Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Julep || October

It had been a couple months since I hadn't clicked the "skip box" option, as we've been trying to save every last penny for some big things happening in the new year, but I had to order my maven box for October! I was running low on my darker Fall colours, and they had some cool options for add-ons!
I was most excited about the chevron nail stickers! I can finally do some nail art tutorials that include my favourite pattern. I also got an oxygen top coat, which I'm curious to try out. I received some free polish for adding on 3 items to my box.
The box was definitely oversized for what I received, but my guess is that they just ran out of smaller ones for the month. I also didn't receive my box until October 22, and I contacted Julep on the 20th. They explained that they are no longer doing business with APC, as they've had nothing but complaints and APC never sent Julep any tracking codes for the boxes going in to Canada. That means I also didn't receive a tracking code this time, which had me concerned that they didn't send my box. They did, and Julep felt bad that my box was taking so long and processed a refund.

My box came the day after they processed the refund, but they said to keep the box on them. I promptly used the refund to order the November Maven box, as the window to order opened up 2 days later! I'm looking forward to the November Maven box!

If you're interested, there's an affiliate button to the right (it says "I'm an IT Girl"). If you click it, you and I both get rewards if you order a box! Your first box is free with the code "FREEBOX"!

xo. Nicole

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week's End || October 27

1|| I will always love Scentsy, but it was too good of a deal to pass up a PartyLite warmer. Isn't it cute? It came with 5 different scents, all types that one would put in a pumpkin ;) Right now, it smells like Apple Cider in our bedroom!
2|| My friend at work randomly strolled in to our classroom, and dropped a sheet of Jamberry nails on my lap. I'll take 'em! She said she hadn't used these ones and had them sitting in her house forever, so she passed them along to me. I paired the floral print with a Julep nail polish, Lorenzana.

1|| I shared what I received from the 2014 Etsy Swap!
2|| A yummy, gluten free recipe for a dessert to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.
3|| Link up your favourite post from October - a new monthly feature!

1|| Sam shared their Tiny Home Timeline - a really good post for if you're building a tiny home.
2|| Yesterday's Jam - an outfit post.
3|| Getting rid of head lice using essential oils! Soo interesting, and I wish that's what was used when I was in grade 4.
4|| I want to share the PartyLite website with you, it's great for Christmas gifts and there's always really awesome deals going on. My consultant is Sarah Carreiro!

This past week went really well, though the work days felt long. Friday was rough on everyone, as none of the kids were really in to doing anything all day. It all got better after work when I went to babysit Rob's nephews and niece, and they left a big bottle of wine for me for after the kids went to bed. Bliss.

Regarding sharing the PartyLite website, I have been offered to host a party or online party. I'm definitely doing some of my Christmas shopping (less than 2 months away!!!) through them. There's lots of cute gift sets for the holidays! I guess my question here is, would you be interested if I hosted an online party? Would you come? If so, please let me know in the comments!

xo. Nicole

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Favourite Post Link up || October

October Favorite Post of The Month Linkup While browsing through some blogs one morning, I came across Ashley's little nook, Hello Nature. She hosted a link up where you could share your favourite post from the month. I jumped right on that, and now I am so happy to be a part of such a fun group project! This is a monthly feature on the last Sunday of each month. You'll have one week to link up. I'm excited to see all of your favourite posts from October!

Looking for Hosts
Want to host this link-up with us? We have one-time spots available and regular host spots as well! Just send Ashley an email at for more details!

This Month's Hosts
Ashley from Hello Nature, Lexy from Crazy Cass Life and Nicole from a la Maxfield

My favorite post from October:

My favourite post totally has to be Delicious Eats || Apple Butter!

 Now link up your post + enter to win the gift card below!
 TMFP Giveaway - October

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Delicious Eats || GF Thanksgiving Cupcakes!

Our Canadian Thanksgiving was on October 13th, but we had our dinner on the 18th in Camrose, Alberta. While my father-in-law and his fiance were providing everything, I wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help. We ended up getting the easy job, bringing dessert ;)
With my husband and his sister having Celiac Disease, I've gotten pretty good at making gluten free desserts. Sometimes, I don't want to make things from scratch and just buy the store bought, pre-made stuff. Pre-made gluten free products are usually just loaded with sugar and other weird ingredients to make them taste decent. We've found that making our own from scratch tastes best. 

