountable and gets me excited about what i have to work towards in the coming months.

what do you hope to accomplish this spring?

“spring is nature’s way of saying: let’s party.” -robin williams

this necklace.

i was introduced to stella & dot a couple years ago and it was like love at first sight.

for those of you who aren’t familiar with this amazing jewelry company, their products can only be bought online or through privately held trunk shows.  since i have yet to ever attend a trunk show (hello friends, someone hold one please!), i find myself on the stella & dot site more than i’d like to admit, ogling the beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and rings through my computer screen.

my favourite 'everyday' necklace by stella & dot.

my favourite ‘everyday’ necklace by stella & dot.

knowing my love for this jewelry, my amazing sister bought me this ‘on the mark’ necklace for christmas last year.  i wear this gold arrow necklace every day and have never heard so many compliments from friends and strangers, alike.  it’s the perfect necklace to dress up for a night out or dress down with jeans and a baggy sweater.  you can wear this piece layered with other necklaces, or for a more simplistic look, let the necklace stand out on its own.  when it comes to stella & dot, the price is low, but the quality is high; you will never regret buying any of their pieces.

i have been debating holding a trunk show for quite some time now, but until i take the plunge and have my own showing, i will continue to lust over countless pieces that i can’t wait to add to my stella & dot collection some day.

“style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” -rachel zoe

st. patrick.

i’ve never been one for holidays.

although christmas is certainly growing on me, halloween, new years, valentine’s, and all those other celebratory days between, never seem to excite me the way they excite everyone else.  while friends are spending days preparing creative halloween costumes or researching the coolest place to ring in the new year, i am usually waiting for those holidays to come and go as if they are just another day of the year.

some st. patrick's day necessities.

some st. patrick’s day necessities.

st. patrick’s day, on the other hand, is one holiday i truly enjoy.  i may only be 1/3 irish, but on march 17, i celebrate this day as if it was created for me.  in actuality, this day represents the day that saint patrick died and is a celebratory day, culturally and religiously, to rejoice his life.  for me, this day brings me so much happiness, as it typically marks the beginning of some warmer weather (although apparently not this year).  after long winter months, i always anticipate this day as a breath of fresh air and a fun day to spend with my friends.

as my friends and i get older and start to create our own lives and develop blooming careers, it becomes more and more difficult to find time to spend together.  on st. patrick’s day, however, it has become a tradition to spend the day together -dressed in green, drinking green beer, and forgetting about all our other responsibilities.

so, cheers to a holiday i wish could come along more often and to the happy memories that come out of it every year!

“there are two kinds of people in the world:  the irish and those who wish they were.” -irish saying