30 acts of kindness

I can scarcely believe that just 2 years ago, I met Amanda through this little blog of mine--because I feel like I've known her forever and ever already.  A loving, real-life crafty friend is hard to find, and when you do, you find 1,000 excuses to get together to share your love for glitter, ribbon, and hot glue guns.  Amanda is an endless source of inspiration and an enormous blessing in my life.  She is so full of joy and has an amazing heart.  Such a generous heart, that when she turned the BIG 3-0 last week, all she wanted for her birthday was to bless 30 perfect strangers, sprinkling random acts of kindness across the state of Minnesota.  I know, right!?

And so she paper crafted these 30 adorable tags, made a list of people, places, and things to hit, and when her birthday rolled around, she hopped in my car and we set out on a *30 Acts of Kindness* road trip, along with our dear friend Bethany, who sweetly reserved a whole day just for us on her quick visit home from Kuwait. 

We were literally.giddy with nervous excitement!  (And everyone around us probably thought we were a little bit nuts.)  I can't even imagine a more fun way to show love to the world and have your own cup filled in return.  We spent just $30 on mini gift cards and goodies, left handwritten notes for perfect strangers, and brightened one little corner of the world along the way. Here are just a few of her ideas:

* A note of encouragement to a driver's ed instructor (on a student driver car)!
* Coffee shop drive-through, paying for the drink of the person behind us
* Tape a bag of popcorn and $ to a Redbox rental machine
* Leave quarters in a soda machine
* A note of encouragement on a police car or fire truck (thanks for keeping us safe)!
* Tape a coffee gift card and a note saying "You're a great mom!" to a baby changing station
* Tube a surprise note to the drive-through bank teller
* Hide sweet treats in the pumpkin patch
* Candy bars under windshield wipers at the grocery store (it was a cool day so they did not melt)!
* Tape an unscratched lottery ticket to the gas station pump
* A note of gratitude along with $ in the tip jar at our dinner spot
* Bring fresh flowers to a nursing home
* Bring toys or blankets to a children's hospital

These are my instagrams of the trip, but you must visit Amanda & Bethany to see their perspectives!! Truth be told, we ended up not doing every idea on the list, but still passed out all 30 by doubling up on a bunch of them, because Bethany and I had a big surprise of our own up our sleeves...

At the end of our journey, we wound up at A-Z Farm in Stokholm, WI.  Even though it was a Tuesday night in October in the middle of nowhere, the place was hopping.  We pulled into a gravel driveway parked full of cars and a looong line of hungry bellies, waiting for a box of their famous wood-fired pizzas, featuring fresh, local ingredients.  Bethany & I sent Amanda away to brave the long line, and while she was gone, we sprang into action...We had stealthily packed my trunk full with a little wooden table, chairs, china, tea cups, vintage wine glasses, and all kinds of loveliness...Including a perfect, pastel pink ruffle cake from the ever-delicious Cocoa & Fig!!  I think Amanda almost died and went to heaven when she walked back to our picnic spot, pizza in hand, and discovered this magical scene! 

Just as the sun was setting, we cozied up in blankets, laughed until we cried, sipped wine, divulged sweet secrets, and ate cake until our bellies ached.  I think I speak for all 3 of us when I say that this day was so good for our hearts!  It is way, way better to give than to receive. I can't believe the whole thing came off without a hitch and I cannot even imagine a more perfect way to celebrate our beautiful friend!  I used to dread turning 30, but now I can't even wait. It's the new sweet 16. (;
 Friends, you must do this (or something like this) soon. I wish every day could be this amazing!


Unknown said...

I don't think I will ever forget this day. Thank you for recording this pretty pastel day with your lens!! I heart you!!! And has it only been 2 yrs...


Keli said...

These. Are so Awesome. I am SO jealous of both your superb idea of 30 acts of kindness (hello, I did not do anything this great at all a month ago!) and also jealous of what wonderful friends you have! Great job, y'all :) You are an inspiration!

Valley Girl said...

I love ever, single, thing about this. Who does this? Who thinks doing for OTHERS is fun for their birthday? Ladies...this is the stuff that makes me happy and proud to be a human in this race we call life. Well done you, WELL DONE YOU!!!!!

=p.s. The note on the changing table was my favorite and I WILL be copying this...as a momma of three girls, if I came across this on any given day I would burst in to tears. LOVE this.

Lisa said...

Wow, she is truly an amazing person for wanting to do the 30 acts of kindness for her birthday! And what an AMAZING surprise you guys set up for her!!

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely adorable and makes me ache for some time in Minnesota again! I miss that Minnesota nice so much. Might just try spreading a little bit of surprise around Brussels one day soon :)

LeeLu Creations said...

That does sound like a great day! I might have to round up my friends and do something like this. :)

LeeLu Creations said...

Hi...me again. :) I'm blogging about this. Is it ok if i use your pic of the tags?

Creating Through LIFE said...

That's so wonderful :D I feel so inspired!

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