year of kindness challenge: week 41

year of kindness button

Hi everyone! Hope your week is going well. My dear Erica left this morning to head back home … we had the best visit! I can’t believe how fast time flew by while she was here. Tomorrow I’ll upload some pictures from our amazing day in the city yesterday, but here is a sneak peak:

sea lions

Sea lions hanging out in the sunshine off Pier 39! They were playing and barking like crazy. What a bunch of goofballs! They reminded me of Mr. Murbur and brought the biggest smile to my face!

I also snapped a pic of this wise quote, which I spotted on a bag in a shop window, because I think it is so true:

kindness saying

Here’s an article I came across via Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean — it’s a short read on kindness and the benefits of giving: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mequilibrium/benefits-of-giving_b_3818016.html

This past week’s kindness challenge was to return someone else’s cart to the front of the grocery store the next time you go shopping. I returned carts in the parking lots of Safeway and CVS. It only took an extra two minutes of my time, but it made me feel very helpful.

The Week 41 Kindness Challenge is inspired by the above Huffington Post article, and is to advocate for someone, particularly someone younger or newer or just starting out on their career path. Reach out to a new colleague or intern. Make a phone call or send an email on someone’s behalf. Introduce two people who might be able to learn from or help each other. Send an email praising someone to their boss. Take the time to give feedback or advice to someone who could learn from you. Be a mentor or a sounding board.

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn AT gmail DOT com.

Now I’m off to do some writing in the sunshine. What has been a highlight of your week so far?

❤ Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
week 14 challenge: donate books
week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen
week 25 challenge: pay for someone’s public transportation
week 26 challenge: volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen
week 27 challenge: send a care package to someone in the military
week 28 challenge: give at least one compliment every day
week 29 challenge: do a favor for someone else
week 30 challenge: scatter lucky pennies around a playground
week 31 challenge: mail an empowering postcard
week 32 challenge: plant something
week 33 challenge: donate school supplies
week 34 challenge: give a sandwich to a homeless person
week 35 challenge: compliment a salesperson to their manager
week 36 challenge: leave positive feedback
week 37 challenge: do a household kindness
week 38 challenge: let someone go ahead of you in line
week 39 challenge: write a kind note to a former teacher
week 40 challenge: return shopping carts

year of kindness challenge: week 31

year of kindness button

Hi, friends! How has your Monday been? Mine has been productive and happy so far. Lots of fruits & veggies eaten; a great convo with my brother about his awesome first day of business school; many rounds of fetch with Mr. Mur-dog; some yoga & a sunny walk; and chugging along nicely on various writing projects. Woo-hoo! Now time to get dinner started — I’m thinking a veggie-filled pasta bake — and maybe a glass of wine, too…

This past week’s kindness challenge was to go to a playground {or any place where children congregate} and scatter a handful of “lucky pennies” for happy kids to find. I walked to my neighborhood park and scattered a dozen pennies around the playground and sidewalk. I was planning to take some pictures on my phone, but there were people around and I didn’t want to seem creepy. But it made me happy to think of the little kids finding lucky pennies all around the park! 🙂

This week I also came across a neat kindness website, helpfromhome.org, with the slogan: “Change the world in just your pyjamas!” Doesn’t that sound nice?? The website is loaded with “micro-volunteering” opportunities that are designed to fit into busy lifestyles. There are also platforms to track your actions and hours logged. Check it out!

The Week 31 Kindness Challenge is to send someone a postcard with a healing, empowering, or comforting message. Pick a postcard from your hometown, a place you went on vacation, or maybe somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit. You could even create your own postcard by collaging pictures and words from magazines. If you need someone to send your postcard to, mail it to Traveling Postcards, a nonprofit that will distribute it to a woman somewhere in the world who is working to overcome violence and oppression.  

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
– week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
– week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
– week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
– week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen
– week 25 challenge: pay for someone’s public transportation
– week 26 challenge: volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen
– week 27 challenge: send a care package to someone in the military
– week 28 challenge: give at least one compliment every day
– week 29 challenge: do a favor for someone else
week 30 challenge: scatter lucky pennies around a playground

year of kindness challenge: week 30

year of kindness button

Happy Monday everyone! Hope your morning is off to a great start. I did a little meditation this morning — love this guided meditation by Heather Waxman, check it out! — and ate a homemade banana muffin for breakfast alongside a warm cinnamony cup of tea. The tea is my new fave and I was introduced to it thanks to my July Foodie Pen Pal; reveal day coming on Wednesday!

