Tag Archives: pay it forward



I am at that time in December where I start contemplating my New Year’s Resolution. Back on this day in 2012, I decided that my resolution was to write every single day on this kindness blog and I did it. I actually kept it going for two years. Much longer than I had expected to.

As I do every year at this time, I have been thinking about what my resolutions for this year will be. A few choices I have thought about:

  • Lose a few pounds
  • Continue to get to CKO (my latest gym obsession) at least 3 times a week
  • Daily Random Acts of Kindness
  • A photo a day
  • Write everyday again (I really fell off the wagon with this one this past year)

The last few months have brought major changes in our family’s life. DJ is now in the middle of his sophomore year in college and loving it. He’s become so grown up and independent. I am so proud of the man he is becoming. Drew started high school, made the varsity football team, (all 93 pounds of him) and although isn’t loving the academic rigor of school, is starting to find his place there.

Dave has found a steady job that he enjoys. He has found a reason to get up and out every day. He had become quite depressed, rarely leaving our home and it was putting quite a strain on all of us. He is motivated and inspired. He has lost nearly 30 pounds, is getting up and out of the house each day, found a support group and with his transformation we have a happier home. We are all grateful for this.

As for me, I am half-way through my masters program for Restorative Practices.  RP  has “the potential to positively influence human behavior and strengthen civil society around the world.” I am learning so much and enjoying it immensely, but it is a lot of work, hence one of the reasons my blogging slowed down so much last year.

So now onto my resolutions. Every year I vow to lose a few pounds and I do. I just gain them back, lose them again and gain them back. It is always those same five pounds.

I’ve always loved kickboxing and thanks to a trial membership to CKO this summer, I have found a place where I can give an hour a day a few times a week and feel good about my body. I have developed more stamina and strength than I ever thought possible. I currently go at least three times a week so while this isn’t a new resolution, it is one that I just want to continue. If you live locally and want to try out a class with me, let me know. I’d love to show you why I like it so much and get you addicted too!

Daily Acts of Kindness aren’t hard. I try to do this all of the time. I would love to push it towards a “Pay it Forward” program and make it bigger and more widespread – but that is something I need to spend more time thinking about…it is always great when I have time off from teaching, I come up with brilliant plans and then once reality strikes and I am back to work, I run out of time to implement them!

As for a photo a day, I have pinned a bunch of “photo a day” ideas on Pinterest. I use my Canon for my photo shoots and when I want to get really great photos, but I use my phone as well. I don’t need to post them all on Facebook, (I am on there too much already) but maybe the photo a day will help me find a way to write everyday again. I can share the photos here – sometimes with a story and sometimes without – it wouldn’t necessarily be a Kindness Blog, but it would get me back on track.

It has been a rough 2016 for many – the loss of loved ones and celebrities who were icons of our childhood. We went through a tumultuous and bitter election and while my candidate of choice was not elected, he is still my president and while our opinions differ greatly, I will be respectful towards him. Despite this, I cannot condone hatred from others and seeing so much come from this election has been devastating to me. Living in my sheltered bubble here in Maplewood, New Jersey, I had no idea there was still so much prejudice, racism and bigotry found in this country. This is something I wish to see change in 2017. If there was a way to tie this into my resolutions, I would – I just wish I knew how.

We have no idea what the future will bring, but I wish peace, love and a safe 2017 for all of us.





Back on Track

back on track

Today, I got a bit sad and even disappointed with myself when I realized just how long it has been since I have actually written.  I went to our public library, where I met with the head librarian of the children’s room.  Months ago, we had talked about starting a program this summer that could encourage kindness and paying it forward.

We both seemed to have lost track of time and finally got a chance to meet this afternoon.  She introduced me to another librarian there and when she began to tell her about my kindness blog, I realized just how far off track I had fallen. Writing everyday, gave me structure and routine.  I did it even when I had little to say.  Giving myself some slack has made me way too relaxed and although I have been very busy with school and helping DJ get ready for graduation and prepared for college, I felt a little badly about it today.  Guilty even.  A lot has happened in these weeks where I didn’t write. Nothing life changing for us, nothing catastrophic – but we’ve been ever so busy.

There was a weapon brought to Drew AND DJ’s school last week and I still haven’t been able to comprehend just what a tragedy it could have been. This might have to be a blog in itself – when I am ready to think about it more clearly.

This is a month I should be writing! A month to remember all of the firsts in DJ’s life with graduation and college awaiting him. A month where we lost a very important member of our community to brain cancer. A month where a good friend of ours was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I have decided to take a class and see if I am ready to pursue my Masters Degree.  If it goes smoothly, I will be busier than I already am, but the result will be worth it! I had my best month yet with my chloe and isabel jewelry business and if I can keep that up – I can help to pay for some courses!!

Yesterday a ladybug landed on me while I was driving. I know to some people that is considered to be lucky.  The first thing I thought of when it landed was how how I’d incorporate it into my blog. So many little things so many big things….I am going to make another attempt at it.

I need to be writing – maybe not everyday, but I need to write. It grounds me, centers me and keeps me focused.

ReesSpecht Life

I had to share this beautiful story. Credit to Miller Place Rocky Point Patch.

