Nicole’s Favourite Things, Aloha Edition

The book fair is done!  All loose ends are tied up; everything is finished until next November, when I will be relating my book fair sob stories once again.  For those of you who have asked WHY I do this to myself, over and over like one of those fifty-shades types of girls, well, I ask the same question of myself when I find myself photocopying, cutting, and sorting 420 draw forms, or answering “The posters are five dollars.  Yes, that one is five dollars too.  They are all five dollars” a thousand times, or handling all that warm, sweaty money.  The answer is, of course, that my kids tell me that they are so excited I’m in the school doing the book fair, and when I walk down the halls I get random hugs from children, and the school librarian tells me how happy she is to be ordering more books for the learning and literacy program and the ESL students.  I even got thank you cards made for me by a couple of students, which makes the memory of sorting through the reorder forms fade significantly.

This week is flying by; book fair, make up karate classes, and, of course, readjusting to regular life after vacation.  Yesterday my girlfriend who was volunteering with me asked me to tell her all about our vacation, and I had that far-off feeling that I was on another planet some time ago, and now the memories are all that remain.  I’m trying to keep that aloha feeling going, so without further adieu I give you…

Nicole’s Favourite Things, Aloha Edition

As always, my favourite things are just things I love and I think you might too.  These posts are never sponsored, I received nothing for free, and I was not compensated by any companies to write this post.

Lulu Bands

Not to be confused with lululemon, these are essentially ponytail holders that don’t damage your hair and don’t leave those annoying ponytail bumps in your hair when you take out your ponytail. 

I know what you’re thinking: what is that, a scrunchie?  Is this 1990?  But no, they are not scrunchies, they look cute and non obtrusive in your hair, and you don’t need to worry about breakage, which is especially important for us fine-haired girls with over-processed, brittle hair.  I’m wearing one in this picture – see?  Not scrunchie-like at all.

Cheap Pedicures
Normally, the term “cheap pedicure” gives me visions of gross things like foot fungus or similar.  I prefer to go once or twice a year to more expensive spas to get pedicures; where I live prices of these kind of services (and everything else) are fairly inflated, and so generally getting a pedicure doesn’t even cross my mind.  However, I failed to recall the priniciples of supply and demand.  In Maui, there seems to be a nail salon on every block, and the prices are insanely low.  How could I resist?  Plus during my pedicure I got to sit next to an older gentleman from Arizona who talked to me about dog breeds and golf.  You just can’t buy that kind of entertainment.
Old Navy Swimwear
Last summer I bought some bikinis from Old Navy for $5-8 a piece.  A steal!  I also bought some skirts during the Boxing Week sales for $8 each, and they are cute, wrinkle free, and super comfortable.  Their regular prices are not bad, either, and there is usually some kind of online discount to take advantage of.
Cute skirt, and perfect for travel.  Also – Fern – shout out to my grandma!  Love you, Grandma! 
My husband has always hated my old sunglasses.  He’s had a vendetta against them for years.  So, on this trip, we popped into a Sunglass Hut where I was helped by the most flamboyant man ever.  This guy knew his sunglasses, and he fitted me out with these lovely things:

as well as a set of aviators so I can pretend I’m actually in Top Gun.  Can I just give a shout out to that flamboyant man?  He gave me a totally mouth-turned-down frowny face every time I tried on a pair of glasses that didn’t suit me, shook his head, and said “Um, NO.”  I kind of fell in love with him a little bit, especially when he told me that his “friend” was in town from Las Vegas, and they had some champagne on the beach watching the sunset.  He also said, when I told him we were leaving soon, “Well, being in paradise doesn’t pay the bills, am I right?”  Truth.


We were on holidays!  And so the freezer in our condo was kept well stocked with all sorts of frozen treats.  I was feeling a bit sorry for myself as the boys ate sundaes and ice cream sandwiches, meanwhile the rice milk ice cream I had purchased for myself tasted exactly like sadness.  Then I discovered So Delicious Coconut Milk products, and OMG people.  OMG PEOPLE.