In other news, I finally moved forward past the year 2008 and got my first smartphone over the weekend. I think I may have been one of the last holdouts — even my grandma has a smartphone! There was a part of me that liked not having access to my email and the Internet 24/7 right there on my phone, which was why I waited so long. I’m now excited to have the added convenience of Internet and apps on my phone, not to mention the ease of being able to take photos and post them easily on here … and, hey there, Instagram, nice to meet you! I’m expecting to be posting on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest more often now because it is so much easier for me with my shiny new smartphone. But I must admit, there’s a part of my techno-phobe brain that is still a little wary of having the Internet right.there.all.the.time. I’m curious: what tips do you have for balancing screen time? How do you keep yourself from compulsively checking your email every three minutes? Do you have any “technology rules” you try to follow to keep yourself grounded? Please share in the comments section below!

Last week’s kindness challenge was to do a favor for someone without being asked. I was surprised how much FUN I had doing favors for people! I ran a bunch of errands to pick up last-minute things for my brother before his big move and helped him move down to Los Angeles and get his apartment set up. My mom and I drove across the traffic-clogged city to get copies of his new apartment key made {only to later spot a hardware store a block away from his apartment! D’oh!} I also baked some gluten-free treats for my fam and helped my Gramps with some chores around his house.

Another great thing about this past weeks’ kindness challenge is that it made me so much more aware of the favors and sweetness others extend to me on a daily basis! A few examples from just this week: my mom washed my car and cleaned my bathroom as a super nice surprise. An acquaintance from college sent me a nice email about a recent blog post. I ran into a dear old high school friend at Trader Joe’s, and not only was it great to see her but she also invited me to go to a zumba class with her on Wednesday. Again and again, I am reminded that the world is full of kindness and compassion if you just take the time to open your eyes and appreciate what is around you!

The Week 30 Kindness Challenge is to go to a playground {or any place where children congregate} and scatter a handful of “lucky pennies” around for happy kids to find. 

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
– week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
– week 22 challenge: practice a little patience
– week 23 challenge: call 3 loved ones on the phone
– week 24 challenge: do something kind for a senior citizen
– week 25 challenge: pay for someone’s public transportation
– week 26 challenge: volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen
– week 27 challenge: send a care package to someone in the military
– week 28 challenge: give at least one compliment every day
week 29 challenge: do a favor for someone else

year of kindness challenge: week 23

year of kindness button

Hi, everyone! How is your week shaping up?

I had a really nice weekend with lots of friend & family time! Girls night out, a backyard pizza-making party, baking, eating, reading, wine, a long-awaited phone date with a wonderful friend, a new buddy at church, running errands with my mama … and on Sunday night my family all went out to a local winery for a concert featuring the very talented daughter of my mom’s coworker. SO much fun! Cassi Vaniotis, you were terrific!!

I also tried out a few new recipes I’m looking forward to sharing with you guys soon! Stay tuned!

So, last week’s kindness challenge was to do an act of patience. I think the best thing about this challenge was that it changed my mindset. I tried to approach these acts of patience with an open heart and thoughts of kindness, and what once seemed like a chore — waiting in the office for my eye doctor appointment, sitting in traffic, running errands — didn’t seem so bad. I let someone go in front of me in line at the store. I waved cars ahead of me when merging on the freeway. When I was put on hold on the phone, I sat and daydreamed rather than absently surfing the Internet while I waited.

I’m someone whose natural inclination is to jam-pack every minute of my day with “productive” activity. I like to feel go-go-go, crossing off tasks on my to-do list. But I realized that I was tying my self-worth to this sense of “busyness” … and that isn’t a good thing. I was often feeling like I didn’t “accomplish enough” in a day, no matter how much multitasking I did. And I wasn’t fully savoring the rich details and spontaneous joyful moments of life!

murray patience grasshopper

So I’ve been on a mission to slow down, breathe, and focus on one thing at a time. Embrace whatever life is presenting to me in that moment. The funny thing is, now that I’m approaching my day with a more patient, slowed-down mindset, I feel like I have more time than ever!