Like I said though, sometimes I just don't want to put too much effort in. Alas, I bought some GF cake mix from Superstore and went at 'er!
Here's what you'll need for Apple Cinnamon Walnut Cupcakes (pretty Thanksgiving-ish, eh?):
  • 1 box GF yellow cake mix (I used President's Choice)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
1|| Follow directions on the cake mix box for oven temperature and pan preparation.
2|| SUB the eggs and butter on the package directions, for applesauce (1/4 cup for everything). Add in the applesauce, oil, cinnamon, and walnuts.
3|| Mix everything together! Add in to cake pan, or lined muffin pan. Bake according to package directions.
Wait for the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes before taking out of the pan. Cool them on a wire rack for an hour before icing. I suggest some cream cheese icing, for sure! I was lazy and bought the Duncan Hines whipped vanilla icing, which is also gluten free. 

Soooo, I don't have a picture of the cupcakes all iced and super yummy they're gone. They were delicious, and I'll definitely make them again, despite them being from a box.

I hope all my Canadian bloggers had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I can't wait to see the recipes and festivities that my American bloggers will post about!

xo. Nicole

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Etsy Swap 2014

I came across this post on Meg's blog, and I couldn't resist. I had just missed that huge Mug Swap that everyone gets in to, and I was pretty bummed. The Etsy Swap 2014 sounded like such a great thing to participate in. I received the email giving me all the details of who I'd be sending my package to, and had a lot of fun browsing Etsy for the perfect little gifts. She's going to love her package!
Since I've made a Facebook page for my blog, I had a relatively new blogger (from Alberta!!) contact me. Tess is the sweetest, and it's fun to converse through Facebook with a fellow Canadian blogger. It just so happened that Tess got put as my swap partner! She totally spoiled the surprise and outed herself as my secret swap partner, haha. 
I totally don't remember what I put as my likes/dislikes/interests in the Swap survey, but Tess knocked this one out of the park! I had recently purchased some reusable lunch bags, and Tess sent me some reusable sandwich wraps from Sew Thoughtful Blankets. They are so adorable, and I'm excited to finally use them in my lunches.
Tess also sent me this super comfortable and wonderful chevron infinity scarf from PhatCatPatch! I've only worn it once, and I've gotten many compliments. I can't wait for the weather to cool down again so that I can wear it again!

This Etsy Swap is totally something that I want to participate in every year, along with the Mug Swap. With everything going on with our vehicle, my partner's package went out a little late (I'm sorry!), but Meg and Amy have been so understanding and have contacted my partner (to keep the surprise) for me. I'm excited to become friends with her :)

I can't wait to see all the other packages in the link up! Swing on by, with a cup of coffee/tea (because there's lots of links!) to check out all the swaps!

xo. Nicole

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week's End || October 20

1|| My old car decided to make funny sounds on the way to work, and then not even turn over when it was time for me to go home. After countless evenings going from work, straight to the dealerships, and home to bed, we found a vehicle (with the help of our awesome brother-in-law!) We got it for a pretty reasonable price, and I'm so happy to finally have a reliable vehicle that won't break down every 2 months. 
2|| We had Thanksgiving dinner this past weekend in Camrose, and Gunner had nonstop energy! He finally settled down in the backseat of our new car, and enjoyed the hour drive home.
3|| Koshka's latest thing is to meow and claw her way in to the bathroom and then lay in the sink. Alright.
4|| It was my husband's 26th birthday on the 12th, and I surprised him with a Doctor Who/TARDIS cake! It was sooo delicious, and Rachel did such a wonderful job. If you live in the area, I definitely recommend her.

1|| An especially Fall-ish recipe that can be used for home, as gifts, or both like I did!
2|| I shared a peek behind my blog

1|| Rebekah reviewed some gorgeous cosmetics, and is giving some of them away! (Hurry, you only have 1 day left!).
2|| Mmm, Sam's vegan chili recipe is definitely worthy of those chilly (heh heh) evenings after work.
3|| Shelby did a Behind the Blog post, too!!
4|| I love honest reviews on products, and Amanda did just that. Everything we review can't really be that amazing all the time, am I right?!
5|| This image is my favourite of all time. 
6|| This outfit is definitely up my alley and looks soo cozy.

