January 31, 2018

How to Make a Homeless Care Package for Random Acts of Kindness Day


A couple of years ago, I was behind a soldier in line at Chipotle and he was having some trouble getting his credit cards to work. One after another, they were handed back to him and I could sense his rising panic, but I couldn’t figure out if it would be weird to offer to pay and then I didn’t know what to say so, in the end, I did nothing. I have regretted that lost opportunity ever since and, literally, think about him at least once a month.

The good piece, though, is it changed me. I vowed after that to never to sit by idly when someone else was in need and I could easily help. I decided no matter how uncomfortable I felt I would always say or do something, because even if it’s completely off the mark, it’s coming from a place of good intentions and I think it’s better to fail in kindness than fail in passivity.

And the thing is, you guys, it actually isn’t hard! I’ve gotten better with practice, and, sure, there’s often an initial weirdness, but, since I started doing this, I have never been turned down and now I get a kick out of it (I think we all know the giver always wins, right?).

With Random Acts of Kindness coming up on February 17th, we all have the perfect excuse to give it a whirl, and I have the perfect (easy!) idea that your kids can also totally get into: Homeless Care Packages with snacks, toiletries, and Cuties (because everything is better with a Cutie, am I right?).

The kids and I did a lot of thinking and researching about what would be most helpful and here’s what we came up with (if we left off something obvious, please let me know!):

-toothbrush and toothpaste with toothbrush holder

-wet wipes

-Chapstick (I think sunscreen would also be helpful)


-non-perishable snacks (I forgot to put water in the photo, but we also do a bottle of water!)

Cuties (because it seems like it’d be nice to eat something not processed and Cuties are pretty much the handiest snack ever)

-You are Awesome card (which I waffled on, but then figured everyone needs to be told they’re awesome every once in awhile, right?)

After the kids assembled them, we put them in a basket in the car on the floor of the front seat so when we see someone standing on a corner, they’re ready to go.

I know the hardest part for me at the beginning was knowing what to say so here’s what I’ve come up with: “Hi! My name is Kara. I was wondering if you’d like a bag of some toiletries and snacks?” They say yes (always) and I give them the bag and depending on how much time I have left in the light, we chat a bit more or I go on my way with a wave and a genuine smile. Easy, peasy, right?

The best part is these two characters see how easy (and important) it is to support others. They’re always yelling their names from the back seat and asking people’s names and just generally being kids who are excited to talk to and help other people.

I’m including a link to the You are Awesome card here so feel free to use it to create your own Homeless Care Pack. You could also put it with a bunch of Cuties and leave it on your neighbors porch, or send some to school for a teacher, or leave some in the mailbox for the mail person. The options for random kindness are ENDLESS! Let’s rock this RKD! (Yes, I just gave it an acronym.)

Photos by Milou and Olin

Thank you to Cuties for sponsoring this post!


November 21, 2017

Dude, this fear guy is a sneaky bastard

Here’s the thing about Mom Life: If you’re scared or uncertain, it is incredibly easy to get distracted and/or sidetracked. There are invariably an infinite number of things that legitimately need doing and no one’s going to question you sorting out the shed or finally hanging photos (they’re just going to be relieved they don’t have to do it 😂).

But it’s a dangerous game to play because the Pit of Doing can get deeper and deeper and you can avoid what it is you actually want to do, what you’re passionate about, for conceivably forever without ever really looking it in the face.

The past few weeks have been like that. I’ve been doing legitimate life stuff and then other upkeep to the Pit because I’m TERRIFIED. For years I’ve been talking about all of these things I want to do, the community I want to create, my goals and dreams and the dynasty I want to build and now I’m at the place where it’s time to put up or shut up and I’m avoiding it so hard MY APPS ARE ORGANIZED INTO FOLDERS ON MY PHONE.

Finally yesterday I sat down and had a miserable/painful work experience where I essentially sat at the computer for four hours and wrote one email and one Instagram post, which I later revised in 14 seconds because it sucked. But, sitting through it, not letting myself off the hook, freed up something. It was like I told the universe, I’m here and ready to play again. Sure, I may not be able to properly use my hands, because they are frozen by fear, but I’m going to give it a try.

And today was infinitely better. Things are moving again, ideas are flowing, and I feel like I can take baby steps forward again without falling into the Pit (today is not the day I’ll be giving the shower it’s annual scrub apparently).

I know I always say this but fear is a terrible guide. It wants to keep us small and safe and doesn’t like change. But, what I need to add is he’s a tricky, little bastard too. He can shape shift (hello, Pit of Doing!) and the only way around him seems to be to look him straight in the face and stare him down (for four hours if need be) until you can hear your other voices again. (I was going to say until he backs down, but he’s screaming in my ear, “DRIVEL!!!!” as I write this so I feel like his enthusiasm isn’t waning anytime soon.)

