Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My 24th Birthday!

I wanted to spend my 24th birthday a little different this year. With all the sadness thats going on in the world (especially right now on the news) I wanted to spread a little cheer and hopefully try to make at least one person have a brighter day. So we packed the twinners in the car and headed out on a long day of doing a random act of kindness for every year I've been alive- 24! We saw some very thankful people which totally made our day! Nothing makes you feel better then feeling like you may have helped someone! We took some pictures of our adventures but thought it a bit inappropriate to shove a camera in someones face we were helping. I hope this will inspire ONE person to do something for someone this holiday season. You never know whose day you might make and you never know who will pay it forward. I have no idea of what I did on my last birthday but I can tell you this one will never be forgotten! :)

1.-2. Gave the nicest homeless man a happy meal and some money. He blew us a thousand kisses as we drove away! (This one counted as 2 acts because we were going to give a $ to someone else but thought he needed it most!)

3. Left a treat for our mailman with a thank you note!

4. Bought a gift card at a restaurant, found a family inside that was eating, set it down on their table and walked out

5. Fed parking meteres 

6.-7. Made treats for a new neighbor and a recently widowed lady in our neighborhood

8. paid for the car behind us at the drive thru

9. Left a bunch of $1 in children's books at the library and set them on top of desks so they will for sure be seen!

10. Left some quarters on a vending machine

11. Filled a vending machine with a few dollars

12. Dropped a bunch of quarters in the playland at McDonalds (As we were leaving we heard kids excitedly shouting as they collected their found treasure!)

13.-14. Handed out hot chocolate to two random cold looking bystanders

15. Fed some duckies!

16. Handed out roses at the hospital

17. Handed out balloons to little kids shopping with their parents

18. Took all the shopping carts back into the store

19. Bought a gift card at a grocery store, turned around and gave it to the woman in line behind us. (This was by far the best response we had all day! She was so grateful)

20. Left a generous tip in the salvation army bucket!

21. paid for 3 cars at the toll booth and gave the worker hot chocolate

22. Left some quarters at a laundry mat

23. Made some treats for our bishop (who's birthday was also today!)

24. Left our waitress a tip larger then our meal

Sunday, December 16, 2012

10 ways to put CHRIST back in CHRISTMAS!

While the presents, decorations and lights are so much fun, we should never forget the real reason we celebrate this holiday! And to me, the best way to remember Christ is through service! Nothing makes you feel closer to him when you're helping someone in need! Below are some good ideas of ways you can brighten someones day!

"Blessing Bag For Homeless"

Carry some of these little bags around with you in your car and give it to someone you 
feel needs it the most!

Gallon size Ziplock bags items to go in the bags, such as:
-chap stick
-packages of tissues
-toothbrush and toothpaste
-trail mix
-granola bars
-pack of gum
-band aids
-coins (used to make a phone call, or purchase a food item)
-hand wipes
you could also put in a warm pair of socks, and maybe a gift card for hot chocolate! 

Help someone in need by paying for their gas!

With gas prices constantly on the rise, we all can agree paying for gas is something we dread! Especially if you're already struggling to get by as is. Go sit at a gas station and wait until you find someone you think could use a free tank of gas the most and pay for them! Our family did this last week and the gratitude from the man we bought it for was priceless! We'll never forget it!

Lonely neighbor treat basket

Do you have a lonely neighbor or someone you know who could use an extra "pick me up" this time of year? Show them someone is thinking of them by baking them something delicious and delivering it to them. You can either remain anonymous or personally hand it to them!

pay for the next customer in line

Next time your at a drive through, offer to pay for the next customer in line! When I worked at a little coffee shop I experienced this kind of service all the time through the drive through this time of year! You wouldn't believe the kind of response I would see! It usually would cause the next car to pay for the next car, and so on! This is a GREAT and simple way to show a random act of kindness that will most likely cause a  really cool chain reaction!

