Sunday, December 27, 2015

B(e) Kind 366: Official Launch

If you've stopped by my blog over the last year you'd have had a difficult time missing my kindness theme. I've been planning B(e) Kind 366 for over a year now, collecting kindness ideas, and developing this special project. I shared most of my ideas during the month of April when I blogged A-Z.

On January 1, 2016 B(e) Kind 366 begins. B (that's me - short for Brandy) will be performing an act of kindness (sometimes random, sometimes not) every day of the year. 2016 is a Leap Year - hence 366.

I'll be blogging about it here. Facebooking about it here: B(e) Kind 366. Tweeting about it here: @blr098. Instagramming about it here: @bitsbyb. And raising funds for World University Service of Canada, The Women's Resource Centre, and the Canadian Cancer Society here: B(e) Kind 366.

Every month I'll be taking on a different unique challenge in addition to performing an act of kindness. Some of the challenges include not driving anywhere for month, not purchasing anything for a month, shaving my head, writing a poem a day, spending thirty minutes in nature everyday for a month, living "off the grid" for a month, giving up something I love for a month, and more.

Every month I'll also be offering a special little incentive to those who donate to my project. Some of the incentives include receiving a small gift, receiving mail art, having a poem written for them, and much more.

On top of all that I'll be offering giveaways right here on my blog for all of you lovely people!

All of this in the name of KINDNESS! 
I hope you'll join me in your own special way!




Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Simple Kindness of a Wave

I originally got the idea for this post on Father's Day (June 21) and had the best intentions of linking it up for the fifth installment of 1000 Voices for Compassion or #1000Speak. On or around the 20th of each month amazing bloggers come together and post about compassion or themes closely related to compassion. If that sounds like something you might be interested in, please do join us! Like I said, I had good intentions, but I just didn't sit down to write this soon enough so here it is, July 8, and I'm finally typing words on the screen.

I was driving home on Father's Day and as I entered the outskirts of the town I slowed my truck down to allow what I am only assuming was a father and his sons to cross the road. The father was on a four-wheeled ATV and was followed by an older son on a dirt bike and two younger sons on smaller three-wheeled ATVs. I stopped and as they made their way into the ditch on the side of the road the father waved in a gesture of thanks. I waved back and immediately started thinking about the simple kindness of a wave.

Memories of growing up in a small town (less than 1000 people) flooded in and I recalled my own father "waving" at everyone he encountered while driving in his truck by simply flicking his index finger up from its resting place at the top of the steering wheel. I remember asking him, "Dad, who was that?" and getting the response, "I don't know." "Well then why did you wave?" I'd ask and he'd respond, "Just to say 'Hi.'" It made sense to me then and it still does now, but it's not something I see very often anymore, if ever and that makes me a little sad. Why don't we make the effort to wave and "just say 'Hi'" to complete strangers?

Shortly after that encounter with the father and sons, the provincial government started construction on one of the smaller, but heavily travelled highways between the town where I live and the city where I work. I'm annoyed by road construction as much as the next person, but in addition to tapping into the old cliche "patience is a virtue" to deal with the frustration, I noticed that a number of the men and women hired to work as flag people holding the "Slow/Stop" signs wave at every vehicle that goes passed. Their job has to be quite exhausting and boring, but despite that the same people who wave at me during my early morning commute to work are there still waving at me during my early evening commute back home. I always make sure I slow down to well below the suggested speed limit (a person stands zero chance of survival against a vehicle driving 60km/hour) and wave back. That friendliness makes the slow drive home not all that bad.

In 2016 I am launching a project called B(e) Kind 366 where I'll be performing a random (or not) act of kindness every day of the year. Waving to people, especially random people, is definitely on my list!


Do you have a friendly waving story?
I'd be delighted to read all about it in the comments!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge

For the past few months and especially throughout the AtoZ Challenge I have been focusing my blog posts on Random Acts of Kindness as a means to start promoting my own major kindness project, B(e) Kind 366. In 2016 I'll be embarking on a kindness journey, performing a random act of kindness every day of the year! Today's post still falls in line with my ongoing kindness theme, but this time it's a call to kindness from YOU, my lovely visitors!

