Change The Way You Feel

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Have you ever awakened feeling anxious or had a knot in the pit of your stomach? Not a good way to start your day. This has happened to me on more than one occasion and I can tell you from experience that you can change these feelings and get your day back on track. Here are a few tips to help you change things around.

1. Meditate – My favorite way to start the day. I like guided meditations and one of my favorites is Denise Linn’s “33 Spirit Journeys.” They’re only 10 minutes each but they somehow manage to bring a welcome calmness with selections such as Serene Inner Peace and Relaxing and Releasing. I also love Esther Hicks “Getting Into The Vortex” with meditations on general well being and physical well being along with a couple of others. These are about 20 minutes each and so worth your time. Deepak Chopra also has several good series that i highly recommend.

2. Gratitude – Take just a few minutes to write down 5 things you’re grateful for. I have been doing this off and on for years, ever since Sarah Ban Breathnach introduced her book, “Simple Abundance” and spoke of the importance of keeping a gratitude journal. Writing down five things you’re grateful for changes your focus to something positive which honestly, does make you feel better.

3. Walking/Exercise – Try to squeeze in a 15 – 20 minute walk before work or with the baby in the stroller and enjoy all the beauty mother nature has to offer. Leave the cell phone at home and instead, be aware of your surroundings and just relax.

4. Change Your Thoughts – The law of attraction states that whatever we think about, we get more of. If you’re thinking negative thoughts, you’re probably going to continue thinking negative thoughts. Instead, as Esther Hicks would say, “Reach for a better feeling thought.” It really does feel so much better.

5. Visualization – Can you spare just one minute? Try sitting quietly, taking a few deep breaths and picturing the way your life would look if everything were exactly the way you’d like it – your job, your home, your finances, your relationships, etc. Now lean into it a bit and really feel it. It looks and feels pretty good, doesn’t it? Actually, you might want to try doing this 2 or 3 times a day, just for a few seconds. As that old (very old) saying goes, “What you think about, you bring about.”

Well, I hope that helps. It works for me and I have to admit, I feel pretty terrific most of the time! What do you do to change the way you feel? I’d love to hear from you.

Have a beautiful day!

Susan

Enjoying My Kitchen

I was in cooking and baking mode this week, but was so immersed in what I was doing, most days I forgot to take pictures.

We had our share of apples from last weeks Apple Fest 2014.  We have apples in baskets.

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Apples to munch on…

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and apples for decoration.

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And best of all, apple walnut cake with powdered sugar – perfect with a cup of tea.

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My husband loves lasagna – Wednesday was his lucky day. He was so anxious to dig in, I never got a photo when it came out of the oven. Oh, the smell of meat sauce simmering on the back burner for a few hours!

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A quick assembly using no-cook lasagna noodles to speed the process up.

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Ready to pop into the oven

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I made some delicious basil pesto that I used to make a shrimp and pesto pasta dish. I forgot to snap a picture of the finished dish. Do you see a pattern here? I put basil, toasted walnuts, grated cheese and garlic in the blender, whirled it around a bit and drizzled in some olive oil.

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The finished product – what could be easier?

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I also made some yummy bran muffins with raisons for breakfast, but I have to confess to cheating – I used Hodgson Mills muffin mix from a box. It’s all natural and really good. And easy. I love easy.

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Paired with fruit, it makes a simple, healthy start to the day.

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I really enjoy being in the kitchen this time of year. I don’t know if it’s the cool weather or the bountiful selection of fruits and veggies available from the local farms and orchards. So, tell me, what’s going on in your kitchen? Do you find yourself spending more time cooking this time of year?

Leave a comment and let me know. And have yourself a wonderful week-end.

Susan

Keeping It Simple

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The concept of simple living is something I’ve always been drawn to. I’ve read about people who grow all their own vegetables and make all their meals from scratch. These same people have chickens that supply their eggs and cows that provide them with milk. They make quilts and afghans for warmth and make their own clothing.

There are others who live in tiny spaces so they’re not overwhelmed with high mortgage payments and taking care of tons of possessions. Some work part-time because their living expenses are so low and this frees up time to pursue things they are passionate about.

Basically, when I think of simple living, I think of living a lifestyle that’s authentic and allows you to be true to yourself. For me, personally, I think simple living is about making life easier, living with less stress and more joy. To accomplish this, I’ve had to examine a few areas of my life….

Home – We’ve managed to get rid of/donate everything we no longer need or want. This includes
every area of our lives, drawers, closets, file cabinets, etc.

Money – I paid off all credit card balances and now look for ways to save money and cut corners
when possible.

