Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014 - I'm still here!

I hope you all had a wonderful time with family and friends over the holidays! Our Christmas 'season' was spread over 4 days, and it's all done now. That's right, 1 night of appetizers and 3 nights in a row of turkey, turkey, turkey! Next year, I think it's going to look different as we'll finally have our own place and can host a dinner. Maybe ham? ;) I'm still hanging around, but blogging has not been on my priority list for December. I came down with a pretty nasty cold, and all my energy was used for work and for buying/wrapping gifts, baking, and just general every day life. January looks like it's going to be a lot slower, so I'm looking forward to that!
Rob and I both have 2 weeks off for the holidays (not by choice). I work in a school, and his company just shuts down over the holidays. It's a little stressful financially, but we also aren't spending a ton of money on groceries for lunches, and the excess gas usage that comes from driving 40km+ each day, each. The first thing on Rob's agenda on his first day off was obviously a nap. Gunner always likes to join us, he's even the big spoon most of the time ;) 
I tried to make all the gifts look pretty, even though I know it just gets ripped to shreds anyways. I loved using Kraft paper with twine and stickers from Thatch & Thistle. I got the scales/scalloped and polka dot paper from Michael's in their $7 bin! It was a great find - many compliments on how pretty it is/was. I was in charge of dessert for 2/3 dinners, and I ruined dinner #1's dessert. I overloaded my arms with gifts, my purse, and the cookies pictured above. To put it all in the car, I put the cookies on the roof and put everything else on the back seats. Well, I forgot the cookies on top of the car and we didn't figure it out until after our 1 hour drive to my sister's...and there were no cookies.
Our first dinner was at my sister's. My nephews LOVE Rob and always ask where he is when I head over there by myself. Rob definitely 'paid' for not being there at other times and got sat on by my youngest nephew, haha! We finished dinner and watched The Lego Movie before heading back home. It was SO nice to have my grandma and grandpa there this year. It made dinner like, 10x better! I made a gluten free apple pie for Rob and his sister for our 3rd dinner. It wasn't touched, so now it's sitting on our counter at home for my dad to eat. 
I tried bringing cookies to our 3rd dinner, and it worked out. Cookies went in the car and on to the counter - no leaving them on top of the car this time ;) Gunner has been loving having us home all day (except those 4 days in a row we were gone from 1pm-11pm) and is getting in to mischief with this extra energy/being awake more. I'm pretty sure he just sleeps when we're at work, so now all he wants to do is play and bring us our dirty socks. 

How were your holidays? 

xo. Nicole

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Favourite Post || December

christmas gifts
I'm excited to bring you December's favourite post link up! December was a slow blogging month for me, but I plan to be right back at it in the new year. This time of year is always crazy, but I've completed 99% of my shopping! Now for some baking and wrapping. You bet there's bailey's and hot chocolate going on tonight ;)

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, Nicole from a la Maxfield, and Kerry from Glory in the Valley 

My favorite post from December: Currently v.03

Now link up your favorite post from December!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week's End || December 15



1|| It was National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on Friday the 12th, so the staff at our school all wore one! I picked up a plain red sweater from Value Village, along with some decorations, and sewed up one pretty ugly sweater. One of the kids said it was so ugly that it was cute, haha! I came across a sweater cookie cutter and decided to make a big batch of ugly Christmas sweater cookies for my coworkers. It sounds SO cliche, but I loved the feeling I got when everyone enjoyed them on their breaks.
2|| I put together my secret Santa package for the #GreatChristmasExchange2014. It was supposed to be mailed out on Wednesday, but I ran out of packing tape..then forgot to pick some up...then forgot the packages at home...and forgot them at home again. Well, Monday it's going out for sure! (I'm not usually this bad...)
3|| The CPR Holiday Train goes through Canada every December, and I wasn't able to go with my mom and younger sister this year. It was something we did together for the past couple years, but we're provinces apart this holiday. Instead, I drove to my older sister's and we took my nephews. It was their first time! I definitely enjoyed the weather in BC better as we couldn't feel our toes, thighs, and faces, haha! They boys loved it though :)

1|| Aren't these wallpapers perfect for December?!
2|| This is the recipe I used for the sweater cookies. So good!
3|| My husband's favourite holiday treat is butter tarts. This recipe looks simple and yummy.
4|| Next year, I'll be doing this with Rob's nephews and niece!
5|| Next Christmas I can't wait to have our own tree and our own place to decorate. I'll definitely be making these for my husband.

xo. Nicole

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Currently v.03

Ah, another link up that I soo enjoy doing. December is looking like a swell month, despite my husband's lack of knowing where his things are, and my new car already having troubles. The hubby lost his wallet AND his car keys today. Thankfully, his wallet was returned, but his keys are still MIA. Today on my way to work, my temperature gauge on my car decided to drop to "cold" and my dashboard told me "ENGINE HOT. A/C OFF" Well, my a/c wasn't on, and my engine definitely wasn't overheating. My brother in law is about 90% sure it's just a sensor. A cheap, and hopefully quick fix to do this weekend. When will my car troubles end?