On April 17th, I started a new chapter of my life as the Executive Director of The Women's Resource Centre in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. This position brings together two of my life's passions: feminism (a.k.a. women's rights) and the not-for-profit world. It has been approximately six weeks since I began my journey and I am loving it more every day.

Jodi Wyman, TWRC Board Chair
and myself.

The Women's Resource Centre's mission is to provide programs, services, and counselling on issues affecting women including family violence, while encouraging respect, diversity and equality with a feminist perspective. Our vision is to be an organization dedicated to providing support, empowerment and mentoring for all women and their families. The Centre's goals are to provide the women of Western Manitoba with education and counselling on domestic violence; to provide Brandon and rural women access to information on cultural, economic, educational, health, legal, and social services; to coordinate and support projects which promote women's equality; and to create a space for women to meet in a place of their own to network and share information. Our promise is to do all that we can for the women of our community. We will reach out, and keep and open door to all women. No matter the situation, we are committed to guiding and supporting women in a non-judgemental, positive environment. Freedom is the right to stand strong and hold your head high no matter the past.



Throughout the month of June, CanadaHelps.org is running The Great Canadian Giving Challenge. Every dollar (minimum $3) that is donated through The Women's Resource Centre's Giving Page gives us a chance to win $10,000. If you donate $3 we get 3 entries into the draw. If you donate $100 we get 100 chances. Easy, peasy, right?!




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Connection Through Kindness (A #1000Speak Post)

May 20th marks month four of 1000 Voices for Compassion, an amazing movement of bloggers coming together to flood the blogosphere with posts dedicated to compassion. The kickoff in February was simply themed "Compassion," March was "Building Beyond Bullying," and April was "Nurture." May's theme is "Connection" and you can read all of the beautiful pieces by visiting the 1000 Speak link up. We post on the 20th of every month so if becoming a part of our community is something that interests you, please keep in touch and join us with your own post in June.

Once again, my 1000 Speak post will be directly connected to my own special project: B(e) Kind 366. In 2016, I'll be doing a Random (or not) Act of Kindess every day of the year to raise funds for charity. Throughout the month of April I blogged A to Z, listing Random Acts of Kindess that begin with each letter of the alphabet. It was a blast!

Today I want to talk about the connections that RAKing, and really just kindness in general, creates. On June 13th I'll be participating in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life with my husband, best friend, and a group of her friends some of whom I've met and some whom I have not. We've all connected through our dedication to a cause that touches us all in some way.

One year, at my place of employment at the time, instead of purchasing gifts for one another like we usually did, my colleagues and I decided to adopt a family through Christmas Cheer. We connected over the purchase of food and gifts and shared in the delight of the family when we arrived with "Christmas" at their door.

A few years ago, my Mom and I spent Christmas Day serving turkey dinner to the community with Westman and Area Traditional Christmas Dinner. It was one of the best Christmases, and days in general, that I've ever had and I connected in a very special way with my Mom.

Just today, I put an ideas from my "Random Acts of Kindness beginning with P" list into motion. I mailed a Purple Box of Power to my closest friend from grad school. I met her during the first week and as soon as I found out that she was a Canadian prairie girl like me, we were connected for life! It's been two months since I moved back to Manitoba and she stayed in New Brunswick. While we were in the same city, we were each others' support system. I just know that this collection of purple "power" items will be a much appreciated surprise.


Nearly every day after I come home from work, I take my small dog, Memphis, for a walk. Since I've returned home from school my husband and I joke that we should change Memphis' name to Velcro because it is rare that he is not attached to me. I have a special connection with my little Pom-Chi and the best part is that our mutual love calms our anxiety (yes, Memphis and I both battle anxiety on a daily basis).

Random acts of kindness like leaving an extra generous tip for your server at a restaurant, telling a parent in the grocery store how well-behaved their children are, complimenting a stranger on their coat/hat/shoes, holding a door open for the person behind you, or even just smiling at someone you pass on the street all create, at the very least, fleeting, but often lasting connections with the recipients of your kindness. Those people are highly likely to tell a co-worker, friend, family member about "that nice thing that happened to them today," creating a chain of connections and inspiration to pay that kindness forward, through one simple act!

