Kindness Calendar!

It is December 1st! How did that happen? With every new month, and especially every new year, it always seems like a good time to me to start a “habit”. I came across this Kindness Calendar on the Action for Happiness website and thought, this is great!

With everything going on in the world, we truly need more kindness. I invite you to join me on this “kindness adventure”.  Day one – complete!

Snail Mail!

Last weekend I participated in a class at the Dreambank in Madison. “The Lost Art of Snail Mail”, presented by Taryn of theLoveSum.  She shared her views on the benefits to you and the person you are sending mail too. She didn’t have to twist my arm. I love sending cards and all the better when I receive a card back.

The best type of cards are homemade ones.  Taryn went over a few different techniques for making homemade cards.  This was our chance to play and get messy.  She showed us a technique using paint, water and soap, to make colored bubbles to stain our card paper.  She also showed us a super messy but fun technique using shaving cream, paint and toothpicks.

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays coming up, take sometime to unplug, get messy and make cards to send to some special people in your life. Trust me, this gift is not only good for your soul, but a homemade card with a special note will also touch the person you are giving it to, and would mean more than any store bought gift.

As a challenge……  Make a list of 5 special people in your life, and send them a homemade card.  Doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to be heartfelt.

Need some inspiration?  Check out the links to these blogs to inspire you!

31 Days of Giving: Day 12– Time for Me

taketime

Yesterday, I did not post day 12, because it was time to take a time out from all the hustle, bustle, parties, technology, stress and spend a night in and as Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, says – R-E-L-A-X.

I had a lovely evening in watching my favorite holiday movie “Love Actually”, a nice glass of wine, and wrapped presents.  Today I feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.

I have learned over the years, especially in my field of work, that I tend to put other people’s needs first and sometimes, I need to stop, say no, and do something for myself and not feel guilty about it.

I read a great article “8 Ways to put yourself on your Priority List” and this paragraph really hit home, and I am sure it does for many of you.

“Me” time is not something you should feel guilty about. It’s nothing more than taking some time to put aside your everyday business and treating yourself to an activity that you enjoy. It gives you an opportunity to relax, refocus and recharge. And when you do that, you can come back to your responsibilities with greater focus, commitment and enjoyment.

How do you like to recharge? How often do you make time to do it? Do you feel guilty about it?

IMAG6542_1 time for self

31 Days of Giving: Day 4 – Giving Hope

IMAG6452_1 swazi

August of 2011 I went on an 11 day mission trip to Swaziland, Africa with the organization Heart for Africa. It was an amazing experience where I fell in love with the people and the land. Since my journey, I have been following the progress of the Heart for Africa team and the difference they are making in Swaziland with the development of Project Canaan.

Project Canaan is a 2,500 acre large-scale land development project being designed by business people to come alongside Africans and bring expertise, resources and heart together to find a holistic solution to a complex set of issues. It will and is providing training and employment, growing large amounts of food to stimulate the local economy and allow for export while supporting orphans and vulnerable children on the property and across the nation. There are two sides to this development project, the first is the farm side and the second is the children side.

Me and some of the beautiful children of Swaziland.

Me and some of the beautiful children of Swaziland.

Part of the mission of bring training and sustainability has been developed with their new online store. Many of the items in the shop are beautifully handcrafted by the Khutsala Artisans on Project Canaan in Swaziland. My purchase will enable Heart for Africa to continue to bring HOPE by providing employment opportunities to the people of Swaziland that will allow them to provide for their families.

I love to give ornaments to my nieces and nephew and godchild every year. When I saw these angels in the store, I was thinking what an amazing gift.  Give back to a beautiful culture and have a beautiful angel to watch over the special people in my life.

To check out additional items in the store or to buy your own Angel, click HERE.

31 Days of Giving: Day 3 – Warm Hands/Warm Heart

bundle up

Wednesday, December 3rd I have been invited to attend the Annual Greater Green Bay CVB Holiday Reception.  As part of the reception, they are asking guests to donate new or gently used hats, gloves and mittens. If you read my day one post, you saw I “purged” my closet on Black Friday. I donated most of the items to Goodwill, but I did save my gently used mittens, scarfs and hat to donate for this event.

Our Wisconsin winters are BRUTAL and I can’t imagine going through winter without the appropriate gear to stay warm. This makes me think back to an act of kindness I witnessed a few weeks ago.

My gently used scarves, mittens and hat I am donating to the "Big Bundle Up" project.

My gently used scarves, mittens and hat I am donating to the “Big Bundle Up” project.

I was tailgating for the Packers Game, and I was standing in line at the outdoor Port-A-Potty line at a local bar. Outside the gated area, I saw these two younger kids, maybe ages 5 and 8 hanging around, and being kids, playing in the snow.  They had winter coats on but I noticed they did not have any gloves. As I looked around wondering, where their parents might be, I noticed a man picking out aluminum cans from the garbage. I knew then, the kids where waiting for their dad. I had a pair of gloves in my purse and I walked over to the two kids, and asked if they wanted them. At first they were shy because I was a stranger, and then their dad walked over, and I asked, did he want my gloves for one of the kids? (I wish I had two pair with me at that moment).  He said thank you and I handed them to the older boy, who they would fit.

What I did was no big deal, but what I witness next was amazing…. As I watched the family walk away, the older boy gave his younger brother one of the gloves, so this way they could each have one to stay warm. Now that is a true act of kindness!

 

 

31 Days of Giving: Day 1 – The Purge

clutter

While people were out shopping on “Black Friday” buying more “stuff” I was busy purging.  I started with my closet. I took everything out, separated it into pants, dresses, skirts and shirts.  I tried everything on and if it didn’t fit or if I didn’t love, I got rid of it! I then reorganized my closet so it was functional and clutter free.

All of the clothes in my closet on my spare bed to try on and go through.

All of the clothes in my closet on my spare bed to try on and go through.

In any community there are so many places that are willing to take your gently used items to be reused by someone else. Goodwill is right down the road from me, so that is where I took my items.  I filled my jeep, drove up to the drive-thru and a very nice worker helped me unload my vehicle. You can also receive a tax receipt for your donated items.

I know it is just “stuff”, but after completing this project, I felt lighter, less stressed and I found some items that I forgot I had and I can now enjoy again.

#GIVEITAWAY