I totally missed last week's End post, but that's okay! With our vehicle situation, planning my husband's birthday party, and babysitting a whole 45 minute drive away, life took priority. I have more downtime this week, and I have some posts lined up (finally, right?) I also drove my new car around and brought my friend and my grandma some apple butter. It's seriously delicious!

xo. Nicole

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Delicious Eats || Apple Butter

I always buy too many groceries for the work week, and we're always left with bad carrots, apples, or bananas. Bananas are easy to freeze and use for baking. Apples? Not so much. I've been getting in trouble from the Hubs for stocking our freezer full of bananas, and I've been slowly making my way through our giant bag. Since apples aren't too simple to freeze, I decided that I needed to use them right away.
I had an entire bowl (a whole bag!) of apples that just passed the point where they looked fine, but had that horrible mushy texture when eaten. I pinned and pinned, and asked friends what I should do with them. A friend brought up caramel apple pie jam. Does just thinking about it make you drool, too? We didn't have any pectin on hand at the time, so I settled for something just as wonderful.
I came across a recipe on Pinterest for apple butter! It couldn't have been easier, and tastier! I skipped peeling the apples, and I wish I hadn't been so lazy. It's virtually refined sugar free, and a healthy alternative for something to spread on your waffles, pancakes, rice cakes, toast, etc.!
I didn't put it through the food processor either, but I added a liiiittttle bit of corn starch at the end to thicken it up. It also recommended the stove to thicken it, but I'm lazy. I cooled it on the counter in 4 mason jars (3 little, 1 big) overnight, and put them in the fridge in the morning. 
Also, apple butter is for sharing. I wrote a little note on the small jars, and tied with some Fall colour inspired ribbon. I hope the people on the receiving end enjoy their apple butter!

Do you share your baked/cooked goods?

xo. Nicole

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Behind the Blog

My little space on the internet is slowly growing, and I couldn't be more thankful. I love sharing my life, and this is a great outlet for me! I came across Laura Jean's post, and decided to recap my thoughts on some of my own blog's posts.
Favorite Post to Write || I would have to say it's those What's in my Bag ones. They're so much fun to write and take pictures for, and to read! I'm totally snoopy and it's fun to see the difference between what I carry, and what you carry around.

Most Frustrating Photo Shoot || My collections post. It was pretty difficult to get decent shots of all the polish while there was daylight. I really couldn't decide what order the colours should go in, and how to get all of them in one shot...ugh!

Post I'm Most Proud Of || My Fitness Journey v.01. Goodness, I am so glad that I got it out there. It took me forever to write, and to also get the courage to finally hit publish. It sat in my drafts for almost 2 months before I told myself to just deal with the anxiety. It's also doubled as motivation to get myself outside and to put down the bacon ;)

Popular Post I Didn't Think Would Be a Big Deal || How to make a headphone case. I didn't take measurements, and I made a small mistake by sewing the button on at the wrong time...but so many people have viewed it!

Post I was Expecting to Take Off That Didn't || Alright, so I know now that all of my old posts say "A Broke Bride" in them, but that's a lot of work to go through each and every post to switch it to "a la Maxfield", yeah? Honestly, I was expecting my Ad Swap post to take off a bit more, as it's essentially free sponsorship for up and coming blogs, or bigger blogs. I always take advantage of an ad swap when I see one (as I really have no funds

The Closest Pinterest Famous I Have Ever Gotten || Totally this DIY. I always got notifications that so-and-so has repinned it.

Quickest Post I've Ever Written || Always the Week's End posts. I always have the pictures and links ready to go, and they're fun to write too. 

Weirdest Search Term to Find My Blog || vampire stat? Apparently it's a website, too. There's nothing on my blog about vampires, so that's a little confusing.

I'd love to see what your answers would be! Let me know in the comments, or share the link in the comments if you do the post questions, too!

xo. Nicole

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week's End || October 6

1|| Frost. Hate. It got pretty chilly last week, and the frost made it's debut. Better than the 2 days of snow that we had mid-September, though!
2|| Gunner on Monday morning. He doesn't like getting out of bed, and I've been weighed down a couple mornings because he doesn't want me to get up either. The sun also isn't rising until 7:30am, instead of like 2 weeks ago when it rose at 6:40am-ish.
3|| Gunner, again. I just can't get enough of that face. This is his "oh you're home from work now can you throw my toy here it is you can do it ohmygoshshethrewit!" face.
4|| Not much to explain here...Koshka's been throwing herself to the ground and laying belly up lately. Weirdo.

