Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Introductions || Koshka

Last week I introduced you to our dog, Gunner! Today, I would like for you to meet Koshka. She was our first pet, and my "first born." Rob isn't too fond of her because she's kind of mean, but I still love her.
When we lived in our apartment in Surrey, the maintenance guy had to come by a few times to fix our stove and other things. He was a pretty old guy, and every single time he came, he always said the same thing. He would ask if we knew what kind of cat she was, and then explained how he had one just like her at home. Koshka got a lot of cuddles when the maintenance man came around.
We got Koshka from a friend of mine. Her cat showed up at her house one day, pregnant. We also knew from the beginning that she loved Rob. On the day we picked her up, Koshka stared at him for the entire drive home. She's not a meow-y cat, but when Rob arrived in Alberta 2 weeks after I did last year, she let out the loudest and longest cry we've ever heard from her. She missed him!
She too, is a bed hog. I get up for 2 minutes off the bed and she's right there in my spot (if Gunner isn't around, of course). Koshka and Gunner have a love-hate relationship. Gunner loves to play, but she is totally not interested. One day, I hope for them to cuddle or at least be in the same room as each other without one chasing the other.
I learned the hard way to not leave warm, clean towels on our bed while I go to work. They were covered in fur, and had to be rewashed. Such is cat-mom life. 

I hope you got to know Koshka a little better, as I also post a lot of pictures on my Instagram of her. If you came over, she'd sniff you out then run away. There's a small chance that she'd come back for some petting, but be prepared to be swiped after 3.78 seconds.

Do you have a cat? I'd love to be introduced!

xo. Nicole

Monday, September 29, 2014

Weeks End || September 29

1|| I received some snail mail and it was definitely the best one yet. I was venting to my friend about all the stress going on with my car, and arguments with people who had no idea what they were talking about. She put together a fun note with URLs to websites to help me calm down (I'll be sure to share!) and a bunch of little heart cutouts, each had a little note about her favourite things about me. It definitely made my day!
2|| Oh, Koshka. She always has to follow me in to certain rooms and disturb me. I'll be telling you a little bit more about her tomorrow on here! Stay tuned...

1|| You see him all the time on Instagram...introducing, Gunner!

1|| Shelby posted her current favourite five things. Would you be interested in following a blog series featuring comic books? 
2|| Amanda went on a blogger weekend trip. It looks like she made some lifelong friends, and had a blast! 
3|| Sam's posts always get me thinking deeply. It's needed every so often.
4|| Also, Sam's store samwish is getting rid of all their clothing stock. Everything is $5!!

We went camping over the weekend for the last time this year. We had a space heater in our tent which helped a LOT, I've never been so cold, though. My sister-in-law and I hardly got any sleep, and I've never shaken so much from the cold! My teeth were chattering and everything. When we got home, I promptly crawled in to my bed and slept for an hour.

As always, I'm linking up with Beth from Oak & Oats on her Week's End link up! There are always new blogs to visit, and new friends to make.

xo. Nicole

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Introductions || Gunner

If you follow me on Instagram, I'm sure you'll know who this guy is. I'm pretty sure I give new moms a run for their money on the amount of dog pictures I post. His name is Gunner, and he's the sweetest dog you'll ever meet.
We got him when he was only 2 months old, and we've had quite an adventure with him. Gunner is high energy, as he's half black lab, and half american bull dog. We have countless visits to the dog park, and I'm always pestered when I get home to toss his toy around. As you can see in the top left picture, Gunner wore a t-shirt around his neck for a couple weeks as a puppy. One visit to the dog park went sour.
A husky bee-lined across the park and grabbed my little puppy around the neck when he was 3 months old. Gunner ended up having minor surgery for the puncture wound, but was a total trooper. To this day, I still get nervous when we go to the park. The owner of the husky was a total a-hole, and I made him pay the vet bill.
We haven't had any problems with other dogs since the attack, and I'm glad. I've heard horror stories of puppies who have been attacked, then are aggressive later in life. So far, so good! He thinks he's the size of our cats though, so he's always trampling little dogs without realizing it.
If I had to describe Gunner in only a few words, I would definitely use:
+ Bed hog
+ Cuddly
+ Playful
+ Energetic
We knew what we were getting ourselves in to when we got a lab, and the books were right about his energy. He's also the most cuddly dog, ever! We wouldn't change him for the world, and he really is like having a kid. We've dealt with the sick days, up all night tummy trouble, chewing things he shouldn't, and the amazing feeling we get when he's just SO excited to see us every time that we arrive home.
Coming up next week I'll introduce our cat, Koshka.

