fabulous friday #23

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you are enjoying the sunshine and have fun plans for the weekend! Before I get into the rest of this post, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has served and is currently serving our country. Yes, Memorial Day weekend is typically associated with BBQ get-togethers and amazing shopping sales, but let’s make sure we remember the real purpose of this holiday weekend: honoring the bravery and sacrifices that our fellow Americans have made to keep us safe.

To veterans, current military servicemen and women, and your families: my deepest thanks for your service!

Here are 5 things I’m loving right now:

1. Your kind comments and enthusiasm for my birthday kindness chain! Today I’ve been busy working at my computer, so I’ve done a handful of kind acts from my desk: sent an email of praise to a coworker, wrote some thank-you notes, posted three positive reviews on Amazon, and reached out to an old friend I haven’t been in touch with in a long time. More proof that you don’t even need to leave the house to make the world a better place!

2. Starbucks work sessions. I have a big cup of green tea w/honey, I’m surrounded by the hustle and bustle of people, there’s light jazz in the background … perfect ingredients to power through my to-do list!

starbucks

3. This inspiration from Nicole @A Life Less Bullsh*t to quit being afraid and just get started already:

a year from now

4. I won the Swanson Vitamins giveaway that Danica hosted on her blog!! I can’t ever remember winning even a raffle, so this was a huge surprise and I am so excited and grateful. Happy early birthday to me! I’m going to buy myself some nut butters and baking supplies. Thank you, Danica!

I won a giveaway

5. Phone dates, Skype dates, Google Hang-out dates, and in-person dates with people I love who make me feel loved. I talked with Holly, Allyn and my parents on the phone yesterday, I’m Skyping this afternoon with my friend Chidelia, Greg has called me via Google Hang-outs twice from Thailand {so thankful he is safe and having fun!}, I saw my aunt Annie and cousin Arianna for dinner last night, and I’m seeing Dana for dinner tonight. Nothing warms my heart more than time with so many amazing, loving and generous people I’m blessed to have in my life. ❤

P.S. Look at how cute my Grandpap was in his choir concert last weekend! I couldn’t resist sharing this photo I snapped of him!

grandpap choir concert.jpg

Questions of the day:

  • What are you loving this Friday?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?

year of kindness challenge: week 28

year of kindness button

Hi, friends! How is your week going so far?

It’s been quite a busy past few days over here … this past weekend I taught my sixth annual summer writing camp for 15 energetic, creative and exuberant young writers. Teaching writing camp always renews my respect and admiration for full-time teachers — I love it, but whew! I am exhausted on Sunday evening! I’m doing some individual tutoring this week, and then I’ll have two more days of teaching writing camp this upcoming weekend. The kids are so much fun. I feel lucky to have such a great group. Their passion and enthusiasm is contagious!

writing camp

Making silly faces.

writing camp

Hard at work!

This week I came across this link thanks to Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean: “15 TED talks that will change your life.” There are some real gems here!  http://mashable.com/2013/07/08/ted-talks-change-your-life/

Now, on to the kindness! The Week 28 Kindness Challenge is to compliment a stranger or acquaintance at least once every day, and/or give out ten compliments by the end of the week. It is amazing how something as simple as a kind word or compliment can brighten someone’s entire day. The main thing is to be sincere. Brainstorm a list of the people you know who are doing good things — and then tell them what you admire about them! Compliment a coworker on their presentation. Tell the manager at your favorite restaurant how much you love their food. Maybe the barista ringing up your coffee order is wearing a strikingly pretty necklace — compliment her on it! I’ve read statistics that we humans are much more hard-wired to remember insults people say about us than compliments. I think that means we need to compliment each other more than ever!

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

year of kindness challenge: week 27

year of kindness button

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Did you do anything fun to celebrate the 4th of July?

Last week’s Kindness Challenge was to volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry. This was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had so far in my #yearofkindness endeavor. I spent a morning working at a local food pantry: stocking shelves, breaking down boxes, and helping to distribute food to clients. Everyone I encountered was so friendly and genuinely grateful. I will remember one woman in particular who was beyond excited to get a package of ground turkey. She was nearly jumping up and down with excitement. Many of the clients were women who came in with their children. This food pantry also distributed diapers, baby wipes and baby food.

The experience made me realize what a gift it is to be able to go to the store and choose what I want to eat. The clients who came to the food pantry were entirely dependent on what the donations had been that week and what was available. For example, this week the staples we gave out were red onions, yellow squash, corn, canned peaches, rice, instant potatoes, tomato sauce and grapefruit juice, as well as a selection of canned soups, crackers, boxed pasta dinners, and a limited number of perishables such as milk, yogurt, and lunchmeat. I was surprised how in-demand beans were, canned beans and dried beans. We ran out of beans quickly. In the future, I will always be donating beans to the food pantry!

I’ve decided to become a regular volunteer at the food pantry for the rest of the summer while I am home. I’ll be working there once a week. I feel really grateful and blessed to be able to help out my community in some small way!

The Week 27 Kindness Challenge is to send a card or care package to someone in the military. Here are some great links:
– http://www.give2thetroops.org/
– http://www.military-missions.org/care-packages/
– http://www.operationgratitude.com/tag/military-care-packages/

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