Always remember to Pay it Forward.  You never know how you will touch the life of another person.


3000 dollar tip



There are a few cupcake bakeries in town.  I am not a fan of supermarket cupcakes.  Even homemade ones aren’t my favorite, but two of these local bakeries, Gigi’s Cupcakes and The Able Baker have cupcakes that are mouthwatering!!  I won’t even go there to buy them because I know that I’d have no willpower and eat them all!

I am able to resist cake, cookies, sweets most of the time.  I can take them or leave them but when a Gigi’s or Able Baker Cupcake are in front of me, the temptation is almost too much!!  I told Dave, that for my birthday yesterday, all I wanted was a Gigi’s cupcake.  Not a little bite size one, but a big, fat cupcake.  I told him he could even pick the flavor and surprise me!  There are so many varieties, I could not decide which one I wanted.

I came home from work and was hoping to see the cupcake box on the counter, but it wasn’t there.  It wasn’t in the refrigerator either.  I didn’t say anything, hoping that maybe he hid it somewhere and was going to surprise me with it at dinner!  We went out for dinner and I didn’t see him carrying anything.  When it came time for dessert, our server asked us if were going to have anything on their dessert platter.  I looked at Dave sadly and said, “No thanks, all I wanted was a Gigi’s cupcake.”

Dave, who is usually so good at this stuff, always knowing what I like, missed it this time.  He didn’t even have to guess.  I told him exactly what I wanted.  He drove by Gigi’s after dinner, even though I knew for sure it would be closed…which it was.  I didn’t need the cupcake.  It was a silly thing to be upset about, but I really try not to eat too many sweets and I thought for sure I’d be splurging on my birthday.  I sulked a bit.

On the way home from school today, I decided to go and buy my own cupcake.  They had so many flavors, I could not decide, so I did a pack of minis so that I could share.  When I was paying for them Gigi, asked me what I was celebrating and I told her the story.  She was packing up the cupcakes and labeling them so I knew what they all were.  She went into the kitchen and came out with a huge vanilla cupcake with “Happy Birthday” written on it.  Earlier, I had told her that my two favorites were the vanilla and salted caramel ones.  She wished me a happy birthday and told me she had stuffed it with salted caramel!  She even included candles!

I can’t wait for dinner to be over so that I can sit down and enjoy that big, fat, beautiful cupcake with a warm cup of tea.  She really made my day and now, it is once again my turn to pay it forward for someone else 🙂

Global Pay it Forward Day

pay it forward

It is here.  Global Pay it Forward Day.  A day that I  think should be celebrated more than once a year!

For this year’s international Pay it Forward Day (PIFD) we are aiming to inspire over 3 million acts of kindness around the world. Imagine the difference that would make!

During Lent, my “Lenten Sacrifice” was doing a random act of kindness every day for the entire Lenten period.  Everyday, I put something in the mailbox of a coworker with a little note attached.  A few times it was an orange with a note, “to add a little sunshine to your day.’  Several times it was chocolate or cookies with a note saying, “To add a little sweetness to your day.”  None of it cost a lot.  I don’t know if anyone realized who it was  leaving the treats in their mailboxes.  I never stayed around to watch the reaction when they went to their mailbox and found it there. That wasn’t the idea behind it.  I didn’t do it for the recognition.  I did it because it felt good.  I did it with the hope that it would inspire others to do a random act of kindness of their own.

This afternoon, we were out for a bit and Drew came across a row of vending machines.  He always looks inside the coin slots to see if any coins were left behind.  Today, he found that $1.50 had been left in one of the machines.  Not in the coin slot, but in the machine itself.  He is convinced that someone did it because today is “Pay it Forward Day.”  We have no idea if this is really the reason money was left in the machine, but the fact is, it got all of us thinking about what RAK we should do for someone today.

Tonight, the kids played another game of miniature golf.  There are some amazing mini golf courses down here and they’ve tried them all.  For our RAK, we left money for two kids to play the course.  The woman working there didn’t know about Global Pay it Forward Day, so it was fun to tell her about it because it got her excited about it too.  We don’t know who will get those next two games, but hopefully whoever does, will pay it forward by doing something else.  That’s the whole idea behind this day.

While Pay it Forward Day focuses on marketing the concept of selfless giving for just one day a year,  everyday can be Pay it Forward Day by connecting to the Pay it Forward Foundation at http://www.payitforwardfoundation.org/





My Lenten “sacrifice” this year was to do a Random Act of Kindness everyday.  I should not say it is a sacrifice because I have been having so much fun leaving little treats for my coworkers.  I don’t sign who they are from, I just place it on their desk or in their mailbox each morning.  A few days ago, there was something in my own mailbox and I have been seeing little treats in other mailboxes as well so someone else…or maybe a few others are doing the same thing!  The students are talking about it with their own RAK’s and sharing their ideas of paying it forward.

Right now at our school there is some sort of outbreak of illness going around and a large number of students have been out of school for the week.  Our school nurse has been busier than ever.  We joked that she needs one of those, “take a number” machines they have at deli counters with the amount of kids showing up at her door!  Hopefully, whatever it is that is going around ends quickly.  This is one thing spreading around the building that I hope ends soon!!