Making || This weekend, I'll be writing Christmas cards with Rob's nephews and niece. I hope to get to baking a pie this weekend, too! I'm looking forward to getting some Christmas baking started soon, but it's so hard to narrow it down where to begin. Do you have any favourites (gluten free or not!)?

Listening || Last Friday at work, we had NO kids in our class as there was a pretty brutal snowstorm blowing through, so we listened to Christmas music as we did some prep work. Otherwise, it's usually just T-Swift's new album while I'm running at the gym (go me!!).

Wrapping || I just finished wrapping like, 4 gifts on Sunday! I'm proud of myself for getting half my shopping done so early. I also "wrapped" some snail mail that was long overdue and sent it out on Monday. I've been using some lovely twine and stickers from Thatch & Thistle to wrap the gifts, and I can't wait to place another order! I forgot to add washi tape to my cart last time ;)

Watching || No Christmas movies yet, just Supernatural. We've finished watching Numb3rs and a few other series on Netflix, and this one was next on our list. I may or may not have my eyes closed and head turned for about 70% of each episode, but it's a really great show!

Anticipating || It sounds soo corny, but I am TOO excited to give everyone their gifts this year. I've been supporting small business instead of making the gifts by hand this year, so it's been a little easier to shop. Next year when we're in our own house, I'll have more room to have all my crafting supplies out and then gifts will be mostly handmade again! I'm also anticipating a Christmas cookie swap with my coworkers, and Winter break!

I'm linking up my currentlies with Anne and Jenna. I hope you pop over to see what everyone else is up to, or to just say hi. :) Happy first week of December!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week's End || December 1


1|| Gunner finally has his cone off! He's been taking full advantage and cuddling us like there's no tomorrow. This is his "can I come on the bed? Can I??" face!
2|| Tess is soooo thoughtful! It was such a nice surprise to come home from a long day at work, and have unexpected fun mail waiting for me. I love me some sparkly nail stickers, and Rob's favourite colour is blue - that's a win win situation.
3|| We got hit with SO much snow! Obviously, not as much as parts of New York, but that's a lot for only 36 hours of snow fall. None of the kids in the classroom showed up, so we had lots of time to do prep work. It was my turn to drive on Friday, but I couldn't get my car out of the trailer park. My coworker decided it was best that we went in her truck.
4|| Gift wrapping has started! I'm about halfway done shopping, but it feels nice to have half of it completely done. I'm using stickers and twine from my new favourite shop, Thatch & Thistle :)

1|| Shared my first ever mood board. It worked out well for my first time!
2|| There's a link up + a giveaway going on right now!!

1|| Rebekah shared some important information if you're a make up lover. ;)
2|| Amanda's husband is hilarious
3|| It annoys me to no end when people ask why I thought it would be a good idea to marry young. First off, mind your own beeswax. Second, this.
4|| Do you take part in these things? I'm tempted to for December!
5|| Mmmm, this is a tasty twist on hot chocolate.

xo. Nicole

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Favourite Post Link Up + Giveaway || November

living room I'm sure that I'm not alone in feeling like November just flew by, right?! A major reason it flew by was from having a whole week off of work, and having so much to do and to plan. My Christmas shopping is about half done (yay!!), but now it's wrapping and shipping everything off (hello $$). Well, tomorrow's December 1st and I'm excited to get all the Christmas shenanigans going!

I'm also so happy to be a part of this monthly link up. It's such a great way to connect with other bloggers! In fact, my favourite post for November is one that was part of another link up ;) Do you have regular link ups that you participate in? Share them in the comments! 

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, Nicole from a la Maxfield, and Kerry from Glory in the Valley 

My favorite post from October || The Circle - Winter Essentials 

Now link up your post + enter to win the gift card below!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Circle || Winter Break Essentials

Happy November! Is it just me or has this past month already flown by? It's almost Christmas, which means it's almost December, which also means it's almost time for another break from work. There's only 5 weeks of work between Fall break and Winter break - crazy! 

