Nicole’s Favourite Things; Fall Edition

I am very cross right now for a variety of reasons, amongst them a) my dog is sick with kennel cough, which he got FROM his kennel cough vaccination, and now I am faced with a new life as someone who does not want to vaccinate her dog, b) I have had to check the yard constantly “in case” Barkley develops diarrhea, and it is gross to be constantly checking dog poop, c) there are UNSOLVABLE issues with the upcoming book fair due to the fact that the school’s Remembrance Day holiday is not the same as the one that Scholastic (and, apparently, the rest of the world) is observing, d) the unsolvable issue was brought to my attention only AFTER I had sent out a cheery “would you like to volunteer?” email about it, e) I had a very awkward conversation with the developmentally slow grocery carryout guy today about suicide, which is NOT a conversation I wish to have in the three minutes it takes to put my groceries in the car, and f) it is not slated to be above zero degrees Celcius any day this week.  I AM COLD. 

I know, I know, there are bigger problems in the world.  Wah, wah, wah, and my diamond ring is too heavy for my hand, my bed of money had a lump in it, and I am just TOO beautiful. 

Still, I am in a crabby kind of mood, so I’m going to turn things around by saying WWOD (What Would Oprah Do?). 

Welcome to Nicole’s Favourite Things, the Fall Edition!

This sweater and those boots.  When fall (or, as we say in YYC, the start of the unending winter) arrives with its crisp chill, it’s a sign for me to break out the black sweaters!  This one is my new favourite.  I got it on the “We Made Too Much” clearance section from Lululemon, and it’s warm, long, and wraps around in a snuggly way.  These boots I got for half price during the Boxing Week sales from a place that I cannot recall.  Longtime readers will remember these as the “Puss in Boots” ones.  It’s a bargain of an outfit!  I think I even bought the jeans on sale.  Thriftiness in the Boyhouse!  Relatively speaking.

Those are beehives in the background.  Related: my neighbour keeps bees in her backyard and she always gives me some of her very excellent honey, to say thank you for my flowers.  Hey, it’s a two-way street; her bees make my flowers awesome, and so Taryn’s honey is on my favourite things list!

That’s her photo, by the way.  Did I mention I love this girl? 

I bought this set of three dishtowels (I know, DISHTOWELS are on my favourite things list) and they make me smile whenever I look at them, which is often, since I spend half my life in the kitchen.  They say “They Fell In Love”, “They Got Married”, and “They Lived Happily Ever After.”  Aw.  They were probably meant for a wedding shower gift, but I bought them for myself and no regrets.  Happily ever after.  I always smile when I look at that, and imagine myself in a fairy-tale like existence, and think I AM living happily ever after!  Then I go look for dog diarrhea and the mood dissipates somewhat.

Calgary is very dry year-round, but especially so in fall and winter.  I go through a lot of lotion and hand cream, and the scents from Bath and Body Works are enough to turn you into one of those creepy “Smell My Finger” guys.  But in a good way.  Twilight Woods, Cherry Blossom, and, separate from regular Cherry Blossom, JAPANESE Cherry Blossom are my current favourite scents.

That reminds me, I have been meaning to post pictures of my renovated bathroom.  Next time, okay?

My mother-in-law is a mad knitter, and she knitted me this scarf that I think is fabulous.

Fluffy, cute, and goes perfectly with a black sweater!

It was my husband’s birthday this weekend, and I made him a reduced-sugar apple crisp for his birthday, in keeping with his low-sugar dietary restrictions.  We’re such a fun couple.  Want to invite us over for dessert?  He can’t have sugar, I can’t have dairy.  Game on!  Anyway, I made him an apple crisp, although I think that cooked fruit is, quite frankly, a waste of fruit.  One of my favourite fall things is fresh, farmer’s market McIntosh apples! 

I keep our surplus apples in the crawl space.  Right next to the hall paint, apparently. 

Another thing I love about fall: pumpkins!

Those giant pumpkins were on sale for $0.19/pound.  Apparently procrastination pays off.  I am going to be roasting a lot of pumpkin seeds this weekend!

I also love making chocolate chip pumpkin loaf, and butternut squash bisque.  Lately I’ve been making that soup with coconut milk and coconut oil instead of whipping cream and butter, and it is pretty fabulous. 

So those are my favourite things about fall.  What are yours? xoxo


  1. Melody Baker says

    WELL since you asked….

    Besides my new round hot tub and my long black Theory sweater that goes RIGHT TO THE GROUND and makes me look like Cruella DeVille (or so the two young boys walking behind me at Market Mall decided – and made no bones about saying out loud when I SWEPT by them) …. the fact that I AM LEAVING FOR PARIS/SPAIN for two weeks on Thursday and…. BONUS FACT…. I will miss Halloween! (You just wait till you’re an empty nester / Girl in a Grown-Up house…..You will feel EXACTLY the same way :).

    Having said that I may just have to pick one up when I get home and make that yummy sounding bisque. (Pumpkin, not boy.)

    Smooches to you (in your smooshy sweater and f**k me boots;) and your plethora of boys and pumpkins… have a fantastic fall :).


  2. I like to pick up pretty leaves and press them in the dictionary. Apparently. Since the dictionary is now bursting with almost as many leaves as pages.

    “and the mood dissipates somewhat”—ha ha ha! I love those towels so much.

  3. Have you tried Farmer’s market Honeycrisp apples? They are even better than the Macintosh. Also, please post your recipe for the spinach smoothie – if I am ever home alone for lunch (ie not feeding kids) I would likely make that too. What a wild time you and i could have if we lived in the same city.

  4. NOTHING IS BETTER THAN MACINTOSH. Why do you largely buy pumpkins with amputated stems? I went to visit my best friend for the weekend and MISSED THE SCHOOL HALLOWEEN DANCE, whoo-hoo! I am all about the soups made with coconut milk, even though cheese and I are still like this (‘this’ being ‘two things that are very very close together).

  5. Wow. My comment makes it sound like I’m on crack. Sorry.

  6. Ah, yes, I see you are using coconut milk instead of cream in your soup! Tis a good thing indeed. I, of course, love cooked fruit and would cook all of my fruit if I could. In fact, I’m making an apple crumble at this very moment. I will have to work hard not to eat it all before my family comes home.

  7. I just made an apple pie for the first time so now my favorite thing about fall is homemade apple pie.

  8. Miss Elise says

    Sometimes I really think we are living parallel lives. My favourite things include tea towels from Anthropologie, macintosh apples, and pumpkin. It’s sweater season…and the only time of the year I enjoy drinking copious amounts of hot beverages.

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