Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hello, Fall

The First Day of Fall, otherwise known as the Autumn Equinox, has become a special holiday for me. When September dawned, I looked up the date and highlighted it on my calendar. Then I started dreaming about all the things I would do on that day:  fall drinks, fashion and decorations. I planned, I pinned, and I waited.

Let the summer lovers enjoy the end of their sunshine affair, wringing out every drop of extra sunlight, warm weather and lack of layers. Let them have their time to say goodbye. But when autumn dawns, I shall rise and say, "Now is my time."

I love everything about fall. The scents, the football games, the colors, the baked goods and warm soups, the drinks that slip down your throat and warm your soul. These are my days that speak of a slower, more thoughtful rhythm. As trees begin to trade shades of green for the bright jewels of ruby, amethyst and topaz, my heart sighs long and deep.

That softer ray of sunshine and those colder evenings stir in me a deep longing for intimacy and connections. Something new in my heart and soul dawns with those colors. This is the rhythm God has crafted for me. Fall means new things, exciting beauty, and discoveries to behold.

While some begin to dread these cooler days which inevitably inch closer to the darker days of winter, I revel in the now. Maybe it's my way of postponing the worry and stress about winter's coming or maybe it's my husband's influence of everything having its own time--Christmas decorations should not be put up before Thanksgiving, according to him.

Whatever the reason, I wanted to mark that first day with some autumn delights. I made a list and set out to fulfill it.

 Number One: First Official Pumpkin Spice Latte

I got up and out early so that I could sip my first PSL in the cool breeze of the morning. Here in Ohio, the temperatures have been nearing 90 degrees. That, however, didn't stop me from fulfilling number two on my list.

Number Two: Boots

Boots are my sweet spot in foot ware. I've got a black pair, a brown pair and these black and brown. What I lack in flashy foot ware, I make up for in practicality and comfort. (Don't worry. I changed into sandals later, because, heat.)

Number Three: Fall Flower Arrangement

Because sunflowers and fall are a must.

Number Four: Burn Fall Candles

I cheated a little and lit my Pumpkin Pecan Waffles a couple of days earlier (my Warm Apple Pie candle has departed :( ), but I waited until the first day of fall for my Autumn candle from Bath and Body Works. It was a hard wait but worth it.

Number Five: Baked Goods

I've tweaked my first batch of Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Filling and I think I found the right proportion of everything. This was before they were baked and topped with Paula Dean's cinnamon roll icing. They are so very, very good. Go ahead. You may salivate.

Number Six:  Fall Decor

This is the pinnacle of my fall prep. I found a stack of leaf stickers at our local Target and snatched up two packs. As sticking them on the window would mean a permanent fall of leaves, I slapped them on some wax paper and then cut them out, one, by one. It was time consuming but the end result was perfect.

BONUS! Number Seven: Cool Weather!

Would you know that those high 80's temps have fallen and this whole week is forecasting to be in the 70's? Be still my fall-loving heart!

Whether you are in full autumn celebration, like myself, or mourning the loss of summer's kiss, take the time to let go and let yourself enjoy in the now.

Pause. Breathe. Smile. It's gonna be a good fall. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sparks of Joy: August Edition

Where did August go? Although the last time I posted was midway through the month, the days still seemed to vanish. Now it's September, and I'm late again (eventually I will get this blogging groove back), and it's time to gaze back at the embers of joy August gave. It's a shorter list this time, but still fun. Enjoy!


Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller

I'm still in the process of reading an Advanced Reader Copy, but can I just tell you how important this work is? Shelly breathes grace back into keeping the Sabbath. She shares how the Sabbath is a weekly rhythm that restores our hearts and connects us deeper into relationship with Christ. I've been chewing on what I've been learning and will soon share, but until then, you can pre-order her book now. Release date is Oct. 4. 

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

I'm steadily reading through this work. Shauna's message is about removing the busy and settling into the still. As both rest and stillness are a current reoccurring theme in my life, I grabbed a copy of this right before my e-book rental expired. I've been taking daily sips since then, savoring the taste of being still. I resonate with Shauna's drive, her desire to rest and her struggles therein. While I'm not done, I can confidently say this is going to be one I keep returning to read.

Simple Delights

 Sometimes you just needs to purge the clutter in your home. August was my time for fall cleaning. We have lived in the same apartment for five years and I've never been satisfied with our bedroom. It's supposed to be the most restful room in the house, but it never felt right. So I deep-cleaned the bedroom, washing the walls, pulling out furniture to vacuum, and quieting the space. I can now say, that our bedroom is a peaceful refuge.

But I couldn't stop just there. I moved to the dining room and then tackled the living room, repeating the same cleaning process. The flow feels more cohesive and peaceful. I can't wait to show it off this fall for parties and casual hangouts.


I've returned to my creative side. My painting I completed in a day. I was impatient to hang it in our newly rearranged bedroom. It was the finishing touch to serene environment. My dragon is slowly coming into being, but not without hurdles.

Milton thinks drawing time is a perfect moment to gain attention. Either that, or he just really likes the feel of the paper on his belly. I'm not sure.

Fall scented candles.
(I'm detecting a theme.)

Bath and Body Works released their fall candles early in August and I was quick to descend upon the hoard. I resisted, however, to burn any straight up "autumn" scents, but I couldn't resist the Warm Apple Pie candle. Oh. My. Goodness. It's like a warm hug. I've burnt it down to almost nothing and am itching for another.

Soon, however, I will be able to burn Pumpkin Pecan Waffles and indulge in that Pumpkin Spice Latte.

 First Day of Fall, you guys. NEXT WEEK!


Summer vs Fall.

This is the perfect depiction of how I feel. I am made for cool breezes, scarves and multiple layers. Summer? Meh. But fall? YES!

How was your August?
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