November 2015 Bucket List

I like to make plans. Everyone knows that. Friends make fun of my enthusiasm and Sean moans about my lists of things to do, but at the end of the day everybody loves it when the plans actually come around and we are doing something new and exciting. Each Tuesday, I pick up TimeOut and stock up on options for the week. I receive emails from multiple sources of new restaurants opening up, “hot” events that cannot be missed, and favorite lesser known places to try out. With so many options coming from all of these sources, I end up with so much that I want to do that none of it actually gets done (seriously, I literally read an email and want to do it all!).

In order to focus my attentions on stuff I can actually accomplish, I have decided to create a monthly bucket list. It will be a list of ten things I want to do – some new experiences and some oldies that I want to bring back. I’m kicking it off this month with all of the things I want to do before it is too cold to function in London.

November Bucket List

  1. Set aside time to read – and actually finish – a book (something I have not had a chance to do in way too long!)
  2. Attend the opening night of an event
  3. Host a Friendsgiving
  4. Create a flower arrangement to bring some color into the house
  5. Dine at a winter-themed pop up restaurant
  6. Attend a meet up or get together with a new group of friends
  7. Start (and follow) a 10K training plan
  8. Make a meal in the crock pot
  9. Write 20 blog posts (not quite striving for one per day yet!)
  10. Finish the living room so it is finally a pleasant living space for us and for visitors!

I’ll be sure to update everyone on my progress at the end of the month. Of course, now I just need to get out of bed and get cracking!


Fall/Winter Traditions in London

I have always adored the late fall, probably not as much as I love the snow in the winter, but enough that it’s a season I look forward to over others. It’s probably because I can literally live in leggings, chunky knits, and boots (like actually never take them off), but I like to think it’s because of all the traditions that are associated with the fall/winter transition. They don’t feel forced since they are not all a result of holidays, but I feel like fall has some of the best traditions that I have picked up while growing up. Pumpkin picking and corn mazes, hot apple cider, Navy football, Thanksgiving parties with friends, etc.

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Now that I am living in London, I am looking forward to picking up new traditions for each season. As lists come out of the top things to do in the fall and winter, I find myself clearing my calendar to spend time trying new things and starting my own traditions with London friends.

Here are a few of the fall traditions that I’ve already started, or look forward to starting, here in London:

  1. Christmas Shops: All of the department stores in London open their Christmas shops at the end of August. I’ve already visited nearly all of them, ogling at the Christmas decorations and planning my own. It is fun to go out of season because it brings to life Christmas in an incredible way. My favourites are Liberty, Selfridges, and (of course) John Lewis. We’ll be buying our decorations from John Lewis and I couldn’t be more excited!
  2. Bonfire Night: This is one that I just found out about this week, and I can’t wait! In the US, I used to have a bonfire every fall, and I miss it so much. Though it’s nice not to have to get the smell of smoke out of my hair, there is something so “fall-y” about a bonfire that brings the whole season an incredible feeling. Here in the UK, “Bonfire Night” is in remembrance of Guy Fawke’s day and there are huge bonfire and fireworks festivals. I’m just really excited to go watch the fireworks at Alexandra Palace, because who doesn’t love fireworks!
  3. Friendsgiving: Sean experienced Thanksgiving for the first time last year and is a huge fan. It’s also one of my favorite holidays because of…well, food. Living in London has left me feeling disconnected with Thanksgiving, but we are hoping to bring it back by introducing a Friendsgiving. This not only gives me (and my American friends) the opportunity to enjoy a holiday I love so much, but gives Sean and I the opportunity to introduce it to our English friends. I’m already planning the recipes and decorations!
  4. Ice Skating: London has some gorgeous outdoor skating rinks that open up for the winter season in November. I honestly want to try them all. I used to have an ice skating party for my birthday every year at Reston Town Center, and I miss it so much. There’s something about bundling up to go around the rink a couple of times and then unbundling in the closest restaurant to order some hot chocolate and pudding. Except, here it’s going to be mulled wine and pudding in the closest pub!