Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spreading Birthday Joy (& my continued love of Authentique)

I recently took photos of my daughter for a layout that I was working on. The layout was complete and then I looked through the other photos that I didn't use. I found one and my thoughts immediately started going to what I would say if I were to journal this photo. I love it when journaling comes so effortlessly. Since I already had the journaling in mind, I decided to scrapbook the photo.

I used the gorgeous Authentique paper for my layout. This "Gathering" collection is one of my favorites! I have used it for so many layouts and cards already, my collection is getting low! Here are a few closeups: 

 And the journaling: 
Such lovely papers and a fun and easy to adapt sketch for this month's sketch challenge over at Authentique!

SWITCHING GEARS (hang on!)...

As I've mentioned in past posts, March was my birthday month. What a month it was! Typically, I like to treat myself to special little things throughout the month. This year, since it was a milestone year for me, I decided to change things up a bit. I came across a blog a while back called "What a Ride". The blogger mom explained how, on the day of her birthday, she decided to do random(ish) acts of kindness. I loved the idea and decided to adopt it for my birthday month. All that I can say is...what a way to fill your soul! It was so much fun thinking of different ways to bring other people joy. A few of you have asked what kinds of things I did so I thought I'd put them here. Along with the following list of things, I also made a big effort to: 
  • Let others in front of me in line.
  • Be a friendly driver & wave others on at a stop sign, etc.
  • Smile and say hello to strangers.
  • Organize & return wayward carts in the parking lot. 
I also documented a few more things that I did to make this month one that was filled with joy! 

1-There was an extremely helpful woman at my local Sears that went out of her way to help me when others could not. She truly restored my faith in retail. So, I wrote a letter to the manager of the store letting her know what a great employee she had! I am hoping that the manager shared with the employee too!

2-I love to bake! Sharing the goodness is my way of saying I love you with sugar! Banana bread was shared with my grandfolks as well as a neighbor who was kind enough to help me out in a pinch. 

3-My sweet little a.m. carpool girlie had never tried Quaker Dinosaur Oatmeal (the travesty, I know!) so we wrapped up a few packages with ribbon for her to try since my kids love it so much. 

4-I left random big $ off coupons by the diapers and other HABA items.

5-We donated items to the local Humane Society. There, we met Roscoe and he enjoyed one of our little chew toy donations. 

 6-We donated food to our local food pantry as well.

7-Sent out some paper crafting happiness to several people to let them know how very loved they are!

8-I got some money from my aunt (who did not need to send me a thing) so I used the money and had pretty bouquets made. We then brought them to one of the local hospitals. We delivered them to the geriatric/extended stay floor along with pictures that my kids colored. They were very appreciative at the nurses station and said that we'd make the day for a few patients!

9-We then headed down to the cafeteria to hang a baggie with change in it on the vending machine with a note that said, "Enjoy this random act of kindness".

10-I surprised the kids and took them to a coffee shop that my dad and I usually go to on the occasional Wednesday. They each got a cookie and I got chocolate raspberry flavored coffee (yum!). We also asked the cashier to charge one more coffee to our order and then tell the next person that their coffee was free. (I actually got to overhear her tell the gentleman that his coffee was free. He was happy : )

11-At the dollar store, we left a dollar peeking out from behind some toys with the RAK note on it.

 12-Made dinner for my family and then made an extra for a friend & her family. It is freezable so she didn't have to eat it that night. It was delicious. Here's the recipe if you are interested: Cajun Chicken Pasta Bake.

 13-Made Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and then delivered them to a couple of friends and my grandpa who loves cookies! (I will admit that some of this one was self serving since I love cookies too and really needed to get them out of the house)!

 14-Created two Easter baskets, one boy & one girl, to deliver to the other local hospital's pediatric floor. When my daughter was hospitalized five years ago around this time, they gave her a donated basket as well so this is something we try to do each year in return.

15-We left a box of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies for our kind mail carrier with a note of gratitude on it. He wrote a quick but sweet thank you in return. 

So, that comes out to about one random act of kindness every other day for my birthday month! I honestly don't think that I could have thought of a better way to celebrate this month. Letting my kids in on the fun of spreading the joy was particularly fulfilling. We had a good time trying to think of different ways to spread the joy! I didn't get to everything on my list so I am keeping it in my vehicle to refer to. Then, as I am out and about, I am hoping that I will be able to cross a few more things off of it. 

Thank you to those of you who wished me well on my birthday! Kindness and love make the world go 'round! Happy April everyone!

Scrap Happy~Melissa


  1. Melissa, Your layout is amazing! That journaling made me cry. And I absolutely love the way you "celebrated" your birthday month. Not many people would do something so "selfless" and I admire that about you! You are a wonderful example to your children and inspire me to be a better person!

  2. Melissa you are truly an inspiration!!! What a wonderful way to celebrate life. Loved the journalling, made me cry as well.

  3. Melissa,
    What a great story and I love the layout you did! Marvelous! I am just glad I get to spread a little scrappy kindness your way. Your package will be on its way to you tomorrow! XOXO

  4. All I can say is that I am truly blessed to know you my friend. I feel so renewed. It has been a wonderful Sabbath. Thanks for sharing your beautiful layout and life.

  5. Soooooo loved your LO Melissa!!! Brought me to tears also, it was so beautiful!!!! Your kindness is inspiring and I am so happy to have met you on SS and CE. The world would be an incredible place if everyone was as thoughtful as you.

  6. You are such an inspiration and kind friend. I've been meaning to tell you that you ATC and note truly brightened my day. A million and one thank yous. And of course, a belated happy birthday month. You are truly a point of light in my life. ::hugs::

  7. I have tears in my eyes right now, Melissa! Not just from your beautiful journaling on your LO, but also from just reading your post. You are so incredibly kind & generous and totally sweet. I feel lucky to know you. You truly are an inspiration to me as a mom & a crafter and just generally as a human being. <3

  8. Wow; how wonderfully inspiring! You are an amazing woman. Truly.

  9. Wow, what great moments both on the layout and in the day-to-day of your birthday month. It took me back to when I was younger and my parents, my younger brother and I would make Christmas cards for people in the retirement homes nearby. You have inspired me to go back to something like that when my girls are old enough to do so as well :) So glad to have met you through CE and SS! (Michelle K-B)

  10. Mel, you are an amazing woman with such a giving heart. Your post truly inspired me.

  11. You are such a special and loving woman. You are my inspiration.

  12. You are such an inspiration and kind! Thank you for sharing it. And our fashionable and cheap Hollister clothes are also wonderful,too.