Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 60: Leap Day - Spend time with those you love - game night

The very reason why this blog is called LEAPS of kindness is because it is LEAP YEAR.

I wanted to do something uber special today. Something that not only impacted others but also, a day I can put into my memory bank as truly a significant special moment.

I've planned an UNO game night.

When's the last time you've had a game night? Or sat around a table with those you loved without cell phones or other distractions (like the TV or radio) interrupting valuable time we should be dedicating to each other every day? I can't remember making a point of doing this for a long duration of time - completely dedicated to those I love- but its gonna happen and I am SO excited.

Act of kindness - spend time with those you love. I hope it's an every day tradition.


Also. My thoughts and prayers for all in the Midwest hit by bad weather. Missouri is my original home. My heart hurts for you all. <3 For those that would like to help -

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 59: Hold the elevator for someone

There's always opportunities for acts o kindness. For strangers, friends, loved ones, families....

This evening, I left work heading towards the parking ramp elevator where I park. As I was entering the elevator, in the corner of my eye, I saw a man walking briskly towards the elevator too. He was quite abit aways.

I entered the elevator and stuck my arm out waiting for him. He came rushing in and had a huge smile on his face swiftly asking in surprise "Did you wait for me?!?" I smiled genuinely and said "I did! I'm in no rush and you were only paces behind me"

His response "That was such a kind thing to do"

When I got to my floor and as I was leaving the elevator, he earnestly said "Thanks again. Have a really great night"

And I thought to myself. I will. Especially now :)

It takes but a moment. A simple gesture of kindness to touch someone's heart and soul.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 58: Write a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life

This act was an emotional one. This one has been on my list, and I knew who I would send it to, but I also knew it would open up a lot of emotion -so, I waited. :-/

I wrote a letter to my Grandpa tonight. My grandmother and him raised us four kids for the majority of our childhood. I've never told him how much they both meant to me, and I'll never get the chance to tell my grandmother. She passed away two months after I graduated high school.

My grandmother was the mother I never had. She had the warmest hugs. She'd tell us kids that the freckles on our faces were angel kisses. She'd make the best gravy, and no one could make fried okra as good as her. But mostly, she loved us unconditionally and I knew what it meant to be a family because of her.

My grandpa is a man of integrity. And he expects you to have it too. You always felt protected around him. I cherish the memories of fishing with him, filleting the fish, shaking the fish in the secret fish batter and standing around the fryer while he fried the fish and hush puppies.

I know many of you knew my grandma and grandpa - and those that do, are lucky.

So, a letter was written to Grandpa. And my silent memories churning in my heart sent up to my Grandma.

Never too late to tell the people in your life that have made a difference that you're thankful. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 57: Help a friend become a mom

You're probably wondering, what does that title mean? And what has Danielle gotten into now. Let it be known that is NOT a wish for me - I'm already pregnant.

It's a wish for a friend. Someone that has had this wish for many years and circumstances and the stars had just not aligned for it to happen.

However. In her own way, she's making it happen.

So, here's the situation. It may sound a bit crazy but it really isn't! Keep reading.

We're putting this out there because I believe someone out there reading may know someone or you may yourself be willing to donate and help her out. It's far fetched. But I believe in miracles and would love to see this happen.

You may also be wondering why she doesn't just go through traditional routes of acquiring a donor through a sperm bank. The cost are prohibitive (astronomical) We'd like to remove the middle man and believe this could happen without it being so costly. And also this is less intrusive medically.

Willing to help out? (or feel free to repost, retweet or forward this information.) You could be a part of making a lifelong dream become reality.

Healthy male
Preferably Non-smoking
Clean medical history
Has other children (basically that your soldiers work) otherwise tests would need to happen to ensure they do work

*If you do donate, there will be no legal responsibility or legal right to any offspring. A contract -cost incurred by the mom to be - would be in place. It would be insemination, no hanky panky - a kit would be provided. :)

Any questions or desire to help can be sent to:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 56: Chocolate chip cookies day!

