year of kindness challenge: week 20

year of kindness button

Happy Monday, friends! Hope you are doing well and had a great weekend! I had one of those wonderful but lightning-quick weekends — I don’t know how the time flew by so quickly! I ran a bunch of errands with my mom, visited my Gramps, went for a beautiful run in the sunshine, baked more apple cinnamon muffins {I am addicted!} and enjoyed a lovely sermon at church. I also saw my cousin Amanda who was in town working out some final details for her wedding in June — I’m a bridesmaid and am SO excited and happy for her!

Over the weekend I also started planning some details relating to my upcoming birthday — I have an idea that I’m really excited about, which I’ll be sharing in a blog post next week on May 29th. Stay tuned! In the meantime, make sure to enter my summer beauty giveaway — here’s the direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/df32660/

The kindness challenge this past week was to leave a big tip. I went out for a chai tea at my favorite local coffee shop and left a $5 bill in the tip jar. It gave me a great feeling that lasted the whole day! I definitely will continue leaving large tips whenever I can afford it.

Speaking of generous tips, check out this story of kindness I came across the other day: a $500 tip a woman left for a $5 check! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325248/Waitress-gets-500-tip-5-check-breakfast-customer.html 

me and Erica at Simones

A photo of me and Erica enjoying a visit at our favorite local coffee shop!

The Week 20 Kindness Challenge comes from Lindsay, amazing blogger at The Lean Green Bean, and is to donate blood. She writes, “It’s one of the easiest ways to save lives and help people in need and one of my favorite things to do!” If you are unable to donate blood for whatever reason — or if you want an extra challenge this week! — register online to be a bone marrow donor: http://marrow.org/Join/Join_the_Registry.aspx

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

year of kindness challenge: week 19

year of kindness button

Last week’s kindness challenge, in honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, was to write a note to a mother of one of your friends who has had an influence in your life. I wrote a note to my friend Holly‘s mom Susan and my friend Erica‘s mom Darai. Both of them have always been very sweet and supportive of me. I also wrote a letter to my mom’s childhood friend Nanette, who is like an aunt to me. I feel grateful to have so many amazing women to look up to!

I had a wonderful week! One of the highlights was going to a reception for a local writing contest, where three of my former writing campers won awards! I was like a proud Mama bear beaming with pride! Such talented, poised and beautiful young ladies.

with writing campers at ceremony

I also baked lemon bars for my Gramps, went to an amazing yoga class, and had some wonderful family and friend time.

And I came across and loved this video about kids doing random acts of kindness in schools: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/40153870/vp/51795308#51795308

The Week 19 Kindness Challenge is to leave double the tip you normally would if you go out to eat, and/or leave a $5 tip in a tip jar at a coffee shop or cafe.  

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

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: 3-ingredient banana cookies

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Hi everyone! Time for another Kitchen Tip Tuesdays post! {Here are links to my previous posts about making the most of oven time and reusing leftovers in new recipes.}

I have a quick recipe to share with you today — it’s an easy and delicious cookie that is also healthy for you! And it only has three ingredients {one of which is chocolate!} 🙂 That’s my kind of recipe!

This would make the perfect sweet dessert, kid-friendly snack, or grab-and-go breakfast. It’s also a great way to use up spotty bananas before they go bad.

banana cookies

All you need to make these babies are:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips {if desired; I used mini chocolate chips for mine}

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mash bananas in a bowl. Add oatmeal and chocolate chips and stir until well combined.

banana dough

3. Plop dough onto a greased cookie sheet {I greased mine with coconut oil} and bake for 15-18 minutes.

Done and YUM! How easy is that?

banana cookies done

This recipe is also easily customizable to suit your tastes! You can add chopped nuts, raisins, peanut butter, coconut … whatever your taste buds desire!

What are some of your favorite grab-and-go recipes?

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if you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
peanut butter breakfast cookies
chocolate strawberry coconut cookies
2-ingredient pumpkin spice cookies

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: making the most of oven time

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to be participating in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

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I have a simple tip to share: something I’ve just started doing recently that relates to meal-planning, saving time and saving money/energy!

I eat a lot of chicken — for most meat recipes I use chicken, whether it’s baked with veggies, diced up in soups and chili, shredded in the crock pot, or tossed with a bit of mayo to make chicken salad sandwiches.

I used to just bake the chicken when I needed it. But one night I had an idea: why not bake some extra chicken to use later in the week? It seems simple, but it had never crossed my mind. Now, whenever I am baking a chicken dish, I put a couple extra chicken breasts in the oven. I usually cook them in a glass pan with a little bit of water or chicken broth in the bottom of the pan to keep them moist.

That way, I have cooked chicken to use the rest of the week! Now it’s so easy to add cooked chicken to salads, rice, sandwiches, or pasta. Making dinner is so much quicker!

This tip can also work with roasting veggies, baking cookies, or making bread. Now pretty much whenever I need to turn on my oven for one dish, I think, “Is there another dish I can also cook right now? This maximizes my use of the oven and saves energy, time, and meal preparation later!

What are your kitchen tips? I’d love to hear in the comments section below!