Nicole’s Favourite Things – FALLing in Love Edition

There seems to be two types of people in the world: people who have hearts in their eyes when they think about autumn, and everyone else. Me, I like autumn just fine. I’m not someone who counts down the days of summer, just waiting for pumpkin spice lattes to return or anything – I find pumpkin spice anything to be a teensy bit vile, if I’m being honest here, and while I’m at it on controversial subjects, I don’t like ANY pie but pumpkin seems to me to be the worst – but autumn and I are on good terms.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Nicole’s Favourite Things, and so today, in honour of the season, I will tell you all about the things I love about fall. Some of these things might be products, but I am not being compensated by any company to write this post, and I received nothing for free.

With that disclaimer out of the way, and without further ado, I give you….

Nicole’s Favourite Things: FALLing in Love Edition

Thick Cozy Sweaters and Tall Boots

Much as I love spending the summer season in tank tops and skirts, there is just something so cozy about wrapping up in a big thick sweater. I love the trend towards long, flowy sweaters – they are so much more forgiving than the ones that graze your waistband and ride up, should you sit down and reveal the ravages of Thanksgiving dinner, or worse, your panties. Most of my sweaters are, of course, black, which makes mixing and matching very easy. However, this is what I’m wearing today.

It’s red! A red sweater! I feel like a big show-off – look at me in my red sweater! – but it’s all part of my gradual plan to add colour to my life. At this rate, when I’m 80 I’ll be in nothing but jewel tones. Changing the world, one sweater at a time. The above sweater is from the Gap, and I do love how they have online sales frequently, since the thought of actually going to the Gap and scrounging through piles of clothing to find the right size, and then standing in line for twenty minutes…well, it’s not appealing. Give me online shopping any day. The black cardigan is from Jacob, my all-time favourite store. Here’s a shopping hint: Jacob has killer Boxing Week deals, and yes, you can shop online. They also clear out all their sweaters in the spring, and it’s a great way to stock up on cozy (black) sweaters.

And boots! I have little ankle boots that I love, but tall boots are my favourite. As someone who is chronically cold, I like to be covered as much as possible as soon as the weather turns to “brisk” or “fresh” as they say in the fall. I wrote an entire post on boots, which I won’t repeat, but you can read it here. As an aside, every time I put on a certain pair of boots, I think of the fabulous salesman who told me I was “Puss in Boots”. It makes me stand a little taller, you know? Puss. In Boots.


My mother-in-law quit smoking and as a result she pretty much knits all day long, which is to say I benefit from this. She knit me this scarf – which is one of six that she has made for me. I wore it today for the first time. Cozy!

Hmm. That’s not the greatest picture of it. I swear, I don’t look like Marie Antoinette in it. Or maybe I do, in which case, how fabulous. Who doesn’t like cake?

Speaking of cake…

Apples and Grapes, Oh My

My husband’s birthday is coming up and I’m going to be making this recipe, except as a layer cake, and with creamy chocolate frosting. Mmmm. What I should make for him, though, is apple crisp, since I have sixty pounds of apples and forty pounds of grapes in my cold storage room.

I brought these babies home from the Okanagan this weekend, and I have big plans. Ever since I got my food dehydrator back in March, I’ve been promising Jake that I would make grape fruit leather, come fall. The time has come. I’ve borrowed a friend’s juicer (thanks Rebecca!) and this weekend, it is going to be dehydration nation in the Boyhouse. I’m also straight up eating all the Concord grapes I can, which is leaving me with sore lips from all the acidity. But it’s worth it!

If you too have a plethora of apples, give this caramel sauce a try – or just read about the disaster that was my attempt at making caramel apples.

Decorative Gourds, Motherfucker

I cannot help it. I see a bag of cute decorative gourds in the supermarket, and I must have them. IT’S FALL, FUCKFACES. Too bad I don’t have a horn shaped bowl.

It’s not just the decorative ones, I love edible gourds as well. It’s all about pumpkin and butternut squash soups, and baked squash. Yum. My mom makes this baked butternut squash and sweet potato dish that is to die for.
Decorative gourds, though. They’re so cute! Speaking of cute…
Death of a Scarecrow
Remember my terrifying scarecrow? I opened the drapes the other morning to see this:
I live in a neighbourhood with mature trees that turn beautiful colours in the fall. Relatively speaking, of course. This IS Calgary, after all. We have to savour the beauty of fall while it lasts, because as of today at least half of the leaves have been blown off, revealing the bare branches that will be our landscape for the next several months. At least I got some pictures!
There you have it – my favourite things for the season. What are yours?


  1. Nicole, you’ve mentioned a lot of my favourites here. Sweaters. Boots. Leaves. And, especially the gourds! They are way too cute to leave behind… I am so happy to know someone else loves them like I do!

  2. I love me some gourds. LOVE. Every fall I buy some and put them in a bowl. And then husband laughs at me because gourds. WHATEVER.

    It hasn’t been cold enough yet for me to bring out my scarves, sadly.

    I love you in red!

  3. I’d like to comment on this post but I could not get past the line in the first paragraph where you declare you DO NOT LIKE PIE. It’s like…I don’t even KNOW YOU anymore :).

    I could write a whole post on my own favourite things, and everything on it would be pie, just subtle variations.

    Although, I suppose your dislike of pie means…more pie for me! Which is all good :).

  4. I will never tire of reading that McSweeney’s piece. It’s Hilarious.

    I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, even pumpkin and sausage pasta. Husband attempted to slow me down the other day by saying “not everything has to have pumpkin in it!” Didn’t work. However, I cannot abide pumpkin spice lattes. There, I said it. That flavor in my coffee is unacceptable. Bleh.

    OMG, the other decorations banded together and took out creepy scarecrow!!

  5. I can’t believe you don’t like pie. I could waste my time feeling sad for you, it just means more pie for me! I actually bought one of those ginormous pumpkin pies from Costco last weekend and Keith ate 3/4 of it by himself within 24 hours.

    Love the sweater with the bee hive backdrop!

  6. Try a pumpkin spice latte with half the pumps (of pumpkin syrup) or even fewer. You might actually like it. I hated the original concoction but have modified it to my liking.

  7. I don’t like pie, either. I prefer muffins. Because I am pie-averse the very first thing my son learned to cook was — OF COURSE — pies. And yes, what’s with the obsession with pumpkin-themed treats? Because none actually taste like pumpkin, they taste like spices that go in pumpkin dishes.

    I love early autumn. Not the bleak, beige days of November, but the leaf changing colour-filled days of early autumn? So cosy.

  8. Since you dislike pie, I dislike your mother in laws knitted scarf. Kidding. That’s awesome that she quit smoking!! Never too late to jump off of that train.
    Speaking of mother in laws, mine made a pumpkin cheesecake once. There was a hair in it. Not. Lying. Her mullet sheds EVERYWHERE. Turns my stomach every time we eat there. It’s like I have to inspect my food.

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