Nicole’s Favourite Things: The Hearts and Chocolate Edition

Valentine’s Day is NOT a huge thing in our house. Actually, it’s not really a thing at all. I don’t think my husband and I have ever really marked the day in a romantic way, with the exception of me telling him I choo-choo-choose him and will he BEE my Valentine, complete with buzzing noises.

Don’t you wish you were married to me? I’m a delight.

Actually our most memorable Valentine’s Day – probably our ONLY memorable Valentine’s Day – was in 2001, when we travelled through Egypt and, on February 14, found ourselves in the incredible Luxor, riding on donkeys and visiting the Valley of the Queens.

While Valentine’s itself is no big deal, I LOVE hearts. I heart hearts. If you were to look at my “most used” emoticons on my phone, the red heart is always number one. The single greatest thing, to me, about Valentine’s Day is all the hearts everywhere. Ooooh!

Nicole’s Favourite Things: The Hearts and Chocolate Edition

Heart Sweater

My husband gave this to me…when? I don’t know. A couple of years ago? It’s my very favourite sweater and I try to “save” it for special occasions. What could be more special than wearing a heart sweater on Valentine’s Day?

Bonus: it’s snuggly and warm, and therefore perfect for a brutal winter day.

Heart Cake

I make this cake annually; it’s so easy. I have written out the steps before, which I learned from my sweet friend Maija (HI MAIJA). This year’s cake was vanilla with strawberry frosting; the strawberry frosting is essentially a buttercream but with mashed strawberry, and no liquid added; I learned that from my friend Steph (HI STEPH).

Heart Cookies

If there is a special occasion of any sort in the Boyhouse, it is marked with cookies. I have written out my mom’s recipe for sugar cookies many times – you can see it here – and it is completely foolproof. In fact, these cookies were made with leftover dough from Christmas (frozen, obviously).

Please excuse my cracked Reynaud’s hands; this is the result of much hand-washing and minus 30 temperatures with no humidity. No amount of lotion is going to help, believe me.

Heart Necklace

Some of you may recognize this necklace from a previous post. My husband gave it to me many years ago, and for a while it sat in my jewelry box, unworn and tarnished, until I discovered the magic silver-polishing effect of boiling water, aluminum foil, and baking soda. The magic silver cleaning method IS magic!

Heart Mask

Listen, I COULD get away with a couple of utilitarian masks, but why would I when there are so many cute ones to be had? I’ve always been a fan of accessorizing. My mom gave me this for Christmas, and not only is it adorned with hearts, they are BLINGY hearts! Does anyone say “bling” anymore? No? Sparkly, then. Get your sparkle on!

Heart Bookmarks

I feel the way about bookmarks that I do about masks: sure, I could use an old receipt or grocery list, but why? There is a young local artist who I like very much, have known since she was a toddler, and am watching grow into a talented and lovely young woman, and she makes the most adorable, whimsical bookmarks. She just finished a heart collection and of course I needed some.

I read a lot and each time I start a book I take a little time to choose a bookmark. It feels not unlike choosing an outfit and accessories, and it makes me happy every time.

Special Edition Lindt Truffles

OMG. You guys. After reading Swistle’s posts last year (HI SWISTLE), I really wanted to mark Galentine’s Day, which, for those of you not in the know, is February 13. I decided to deliver some little goody bags to my girlfriends in the ‘hood, and when I was at Superstore I noticed these:

Remember when you were a kid at Christmastime, and someone was always gifting someone with Pot of Gold chocolates? The best thing about those chocolates was the guide to what was inside each chocolate. I didn’t – and still don’t – like the ones with caramel, nougat, or nuts, but I LOVED the fruit-flavoured ones: orange, strawberry, and even maraschino cherry.

So I have always liked the Lindt truffles that are “strawberries and cream” but when I saw DARK chocolate with strawberry? Well, sold. I packaged some up for the girls, and, of course, left a couple for myself. I am happy to report that they are even better than you might imagine.