1|| I introduced Koshka to you. There were many cute photos!
2|| I linked up with a new favourite blogger, and this month's theme was Fall Favourites.
3|| Here's what I was currently smelling, planning, celebrating, etc..

1|| This is my current desktop wallpaper. Love it!
2|| Some fun bits and pieces that Kiki shared. My favourite is the blondie recipe. Mmmm...
3|| My favourite series of posts from any blog, and Shelby nailed it.
4|| Did you answer those questions on self love?
5|| Sam shares some intriguing information and tips,

I hope that you had an awesome week! This upcoming week is going to be so crazy at work. We have a dance residency, read-in week, and a PD Day. Oi vey. But then it's a long weekend, and my husband's birthday! I've got something fun planned and I'll be sure to share with you next week.

As always, I'm linking up with Beth from Oak & Oats.

xo. Nicole

Friday, October 3, 2014


smelling || My coffee, just like every morning. As much as I'd like to just sleep until the absolute last minute, I need that hour of drinking my coffee and reading blogs, answering e-mails, browsing Pinterest. It gets me going for the day, and wakes me up a bit more than coffee right as I walk out the door.

loving || Typical response right now, but everything Fall. I have a giant bowl of apples that reaaally need to be used up, and they're just past the point where they're too mushy to eat. My friend mentioned caramel apple pie jam! I am drooling for the recipe. 

planning || My evening and weekend, along with preparing for my husband's birthday (which is next weekend). Tonight I have an appointment, then I need to stop by the mall quickly, and then maybe some grocery shopping to get it over with. I'm babysitting rob's nephews and niece tomorrow, then having the coolant flushed out of my car. I'm also planning my partner's package for the Etsy Swap 2014. I'm waiting on 2 more items to arrive, then shipping it off next week!

baking || I've had some applesauce spice muffins recipe bookmarked for a while, but haven't gotten around to making them. Perhaps this weekend, as an extra treat in our lunches next week.

celebrating || Friday! I'm desperate to sleep in, and Sunday I can. Today is also the Terry Fox Walk at the school I work at. It's also been a great, but busy, week. It went quickly, though the days felt long this time around. 

I'm linking up with Jenna for her Currently series.

xo. Nicole

** Picture courtesy of Treasured Forever Photography.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Circle || Fall Favourites

I'm linking up with Kiki for The Circle link up. This month's theme is Fall Favourites! I've talked a lot about Fall and what I love about it, but I can't get enough. #sorrynotsorry ;)
Pictures courtesy of Treasured Forever Photography and of my mother-in-law.

1|| Favorite fall fashion/clothing item? 
Definitely scarves! They keep me warm during the day for most part, and they can really make an outfit.

2|| Favorite fall drink? 
I've worked at Starbucks, and could never stomach the pumpkin spice latte. Maybe I can now, now that I'm no longer working there? Otherwise, it's a caramel macchiato!

3|| What's something on your fall bucket list?
I shared my goals a couple weeks ago, but I have yet to follow through with some of them. The snail mail goal is easy, but the gluten free pie crust is still stumping me.
4|| Favorite fall recipe?
I tried making oatmeal last year, but that didn't work out. I don't think I have a recipe really, but breakfast for dinner tastes SO much better when it's cold outside.

5|| Halloween candy or Pumpkin Spice Latte?
Halloween candy, but I'll also go for a latte. Just not pumpkin spice.

6|| Favorite fall scent?
I love love love the smell of apple cider. That includes nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, etc.! They just smell so warm and cozy.
7|| Favorite fall holiday?
Thanksgiving, and my husband's birthday. His is on October 12th, and Thanksgiving for us Canadians lands on the 13th. Woo hoo long weekend! It also marks 4 years of being together since our first date :)

8|| What is fall (weather) like where you live?
Oh my gosh, we've already had 2 days of snow and a couple frosty mornings. We've also experienced 29*C weather, and then snow the next day. I think Alberta just doesn't know what it wants to do during Fall. I don't think we really get one, as I hear the snow is coming soon!
In Its Time
xo. Nicole