Cooking – I really enjoy cooking and baking but there are days when I don’t have the time (or
inclination) to spend the day in the kitchen. These are the perfect days for simple,
make-ahead meals or 15 minute dinner recipes.

Work – Make it something you love or, at least, focus on the good things (week-ends off, pay
day) until you can find something you like better. When I planned and dreamed about
opening my shop years ago, I worked at a job I wasn’t crazy about, knowing it was
was something I had to do to get where I wanted to go.

Play – I love taking time to do the things that bring me joy – spending time with family and
friends, reading, needlework and exploring this beautiful part of the country I live in.

Oh, I could just go on and on about this subject. There are just so many ways to simplify and make life easier/better.  Are there any areas of your life that can use a bit of simplifying?  I’d love to hear about them.

Have a wonderful (simple) day!

Susan

 

 

 

 

A Visit To The Rhinebeck Arts Festival

The sun was rising on what turned out to be a picture perfect day. My daughter and I set out for the hour and a half trek to Rhinebeck, NY to spend the day at the arts festival held at the fairgrounds every year. It did not disappoint! The talent of the artists and craftspeople that participated in this event was truly inspiring. We left at 8:30 in the morning to guarantee plenty of time to explore the venue and enjoy dining al fresco.

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One of our first stops was at The Quilt Ranch, an amazing display of quilts that just took my breath away. Each piece was meticulously hand quilted and took up to 6 months to make.

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We also stopped at a booth where artist, Caryn King, painted the sweetest, most endearing pictures of farm animals.

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I just had to have one of her prints – a beautiful cow named Blossom.

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We stopped at Hudson Valley Skin Care for all natural, hand made soaps and lotion………..

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…..and enjoyed the sculpture this gentleman made from all sorts of odds and ends. And, yes, his guitar is made from an old bed pan!

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I loved looking at all the handmade pottery. The Pottery Wheel was one of my favorites.

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Of course Amy and I each had to have a pitcher and whisk. How could anyone possibly expect us to make scrambled eggs without one?

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There was so much more to see - beautiful handmade cedar tables and chairs…

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jewelry made from sustainable materials from the Amazon rain forest

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and purses made from the most beautiful fabrics.

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At the end of the day, we left with our arms full of packages and big smiles on our faces. It was a perfect day, ending with spectacular mountain views on the drive home.

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It was wonderful spending time with my daughter, being outdoors and finding joy and inspiration from all the people involved in this show. I hope you find something about your day that brings you joy too!

Susan

Savor The Moment

I know it’s a busy world we live in – working, taking care of kids, trying to keep the house in order – but do yourself a favor and just stop for one moment. Take a look at the beauty around you. It’s everywhere! The landscape changes everyday as the leaves turn from green to gorgeous shades of rust, orange and gold. Take a moment or two to notice it all, take a deep breath, be in the moment and enjoy!

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Susan

A Few Tips On Getting Cozy This Fall

I love the word cozy. I picture all things comfy, warm, soft and snuggly – a steaming mug of hot tea, stacks of books, the smell of muffins baking in the oven and, of course, lots of pillows and blankets!
With autumn finally here, the days will be a bit shorter and the temperatures will be dropping so it’s time to think cozy! And nothing says cozy more than throws, quilts and afghans.

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Do you have a favorite spot you like to relax in? Try adding a few pillows, an afghan or throw and you’ll have the perfect cozy place to curl up and read.

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Fall is such a wonderful time of year to be outdoors. Why not grab a cup of coffee or tea and your coziest blanket and head outdoors to your porch or deck for a bit of quiet time. It’s a great spot for reading, meditating or just daydreaming.

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Pile on the quilts and pillows! Make your bed that cozy spot where you can climb back under the covers on a chilly Sunday morning with a hot cup of coffee and some magazines, books and pad and pen. Give yourself permission to indulge in a little quiet time just for you. You deserve it!

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We should all take a cue from our furry family members. They somehow always manage to find the coziest spots in the house!

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Keep a stack or basketful of books and magazines by your favorite chair. Add whatever needlework project you’re working on. It’s nice to have it handy when you’re ready to take a few minutes to relax. It also adds a comfy, lived in look to the room.

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A stash of pillows and soft fleece throws are great to keep in the family room for when the temperature starts to drop.

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And what makes you feel better than a hot cup of tea in the afternoon when your energy starts waning? Keep in a stash of all your favorites along with some hot chocolate. Indulge yourself!

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So now you’ve got the blankets, the books, the tea and the wonderful aroma of something baking in the kitchen. Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ll be doing to savor all the coziness of Fall.

Have a wonderful day!

Susan