I have them hidden in the back of that cupboard, because they are mine, mine, mine! I thought I’d stock up when I was at Superstore this week, and while they had ridiculously cut-price heart chocolates, the strawberry Lindts were ALL SOLD OUT. If I had known how glorious they were, I would have filled my cart.

Truffle Kisses

Speaking of truffles, these Hershey Kiss Truffles are pretty divine! Hershey’s Kisses are so fun because they feel like an EVENT, so much fiddling with the foil wrapping for one little chocolate.

Now the Valentine’s aisle is completely filled with Easter treats – is it too soon to buy Easter treats? We are in Lent. – but I feel that we should celebrate hearts and chocolates all year round. Sending beams of love from my heart to yours, Care Bear-style. xo


  1. Heart beams: I love that!
    You DO have a thing for hearts. Who knew? I love your mask, your necklace and of course all your heart goodies. Dark chocolate and strawberry? I think I can get on board with that combo.
    I noticed recently that I have a lot of bookmarks for someone who rarely reads.
    Happy Friday!

  2. OMG! I got ONE bag of the Lindt Dark Chocolate and Strawberry and I have been searching for more since. They are out of this world!

  3. I’m glad you like the frosting. I think we have it on half the birthday cakes in our family. So funny you used my frosting recipe and I made your cookies. I sometimes get the Lindt white chocolate strawberry truffles for North for Valentine’s day, but not this year.

  4. We are not Valentine’s Day people either. I was once in a hotel with the girls for an Irish dancing competition. Curly was about 6 years old and she was all worked up about missing Valentine’s Day. I was like HUH? When the day lands on a school day, it is celebrated at school. Landing on a Saturday meant no hoopla and she was confused. Mini died laughing at her silly sister.

    Love the heart sweater. Oh, how I love sugar cookies. I am your polar opposite – I do NOT accessorize, but a cute bookmark I could get behind.

  5. I ADORE your heart sweater. Definitely worth saving for special occasions.

    Per your suggestion, I went to Target (okay, fine, I had to go in ANYWAY) to see if I could find cut-price heart shaped boxes of chocolates to make up for the EGREGIOUS error of not getting one for myself for Valentine’s Day… and they did indeed have plenty of them, but they were the small boxes (fine) and all the same, and some horrible (helpful) person had opened one to see what the variety was (it did not say on the outer package), and inside the box were four chocolates and one was coconut. So I did not risk buying one, because I will NOT eat a coconut filled chocolate, and losing 25% of the entire contents of a box didn’t seem like a very good deal.

    Long story even longer, my Target also had the Easter candy out in full force so i got a full-size Reese’s egg, which is my favorite candy, and ate it that very day. Which is to say, no, not too early for Easter candy.

  6. I also LOVE bookmarks….but I’ve gone almost exclusively to e-books (never thought I would, but now I’d never go back). I did just start Barack Obama’s A Promised Land — a massive hard cover, and went searching through my bookmarks for the best one! I think I’m going to order some bookmarks from your friend as gifts for my book club friends. Also going to make a batch of the sugar cookies and drop some off to the 3 houses that contain our grand-babies….who I miss so so much. The stay at home order in Ontario has been slightly lifted but I’m very high risk so I still…sadly….have to keep my distance. Another great post!

  7. Oh I SO WISH I’d taken a chance on the strawberry Lindt!! I saw them but you know how strawberry flavoring can be kind of hit or miss, and I didn’t want to spend $4-5 on disappointing strawberry flavor. Well NEXT year I will know!! And POSSIBLY the grocery store will still have a few bags.

    I covet that heart sweater, but not if “covet” means wishing you didn’t have it and I had it instead, which I am vaguely remembering from Sunday School is in fact the case. Well, then, I am very happy you have that heart sweater and I wish I TOO had that heart sweater, and that in fact that we ALL had that heart sweater.

  8. I love that sweater and may go on a hunt to find a similar one! And yes, why pick a utilitarian mask if you don’t have to?

  9. I also love hearts and bookmarks. I am often amazed at your blogs and think about my alter ego Nicole growing up out here in Alberta.

    BUT I have found a perfect NOT-alike. We can share a box of chocolates and you can get all those fruity ones and give me the nuts and caramels


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