I love reading Kiki's blog, and linking up with The Circle every month. This month's is 10 essentials! I chose more than 10, and decided to go with the theme of my upcoming Winter break. This is also my first ever mood board, and I'm proud of how it turned out. I sure do have a long way to go, but it's a start. To me, link ups are fun and have their challenges too. This month proved no exception to those challenges with the mood board.

On to my essentials -

1|| COZY SLIPPERS It gets really cold here in Alberta, and we have a lot of laminate on the floors, so slippers are a must. They also add juuusst the right amount of cozy when I'm lounging around in my pajamas.
2|| COFFEE + MUGS I have a serious addiction. Is it weird of me to look forward to choosing my mug in the morning?
3|| NETFLIX Although I'm not a huge fan of movies and laying around watching TV (I'm more of a computer girl), Netflix is still so awesome to have around. Last time I had some free time, I watched a few documentaries and actually learned something - biased views and all, haha!
4|| SNACKS Chocolate chip cookies make the world go round, and laying around wouldn't be complete without some yummy treats. I have a lot of Christmas baking to do this year!
5|| NAIL ART • How can one really go through the holidays without some festive nail art? I always feel put together when my nails are done, and this reindeer design is soo cute for the holidays.
6|| PJ'S Flannel pajamas are the best. They're so warm, and so soft! I've been eyeing this set for a little while, and they look perfect for Christmas morning.
7|| SNAIL MAIL Oh man, where do I begin? I love sending snail mail to my friends (I may or may not be running behind, though), and I'm going to have so much free time over the 2 weeks to catch up and get those letters mailed!
8|| SCARVES Even when I'm inside, why not?
9|| BOOKS • I really don't have much time during the work week to lay down and read a novel, and I'm in the middle of one right Winter break will be a great time to finish it!
10|| CUDDLES • There will be soo many cuddles happening, I'm not sure I'll be able to do anything else. Gunner was recently neutered, so he hasn't been allowed on our bed. By the time Winter break comes around, we'll have so many cuddles to make up for the time lost.
In Its Time
What are your Winter essentials?

xo. Nicole

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week's End || November 24


1|| I helped out my sister in law at a Christmas trade show, and she was doing pictures with Santa. She set up a red chair, a rustic wooden backdrop, and a fully decorated tree! It was so cute seeing all the little kids eyeing Santa throughout the day, and a few cried but that's to be expected.
2|| It was Crazy Friday at work. I tried my best to do my hair pretty crazy, and I wore my penguin onesie. I received a lot of compliments, and lots of funny looks, haha!
3|| I tried out some new Julep polish, but I ended up picking it all off by the end of the day. I did a rush job in the morning, and I hate when I have chips in the polish!
4|| Gunner is still wearing his cone of shame. He's gotten used to it, and it should be coming off by Thursday! He's a licker and a nibbler, so I'd rather he be annoyed with his collar for 2 weeks than having him open his incision - ouch!

1|| I shared the beginning steps of how I'm preparing for Christmas this year.
2|| One of the best parts of our wedding!

1|| This is my favourite. I also love the Body Shop!
2|| Amanda teamed up with a friend to make a fun link up.
3|| I don't know Edmonton that well, so I'm thankful for lists like these.
4|| I came across this Facebook page and I've been laughing/sharing ever since!
5|| I finally came across a pre-made gluten free pie crust, and I'm so glad that Ashley shared this list.

Tomorrow, I'm posting my first ever mood board post. It's a fun link up with one of my favourite bloggers, and I'm so excited for you guys to see! I have a long way to go, but I plan on experimenting with colours and schemes for new mood boards. Have you ever done one? Please share!

xo. Nicole

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Our Wedding || First Dance

A little #throwbackThursday for you! I have a few posts lined up that go back to our wedding. Pieces of the day that I never shared. I love thinking about that day, and this space is as good as any to keep the memory going.

While on Fall break from work, I've been browsing some blogs and listening to music. Taylor Swift's 1989 is totally on repeat (loving Blank Space!), but a song came up on shuffle on my phone that brought back good memories. 
It was the song that we had our first dance to! Never Let Me Go by Florence and The Machine. It was a perfect song, and I'm so glad that Rob brought it up as an option. I had never heard it before, and had only heard a few of Florence's songs. My heart was set on a few country ones, but that all changed the first time that I heard it - I was hooked.