Yesterday I baked chocolate chip cookies. Today a couple of sweet girls behind the register at one of my favorite store locations reaped the benefits :)

One cookie was inhaled and she grinned and told me how good they were.

To make others happy is pure bliss.

It really has become habit to do these acts of kindness. Takes but a second to decide to make it happen :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 55: Collect Box Tops for Education

Today's act was inspired by baking pillsbury chocolate chip cookies. As I was waiting for these delectable cookies, I stood by the oven examining the package and drooling over the image of the chocolate chip cookies.

And then I saw the Box Top for Education graphic. When I was growing up, my grandmother would collect these and Campbell soup labels. I never really knew what they were for till tonight when I decided to google them.

Every little bit helps. I've been collecting pop tabs, cans and now I'm adding this to the list. If you want to pitch in, let me know and I'll round them up before the end of the year to donate :)

Collect these for our kids school? I'm in! We should leave the world an even better place for our little ones. :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 54: Deliver a home cooked meal

This was one of the nights I was looking forward to. I had arranged through one of my close friends to bring dinner over to her mom tonight. But it wasn't going to be just any dinner - it was going to be a healthy scrumptious HOME COOKED dinner!

When I attended the Go Red for Women (American Heart Association) event last week, I picked up 2 recipe books for healthy hearts. This was the perfect set up for the dinner I was going to make for my friends mom. She's a special lady. She has opened up her home to me during a holiday, I don't have family close and this meant so much to me. I couldn't wait to bestow her with kindness that I had received.

If you had walked in my house you would have smelled this wonderful mixed sweet aroma of browned pork, apples, onions...

Pork medallions in apple chunk cream sauce, caesar salad, herb rice, green beans, creamed corn and bread rounded up the menu.

When we dropped off the meal, my friends mom was so overjoyed and I felt my heart filling with so much happiness and pleasure at making someone feel loved and thought of.

A couple of my other close friends came over and after we delivered the meal, I made another batch for them too!

This really is what life is about. With all the bad stuff that happens in the world, I hope that myself, and many kind acts that people commit cancel and keep canceling those bad acts out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 53: Spread the joy

A friend shared this link with me and I think it has great ideas! So, this is my act of kindness. Make a difference without spending a penny.

I've discovered it's so much easier to do an act of kindness by spending money. It's much more challenging thinking and doing things that DOESN'T cost money.

Try it today. Or tomorrow :) or the day after. Or every day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 52: Volunteer serving meals

This evening I volunteered through Emerging Leaders from United Way at the Gift of Life Transplant house serving meals to patients and family who stay there while getting treatment.

"Gift of Life provides services for solid organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients and their families. It is a place of compassion, healing and hope for patients of all ages from all over the world. In this supportive environment we help ease the impact of the complex medical, financial, emotional and spiritual burdens families are faced with day to day on their transplant journey."

I have always wanted to volunteer to serve meals. I jumped at the chance. What an incredible experience. They appreciated us being there so much. "Thank you's" were infused into smiles of gratitude as each person came through the line.

It was heartwarming to see people I know volunteering too. We have some pretty incredible people here in Rochester and beyond.

This is what life is about. Being there for others. Being present. Showing people that they matter.

[the image below is of a quilt that hangs on a wall in between the dining rooms. Simply beautiful]

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 51: Clear snow off strangers cars

It's snowing! No big surprise in Minnesota :) Its beautiful though. Huge flakes.

On my errand to return a redbox and get toilet paper, I decided I would clear the snow off of strangers cars while they are inside shopping. How cool would it be to come out to your windows clear of snow?!?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 50: Use Recyclable bags instead of plastic

I often think about my carbon footprint. What am I doing to make this environment better? I use to not care. It's so much easier opting for plastic at the grocery store (or paper bags if they have them, then you don't feel so guilty!)

But today, I decided this was it. I saw some ladies in front of me using recyclable bags. It was obvious they made it a point to bring them with.

