I’ll be honest; I’m not really a big spring fan. In fact, it’s my least favourite season. Of course it’s wonderful to see the snow melt, wear a lighter jacket and if you’re as lucky as we in Ottawa have been for the last few days, score some unreal weather. But, with spring comes rain and puddles (in other words, wet socks. SHUDDER.). Not to mention, the weather is a little unpredictable, for example: it was almost 30 degrees with the humidex … tomorrow it will be 9. Talk about a tease, bring on summer.
But, I think my real issue with the spring is there’s not anything too exciting to look forward to. Fall gives you Thanksgiving, Halloween, carving pumpkins, jumping in leaves, new sports and television seasons. Winter’s got Christmas, skating, vacation days, family time, that first week we get snow and it’s actually exciting. And don’t even get me started on SUMMER. I have already been day dreaming about my favourite time of the year for weeks: patios, bbqs, sunshine, bike rides, cottages, popsicles, Bluesfest, Canada Day, HOPE BEACH! I could go on and on … June 21st get here faster.
So perhaps, now more than ever, a bucket list is in order to get us excited about a season that is really only a warm up for the one that follows it. And I have to say, I did pretttttyyyyyy well on my winter bucket list. Checking things off is so satisfying…. enjoy.
- Abandon the car
As a fairly recent car owner I know how easy it is to turn to your vehicle for even the shortest five minute errand. It’s convenient, it’s fast and hey, when the weather’s bad it can be a godsend. But, now that the weather is shaping up a little you have one less excuse to rely on your whip. I for one, LOVE riding my bicycle (nerd, yes). I’ve even been known to kick a hangover with a little cruise by the canal. Wind in my face? Works every time. So this spring, try to kick the keys and enjoy the fact that it’s not minus anything outside. Hallelujah.
- Throw a barbeque
I know for many, one of the most exciting things about warmer weather is getting the barbeque fired up. Truth me told, I do duck every time I light one … but I definitely enjoy the fruit of it’s labour. It’s almost like everything tastes better when hot off the grill. There is nothing like sitting around on a patio with your friends, drinking beers or sangria and laughing the night away. Nothing. Lucky for me, I just moved into a house that was a perfect patio for just this activity. It may not rival the summer where Kaylee had the entire roof of a building at her disposal and our Monday night barbeques became large and legendary. But, it may come close.
- Spring cleaning
Recently, Meghan and I have been on. the. same. page. 17 years of friendship might do that to you, I guess. So today when she posted her spring cleaning post after I had written my bucket list items YESTERDAY I was not shocked at all. Great minds Meggo, great minds. She definitely says it best, but there’s nothing like tidying up your life a little to make you feel great. If there was one thing I learned from having four strapping boys move my belongings earlier this month it was “You have A LOT of clothes.” Hint taken. Time to purge.
- Splurge: sunglasses
A new season almost ALWAYS makes you itch to hit the mall, even if your wallet is empty. After two back to back weekends away I definitely need to keep my spending in check for the next month. Therefore, a full wardrobe revitalization (didn’t I JUST say I didn’t need more clothes? oops.) is not possible but I don’t think a full stray from the mall is possible either. I’ve decided if there is one absolutely essential thing you can splurge on in spring it’s sunglasses (say THAT 10 times fast).Those puppies are an everyday accessory that are going to be pretty much planted on your face every time you enter the great outdoors for the next five months. So unless you chronically lose your sunglasses (guilty) saving up for a stellar pair is acceptable in my books. Tip: My fave sunglasses finds for my overly small framed face have come from Banana Republic.
- Be a kid: spring edition
Any avid reader of my seasonal bucket lists will notice this item has become a permanent fixture. The reason being that I think it is vitally important to never take yourself too seriously. Life can get NUTS (in both the good and bad sense). So it’s necessary sometimes to remind yourself of the worry free ways your kid-self had. I also just adore doing anything spontaneous or competitive and child like things usually have an element of both. Last year, a friend of mine threw an Easter dinner for all our friends that couldn’t make it home. My parents live in Ottawa, so I didn’t meet the criteria but still scored an invite since my family goes big on brunch for “Pâques” and my supper plans were wide open. Kelly, the hostess with the mostest, had planted eggs filled with candy all over her house and backyard. She gave us all baskets and let us rip! Of course, we were ten adults practically tackling each other outside, dumping out each others baskets, slamming doors in faces and being all out unruly … but it’s up there in my list of extremely fun times. And if that wild batale royale doesn’t sound up your ally, paint some Easter eggs or splash around in a puddle. Should still do the trick.
- Go for a run
I must admit, I am not one of those people that love to run.
They seem to exist but I’m not sure how. For exercise, I’m all about doing activities. Yoga, dance, bike rides, beach volleyball, swimming. Running for me just doesn’t have the same fun factor. But, I digress, having moved back close enough to the canal … there is a certain kind of satisfaction that comes from putting your iPod in and pounding the pavement on a nice day. Perhaps the best way to clear your head. Ever. So you can bet you’ll be able to find me on the path alongside one of Ottawa’s biggest attractions this season.
- Do something out of the ordinary
Ever have one of those weeks where it seems like nothing goes your way? You lose an important document, get locked out of your house, spill coffee on your white skirt and just when you think it can’t get any worse? You back into a flower pot and tear off half your bumper. When I get in a rut like this I always feel the need to compensate for it with something really fun to pick my spirits back up. My spring suggestion? Try something new. Tag along with your guy friends when they go fishing, pack a buddy in your front seat and drive out to Albert to stop at the world’s best french fry place, spend an afternoon at the art gallery, organize a co-ed game of friendly football, surprise your friends in Toronto with a secret road trip …. ……(this is the part where I ensure that Kaylee and Jess read my posts ;)). Whatever it is you chose to do, make sure it’s something that you wouldn’t do on the regular. As Kate would say, “You need some spice in your life.”
- Plant something
When I was younger almost all of our summer vegetables came from my own garden. I have albums full of pictures of my three year old self hiding with my teddy among cucumber plants that were four times my size. And I’ll never forget the time I was chopping fresh cayenne peppers and rubbed my eyes in the process. Up there with dumbest moves I’ve made … and that’s saying something. Now unfortunately, my current home does not have a backyard and since most of our readers are probably in a similar situation, a full garden does not seem very plausible. Luckily, there is a little thing called “container gardening” which allows you to grow almost any vegetable inside of a pot. Tomatoes and peppers don’t take up much space and grow well inside a container. So, fresh veggie anyone? I know Jess the vegan will be proud of my backyard project anyway.
- Sangria contest
Did I mention I like being competitive? Anyone remember those friends I used to have before the Bachelor pool? Ya, me neither. So why not combine two of my favourite things … contests and Sangria. There a million ways to make Sangria with no two recipes alike. And it goes FAST. Pretty sure three of us were able to polish off a pitcher of sangria in no time last night. And if you’re going for all day sipping, you’re going to need a good amount. So why not get all your best gals to bring some supplies and compete for the title of Sangria queen. If you’re as competitive as my group of fun loving nuts, it’s sure to add a little somethin’ to your patio time. You may lose a friend or two but it’ll be worth it.
- Plan a trip
It’s almost a guarantee that everyone takes some sort of vacation time off in the summer. My office actually shuts down for an entire week to give everyone some vacay. Amazing? Yes. But with only those few select days and endless possibilities, it may be time to plan out where and when you want to be going. The last time I took a proper vacation was to visit one of my closest friends on the other side of the country for the Calgary Stampede. It was definitely a summer highlight and my tickets were booked by mid-April. Having something to look forward to always makes the trials and tribulations of day to day life a little more bearable.