Shovel someones driveway

Dedicate your next snow day to shoveling at least one neighbors driveway! plan who you're going to do ahead of time so when the snow falls your ready to go do your little service project! Nothing makes someones day as much as a clean driveway! If you live somewhere that doesn't snow, help someone by raking their leaves or doing some other type of yard work!

Compliment day!

This one is EASY and requires no money or time! Dedicate one whole day to giving out as many compliments as you can! Nothing makes you feel better then when someone compliments you, so don't be scared to go out of your way and say what your thinking! You never know whose day you might make by a simple compliment!

Free Hot Chocolate!

Find an area with people in need of some extra warmth! Set up a hot chocolate stand and offer free hot chocolate to everyone until you run out! Pre-make the hot chocolate at home and fill up one of those huge orange coolers to keep it nice and warm! 

Grocery Gift Card

Purchase a gift card at a grocery store and turn around and hand it to the next customer in line. I've read someones experience that had done this and it was extremely touching! 

Free balloons!

Hand out free balloons to kids shopping with their parents! Parents will thank you for this- it will keep their kids entertained!

Tape change to a vending machine

Tape some change with a note to a vending machine. This will for SURE brighten someones day! Especially someone who is extremely thirsty and has no change!

Go (HERE) to see a TON more great ideas! This is a printable you will print, cut out, and stick into a jar! Draw out one service idea each day until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Trees!!!

Christmas tree's are my FAVORITE things to decorate!! I'm a little obsessed with them. All the ones below are some of the ones I have done! If you need help decorating your tree, visit my Christmas tree tutorial (HERE) 

The ones listed below aren't mine, but I thought I'd still share because they were all so darling! 
This whole group is "Whimsical Trees"- I LOVE every single one of these! The secret to getting a tree to look like any one of these is to think BIG! Usually whimsical tree's don't have your ordinary ornaments on them. They use actual decorations or if they are ornaments they are over the top huge! Also, decorating the base of your tree can really make a huge difference as well! Something to think about :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Party ideas!

Reindeer Games Party!
-Watch Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
-Have yummy treats inspired by the movie- North Pole cupcakes, reindeer cookies, etc.
-Play your favorite games!

Gingerbread House Party!
-Have everyone bring their own gingerbread house to decorate or have them prepared and ready to decorate!
-Go look at Christmas lights after!

Ugly Sweater Party!
-Everyone must wear an ugly sweater
-Have props there for cute pictures

Naughty or Nice Party!
-Naughty is the dessert table, Nice is the food table
-Watch a Christmas movie

Christmas Cookie Decorating Party!
-Bake a bunch of Christmas sugar cookies
- Have sprinkles, frosting and everything you need out and displayed for your guests
-Play Christmas music
-Watch a Christmas movie afterwards

White Elephant Party!
-Have everyone bring a funny/weird gift and have a gift exchange!
-play "Christmas pictionary"- write Christmas song titles on paper, put them in a bowl and separate into two teams.  One team draws a song title and has to draw it on a white board and their team has to guess which song it is!

Christmas Scavenger Hunt Party!
-Go to a store and separate into groups, have everyone try to find the items on the list above.
 The first team finished wins a prize!

Christmas Cookie Exchange!
-Ask everyone you invite to bring their favorite cookies
-Watch a Christmas movie

Caroling Party!
-Get as many friends as possible to go caroling
-Afterwards go get some hot chocolate and look at lights

Snowman Building Contest!
-Go someplace where there's enough snow to make a few snowmen
-Get in teams of 2 and compete to build the most creative snowman
-Afterwards go somewhere to watch a Christmas movie and drink hot chocolate!

Cute Party displays!

Christmas Tree Decorating Party!
-Instead of gingerbread houses, get ice cream cones and decorate them into trees!
-Watch a Christmas movie

Grinch Party!
-Watch the Grinch
-Have everything there Green! (Including the milk!)
-Make "Grinch Cookies" and serve them- Recipe (HERE)
--play pin the heart on the Grinch!