Monthly Archives: April 2014

Graduation Gift Idea – 18 Things I Wish I Had Known at 18

- - Graduation, Kids

Goodbye childhood. Hello adulthood. This is what my oldest niece Shakira is experiencing as she gets ready to graduate from high school. She’s excited about adulthood because to her it means freedom to do whatever she wants. But like most 18-year olds, she hasn’t really thought about the responsibilities that come with that freedom.

words of wisdom bookAs her aunt, I thought I would take the opportunity to impart some life lessons that I’ve personally found to be helpful in living a full and happy life. But Shakira doesn’t want to listen to a lecture from me. Blah. Blah. Blah. Even if she did listen, she could easily forget everything I told her the next day.

I needed to deliver my nuggets of wisdom in a fun and memorable way and something that would make a cool graduation gift.

I created a custom photo book called “18 Things I Wish I Had Known at 18.” I picked out a black and white template from Shutterfly.com that matched my niece’s sense of taste and style.

In the book I listed my top 18 life lessons and paired them with photos of Shakira, Shakira and me together, and group family photos. I arranged the photos in chronological older starting with her baby photos.

Here are the 18 life lessons or words of wisdom I put together:

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25 Ways to Pay It Forward| Random Acts of Kindness

The idea behind “pay it forward” is that everyone can make a difference in the life of someone else. When you pay it forward, you make an effort to positively impact a person’s life through a random act of kindness and love.

laundry detergent in laundromat

Leave a container of laundry detergent at a laundromat with a note saying, “Feel free to use!”

Last week, I wrote about¬†my friend Erin who wanted to inspire 34 pay it forward random acts of kindness in celebration of her 34th birthday. In case you were inspired to do the same thing, I thought I’d share with you some ideas of what you could do.

  • Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you in line
  • Send a card to someone in the military overseas
  • Put something you no longer need on Craigslist.org for free
  • Tape a bag of microwaveable popcorn to a Redbox machine with a note saying “Enjoy some popcorn with your movie!”
  • Drop off a toy or game at a children’s hospital
  • Buy a lottery ticket and give it to a stranger
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