New season, new bucket list

Fall is truly a beautiful time of year. I don’t just mean aesthetically with the changing of colours, a cascade of crunchy bright leaves and streets lined with adorable cropped jackets and ankle booties. It comes with a different charm than its preceding and sometimes over bearing season. No one can help feel like a little part of your personal freedom dies with the end of summer. Students go back to school, working ones have to look all the way to Christmas for vacation time, and a whole new slew of courses, plans, and schedules take over your once care-free patio sipping, sprinkler streaking life. But, fall is charming, romantic, cozy and full of possibilities.


As was alluded to often at the beginning of the month on nutshell, September is a month of new beginnings. A couple times of year I like to put things into perspective, make new goals for myself and try to ground myself with what is truly important. So while tidying my desk, re-organizing my closet, and filling my agenda with appointments I decided a Fall Bucket List was a must. It seems the older we get the more quickly time flies, so make the most of every crisp, chilled moment that this fall has to offer:

1. Stroll in the Gatineau’s

Right outside Ottawa in the Gatineau Hill’s are a set of hiking trails through the very prettiest landscape this country has to offer. Grab a good buddy, pack some snacks and take in the fall colours from a high vantage point. Don’t forget your camera and a pair of good shoes.

The view when strolling through Gatineau Park.

2. Reconnect with old friends

I’ve already started making this a priority. When you depart from university you don’t just leave behind exams and stress, you leave behind the one common ground where effortlessly you can stay in touch with people. It doesn’t take much more than a few words in between classes to still feel close and in touch with someone’s life. Without those small exchanges sometimes the people you held dear seem so far away. So every week I vow to have lunch, dinner, coffee or any other excuse of an activity, with an old friend. Catch up and remind myself why these people are too precious to slip away.

3. Curl up and read the day away

I’ve already confessed that I am a bookworm so I don’t need to remind you that reading is my favourite hobby. But, when life gets a little crazy it’s easy to go straight to bed (pass. out.) instead of reading a chapter or two before turning off the lights. Our current book club pick is: Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill and I can’t wait to curl up in an arm chair in Starbucks on the first truly chilly day of the season and spend the day with my nose in the pages.

4. Have a pumpkin carving contest

You don’t have to wait for item # 10 to know I am a kid at heart and what better to remind myself then with the Halloween season approaching. Us nuts usually go all out with costumes and it’s a guarantee that my bar will be bumping at the end of October with ghosts, gouls and gold diggers. But what I’m most excited for is to organize a night of wine and silliness with my besties and have an old fashioned pumpkin carving contest. Kaylee had one of those nights with her Montreal ladies last year and it looked like an absolute blast. Idea: stolen.

Montreal girls know what's up.

5. Re-Accessorize

Tomorrow Meghan will reveal what each nut has their eye on in terms of fall fashion, but I think the most exciting part of this season’s trends is the accessories. Treat yourself with that over-priced scarf or chunky leather belt. It’ll be your staple this season and will help you forget that just a few months ago it was warm enough that you could walk around at midnight in a tank top and cut offs. Sigh.

6. Hair revamp

When people look at older pictures of me their comment is usually, “You haven’t changed.” I think it’s sort of fair to say that I am a bit cautious when it comes to change. I stay in long relationships, still fit into clothes I wore in grade seven, have lived in the same city my whole life and … have virtually unchanged my hair style. My long dark locks are usually styled in a down-do with the occasional bobby pin holding things in place. With all these life changes maybe it’s time for a little revamp. Highlights? Haircut? Suggestions?

7. Personal day at the Spa

The Nordik Spa in Chelsea, Québec is only about a 15 minute drive from downtown and is a favourite spot for couples looking for a little romance, or moms and daughters sharing some quality time. While both of these options are divine my favourite thing to do at the spa is to go alone and just take a day to myself. Talking is not encouraged and it’s impossible not to let yourself completely relax in the hot tubs, hammocks, steam baths and sauna’s. The next time I’m closing a stressful week with a day off, I’m making a solo mission for a little me time.

Nordik Spa, Chelsea QC

8. Alternate activity

My whole life I’ve been a dancer. I began when I was four, competed until I was 21 and taught all the way up until this year. My full-time job has made me unable to teach dance anymore and I know I will miss it terribly. So I’ve decided to sign up for an intense aerobic class or weekly yoga session to keep my body fit and my passion for activity satisfied. The goal: to stick to it and not dream of missing a single class, like I used to with dance.

9. Learn something new

I must give a shout out here to my other nuts. Our two little scholars: Meghan who is in the final year of her Masters (!!) and Kate who had her first day of Sommelier wine school yesterday (which I’m sure will be a future subject for a nutshell post from our resident wineo). We are all envious of Kaylee who is learning life’s most important lessons while traipsing around Europe. Recently, after trying to make sense of an article I was writing on solar panels I realized Jess learns something new everyday with her job in green communications. So as for me, I’m enrolling in a university course in the winter just for fun, and until then I plan on learning from the world’s best teacher, Mom. I want to master her most delicious recipes, learn how to use the sewing machine and just generally forget technology for a while and learn the bare necessities … you know, mother nature’s recipes.

10. Be a kid: Fall edition

I couldn’t make a bucket list that excluded my favourite life lesson which is to never take yourself too seriously. So this fall, jump in a pile of leaves, grab a co-ed group to hit up Saunders Spooky Hay Ride or find a niece or nephew to take trick-or-treating. No matter what, never forget the young in young adult.

Trick-or-treat, it's bo-peep and the sheep!

What are some of your favourite fall activities? I’d love to know … in a nutshell.

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This entry was posted in Lifestyle and tagged , , , , , , , , , , by Catherine Kitts. Bookmark the permalink.

About Catherine Kitts

Catherine (@catkitts) has been known to put her party dress on at the drop of a hat and will rarely say no to a new adventure. After completing her Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University, she worked at the editor of a local newspaper for three years before trading hard news for the world of communications, marketing and advertising. Constantly juggling hectic work and social schedules, she always makes time for some of her biggest passions: news, sports, pop culture, cuisine, literature and many others. You can expect her to cover a wide variety of topics, keeping her finger on the pulse of Ottawa, her hometown - a city she's grown to love. *Bad Habit: never wanting to miss out *Favourite Food: pickles *Favourite Restaurant: El Camino *Wine of Choice: whatever Kate is drinking *Favourite Band: (solo artist?) Justin Timberlake *Favourite Song: Dancing in the Dark - Springsteen *Fashion Icon: Lauren Conrad *Political Affiliation: none *Favourite Movie: Back to the Future, Kindergarden Cop, Jurassic Park, Drive. *TV Series: Seinfeld *Sport: Hockey / Football *Team: Ottawa Senators / Seattle Seahawks *Favorite Book: Great Expectations - Charles Dickens, Freedom - Jonathan Franzen. ** To contact Catherine write her at : inanutshellca@gmail.com

8 thoughts on “New season, new bucket list

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