hot docs.

so if you’ve never heard of hot docs, you need to change that.

when i tell people about hot docs, the conversation usually go like this:

“i’m so excited about hot docs!!”
“hot dogs?”
“nooo, hot docs, you know…docs…?”
“dogs?”
…oh, forget it.

hot docs is a canadian documentary film festival that runs for two weeks in toronto at the end of april.  the festival pulls 180 amazing docs from all over the world and screens them at a dozen theatres across the city.

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anyone who knows me, knows that my movie taste is pretty abysmal.  let’s just say, if it doesn’t have kate hudson, poor acting, or a predictably happy ending, i probably haven’t seen it.  but, a couple years ago, i came across this truly amazing documentary called ‘the cove’ (all about dolphin poaching in japan).  this film opened my eyes to the doc world that i’d been missing out on for so long.  since then, i’ve become totally obsessed with docs like blackfish, after tiller, and the tillman story.

when hot docs came around this year, i knew i had to go to a screening.  after hearing great things, my friends and i decided on ‘meet the patels.’  this movie, which was all about an indian-american who enters a love triangle between the woman of his dreams…and his family, who is pushing for an arranged marriage.

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after seeing the screening this past thursday, i can say it certainly didn’t disappoint;  it was the perfect mix of hilarious and touching.  and one of the best parts was that the film makers attended the screening and spoke to the audience after.
unfortunately hot docs came to an end yesterday, but after this amazing viewing, i can’t wait to discover new documentaries when it comes back next year!!

happy monday!

“no good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.” -robert ebert

 

 

friday favourite.

this week i can’t live without:  my name ring.

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after seeing a similar ring on pinterest, i lusted over the idea of this ring for months.  i’m obsessed with just about anything monogrammed (and gold), so when i got the ring as a gift last year, i couldn’t have been happier.

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although i like big statement pieces of jewelry for nights out, i prefer more modest options for everyday.  i have a couple rings that i never take off and this name ring quickly became a staple of mine.  this ring, made by “names ring” was the perfect addition to my jewelry collection.  i love the thin gold band combined with the cursive lettering, giving it that dainty feeling that i never get tired of.

happy friday everyone!

“it’s the freakin’ weekend!” -r kelly

 

 

mid week moment.

i don't stop quote

as we hit the mid week point, i can’t seem to shake that tired feeling.

i’m not sure if it’s the rainy weather, my unusual work hours, my sleeping habits, or a little bit of everything, but ever since working until the veerrryyy wee hours last friday night, i’ve been exhausted and have even had to sneak in a few afternoon siestas.

even though i’ve been feeling pretty sluggish, i’ve been trying not to give in to my tiredness by continuing on with my normal routine.

i’ve got a busy day today, so here’s to an energized and fun wednesday!

 

banana cinnamon muffins.

since i’m on the go so often, i’m always looking for new snack recipes.  this weekend i was looking to make something that i could take with me as i run out the door, that will fill me up, but won’t weigh me down.

i realized that my batch of bananas had over-ripened, so naturally i wanted to bake something with them…in comes banana cinnamon muffins.

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these muffins only took 10 minutes to prepare and taste even better than i thought they would.  coming in at under 150 calories, they are both delicious and healthy since they are low on butter and sugar, with the sweetness coming from the bananas.  don’t be afraid to make your own variation of this muffin by adding extras like chocolate chips, raisins, or walnuts.

i took a couple with me to work yesterday and they filled me right up for a long day of running around.  yum!

happy monday everyone!!

 ingredients (serves 12 muffins):

-1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/4 cup applesauce
-1/3 cup sugar
-3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
-1/4 cup milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg

directions:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.  line muffin tin with baking cups.
  2. in a large bowl, mix together butter, apple sauce, and sugar.  add the egg and continue to beat.  mix in mashed bananas.  stir in milk and vanilla extract.
  3. in a seperate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just blended.
  5. spoon batter evenly between the muffin cups.  bake for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. cool & enjoy!!

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^^wet ingredients.


IMG_2635
^^mashed up bananas.

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^^add the milk to the wet ingredients.

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^^dry ingredients.

IMG_2640^^gently fold the ingredients together.

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^^all mixture to muffin cups.

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^
^and enjoy!!

don’t forget to follow me on twitter & instagram:  @thefitpalette.
 
“i’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.” -maya angelou

at home salon.

this week i can’t live without: my nail polish rack.