What are your animals like? I'd love to be introduced!

xo. Nicole

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weeks End || September 23

1|| Oh how I love Julep nail polish. This red is the perfect colour to start off my nail polish choices for Fall. It didn't last very long for some reason...but it looked really good with the knit cardigans that I wore all week!
2|| Another perfect colour for Fall! More Julep, of course. I also put a stardust finish on my ring fingers, as I hadn't done an accent nail in a while. Hoping that it last a little longer than the red.

1|| Part 03 of my Fitness Journey is self love (though really, that's all parts of the journey).
2|| Mmmm, a yummy gluten free apple pie filling

1|| Raw til 4: tips for avoiding soreness.
2|| I seriously couldn't agree more with Amanda. Gunner and Koshka are definitely my babies, just extra furry.
3|| A heavy topic, but a must read. I think we'll all go through this experience, be it ourselves or a friend/family member, or even just someone you know.
4|| A giant portion of losing weight, or maintaining a healthy body is what we eat. Exercise can only do so much! Jessica shared what she eats during the day.

Yesterday, Rob's sister and her family came over for a BBQ lunch, because my car broke down (again!) and his brother-in-law was diagnosing the problem. This is the 3rd car that I've gone through in the past year! All of our vehicle troubles started when we moved to Alberta. I'm so done, and ready for a new vehicle that won't break down every couple months. Though, it turns out the problem was a loose cap on the coolant reservoir. D'oh!

As always, I'm linking up with Beth from Oak & Oats. So many new blogs to read on my Monday evenings, I love it. :)

xo. Nicole

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Gluten Free || Apple Pie Fillin'


I've mentioned how much I love Fall (as have many, many bloggers) on here a couple times, but I seriously just can't get enough. Sometimes, pies are baked while babysitting our nephews and niece. I really wanted to make a gluten free pie so that I could perfect the crust, and so Rob and his sister could eat some, but apparently it wasn't in the cards for me this weekend.


I'm not sure if regular pie filling is void of gluten, but I found a yummy apple recipe that used corn starch instead of flour. I cheated and bought the pre made pie shells though, so it wasn't completely from scratch. Shhh, don't tell anyone.


Our nephews picked some granny smith apples from a neighbour's tree down the road, and I think it adds a homey-Fall touch to the pie. Home made pie filling, with home grown apples. What could be better?

I'm still trying to work on a gluten free pie crust, but I didn't really have the time or patience at the time to try it out. Perhaps next week!

xo. Nicole

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

MFJ v.03 || Self Love

A part of my fitness journey is self love. It's one of the most important things, in my opinion, to love yourself first. As I've read before, we should be exercising and eating better because we love our bodies, not because we hate them

I came across Crystal's guest post on Kenzie's blog, and realized that I need to take more time out of my day to think about what I love about myself and my life. She wrote an amazing post, and gave a list of questions to prompt me/us to get started on our self love. Today, I'm going to do my best to answer those questions. Will you?

1|| What about yourself makes you feel the most confident? 
This is a difficult question, but I'm going to say opening up my wardrobe. I'm becoming more "out there" when picking new clothing to buy, and finding items that are better suited to my body type now. Before, I felt comfortable to wear tank tops without a cardigan, but now I feel comfortable in a cardigan and a scarf.

2|| What 3 things do you like about your personality?
I'm empathetic, I don't put up with crap from other people, and I'm occasionally outgoing. I like that I'm comfortable spending time alone, but that I can be outgoing with people when I need to be.

3|| What's one moment that you saved the day for someone else?
I'm not sure it would be considered "saving" the day, but I've made people's days better by paying for their drinks at Starbucks. They're usually complete strangers, but it always gives me a warm feeling inside that wasn't from my latte.

4|| What are at least 2 physical attributes that you love and wouldn't change a thing about?
My eyes and my nose. My eyes are a really nice green, and my husband loves them. They're also the same as my mom and sisters, so that's a plus! My nose because, it's me. I don't think any other nose would look good.


