In a Nutshell: The Best of 2011

Looking back over our first year of writing, learning and growing together, it seems we have come a long way from our very first primative posts. It’s funny how we’ve each developed a style of communicating through the art of words, and now our pieces written collectively and individually all seem to fall, seamlessly, into place. In a nutshell’s first year has come with some major successes and, I won’t lie, some failures too. It’s those encouraging words, the comments and feedback  that has made 2011 an inspiring year for all of us nuts. We hope you continue to follow our antics and we have no intention of stopping now. We’re only just getting started.

Here is a brief glimpse at our best posts from 2011, in a nutshell

Jess’ Best:

1. Rock Fashion Muse 

This is one of my favourite posts by Jess. It perfectly demonstrates her ability to tune into trends whether those trends are musically inclined, fashion forward or both !  I have always enjoyed Jess’ vibrant outlook toward the world of music and here, she hits the nail on the head, combining Annie Clark’s beautiful vocals with her impeccable style. Might I add that about 1 month after Jess wrote this article, a very similar article about the very same gal appeared on the cover of Spin magazine. That’s Jess for you, finger always on the pulse.

2. City Slickers 

This one struck me right away, as any skyline I EVER see now reminds me of Miz Huddleston. She certainly has a fascination with the metropolis lifestyle and this post put her dreams of living as a city girl right into context. As aforementioned, Jess always has the next big thing in the music world pinned down and this post is no exception to her all-hearing musical ear. Some of the chic tunes Jess filled one of her Toronto jaunts with include Girl from Ipanema- Stan Gets (NASA remix), Pennies from Heaven- Billy Holiday (Count de Money remix) and Sing Sing – G Swing. Such an eclectic mix of acid jazz really shows off Jess’ musical savvy.

Honourable Mention: Cusine With A Cure

The foodie in me had to give one extra little shout out to J. Huddles for embracing her own inner-foodie and throwing up a post about one of my own favourite spots in the city. Best part about this post is I had NO idea about Oz’s brunch until I read this informative and mouth watering piece. Well said and well fed.

Kate’s Best: (written by Kaylee, these are no self-proclaimed!)

1. #iSad

This post was so beautifully written and really offered a unique angle to the sad end to Steve Jobs’ life. Everything from the images, the quotes and Kate’s descriptive vocabulary…this was definitely one of my favourite posts written by Kate in 2011

2. Wine Tasting 101

Kate is our wine expert, and I love learning new things about that area from her. These are the types of things you’d have to take a class to learn – and for most of us, that isn’t happening anytime soon…so I always look forward to some new wino info from Kate, sommelier to be!

Honourable Mention: If you’re very lucky 

This post brought a tear to my eye! Such sweet words to come home to, and Kate couldn’t have put the meaning of friendship in better words.

Kaylee’s Best: (By Catherine)

1. Keep Calm, and Travel On

It would be a lie to say we didn’t miss Kaylee terribly when she sailed off into the sunset with her boyfriend, Nick, for a three month adventure backpacking Europe. Despite our envy for our fashion forward nut, we thrilled to follow along with her travels and I think I can speak for everyone when I say this read made our hearts smile. A little insight into a life changing experience, mixed with Kaylee’s beautiful writing, made for the perfect post.

2. The Twitterati

Social media is not just a hobby for Kaylee, she worked in the field and it’s an integral part of her everyday life. When she’s not troubleshooting any of the problems we come across on nutshell, or bbming instantly with her 12 besties, she’s hilariously and thoughtfully tweeting up a storm. This guide of who to follow on Twitter was not only helpful for the tweeting-newb but for anyone who needed a little guidance in the cyber world.

Honourable Mention: Friday’s Fashion Fix

It’s impossible not to make a list of Kaylee’s favourite posts of 2011 and not give a shout out to her fashion expertise. Always innovative and ahead of the curve, Kaylee has a knack for finding the best deals, the hottest trends and the prettiest pictures. This one is a personal fave, because it highlights one of her best qualities – she is an amazing friend

Cat’s Best: (By Meghan)

1. Summer Bucket List

I wish I could have picked all three bucket lists that Catherine has written because they all have the best suggestions for fun ways to make the most of each season. I especially loved the Summer Bucket List because it involved acting like a kid and spoiling myself…two of my favourite things!

2. Political Circus 

I loved this article because Catherine’s expertise in reporting on politics really shone through, but she wrote it with a humorous spin that was so entertaining. It was a unique way to approach a subject that can be dry, and I absolutely loved it. Definitely a stand out for me.

Honourable Mention: An Ode to 864 

This is a slightly selfish pick, because it directly addresses me, but I think it is really relateable because everyone around our age can understand the sentiment of going through change and making big moves. Those words meant a lot to me, just like that house did.

 Meghan’s Best: (By Jess)

1. Pet Peeve of the Week

Meghan’s pet peeves are all equally ridiculous, hilarious and spot-on – but for some reason, this article’s detailed uncomfortable encounters and Meg’s italicized/disgusted inner monologue actually had me scream-laughing at my desk. We can all relate to wishing we could unhear what people have just told us.

2. Trick or (Delicious) Treat!

This post was great because not only was there so much time and effort put into her actual subject (Meggo Crocker didn’t surface from the kitchen for 2 days), but I was also lucky enough to be one of the people who sampled these delicious treats on Halloween. Also – us nuts can all appreciate how time consuming cooking/baking can be when you’re one-handedly taking photos of each step. Can’t wait for more next year, Meg!

Honourable Mention: The Next BIG thing?

This article is a good example of the diversity of Meg’s posts; some are goofy and lighthearted, some are opinionated and a little deeper, etc. This was a very timely discussion when written, and as girls who all own items by the dozen from this store but have been known to debate it’s ethics at the same time – I was totally intrigued by this little controversy.

However you may be spending your New Year’s Eve, take a minute, like we did, to reflect upon your high points from 2011. It will hopefully inspire you to make 2012 even better.

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About Kate Lalumiere

After studying wine and spending years in the food service industry, Kate is nutshell's designated food and wine aficionado. Her posts take on the foodie-sphere one restaurant at a time, exposing some of the hottest spots to satiate the ol' buds ! Her favourite restaurants usually include: innovative menus, sustainable & local produce and unparalleled hospitality. Although Kate has a keen ear for food buzz in the National Capital, you'll also find her weighing in on fashion, music and anything that peaks her interest! ** Favourite Restaurant (Ottawa) : Supply & Demand • Wine of Choice: Every wine • Favourite Band: The National • Bad Habit: Being a backseat driver• Favourite Song: Wild Horses • Fashion Icon: Olivia Palermo • Favourite Movie: The Sandlot • Favourite TV Series: Gossip Girl (sue me!) • Sport: Football (to watch and play) • Team: Arizona Cardinals • Blackberry or Iphone: Iphone • Favourite Book: The Sun Also Rises, The Cat's Table, The Bell Jar, On the Road... • ** To ask Kate a question about food, wine or anything else contact her at :

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