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since discovering my love for nail polish, i’ve racked up a sizeable collection.  but, i’ve always struggled with finding the perfect solution to displaying them and ended up resorting to throwing them all in a woven basket.

although the basket looked nice, i could never see what colours i had because they ended up just getting burried on top of each other.

thankfully my grandpa is such an amazing handyman and recently made me the perfect nail polish rack.  i can now see all my nail polish options and the rack gives me that salon feeling in my own house.

thanks to the best papa for making this for me!!

before

after

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

a quick trip.

today i’m writing to you today from the airport in columbus.

a couple years ago my sister and her husband sadly moved away to ohio.  having only one sister and growing up in a tight knit family, it was tough to see her make the move and with the 7 hour drive from toronto to columbus, we don’t get to see her nearly as much as we’d like.

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^
^weren’t we just the cutest of sisters? haha

i’ve made the trip to columbus a couple times and always managed to have an amazing time, but since i only had a super short visit with her last weekend (which i blogged about here), my mom, my cousin and i booked a last minute flight to pay her a visit.

bekshooting^^crossed this off my bucket list during my visit to columbus last summer.

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^
^during my christmas visit, we took in some columbus/pittsburgh action at the rink.

we flew out of yyz bright and early yesterday morning on a teeny tiny prop plane (where i saw my life flash before my eyes, as we teetered into the sky)  and spent the day getting some quality power shopping in.  thanks to my favourite brother-in-law, we also took in the columbus vs. pittsburgh hockey game at night.

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^
^taking in game 4 & an amazing w for a deserving team!! go cbj!

my sister and her husband live in a beautiful little community that is literally straight out of a fairytale.  the streets are lined with white picket fences and blooming trees.  there are walking paths throughout.  a large mailbox houses a community library.  all you need are rainbows and lollipops and you’d think you were living in a dream.  i’m lucky to have had an hour to enjoy the sunny skies on a walk around the neighbourhood.

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^^a communal library for the neighbourhood.   shouldn’t every community have this??

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^
^could this place be any cuter?

after laying my head down to sleep for a couple hours last night, it was time to head back to toronto and back to reality.

although it was much too short of a trip, i’m so happy to have spent some time at my sister’s…and getting some much needed shopping in didn’t hurt either!

columbus, you’re always good to me –’til next time!

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

“family:  where life begins and love never ends.” -unknown

 

mid week moment.

as we make it halfway through another week, i can’t help but feel a sense of happiness.  not only has the weather improved dramatically since last week, but thanks to the nba playoffs, the city of toronto is buzzing.

raptors^^putting the final touches on a raptors logo outside.

having grown up in a hockey household, i’ve never really cared too much for basketball.  but, when i started my new job this year and had to attend raptors games fairly frequently, i quickly became a true fan of the team.  while leaf games are serious and intense, raptors games are loose and relaxed.

with the raptors making it to the playoffs for the first time since 2008, i was so proud to see the thousands of raptors fans come out to our tailgates to rally for their team during the first and second games of the series.

2014-04-17 11.13.48^^spent one day last week chalking out the footprint for the tailgate.

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^^the court looking like a giant puzzle & some festive balloons.

2014-04-19 14.49.53 ^^a white-out inside the acc.

in a town that is known for their hockey fans, these raptors fans are giving them a real run for their money. here’s to the team’s continued success and the electric energy that they have brought to the city.

**on a side note: did anyone else notice drake furiously lint brushing his pants during the game?  so many questions running through my head…where did he pull this lint brush out from?  how did his pants spontaneously erupt in lint?  did he realize he was sitting courtside and everyone was watching him? ohhh, how i love drake.

happy wednesday & don’t forget, #wearenorth!!

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

spring cookies.

in the spirit of easter and the beautiful spring weather, i decided to whip up some sugar cookies this weekend.

as i mentioned here, i had some work commitments this weekend in the city, which meant i had limited time to spend with my family.  luckily i had friday free, so i took a short road trip out of the city to spend the day with my nearest and dearest.

IMG_2616^^feeling a lot like easter at my grandparents house.

since i didn’t want to show up at my grandparents empty handed, i decided these sugar cookies would be the perfect treat to bring.  the night before i left, i quickly made the dough and refrigerated it overnight.  when i woke up in the morning, i took the dough out of the fridge and baked the cookies.  once the cookies were baked and cooled, i packed myself up and headed out of town for the day.  since i would be hanging out with my sister and cousin for the day, i decided to wait to decorate the cookies with them.

these cookies are super easy to make, don’t take too long, and decorating them is a hilariously fun activity to do with friends.

