Into to Cooking-4-1

I’ve been living on my own for more than 10 years now and my friends, family and co-workers often marvel at how I always have food in my house to make a decent meal (we’re not talking zoodles or cup of soup), so I’ve decided to start writing a little food blog, with recipes, tips, tricks & grocery lists.  I’m a big fan of easy to make meals (I rarely spend more than 30 minutes cooking) and I HATE cleaning, so all of my recipes and tips will include something about easy prep and easy cleanup.  I also prefer to only grocery shop once a week – this means that I often buy staples that I’m not going to use that week and that I tend to stock up when stuff is on sale.  What is unique about this is that it will all geared for people living alone, cooking for one or sometimes two.  Most recipes are for 4, same with grocery shopping tips and if you’re not great at dividing fractions (like me), you’ll want recipes that yield less food.  Though, I do often consciously make more – or use recipes that call for something you can’t really divide or keep, like an open can of coconut milk – so that I can have the leftovers for lunch.

I’m not purely altruistic in creating this blog, I’m also using it as a tool to keep myself on track and to help me have a healthier relationship with food.  It makes me feel pretty vulnerable to be accountable for my issues with food and I think this is a great vehicle for overcoming those issues.  I love food, I like to read about it, talk about, cook it, look at it, everything.  I’m the nerd who goes to the grocery store for hours just to read labels.  I like all kinds of food because I think that eating should be an adventure.  I’m also attempting to make better (read: healthier) choices but am not willing to eat bland, vile textured foods.  So the promise I make is that the food you will find here will be healthy, easy to make, easy to clean up and interesting.

So join me on my journey & send me any questions you like.  You can also follow me on instagram missmaris11 and #cooking41






Hello friends and followers.  I know it has been a while since I last posted anything and I apologize for that, but I have been very busy.  The #30before30 challenge was amazing and I could not have imagined feeling better or more confident on my birthday.  Lots of people have asked me if I actually accomplished all 30 things and the answer is almost, I fell short by 2.  Below you will find the list of the things I did, but I think that being disappointed I didn’t do 30 things would be silly and miss the point.  The point was to push myself outside of my comfort zone and do things that make me a stronger, more well-rounded and happier person.  If that is the measure of success then I can say that this challenge was an overwhelming success.


There were definitely things I didn’t get to, like writing a will, learn to speak Italian or go skydiving but I think that there is plenty of time to do that.  In fact, I have decided that once a month I am going to do something awesome and write about it.  I have been so overwhelmed by the amazing feedback and support from readers of this blog that it made me want to continue, obviously not at the pace of one thing every day because let’s face it, I have a life and I was never more exhausted than the day after my 30th birthday when the epic party was over.  As a result, I never got around to writing the #30before30 – epic party post, but suffice it to say, the evening was filled with fu and friends and the next day was very rough 😉  I now invite you all to my new blog #lifeafter30, thank you @flimseygoods for the brilliant name suggestion!


December was also a very busy month with parties every weekend, being nominated for a Notable Young Professional award and throwing my company’s first Christmas party.  However, the stand-out moment for me will be my family’s Christmas vacation to Peru.  Talk about stepping outside of my comfort zone, we are travelling to a new country and continent and have amazing things planned.  I can’t wait to share my adventure and pictures with all of you.


  1. Start a blog
  2. Run a race
  3. Go to a strip club
  4. Learn to pole dance
  5. Travel to a new place (California)
  6. Put my feet in the Pacific ocean
  7. Present at a conference
  8. Get published
  9. Make Shabbat dinner for my family
  10. Learn to ballroom dance
  11. Learn to meditate
  12. Write a heart felt thank you note
  13. Master a new pilates move
  14. Get rid of a toxic person
  15. Make a new friend
  16. Get in touch with an old friend
  17. Sing karaoke
  18. Try a new restaurant
  19. Try a new food
  20.  Shoot a gun
  21. Create a personal logo
  22. Master a bread pudding recipe
  23. Start an RRSP
  24. Become a google ninja
  25. Take a vacation without checked luggage
  26. Find a new relaxation technique – reflexology
  27. Learn to drive standard
  28. Throw an epic party


#30before30 – Gym Stories

I’ve been having some technical difficulties with my laptop lately and I apologize for the delay in posting some blogs, so today I’m going to write about a bunch of things I completed for #30before30. If you have been reading this blog you all know about my Pilates instructor Christina and how much I love Pilates. It’s all thanks to my good friend Orly that I started Pilates. A while back Orly introduced me to my first Pilates instructor Kathy, I immediately fell in love with Pilates. For those who don’t know, Pilates is a type of exercise you do on a reformer that has springs with different amounts of tension that allows you to work out your whole body, a lot of the time, while you are lying down (which is one of the best parts ;)) jk! Now I absolutely love my sessions with new friends like Naomi and Kim and old friends like Katherine and Orly!

