fabulous friday #16

Happy Friday, friends! Hope you are having a delightful #TGIF. It’s been a little damp and drizzly up here in the Bay Area this week, which is wonderful because we need all the rain we can get! And even with the gray skies, I’m in a sunshine-y mood. Which brings me to…

5 things I’m loving right now:

1. My sweet mama is coming into town tomorrow!!! I haven’t seen her since Christmas and I’m sooooo excited to pick her up from the airport and give her a ginormous hug. It’s gonna be a great weekend!

Mom and Me

2. Tonight Allyn and I are going to a play! I haven’t been to a play since September, and I’m really excited. There’s something about live performances that I just love so much. Plus, it’s opening night, which makes it all the more fun! We’re going to see this mystery play called “Sleuth” in Walnut Creek.

3. Look at this mini library in Allyn’s neighborhood! How amazing is this?? I want to start one of my own!

mini library

4. One of my favorite local cafes has lovely photos & quotes on the back of their order numbers. This was the one I received when I was there with Emy over the weekend. It warmed my heart. Such wise & true words! And the elderly couple dancing — swoon! “Love doesn’t make the world go round, but it makes the ride worthwhile.”

love quote

5. Baking time! I need to make my grandma a birthday cake {the current front-runner is funfetti! with cream-cheese frosting!} aaaand these bananas are just screaming to be made into banana muffins, don’t you think?

spotty bananas

**BONUS! {Because it seems there’s just too much to love on this Friday!}: This adorable video documenting a woman’s growing baby bump and her husband’s sweet serenade to the new member of their family: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ7-v7xVm3I

Questions of the morning:

  • What are you loving right now?
  • What’s on your agenda for the weekend?

clutter-busting challenge

clutter-busting-challenge1

Crystal at Money-Saving Mom is hosting a Clutter-Busting Challenge in which she is getting rid of {throwing away, selling or donating} at least 7 items for every single day of May. She is inspiring loads of others to do the same, including me! 

I already did a lot of clutter-busting last month when graduated from Purdue and moved from Indiana to California … the move was the fire-under-my-butt motivation to sort through my various papers, knick-knacks, books, clothes, kitchen supplies, etc. and decide what was worth taking with me. I ended up donating and selling everything except for the clothes, blankets, books, and important papers that fit within five suitcases and a few big shipping boxes. 

When I arrived home, I had another opportunity to clutter-bust: my bedroom at home {which my parents have been sweet enough to leave as-is during my time away… it hasn’t been converted to a home office, at least not yet!} There were books and papers and random STUFF that had accumulated during winter breaks and summers at home and that I hadn’t gone through in years. 

After a few days of sorting, I am proud to share with you the big pile of stuff that I am getting rid of! 

clutter busting

I took the clothes/shoes/purses to Goodwill and donated the books to my local library. Not only does it feel good to purge your life of unnecessary items, I also love imagining the person who will enjoy each item in its next life! 

Are any of you doing spring/early summer cleaning and organizing? I’d love to hear your success stories and tips!

You can follow along the entire Clutter-Busting series at Money-Saving Mom here: https://moneysavingmom.com/series/clutter-busting-challenge

year of kindness challenge: week 14

year of kindness button

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? The weather has finally shifted from winter to sunny spring and I am LOVING it! Walking outdoors and soaking up the sunshine and fresh air is such a pleasure.

Speaking of spring, it seems fitting that the kindness challenge this past week was to give someone flowers. I gave flowers to two lovely people this week: my friend Shavonne, who aced her thesis defense {my defense is this Wednesday, eek!} and to the English Department Schedule Deputy Judy Ware, who is retiring this semester after many years of service. She is a really sweet lady and will certainly be missed at Purdue!

I picked up a couple pretty bouquets at the grocery store while I did my shopping for the week.

flowers

It was so much fun delivering them to Shavonne and Judy! Both were so surprised and excited to get flowers. Their faces lit up! It was the best $10 I have spent in a long time.

Judy sent me an email that afternoon:

“THANK YOU for the beautiful wishes and special card/good wishes.  I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Enjoy finishing your degree and your academic next steps!!!”

This week’s kindness challenge pairs nicely with spring cleaning: go through your bookshelves and box up the books you no longer need or do not plan to read again. Then donate them to your local library, Boys & Girls Club, school or homeless shelter. You could also purchase some new books to donate. A great way to get children involved in this act of kindness is to have them pick out their favorite book to donate to a child who maybe does not have many books of his or her own.

{Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may know that literacy is a cause very dear to my heart — you can learn more about my organization Write On! For Literacy here!}

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 great 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

happy friday!

I have finished teaching my afternoon class, which means it is offically SPRING BREAK here at Purdue! Woo hoo! There may still be snow on the ground, but it is beginning to feel a little more like spring. Today’s temperature was a balmy 40 degrees, and it is staying light out later and later, which is so nice after a long winter of 5 pm sunsets.

A few fun things of late:

  • Yesterday I saw Warm Bodies, a zombie love story. It was witty and hilarious and surprisingly moving. I loved it! If it’s still playing where you are, I’d highly recommend it.
  • Today I had lunch with good friends at Panera {shout-out to Sarah The Pajama Chef: fuji apple chicken salad is the best!} My friend Matt and his wife Casey recently got the most adorable basset hound puppy named Merriwether, and I could not stop petting her soft ears and wrinkly face. I miss our family dog Murray a TON — I even dreamed about him last night! — and I can’t wait to see him this summer! He would have been jealous at all the attention I was giving Merriwether.

murray jealous

  • I just finished reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, a suspenseful, twists-and-turns mystery that was recommended to me by mulitple people and I have to say, I really could not put it down. The book is over 400 pages but I flew through it in a matter of days, even staying up late to read it a few nights! I was over-all satisfied by the book and very impressed with the author’s plotting and characterization talents, but for me the ending was disappointing. It felt like a roller-coaster that is building and building, and then just stops before the final descent. There is a final twist, but my main feeling when closing the book was frustration. Has anyone else read Gone Girl? What did you think of it?
  • The next book I’m planning to read is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green as part of the March PBF Book Club. I have read other books by John Green in the past and LOVED them, so I have high hopes for this one!
  • Maybe I am feeling book-crazy because I stopped by the local library this afternoon and spent some time browsing — one of my favorite things to do! I go to the library pretty much once a week and stock up on not just books, but also DVDs and CDs. Before I moved to Lafayette, I often used to overlook the library as a wonderful treasure trove of free entertainment.
  • I’m super excited to be participating in The Lean Green Bean’s Foodie Pen Pals group for March! It’s free to sign up, and you’re paired with another blogger or reader to send a box of treats and food goodies to that month. I’m having a blast picking out things to send to my pen-pal. You can learn more about the group and sign up for next month at The Lean Green Bean.
The Lean Green Bean

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Anyone else getting spring fever?