Go forth and be kind! The connections you will make in the process are truly invaluable!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Reflections

A-Z is over and I made it! I had to cheat a bit at the end (due to poor health) by turning the final eight letters into two posts, but I made it! I blogged Random Acts of Kindness ideas for twenty-six letters and it was amazing! I listed 170 words and 365 acts! That means that if I actually perform every one of the acts I listed, I will have enough to complete B(e) Kind 366 - the whole reason behind posting all of these acts of kindness. 

I had a blast compiling each of the alphabetized posts and, judging from some of the comments I received, people enjoyed reading them. 

I have to give a huge virtual pat on the back to all of the A to Z Hosts! I was impressed each and every time one of them visited my blog. Jeremy Hawkins was the very first co-host to stop by and wish me well. S. L. Hennessy inspired my "If Jane Austen blogged A to Z" post and also paid me the best compliment I could have received by saying that my theme was one of the best she'd seen in the challenge. Aw shucks! Lisa stopped by to say how much she enjoyed my posts and C. Lee McKenzie is now my most recent follower. Alex J. Cavanaugh offered up a few ideas to add to my list and even the mastermind Arlee Bird himself stopped by a few times. That makes SIX co-hosts who found the time to visit little ol' me. 

Special thanks must be paid to Annalisa Crawford for actually taking the time to participate in my rather unsuccessful giveaway (I guess I better make it easier to enter next time!) and to Sandy for being my most avid commenter. I've been a fan of her work with Bridge and Beyond for years now and never tire of reading about the wonderful work she is doing for the homeless population in her city. 

Extra special thanks goes out to Randi Lee for showcasing me on her blog as part of her Sunday Series: Meet a Blogger! She even refers to me as The Queen of Kind! I think that deserves an "Aw shucks" as well. 

All in all I had an incredible time AtoZing this year! My goal was to start building a better following on my blog as I gear up to launch my kindness project in 2016. I am happy with the results and hope that many of the wonderful folks who stopped by my blog over the past month will continue to visit from time to time and, most importantly, will support B(e) Kind 366! 


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "W," "X," "Y," and "Z"

I'm still battling with my health, (although I am seeing some positive progress) so this post also contains four letters like the last one.

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

W is for Warm, but to be honest, I could not come up with synonyms for "X," "Y," or "Z."

Walk - with a friend, alone, take your dogs!
Watch - the sunrise, the sunset, the rain come down.
Wave - to people you drive past.
Wish - leave coins on a wishing well or fountain for others to wish with.
        
X (as in kiss - xoxo) - send someone a special message and use it to sign off, leave it as a comment on a loved one’s facebook, make some out of paper and leave caring messages on them.
XD (the emoticon for a laughing face) - text it, facebook it, tweet it!
X Marks the Spot - bury treasure in a playground and leave clues for a child to find.
Xavier Rudd - So much of Xavier's music is incredibly beautiful and kind. I've chosen one of my favourites, "Better People," to share with you. 
Xpialidocious - say it, sing it. Embrace the awesomeness of the “word.”


Yoga - attend a class, follow a video, try a different type (ashtanga, bikram, hot, restorative, vinyasa), attend a Yoga-thon!

Zombie Run - take part as a participant or a volunteer.
Zumba - try it! Attend a Zumba-thon!

That's it; that's all, folks! I'll do a wrap up post in a few days with a count of how many RAKs I listed A-Z. Here's a fun thought: before I do the count, YOU venture a guess and post it in the comments. I'll do something especially kind for the person who is the closest to the correct number. 

In addition check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post, test your Janeite knowledge, and win some Jane Austen swag! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "S," "T," "U," and "V"

Well folks, my health has gotten the better of me over the past week which has led to me missing a few posts and packing S, T, U, and V all into one! Four letters makes for a long list of RAKs so I hope you find some inspiration!

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

S is for Supportive
The first time I shaved my head in 2011

Scented Soaps - put them in random lockers at the gym with a little note.
Shave your head! (I’ll be shaving mine on February 4, 2016 for National Cancer Day.)
Shopping carts - put some stray ones away.
Shower - for only five minutes.
Sing - to a child, at an open mic, at karaoke, in the shower, for your supper!
Smile - at strangers! Make a conscious effort to keep one on your face all day J
Sock” someone!
               