So with all of the other physical challenges I gave myself I decided that I really wanted to master an advanced level skill in Pilates, I chose the Dolphin with a standing split. Now, admittedly, I can’t quite do the standing split….yet, I know I will get there. I can tell you however that at the beginning of this challenge I was barely able to do the normal Dolphin exercise. Now I am happy to report that I can basically do it on one leg, check out the Pilates pics below. I wanted to show you what it’s really supposed to look like but I couldn’t find any pictures (even on google!!) so I’m showing you a picture of what it looks like on the floor, just imagine that on a reformer.

Speaking of Pilates another thing on my #30before30 was to convince a guy friend of mine to try Pilates. Most guys tell me that Pilates is a sissy workout for girls, which is totally untrue! So when my gym, Victoria Park recently had a member’s appreciation night and we were allowed to bring a guest, I brought my friend Dan to try a Pilates class with me. I’m happy to report that he tried and said it was no joke (which may also be because I had him do it after an extreme circuit, but that’s a different story)! Unfortunately I did not take a pic of him doing it but you can ask him, he really tried it.

At the same event I was given the opportunity to try something new, which I obviously jumped at the chance to do. This time it was something relaxing and calming, unlike most of the other things on my list, it was a reflexology session. I had no idea what reflexology was when I signed up for it; basically it’s an amazing foot massage. Apparently the foot has connections to every other organ in your body and by massaging your feet in the right way you can cure other ailments. They had me at foot massage. My session was incredible and I highly recommend it for runners or people who have spent a lot of time in uncomfortable shoes.

So tomorrow is my 30th birthday, no more #30before30 but due to an overwhelming response I will continue to blog. Firstly because I have a few things to write about (including my epic party and a recap of the last 30 days) secondly because I have learned how you can improve yourself and your life significantly by taking on challenging yourself and doing things that scare you. This challenge has given me so much that I’ve decided to give myself at least one challenge a month for the next year, I’ll be sure to blog about it and let you know how it goes, now I need a new hashtag, suggestions welcome!








#30before30 – Reconnecting

Undertaking this challenge has been one of the most exciting experiences of my life.  It has pushed me past limits I didn’t know I could go and it has allowed me to face my fear and get over it.  Not everything I did was tough, but sometimes when you are busy it’s hard enough to just do something you are not used to.  My brother originally suggested that instead of this challenge I pick 30 people that I had lost touch with and reconnect with them leading up to my 30th.  I decided against the plan but found that the idea has become a reality anyway.

One of the most rewarding experiences on this challenge has been the fact that through this blog so many people that I either don’t regularly speak to or whom I haven’t spoken to in many years have reached out to me to tell me how much they have enjoyed reading about my journey.  The message or the email always starts with, I know this may seem random to you, and you know what?  It never seemed random.  Any time you reach out to someone to encourage them in what they are doing, you are doing a good thing and nobody will ever judge you or think badly of you for saying it.  At least, that has been my experience.  I am overwhelmed with all of the old friends that I have reconnected with, even if only for a brief message, as a result of this challenge.  If you have been reading my blog, I would love to hear from you, it really means a lot to me.

Furthermore, though the power of facebook I have been able to reconnect with a girl I went to high school with, you may remember her from one of my first blog posts, Jen.  This summer Jen came to my office once a week to give my staff and I yoga lessons on the canal.  We all absolutely loved the experience.  I had seen that Jen was offering yoga for offices on facebook and reached out to her.  Through yoga I came to learn that Jen was into much more than yoga and we started to talk about other things like meditation and business and wellness.  Besides seeing Jen for yoga/mindfulness sessions Jen and I have found a friendship.  Although we were not close friends in high school, that little bond we had combined with the powers of social media brought us back to each other at a time when we could both learn a lot from each other.

