Monday, November 25, 2013

8 Simple Ways to Create Joy this Thanksgiving

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8 Simple Ways to Create Joy this Thanksgiving

‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ are magic words and should be said often to cultivate thankfulness. This Thanksgiving Season, cultivate more thankfulness in your heart and allow that joy to spread to other places of your life beyond the season. Here are some tips to help you begin to foster an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE in your life.

Keep a Gratitude Journal. A Gratitude Journal is an easy and effective way to foster thanks-giving every day of the year. Purchase a journal or spiral bound notebook and write 5 things you are thankful for each day. Challenge yourself to think of 5 different things every single day. Review your journal every month or quarter and know how truly blessed you are.

Take a walk in nature. No matter the time of year, take time regularly to be outside, enjoying the sunshine and critters of the season. Spending time outdoors is easy in the warmer months, but the cooler months offer great benefit too. Bundle up on a cold day and take a brisk walk. The sun offers much need Vitamin D this time of year, and the quietness of the cooler seasons help you to turn into that still, deep place within.

Enjoy your breath. When is the last time you took a full deep breath? What about five or ten deep breaths? Close your eyes, inhale deeply into your belly. Count the length of your breath, then let it go as slowly as you invited it in. Just the act of consciously breathing offers depths of gratitude for being alive.

Watch your children do what they love. As a mom or dad, there is no greater joy than watching your child do what they love. Perhaps you have a teenager who excels in sports. Maybe your toddler is discovering music for the first time. Whatever it is, be in those moments fully. Watch with a curious eye. And if you aren’t a parent; a niece, nephew or friend’s child will work just fine! Children help us to see things differently.

Help others who are less fortunate. Take a look around you. Wherever you are, it’s likely there are many less fortunate right in your neighborhood. Ask yourself how you can be of service and do it! Give thanks for all you have and share your blessings with others regularly. Give to a local charity or give someone the gift of your time.

Eat mindfully. How often have you sat down to lunch or dinner and paid no attention to the process of eating? The next time you eat, savor it. Fully taste the flavors of your food and slow down your rate of chewing. Chew your food twice as much as you normally would to help your digestion process. This is a simple act of living in the moment.

Plan a date with a family member or friend you haven’t seen in a while. Call Aunt Betsy, Uncle Charlie or that long lost friend from college and make a date. Chance are pretty good that the person on the receiving end will be surprised and thrilled, and both of you will have a great time. You may just prompt him or her to do the same with someone else. Life is about the moments. Cherish them. Don’t let them pass you by.

Spend some time in solitude. This is great advice for everyone – and especially for those who are over-scheduled. Take some time for yourself. Whether it’s an hour or a day, spending time alone helps you get in touch with your inner self – that quiet introspective self that’s tuned in to his/her higher power. Do this regularly and watch your life be transformed.

From our family to yours, Connell’s wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving and blessed holiday season!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How To Creatively Hang Pictures

Hanging pictures is an art. If you’ve ever done it yourself, you know that’s a true statement.  So how is it that your neighbors have great collections of family photos neatly arranged on the wall? How did they do it?

With a little planning and patience, hanging pictures can be done easily. Whether your goal is to hang a single dramatic serigraph or a collection of black and white sketches, by following a few steps you can make your art or photos look fabulous.


1)  Select your collage of photos or artwork according to a theme or some type of similarity. The art in the collection should include related subject matter or color. It’s O.K. for the shapes and sizes of the frames to vary.

2)  Pick an odd number of your favorite pieces. An odd number will have greater visual interest and greater flexibility. To create a uniform look, choose frames that are similar in style or finish. With photos, use mats that are the same width and color.

3)  Create templates of the pictures. Lay the pictures on brown craft paper on the floor making sure the grouping will fit within the available wall space. Trace around the frames and cut out templates. Label the templates for identification and mark the location of the hanging wire or tabs.

4)  Attach the templates to the wall with reusable adhesive or poster tape. Be careful not to use masking tape because it will leave residue on the wall. Use the template and a pencil to mark on the wall where picture hangers should go.

5) Create balance within the grouping. Select a single favorite piece as the center of the collection, grouping the other pieces around it and keeping a consistent distance between each one. It’s fine to hang pictures in a straight line if you have two or three matching pieces which will only coordinate when hung side by side.

6) Hang your artwork at eye level. The biggest mistake made when pictures are hung is that they’re placed too high on the wall.

Hanging art creatively will add warmth to a room and create visual interest. Visit either of Connell’s Furniture and Mattresses two showrooms in Mt. Vernon or Newark, and one of our talented representative will help you find just the right wall décor to hang in your home.