T is for Thoughtful

The toys and books I took to the
Children's Ward as one of my
29 RAKs for my 29th on Jan. 29
Take WhatYou Need - put these signs up in public places. 
Tell - a parent how well behaved their child is.
Text - someone just to say good morning or good night.
Thank you - make it public on a poster, make it private in a note.
Thankful list
Tip - leave a generous one.
Toys - take some to the children’s ward of a hospital, leave some a playground.
Tweet - to promote a cause.

U is for Understanding

Unplug - electronics
Upside down - snowman, build one!

I couldn't come up with a "V" synonym; can you?

Virtual - greetings, smiles, hugs!
Volunteer - My plan is to volunteer with at least one different organization every month in 2016! 

Now that's a long list, but I am always looking for more RAK ideas so if any come to mind please do post them in the comments!



After all of that, be sure to check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post, test your Janeite knowledge, and win some Jane Austen swag! The more people who enter, the more swag I'll add to the bag.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "R"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

R is for Respect

Random - Pick a name from the phone book and mail surprise note/gift  
Re - shelve misplaced groceries, -hang clothes that have fallen off store hangers, -use plastic and canvas grocery bags.
Read - to a child, to a senior, something you normally wouldn’t, something from a banned book list, something written by someone from a marginalized group, a book that someone recommends, to participate in a reading challenge or a read-a-thon. Read something and pass it along to someone else or leave it in a public place for a stranger. I recommend: Citizens of Nowhere
Recycle
Review – a book, a film, a restaurant, someone’s customer service, BUT make sure it’s all positive!
Run – 1km, 5km, 10km, a half marathon, a full marathon. Run to raise funds or run just to run! (I’ll be running a half marathon in December of 2016.)
Ride for Refuge (I'll be biking 25km in October of 2016.)

That's it for my "R" list! I am always looking for more RAK ideas so if any come to mind please do post them in the comments!

Since I keep urging you to check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post to win some Jane Austen swag, it's only fitting that I give you an "R is for Reading" recommendation from Jane Austen's novels as well. If you have read two or more Austen novels, I highly recommend Northanger Abbey. It is, by far, my favourite. If you have never read Austen or have only read Pride and Prejudice, then I recommend Sense and Sensibility! It's hilarious and you'll love it! If you enter my giveaway, you'll have a VERY good chance of winning some read-worthy Austen books!

Monday, April 20, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "Q"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

Try as I might, I couldn't come up with a synonym of sorts that starts with "Q" - can you?

Quarters - leave some by payphones, next to bubblegum machines, top up someone's parking metre.
Quiet - take a vow of silence for a few hours, for a whole day, for even longer if you can handle it!
Quit - Don't!
Quote - share some inspiring ones via social media.

My "Q" list is quite short, but I am always looking for more RAK ideas so if any come to mind please do post them in the comments!




Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post, test your Janeite knowledge, and win some Jane Austen swag! The more people who enter, the more swag I'll add to the bag.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Self-Kindness (A #1000Speak "Nurture" Post)

February 20 marked the start of an amazing movement - 1000 Voices for Compassion. One thousand plus bloggers came together to flood the blogosphere with posts dedicated to the theme of compassion. I wrote a post simply called "1000 Voices Speak for Compassion." A month later, on March 20, the movement continued and bloggers posted around the theme of "Building Beyond Bullying." This time I wrote something a little outside of the theme, but with an important message nonetheless: "Positive Stereotypes, Do They Exist?" Now it is April 20 and the theme for this month's post is "Nurture." Once again bloggers are linking up and spreading goodness across the globe. The link up is live until Noon GMT on April 21 so why not join us? After that you can still read all of the blogs (the link up will just be closed) and find us on Twitter @1000Speak and with the hashtag #1000Speak.

Besides the fact that 1000Speak is an incredibly beautiful initiative to be a part of, I'm also participating because it fits so well with my own project that will come to life in 2016. B(e) Kind 366 is a kindness project that I have been dreaming about bringing into existence for a few years now. In 2016, that dream will become a reality! I'll be doing a Random (or not) Act of Kindness (RAK) every day of the year in 2016 and raising funds for World University Service of Canada, an organization that has changed my life.

Throughout the month of April I have been taking part in the A to Z Challenge and posting lists of Random Acts of Kindness ideas for each letter. While it is wonderful to perform kind acts for others, it is equally, if not more important, to treat ourselves with the kindness we deserve, to NURTURE ourselves. With that in mind, I thought I would provide a few self-kindness ideas in honour of April's 1000Speak theme while still keeping with my A-Z theme.

