Nicole’s Favourite Things: July Is The Best Edition

It has been another glorious summer week; summers are so short in this city that I feel like I need to soak up every moment outside. Hence, the writing of this at 6:30 am on a Saturday morning. I realized that I started this blog in 2008 which is a decade of having a whole lot to say about not a whole lot. My friend Lynn (HI LYNN) thought that maybe us “old-school mom bloggers” should now morph into “perimenopause bloggers” which, maybe we should. Speaking of EMOTIONS, the other morning I was practicing yoga and a girl rolled out her mat beside me. She had a shirt that said “When It’s Dark Look For Stars” and I got teary-eyed. Getting emotional over a tank top is probably one of those Change of Life things that no one talks about, UNTIL NOW.

And speaking of tank tops, only ten more days until my goddamn shopping challenge is done. Then I shall buy all the emotional tank tops I want. August 1st, lululemon sees a spike in sales like never before, analysts cannot explain it. It all seemed to come out of the Calgary area.

Truthfully though, I was in the mall yesterday to choose a hostess gift, and the tea store is just down from lululemon, and I am not made of stone. I thought I would browse the store and just make a mental shopping list for The Big Day. Reader, there was nothing I wanted to buy. Either the shopping challenge has fundamentally changed me or all the current styles and colours are unappealing, or both. I was gravely disappointed. I felt like Rip van Winkle but with clothes, like the whole world has moved on to crop tops and tucking things in and I just am not prepared for that right now.

Also, why so many things with an exposed back? As I said summer is brief here, and I will enjoy this six weeks of feeling warm but come August, I will be layering up again. I do not want my back exposed; in a similar vein, I also never embraced the cold shoulder look. I am already cold enough, thank you.

This post has taken a turn for the negative; let’s get back to the point which was…

Nicole’s Favourite Things: July Is The Best Edition

Sirius XM Radio

There is a pattern in my marriage, and it goes like this: my husband has an idea of something he wants to buy for me/ our family/ our house, and I resist it with all my might. We do not NEED that, I will say. This conversation, such as it is, will go on for any length of time; weeks to years of back-and-forth. Finally my husband will break down and buy it/ install it and I will end up loving it so much so that I cannot imagine life without it. Repeat, ad infinitum. The single time that I myself had to convince my husband that we needed to buy something was when we purchased the trampoline.

I am a dream to be married to, believe me.

A small list of the items that have been purchased in this way are: Roomba, my stand mixer, my super-fancy dehydrator, the juicer, the Vitamix, my Yamaha piano, the elliptical machine, and Sonos. We have had Sonos, with Sirius XM Radio in the house for years, and my husband also has it in his car for his commute to work. I have steadfastly refused the installation of Sirius in my minivan, although mine is the vehicle that we take on long road trips, meaning that once we lose local radio stations, we end up listening to the same mix CD’s over and over. Some of those mix CD’s were made years ago and there is only so much of Gangnam Style one can listen to on one road trip. Finally my husband put Sirius in my car and people, I cannot ever go back to regular radio. I can listen to 70s soft rock without hearing commercials for Grey Power Insurance or Nurse Next Door or even My Pillow Dot Com. I already bought the damn pillow.

There’s also a Yacht Rock station, and the 80s on 8 frequently plays “on this day in 198x” countdowns. When I was driving to pick up the kids from my parents’ place, I was delayed by a big accident, and listening to the top songs of July 1986 made everything better. I had my own little karaoke party with The Greatest Love of All.

Breville Food Processor

I don’t know how long I’ve had my old Cuisinart food processor – since 2011 maybe? Or 2010? I don’t know. All I know is one day I was going to pulse some tomatoes into my guacamole and instead of pulsing the processor just kept going. It wouldn’t turn off until I unplugged it. I still used it like that for a while, plugging it in when I needed to process something, but it felt weird and dangerous. I thought I would just get another Cuisinart but my husband – who used to get Consumer Reports back in the day – had been researching it and thought I might like to try a Breville.

Oh, baby.

It was like all those years I was driving a Ford Focus, and now I have a Maserati.

It processes much better – the Cuisinart always left little chunks where the blade didn’t touch the bottom – and it is also so easy to clean! The Cuisinart had a rubber seal and lots of little crevices that were impossible to keep clean, which felt a little gross. This is my new bae. I’d make out with it if it wouldn’t slice my face to a pulp.

These Old Jeans

Thanks to Facebook memories, this photo popped up in my feed the other day.

It was from exactly ten years ago, and you might be thinking awww, what cute little guys. I am thinking that too, but I’m also thinking, hey, I’m wearing those jeans right now. Yes, these old jeans are at least a decade old – I don’t know when I bought them – and I’m still wearing them. Now that I’m looking at that photo, I realize that I still have and wear those shoes.

My god, August 1 cannot come soon enough. Although, it is a testament to how I buy things that last. No one could say that I’m a “disposable fashion” kind of girl, that’s for sure.

Dog Calendar

My mom gave me a Labradoodle calendar for Christmas, and every month features an absolutely adorable dog. Not as adorable as this one, mind you:


But the month of July features this dog:

It puts me in mind of a 1980s glamour shot. It makes me smile every time I see it, which is good because…

Neutrogena Rapid Repair

This photo of me was taken exactly forty years ago:

I love it so much, not just because of my great fashion, but because I so clearly am thinking I will pet this sheep but I will not enjoy it and you cannot make me. My friend Janet (HI JANET) mentioned that I still make this face, which explains a lot regarding my perpetual Bitchy Resting Face. No wonder I have such an epic case of BRF, I have been working on it my whole life.

Several months ago I posted about my favourite Growing Old Gracefully things, and one of those things was Neutrogena Rapid Repair Night Cream. My friend Liv (HI LIV) mentioned that she uses the one that is SPF 30 and meant for day use. Liv has perfect skin so I thought I would try it as well, and people, my skin has never looked better. It is truly amazing. I still, of course, have BRF – no amount of retinol is going to reverse 43 years worth of that face. Nothing, short of massive plastic surgery, is going to do that. But it’s a fantastic cream and I highly recommend it. I also recommend looking at glamour dog shots frequently to keep smiling, keep shining.

That’s also my favourite sunscreen, for the six weeks of high UV index that we get per summer.

So that’s that. What are you loving this July, tell me everything. xo


  1. Favorite part: “August 1st, lululemon sees a spike in sales like never before, analysts cannot explain it. It all seemed to come out of the Calgary area.”

    My favorite thing this particular July has been VACATION SNACKS. I’ve been on two vacations and both involved ALL THE SNACKS.

  2. When Noah was born, I wanted some short-sleeved button-down shirts I could wear unbuttoned over t-shirts so I could pull the sides around him without completely covering him up while he was nursing. Beth went to Target and bought four while I was still in the hospital with my 3-weeks early baby. I still wear two of them (and just got rid of another of them at the beginning of this summer when I could no longer convince myself it fit). I wore one of the remaining shirts a couple days ago and I was getting all sentimental about it. Once I’m down to one, I may have to keep it forever.

  3. I will be sending this post to my husband, for the Sirius Radio part. Not because we need it or I want it, but because our marriage follows the exact same pattern – he is interested in something like an Apple TV or Netflix or Wireless Internet Connected Smoke Detectors, and I insist we don’t need that and I don’t want it and will never learn to use it, and I resist for like, a year, and then I end up loving it. SAME EVERY TIME. I don’t think it will lesson my husband’s pain at all but I just want him to know he’s not alone. Maybe he and your husband can form a support group.

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