If nothing else, I am so grateful that this experience has allowed me to reconnect with some amazing people.  Thank you.


A little favor

Ok friends, I’m so happy that you have been enjoying my #30before30 blog, now I have a favor to ask, will you please nominate me for this award? I’d like to be nominated in law and my email address is Thanks in advance! xoxox


#30before30 – Professional Dirty Dancers

After my pole dancing experience I gained a newfound respect (sort of) for strippers. It is really hard work to hoist yourself up on a pole and have enough control to spin around it and look graceful and sexy! When I used to tell people that I had never been to a strip club before, they honestly could not believe it. So I figured, I should knock this one off my list, after all I was sort of curious to see how it would be possible for someone to be sexy/graceful on a pole without ending up with bruises and wounds like I did.

I actually thought it was going to be much easier to recruit someone to go on this adventure with me but to my surprise, not many people were too into it. Good thing for my trusty friend Mohsin, he agreed to come with me for my first strip club experience. We went to Amazons on St. Jacques, what a classy joint! The place smelled like the Selwyn House locker rooms (don’t ask me how I know that) and it was empty except for a bunch of creepers. It was pretty early on a Sunday night, so I wasn’t expecting a crazy crowd but I thought people would be there as a way to unwind after a weekend. Mohsin proceeded to explain to me how the whole operation works, do you know that the girls pay to perform on stage and then they get to keep whatever they make from the dances/tips? I had no idea these girls were so entrepreneurial!

The girls at this place looked like they could play back-up for the Alouettes, some of them had shoulders that were twice the size of my hips! Mohsin also informed me that many strip clubs actually offer food, like chicken wings, the thought of it coupled with the nasty chicks and the noxious smell made me gag a little. In any case, there wasn’t a lot of dancing going on, so rather than sit in a stinky bar I figured the best thing to do was have a real experience, as in getting a lap dance. So Mohsin found the smallest not butch girl in the place and asked her to come speak to us, I was thrilled that she was actually half dressed (she had a skirt and boots on) as opposed to the other ridiculous lingerie sets the other girls had on. The lap dance was so awkward I immediately regretted it the moment it started, however, at least I can now say, check, been to a strip club and got a lap dance!





#30before30 – Student Becomes Teacher

As many of you may know I was a tutor for many years and before deciding that I was going to be a lawyer for a period of time I had aspirations to open my own tutoring center. Part of the reason I loved tutoring so much was because I loved my students, I got great pleasure out of getting to know my students really well and then watching them succeed. Recently, my longest standing student Morgan graduated from university and it was honestly one of the most proud moments of my life.

I tutored Morgan for approximately 10 years starting when he was in grade 7 and although it was not always easy, Morgan was always one of my favorite students. Morgan happens to be very bright and is amazing with electronics and cars. While I was still tutoring him we used to have discussions about what cars I should drive, how to remove ugly dealership stickers from my bumper and when to bring my car into the shop because it was making weird noises. Since graduating, Morgan has gone into the car business, no surprise there and so when I decided I should learn to drive a standard car before I turned 30, he immediately came to mind for my #30before30 challenge, he accepted without hesitation.

This weekend we had our first tutoring session where I was the student and he was the teacher, wow have the roles completely reversed! I can also safely say that I think he was a better student than I was, driving standard is really hard! I had such a hard time figuring out how quickly to release the clutch, how much gas to give and the perfect timing of it all. Morgan was so patient with me, never got angry or frustrated and although I am certainly not good at it, I at least understand how it’s supposed to work and think that in a worst case scenario I could drive a standard car. Thank you Morgan for all of your patience and help, I really enjoyed being your student!





#30before30 – Ballroom Blitz

Although I loved my pole dancing experience, the bruises and sore muscles I was left with didn’t exactly inspire me to continue on with the practice. Besides which, it inspired me to do something else before I turned 30, which is to go see real strippers who are actually good at working the pole….but more on that later.

This week as I was watching Dancing with the Stars, yes I watch the show and yes I like it (so long as it is PVR’d and I can fast forward all the talking) I decided that learning to ballroom dance would be an excellent thing to do for #30before30! So I immediately called Arthur Murray Dance School and set up an appointment for my first lesson.

