Five Ways to Feel Good + Book Giveaway!

I live a busy life, and with a busy life it is easy to forget to stop and enjoy the minute marvelousness of this world.
Here are five simple ways to feel good, and remember that you and the world are important and beautiful.

1. Open a tablecloth and watch as it falls gently unto your table.

2. Light a candle and watch the shape of its flame.

3. Smile at yourself in the mirror. See how good you look.

4. Pat a cat, slowly and softly, without rushing.

5. Wash your face with warm water, and remember that water and heat are precious.

Those are five to start.
Do you have some simple rituals that make you feel good, that make life slow down, and embrace being alive? Let me know about them and I will select one and send you a copy of my book, April Cornell at Home.
(Please remember to post your email address, so I can contact you!)


Live Beautiful, Feel Beautiful, Be Beautiful


Anonymous said...

Listening to the first birds of the morning... they are singing to the world that there is hope and their song is their gift for rising early.


Anonymous said...

sneaking in a few stitches on a project when my children aren't looking, lovely soft fabric in a housefull of boys, reading in bed, pulling back the shades and letting the sun stream in...

Victoria said...

My grand children are the light of my life. Such a delight when they laugh ,play and sing. We had so much fun in my backyard. We garden,roller skate, picnic and swim. They are what keep me young and moving. Thank you April for you wonderful ideas that my life bright and beautiful!

Unknown said...

April, I share your sentiments... if you slow down from time to time, you make interesting waves in your life!
- I love patting the cat... when she lets me!
- Choosing the right wooden spoon to stir a pot of home-made soup, slowly, breathing in the fragrant steam.
- Enjoying the feel of flour on your hands as you make tea biscuits.
- Ironing linen, so it looks like paper, so crisp. Then using it to line the basket for the tea biscuits! - lol - Can you guess what I made for supper yesterday? ;-)

Every day is a gift. Breathe deeply and slowly, and fill that moment with your soul.

Terri Achmann

Anonymous said...

Every now and then stop, look around and really take in a moment. In the end, we only remember moments like photographs our mind takes.


Wendy Nelson said...

I have some beautiful furniture pieces from my great grandmother in my workroom downstairs. As I live in southern Alberta where it is very dry, I have to wax these pieces on a regular basis. I love taking the furniture wax and rubbing it slowly over the furniture. I think of the many hands that have touched this very spot over the years. Of course the only reason I do this is so I can put one of my April Cornell linen pieces on afterwards.

Take 5 minutes out of your day to sit in in the sunrays, in your favorite chair with your favorite 4 legged friend on your lap. Close your eyes and relax.

My favorite... hug your child.

Wendy Nelson, Coaldale, Alberta

Anonymous said...

Brewing a pot of English breakfast tea and reading for a whole afternoon by the fire.


Unknown said...

Here are 2 more that occurred to me this afternoon:
1. SING !!!!
2. Do something for someone else, without expecting anything in return.


RURAL said...

Sometimes it is just as simple as gazing out onto the garden. Noticing the flowers individually, instead of as a group. Looking deeply into their depths and realizing what a miracle they truly are.

Some wonderful suggestions in your post, and your comments.


Wendy Nelson said...

Wendy Nelson said...
I have some beautiful furniture pieces from my great grandmother in my workroom downstairs. As I live in southern Alberta where it is very dry, I have to wax these pieces on a regular basis. I love taking the furniture wax and rubbing it slowly over the furniture. I think of the many hands that have touched this very spot over the years. Of course the only reason I do this is so I can put one of my April Cornell linen pieces on afterwards.

Take 5 minutes out of your day to sit in in the sunrays, in your favorite chair with your favorite 4 legged friend on your lap. Close your eyes and relax.

My favorite... hug your child.

Wendy Nelson, Coaldale, Alberta

Nancy said...

I love to stop during my day and call or meet a friend. Connecting to my friends on a regular basis makes life so much better


Sharon said...

I love the comments this post has generated. What an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we really value. My thoughts immediately came to time shared with family and friends. sitting and actually looking at the variety of plants in my yard, and my love of photographing birds, flowers, and gardens in general. I think anytime we take time out to spend time in any of the above activities, we can put problems or difficulties in perspective. Thanks for sparking these thought processes. What fun!

Anonymous said...