I used to think that I disliked coconut; it turns out I dislike artificial coconut flavour and also shredded coconut, the texture of which resembles old dried-out dental floss to me.  GOD BLESS THE COCONUT.  I use coconut milk in my cooking and baking, coconut oil, and now I am a coconut milk “non-dairy frozen dessert” convert.  Speaking of coconut, the one thing I regretted from our last Maui trip was that I didn’t bring home any coconut scented lotion.  “Really, you REGRET not buying a bottle of lotion?” my husband said, confused at my use of the word regret.  Yes!  I regretted it!  So I made amends to myself:

I’m wearing it right now and I keep sniffing at my coconuty hands.  Smell my finger!  Really, it smells like coconut. 
Side note: the more times I type coconut, the weirder the word looks to me.  Anyone else have this experience?
Speaking of smells…
Routine Natural De-odor-cream
I know, I know, I’ve extolled the virtues of Routine De-odor-cream before, but here’s another plug.  It’s all natural deodorant, my friend makes it, and it WORKS.  I spent my mornings at the beach, my afternoons doing my yoga practice and then going to the pool, and even with all that hot sun and sweating and activity, I STILL SMELLED FRESH.  My very favourite is Sweet Jane, but I took Lucy in the Sky with me to Maui, thinking the lavender would be a bit, um, fresher.  I was right!  I did not smell in the least like a feral hippie.  So, if you’ve ever been concerned about using natural deodorant – as I was in the past – FEAR NO MORE.  This product really works.

Ah, it was a great trip.  Now we are into March, my goodness, and it’s Friday!  Which means wine time, also one of my favourite things.



  1. Do you know what that’s called, when you say or write a word so much that it starts looking weird? “Semantic satiation.” I told JUST that thing to my kids last week and they sat there chanting “SEMANTIC SATIATION SEMANTIC SATIATION” until I thought I was going to lose my MIND.

    I am – please note for if we ever hang out – very, very allergic to coconut.

  2. I even remember my very first instance of semantic satiation. It was when Ernie on Sesame Street kept saying the word closet, until I was convinced that the word meant nothing and he was having an attack of aphasia.

    HOW DID I NOT KNOW about Lulu bands?

    I love coconut in all its ways and forms. I am as we speak making a sweet potato red curry soup with coconut milk for my sick mother.

    I’m supposed to run the book fair next year. I will sit at your feet and drink of your wisdom. Wait, that sounds gross. Oh well.

  3. the rice milk ice cream I had purchased for myself tasted exactly like sadness. — HAHAHAHA!

    Was the man who was speaking about golf and dog breeds also getting a pedicure? I HOPE SO!

  4. Semantic satiation!! A phrase for a thing that has bothered me all my life, but most especially since I started running the dayhome, because OMG SMALL CHILDREN AND THE REPEATING EVERYTHING.

    I love getting pedicures but I almost never do. I have vowed that this summer, for sure. I need to start pulling myself together, here. I’m starting to look like a hobo.

  5. warriorgirlca says

    Click. Wait, is that a word? It looks funny. So many consonants, not enough vowels..

    “Tom, is click a word?”
    “Of course it’s a word! Are you INSANE?”
    “Is it a SLANG word? It looks funny…”
    “Is this a hormone thing? Is it that time ALREADY?, what’s the correct answer here? What do you WANT me to tell you about CLICK?”
    “Never mind. It just looks funny”.

    Next time I can tell him it’s actually SEMANTIC SATIATION.
    He will still think I am PMS-ing.

    ALSO. Is that Hot Rod Red on your fabulous toes? I swear I have the EXACT same pedicure right now. Except yours is Hawaiian so not really.

  6. I’ve been using coconut shampoo, coconut conditioner and coconut body wash lately so I’m sure I smell just like your finger. 😉

    I think I might try your friend’s deodorant. I recently tried a different natural brand and I was a rather smelly lass for a week before I went back to my usual brand.

    • See, that’s the thing. I worried about having BO with using natural deodorant, and a very athletic friend told me she was using it and it worked, so I gingerly gave it a try, and IT IS AMAZING!!!

  7. I am happy you didn’t have to eat sadness and you found happiness in a bag.


  8. Maybe I need amazing deodorant.

    I mean, not that I smell (I don’t think so? My kid says I do but he also doesn’t eat noodles so I don’t trust him) but the deodorant picture makes me smile. I should smell good, like lavender. when I smile at things on the Internet I want to have them.

    Your favourite things are way more approachable and hilarious than Oprrrraaaaaah’s.


  1. […] The “No Really, You Don’t Stink” Gift I know I’ve talked about this before, but my friend makes natural deodorant that WORKS. Like, it’s all natural but you won’t […]

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