I felt guilty staring at all the plastic bags ready to be used and knowing that they'll end up in a landfill or the ocean. Who else besides me has that busting through the seams stash of plastic bags? Ugh.

So, I bought 2 recyclable bags and filled them up. I plan to never use plastic ever again.

See the excerpt below from the website. It's pretty eye opening.

The impact of plastic bags on the environment is enormous. As of August 2010, between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are being used each year worldwide. Approximately 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals die every year because they either mistake the bags for food or get strangled in them, says Natural Environment. In Australia, 50 million garbage bags end up as litter yearly, and the "plastic soup" patch floating in the Pacific Ocean is twice the size of the continental United States. It is roughly 80 percent plastic, according to The Independent, a British newspaper."

Leaving as less of a carbon footprint as possible.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 49: Be kind to those that are unkind

Huge life lesson for me today. I'm constantly amazed at how these acts present themselves daily. Even more then once on some days. I welcome them or maybe because I'm doing this, I notice the opportunities more.

I was the brunt of some really hateful words today, mainly out of the other persons own personal hurt. I'm glad I could recognize that. I may not have prior to doing these acts. Because of these acts, I'm reminding myself to look beyond myself. To really see and understand the other person.

I chose to "turn the other cheek". Even though the remarks had nothing to do with me, it's still tough to not respond the same in return. When someone spouts off, it's human nature to spout off right back.

The past month and a half have been some incredible life lessons. Thinking beyond myself, putting others needs first, thinking daily of what I can do for others, instead of just focusing on myself....and now, trying to understand how people are unkind and where it generates from.

Looking forward to what tomorrow brings.

Be extra kind to those that may need it. It may change their perspective or flat out show that they matter regardless. And that could change a life around.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 48: Let someone behind you in line go in front of you

Ran errands today. Of course, had to get the necessities at the store: Reese's mini peanut butter cups, twizzlers and mints. :-p

While I was waiting in the check out line, there was this lady behind me with an arm full of things. She smiled quickly at me and I grinned at her. I could tell she was in a rush.

I had 3 things. She had an arm full. The girl in front of me finished and as I was about to move ahead, I turned back to the lady behind me and said "I'm not in a hurry, I see you have an arm full, please go ahead"

She look pleasantly surprised and profusely said "Thank you!" over and over. When she finished, she looked at me and said "That was really nice. Thank you so much"

These kind acts, big or small - should be an every day occurrence in life, eh?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 47: Support the Girl Scout ....cookies

Nobody rush the doors but if you didn't know already, Girl Scout cookies are being sold. Right. Now!!! And I bought 5 boxes :-o

I'm one of many contributing/donating towards this $760 million dollar campaign.

Here's what important about this:

"Girls set cookie goals to support their chosen activities for the year, to fund community service and leadership projects, to attend summer camp, to travel to destinations near and far and to provide events for girls in their community."

Building leaders and active community in girls. That rocks.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 46: Open the door for people

Today I made it a point to open the door for people. People are often surprised when others do even the smallest gestures.

Too many times I've seen a door just slammed in someone else's face. Are we moving so fast that we don't feel we can take the 5-10 seconds to keep the door open for someone else?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 45: Volunteer Go Red For Women - Rochester

Today I co-emceed the fashion show for the Go Red For Women - Rochester (American Heart Association) The models were heart survivors. As I was reading their bios, and looking at them as they entered the stage, all I could think of is how lucky their heart disease or issue was caught early and they were there with us able to walk on that stage. That is incredible. <3

Find out if you're at risk for heart disease today. click 'Are you at risk'

Men and women should both do it!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 44: Treats for the parking attendant

This morning I decided to bring treats and a thank you note to the parking attendant when I went to go pay my parking. I usually pay it in chunks and they never shut my parking card off, even though technically were suppose to pay monthly.

It was fun seeing the look of surprise when I gave them the chocolate/card and thanked them for their flexibility.

People are so kind. This world has a lot of good. Showing appreciation with even the smallest gesture makes a world of difference.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 43: Dinner for a friend

In the last 24 hours, the realization that family isn't always blood. The friends around you are family too.