I came across a quote this week about patience and kindness that struck me, and I wanted to share it with you: “Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in the one ahead.” -Bill McGlashen, poet & author

What would your life look like with more patience?

The Week 23 Kindness Challenge comes from my wonderful blogger friend Lindsay at The Lean Green Beanand it is to call at least 3 friends and/or family members that you miss on the phone, let them know, and actually talk to them…instead of just texting or emailing!

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
– week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
– week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
– week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
– week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
– week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
– week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
– week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
– week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
– week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
– week 14 challenge: donate books
– week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
– week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet
– week 17 challenge: pick up litter/trash
– week 18 challenge: write a kind note to a mom figure in your life
– week 19 challenge: leave an extra-generous tip
– week 20 challenge: donate blood/join bone marrow registry
– week 21 challenge: visit a cemetery and pay respect
week 22 challenge: practice a little patience

year of kindness challenge: week 6

year of kindness button

Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was quite lovely and filled with friend time, which was SO nice. In grad school often everyone is so busy that it can be difficult to find time to get together, even on weekends. This weekend turned out to be the perfect timing for lots of social get-togethers. I had lunch with friends on Saturday, saw a movie with a friend yesterday afternoon– the new release Side Effects which was a terrific, twists-and-turns-filled thriller! — and had more friends over last night for dessert and many rounds of a very addictive Chinese card game called “Da Fa.”

My brother Greg has been in the forefront of my mind all weekend, because he departed for his month-long goodwill trip to Sri Lanka with a group of Rotary ambassadors. I am going to miss talking to him every day, but I am just bursting with pride and excitement for him. He is giving away 70 new pairs of shoes and socks through his nonprofit organization Give Running. You can follow his team’s travels on their blog at http://ustosrilanka2013.org/

me and greg shoes

Here’s a picture of me and Greg with a mountain of shoes he has collected and cleaned!

Last week’s Kindness Challenge was to do something kind for a neighbor. I have new neighbors who moved into the apartment below me back in November, and most of our encounters have taken place at 3 in the morning, when I go downstairs and knock on their door to kindly ask if they could turn down their bass subwoofer that is shaking the walls. {It is ridiculously hard to sleep when there is a rap beat thumping loudly and incessantly below you!} However, they are typically nice about turning it down when asked, and I thought I would try a tactic of kindness to let them know it is appreciated.

So I baked them cookies!

cookies

I baked a sampling of double-chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate chip, and oatmeal butterscotch. {And yes, I may have eaten a few myself!} 🙂

Then I stacked the cookies in this clear plastic container that I washed and upcycled {it originally came from a package of pineapple that we used last week when I made bbq pulled-pork sandwiches.}

pb cookie

cookie stack

I taped a thank you-note to the front of the container and dropped it off in front of their door.

thank you note

When I returned that night, the cookies were gone, so I assume the neighbors found them and brought them inside. I have not seen them in the hallways or anything, but I also did not have a problem with their loud subwoofer this past week, so maybe the two things are connected! 🙂 Here’s hoping we continue to have lovely quiet sleep-tastic nights around here.

Have you ever had a positive experience trying to “kill someone with kindness”? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!

Here are some other good things that happened in my world this week:

  • Someone is posting kind notes in the bathroom in the English department! They kept popping up all week and totally brightened my mood. Here’s a favorite that I came across on Thursday:

kindness note

  • I have managed to stay healthy so far {knock on wood} despite a flu bug that is making its way around campus. 
  • My students are being extra attentive lately — always a bonus in my book!

How did the Week 5 Kindness Challenge go for you? What good things happened in your life this week?

Now on to the Week 6 Kindness Challenge: deliver Valentines to a nursing home, Veterans Hospital or assisted-living facility. I got this idea after I delivered holiday cards and cookies to a nursing home this past Christmas, and it was such a wonderful experience. The residents were beyond grateful and it warmed my heart to make them feel like someone was thinking of them and sending them good wishes during the holiday season. Celebrate Valentine’s Day by spreading love and kindness to elderly people in your town who may otherwise be forgotten!

Blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a marvelous week!
-Dallas

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year of kindness archives:
– week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
– week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
– week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
– week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor