Keeping On Shining: A #SparkleFriday Wrap-Up

You know what’s fun? Joining forces with a bunch of awesome people to show others what kindness can do.

sparkle everyone

I can’t thank everyone who participated in #SparkleFriday enough. Your efforts to brighten Black Friday and warm my family’s new home were heartfelt, thought-provoking and impactful.

As a group, you brought food and clothing to homeless people, purchased toys for children who wouldn’t otherwise receive gifts this holiday season, cared for animals in need, gave anonymous gifts and encouraging notes to strangers, babysat for a couple so they could enjoy a well-deserved date night, reconnected with loved ones, donated to worthy charities, cleaned up after others’ animals, created art to deliver to a nursing home, took on added housework so loved ones could sleep in, prioritized self-care and more. More than once, I was touched to tears. I hope you gained at least as much joy and warmth as you gave!

And now, to announce our prize winners! The #SparkleFriday gift packs from Good Clean Love go to…

*DRUM ROLL*

Gayle Carline and Elizabeth Ann Mitchell! For inspiring the most sparkle throughout social media with your posts and for your extreme thoughtfulness, THANK YOU!

Elizabeth #SparkleFriday

Gayle sparkled all over the place! And shared beautiful insight on her blog (post link below).

Gayle sparkled all over the place! And shared beautiful insight on her blog (post link below).

Special thanks to Good Clean Love for donating these wonderful prizes! 

Special thanks to Good Clean Love for donating these wonderful prizes!

To learn more about participants’ experiences, check out these fabulous blog posts:

I’m all a-sparkle by Gayle Carline

Shimmer & Shine! It’s #SparkleFriday… by Kitt Crescendo

#SparkleFriday by Raani York

#SparkleFriday, with the Kids at a Toy Store by Shan Janiah

To check out people’s posts on the event page, visit this link on Facebook or search for the hashtag #SparkleFriday.

Stay tuned later this week to learn more about my own surprising #SparkleFriday experience, and a special project it inspired. So excited! Until then, wishing you loads of happiness. ♥

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank

Getting Our Kindness On: 31 #SparkleFriday Ideas

Research shows that demonstrating kindness makes us happier and healthier, inspires kindness in others, reduces stress and triggers the release of the feel-good chemical oxytocin in our bodies, which is great for our hearts and extremely sexy, IYKWIM. I cannot wait for to party with you all act-of-kindness style next week!

11 Purple Sparkle

If this is the first you’ve heard of #SparkleFriday, visit this post for details. You can also RSVP on the Facebook event page for more ideas and reminders. In short, participants are engaging in whatever act of kindness we choose. Then on November 28th—aka, Black Friday—we’ll each post a photo and/or description with the hashtag #SparkleFriday on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. (If you post yours on a blog, include #SparkleFriday in the post title.) Feel free to invite your friends or engage your whole family!

In case you could use some ideas, here are some simple ways to bring more light into the world through kindness.

Acts of Kindness: 31 Groovy Ideas

  1. Donate food, clothes or holiday gifts to a shelter.
  2. Sponsor an animal or child.
  3. Commit to a day (or longer) of no complaining.
  4. Rake or shovel your neighbor’s lawn or driveway.
  5. Bring treats to your workplace, or someone else’s.
  6. Sign up for iGive, so money you spend online supports your favorite charity.
  7. Send a Secret Santa gift to a friend or acquaintance.
  8. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, or anywhere.
  9. Plant a tree in someone’s memory.
  10. Make amends with someone.
  11. Send a thank you note to someone, or post it online.
  12. Invite someone over for a holiday meal.
  13. Bring baked goods to a neighbor you’ve never met.
  14. Do a chore a loved one loathes for them.
  15. Make a point of giving people genuine compliments.
  16. Replace negative self-talk with gratitude.
  17. Create art for someone.
  18. Pay someone’s expired parking meter.
  19. Leave a huge tip for a server (particularly if you dine out on Thanksgiving).
  20. Pay for the order of whoever’s behind you in a drive-through.
  21. Host a pajama party.
  22. Call a loved one you miss.
  23. Review books, companies or products you love (especially those newer/lesser known).
  24. Stop using your phone while driving.
  25. Text a unique compliment to everyone on your phone list.
  26. Foster or adopt a rescue pet.
  27. Commit to eating fewer animal products.
  28. Collect and recycle items from a litter-ridden area.
  29. Purchase energy saving household goods/appliances.
  30. Practice self-care you’ve been lacking.
  31. Spend quality time with someone.

Huge thanks to all of you who are joining us. It’s going to be a sparkly blast! ♥

#SparkleFriday: Help Us Make Black Friday Shine!

Many folks told me that moving is stressful. Really stressful. Almost as stressful as dealing with a divorce or family death. I refused to believe it would be for us.

“We’ll make this fun!” I proclaimed, as though challenging life to prove otherwise. Perhaps I should’ve kept my voice down.

Hours before we were scheduled to load our lives into a U-Haul, our move was delayed—days, then weeks, costing us a great deal of emotional and financial stress.

“I think I should be able to put the Christmas tree up early to compensate for emotional damages,” I told my husband mid-resultant pity party, who smartly replied, “Sure thing!”

My stubborn optimism took over. No one would steal our Christmas, I decided, determined to regain the vigor the delay had zapped.

Finally, on the hottest day in LA history, we moved—and whew, managed to enjoy it. Before even our toothbrushes were unpacked, our decked out tree stood shimmering on the patio.

photo-154

Victorious! Joy (eventually) reigns.

Now we want to celebrate! Many of our friends and most of our relatives live thousands of miles away. *cue Beatles music* So in lieu of a conventional housewarming party, we’re asking our family and friends—including you!—to join us virtually in an act-of-kindness celebration. We’ve chosen Black Friday, a day on which it’s easy to get caught up in or disgruntled by commercialism, figuring we could all use some added cheer.

Here’s how you can participate:

♥ Between now and 11/28, conduct an act of kindness.

♥ On 11/28, share a description and/or a photo on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter using the hashtag #SparkleFriday. (Writers, feel free to post yours on your blog!)

♥ Check out others’ posts by searching for the hashtag on the 28th—sharing, liking/favoriting and commenting on your favorites.

♥ Pop back to my blog the following week where I’ll share highlights and give away prizes for the most creative, impactful and entertaining acts!

Black Friday

Sound like fun? Awesome, join us! Feel free to invite your pals; the more sparkles the merrier. 🙂 For reminders and tips, RSVP on the Facebook event page.

Wishing you a beautiful week! ♥

August