Make Someone Feel Good – Including Yourself!

You know that awesome feeling you get when you watch someone open a gift you gave them, or on the flipside, when someone you don’t know shares a smile with you or lets you merge in front of them on a high-traffic day? All the feels, right?

Well, tomorrow is a day to pull out all the stops. It’s Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) day across the world.

I love that this falls so close to Valentine’s day when we’re already thinking about sending cards and doing nice things for the people we love. Now we can shift our focus to people we don’t even know!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the pay-it-forward scenarios at places like Starbucks where someone pays for your coffee in the drive-thru, and you get to keep the chain going by paying for the next car. As someone who has been on the receiving end of that gesture, that would be a fantastic thing to do tomorrow and truly make someone happy.

I wanted to share a few additional ideas that are not only easy, but also something you might not have thought about.

Here are five ways to spread extra love and kindness over the next 24 hours (or longer if you also want to feel stronger, healthier and happier yourself. (As it turns out, kindness is powerful stuff!) >

{ONE} Chalk It Up!

My girls love to write with chalk on our driveway. In fact, last Mother’s Day eve, Avery stayed up super late filling our entire driveway with chalk flowers so I could walk outside to the “largest bouquet I’ve ever seen.” (Yes, there were tears of joy over that one.)

And what a cool thing to do for a neighbor you might not know very well or someone who isn’t feeling well? Sneak over and decorate his or her sidewalk or driveway with a cheerful message!

{TWO} Give Props

Jump online and share positive feedback on sites like Yelp or other review sites for your favorite store or restaurant.

It might seem like a tiny gesture, but those reviews add up and can make a huge difference for local shops trying to make a name for themselves.

It also helps to be specific about your review. Is there a favorite dish or server or item you can always count on that makes each trip worthwhile? Be sure to call it out.

{THREE} Share a Note x 2

{get the free printable here}

I love surprising my kids with love notes in their lunch boxes from time to time. I don’t do it every day, as some mornings are much crazier than others. But on special occasions, I try to pull it off.

Anyway, I was just thinking how cool it would be to add an extra note for them to pass along at school. They could tape it to a friend’s locker or slip in on a teacher’s desk at the end of class – and keep the kindness flowing.

(They don’t have school tomorrow, but I’m going to surprise them with love notes when we have lunch together and challenge them to give away a note, as well!)

{FOUR} Give Warmly

{these socks are found here)

I read that socks are the most needed article of clothing at homeless shelters, yet it’s the least donated item.

So, consider stocking up on various sizes of cozy socks (that have reinforced toes and are made for lots of walking) and taking them over to your nearest shelter this weekend.

{FIVE} Reflect Good Vibes

I saw this photo online and fell in love with the idea. It would be so easy to print a sheet of decals with positive messages and stick them on bathroom mirrors everywhere you “go!” Haha!

(Using removable decals would be best, so you’re not unintentionally causing issues with a sticker that won’t come off at some point down the road.)

***

That’s a wrap. What other ideas do you have? How do like to spread kindness?

If you liked this post, I’ve written about the topic before. So you might also like these: personal ways to share kindness, inspiring quotes about kindness, the time I spent my birthday giving to others, how to make kindness rocks, and how we can include our kids in kindness!

XoXoXo,

Kate

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A Penny for Your Thoughts – and Other Things

Our family keeps a basket on top of our fridge that we use to collect loose change. Every now and then, when we head to the car wash or take a trip to Oklahoma for soccer (which has toll roads), we dig into our basket for anything “silver” and leave the pennies behind.

Always leaving the pennies behind.

The only time we seem to think of them is when we use phrases like “penny for your thoughts” or we pick them up for good luck. And even then, that’s not very often.

So when I saw that today is National Lost Penny Day, it made me smile.

The penny gets to shine on its own mini holiday, which also happens to be Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Very fitting, right?

I thought it would be fun to share some ways we can use some of our forgotten fortune.

{ONE} Measure up

Fun fact: a stack of 16 pennies equals one inch. And if you place those same 16 pennies flat in a row, they equal one foot!

So next time you need an exact measurement – and don’t have a ruler handy, you can pull out a handful of change.

{TWO} Repel slimy slugs

I know it’s a tad soon for gardening tips, but this is one to file away – especially if you like to plant pansies. Creating a copper ball out of old pennies is said to repel slugs.

I used beer traps last year around my precious pansies (which the slugs tried to DEVOUR), but this ball would look so much prettier tucked between plants.

As a bonus, pennies are also known to increase the pH levels of soil, which enhances the color of some plants – like hydrangeas. Pennies help them turn a more vibrant blue.

I’m definitely collecting pennies for my spring gardening!!

{THREE} Preserve your petals

This is another fun fact about pennies and plants. If you put a few cents in the bottom of a vase of tulips, it keeps them fresher for a longer period of time.