Because the other voices are there. They’re quieter, more polite, less inclined to dance naked on the sofa in order to distract you from the mundane details that need doing in order to move a business and life forward. You have to work a little harder to tune into them, to hear their truth. But, if you stick with it, you’ll hear: you can do this and who you are matters and you are not a sum of the things you have ticked off your to do list but rather a compilation of gifts we can’t wait to discover.

Photo by my gal Milou and Olin at the Museum of Ice Cream

September 18, 2017

Hot Tip #2: Do something because it makes you really flippin’ happy

In case you missed it, I’m going to be sharing one hot tip a week for how to have more fun in super-easy ways that will work FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. #nopressure 😂

Um, are you working really hard? Yeah. Me too.

And sometimes I feel like there’s so little time in my days that unless it’s getting me somewhere and moving me forward and helping me reach my goals, what’s the damn point?

Which is exactly why we need Hot Fun Tip #2: Do something for absolutely no reason other than that it makes you happy.

Every single morning my husband gets up and plays the guitar at the ungodly hour of 5am. He doesn’t play in a band and isn’t aspiring to go on “The Voice”; he plays because it fills him up and makes him really, really happy.

And, you guys, that’s enough! That’s more than enough!

I have a tendency to get caught in the trap of only reading books and watching videos that will move my business forward, or “having fun” by working on being a better person by exercising or learning to cook (bleh), or going to events that will empower me and help me grow into the person I’m meant to be, and OMG, STOP IT, YA WALKING O MAGAZINE?!?!

When I was pregnant with my son I took an Acting class because, this is going to sound weird, I like an audience. 😁 I was seven months pregnant and wasn’t going to get cast and I didn’t want to! I just wanted to be on stage, doing something that brings me joy. And it did.

I’ve done this with soccer (no pro contract yet), African dance classes, making DIY holiday presents, and my weekly US Weekly perusing.

I’ve been better at it and then not as good at it (I’m realizing right now my life could use a little more non-purpose driven time), but I’ve never regretted that time spent.

Okay, enough talking, Kara! How can I make this happen and do something only because it makes me happy?

1. Take a class for the fun of it. The advantage of taking a class is YOU HAVE TO GO. You’ve paid for it so you better go and enjoy it.

Also, make it something you’re most likely going to be terrible at so there’s no pressure. Rollerskating comes to mind for me or maybe a painting class or Hip Hop dance (although there’s a very real chance I could have a second career as a dancer so I better watch myself with that one).

2. Make a date with yourself. Remember when you were single or childless and you’d have a day in front of you with nothing to do (I feel like that used to happen although it feels so far away…)? Take a night a week (or a month!) and give yourself the gift of time. Go to a movie, get a massage, read a book in a coffee shop, walk around aimlessly, just do whatever you feel like.

3. Reconnect with your childhood. What did you do when you were a kid that you would lose yourself in? For me, it was dressing up and talking to myself as different characters in the mirror, which is why I still spend a lot of time in the bathroom (and do Instagram Stories).

For one of my friends, it was playing soccer, so she never misses a game. Another friend loves to sing so she joined a choir. Another friend is taking ceramics classes because in her heart she’s an artist.

The point is, who we were when we were little can tell us a lot about what brings us joy now. Tap into those memories and use them for fun.

4. Buddy up. One of my great joys as a kid was a self-designed Reading Club with one of my friends where she’d come over and we’d read books side-by-side while sucking Butterscotch candies (yes, my parents were pretty happy with this set up). Would I have read as much without our weekly date? Probably. But, our date guaranteed my time with Anne of Green Gables (omg, I did date occasionally, I swear).

As an adult, we don’t get a lot of opportunities for impromptu read-a-thons with friends, so I say, start a club. Invite your mom friends to a book club (or pretend it’s one), start a supper club, watch The Bachelor every week with friends, just set up a time where you’re accountable to having fun without a purpose.

5. Ask yourself “What is my end goal?” If it’s something like “grow my business”, “make more money”, “build a firmer derierre” then rethink it because what we’re looking for here is “to have the best time ever” or “it makes me feel alive” or “when I do x, my heart explode with happiness.”

Now, I’m not saying it absolutely can’t be both. I mean I love yoga because it makes me feel whole and settled and alive AND it’s great for my rear, but we’re leading with joy over hard body in this case. You feel me?

Your challenge this week, should you choose to accept it! (I mean, duh, totally do it, k?)

Commit to doing one thing that brings you intense joy for ONE TIME.

Don’t make this harder than it needs to be. Just do something purposeless one time this week and see what happens.

(SPOILER ALERT: It’s going to be awesome and you’re going to probably want more. OMG, SHHHH, Kara!)

Let me know in the comments what you decide to do and let’s go have some serious fun!

Photo by my gal Milou and Olin of one of my fave books
that would totally count towards your fun this week. 🎉


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