Autumn Bucket List 2016 – A lengthy catch up!

I suddenly realised I haven’t written an Autumn Bucket List update for ages – in fact I’m not actually sure I’ve written one at all this season!  I must admit I haven’t looked at or even thought about our Autumn Bucket List for weeks.  Things have been a bit crazy in our house over the last month with Dad doing lots of work on getting the extension finished, Dave breaking his elbow, Thomas being so poorly and then getting ready for Amy’s birthday.  I rather feel like life is just passing by in a blur of “getting through the day”.

So here goes, a full Autumn Bucket List catch up (with only a few weeks left of the season, whoops!)

Navy Wellies

1. Collect conkers – something which we pretty much fail to do every year but we’ll have another go!

Yeah. We failed. In fact I don’t think we even really tried.  The conker tree in our local park is rubbish and for some reason the conkers never fully form or ripen.  We didn’t really have chance to go exploring anywhere else to collect them and of course it’s far too late now!

2. Get wrapped up and go to a bonfire – we haven’t done this for a few years but I think everyone is big enough now to enjoy it!

On Saturday night we really did get properly wrapped up – lots of layers for everyone including tights under trousers for the girls and gorgeous new Little Bird hats and scarves.  I have such fond memories of bundling up in lots of clothes for bonfire night (including leg warmers . . . yes child of the 80s right there).  We enjoyed some sparklers at Mum & Dad’s before heading off  to a fantastically well organised (and fairly expensive) event at York Maze.  Last time we’d done Bonfire Night at York Maze, Ben was a tiny baby and fell asleep in my sling so it was a bit of a different experience this time!  We were really lucky that the showers which had been forecast held off and we were able to really enjoy the display.  The kids all loved the fireworks though Amy said she wasn’t keen on the bangs (guess whose Mummy forgot to bring ear defenders!)

Bonfire Night selfie with Aunty Nic

Amy's first ever sparkler

Ben with a sparkler

arty blurred sparkler shot / slow shutter speed

Chloe with a sparkler

Ben watching York Maze bonfire with Grandad and Aunty Nic

3. Kick leaves

Although Ben and Chloe haven’t really had much chance to do this, I have done lots of leaf kicking with Amy in the park on the way home from school.  We did go out into Granny and Grandad’s garden at the weekend to play with the leaves but it was a bit wet and to be honest Ben wasn’t really feeling it!  There’s still time though if we can find a dry day!

Amy & Chloe throwing autumn leaves in the garden

Chlo throwing leaves at Ben

4. MAD Blog Awards – this is my third year of attending and my second as an actual flipping finalist!

This year’s MAD Blog Awards was one I shall remember mainly for public transport fails – from a landslip causing huge issues with trains into London Euston to me missing the last train out to my friend’s house!  I didn’t win my category this year but I was thrilled to be asked to present an award.  I had a thoroughly lovely brunch with Cesca at The Ivy in Wimbledon too – a post post MADS breakfast is becoming something of a tradition now!

Presenting a MAD Blog Award

5. Blog on – the first Winter Blog On and this time I’m actually going to be speaking! 

Although this was only in September it feels like it was ages ago now!  Both Katie & I were pretty nervous about our talk but we received lots of really lovely comments afterwards so I think we did ok!  (You might have seen that I’ve written a series of posts about Instagram based on the talk we gave.)


6. A family ski lesson

Although Amy and Daddy weren’t able to come with us in the end, we had a really exciting adventure down to Hemel Hempstead for a private family ski lesson.  You can read all about our experience at The Snow Centre or even watch the video we made!


7. Blackpool Illuminations

I never went to the illuminations as a kid.  In fact the first time I went I must have been in my twenties and had convinced Dave to take me under duress.  Last year we took the kids for the first time and had such a lovely evening with the Butlers that we said we would do it together each year.  Foolishly we had expected that a Monday night would be quite quiet, except we hadn’t banked on it being half term and therefore ridiculously busy!  The trams were absolutely heaving and even seemed to stop running completely at one point so we didn’t get home till about 11pm. . . whoops!

Kids waiting for the tram in Blackpool for the illuminations

Team Butler & Team Burgess at Blackpool Illuminations

8. A grown up weekend away

This is all planned and sorted for the end of the month and I can’t wait!

9. South Lakes Wild Animal Park (this is left over from our summer list)

We took our trip to South Lakes Wild Animal Park at the start of September and had a really lovely day.  We had been hoping that Uncle Dave and Laura would be coming with us but they weren’t able to make it in the end.  South Lakes remains one of my favourite zoos despite some bad press recently.  Being able to feed the giraffes is always a highlight.

Family at South Lakes Wild Animal Park


10. Splash in puddles

It has been a surprisingly dry Autumn so far with only a couple of super soggy school runs to contend with!  This of course means there hasn’t been much chance for splashing in puddles though Amy is keen to make sure she finds even the smallest of puddles if she’s got her wellies on!

11. Make an apple crumble

I’d completely forgotten I’d even written this on my list!  I think I’d better get some ingredients bought.

12. Blow “dragon breath” in the cold air – this is always a sure sign of autumn for me and something the kids find really exciting!

I think autumn has been fairly mild up until this last week or so but I’m suddenly aware that it’s flipping freezing!  I’ve only had to scrape the car once so far this season but it certainly looked pretty frosty out today and I’m sure I’ve seen there is a threat of sleet forecast this week!  I don’t think we’ve done much blowing of “dragon breath” yet but I’m sure it’s going to come!