The following day, I showed up at their studios and met a bunch of the instructors who asked me why I was there, looked at my blog and were very excited to read about what I was doing and help me out!

I was assigned a teacher who taught me how to merengue, samba and waltz. He taught me the basic steps and once I knew how to move my feet, I was guided around the floor doing all kinds of crazy moves that I never knew I could do, but that’s the beauty of dancing with a professional, they do almost all of the work! After a little dancing with my instructor he had me show him my stuff without him and to my surprise, I found that I learned a lot! I actually had an amazing time and by the end thought that it was something that I could really get into. Turns out the dance school has a location right near my house, which I am going to check out and maybe join. Before I left, my instructor gave me an amazing photo opportunity and taught me “the drop” check out the pic below!




#30before30 – Caped Crusaders & Other Work Accomplishments

When you think of the word superhero what do you think of? Some guy or girl in a shiny red or blue cape, right? Well today I would like to tell you about my superheros, they do not dress up in capes, they dress up in black cloaks with frouffy white collars. They are my lawyers David Ettedgui and Yoni Feingold. I cannot really go into the details of what they saved me from but I can tell you that I have been through a trying few months, believing that no end was in sight. A special mention also needs to be made to my dear friend Eva Derhy, she is also a superstar of epic proportions and I couldn’t have made it through this without her.  My superheros dealt with all of my trepidation as to what was going to happen, listening to me when I was upset and strategizing with me often daily. They resolved one of my issues much more quickly than I had anticipated and for that I am truly grateful. As most of you know, I am not the easiest person to impress, and my superheros exceeded my expectations in every possible way. If you ever need a litigation specialist, these three are the ones to call, David has his own firm, Eva is a partner in her firm and Yoni is with Robinson, Sheppard, Shapiro

I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but I have a new logo, it can be found on the top left of the homepage. I’ve always loved the ideas of crests or logos, not that I think I am The Artist Formerly Known as Prince or anything, but I think that having a personal logo would just be so cool. So I decided that since a few friends of mine have been known to call me “M”, which I quite like, given the James Bond reference, I decided to make a purple (my favourite colour) M with the sides of the M being legal scales. I think the logo is perfectly representative of me!

Finally, another goal I have always had is to get published in a law journal so I decided to put it on my #30before30 list. Although I don’t practice law in the traditional sense that I am not a courtroom lawyer, I still have some traditional lawyer aspirations like getting my name out there. There is not much to say about this goal except to share with you that my article was published last week, here is a copy of what was published, check it out!


Canadian Admissibility Remains A

Hurdle Despite New Policy

By Marisa Feil

The Canadian government announced a new policy last March regarding Temporary Resident Permits (TRP) for persons seeking entry into Canada who have a criminal record. The rule change does not, however, alter the rules for admissibility. It simply allows individuals who have been convicted of a DUI/DWI/OWAI (or certain other minor offences) to obtain a fee-exempt TRP (i.e., avoid the $200 processing fee) on a one-time basis, and only if they have a single conviction for which no jail time was imposed.

Before travelling to Canada, individuals with a criminal history should verify whether their entry might be prohibited. A foreign national is inadmissible on the grounds of criminality if convicted outside of Canada of an offence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an indictable offence under an Act of Parliament. Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act § 36.

Canadian immigration law does not distinguish between misdemeanor and felony offences. Instead, offences are considered either summary or indictable, and if the offense can be treated as either (a “hybrid offense”), it is considered indictable for Canadian immigration purposes.

A foreign conviction, for which there is an equivalent offence in the Canadian Criminal Code, is deemed an indictable offence. With some convictions, it is possible to argue non-equivalence, or equivalence to a summary offense, in order to circumvent the inadmissibility regulations and allow the individual to enter without applying for permission.

“Operation While Impaired” is an indictable offence or an offense punishable on summary conviction. The statute reads as follows:

Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle or vessel or operates or assists in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or has the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment, whether it is in motion or not,

(a) while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by alcohol or a drug; or

(b) having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration in the person’s blood exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood.

Canadian Criminal Code § 253.