5|| What's one skill that you've mastered enough to be able to teach it to someone?
I've come to get the hang of blogging, and using Blogger, enough to help out some fellow bloggers who have just started. I remember how lost I felt when I first started out, and I don't want others to feel as lost. I don't know much and haven't mastered it, but I know enough to help!

Will you answer these questions?

xo. Nicole

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weeks End || September 15

1|| I've signed up for the edMUDton run on September 20th, and I have no idea why I did. Oh boy, I have so much running to do this coming week to prepare myself! I've definitely been slacking. After work on Wednesday, a friend and I went for a run. Sometimes Alberta weather can be okay, as it was only 4*C in the picture - just cold enough to keep us cool during our run.
2|| I casseroled. It didn't turn out very well, but we ate the bacon and cheese that was on top. Priorities.
3|| Sundays are our new Doctor Who nights. Those nights include wine!
4|| My #throwbackthursday of Koshka. This was when she was only a couple months old and a little nicer to us. It was also pre-Gunner, so could really lay anywhere without being licked and jumped on ;)

1|| I hosted my first link up! Do you have any books that mean something to you?
2|| Welcome to Fall! My sponsors answered some fun questions about my favourite season.

1|| Rebekah shared a fun mani for mani Monday!
2|| Sam eats raw until 4pm - Here she gives some tips to stay on track.
3|| Have you ever had photos bring back a feeling? Shelby did - and she shared.
4|| A dress that makes you want to twirl?

I totally didn't have time to do a Weeks End post last week, but sometimes that happens. Work was crazy. At least this upcoming week is a little less busy. I have a self love post coming up this week that I think each and every one of you should take the time out of your day to answer the questions, in a post or not. It's something we don't do as part of our every day routines, but it should be. 

As always, I'm linking up with Beth from Oak & Oats with my Weeks End post! 

xo. Nicole

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Welcome to Fall

Fall is full of amazing things, and I think it's safe to say that it's almost everyone's (in the blogging world) favourite season. I know that it's mine, except for when the snow rolls in earlier than everywhere else, here in Alberta. I mean, it's snowed for the past 2 days and today is iffy. Ugh.

I'm looking forward to wearing a cardigan and a scarf every day at work, and cozy weekends with hot chocolate and coffee, while planning Christmas gifts and Thanksgiving dinner. In light of the new season approaching, I've asked all the wonderful ladies on my side bar a couple questions about Summer and the upcoming wonderful time of year!

Without further ado,



1|| Anything exciting happen over the Summer? Cordelia took her first steps!
2|| What are you most excited about for Fall? Halloween – I love getting the kids all dressed up and going trick-or-treating.
3|| What is your go-to wardrobe piece for Fall? I just bought this gorgeous grey chunky knit sweater that is going to get a ton of use!
4|| What is your favourite blog post that you've ever written? I wouldn’t be able to narrow it down… any one about my kids


1|| Anything exciting happen over the Summer? I was a bridesmaid in my besties wedding!
2|| What are you most excited about for Fall? Wearing sweaters and boots and comfy things! Summer apparel is so cute, but not always the most comfortable.
3|| What is your go-to wardrobe piece for Fall? Probably my boots. The perfect pair that goes with anything and are way comfy. Can you tell I like to be comfy, haha?!
4|| What is your favourite blog post that you've ever written? Dang, that's hard! Umm...probably the post about what I learned in the first year of marriage. That post captures pretty much what this whole blog means to me, which is sharing my experiences as a newlywed and connecting with others through it. I spent a ton of time drafting that post too, so I'm pretty proud how it finally came out.