13. See Ben settle into his new Juniors routine

Ben found the first few weeks of being in the Juniors pretty hard going – his school is on a split site so the move to the Juniors is almost like starting a new school.  The move between being in his mixed Year 1 / 2 class and a pure Year 3 class was quite a shock to the system for him but I think he’s settled into things a bit more now.  His teacher seems lovely and he had a really positive Parents’ Evening.

Kids ready for school.

14. Get some more jobs done on the house – perhaps even move into a new room or two!

Two and a half years after we started our “ten week” extension project, the big jobs are finally finished.  Dad spent the best part of three weeks at our house getting stuff done.  He fitted out the utility, finished the downstairs toilet, put flooring down, finished off the new shower room and relaid the drive . . . along with a whole array of other little faffy jobs!  The difference it has made to our house is huge (and I will be filming you a proper house tour at some point soon!)  We’ve now gained a further three new rooms and the big money spending jobs are done.  There’s still plenty of work to do – decorating and such like but most of that is now for Dave & I to crack on with.

15. Lots of birthday celebrations

November is a busy month for birthdays with Mum & Amy’s birthdays being on consecutive days and then Aunty Nic’s birthday being later in the month.  We spent last weekend in York to celebrate Mum & Amy’s birthdays together which was really lovely – we went to York Maze for Bonfire Night as I’ve mentioned and then had lunch out on the Sunday.  Amy’s now looking forward to her birthday party with her friends on Saturday.

Amy with three helium balloon from hobbycraft

Granny and Amy with their birthday cake

Phew.  That turned into a bit of a long catch up didn’t it! Whoops.  Safe to say that we’ve been successfully ticking things off the Autumn Buckets list without me even really thinking about it – just one or two things to fit in before the end of the month!

How’s your Autumn been so far?



  1. November 9, 2016 / 10:30 am

    It sounds as though you have had a fun autumn. I’m looking forward to you posting a house tour.

    • Colette
      November 9, 2016 / 12:56 pm

      I’m excited to film it! So much has changed since the least one x

  2. November 9, 2016 / 10:49 am

    We enjoyed Autumn too although it feels like Winter now. My feet are so cold! Can’t wait to read your Winter list.

    • Colette
      November 9, 2016 / 12:55 pm

      It sure does! I’ve noticed my feet have been particularly cold of late!

  3. November 9, 2016 / 12:56 pm

    You’ve achieved do much for someone who has just been ‘getting through the days’. Some wonderful days out, south lakes safari park is on my list for next year.

    • Colette
      November 9, 2016 / 4:09 pm

      Yes I suppose we have!

  4. November 9, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    Great list, especially the bit about making the apple crumble!!

    • Colette
      November 9, 2016 / 4:08 pm

      It has to be done! I’ve not made one in ages and my husband loves it!

  5. Tamsin Hopkins
    November 9, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    Mine has been wonderful! We’ve enjoyed fireworks in our own garden (my little boy LOVED it), kicked leaves and enjoyed wrapping up in warm coats with scarves and hats. There’s something quite special about autumn. I also went away at the end of October to an event in London to spend a weekend with a few other fans (less than 200) meeting Amanda Tapping (from Stargate SG1 and Sanctuary). It was pretty magical – two whole days of awesomeness and I won afternoon tea with her. So yeah, my Autumn is shaping up well.

    • Colette
      November 9, 2016 / 4:35 pm

      Wow that sounds pretty amazing!

  6. November 9, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    Love your sparkler photos! We failed at conkers too. It was on my annual bucket list and it won’t get ticked off now! x

    • Colette
      November 9, 2016 / 9:18 pm

      I give up on it! I’m sure they were abundant when we were kids!

  7. clarissa
    November 9, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    this is fantastic, I’d love to do a summary like this!
    fireworks night looked fun, and happy birthday nanny and lil lady !!

  8. November 9, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    I love the idea of an autumn bucket list, It looks like you have had a ball.

  9. November 9, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    What great photos! I now really remember the joy of the sparkler thanks to the light in your kids’ eyes

  10. November 9, 2016 / 11:25 pm

    Just watched the lovely warm welcome you got from your kids when you got back from your trip – how lovely!

  11. November 10, 2016 / 9:21 am

    Sounds like you’ve had a lot planned for Autumn this year. The Bonfire night celebrations look fantastic, we totally failed to go out this year and felt really bad about it as we’d promised the kids… I hope your grown up weekend away goes well! 🙂

  12. November 10, 2016 / 9:39 am

    Sound slike you guys had a wonderful Autumn. As for the conkers we failed on picking some too, our local trees don’t have the best conkers 🙁

  13. November 10, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    Well done on the MAD award nomination, lots of fun Autumn things. x

  14. November 10, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    This is a great bucket list. We have managed do some these already. Hope you have fun with the rest.


    • Colette
      November 10, 2016 / 9:26 pm

      Thanks Angela!

  15. November 11, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    Phew what a busy time! Congrats on Mads, it must be an awesome event to go to. Pickle was 4 last month, so birthday celebrations here too. Kaz x

  16. November 11, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    Im loving the idea of an autumn bucket list, It looks like you have had a fantastic time so far!

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