Hello dear readers! My name is Lauren, and it is a delight to be here today. I’ve been following along with all of the creative happenings over here at Sweet Athena ever since Jessica and I first struck up a bloggy buddy-ship back in November.
When she and Linz generously invited me to share something with y’all on this season’s theme of celebrations, I got to thinking not just about the grand fanfare celebrations, but the little ways one feels celebrated in a day. You know what I mean?
Like that hug that you get out of nowhere from a friend. Or that tilt of the hat from an older gentleman as he opens the door for you at the post office. Or perhaps that surprise note waiting for you on the counter when you get back from grocery shopping.
And then it struck me:
I grew up in family of surprise-note-writers. My Mom loved surprising me with a note in my lunch bag (even through high school), and my Dad would often leave notes on the counter wishing blessings upon my day. Then, at age 25, surprise, surprise, I fell head over heels for a note-writer named Mark. He takes surprise notes to all new levels.
There’s just something so wonderful about receiving even the simplest of notes when it’s unexpected…uncalled for…and totally “just because.” I think we appreciate those little celebrations all the more because it’s often on those un-birthdays and un-anniversaries when we need a little pick-me-up the most.
So let’s dive into exploring some tips and tricks for mastering the art of the surprise note, shall we?
Tips & Tricks:
1) Surprise notes should be just that – - a surprise. Try your best to sneak your note in its spot without your victim catching you. And if you’re in the room when they find it, you should act as surprised as they are. “What? Where did that come from?” (spoken with feigned shock…followed by a sneaky smile).
2) Ordinary days are the best days for surprise notes. That and job interview days. Because job interviews are scary, and we need all the encouragement we can get! Can I get an “Amen”?
3) Less is more. I often find that just a few carefully chosen words on a scrap of paper or a post-it are just as effective if not more than a sonnet on fancy stationery. The key is to celebrate your recipient…not your mad writing skeelz.
4) Location, location, location. The possibilities are endless for where you can leave your surprise note. Have fun with it! Here are a few suggestions:
Inside the lunch bag:
A classic move. Never gets old in my mind.
Between the pages of a book:
Once you’ve chosen your victim, figure out what they’re reading, find their bookmark, skip twenty pages ahead, and stick your note inside. Post-its work well for this method since they’re not likely to slip out accidentally. (P.S. Bonus points for anyone who can “name that book” pictured below without the assistance of a Google search. Anyone? Anyone?)
Atop the countertop:
Nothing fancy, but it has its benefits of being a prime check-in spot, so your victim is not likely to miss it!
On the bathroom mirror:
The mirror is one of my favorite backdrops for the surprise note, especially when having house guests! My college friend Crissie introduced me to this method when she brought Crayola washable window markers into our apartment culture senior year. In the photo below, I used washable chalk paint markers, but if you don’t have markers on hand, you can always use eyeliner or lipliner.
Inside a balloon:
This is a fun one…especially for kiddos (or adults who are kids at heart). Imagine coming home from a long day at school or work and seeing a bright balloon inviting you to pop it. I know this would make my day! Here’s a visual tutorial to feast your eyes on:
What are your ideas?
Where are other fun places to leave surprise notes? Or other tips and tricks? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comment section.
And now, a charge.
Here is my charge to you: You just took 5 minutes to read this post. Now, take 1 minute out of your day today to write a surprise note to someone…anyone. It could be your significant other, your roommie, your mother, your mailperson, a co-worker, your cat…anyone! Scribble a few celebratory words on a piece of paper, leave it somewhere surprising, and then sit back and watch as you make their day just a little brighter. Or maybe even a whole lot brighter.
And just because I recently saw The Hobbit and found this quote quite apropros:
“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.”
-Gandalf the Gray
No person is too ordinary, no act is too small, no note is too simple. So, let’s get scribbling.
When I’m not leaving surprise notes for Mark in his lunchbag, I can be found over at my blog The Thinking Closet, whipping up a crafty tutorial like this one on Anthropologie Wallpaper Coasters, offering 10 Tips to New Bloggers, or using my new Silhoeutte Cameo to create projects like this “A Thousand Thanks” Card. I’d be tickled silly if you stopped by sometime and left me a “surprise” comment.
Thanks again to Jess and Linz for having me. I had a blast!
And dear readers, I hope you have a celebratory day.