I have a ritual of taking the back way to wherever I'm headed. Whenenver I can, I skip the Interstate or main four-lane road and take an alternative route. It might mean taking a road through a country town to get to the big city. It can mean finding a new back street street in town that I'm not familiar with and winding my way to where I'm going. I never know who or what I'm going to discover -- a little gift store I didn't know about, a community garden, an intriguing old house.

I was inspired to start my ritual many years ago after hearing a beautiful song called "Back Roads," by the great late folksinger Kate Wolf. Back then ago I lived on a remote island in Washington State, and it wasn't so hard to find a winding back road. It was a time before mulitasking and BlackBerry's. Now I live in a city, but I have kept true to the spirit of my ritual. I still slow down and take the back roads. I recently did it when I applied for a job, and I'm planning on doing it when I drive to the mountains in Feb.

Here's some lyrics from the song...

A back road is so easy
It just rambles on and on

Take it or leave it
As it rolls along

Drifts through things
It cannot change and doesn't even try

Wouldn't that be something
For you and I?

Linda Bryant
Nashville, Tenn.

j.r. said...

1. Recently, I've decided to be bold and wear red lipstick. It feels good to have so much passionate color on my lips.
2. Nothing is more precious than my dog, Dilsey's, face. While she's sleeping I like to come up and place her fluffy face between my two hands and kiss her nose just to make sure she knows how much I love her. All animals should be held and kissed this way.
3. I try to enjoy all the natural elements including the rain and frigid cold we have been experiencing here in NYC. They are all part of what makes earth so beautiful. So when I step outside into blistering cold, I breathe deeply and pretend that the air filling my lungs might actually lift me. Sometimes it feels like I just might.
4. I like to underline when I read. Every now and then I will pick up a book I haven't looked at in a while and read the lines I underlined. It is a glimpse into your old soul, reinspiring and reminding you of you.
5. Watch children and do what they do: color with crayons, color with abandon, play with mud, get dirty, inquire, believe.

Jennie Rains

Songbird Lane said...

This is something I just recently started doing:

When life is really getting to you, or you are stressed out, or feeling down, make a list of these things...

-Compliments people have given you over the years.
-Your best features, talents, skills, and best character traits.
-Things you love to do (or used to love doing, but have fallen by the wayside).

Then, every day, read out loud the lists of compliments,and your best features, etc., every day. Take steps to start rediscovering passions that you have forgotten about.

For me, this is dancing and singing. I sing a lot more now, and that really makes me happy!

p.s. I just did a review of your Nature's Notebook fabric....I love it! I'm going to re-do my whole bedroom in it. Can't wait.

Géraldine said...

Oh yes, taking the time to think about and do simple things that make me happy, like :
1- sprinkle some of my favorite perfumes after a sunday afternoon shower, and take the time to appreciate!
2- bake a chocolate cake for my children and watch them eat it with so muche pleasure
3- do some cross stitching, while drinking a cup of tea and listening to soft music
4- take a walk in the old Quebec streets on a warm spring day
5- watch the green tree leeves sparkling in the sun and the blue sky beyond in the summer
6- watch the snow fall, in the comfort of my home on a cold winter day

Thoses are among the things that make the world beautiful to me!

Anonymous said...

Dear April,
First, I find a quiet place and thank God for the beautiful day and for all of the gifts that He gave me.
Then, I take in a deep slow breath and pet my cat.
Thirdly, I love to do some stretchs, turn on some music and dance.
Number 4: I love to iron an April Cornell tablecloth and put it on my table with some flowers and a candle.
Then, I LOVE to bake. The house smells good and I can pack some goodies for friends.
Thank you for the time to think about these things! They make me feel good.
Diane Brulc, Brookfield, WI

Anonymous said...

I am a simple man, here is one step to make yourself feel better and be a better person, but it requires you to do a lot of self reflecton. Keep a journel and once a week answer these questions:

1. What did I learn last week? – If you have trouble answering this question, it’s time for a change. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should learn something new every week.

2. What was my greatest accomplishment over the past week? – Reflecting on your accomplishments is a healthy way to raise self confidence and contentment. It’s also an effective way to track your progress.

3. Which moment from last week was the most memorable and why? – It may open up your mind to new passions and goals, or simple pastimes worth revisiting.

4. What’s the #1 thing I need to accomplish this week? – Everything else is secondary, and should be treated as such. Nevertheless, this question will also shine light on other noteworthy tasks.

5. What can I do right now to make the week less stressful? – Set reminders in your calendar, get your laundry done, fill the car with gas… organize yourself.

