Valentine’s Day? How about drive-by kindness?

It’s the week of Valentine’s Day!

*This week’s Pinspiration*

*Pin this to share the love*

Love is not just a feeling but a set of actions- womenonfire

If you’re dreading February 14, sad because you don’t have a romantic partner – or you want to shake things up from the usual candy, card, flowers, dinner — today’s  SPARK! is for you.

But first …

According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love in the High Middle Ages when the tradition of courtly love flouris


In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“).

Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

And that brings us to today – to create a modern Valentine’s Day for everyone to partake in!

To me, Valentine’s Day is simply a reminder to show your love in some way and to as many people as you want.  A romantic interest is not required.  February 14 becomes then like the chime on your cell phone.

Ding, ding, who is it I want to surprise in some beautiful and unexpected way to show them how much I care?

In our household, “valentines” also have given way to what my husband Rob and I call “drive-by kindnesses.” They aren’t limited to February 14.  In fact, every day can be Valentine’s Day!

15 ways to practice drive-by kindnes- womenonfires

Here are some drive-by kindnesses I’ve recently witnessed:

  • Leaving waiter a tip — and a $25 gift card
  • Leaving waitress a tip — and a lottery ticket
  • Leaving waitress a tip — and a special silver coin (worth $50!)
  • Traveler paying for airline maintenance crew’s breakfast in Dunkin’ Donuts line
  • Mother in a coffee shop handing over diapers to a stranger — another mother she noticed was caught up short with her baby
  • Friend providing one month’s rent to one of her colleagues through an anonymous giving program
  • Neighbor handing out bottles of water (and cookies) to thirsty lawn crews, UPS and FedEx delivery drivers
  • A Woman on Fire member paying the tuition for another woman to attend the upcoming retreat!

The list is inspiringly endless. I know you, too, have witnessed and been the provider of these random acts of love.

Being the recipient of drive-by kindnesses can have a transformative effect, as I’ve experienced, including one just this morning!

  • Sunburst Café owner and friend Jerome Tocio (whose very wonderful wife Theresa is a Women on Fire member) sent me a note: “Thought of you this morning when I was grinding the Almond Joy coffee.”  Along with his card? A bag of my very favorite, freshly ground Almond Joy coffee! (See photo above:-)
  • A gorgeous bouquet of pink peonies handed to me while I was browsing in a florist shop, courtesy of an unidentified somebody!
  • My goddaughter Julia leaving me little surprise treats in the kitchen after I’d been working in my office all day.
  • The heart-melting cards, notes, posts and emails I receive daily telling me what Women on Fire means to you.
  • My 79-year-old mother’s happy, encouraging notes. (She texts!)
  • The incredibly generous friend whose oil painting I’d long admired, packed it up in her car, brought it to our home, and helped us place it on the perfect  wall.
  • Our elderly neighbor arriving at our door, a freshly baked pineapple upside-down cake in her hands — for us.

These drive-by kindnesses throughout the year fill my heart fuller and wider than a million Valentine’s Day presents.

In our most recent Women on Fire membership interview, well-known psychotherapist Dr. Norman Shub reminds us what romance is truly about:

“Love in you grows by making the other person important. It’s the investment in the other that intensifies your feelings. Unfortunately, in our world, we are trained to think, “Am I getting what I want?”

“We’re not trained to be the best partner (and friend) we can be. Love is not just a feeling; it’s also a way of acting.”


So this single day of celebrating love — February 14 — must not become a day where some people are left to feel less than or left out of – or worse, a day that is obligatory and boring.

Instead, Valentine’s Day — and any other day — can become your own special day to give the unexpected love and joy of a drive-by kindness! Who in your life will you make important by giving such a gift to?

Drive-by kindnesses also don’t have to even cost time or money. Consider this from my dear friend, author Marianne Williamson:

“If everyone took one minute daily to close their eyes and silently bless every other living thing, love and light would sanctify the world.”

May your week be filled with love and light,

Debbie Signature

Links That Light Us Up

2nd Edition

Hello wonderful women!

We are back with another week of links that we couldn’t wait to share with you. With Summer on the rise we suggest taking a break by going outside, but if you seem to be stuck indoors take a break and surf the web with us 🙂

Best Summer Sip- Who doesn’t love lemonade out of a mason jar? This recipe for lemonade from The Pioneer Woman is a breeze to make and all natural. We’re thirsty just thinking about it.

Homemade Lemonade from The Pioneer Woman[pinit]

Best Impulse Buy- So you’ve probably gathered by now that we are in love with Paris ( Women On Fire Paris Trip 2014 details are coming soon, don’t worry). We can’t imagine cutting anything with any other pair of scissors, ever again! 

Eiffel Scissors by Cotton On[pinit]

Best Quickie- Working out isn’t always fun, sometimes it’s close to torture. However, we are completely on board for a 7 minute anything. This 7 minute work out can be done almost anywhere- on your lunch break, right when you wake up, or even while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew.

7 min. workout via Tribe Sports[pinit]

Best DIY Project- We are swooning over these adorable gold painted vases from Style Me Pretty. Now pending on your crafting abilities, these could take anywhere from an hour to a whole day, but just imagine how gorgeous they will look on your table!

Best Kitchen Life Saver– Now we don’t know about you, but sometimes measurements get a bit tricky for us in the kitchen. Quarts? Pounds? Ounces? What we do know is that many meals could have been saved by this kitchen cheat sheet, if only we had discovered it sooner.

Kitchen Cheat Sheet infographic[pinit]

Best Friends-  Are you smiling yet? If the answer is no, head over here for a dose of cuteness that’s sure to tip you over the edge.

Best Friends![pinit]

Best Book Suggestions- Whether you are a book worm, a casual reader, or looking for a great gift, What Should I Read Next could be your new best friend! This awesome website is like having a librarian in your pocket, or in this case your computer.  All you have to do is type in a favorite book and it provides you with a handful of similar suggestions. Literary magic.

What Should I Read Next- Best Book Suggestions[pinit]

Best Travel Hacks– Do you love to travel? Would you love to travel more? We thought so! Which is why we literally jumped into planning our next vacation after reading this article on the best travel hacks , aka the best way to travel more without spending everything you have.

Travel Hacking article via Life Hacker[pinit]

Best Mind Trick- True or False, that tunnel below exists in real life? True! Enjoy the link below to browse nearly 25 spots that look like they shouldn’t be real. They really are mind blowing.

25 places that look not normal but are actually real via Buzzfeed[pinit]

Best Decision– Today SCOTUS reminded us that love will always prevail.



Until next time! Let us know what you liked and feel free to send us your own links 🙂

In case you missed last week’s links that light us up!