Monthly Archives: October 2011

Be Creative: Pumpkin Carving

One of my most favorite things to do each year is drive out to Stakeys Pumpkin Farm and pick out a few (and by few i mean as many as I can carry) good pumpkins for carving.  Growing up my mother, father and little sister all would pile into the car each year and spend what felt like hours looking for our perfect pumpkins.  As I grew older and moved away from home I found a feeling of comfort keeping with traditions we did while i was growing up.  Sometimes when the world gets a little too much to handle I long for the days when i was a child and life was simpler so doing the little things I did as a child makes me feel like I still have a part of that with me here in New York.  There is no question that crafting or carving in this case is extremely therapeutic and can be a nice and easy distraction from issues weighing on our minds.  Here are a few of my pumpkins i have made over the years:

Although most of us have carved or at least know how to carve a pumpkin here are a few helpful sites to help you get started and provide you with some creative patterns for this years Halloween pumpkin:)

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Soak in The Seasons: Fall

One of the best things to do for your mind, body and soul is spending time outdoors.  No matter if you fancy yourself a city mouse or country mouse, one thing is for certain,  going outside and taking a walk, breathing in the fresh air and really taking in your surroundings can be an easy and inexpensive way to relax, get some exercise and gain perspective.  I especially love taking long walks when the seasons change, whether its the first day of spring with the trees covered in tiny buds filled with promise of flowers or the middle of fall when the colors of the leaves begin to change from green to yellow to orange to red,  getting out of the house usually gives us time to collect our thoughts and have some peace in our busy lives.

Stepping outside my apartment this morning the smell of fall was in the air and it added an extra spring to my step. I love the change of seasons on the east coast-there really is nothing like it.  My favorite High School English professor (who also ran the drama department and unfortunately had a small incident involving kissing a student that led to his dismissal-total bummer) said to me shortly before I moved from Seattle, WA to NYC for college many years ago, “you will never see a more beautiful fall or snow white winter as you will on the east coast.  You will see, once you get there, the true inspiration for Mark Twain’s romantic descriptions of the seasons-watching them as they change in an instant from summer to fall to winter to spring.” SO TRUE!

Upon waking up today I also discovered my dear friend Lauren had begun to WOOF, for those of you (like I was) who don’t know what that is-it’s working on a farm each day to be paid solely in food and housing.  Yesterday was her first full day on the farm and already my little Brooklynite has proclaimed herself to be a farmer.  So in the spirit of the glorious impending fall and the commencement of my dear friends farming adventure I am dedicating this post to all the good things that come with the seasons change that also are good for you….

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Welcome!

Welcome to The Lucky Penny, a blog about ways to make the most out of the time we are given in this beautiful life.  It is important to remember that we need to constantly feed our body, mind, and soul with positive energy and actions.  Some days it feels like we can conquer the world, and other days we can hardly drag ourselves out of bed, and that is part of being human, no fault for that.  Sometimes, in order to get past the hard times and into the sunshine, we have to seek out that happiness.  Often we can find happiness in places we have not discovered yet or activities we put on the back burner, thinking that immediate problems are more important then doing things to raise our happiness levels.  Well I hope to share some ideas and activities that I have done and will do that have brought me some “happy” when I needed it the most!

In my personal experience, as well as observing the experiences of my friends and coworkers, I have found that the power of positive thinking,reinforced by positive actions, is so much greater than we realize.  The way you chose to think about things or handle situations can be a powerful tool, often untapped within the self , that when you realize your ability to control it, can change your world for the better.   Yes, when faced with adversity or personal struggles, it is definitely easy to get caught up in lamenting about all the things that are wrong with our lives. Although it would be great to be able to flip a “switch”, and turn off the negative thoughts and feelings and to start thinking and feeling positive again, it can be hard to take that first step.   How many times have you heard someone say that if you changed your attitude towards life it will turn things around?  Well, sometimes we need to take positive actions in order to get ourselves thinking positive again.  Whether it be by changing something in our day to day world, taking a trip, making steps toward feeling better psychically either through exercise or eating habits, volunteering or taking up a new hobby, all of these actions can lead to the RE-action of more positive thinking, heightened happiness levels and an increase in our overall satisfaction in life.

So instead of sitting there, beating yourself up for not being able to get your life going in the direction you want, give yourself a break.  Yes, that’s right, for we are only human after all and sometimes the pressure of needing to change the way our lives are going can be overwhelming and can exhaust us before we can even begin.  Sometimes, it’s the little things, the lucky pennies, we pick up along the way in life, that are the ones that make us feel the most empowered to turn things around or face our fears.  Here are some “lucky pennies”  I have picked up along the way in my life as well as others I will discover and explore each day,  that not only made and continue to make me a happier person, they also saved my life.  I am hoping to pass them along to you today in case one of them could be your lucky penny.  Have a great day!

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