In honor of our first “cold front” of the season last week, I’m sharing some of my favorite things because cold fronts and fall are at the top of my list. Fine, it was mostly only 75 degrees here, but for central Texas in the fall, 75 is a cold front and a southern miracle! Fall is my all time favorite time of year, home to my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, and the start of tolerable weather in Texas.
I love everything fall, except pumpkin spice. I know, I know but I’ve tried! Every year I line up at Starbucks to make sure I still don’t love the pumpkin spice latte and every year I am reminded that it’s the only fall tradition that I can’t get on board with. This fall my coffee intake will be a little different because over the summer I developed a love for cold brewed coffee. On the top of my list of favorite things this fall, is Chameleon Organic Cold Brew Coffee.
As y’all know, I did my first Whole30 last April and I started another round of Whole30 today. One of the things I gave up in the autoimmune protocol version the first time was coffee. Gasp! I know, I was horrified too, but I stuck to unsweet hot tea. When I introduced coffee back into my diet I was still not eating sugar, dairy or artificial sweeteners so I tried everything to make my coffee bearable. I used to be a cream and sugar coffee girl. I tried the Nutpods (non-dairy creamer lots of people use while on Whole30), I tried frothing coconut milk and coconut cream into my coffee, I tried the bulletproof version, coffee with coconut oil and everything in between. And although some of those were tolerable and even tasty, ain’t no one got time for all that.
I was on the struggle bus for a while trying to make over my coffee. I have attempted hot black coffee so many times and failed when my girlfriend advised me to try black cold brewed coffee. I stumbled upon this yummy stuff that’s a concentrated cold brew so you just keep it in the fridge, pour in a glass, add water to it and it’s ready. It takes two seconds to make, which works for me because I seriously only have enough energy in the mornings to press a Keurig button or pour my caffeine into a glass. And yes, I use a wine glass because I can’t drink wine right now, I miss using my fancy glasses and it’s fun! Life is short, drink your cold coffee out of a wine glass, dang it! The cold brew is less bitter and got me over the hump especially through summer when I didn’t mind drinking my coffee cold. Now I can drink it black; hot or cold.
Since September, some girlfriends and I are having a little bible study at Chick Fil A one morning a week. It’s a great time to throw our littles in the indoor playscape and grow ourselves, learn about Jesus and connect with one another. We pray for each other, talk about what’s going on in our lives and grow by utilizing our joint experiences. We just finished a fantastic book, She’s Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst. We have loved this book, it resonates with all women who have gotten off track at some point in their lives. The author is refreshingly honest and open about her fears and mistakes and shares her advice for overcoming trials and staying focused on your dreams.
I would recommend this book, but more importantly, one of my favorite things in fall is reconnecting with girlfriends. Summer has a way of consuming us with vacations and kids out of school. It’s hard to stay in a routine and even more difficult to make time to nourish yourself or stay connected to your friends. Fall is the perfect season to send the kids back to school and make time for yourself and your tribe. We need relationships. It’s proven strong relationships lead to better health, more happiness and success. This autumn make cultivating your friendships a priority. Your sisters will support you, nourish you and stretch you in ways nothing else can. Y’all know how I feel about the importance of girlfriends, so build your sisterhood.
Onto my next favorite thing this fall, BEDTIME! Oh, bedtime! I love, love, loved summer, a summer schedule agrees with the night owl in me and sleeping until 8am is life. But getting the littles back on an early bedtime routine means I’ve gotten my evenings back and I don’t have to stay up all hours of the night getting a quiet minute to myself. Although I love sleeping in, an early morning routine gives me a better start to the day. Not that I would trade the lazy, quiet mornings of summer with my people piled in my bed, but it’s been nice to be back on a schedule. The Water Man has appreciated a little evening alone time me too!
If you are still struggling with getting your school kids to bed early, try setting alarms to keep you on track in the evenings. I know we get distracted doing other things and lose track of time. I set a dinner, bath and bedtime alarm on my phone or Fitbit so I can keep us on track for an early night! As an added bonus, it makes for much happier children when they’ve had the sleep they need!
And finally, on that note, I am looking forward to the fall time change coming. The Water Man usually works until dark so although I love the late sunsets of summer, that also means my hubby doesn’t get home until after nine. With the kids back in school and going to bed early, there are nights they don’t see daddy at all. He tries to come home after school and play or occasionally comes home for dinner but then he must go back to work. The fall time change means The Water Man comes home early in the evenings, mama has some sanity and everyone wakes up easier in the mornings. Can I get a hallelujah!
Although I’m in Texas and we don’t get as much of the autumn season as I would like, there’s still plenty to enjoy this time of year! We are soaking it up and looking forward to enjoying the rest of our down time before the holiday craziness begins! Take the kids outside, have coffee with your girlfriends and love on yourself this fall. You deserve it, women being kind to themselves and one another is always one of my favorite things.