The theory is that the copper acts as a natural antibacterial agent – which keeps the water clean and the flowers fresh.

{FOUR}  Pop a top

Pennies are like little Swiss army knives. They can do so many things that a small screwdriver or strong fingernail could do.

I’ve used them to pop open a can of soda, scratch off the silver stuff on the back of a gift card, unscrew the back of a toy or remote control that needed new batteries. The list is pretty much endless.

{FIVE} Heal yo’ self

Some believe wearing copper (like in the form of a bracelet) can reduce inflammation and help with conditions like arthritis. I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know if it truly works, but I’m fascinated by the idea!

You can make a bracelet of pennies if they’re dated 1982 or before. {Pennies will have 95% copper in them before this date.}

If all else fails, go toss your coins in a fountain and use them to make wishes – or pay people for their thoughts. 😉

Many blessings,

-Kate

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5 Super Fast DIY Desk Projects

Happy Friday, sweet friends!! I have some super (and I mean suuuuper) easy DIY projects for you today. All five of these projects took an hour – tops – to pull together once I had the supplies. And they’re all designed to jazz up your office space.

What inspired this flurry of fresh deskwear?

Honestly, my office supplies were getting out of hand. Yesterday I couldn’t find one dang thing to write with. And when I needed a paper clip, I had to fish my hand down to the bottom of a jar that contained an assortment of things like ponytail holders, rubber bands and thumbtacks. Ouch.

I decided to clean out my business and get crafty up in here. If I’m going to spiff up the place, I might as well make it all look pretty, right?

So, without any further setup…

Here are the five quick-and-easy DIY projects that will make your desk look great, feel great, and work great for you.

Above shows the full picture, and now we’ll break it down…

{ONE} Non-boring Binder Clips

Supplies: Binder clips of any size and color. I used gold because I have a black and gold thing going on in my office. You’ll also want some fun rolls of Washi tape.

What I did: I took small pieces of Washi tape and applied them directly to the binder clips. That’s it. (I told you these projects were easy like Sunday morning!!)

{TWO} Pretty Paper Clips

Supplies: A package of paper clips. (I found gold ones at Hob Lob.) You’ll also want a few yards or so of thin ribbon. I used about 4″ per paper clip.

What I did: After I cut strips of ribbon, I tied them around the slightly smaller end of the paper clip so the ribbon would be at the top when you go to clip something together.

{THREE} Paper Clip Wrangler

Now to wrangle up those pretty paper clips…we have this crafty cup, which has a magnetic strip around the edge. It holds your paper clips so you don’t have to dig around and yell profanities when you poke your finger on a thumbtack or whatever else is lurking at the bottom of your cup or drawer.

Supplies: Magnetic strip that comes in a roll and has self-adhesive backing. A cup or other item to hold pencils and paper clips. I used this decorative votive because I loved the gold polka dots.

What I did: I measured around the top of the cup and cut a strip of magnet to fit perfectly. I pulled off the adhesive backing and just stuck it to the glass. Just a dab of hot glue secured the seams.

Once it was pulled together, I filled the container with pencils and attached my pretty paper clips around the outside. See?

{FOUR} Marvelous Message Board

Supplies: A frame, piece of scrapbook paper and a dry erase marker

What I did: I measured the piece of paper to fit the frame, inserted the paper into the frame, and then wrote my “to-dos” with a dry erase marker. Donedees!

{FIVE} Coastal Coffee Coaster

Supplies: A roll of jute or thick twine and a hot glue gun (oh, and I usually wear a pair garden gloves when I use my GG so I don’t burn off my fingerprints.)

What I did: I measured and cut about 1-1/2 yards of jute, and then I started rolling it super tight in the center. I squeezed a dot of hot glue to hold it together and then continued to roll the jute around itself. I added some hot glue about every 1-2 inches as I went.

When I got to the end of my rope (haha, I didn’t even mean to say that, but I do get there from time-to-tie) I just secured the loose end with glue. It ended up looking like this! >

Now I can put my coffee or tea on a pretty coastal inspired coaster, and get to work.

That’s a wrap for this week. Many caffeinated cheers and blessings,

Kate

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At the end of the day, walk away.

Does the thought of leaving something unfinished at the end of the day make your eye twitch? You might be the kind of person who’d rather stay late at work, skip another workout, and maybe even miss a meal or two, just to wrap up one more email…come up with one more idea…check one more “to-do” off the list…finish every last bit of that website copy so you’ll feel better tomorrow.

I’ve been there. I’m a notorious night owl who feels like I can’t get to sleep with unfinished business on the brain. But what if I’m wrong?

What if stopping and stepping away for a bit is actually a more productive way forward? (I’m screaming “nooooo” on the inside, just so you know.)

Before we keep hammering each nail completely flat (see how I pulled you in on this, too), let’s consider the thought of leaving an inch for tomorrow. What would really happen? (Spoiler alert, it’s not terror or massive anxiety.)