6. What have I struggled with in the past that might also affect the upcoming week? – The idea here is to learn from your struggles and better equip yourself for future encounters.

7. What was last week’s biggest time sink? – Steer clear of this in the future. Setup physical barriers against distractions if you have to.

8. Am I carrying any excess baggage into the week that can be dropped? – Physical clutter, mental clutter… eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may shine bright.

9. What have I been avoiding that needs to get done? – Pencil in a time to get these things done. For any 2-minute or less tasks, consider scheduling them first thing Monday morning.

10. What opportunities are still on the table? – If it’s still available and you want it, make a concrete plan to go after it this week.

11. Is there anyone I’ve been meaning to talk to? – Regular communication can solve problems before they fester. Always keep an open line of communication to those around you.

12. Is there anyone that deserves a big ‘Thank You’? – Take time each week to thank the people who have helped you. Your kind gesture will not go unnoticed.

13. How can I help someone else this coming week? – The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. If you help them, they will remember you when you need help.

14. What are my top 3 goals for the next 3 years? – You’ll never make any progress in life if you don’t setup realistic goals for yourself.

15. Have any of my recent actions moved me closer to my goals? – If the answer is no, something needs to change.

16. What’s the next step for each goal? – Knowing the next step is the key to accomplishing the whole.

17. What am I looking forward to during the upcoming week? – The answer can act as a great source of motivation. If nothing exists, schedule something to look forward to.

18. What are my fears? – Consciously address your fears each week and slowly work on resolving them. It’s all about taking baby steps.

19. What am I most grateful for? – It’s a smart way to keep things in perspective, and something you should never lose sight of.

20. If I knew I only had one week to live, who would I spend my time with? – Another helpful reminder… Life is short. Spend more time with the people you care about.

Anonymous said...

Watching the steam rise from my coffee. I love how it rises from my tea cup and curls about and vanishes as the morning sun shines on it.

Juanita Horst
East Earl, PA

Unknown said...

These moments are priceless. There is great beauty in everyday things, and I look for it all the time.

- I find contentment when I'm folding sheets, right out of the dryer. (no clothesline) They are so soft and clean, smell so good and when folded, I can envision them on a shelf in the non existent linen closet that I will have someday. Even though I don't have one now - when I do, I will want my sheets nicely folded, so I continue to fold 'as if I do'. :)

- The first sounds and feel of fresh air on that spring morning. The air is soft and feels like a blessing. On that morning, it's important to sit on the porch with coffee, and not inside the house.

- Also folding towels, and putting them away. I have towels in all colors (on purpose) and I fold them nicely and stack them on the bathroom shelves. The lovely folds, the colors, the textures - all combine to create a beautiful spot in the room. (Can you tell I love to do laundry?) :)

I love my home, and I like to use my 'everyday' things to create beauty. Karen Gass, Joplin, MO,

RoseofSharonStudio said...

I, like you April, enjoy these moments. I think they are sacred moments. One of mine is watching the sun rise over the mountain in the morning and watching the dark shadows turn to light. I am content and say "Good Morning God, thank you for another day."
Sharon Scott

Anonymous said...

Standing in front of the picture window- on a cold Minnesota morning- with a steaming cup of cocoa, and seeing, really seeing the black trees outlined by the freshly fallen snow, sparkling in the sunshine against the bright blue sky....

Noelle Miller

Unknown said...

Waking up to a sunlit room and spending time in it b/c it is so cheery, bright and beautiful.

I am also enraptured with my NIA class which is a beautiful flow of dance that's not intense but of movement to new age/foreign beats.

MUSIC: I'm so passionate about music that I allow it to fill me up with inspiration.

Nature -to be in a peaceful and lush green Northern forest, by a quite stream, hiking in the mountains, in spacious fields of grass, gardens -LILACS! Cottage spray roses...

Perfect temperate weather around 70 degrees.

Cherry Blossoms *sigh* My favvvvvorite...

Famille Gerdel said...

Chaque week-end, pour décompresser et me sentir bien, je me recueille paisiblement dans mon coin de salon. Tôt le matin, je sirote doucement un bon café et je flâne longuement avec une montagne (!) de magazines féminins à mes pieds. C'est le nirvana absolu!

Tout autour, l'harmonie des couleurs règne. Le mariage de l'antique et du nouveau me charme. C'est beau, coquet et la vie me le rend bien.