Canadian immigration generally considers any drug/alcohol related driving offence to be equivalent to this statute, no matter how it is treated in the state where it occurred. Furthermore, most foreign statutes for reckless driving offences are equivalent to Canada’s “Dangerous Operation of Motor Vehicles” statute (Canadian Criminal Code § 249). Therefore, individuals who plead their cases down from a DUI/DWI/OWAI to some other alcohol related offence, or a reckless driving offence, usually still find themselves inadmissible to Canada.

Criminal inadmissibility can be overcome permanently by Criminal Rehabilitation, or temporarily with a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). An individual may also be rehabilitated by the passage of time (more than 10 years have passed since the completion of all of the conditions of their sentence, including the term of probation, provided they have only one conviction on their record).

Applicants may apply for a TRP at a Canadian visa office or at a port of entry. The Canadian government encourages individuals to apply well in advance if they know they must enter Canada and are inadmissible. The main requirement for obtaining a TRP is to demonstrate a significant reason to be in Canada. Usually the government is looking for a reason related to one’s work, or family, or an emergency situation. A TRP is required until such time as criminal inadmissibility has been removed.

Individuals who are eligible for criminal rehabilitation, but who have not yet applied for it, should not only apply for a TRP but for criminal rehabilitation as well. Criminal rehabilitation is a permanent solution to criminal inadmissibility, while a TRP is a temporary pass for it. In order to be eligible for criminal rehabilitation, five years must have passed since all sentencing terms have been completed (including the term of probation). It is therefore advisable to seek as short a term of probation as possible.

If less than ten years have elapsed since the completion of your client’s sentence and/or they have more than one offence on their record, they will have to apply for criminal rehabilitation to overcome their inadmissibility. If ten years have passed from the date that they completed their sentence and there is only one conviction on their record, then they are likely to be deemed rehabilitated by the passage of time. Individuals with more than one conviction or who have been convicted of a serious offence (DUI causing bodily injury or death for example), will never be deemed rehabilitated by the passage of time.

Only a lawyer certified by one of the provincial bar associations, or a certified immigration consultant, is authorized to represent an individual in their Canadian immigration applications to the Canadian government, including Criminal Rehabilitation and Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) applications.


Attorney Marisa Feil a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Barreau du Quebec. She specializes in Canadian immigration issues for FWCanada, Inc., and may be reached at (514) 316-3555 ext. 204, or




#30before30 – Not your typical race

#30before30 – Not your typical race When I first started this #30before30 challenge and I was trying to come up with things to do, I tried thinking of something I would never do. If you asked me if I’d like to go running 18 months ago I would have laughed at you and said, I don’t run. Over the last 18 months I started learning to run. I know saying “learning to run” sounds funny, but I really believe it is something you have to learn. I used to think running involved moving your feet as fast as you can, I’d be out of breath and in pain after 5-7 minutes. Then I learned that you can jog at a moderate pace and if you get into a rhythm of running to music and breathing every 4 paces, it’s actually something that can be done. All this to say is that over the past 18 months I’ve been teaching myself to run. In that time, the longest I have ever gone for is 30 minutes and I never calculated my distance. So, I figured that setting a running goal would be a great thing to do for #30before30. As I was planning the challenge I saw that there was going to be a 5k race in Montreal called The Color Run. I had no idea whether or not I’d be able to run 5k but I thought it was a good goal to set for myself. I told my friend Carl about this idea and he immediately signed up and recruited a whole team of people to run with. I guess at that point I had no choice but to take the plunge. When I told my parents I was going to do a challenge and that I was going to run a race, they almost didn’t believe me. They actually came to the run because I think they still didn’t believe that I’d actually do it! The event was amazing, I have no idea how many people were there but there were thousands of people, dressed in all kinds of crazy costumes, tutus, hazmat jumpsuits, crazy wigs, hats, sunglasses and accessories. It was such a happy, friendly, non-judgmental experience, I was so happy I signed up, even before I stepped on the course. The idea is, you wear white (or at least a white shirt) and you run 5 kilometers. At each kilometer there are volunteers who throw colored cornstarch at you, so that at the end of the race you are covered in color. You can choose how dirty you want to get, there were people rolling on the floor to get more color on themselves, it was crazy! It was a beautiful sunny, fall day, it was a little cold, but perfect for a run. I highly recommend this run for anyone, whether you are an experienced runner or not, it was a great time. Check out these before and after pics!