Graceful-living Day 5–THOUGHTFUL

Holidays are a great opportunity to be especially thoughtful! I recently took Fourth of July as an opportunity to delight! I found out just prior to the big day that the 4th is my sister’s 3rd favorite holiday of the year and we took the opportunity to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday as well so I wanted to make it special. I usually host the 4th of July family BBQ and it is typically all-American: burgers, corn on the cobb, etc., but this year I wanted to make it exceptional so I paid particular attention to the details…

Extra decorations– flags everywhere, sparkly accents, AND a Happy Birthday banner, giant balloon, and hat for the birthday boy.  Light up red white and blue star necklaces for everyone. Table set with festive placemats, napkins, etc.

Dogs wearing 4th of July bandanas!

Flags at the trees we use to remember my brother and Grandfather.

Paying attention to who’s attending:  I used the tray that Aunt Nancy made for me and was intentional about getting a pic of the two of us together in our matching shades.

I wore the earrings that my mothers gave me recently so they could see how much I liked them.

I put the red-white-and blue hydrangea that my Mom bought for me in the lovely crystal vase that belonged to my best friend’s late mother and sent my friend the picture to let her know I was thinking of her dear, departed Mum.  I also sent the pic to my sister in Boston to let her know we wished she was with us.

Lots O’ pictures of the fun and festivities were captured!!!

It was a lovely celebration.  I look forward to doing it again next year!

So grateful to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave!


Gracefull-living Day 4– THOUGHTFUL

Pay it forward!

Definition: opposite of payback: when someone does a good deed for you, instead of paying them back, pay it forward by doing a good deed for someone else.

I adore the movie, “Pay it Forward” (except for the ending).  I think it is such a powerful message and I love the idea of performing an act of kindness with the only hope of pay back being pay forward.

My Aunt Kay provided one of the first PIF experiences I remember– she made an initial contribution to my braces (teeth) which I later paid forward to my God-daughter by investing in her smile.  I hope she knows what a difference she made in my life!  In the professional setting, many have invested in me and I have tried to carry the torch forward by investing in our young up-and-comers. Sometimes we just do something kind because the opportunity presents itself and it is the right thing to do.  We don’t know the outcome, but I choose to believe that the goodness will be recognized and passed on.  It’s Karma.

So today I offered a small gift to the Pay It Forward Gods.  I drove through Good Times and paid $20 for my soda that cost $2.47.  I asked that the change pay for whatever it could for the folks behind me.  I don’t know if the person behind me needed the “credit” and took it or if the Pay It Forward chain continued for multiple cars.  Either way, if my “investment” made even one person’s day, it was well worth it.

See for additional ideas on how you can PAY IT FORWARD!


We are excited that we now have over 80 countries participating in Pay it Forward Day with over 100 state and city proclamations.

Pay It Forward Day is a global initiative that exists to make a difference by creating a huge ripple of kindness felt across the world. Of course, our hope is that people pay kindness forward every day and make each day that little bit brighter. We believe that small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can literally change the world for the better — and on April 28th we’ll set out to prove it! For this year’s international Pay it Forward Day (PIFD) we are aiming to inspire over  10 million acts of kindness around the world. Imagine the difference that would make!  Join us in paying it forward, and help spread the word about this important day!


  • Pay for someone’s cup of coffeeBusinessman hand with an red umbrella isolated on white
  • Get the next person’s food, toll, petrol, etc.
  • Help someone out in need
  • Host pay it forward activities in your office, school, church or community
  • Become a Pay it Forward Day ambassador and help raise awareness in your circles of influence
  • Let others know about Pay it Forward Day through your social media channels
  • Donate to a worthwhile cause – click here for some amazing charities that help people in need
  • Be creative!!! Click here for more ideas

Pay it Forward Day was built by volunteers around the world to inspire a huge ripple effect of kindness in the community.

Grace-full Living Day 3– THOUGHTFUL


There’s always time for a bow!

I can’t help it, I love the animated movie Arthur Christmas and my favorite line in the movie is, “There’s always time for a bow!”

Giving gifts is one of my favorite things to do.  That seems to surprise and confound some people (my Grandmother, one of the most generous spirits I know claimed not to have gotten the “gift giving gene”), but it brings me joy to give presents.  I try to be thoughtful and creative about gifts.  I try to be personal and unique.  Sometimes I hit a homerun and sometimes I strike-out in a big way… but it’s the thought that counts.  And part of the thought is the presentation… There’s always time for a bow! … or something special.

Flowers are fabulous!  Make them special by arranging them yourself (supermarkets have a great variety these days), adding wine, or adding bows!


We are doing a family vacation this summer and including a book club (along with competitive dock yoga, paddle-boarding, kayaking, croquet, and a splash ball tournament).  I purchased a couple extra copies of the book, put pretty ribbons on them and inscribed, “Family vacation 2017.   Lake Minnetonka. Sunset Point. July 2017” so wherever those books surface, they will provide memories.



Even little things are fun to dress up.  My son’s dear friend was recently drafted to the Nuggets.  I wanted to give his Mom a hard copy of lovely story about him written in the Denver Post, but I didn’t want to make a big deal of it so I put it in a simple Nordstrom’s bag and tied a little bow on it before dropping it at the desk of her hotel.

At holidays I can go a little crazy… I love wrapping paper, ribbons and paper gift bags (we have access to such great tissue paper these days!).  Re-usable gift bags (like Storybags) are great too.  It’s my friend, Paula who is the master and I’ll never catch up to her elegance and artistry (her tree and gifts represented below), but she provides inspiration.


When it comes to making a gift extra special, here are a few ideas…

  1. There’s always time for a bow!
  2. Include an inscription or a note whenever you can.
  3. Gifts for no reason are always delightful!
  4. Anonymous giving us great too!  Try putting  small vase of flowers on your neighbor’s front porch– (daffodils: $2, tiny vase: $1, happy neighbor: priceless!).

Happy giving!



Grace-full living day 2: THOUGHTFUL.


2. Save your pennies… and give them away.

I kept a coin jar for  years.  I collected pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. I was saving them for a rainy day.  I fantasized about what fun extravagance I would indulge in.  I marveled at how heavy a jar of coins was and wondered how many hundreds of dollars were in there. I identified coin machines at the local grocery stores where I could exchange the metal for bills.

There were several times I thought about cashing in, but never quite got around to it.

One day it became clear what I had been saving it for.  A dear friend needed it more than I did.  I was delighted to drop the heavy jar off on her front porch and drive away. I would have loved for it to be anonymous, but she knew it was from me.  I never knew how much was in there or what she did with it.

She was very appreciative, but I GOT THE GREATER GIFT.

I have a new coin jar going now.  I’m working on filling it up, and I look forward to giving it away!

Got coin?