Friday, January 19, 2018

32 Random Acts of Kindness for my 32nd Birthday

I am so excited to write this post.  I had so much fun doing 32 Random Acts of Kindness in celebration of my 32nd birthday (goodness…I’m getting old). 

Five years ago, I did something similar for my birthday (see that post here) and it was such a rewarding feeling so I decided to do it again this year.

I loved getting my children involved in this because it is another way of showing them that serving and doing things for others is such a rewarding feeling. 

Below is a list of the 32 Random Acts of Kindness that I did in celebration of my 32nd birthday.

1 – Mini muffins to the Fire Department

2 – Donuts to the staff at the local library

3 – Mini pies to my daughter’s orthodontist staff

4 – A box of candy to the Police Department (they gave us a shout out on their Facebook page afterwards!)

5 – Butterfingers candy to the Village Hall

6 – Hid $1 bills in the toy section of Dollar Tree

7 – Gave the lovely women at the local food pantry a fruit arrangement (my awesome sister made the arrangement for them!)

8 – Gave nurses in Labor and Delivery at the hospital a basket of treats (I had a baby this month)

9 – Left a children’s book in the waiting room at the hospital

10 – Put change on a vending machine

11 – Left a candy bar and a thank you note for the mail carrier

12 – Homemade hot chocolate to our neighbors

13 – Left a tip for my birthday dinner (we got carry out because of our new baby but I left a tip anyways)
14 – Donated clothes to Goodwill

15 – “Thanks a Million” candy bag for the principals at my children’s schools

16 – Left a jar of change at the library for people to use for late return fees

17 – Put a positive note on a public mirror

18 – Left wet wipes on a changing table in a public bathroom

19 – Put free popcorn on a Redbox

20 – Box of M&Ms to my children’s bus driver

21 – Bag of Hershey kisses to the staff at our bank

22 – Fake flowers and a positive note on a random car

23 – Pack of duck eggs to our neighbor, who’s yard our ducks always venture into

24 – Bag of Lifesavers to the local EMT station

25 – Retractable erasers and thank you card to my children’s piano teacher

26 – Tea for the office secretary at my daughter’s school (who usually is the one who helps my daughter with her diabetic needs)

27 – Paint and hide rocks around town (not sure if this is a “thing” in other towns but in our small town people do this)
28 – Gave a customer a dozen quail eggs for free

29 – Gave a homeless person one of our blessing bags (see how to make those here)
30 – Put a book recommendation inside a library book

31 – Donated money to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (my daughter is a type 1 diabetic so this nonprofit is one we are very familiar with)
32 – Donated toys to a local charity

I did not complete all of these in one day, rather I took the month to do them.  For many of them I had my two oldest kids with me so they helped a lot.
This did take a little bit of preparation to do.  I took some time to print out small personalized cards for each act and I also made small cards that explained what I was doing for each act.  I have these files so if you comment or email I can send you the editable cards so you can modify them for your needs.

Overall, each individual act doesn't seem like much but once I started doing them I began to look forward to doing the next one.  I'm sure I will do something like this again and I really encourage my readers to try to do something similar, even if it is just one random act of kindness.

Please comment any ideas you have for a Random Act of Kindness!

Painted Concrete Stairs

As always, I love projects that turn out to be free yet add something extra to my home.  I recently painted the front door of my house and I had a ton of paint left over.  While I was painting my door I noticed how dirty the front steps were.  For me it was easy to overlook this for so long because we do not use the front door often.  When I really noticed how much TLC the front steps needed I decided to use the leftover paint to spruce them up a bit.

As you can see the front of our 70 year old home had no wow factor.  It was just boring and unassuming.  Originally I just wanted to paint the door then that turned into painting the steps then  that turned into hanging window boxes for flowers.  Here is what the front looked like after the door was painted.

And these are the steps that definitely needed some cleaning!

I wish I had taken more pictures but I think I was just too excited to actually get this project done that I forgot.  First I power washed the steps.  Next I put on a coat of regular indoor white paint.  Once that dried I used frog tape to tape off a couple lines.  Then I painted inside the lines that were taped off with the leftover door paint.

Once that paint dried I took the tape off.  At this point you might want to seal it but I chose not to seal it with anything so I was done!  

I did not pay anything for this project unless you account for supplies I already had on hand but when I factor in the cost for a project I include supplies I buy in the initial project and any extras or leftovers I don't account for in other projects.  So I would say that it cost me $50 to paint the door and the steps were free.

The steps look great and the front of the house has a little extra pizzazz.  Below you can see I ended up adding window boxes to the front of the house.  See how to make those yourself out of gutters...yes clicking here.

I love how the steps look!  They were so easy to paint and they added a little extra touch that really spruced up the curb appeal of my home.

Painted Mason Jars Fall Decoration

Aren’t these fall mason jars so cute?!  I was at an estate auction and snagged a ton of mason jars for really cheap. These particular jars are not ones I wanted to put food in so I decided to use them as vases. 

First I cleaned them really good with alcohol. I used alcohol pads because I have hundreds of them laying around but you can just use alcohol on a rag. 

Next I painted the outside of the jar with regular acrylic paint. I used a small foam brush. I let it dry then added another coat. 

After the second coat of paint dried I put fake flowers from The Dollar Tree in each jar. 

Originally I put these on the table on my patio but when the wind picked up and started blowing them over I decided to bring them in the house and put them on a bay window. They are super cute, easy to make and were inexpensive. 

I love to hear from you!  Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.

Pack ‘n Play Hack for Tall Parents

Are you a tall parent who struggles to use the diaper changing feature on your Pack ‘n Play?  That’s the same problem my husband and I had. We love the fact that it has an area to change Mirabell’s diaper but we hated that it hurt our back to use it. I looked online to see what taller parents did to make it bearable but I didn’t find any ideas so I came up with my own hack. 

Really the problem is that the entire Pack ‘n Play is too short but I didn’t have furniture risers nor did I want to spend $20 on them so I used what I already had. 

My husband brought in cinder blocks that he wasn’t using and we put them under the Pack ‘n Play for the day to make sure the new height would work and boy did it!  Changing diapers on it was no longer straining my back.

As you can see the cinder blocks are not cute at all so I decided to make them pretty!

A couple days before this project I noticed that someone in my house got super glue on my dining room tablecloth and rather than throw it away I put it in my scrap fabric bin. Little did I know I would be using it just a few days later.

I wrapped the cinder blocks in fabric so that they would look better. I used the same technique as I used when I made a door stopper (see that technique here). 

Overall, this was a simple, quick and inexpensive DIY project that saved my back from aching while changing diapers and it looks nicer than just using furniture risers.