1|| Anything exciting happen over the Summer? I was fortunate enough to do a lot of traveling this summer but I think the best part about it all was having the opportunity to meet new members of my family. I got to meet my fiance's extended family for the first time and also a cousin-in-law that has just become part of mine. So that was very rewarding and I'm so happy I was able to get to know all of them. As you grow up, you realize more and more just how important your family is. It's a bond that's indescribable. And when you get together and connect with your loved ones, it's just a confirmation of that unyielding love you have for them. 
2|| What are you most excited about for Fall? Leggings and oversized sweaters! I don't like to wear much in the summer (hello, Texas heat!) but sometimes I just want to throw on a sweater that swallows me whole and cuddle all day. I can't be the only one, right? 
3|| What is your go-to wardrobe piece for Fall? A big, comfy sweater! I think that last question pretty much summed up why (: 
4|| What is your favourite blog post that you've ever written? Oh gosh, that's a hard one. So I have this series called "A Few Things" where I basically word vomit all over my blog and just write out what's in my heart. I feel like they are the most satisfying and fulfilling posts I ever write because I simply express what's on my mind without any kind of filter and I am able to unload in a way. They are important to me because it's stuff that needs to get out anyways but also because I love the feeling of being completely honest and open and letting myself be vulnerable (which is something I don't normally do) but being ok with it. I have a lot of them but I narrowed down my favorites to these two because they came at kind of pivotal points in the last year of my life. You can check them out here and here!

Shelby Bolton
Blog • Tumblr • Instagram

1|| Anything exciting happen over the Summer? Between obsessing over How To Train Your Dragon 2, going on a girls-only trip to Banff with my family and going to the Squamish Valley Music Festival in Squamish British Columbia, this summer has been full of quirkiness and unexpected adventures.
2||  What are you most excited about for Fall? Learning how to make pumpkin pie, being able to wear scarfs without overheating, Halloween, and going to Banff (again) with my Boyfriend.
3|| What is your go-to wardrobe piece for Fall? My trusty leather jacket and homemade mittens from my Grandma.
4|| What is your favourite blog post that you've ever written? My favourite post would have to be from way back in 2012 about Edmonton Expo.


1|| Anything exciting happen over the Summer? We went to Lisbon, Portugal this summer.
2|| What are you most excited about for Fall? I am not really excited for fall, I am more of summer girl.
3|| What is your go-to wardrobe piece for Fall? A hoodie
4|| What is your favorite blog post that you've ever written? I love blogging about my roaming gnome. I take him on all our vacations.
Thank you ladies for hopping over here to share your favourite things about Fall! I too, am looking forward to cozy knit sweaters and checking out your favourite blog posts.

Would you like to participate? Email me at nicole.franson1@gmail.com if you'd like to swap buttons!

xo. Nicole

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tagged || Books Link Up

I was tagged by Shelby from Ankkuri on Facebook to list 10 books that have meaning, and have stuck with me in some way. Her post included a book from a series that's also on my list, any takers? I suppose if you know either of us, you'd know which book series that is! ;) My other books are pretty standard...and girly? I've changed it to 5 books, but you're welcome to do more! I just really couldn't think of any more than 5.

I've also decided to make it a blogger Link Up! I was tagged on Facebook, and for the life of me can NOT find the source. If you know it, please let me know!

List 5 books that have stayed with you in some way. 
Don't take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the "right" books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. 
Tag 5 friends including me so I can see your list.
Check out 2 other blogger's book lists and comment!

Even if you weren't tagged, you are more than welcome to add the link to your post, or a post similar, in the link up! 

My books:

1|| Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K Rowling - I think this one has stuck with me because it's the first book in the series that changed my views on books and really got me in to reading chapter books. I was in elementary school when they came out, and refused to read them as to not "hop on" the bandwagon, but I'm so glad I finally gave it a shot.

2|| The Boy who was Raised as a Dog by Bruce D. Perry + Maia Szalavitz - This book is one that I'm currently reading. My friend from work lent it to me, and it's so interesting! It's a mixture of stories from a child psychiatrist's notebook, and it's almost terrifying because there really was a boy who was raised as a dog. It's stuck with me because it's just so interesting to see the effects of how a child is raised.

3|| Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella- This is one of my go-to books for when I want a quick and fun read. It's stuck with me because my imagination went crazy trying picture all her outfits and funny scenarios in my head.

4|| Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin - Okay, so this book is my ultimate go-to book (I love the movie, too) for a fun read. I felt like I knew the characters for some reason, though I've never been cheated on or taken someone else's guy.

5|| The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella - Sophie's book is on here again! I think I'm in love with chick lit, as I seem to keep going back to these books! It's stuck with me because for some reason, whenever I'm asked a question like this, Sophie's books pop in to my head.

Tag 5 Friends:

Happy listing!
xo. Nicole