The Be List | Giving to Others. Giving to Self.

A Collection of Wonderful Things

First Saturdays

We keep a donation box in our house at the top of the stairs. It’s an ingrained habit to put anything in the box that we no longer use, no longer love, or no longer need. Items are placed in the box almost daily, but the last leg of the journey has always been the most challenging. The box would overflow and would grow into an eyesore.

So we instituted First Saturdays where we load up the car and drop everything off on the first Saturday of the month. When we get home, I enter all of the items into my tax software so it’s there for me come next April. Easy.

First Saturdays have become a family tradition that has become a heartbeat in our home. We flip the calendar….we give to others. It’s what we do.


The less “things” I have in my life, the more I find myself enjoying great smells in my home. Two weeks ago, while picking up a birthday gift at Barnes and Noble, my husband was having a moment while smelling their incredible candles. One after another made him exclaim “Oh…This is GREAT!” We don’t like to buy things that we don’t need, so we left without purchasing one.

For the next week, he couldn’t stop thinking about it and, coincidentally enough, our current candle had just burned out. The next time we drove past a Barnes & Noble, he had us wait in the car while he ran in to purchase a Paddywax Apothecary Tobacco & Patchouli candle.

Our house smells fantastic and I can’t rave about this brand enough.


I’ve been using the Insight Timer app for quite some time and it’s become the final step in my daughter’s bedtime routine. After pj’s, brushing teeth and reading, the lights go off and the guided meditation goes on. There are hundreds of different meditations by different people and for different goals. And best of all…it’s free! Whether you are new to meditation or have a well-worn cushion, you will find some great meditations to add to your practice.

Girl Scouts

This weekend the local Girl Scouts participate in April Showers. During April Showers, Girl Scouts hang bags on doors for community members to fill with shampoo, tissue, lotion, toothpaste and other toiletry items that will be used by area shelters. My daughter loved this experience so much that she was visibly upset when we finished. Serving others is one of the best values she can learn as a Girls Scout.


You may remember the Complaint Free bracelet that was out a bunch of years ago. You would put it on one wrist and move it to the other each time you complained. The goal: 21 days with no complaining. Technology has improved the tracking a bit and there is now an app called Complaint Free.

It’s pretty simple to use. You simple add the app, turn it on and if you complain, you tap a button that says “I complained.” The “no complaining” goal is still 21 days and my record is a whopping 3 days. The creators say that it generally takes a person six months to go 21 days without complaining. Circle back with me in September and see how I’m doing.


Image by Dingzeyu Li

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