As for the kindness, I hope that it becomes even more contagious and continues to spread throughout the community because the more massive  it gets, the more amazing it will become!

Looking for inspiration!


I go through these slumps once in awhile and just sit in front of my computer not knowing what to write about.  I have had a good few weeks, with plenty of things to blog about but then one of these days comes along.  I look through emails, read through my Facebook feed and even do searches on the internet for ideas.  Sometimes it just doesn’t happen.  I am uninspired today.  Not sure why…

I am still doing my Lenten “Acts of Kindness” each day and actually getting a lot of joy out of it!  It is fun to leave a special treat in a mailbox or on another teacher’s desk without them knowing.

Today at school, we continued to promote the Pay it Forward program by sharing the website with the faculty and a lot of the teachers took kindness cards so that they could also spread the kindness.  All great things,  but, I have written about all of this already!

My dad continued his tradition of sending us a bushel of oranges and grapefruits from his trip to Florida.  That was a nice treat to come home to this afternoon, but not enough to write an entire blog!

The more I think about it, my day, although far from perfect, had several moments of kindness and joy thrown in.  Maybe that should be a goal for everyone.  To find a few moments from their day, everyday –  even on the “bad” ones, to find a few instances that you are grateful for and for those we should find a reason to be inspired.

So Proud of You

proud of you

Last night my boys went to the NJ Devils game with my dad. When they got home, DJ said, “Drew, are you going to tell mom what you did at the game tonight?”  I replied, ‘Uhoh, what…” and DJ said, “No mom, it is good!”  We all laughed and Drew got embarrassed and told me this story,

You know how I always go up to the glass for warm ups?  Well, I went there tonight and I was hoping that a player would toss me a puck after practice.  There was this kid standing near me who had special needs and he was wearing a Toronto jersey.  He reminded me of that girl we saw at The Newark Bears Game.  That was the kind of special needs he was.  Well, he wanted a puck so badly but he didn’t get one and I guess he got tired of standing there because he and his dad went back to their seats.  Then, I got a puck and I went over and gave it to him instead of keeping it. The kid was so happy!  Later, the dad and the kid came over to our seats and thanked me.  At the end of the game, I went up to where the referees leave the ice and NJ, (the Devils mascot,) tossed me the game puck!

I was so proud I nearly cried.  DJ was just nodding his head the whole time telling me that really happened.  My dad told me how proud he was of him.  I had to share it – I was so filled with joy that he had done such a generous thing.  For anyone who knows him, he is a collector and giving up a puck was probably not the easiest thing for him!!  I shared the story on Facebook before I left for work this morning.  I got home this evening and found that there were just under 200 likes and almost 50 comments about it!  Comments saying others were going to pay it forward today after reading it.  Comments about how he is growing up into such a kind young man.  Comments about how Dave and I “must be doing something right!”

He and I just read the comments together and he is embarrassed – self-conscious perhaps, but I can tell he is pleased with himself.  It is so nice watching him grow into such a kind hearted boy.  Many of the comments mentioned “great parenting.”  I had great role models to follow, and now my children are following in those footsteps as well.  We talk all the time about how easy it is to do the right thing and last night, Drew demonstrated that perfectly.

Pay it forward challenge

pay it forward heart

Yesterday, a friend shared this on her Facebook page:

Pay it forward challenge:
Let’s have fun and spread some love:2014 pay it forward. The first 12 people to comment on this status will receive a surprise from me within the calendar year. There will be no warning of when it will happen and it can be a card, a gift, etc. The catch…Those 12 people must make the same offer in their FB status. Inbox me your address if you are far away. I will find you if you’re local or close by. Help spread some love!!

I loved it!  Of course, I shared immediately and got my first 12 people right away.  I have decided to go over twelve though.  Why not?  It doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact it doesn’t have to cost a thing.  If those 12 people shared, like they were supposed to….and each of their twelve share…well, you can imagine the kindness spreading!!

Some of the people that responded to my post are local and good friends of mine so it will be easy!  Others, I know casually but I will find a way to do it.  For those who don’t live close by, I will make it happen.  I have a whole year to do it.  12 people, 12 months?  It really couldn’t be easier!  If you haven’t seen it yourself already, try it.  Get the kindness rolling!



pay it forward drew

Today I am letting Drew help me write my blog.

He told me that today at his school there was a Monday morning gathering where the social workers handed out “Pay it Forward” bracelets.  Each student was given two of them.  They were told that one was for them to keep and the other was for them to give away AFTER they did a random act of kindness for another person.  The person they give it to has to do a RAK for another person and they will pass the bracelet on to that person.  The cycle should keep on going.

I asked him if they could only have two bracelets and he told me that was just to start it off.  He said that the goal is that you always have two on your arm because people should be doing RAK for each other all of the time.

I love the idea.  Especially at the middle school tween ages.  I hope that the idea takes off and it starts something wonderful.  How inspiring it could be for these kids to know that by doing even a little thing for someone else can change their attitude  – because even the simplest thing could have a huge impact on someone else.

pay it forward bracelet