Here's a few lyrics from the song:

And it's breaking over me
A thousand miles down to the sea bed
Found the place to rest my head
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go
Never let me go

I hope you got a chance to listen to the song above. What was your first dance song? If you're not married yet, what are you hoping/planning to be the first song you dance to at your wedding?

xo. Nicole

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Preparing for Christmas || Supplies

One of the best things about Christmas time is wrapping gifts to give to people. I decided to prepare myself a little early this year, and get some fun things to use for gift wrapping. I love browsing Pinterest for all those wonderful gift wrap ideas, and then waiting too long to wrap gifts, and then just having to use regular ol' supplies. This year, I'm determined!
Thatch & Thistle was having a fun sale, where if you bought a certain amount of products, you'd receive a Halloween treat bag! Obviously this meant I needed to stop everything and shop. Doesn't it?
I added some Christmas twine, gift tags, and some stickers in to my cart!
The treat bag included some fun things! There was twine, stickers, and gift tags! I can still use some of it for Christmas wrapping, and birthday gifts. Our niece's birthday was on November 9, and we have one of our nephew's birthdays on December 4th. These will all be put to good use!
I'm also thinking that I could totally use everything for snail mail! I have a few friend anxiously awaiting some goodies in their mail boxes, and now I have some fun supplies to use. When my husband and I buy our own place next year, there will definitely be a craft room. I can't wait to visit Thatch & Thistle again to load up that room ;) Shhh, don't tell my husband!

Have you started to prepare for the holidays?

xo. Nicole

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week's End || November 17

1|| The snow is here :( The worst part is sitting in my car while I wait for it to warm up. It adds another 15 minutes to having to go somewhere, especially work at 7:30am. 
2|| Gunner finally had his manhood taken away. He's such a baby when he's wearing the E-Collar, so I tried out a blow up one. Well, it didn't stay inflated and Gunner decided this meant he could jump and run all over the place. Nice try, dog. I returned the blow up collar, and put his other cone back on. I'd rather he have a few uncomfortable days/nights than for him to rip his incision or cause his empty testicle sack to fill with blood and other fun things from excessive movement. 
3|| I took full advantage of my week off from work! I visited my nephews on Tuesday, and then brought homemade cinnamon butter cookies and Tim Horton's coffee to my grandparents on Thursday. With the Winter roads, and work starting again today, those visits will be fewer.

1|| My November Julep Maven box came super early this month!
2|| I won a giveaway and blogged about it - haha!

1|| Rebekah receives the Ipsy Glam Bag. I always love reading her reviews and oggling the gorgeous pictures.
2|| Amanda shared her favourite posts from the week (always good reads!) and made a big announcement.
3|| Here's the recipe for the yummy cinnamon butter cookies that I brought to my grandparents!
4|| It's an older post, but aren't these adorable??

Ah, back to work. Only 6 more weeks until Christmas break. See, there are some things to look forward to! ;) It's been pretty cold all week, but the weather is slowly "warming up". It was -20C, but tomorrow is only supposed to be -7C. I also neglected the gym this week. My excuse is that it took too long to warm up the car, and the roads aren't all that safe, so it was better for me to just stay home unless I HAD to go out. Well, starting today, I HAVE to go out to work, so I really don't have any excuses for ditching the gym now. So far.

xo. Nicole

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tunnels and Fur || A Typical Friday

I can't even begin to describe how excited I was when I received the email telling me that I had one Roxy's PetMate giveaway! I wiggled in my seat before I replied to her email, and then ran out of my room to go tell Mocha and Koshka that they had some fun toys coming in the mail. Yes, they're cats. No, I'm not crazy. Well, maybe.
Mocha has taken full advantage of all 3 toys. We received a little fish-tail treat maze, a ball spinner/scratching pad, and a little pop up tent/tunnel. Mocha, pictured above, is a huge fan of the tunnel and tent, and then sits on the ball spinner as soon as Koshka walks by. She's kind of a hog.
Koshka enjoys the ball spinner, but usually just watches Mocha play. That's Koshka pictured above with her "filthy humans" look on her face, while she rolled her eyes at Mocha having a blast in the tunnel. There's no win with her, though I'm sure she's super appreciative of the awesome toys :)

Thank you Roxy and PetMate for my cats fun Friday!

xo. Nicole

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Julep || November

After the shipping issues from my October box, and being issued a full refund (!!!), I decided it would be worth it to just use my refund to purchase the November Maven box :) Julep explained to me that they switched mail couriers, so that there should be minimal issues with future shipping. Were they ever right! I don't think I've ever received my box so early in the month. 
First off, the colours are a nice blend of Winter and Summer, in my opinion. The nudes/pastels, the pretty purples, and that gorgeous blue on the left side! They added in a little booklet as a holiday gift guide, and I have a few ideas for some friends now - Thanks Julep!
I promptly took Shari out of the box and repainted my nails. I still love the look of an accent nail, so I used one of my old favourites, Missy, for that. Shari is definitely one of my new favourites, it's such a gorgeous pink creme!