Au plaisir, chère April!

... depuis mon beau Québec sous la neige said...

Here are a few of my favorite things that I truly enjoy!

1. Enjoying a glass of fresh sun tea, especially while

2. Listening to life adventures of a grandparent or other Great

3. Building a sandcastle and having other stop their paths to work on it with you, or just admire and converse

4. Picking up tender sticks from the yard and building a fire

5. Writing stories or drawing pictures with a child and bringing their imagination to life.

Life On One said...

Shhh... While the house is still quite and before anyone gets out of bed I sneak downstairs and make my only cup of truly hot tea of the day. It's peaceful and quite, I use this time to organize my thoughts and plan the day. Drink slowly and enjoy, it doesn't last long. Oh, here comes my first kiss of the day! Rituals are good!

Jordan's Girl said...

Hi April!

I appreciated this post so much! Ever since I read the phrase you coined "the art of everyday" (I'm not sure where I even read it), I fell in love with that thought and have tried to embrace it as I live my life. Those around me say they like to see the beauty I point out in the small things that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Not everyone has that gift, so I feel like it is something I can bless others with. I'm thankful for your gift in that area which inspires me.'s what makes life!

Things that make me feel good:

1. My 8 month old baby, when he wakes up with those rosy cheeks and dazed sparkly eyes. Pausing to nuzzle his soft squishable body and gaze at his little face as the smile breaks through the sleepiness and he looks up at me with adoring eyes.

2. Catching sight of my bare feet poking out from under my soft white nightgown just before crawling into bed.

3a. My cozy tuscan quilt...the perfect backdrop for last night's family snuggle time.
3b. Getting a glimpse of this romantic scene in the mirror...the evening aglow with twinkling white lights wrapped around our canopy bed.

4. The feeling of soft hair right after its been brushed

5. Dancing to fun music when it starts to play

7. A deep breath of fresh air

8. That final glance around a freshly cleaned room

9. When my husband "steals" my pillow each night...then tickles me suddenly, and takes me in his arms when I try and retrieve it.

10. A sliver of butter melting on a steaming piece of freshly baked bread.

11. Pausing in front of a photo, reflecting on the memory

12. Sitting on my feet...writing in my journal with a cozy fire in the background and snow falling out the frost covered window in the foreground. Bliss!

I could go on for the spring it would be a whole new list!
Thanks for encouraging us to take the time to think of these little things that make life special.

Jordan's Girl said...

Oops, forgot to leave my email:

Anonymous said...

Freshly ground coffee. Warm cup. Early morning. Giving thanks to God for all my blessings and true contentment as I enjoy the quiet of a new morning.

Geralyn Gray said...

You are the inspiration for a beautiful dish makes the job a beautiful experience......I have one of your dish towels for each of the different seasons.....whenever I have someone over that helps with the dishes.....the conversation is always the same......oooooh this is so pretty!!!!!

Teah said...

Hi April, What an inspiring post and comments. I already feel at peace with the world, just having read them all. I enjoy the beauty and warmth of the sun on my skin. It feels so comforting. I also like to listen to the sound of my pond and enjoy the fish and all of the greenery that goes with it. I live in the desert, so the pond os our oasis. We also have awesome skyscapes here. I love the big sky feel and expansive horizons. Thank you for this post and your blog. It's inspiring! Teah

Ruth B said...

I just discovered your blog April and I am thrilled to be here! I subscribed so from now on I won't miss a thing.

When I am stressed out and need relax, I turn off the ringer on the phone. That is critical to relaxation! Then I run a hot bath, light some candles, turn off the lights, turn on the radio to soft music and climb into water up to my neck. With a towel behind my head I can soak for an hour. Running more hot water occasionally I can feel the stress floating away. Bliss.

Donna Engborg said...

Five things I do ritually that make me feel good!

1. I have a cup of tea with my husband every night.

2. Ask my boys what their "Favorite Part of The Day" was, every night before bed.

3. Kiss my boys on the cheek! Every day before dropping them off at school.

4. Check in with my husband during the 10 minutes after I leave work, but before I pick up the boys from school.

5. Use Nantucket Briar scent, lotion and powder every day. I love the soft smell.

Donna Engborg said...

I forgot! My Email is


I posted my 5 rituals!!!

Frog Hollow Farm Girl said...

Hi, I'm so glad I found your blog and look forward to checking in often.

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