Keep a Happiness Folder - when something makes you laugh, when you have one of those really great days, when you receive a compliment, when you are the recipient of a RAK, jot your recollection of those moments down and put them in a folder (or jar, or box). On those days that really aren't so great, pull it out and remember happier days!

Literally STOP and smell the flowers.
Practice Mindfulness - There are a number of ways to incorporate simple acts of mindfulness into your day. I'll give you two. Mindful eating - sit in silence with your food, look at it (at the colours, the textures, the arrangement on the plate), smell it (what is the scent of each individual item? what is the scent of the whole plate together), take a bite and just hold it in your mouth for a moment without chewing, roll it around (how does it feel in your mouth? what flavours can you taste? are all of your taste buds engaged? bitter? sour? salty? sweet?), finally chew slowly and as you swallow imagine the nutrients entering your blood stream. At least once a week try to have a meal where you really appreciate and are mindful of your food. Journey of the Senses - whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or just whenever you feel the urge, stop what you are doing and stand or sit still. List off five objects that you see. Close your eyes and list five sounds that you hear. Then breathe in deeply through your nose and list five scents that you can smell. Finally, list five flavours that you can taste. Try to do this at least once a day; it's a really effective way to be fully present in any given moment and focus on things that allow us to clear our minds of clutter.

Relax - lie down and close your eyes. Starting at the top of your head consciously think about your entire body relaxing one part at a time. Think about the tension leaving the back of your head, your neck, your shoulders, and continue down the back of your body to your toes. Once you have relaxed each individual toe, work your way up the front of your body. Think about the tension leaving the tops of your feet, the fronts of your ankles, legs, knees, thighs, etc, all the way back to the top of your head. I promise you, you will be relaxed by the time you are finished. The key is keeping your mind focused on your body relaxing.

And finally - any kind thing that you would do to nurture someone else, do to nurture yourself every once in a while! Buy yourself a gift. Write yourself a poem. Send yourself a letter.




Saturday, April 18, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "P"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

A sample Pay It Forward card
P is for Peace

Pay It Forward - read the book, watch the film, but most importantly do it! If someone does something kind for you do something kind for someone else. 
Photo - send an old one to a friend or family member, offer to take one for a group of strangers, take on a Photo-a-Day Challenge.
Plant - a garden, a tree, flowers, something in a mug!
Play - with a child: make faces, peekaboo.
Poetry - read some, write some! (I will write a poem for everyone who donates to B(e) Kind 366 in April 2016.)
Positive - Free Thought Sign
Positivity Challenge - For 5 days post 3 positive things that happened to you or that you are grateful for that day. At the end of each day, tag/nominate 3 people to take part in the challenge.

I have to give a special "P" shout out to Pinterest as part of this post. Most of my ideas for my RAK lists have come from boards on Pinterest. I've been linking to most of the pins when the opportunity arises on each post, but if you're interested in finding all of the pins in one place follow my new B(e) Kind 366 board and my 365 Days of Kindness board - a board I have been collecting RAK ideas on for over a year!

A bit of a longer list for "P", but I am still always looking for more RAK ideas so if any come to mind please do post them in the comments!


"P" also happens to be for Pride and Prejudice and while P&P is not my favourite Jane Austen novel, it tends to be the favourite of most people. It is also the subject of Master's of Arts thesis so I finally took the time to include a photo of the swag up for grabs in my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" giveaway! The more entries I get, the more swag I'll add so go and test your Janeite knowledge or even just venture guesses!

Friday, April 17, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "O"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

O is for Open-minded

Off (the grid) - live without electricity, running water, electronics for a set amount of time. (I’ll be doing this in July 2016 for a minimum of five days.)
Offer - to help someone, anyone with something, anything!
Open - the door for someone.
Order - delivery for someone else, dessert for a random table in a restaurant.

I decided to include a video of Matisyahu's "One Day" because it is such a beautiful song that perpetuates hope for a better world! 

That's it for my "O" list! I'm always looking for more RAK ideas so if any come to mind please do post them in the comments! 

Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post, test your Janeite knowledge, and win some Jane Austen swag!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "N"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

N is for Nurture

The really neat thing about this synonym is that "nurture" happens to be the 1000Speak theme for April. I chose the word for my "N" post before 1000Speak chose it for their April theme. Kind minds think alike!
Husky Raised by Cats Acts Like a Cat

Nature – spend some time it. Take on a 30 minutes a day for 30 days nature challenge. 
Negativity – counteract it with positivity. Ex. For every negative facebook post you see, post something positive!
News – watch it, read it. Read online news from another country to gain global perspective. 

That's it; that's all for "N"! I'm always looking for more RAK ideas so if any come to mind please do post them in the comments!

Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post, test your Janeite knowledge, and win some Jane Austen swag!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "M"


Today is an extra special day: We are half way through the alphabet! "M" is letter #13 and today, April 15, is also my MOM's birthday! My Mom is my best friend, my cheerleader, my mirror, my sounding board, my support group! She is, by far, the most important person in my life! She is the reason I am the woman that I am. She is the one who taught me that kindness is always the answer. I dedicate this post to her!


Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

M is for Mindfulness

Practice Mindfulness
Magic - learn some, perform it for others, believe in it (if only for a day)!
Memory Jar - make one for yourself or to give to someone special. 
Mirror - leave small ones with inspiration post-its stuck to them for people to find.
Money - give some, lend some, leave some in the children’s section of a dollar store!
Mud Run - take part in one!
Music - listen to something new, learn to play an instrument, support a budding musician, attend a musical event (I’ll be making a customised playlist for everyone who donates to B(e) Kind 366 in August 2016).

That's it for my "M" List! I'm always looking for more RAK ideas so if any come to mind please do post them in the comments!

Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post, test your Janeite knowledge, and win some Jane Austen swag!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "L"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

L is for Love

Learn – something new! A language, a skill, a new word every day!
Lemonade – make some, share some. Play the video; I promise it will not disappoint!
Letter – as in the old school way of communicating! Paper, envelope, stamp, send it to someone special or a stranger! Leave a stamped envelope and a blank card for someone else to fill out and send.
Litter – pick it up!
Lotto tickets – leave some scratch and wins for a lucky stranger to find.
Lunch – pay for a friend’s or better yet a stranger’s!

That's it for my "L" List! I'm always looking for more RAK ideas so if any come to mind please do post them in the comments!

Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post, test your Janeite knowledge, and win some Jane Austen swag!

Monday, April 13, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "K"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

K is for KINDNESS

Oddly enough, I have a very short list today so in the spirit of kindness, I am linking to other "K is for Kindness" posts that I happened upon while blog and twitter hopping:
- Chantelle from Cocktails and Memories writes about how kindness between strangers developed into a beautiful friendship. 
- Joy from My Own 2 Sense writes about how teachers and parents contribute to a world of kindness.
- Melanie from Melanie Schulz writes a brilliant piece of flash fiction with kindness at its heart.  
- Rachel from Rachel's Ramblings writes about how small acts of kindness from her coworkers made her day. 
- Shantala from Shanaya Tales writes about how a brief moment of stranger kindness has remained with her throughout her life. 

Now for a few simple RAK ideas and a few more links to some "kool" blogs: 
Karma - do and be good; attract good. Check out C. Lee McKenzie's K is for Karma post. 
Kickstarter - check out the projects - find one that speaks to you - support it! Type "kindness" into the
search engine for a place to start.
Kindness Wins - Galit Breen's brand new book! Get yours!
Kiss - a loved one unexpectedly, blow one to someone special. Give someone a chocolate one! Check out Katie Paul's tantalizing post K is for Kissing.
Kitchen - open yours up to guests and host a dinner party. 
Kooky - allow yourself to act, dress, just be! Encourage others to join in! Check out Kelly Martin’s K is for Kooky post. 

That's it for my "K" List! It's a short list, but I do hope you'll spread the kindness by visiting some of the blogs that I linked to in this post. 

Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post, test your Janeite knowledge, and win some Jane Austen swag!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "J"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

J is for Joy
Journal prompts

Journal - keep one for kindness, gratitude, or just because. Leave a blank journal and a note
encouraging the finder to write.
Just - say hello, good-bye, good morning, or good night!

That's it for my "J" List! The more Random Acts of Kindness ideas the better, so please add to my list by leaving suggestions in the comments!