Do you have a favourite polish colour right now?

xo. Nicole

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week's End || November 10

I didn't take any photos this past week, so I'm sharing one of my younger sister's photos. She took this while she was in what I call "photography college", haha! It's showing what I wish I could see right now - green! We've had a huge dump of snow, and the roads are ice now. They say it's just a cold snap and that it should warm up the following week, but we're currently sitting at -20*C. Yeah, okay mr/mrs weatherperson.

1|| I participated in a monthly link up - it's an easy one :) 

1|| I totally made this for supper on Thursday, and it was soooo delicious. I even shared it with a coworker. Seriously, you should make it.
2|| Sam received the most gorgeous Sari Robe - and it's for a good cause.
3|| I love when fellow bloggers (and friends!) share a round-up of links they loved, and this is no exception.
4|| This is such an awesome post for other bloggers, and happy 1st blogging anniversary Amanda!
5|| I always love Kory's monthly desktop wallpaper freebies!

Happy Monday! It's officially Fall break here, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The snow hit us, so I don't have much highway driving to do this week. I will have to venture out on to the highway tomorrow and on Thursday for some family visits. I can't wait for a whole day with my sister and nephews tomorrow, and then I visit my grandma on Thursday :)

I'm not sure what's going on, but I've had nothing but bad dreams the past couple nights (no, I'm not pregnant) and last night's was one of the worst ones. I had been talking to my mom yesterday, and we hadn't chatted in a little while. My dream last night was that she had passed away, with no explanation, and I had to pack up all of her stuff all by myself. I've never cried so much in a dream. I talked to my mom about it and she said it's because I miss her and it's one of my worst fears coming out because of that. Oh boy, I hope my dreams start getting better soon, I can't take anymore nightmares! 

xo. Nicole

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Currently v.02 || Link Up!

Picture c/o Aimee Madeline Photography (my sister!)

Reading || I came across an Emily Giffin book for 50% off, and had to have it! I had originally purchased the book for our camping trip, but I never got around to just being able to read. I've been trying to add more things to my evenings, other than blogging and FarmVille (hey, it's calming!) and reading a book seemed like a good place to start. The one I'm reading now is called Where We Belong. I've always loved Emily Giffin's books, and this is no exception.

Wishlisting || I signed up for The Great Christmas Exchange 2014 this time around, and I am too excited! They have it attached to a website called Elfster, which is pretty straightforward and easy to favourite way too many things ;) I've also gotten some early Christmas shopping in (for once) through Etsy. I'm also kinda sorta maybe browsing for me, too. 

Loving || The energy I find myself having after a full day of work. I actually found the energy to go to the gym after work yesterday, and not one single regret was felt. I would have regretted had I not gone, but that's a whole post in itself.

Appreciating || I'm not sure which switch was turned on, but I've been finding myself thinking more and more about how much my husband does for me and I've been appreciating him more. I'm not getting snappy (as often, hehe) when he asks me to grab him something, or put something away. I'm not the only person who has a 9-5 job, he does too. He's also outside all day and the weather will soon be -30*C!

Creating || A fitness plan that I can stick to! The other one I had in the beginning of the year didn't work out, so I tagged along with another friend (don't worry, I'm still friends with my other workout buddy!) who goes to the gym a couple times a week. She showed me her workout, and it's definitely more affordable and doable for me on my own. I have another installment coming up for My Fitness Journey series, and I'll tell you all about it! I've only started on Saturday and gone to the gym twice, and have lost a pound! 

I'm linking up my Currently post with Jenna from Dearest Love, and Anne from In Residence. On the first Wednesday of every month, we all get together and share what we're currently up to!

I can't wait to read your posts!

xo. Nicole

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week's End || November 3

1|| Gunner being...Gunner
2|| I made some super easy and yummy taco soup! Recipe is under the "good reads" section :)

1|| I received my October Julep box - check it out!

1|| Here's the yummy taco soup recipe - vegan/gluten free
2|| Rebekah participates in #hepicksmypolish and it's always fun to see what she comes up with!
3|| Another fun swap - The Great Christmas Exchange 2014
My sister in law took some photos of us at our one year anniversary BBQ this past June and sent me over a few. Yep, that's my husband. So proud.

This week's end post is quite small. Not much went on, and it's definitely been a lazy week for me. On Friday, my coworkers and I dressed up as the Ninja Turtles (complete with tutus!) for Halloween. After work, my husband and I were going to go to a party, but we opted out and attempted to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas..but we fell asleep halfway through at 9pm. We're old people apparently. How was your Halloween? I'm looking forward to all things Christmas now!

xo. Nicole

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