Dinner for a friend tonight. I haven't had an appetite for days, Wendy's and good company never tasted so good!

Appreciate those around you, there may come a time where you need them. <3

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 42: Pass on the Meaning of Life

Today has been life changing for me. So, what better act of kindness then to pass on a book that was given to me

"The Meaning of Life". I gave it to my friend Kristin. May it inspire and move you the way it did me. Thanks for your support and kindness today too.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 41: Bring treats into work

I work with an incredible group of people. I feel really lucky and blessed to be apart of a team that has heart and kindness.

Brought in donuts as my random act of kindness today.

The subject line of the email that was sent out: "Live life to the fullest....with donuts"

Inside the email, one of my favorite quotes "Wake up every morning with the thought that something wonderful is about to happen"

I firmly believe in that. And want to be apart of making wonderful things happen for others.

Result: I didn't even get a picture of the donuts, they flew out of the boxes so fast. What's even more amazing, are the notes I received in thanks. People matter. My coworkers matter.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 40: Shake a hand and really mean it

As I was leaving a meeting this morning, I grinned a "Have a GREAT day" and shook a gentlemans hand with genuine gusto!

His face brightened and he returned the greeting.

From one of my favorite books "The Other 90%:" by Robert K. Cooper, he describes an interaction with a young girl whos family was trying to enter a Tibet temple. The guards wouldn't let them enter. Mr. Cooper tried to help, to no avail. However, the family invited him to eat with them. They ate and as he was leaving, in her language, the young girl asked Mr. Cooper if in America "Do you honor each other?"

That really spoke to me. I hope it speaks to you. May we make it a point to take a moment to be present and honor each other.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 39: Put dollars bills in self help books

Here's the plan (I'll post when this is completed) - headed to Barnes & Noble - going to insert (5) $1 in some self help books. How cool would it be to open a self help book and find a $1 in it! Like, it's an omen that life is going to get better, or a sign that random good things do happen, or better yet, inspires someone to do it for someone else.

Obviously, $1 isn't a lot, but my hope is that it will inspire someone/and make their day awesome!

It happened :) put the dollar bills in some books! There were people around me and I wondered if anyone saw or was thinking "What's going on?" What a fun thought to imagine someone purchasing the book "The Power of Positive Thinking" and on page 40, there's a dollar bill.

Boom! Winning life.

(ps. I mentioned I was going to do this to a friend and they were the one who suggested self help books! Brilliant!, eh?)

(pss. No, I'm not made of money. But I'm choosing to make sacrifices like this because I feel the return on investment -inspire others and continuing to motivate and inspire myself - of being kind is even greater - no matter how small or big the act)

"May you follow your dreams and always believe in yourself.  Keep your Eyes on the Stars and Hope in your Heart." - Author Unknown

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 38: Plug someones meter

We've all been there. Meters are everyone's arch enemy right? You either don't have enough change or you don't have any at all.

So, this morning, boom! Plugged someone's meter for them. Welcome to winning life today, stranger! :)

Side note: apparently in some cities this is illegal. Check your city ordinance to see if it is before you do it. Don't want anyone getting in trouble. ;-) (I did check my city ordinance, and didnt find anything stating it was illegal to do this)

In my opinion, I strongly disagree with an ordinance that prohibits people from plugging strangers meters. If people want to do something nice for someone in this way, they should be able to, without consequence.

I'd still plug the meter for someone even if it was illegal.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 37: Brownies with a smile

Tonight, a card and brownies were handed over to someone that I wanted to make smile. And smile they did.

Result: I didn't eat the entire pan of brownies. That was a huge act of kindness :-p also, baked goods win everytime.

"Anything is good if it's made of chocolate." Jo Brand

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 36: Collect pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House

Nothing better to do on a Super Bowl then to collect pop tabs of the cans for Ronald McDonald House. This is one of the continuous collections I'll do year round.