According to some really smart scientists, when we leave something slightly unfinished, it’s actually easier to pick up where we left off the next day.

They also suggest we can jump back in a little further along, especially if it’s a creative task!

The reasoning? When cognitive threads are left hanging in our mind, our subconscious continues to weave those into ideas like a knitting ninja – making connections, providing clarity, and giving us an awesome place to start the next day.

So, when we walk away from our work for a bit and go about our afternoon or evening with friends, hobbies, exercise or maybe even a glass of wine, we’re actually being productive on the inside. And, um, enjoying life.

Cheers to more restful nights and creative tomorrows!

-Kate

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Days of Special Days

As I was checking the calendar for upcoming dates and events, I realized there’s a lot of good stuff going on today and into next week.

Let’s take a roll call of these special days!

{ONE} Go Red for Women

If you or someone close to you has been affected by heart disease, you’re not alone. Did you know heart disease is the #1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year? That’s about one woman every minute. Yikes, right?

The American Heart Association created an event called Go Red for Women to encourage everyone to wear red, raise awareness, and even dispel a few myths about heart disease. In fact, here are some of the symptoms (for women) to watch for when it comes to a heart attack.

Today is the official day, so let’s rally! Help share information from the Go Red for Women website, buy your red gear, donate to the campaign, or just wear anything red in your closet to help get the conversation started! #WearRedandGive

{TWO} Groundhog Day

Today is when we find out our weather-related fate from Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog in Pennsylvania.

According to legend, if he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of wintry weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.

Here are more fun facts you can work into party conversation this weekend:

  • A groundhog’s life span is normally 6 to 8 years. Phil receives a drink of a “magical punch” every summer during the Annual Groundhog Picnic, which is supposed to extend his life.
  • New York City has a groundhog named ‘Pothole Pete’. Punxsutawney Phil is the only true weather forecasting groundhog, though.
  • Hibernation is similar to being in a coma. When groundhogs hibernate, their heart rates drop to five beats per minute and they can lose up to 30 percent of their body fat.

(THREE) Super Bowl Sunday

Bring out your popcorn bowls, dip recipes, extra large pizzas, and coolers loaded with drinks. The Big Game is upon us again! (It’s #52 if you’re a little fuzzy on Roman numerals past ten – like me. I had to look it up.)

We have Eagles vs. Patriots this time around, which should be a good game. Honestly, though, I’m mostly excited about TJ’s halftime performance. That and the commercials. When you and your husband work in advertising/communications, it’s hard not to get excited about commercial breaks.

Anyway, here’s to a super watch party all around. What kind of fun and food do you love to serve up? (I’m trying to decide which of my Pinterest snack recipes to finally try!!)

{FOUR} National Pizza Day

Speaking of food, next Friday is National Pizza Day! Honestly though, I’ll celebrate pizza any day. Next to cheesecake and Snickers, pizza tops my list of favorite indulgent foods. The more cheese the better, too.

Buuut, because I’m trying to watch my waist a bit, I found this recipe for a cauliflower-crust pizza. Has anyone tried something like this? Is it really worth the effort, or should I just stick to my fatty (but flavorful) normal pizza crust – in moderation?

{recipe here} – Doesn’t it look good, though?!

{FIVE} The 2018 Winter Olympics!!

Okay, I probably should have listed this before National Pizza Day in terms of importance and deserved recognition. Next Friday is ALSO the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

I love everything about the Olympic Games…the athleticism, dedication, pride and raw emotion that’s shown during each performance. It brings me to tears. That, and the gym. (Don’t you just want to workout so hard after seeing the athletes rock their events?!)

Speaking of events, here’s a round up of the most exciting ones to watch! So set your DVRs, friends.

Oh, and one more quick thing…

This. Isn’t he so cute? His name is Soohorang. He’s the official mascot of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and he gets his motif from the white tiger, which has been long considered Korea’s guardian animal.

And according to the official website, Soohorang has a challenging spirit and passion. He’s a trustworthy friend who protects the athletes, spectators and all the participants of the Olympic Games. (More tidbits for your party convo.)

{SIX} National Thank a Mail Carrier Day

This holiday isn’t super widely known, which is why I added it as a bonus on today’s “Five on Friday” list.

National Thank a Mail Carrier Day is a time for us to do just that…thank our mail carrier! It lands on Sunday this year, which is literally the only day of the week they’re off work. So, you may want to plan ahead. Tuck a thank you card or treat in the mailbox today or tomorrow. 😉

(We like to give Sonic gift cards for occasions like this because who doesn’t love a Sonic drink with the good, crunchy ice?)

That’s a wrap for today. Have fun celebrating all kinds of interesting, fun and thoughtful days.

Hugs with pointy party hats on top,

Kate

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