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dough ingredients (makes 3 dozen):

-3 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup sugar
-1 egg, beaten
-1 tablespoon milk
-powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

directions:

  1. sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  set aside.
  2. place butter and sugar in large bowl and beat with electric mixer until light in colour.  add egg and beat to combine.
  3. on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from side of bowl.
  4. wrap dough in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. preheat oven to 375.
  6. sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar.  remove dough from fridge and sprinkle pin with powdered sugar.  roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick.
  7. cut into desired shapes and place 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet.  bake for 7-9 minutes.
  8. remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and move to complete cooling on wire rack.

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^^getting the surface ready to roll out the dough.

IMG_2531^^rolled out to 1/4 inch thick.

IMG_2532^^cutting out the cookies.

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^
^cut out and ready to be baked.

IMG_2539^^awaiting for the cookie to cool.

icing ingredients:

-4 cups powdered sugar
-3 tbsp meringue powder
-5 tbsp of warm water

directions:

  1. sift together powdered sugar and meringue powder.
  2. add water as you stir to create a mixture with the consistency similar to toothpaste.
  3. divide mixture into 4 and add one drop of food colouring to each and stir.
  4. place coloured icing into pastry bags, squirt bottles, or ziploc bags (depending on your personal preference).
  5. outline each cookie with icing, then fill in the rest.
  6. let dry and ENJOY!

IMG_2564^^icing pre food colouring.

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^^one drop of food colouring and mix.

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^^fill ziploc bag with icing sugar and cut a teeny hole in the corner.

IMG_2565^^getting out the decorations.

IMG_2589 ^^start by piping the edges, then fill in the inside.

IMG_2597^^the final product! yum!!

even though i wish i could have spent more time with my family this weekend, i’m grateful for all the fun memories and laughs i snuck in with my family and friends this weekend!

happy monday everyone!!

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

“the only real stumbling block is fear of failure. in cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” -julia child

easter.

today is good friday.

religiously, it is a day for christians to be thankful for jesus christ’s sacrificies, but for most of the world, it means a day off work and a long weekend!!!

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typically this is what i love about easter:
-warmer weather
-spending time with family
-lots and lots of chocolate

but…this year the weather is colder than ever, i am missing out on family time due to work commitments, and i am no longer eating chocolate.

so, yaaaa.  not quite the easter i usually look forward to.

in all actuality, though, i’m still happy to see easter come around.  i’m excited to take advantage of the couple hours i will have with my family and all the amazing food i’m sure to devour in that time.

happy easter everyone and remember everything you have to be thankful for!

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

“easter is the only time of year it is good to put all your eggs in one basket.” -unknown

 

 

lent.

40 days.

that’s how long it’s been since i made the crazy decision to give up both chocolate and chips.

as i mentioned here, this year for lent, i gave up my most beloved treats.  lent, which began on march 5, finally comes to an end today.  i remember that first day of lent, thinking that i would never make it the full 40 days, but surprisingly, it hasn’t been nearly as hard as i imagined.

i am certainly not a nutritious eater by nature, so healthy eating is a conscious effort for me .  i never really thought my sweet tooth was a problem… until i picked up peanut m&m’s instead of peanut butter m&m’s at bulk barn.  talk about devastation! this awful rookie mistake had in a puddle of tears on my bedroom floor.

yes, sadly this is a true story.  and no, i wasn’t 12.  this was last year.

2013-04-11 20.47.13^^the cause of my meltdown.  just wanted some peanut butter m&m’s while studying.

now, i’m not particularly religious, but i love a good challenge, so when lent came around this year, i knew it would be the ultimate test to kick my sweet tooth to the curb.

there were definitely times throughout the 40 days when i wanted to cave, but instead of turning to unhealthy food when i needed a quick snack, i made the conscious decision to make better choices.  to help kick my sweet and savoury cravings, i added lots of fruit, smoothies, yogurt, and lightly salted almonds to my diet.

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^^ smoothie preparations & yogurt, fruit and oats.

it’s said to take 21 days to break a habit and i’m happy to say, after 40 days, i feel like that’s true.  i’ve got to say, i’m pretty happy about my accomplishment and since i’ve pretty much kicked my cravings, i’ve decided to extend this challenge all the way to the end of summer.

it could be a long 4 and a half months to come, but as this saying goes…

strawbs

 

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