'Still don't think it can make a difference? While it does vary by Chapter, RMHC Upper Midwest raises approximately $30,000 a year through their pop tab program. Now that is a lot of pop tabs! Did you ever think it could be so easy to help families in need?'

Small acts create big change :)

Hope your Super Bowl Sunday was great!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 35: Boom Boom Cards

My act of kindness today is to share about these cards and maybe someone will be inspired to get them and carry out acts too!

A friend sent me a link to these

What's cool about it, is that you carry out the act that's on the card and then you give it to the recipient to pay it forward. The cards have unique ids on them, and you can track it online!

How cool is that?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 34: Send warmth to the neighbor

Today was a tough day. I'm a pretty open book, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I know I'm not the only person that goes through things. My relationship ended today. Nothing hurts worse then a break up.

And nothing is harder then trying to think beyond your own hurt and think of someone else. Today I felt deflated and just going through the motions.

As I was sitting here tonight, I thought to myself what would my act of kindness be. What could I possibly do to make someone else's day when I couldn't really make my own day!

And then I realized, this is the perfect moment to do an act of kindness. People experience unlucky, unfair things. Noone is exempt. And it's what we do when it happens - that defines our new path. And I choose to bounce back and continue to focus on positive things, like this blog. :)

So the act of kindness happened. I got a candle and wrote a note. I walked outside, the cold air - breathing life back into me. I opened the neighbors mailbox and placed the gifts inside.

Who knows. That candle may warm my neighbors soul, which may have been needed. I know it did me.

When I walked back, I realized I have so much to be grateful for. My health. My daughter (Its her birthday today!) My best friend. Her son. The roof over our heads. And my strength.

Thanks for reading and following <3

And to those that bestowed acts of kindness towards me today - a simple thank you just doesn't seem like enough.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 33: Offer to help a new mom

As we boarded the plane today, I noticed a new mom and her young infant.

Those that have come before us all know how tough it is to maneuver a newborn, all the stuff that comes along with them: diaper bag, bottles, blankets, extra clothes, car seats, strollers, pack and plays - you're basically moving an entire house. A compact seat in a plane is just the worse!

I knew how she felt. She was alone with her baby, with all this "stuff" with her.

I offered to help. She was very appreciative but was going to wait till everyone got off the plane (I had a string of people behind me waiting) and one of the flight attendants was going to help.

Offering still shows genuine kindness :) While I was disappointed that she didn't need the help, I could tell it meant a lot to have someone offer.

Day 32: Appreciate the housekeeper

I met the housekeeper for the hotel for our floor. Her name was Maria. I've never been around when the housekeepers come clean the rooms, but this time I was. I felt so guilty our room was a mess, I cleaned along with her and chatted her ear off. Towards the end of her cleaning, my futile attempt to help, and her trying to get me to stop cleaning with gestures, smiles and shooing, I realized she didn't speak a lot of English.

Our room has been immaculate every single day. And our things neatly placed and with extra care.

I got her a box of chocolate and I'm going to attempt to write her a thank you note in Spanish tonight :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 31: Inspire someone

Yesterday I kept racking my brain on what my act of kindness would be. In fact, it closed in on midnight and I had my entire group thinking of ideas...when I realized I had already committed an act of kindness. And in my opinion, the best one yet.

We went to dinner with this incredible couple. The husband, Tony, and I are both 'cancers', and I could tell that we were a lot alike in personality. The wife, Misty, spot on southern belle. Beautiful, charismatic, she had all the traits that most woman would envy. The self assured beauty, inside and out, with a beautiful heart.

As we ate dinner, I shared about my new years resolution, this blog and the goal of it.

They listened intently. Asking questions. I shared. We all batted around ideas of what I could do while here.

Towards the end of the meal and wide range of discussions of many varying topics, we came back to this blog. Tony shared that because he met me, he'd think more on his surroundings, his employees, etc.

Result: I'm pretty sure Tony is going to not only continue what he does in kindness, he will raise the bar. And so will Misty :)