 If J isn't the best letter to try out your Jane knowledge, I don't what letter is! Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post, test your Janeite knowledge, and win some Jane Austen swag!

Friday, April 10, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "I"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

I is for Inclusive

Include - someone new in a group activity. 
Ice cream - buy someone some, make some, enjoy some! Give someone an ice cream kit
Inspiration - leave signs on km markers of a walking trail, on lockers at the gym, put post-its in public places. 
Instagram - tag people in positive image posts, post selfies while holding signs that advocate for a cause. 
Invest - in your own future (start an RRSP, buy a savings bond), in a child's (start an RESP).
Invite - people over and be their host, someone to breakfast/lunch/supper and pay for their meal, someone to an event and buy their ticket. 

That's it for my "I" List! The more Random Acts of Kindness ideas the better, so please add to my list by leaving suggestions in the comments!

Want to win some Jane Austen swag?! Who doesn't?! Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post and test your Janeite knowledge!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "H"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

H is for Happiness

HappinessCafe - approach a local cafe about hosting a day or week long event.
Heat - turn it off for one cool weather day.
Hello - say it to someone, anyone, everyone - especially a stranger!
Help - someone, anyone do something, anything! Carry groceries, shovel snow, rake leaves. Help someone who has dropped something.
Homeless - do something for them. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, give your spare change, put hats and scarves in places they can be easily found.
Hug - a loved one, a friend, a stranger. Give out free ones! Send one in the mail

That's it for my "H" List! I'm always on the look out for more ideas so please help me build my list of Random Acts of Kindness by leaving suggestions in the comments!

Want to win some Jane Austen swag?! Who doesn't?! Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post and test your Janeite knowledge!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "G"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

G is for Give

Googly Eye Bombing
is one of my favourite RAKs
Gifts - send one to someone, anyone - your trash collector, mail person, bus driver, teacher, a stranger. Give a gift basket to someone working on Christmas. Give a mental gift. (Since January is my birthday month I’ll be sending a gift to everyone who donates to B(e) Kind 366 in January of 2016).
Garden - plant your own (you can even do it indoors), tend someone else’s, get involved in a community one.
Give something up - soda, chocolate, potato chips, or - dare I say it - COFFEE, for a week or push yourself and give something up for a whole month. Who knows maybe you’ll stick with it!
Googly Eye Bomb!

That's it for my "G" List! Tomorrow's "H" List is a bit longer. Any guesses on what the "H" synonym will be?

I'm always on the look out for more ideas so please help me build my list of Random Acts of Kindness by leaving suggestions in the comments!

Want to win some Jane Austen swag?! Who doesn't?! Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post and test your Janeite knowledge!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A-Z Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness beginning with "F"

Throughout the A-Z Challenge I'll be blogging through the alphabet using each letter to create a list of Random Acts of Kindness. I've been collecting RAK ideas for some time now as I gear up to the 2016 launch of a project dear to my heart: B(e) Kind 366. I'll be performing an act of kindness every day of the leap year starting January 1st, 2016 while raising funds for World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an organisation that changed my life.

I'm starting each post with a synonym (of sorts) for kindness. I added this part to my posts because of an amazing movement I am a part of 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. We link up monthly and blog about changing the world for the better. It's magical really. We're even on Twitter! @1000Speak

I had a friend deliver these to a public health
nurse in my community. 
F is for Forgive

Fair Trade - promote it, buy it! Take on the Fair Trade Challenge.
Favour - do one for someone. 
Find - out about something new, a new hobby, time for someone special, time for yourself! 
Floss - be kind to your gums!
Flowers - send some, deliver some - to family, friends, nurses, strangers! Leave some on the graves of loved ones and strangers.
Foster - an animal from a shelter.
Freebie - give yours away (ex. on a buy ten, get one free card).
Friend - make a new one, spend time with an old one, reconnect with a lost one, do something special for one. 
Fun - go have some! Whatever it is - just do it!
Fundraise - for a good cause. 

That's it for my "F" List! I'm always on the look out for more ideas so please help me build my list of Random Acts of Kindness by leaving suggestions in the comments!

Want to win some Jane Austen swag?! Who doesn't?! Check out my super fun "If Jane Austen Blogged A-Z" post and test your Janeite knowledge!